Meet the NASPO Team

Rebecca Montano-Smith

Director of Research and Innovation

Rebecca joined the Research and Development team in October 2019 as Director. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology from Berea College and a Master’s of Science in Library and Information Science. Rebecca has spent the last 18 years in public library management. She is an avid reader of romance novels, management advice and narrative non-fiction. She recently completed the Master Gardener training and actually likes mowing the lawn. In her continued attempt to be adventurous, she consistently forgets that she doesn’t like heights.

Elena Moreland, MPA

Senior Research and Innovation Project Manager
Elena has been with NASPO since 2011. She works closely with volunteers and shares their passion for government. Elena is the staff lead for the Top Ten Priorities for State Procurement, Best Practices research and also manages the Survey of State Procurement Practices. She has a Bachelor’s of Science and a Master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Bucharest. She also has a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Kentucky. Elena enjoys traveling with her other half to explore new countries and cultures and catch up with family and friends. She likes to bake and her recent gardening successes led her to believe she might have a “green thumb”. 

Lori Denhart

Research and Innovation Project Manager
Lori Denhart received two Bachelor of Arts degrees from Eastern Kentucky University; one in Political Science and History, the other in International Relations. Previously, Lori worked for 7 years in Kentucky State Government as the Governor’s Office for Local Government as the Local Government Advisor to all of Kentucky’s Cities and Special Purpose Governmental Entities. She joined the NASPO Research and Innovation team in January 2019 as a Project Manager. Lori is eager to use her background in training and development, problem solving bureaucratic issues, and assisting officials in utilizing resources to help further the NASPO mission statement. Lori has a passion for music, reading, and comedy. She also loves to craft and knit. Lori lives in Frankfort, Kentucky with her husband Lars and their son, Lincoln. She says out of all the titles she holds, being Lincoln’s mother is her favorite.

Kevin Minor, MPA

Media Production Project Manager

Kevin N. Minor received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Masters of Public Administration from Eastern Kentucky University. His areas of study include socioeconomics, world systems, community development, and cultural behavior. Through his role as project manager, Kevin creates digital media content for educational and marketing purposes; leads NASPO’s sustainability initiatives (including the green purchasing funds); acts as liaison to NASPO’s market research analysis subscriptions tools GovWin IQ and ProcurementIQ; and helps to administer research & policy support for his team. In his free time, Kevin enjoys hiking, kayaking, and movies.

Mariam Alabdali, MPA

Research Coordinator
Mariam Alabdali received her Bachelor of Arts in Digital & Media Communications and a Masters in Communication Studies with a focus in Instructional Communication both from the University of Kentucky. She is excited to work with the Research & Innovation and Procurement U teams at NASPO, where she will be able to engage in educating our NASPO members through content and materials in both research and education. Her goal is to be able to apply her knowledge and experience in adult learning theories and conducting research to able to help NASPO members become more educated in all areas of public procurement. Mariam enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as trying new activities and restaurants. She also loves wearing UK colors and gear!

Olivia Hook-Frey, MS

Director of Membership Engagement and Strategic Partnerships

Olivia Hook Frey is a Chicago native who has been with NASPO since 2016. She received both her Bachelors Degree in Communication and Masters Degrees in Organizational Communication, Training and Development from Illinois State University. Olivia serves our members while also focusing on relationships NASPO has with its strategic partners. When Olivia is not at work, she loves to cook with her husband, Kody, spoil her fur baby, Pete, and teach group fitness classes.

Kelly McKown King

Education Program Manager
Kelly McKnown King received a Bachelor of Political Science from Chatham College (and is a proud women's college grad, even if her college has since gone co-ed). She comes to NASPO after four years working with the Council on Licensure, Enforcement, and Regulation (CLEAR)and the Kentucky Community Technical College System (KCTCS). She has a strong background and interest in professional development events and specifically program content, which she's excited to use to the benefit of NASPO members. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys spending time with Scott, her husband, her cats and her extended family in the Lexington area. She's an avid traveler- 2018 crossed Australia and New Zealand off her bucket list- and when she's not roaming, you can usually find her with a book or crochet hook in her hand, watching some kind of true crime show or during season, cheering on her beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers or Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates.

Jordan Henson, MS

Procurement U Director Jordan has been with NASPO since 2015 and is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, where he studied criminal justice before beginning a career in policy research for NASPO. He now leads NASPO's professional development program, Procurement University, to deliver a multi-faceted education platform to NASPO members and other state government procurement professionals across the country. His role includes oversight of Procurement U live trainings at NASPO events, leading development of online courses and learning engagements, and expanding Procurement U’s curriculum nationwide. Jordan has also been featured in NCMA's Contract Management magazine for his previous work with NASPO's Awards program. Jordan has a passion for technology, photography, and way too many interests to list. If you get an out-of-office reply from his email, he is most likely spending time with his family on Dale Hollow Lake.