Meet the NASPO Team

Megan Smyth, JD

Director of Research and Innovation
Megan has been with NASPO on the Research & Policy team since 2016. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Transylvania University, with a major in Philosophy and minors in Communications and Political Science, and a J.D. from the University of Kentucky. Prior to coming to NASPO, Megan was a civil defense litigator practicing in courtrooms all over Kentucky, from Paducah to Pikeville. She has a passion for writing and educating NASPO members on the emerging issues in public procurement, especially IT transformation. Megan is a self-professed bookworm who loves traveling the world, visiting Keeneland race track, and spending time with her friends and family in her beloved Lexington, Kentucky.

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 interest include socioeconomics, world systems, community development, and cultural behavior.  Through his role as Research Coordinator at NASPO, Kevin provides Best Practices & Cronin Committee Support; leads the Green Technical Assistance Funds effort; is the main point of contact for the GovWin IQ marketing research tool; 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!

Katie Scott, MA

Research Coordinator
Katie Scott received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Geoscience from Denison University and a Masters in Economics from Miami University. She’s excited to work on both the research and education side of NASPO and help provide members with new tools and information. In her free time she enjoys hiking, backpacking and reading, particularly books by Jane Austin, John Steinbeck and Chuck Klosterman.

Olivia Hook-Frey, MS

Academic Affairs Manager
Olivia has been on the NASPO team now since 2016. A Chicago native, Olivia holds both Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Communication and Training and Development from Illinois State University. Her role as Academic Affairs Manager allows Olivia to utilize her passion for higher education and working with students on a daily basis. In her free time, Olivia is a group fitness instructor, avid home chef with her husband, Kody, and dog mom to her black pug, Pete.

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

Instructional Design Project Manager
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 works with NASPO's professional development program, Procurement University, to deliver a multi-faceted education platform to NASPO members and other state government procurement professionals. His role includes development of Procurement U live trainings at NASPO events, creating online courses and learning engagements, and expanding Procurement U's curriculum nationwide. 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.