Diane Ford currently serves as the Co-Director of the Wendell Ford Government Education Center. She has passionately pursued the goal of helping students understand that leadership can take many forms, but is most effective when people of differing opinions take the time to listen and learn from each other. If future leaders learn to respect other viewpoints and practice civility when discussing sensitive issues, their opportunity to solve difficult problems is greatly improved. Diane’s work has resulted in a program that has engaged over 250 regional students that have inspired in-depth civil conversations about issues and how they can participate in and contribute to the future of our city, state, and country.
Diane’s love for Owensboro drives her involvement in many non-profit organizations that benefit their community. She serves on the board of directors for The Marilyn and William Young Charitable Foundation and CASA of the Ohio Valley. She has also spent many hours volunteering for Owensboro Public Schools, The Women’s Guild of Owensboro and the Junior League of Owensboro. She began her career in Owensboro as a Family Advocate in the Head Start program helping students and families work through difficult circumstances to lead them towards success as they began preschool.
Diane has lived in Owensboro for 16 years and is married to Clay Ford. Together they have 2 children, Whitley a 7th grade student at OMS, and John Clay, a 5th grade student at Sutton Elementary.
Bruce Kunze currently serves as the Co-Director of the Wendell Ford Government Education Center. Bruce grew up in Owensboro and has spent his adult life in rural Daviess County on a small farm that was purchased by his wife’s grandparents in 1925. Bruce graduated from Owensboro High School and the University of Kentucky, worked as a teacher and counselor and retired from the Daviess County Public Schools after 28 years of dedicated service.
Bruce has served on numerous community boards, was elected to three terms as a Daviess County Commissioner from 1999-2010, and was the executive director of the Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center from 2013-2016.
He is the owner and operator of Browns Valley Vineyard and has been active in the Owensboro Regional Farmers Market for the past 10 years where he served as vice-president coordinating efforts to build the first permanent structure for the market. He and his wife Susie have two grown children and four wonderful grandchildren. Bruce and Susie attend First Christian Church in Owensboro.
Bruce enjoys working with young people and believes that helping them understand the importance of working together in a civil manner and striving to understand different points of view are critical in developing our future leaders.
Anna Caroline Brake
Anna Caroline Brake is a senior at Georgetown University and is a 2016 graduate of the Wendell H. Ford Statesmanship Academy, the academy’s inaugural class. She currently serves as Intern/Program Coordinator for the Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center.
Brake was born and raised in Owensboro, Kentucky and is a proud graduate of Owensboro High School. The daughter of two lifelong public servants, she is extremely passionate about public service and the ideals of civility, cooperation and compromise that accompany it.
In the fall of 2016, Brake moved to Washington, D.C. to attend Georgetown University where she will graduate in May of 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts double-majoring in Government and American History. During her time at Georgetown, Brake has served as an intern in the U.S. House of Representatives for Congressman Tim Ryan, for the finance team for Senator Jon Tester’s re-election campaign, as well as for the Georgetown University Institute of Politics and Public Service. In addition to her work in D.C., Brake has worked for EM Ford and Green River Area Development District in Owensboro.