Commission Staff

​Laura Hendrix Executive Director

Photo of Laura HendrixMs. Hendrix joined the Commission staff in May 2018 and serves as the Executive Director to the Commission. Previously, she was the Commission's Counsel, was the General Counsel for the Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives, the General Counsel for the Legislative Research Commission, the Committee Staff Administrator for the Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, and a Legislative Analyst for the Health and Welfare Committee of the LRC.  Prior to her legislative service, she was the General Counsel for the Executive Branch Ethics Commission, Assistant General Counsel for the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, and clerked for Judge William L. Graham of the Franklin Circuit Court. She received a bachelor’s degree in history from Washington University in St. Louis and a J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law. She is a 2018 Henry Toll Fellow.

Direct Line Number - (502) 573-2910

Emily Dennis Counsel

Photo of Emily DennisMs. Dennis joined the Commission Staff in October 2019 and serves as the Counsel to the Commission.  Previously, she served as General Counsel of the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance from May 2008 – September 2019.  She was employed by the Kentucky Justice & Public Safety Cabinet in its Office of Legal Services from 2002-2008 and also served as a Staff Attorney with the Cabinet for Economic Development from 1999-2002.  Prior to joining state government, she was associated with the Danville law firm of Sheehan, Barnett, Hays, Dean & Pennington, P.S.C.  Dennis received her J.D. from the University of Louisville and B.A. from Transylvania University, where she was a William T. Young scholar.  When not practicing law, Emily manages Big Red Stables on her family’s third generation farm in Mercer County.​

Direct Line Number - (502) 573-2911

Donnita B. Crittenden Executive Assistant

Photo of Donnita B. CrittendenMrs. Crittenden is the Executive Assistant in the Commission office. She is a graduate of Franklin County High School, and has a BA in Public Administration from Kentucky State University. Mrs. Crittenden joined the Commission in August 1993. Her previous experience includes a three-year internship with the Kentucky Department of Education, specifically assigned to the State Board of Education.

Direct Line Number - (502) 573-2863

Lori M. Smither Staff Assistant

Photo of Connie Y. EvansMrs. Smither is the Staff Assistant in the Commission office.  She is a graduate of Franklin County High School and has a degree in four areas of Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education.  In addition, Lori has obtained certificates for the Kentucky Director’s Credential, Kentucky Child Care Provider, School Age Child Care, Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education Technical Studies, and Early Childhood Administrator.  Her previous experience includes working as a Member Service Representative at a banking institution for seven years, as a Director/Teacher for 11 years, and part-time in the Commission Office for eight years.

Direct Line Number - (502) 564-9076

Commission Staff