Sister Cities Office in LExington

Kay Sargent, Executive Director



As Executive Director of the Lexington Sister Cities Commission for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Kay is responsible for maintaining all local Sister Cities Programs and Exchanges. She assists the government in proper reception of foreign visitors and dignitaries, and assists the government and its agencies in tourism and travel promotions on the international and national levels. Kay is a former member of the Sister Cities International Board of Directors, and currently serves on the Honorary Board; the Finance, Fund Development and Membership Task Force Committees, and is the Kentucky State Representative for the organization. Kay is active in many civic and community affairs, and serves on committees and boards with various local and state organizations, including the Japan America Society of Kentucky, United Nations Association of Kentucky, and Global Lex. 

Commission Members


Bill Farmer, Jr. (Chair)

Bill Farmer, Jr. is possibly known best for his presence, not only in Council Chambers, but at the iconic Farmer’s Jewelry in Chevy Chase, founded by his father on Euclid Avenue in 1950. He has been in partnership with his mother, Mrs. Jean H. Farmer and his sister, Kristi Farmer Lykins, since 1989. Bill is a graduate of Henry Clay High School and the University of Kentucky. He also holds a Graduate Gemologist Degree from the Gemological Institute of America.

Bill served two terms as President of the Kentucky Jewelers Association and was Board Chair of the American Gem Society from 2002 through 2004. He was inducted into the National Jeweler’s Retailer Hall of Fame in 1993. He also served as Chair of the Jewelers of America Board, the industry’s largest entity, from 2013 until 2015. In 2016, Bill was awarded the prestigious Robert M. Shipley Award, given for outstanding service to the jewelry industry, significant contribution the science of gemology and for exemplifying the high ideals of the American Gem Society in his own community.

Bill served on the Urban County Council from 1997 until 2006, and again from 2010 until present. During his years on the Council, he has served as Chair of the Planning Committee, guiding the approval of two complete updates of the Comprehensive Plan; as Chair of the Services Committee, which enacted Lexington’s Smoking Ban Ordinance; and as Chair of the Fire and EMS Task Force.

He is currently Chair of the Environmental Quality and Public Works Committee and of the Budget Link for the same department, serving in both capacities since 2010. Bill also is Chair of the Corridors Commission and the Lexington Sister Cities Commission. He is a member of the Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee and the Planning and Public Safety Committee.

He is a Vice-president of the Kentucky Civil War Roundtable, serves as a board member of the Pyramid Club and the Kentucky Mansion Preservation Foundation. He is married to Kimberly Edmundson Farmer with whom he has a son, Will and a daughter Amanda. Collectively they enjoy three grandsons, Derek, Jackson and Rhett.

Councilmember Farmer began his second term in January, 2016


Angela Evans


Angela C. Evans is a native of Lexington and an attorney at McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC. Prior to her election in 2015, Councilmember Evans served as an Assistant Attorney General of Kentucky for six years, providing legal services to various state agencies. She also previously served as General Counsel to the Kentucky Secretary of State. Councilmember Evans began her legal career as a Public Defender in Lexington, Kentucky, representing indigent clients in misdemeanor and felony court. She also served on the Ethics Commission from 2002 to 2009 and served as Chairperson from 2007 to 2009.

Councilmember Evans has taken her civil service to the international community, participating in two Expert Meetings hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna, Austria. She has contributed to two UN handbooks focused on preventing recidivism and reintegrating offenders into society published in 2012 and regulating civilian private security services published in 2014.

Councilmember Evans received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work with honors, from Clark Atlanta. She is a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee, College of Law, where she received her Juris Doctorate in 2000 and was awarded the Dean’s Citation for exemplary service to the College of Law.

Councilmember Evans is an active member of the Lexington Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, serves as a Board member for the Central Kentucky Blood Center and is an advisor on the University of Kentucky’s College of Communication and Information National Advisory Board.

Councilmember Evans began her second term in January, 2015.


Tom Appel


Tom is the manager of distribution operations at Kentucky Utilities in Lexington, KY. He has worked at Kentucky Utilities in various roles since 1994 in Harlan and in the Ohio Valley District.

Tom received his B.A. in electrical engineering from the University of Kentucky. He was a national merit scholar and UK Presidential Scholar, as well as being part of Eta Kappa Nu, a National Electrical Engineering Honor Society. Tom completed his Masters of Business Administration from Midway College in 2014. 

Outside of work, Tom served on the board of directors for the Kentucky Ballet Theatre, and is part of the Leadership Central Kentucky (Chamber of Commerce), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. 

Tom lives in Lexington. He and his wife Sheila and have three daughters. 

Tom joined the Commission in January, 2016.


Heather Lyons


Heather Lyons is the Director of Arts and Cultural Affairs in the Office of the Mayor for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. Heather was the executive director of Lexington's Living Arts and Science Center for fourteen years. Before working at the Living Arts and Science Center, Heather was an individual artist program director at Kentucky Arts Council.

 Heather earned her degree at Western Kentucky University after graduating from Lafayette High School. Heather, her husband, and daughter are very involved in the arts community in Lexington. 

She was appointed to the Lexington Sister Cities Commission in January of 2019. 


Polly Marquette


Polly Marquette is the director of the RoadMap to Success Project at the Kentucky Scholars Initiative Partnership for Successful Schools. In this role, Polly is part of guiding education and communications agenda including leadership for statewide initiatives and projects, relationship development and issue advancement with Kentucky legislators and government officials, education agency heads, school superintendents and district leaders, business executives and Kentucky Department of Education officials. 

Polly is a Lexington native, graduating from The Lexington School, Henry Clay High School, and the University of Kentucky. She received her B.A. from UK in International Business/Marketing. 

Polly lives in Lexington with her husband Brack. She has two sons currently in college. 

Polly joined the Sister Cities Commission in June, 2014.


Mary Quinn Ramer


Mary Quinn Ramer is the President of VisitLEX (formerly the Lexington Convention and Visitor’s Bureau). Prior to her position as president, she was the Vice President of Marketing from August 2007-December 2014. 

Mary Quinn is a graduate of Centre College in Danville, KY. She received her BA in history and French and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. 

In 2006, Mary Quinn received the Kentucky Travel Industry Association’s Rookie of the Year award. 

Since she began at VisitLEX in 2007, Mary Quinn has led the Bureau through a complete rebranding effort with an internationally acclaimed design firm. She also developed and managed all Bureau initiatives during the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, including the oversight of 15 satellite visitor centers and media services/relations at the Games media village. Mary Quinn was part of opening a new visitor center in the heart of downtown Lexington. She also garnered “Best of Show” at the Kentucky Travel Industry Association’s Traverse Awards for the Beyond Grits initiative and was selected for the 2015 Breeder’s Cup Host Committee. 

Mary Quinn has served on several community organizations, including the Kentucky Travel Industry Association, Equestrian Events International, Keeneland Concours d’Elegance, Centre College Alumni Board, Community Arts Center in Danville, Kentucky, and the Bluegrass Hospitality Association. 

Mary Quinn was reappointed to the Sister Cities Commission in January, 2016. 


Dr. Sue Roberts


Sue Roberts is the Associate Provost for Internationalization at the University of Kentucky where she is also a Professor of Geography. From 2008-2012, she was Chair of the Department of Geography at the University of Kentucky and in 2015-2016 she directed the International Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

Sue’s BA is from the University of Leicester (in Britain) and her MA and PhD are from The Maxwell School at Syracuse University. 

She has been a faculty member at the University of Kentucky since 1991 and has taught many hundreds of undergraduates, and supervised numerous graduate students. Sue also participated in a professor exchange with Lexington Sister Cities and County Kildare, Ireland. 

Sue has spent periods of time living and working in England, Australia and Finland. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship allowing her to spend 2012-2013 at the University of Turku, Finland. 

Sue joined the Commission in August, 2016.