FROM INNER-CITY TO AMERICAN DREAM
Born on Detroit's west side in 1958, Jenean Hampton grew up in a less than ideal financial situation. One of four daughters born to Donald and Marie Hampton, Jenean learned to get by with very little as she watched her parents struggle to support the family.
At the age of 7, things became more difficult for Jenean when her parents divorced, leaving her mother with few opportunities to provide for the children. Without a high school diploma, Marie Hampton found work where she could, cleaning houses to help support her daughters. Although for many years the family lacked basic 'luxuries' like new clothes, a car, or a television, Jenean fondly remembers learning from her mother how to live within a tight budget. Jenean taught herself to sew so she could make her own clothes, and developed a love of reading with books borrowed from the public library.
As a minority female growing up in inner-city Detroit, Jenean’s prospects seemed bleak. However, she found inspiration in NASA’s space program. When the family acquired a television, Jenean never missed an opportunity to watch space mission launches and landings. To Jenean, the space program represented big dreams - if space travel was possible, anything was possible. It was that idealism, plus expanded viewpoints from reading, that shaped Jenean’s optimistic, forward-thinking outlook.
After high school, Jenean worked in the automotive industry five years to help pay for college, and earned an Industrial Engineering degree from Wayne State University in 1985. Shortly after graduation she joined the U.S. Air Force as a computer systems officer, writing computer code and testing software. During seven years military service she was stationed in San Antonio, TX and Oklahoma City, OK, and was deployed to Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia. While stationed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jenean, an Air Force Captain, was responsible for critical radar software used in both search and rescue missions and tracking enemy planes.
After her service in the Air Force, Jenean began a 19-year career in the corrugated packaging industry. She started as a crew supervisor on the production floor, and was soon promoted to quality and sales, eventually becoming a plant manager. While working full time, Jenean earned an MBA from the University of Rochester, with concentrations in marketing, entrepreneurship and electronic commerce.
In 2015, she was inducted into the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame in recognition of both her military service to the nation and general community service during her post-military career.
WIFE AND COMMUNITY SERVANT
On November 3, 2015, Jenean was elected Lt. Governor of Kentucky and became the first African-American to hold statewide office.
Jenean has been married 14 years to Dr. Doyle Isaak, a retired U.S. Air Force officer. They live in Bowling Green where Jenean is active in community and political/civic arenas. She is a member of Eleventh Street Missionary Baptist Church, and a member of many local organizations including the American Legion, The Civil Air Patrol, and the Bowling Green Women's Club. As a supporter of constitutionally limited government, and a devotee of improving the lives of those around her, Jenean serves as a strong conservative voice in Kentucky, inspiring others to political action and community service.