The Berry Center

Our Board of Directors

Den Berry

Den BerryDen Berry has lived and farmed in Henry County all his life. On his farm he raises cattle, corn, and hay crops. In the past he has raised produce for local markets and seed for an organic seed company. He also farms with is father, Wendell, at Lanes Landing. He is an eloquent spokesperson for good farming and agrarian communities.

Den is a master woodworker. In addition to the bookcases and counter in The Berry Center and Bookstore at the Berry Center, his furniture is in homes around the country.
Den and his wife Billie have two children, Emily Rose and Marshall Amyx.

Mary Berry

Executive Director, The Berry Center

Mary Berry - Executive DirectorThe Berry Center Executive Director Mary Berry and her brother, Den Berry, were raised by their parents, Wendell and Tanya Berry, at Lanes Landing Farm in Henry County, Kentucky from the time she was six years old. She attended Henry County public schools and graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1981. She farmed for a living in Henry County starting out in dairy farming, growing Burley tobacco, and later diversifying to organic vegetables, pastured poultry and grass fed beef.

Mary is married to Trimble County, Kentucky farmer, Steve Smith, who started the first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farming endeavor in the state of Kentucky. If daughters Katie Johnson, Virginia Aguilar and Tanya Smith choose to stay in Henry County, they will be the ninth generation of their family to live and farm there.

Mary currently serves on the Board of Directors of United Citizens Bank, in New Castle, Kentucky, and is on the board of directors of the Schumacher Center for a New Economics, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. She speaks all over the country as a proponent of agriculture of the middle, in defense of small farmers, and in the hope of restoring a culture and an economy that has been lost in rural America. Recently she has written a letter for inclusion in the book, “Letters to a Young Farmer: On Food, Farming, and Our Future” (Princeton Agricultural Press, 2016), and the introduction for a new edition of essays, “Our Sustainable Table”, Robert Clark, ed. (Counterpoint, 2017).

Katherine Dalton Boyer

Katherine Dalton BoyerKatherine Dalton Boyer has worked for magazines in New York and Illinois and written for publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal to the University Bookman to the online magazine frontporchrepublic.com.  After moving back to her home state of Kentucky in the 1990s, she ran a communications business for clients that included Rohm and Haas and GE Appliances.  She has contributed to the books Wendell Berry:  Life and Work and the forthcoming Localism in the Mass Age:  A Front Porch Republic Manifesto.  She and her family live in Louisville.

John Logan Brent

John Logan BrentJohn Logan Brent lives with his wife Lori, and children Gracie, Morgan, and Jake on their 160 acre farm in Turners Station, KY.  John Logan has many passions, at the top of the list are his faith, family, farm, and community.

At a very young age John Logan discovered a passion for raising and growing things.  Along with this passion, he developed a deep love for the people, places, and agrarian culture of his Henry County Home.  In 2003, he was elected to his first term as Henry County Judge/Executive.  At that time he was the youngest person in the state to hold the position.  He currently is his fourth term of service to his community.  He and his family raise tobacco, cattle, and hay on several family small farms.  They have been selling finished beef off the farm to individuals for a number of years.  After years of driving long distances for farmstead meat processing, John Logan was very involved in helping to facilitate the location of Trackside Butcher Shoppe to the community in 2015.

John Logan graduated from Henry County High School, the University of Kentucky, and attended a post graduate program at Harvard University.  In addition to the Berry Center Board, John Logan serves on the Baptist Hospital Lagrange Board, the United Citizens Bank Board, the County Extension Board, and he chairs the Tri-County Community Action Agency Board.

Christy Brown

Christy BrownChristina (Christy) Brown is originally from Frederick, Maryland and has lived in Louisville, Kentucky since 1968 when she married Owsley Brown II.   Christy is a proud mother of three and grandmother of nine. She co-founded the Center for Interfaith Relations in 1985 and went on to launch the first US Festival of Faiths in Louisville.  She believes passionately in the potential of faith communities to effect positive change by working together, at the same time celebrating their commonalities and differences. Christy is an International Trustee of Religions for Peace, the worlds largest International Interfaith organization. She is currently serving on the board of the Sustainable Food Trust in England, The Land Institute in Kansas, The Center for Interfaith Relations, The Louisville Orchestra Board, and Riverfieds of Louisville. To bring about the kinds of changes that will help people live healthier lives, she founded and is currently serving as the board chair for a new organization, The Institute of Healthy Air, Water and Soil. The Institute is leading the nation is creating new models that empower “citizen scientists” to reveal the connections between environmental health and human health.

Bonnie Cecil

Bonnie Cecil was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She taught primary-aged students in Jefferson County Public Schools for thirty years. During those years she developed a personal style and curriculum that went beyond classroom walls. Students took frequent field trips to parks, nature preserves, libraries, museums, theatres and community events, and participated in two three-day camping trips yearly.

In 1980-1981 she was accepted into the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program and taught primary students in London, England. In 1992 she was named an Ashland Oil Teacher Achiever for innovation in the classroom. In 1993 she was named Kentucky Elementary School Teacher of the Year, and went on to be named Kentucky’s Teacher of the year. In 1994 she was recognized as a Milken Family Foundation National Educator.

She has served on The Berry Center Board since its inception in 2010. As the Center’s first development director she helped to plan and co-ordinate “The Resettling of America Conference” in 2012. She currently serves on the board’s Education Committee.

She also serves as a deacon at Port Royal Baptist Church, Port Royal, Kentucky, 2011-2013, and 2016-present.

Along with her husband, John Grant, Ms. Cecil owns and operates a 200-acre ridgetop farm in Henry County, Kentucky. In addition to growing an ample kitchen garden and watching their flock of chickens instead of TV, they raise cheviot sheep for market, and grow an acre of potatoes for A Place on Earth CSA Farm.

Mary Jones

Mary JonesMary joined The Berry Center’s Board in 2017 and is the Chair of the finance committee. She is a lifetime Kentuckian, residing in rural Oldham County, and has enjoyed a nearly 30-year career in finance and investments with Louisville-based institutions. She has also been involved over the past 10 years in a support role in helping families manage their family farms and with investments in sustainable agriculture.

She has extensive experience serving individuals, families, and institutions as a family office advisor and/or investment management professional. Her private family office consulting practice includes helping families with strategic philanthropy and multigenerational wealth planning and advisory. She is also an owner and registered investment advisor with Regent Investment Management, LLC.

Mary graduated from the University of Louisville in 1987 with a B.S. in Business Administration with honors in Finance. She earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1993 and is a member of the CFA Society of Louisville.

Heather McHold

Heather McHoldHeather McHold holds a BA in history from Smith College and Ph.D. in Modern European History from Northwestern University with specializations in African and American Gender History, Cultural History, Medicine and Gender in Modern Britain. In addition to teaching at both Northwestern University and Smith College, Heather has formerly served as PTA president for Southbank International School in London, UK and board member of The Mead School in Stamford, CT. Heather currently serves on the boards of St. Francis School, Louisville KY, Louisville Public Media, and the Speed Museum’s advisory committee.

Leigh Merinoff

Leigh MerinoffBorn in Detroit, Michigan, Leigh Merinoff holds a BFA from the University of Michigan and a MFA from Hunter College. She worked as a sculptor and teacher until 2000 when she became increasingly frustrated at the lack of real progress in addressing global issues around food, energy, and the environment.

Giving up her art career, today Leigh is a biodynamic-certified farmer with a focus on global food sustainability. An active public speaker and community organizer, Leigh has served as an ambassador for Heifer International and board member of The Land Institute and has helped sponsor energy, farming and sustainable livestock projects throughout the world. She was a founding member of the West River Community Project in Southern Vermont, focused on the revitalization of the West River Community through economics, community gatherings and the arts.

Leigh’s renewable energy efforts at home and on the farm include the installation of solar voltaics, solar thermal hot water, solar electric fencing and a 130’ 5kw wind turbine. Her initiatives for their family business in the U.S. include the construction of a test model for a 40,000-pound hybrid delivery truck and two Silver LEED–certified warehouses.

Biodynamics, honeybees and intercropped agriculture inspire her suburban edible landscape; while soil refertilization, contour planting, herbal medicine and heritage breeding of farm animals are the focus of her Vermont hillside farm.

Today Leigh runs Meadows Bee Farm, a small diversified farm with multiple livestock, a raw milk dairy, bees, orchards, an intern program and the Young Farmers Badge Program along with the Field House, an eco-farm and education center all focused on creating a more sustainable future.

Holly Wiedemann

Holly B WiedermannHolly Wiedemann is the founder, owner and President of AU Associates, Inc. AU was founded in 1990 on the principles of adaptive use and focuses on opportunities for urban infill as well as the revitalization of existing structures. Holly’s firm, AU Associates, has been directly responsible for creating over 600 units of mixed income housing, 200,000 square feet of commercial space and over $150 million of projects across the Commonwealth of Kentucky and West Virginia. This number includes the most recently completed Lexington developments; Davis Park View, multi-family affordable housing in downtown, Parkside 1,2 and 3, the historic First Presbyterian Apartments located between the Lexington Courthouse and Gratz Park on Market Street, historic Midway School Apartments and Bakery, Windy Corner Market and several other adaptive re-use developments across Kentucky and West Virginia. AU is also the development agent, on behalf of the City of Lexington, to adaptively re-use the historic Fayette County Courthouse. She was inducted into the JA Business Hall of Fame in 2016.

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