Meet Our Staff

Chris McKenzie
Chris McKenzieSmall Farm Production Adviser
Chris works with small farm families in Eastern Kentucky to develop plans to increase their farm’s efficiency and profitability.

He/Him/His

  • 859-302-3114

  • mckenziec@berea.edu

Martina Leforce
Martina LeforceBerea Kids Eat Coordinator
Martina coordinates the Berea Kids Eat program, a year-round feeding and nutritional education program for Berea youth.
  • 859-302-1522

  • leforcem@berea.edu

Mark Walden
Mark WaldenAssociate Director of Production Programming
Mark began with Grow Appalachia in 2012 and currently delivers direct technical support to producers throughout the region.
  • 859-985-4178

  • waldenm@berea.edu

David Cooke
David CookeFounder & Advisor
David Cooke is a native of southern West Virginia and the youngest child of a coal miner and a schoolteacher. He holds degrees from Berea College and West Virginia University. Cooke previously served 13 years as an extension agent in southern West Virginia working extensively with small landholders and other entrepreneurs in agroforestry and other natural resource based small business enterprises. As the founder and first director of Grow Appalachia(for 12 years) he is deeply proud of the passionate and committed staff of Grow Appalachia, and the program’s role as an outreach service and education program of Berea College.

He/Him/His

  • 859-985-3941

  • cooked@berea.edu

Candace Mullins
Candace MullinsDirector
Candace started with Grow Appalachia in 2012 and manages fundraising, evaluations, program development, marketing and strategic planning.

She/Her/Hers

  • 859-985-3687

  • mullinsc@berea.edu

Kayla Preston
Kayla PrestonSocial Enterprise Manager
Kayla manages our social enterprise program, including high tunnel, roof run off water catchment and micro drip irrigation consultations & installations, fertilizer and garden supply sales.

She/ Her/ Hers

  • 859-302-1174

  • prestonk@berea.edu

Taye Olwen
Taye OlwenNutrition Education Coordinator
Taye works with local youth, coordinating and implementing programming based on gardening and nutrition education.
  • spinkt@berea.edu

Elora Overbey
Elora OverbeyProgram Associate
Elora provides administrative support to all Grow Appalachia initiatives and assists with communications and development.

She/Her/Hers

  • 859-985-3195

  • overbeye@berea.edu

Matt Wilson
Matt WilsonBeekeeping Initiative Advisor
Matt worked with small farm families in Eastern Kentucky to develop plans to increase their farm’s efficiency and profitability. He now shares his knowledge and insight to the development of Grow Appalachia’s Beekeeping Initiative.
  • 859-302-3073

  • wilsonma@berea.edu

Terra Cash
Terra CashHigh Tunnel Assistant
Terra is the social enterprise program assistant. She manufactures and travels with Kayla building high tunnels around the region.
Nathaniel Fish
Nathaniel FishCurriculum Coordinator
Nathaniel is a Berea college student who works with our garden grants program. He collects data and resources from our partner sites and organizes them into a detailed instructional library.
  • fishn@berea.edu