Meet Our Staff

Candace Mullins
Candace MullinsExecutive Director
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

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

Faye Adams-Eaton
Faye Adams-EatonAssociate Director of Strategic Impact
Faye blends nearly a decade of career in health and well-being program delivery, research and evaluation in London, England, with seven years of naturally grown farming and sales in the local food economy in Kentucky. Her work centers around program evaluation, monitoring, and impact.”
  • 859-985-3195

  • adamseatonf@berea.edu

Maiesha Shyaka
Maiesha ShyakaOperations and Compliance Specialist
Maiesha recently joined Grow Appalachia to help manage operations and program compliance. She is dedicated to analyzing financials, developing efficient tracking systems, and ensuring adherence to regulatory guidance. Maiesha is excited for the opportunity to work with the Appalachian communities and our partners to create and maintain access to healthy, nutritious food in the region. She looks forward to interacting with, learning from, and contributing to the lives of those who are at the heart of our mission.
  • shyakam@berea.edu

Chris McKenzie
Chris McKenzieFarmer Development Coordinator
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

Storey Slone
Storey SloneSmall Farm Production Advisor
Storey works with small farms in Eastern Kentucky to explore innovative strategies that increase profit and efficiency.

  • slones@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

Steph Hamborsky
Steph HamborskyProgram Support Specialist
Steph Hamborsky is the Program Support Specialist. She manufactures high tunnel materials, helps manage farm supply orders, and travels with Kayla building high tunnels around the region. She also provides support to the Garden Grants and Farmer Development programs. Steph previously worked on and managed numerous rural and urban farm operations and has spent a considerable amount of time focused on community organizing. She is deeply passionate about building community centered on justice, reparations, and resilience.
  • 859-985-3335

  • hamborskys@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

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