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OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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LAURIE BERMAN

FOUNDER and BOARD PRESIDENT

 

Laurie moved to Virginia in 1975 as a homesteader to live within nature and become food self-sufficient.   Her commitment to protecting natural systems and improving her community led her to take a leading role in local environmental protection and community development as a Founding Board member of Highland County Arts Council, The Highland Center, Highlanders for Responsible Development, Allegheny Mountain School/Institute, and later as Board member of Valley Conservation Council and Virginia Food Systems Council.   Laurie's passion for seasonal eating for optimum health and well-being has recently shifted her focus to inspiring others to enjoy 'Farm to Table' as the proprietor of Newtown Baking & Kitchen.  She is an avid naturalist, music maker, wild-crafter, and mother of three grown daughters who all share her love of gardening, earth stewardship, fresh cuisine, and the vision that if we nurture our land and our watershed appropriately, we can provide well for ourselves and our communities. 

Wendy gray

vice PRESIDENT

 

Born and raised in Staunton, VA Wendy spent a lot of her time in Highland County where her mother was born and her Grandfather taught in a one room schoolhouse. After high school she moved to Richmond to attend VCU School of Arts. After spending 20 years in Richmond, VA designing nurseries for expectant celebrities and creating her own line of hand knit baby wares she became pregnant with her own baby and a longing for the mountains and the desire to raise her daughter in the beloved community from which she came brought her back to her native Staunton, VA where she donned a pair of muck boots and began managing public relations and community development for Polyface Farms. After 14 years at Polyface she is now working with Doniga Markegard from Kiss the Ground  on a newly purchased farm in Churchville, VA where she is part of a team hired to restore the land through soil remediation while growing medicinal herbs and mushrooms and developing products wild foraged from the land.

 

When not on the farm she can often be found camping on her family land in Highland County, organizing and volunteering at community gardens, collecting food and fundraising for local food banks and shelters and promoting/organizing holistic wellness events. Passionate about soil health, food sovereignty and a deep love and respect for the land and for those who care for it, Wendy has her own grassroots PR business that focuses on connecting earth stewards from all over the world in order to create a vibrant online community resource and gathering place to inspire all. 

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noah goldstein

secretary & Treasurer

 

Noah Goldstein is a Doctor of Acupuncture, Coach, and Facilitator at Heartseed Health. He also founded Council of Fathers to support dads as they navigate parenthood. Noah is a devoted life-partner, father of three magical children, and an avid gardener, naturalist, and writer. He lives in Boulder, CO where he stewards a magical plot of land.

Noah has returned to the AMI Board having previously been a member of the founding board, serving from 2014-2018. 

kayla maclachlan

director

 

Kayla MacLachlan is an AMI alumnus from upstate New York. She graduated from the State University of New York College at Fredonia with a BA in English-Adolescent Education and is a graduate of the Association Montessori Internationale Orientation to Adolescent Studies, completing her coursework at the Hershey-Montessori Farm School in Huntsburg, Ohio. Falling in love with Highland County and the work of AMI, after graduating from the Fellowship program in 2013, she lived on the Allegheny Farm
and worked as AMI’s Program and Fellowship Director for several years. Since then, her passions for food, connection and community have paved the way for her continued food-focused work in the education and hospitality industries. Currently, Kayla works as the Hospitality Manager for an internationally-touring rock and roll band. On or off the road, she enjoys gardening, playing Irish music, writing, hiking, practicing yoga, studying nutrition and cooking fresh, wholesome plant-based food for all to enjoy.

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Bob Cantor

DIRECTOR

Bob has lived in the Washington-Baltimore area his entire life. He enjoys life in the area and has cultivated many interests during working years and his current life as a retiree. He has been committed to organic gardening his entire adult life. He also taught high school AP Psychology, history throughout all grades and levels in the public school system, and worked eight years as social studies chair at a small private school in Baltimore before retirement.

Bob is a music lover of a wide array of eclectic music. When he's not in the garden, live shows and home listening are a vital part of his life. He also enjoys visiting the many museums in the DC-Baltimore area.

Bob brings a vast array of experiences and knowledge to the Board. This is his second term as an AMI Board Director, having previously served in 2015, 2016, and 2017. He looks forward to reuniting with AMI and assisting them to achieve their goals.

INTERESTED IN BecOMING A DIRECTOR OF THE AMI BOARD?

Allegheny Mountain Institute is currently seeking applications for new Board Members to guide the future of our organization. We welcome you to take advantage of this opportunity to provide strategic direction in pursuit of our shared mission of cultivating healthy communities through food and education.

Follow these steps:

  1. Learn more about the role of the Board of Directors by reading the Board Candidate Package

  2.  Complete this self-assessment

  3. Email Laurie Berman with questions: laurie@amifellows.org

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