Realtor with Coldwell Banker
Brian is a Lexington, Kentucky, native and graduate of Transylvania University, with an MBA from University of Kentucky. He has spent his career as an entrepreneur in multiple businesses as manager and/or owner in the south central Kentucky region in the fields of tourism and entertainment. He is a founding Board Member and has been intricately involved in the development of the Friends of Mammoth Cave.
Larry Cox has been a Kentucky resident for forty years and retired in late 2010 after over twenty-five years as State Director for Mitch McConnell, Republican Leader of the United States Senate. Prior to that served as Secretary for Environmental Policy and Deputy Secretary of the Community Development Department for Jefferson County Government. Earlier work history included employment as Deputy Director of a regional planning agency and lead planner for a number of small and medium size cities and counties.
Cox has a Bachelor of Arts from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University and a Master of Science from the University of Tennessee. He is married to Joanie Cox and they have two adult children who reside in Kentucky.
President and CEO
Caveland Environmental Authority
Caveland Environmental Authority, Inc
David Peterson is the CEO of Caveland Environmental Authority, an environmental company devoted to water, wastewater, construction, and environmental services. Caveland Environmental Authority is considered one of the best water and wastewater utilities in the state. He is also the President and co-owner of the Geothermal Supply Company, based from Horse Cave, KY. This company provides equipment necessary for safe and energy efficient heating and cooling systems to businesses and industries.
David is the President of Kentucky Rural Water Association, which provides training, operational support and financial guidance to utilities in Kentucky.
LaJuana S. Wilcher
Attorney at Law, English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley
Ms. LaJuana Wilcher is a partner with the law firm English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley in Bowling Green, KY, and owns and operates Scuffle Hill Farm. A biologist, lawyer and former naturalist and interpreter at Mammoth Cave National Park, her legal practice grew to include federal government positions at the U.S. EPA and the Department of Agriculture, including the Presidential-appointed, Senate-confirmed post as EPA's Assistant Administrator for Water (1989-1993). After private practice in D. C., in 2003 she became the first Secretary of Kentucky's Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, with responsibility for Kentucky's environmental and natural resource agencies, as well as labor, horse racing, insurance, banking, alcohol beverage control, charitable gaming, and housing, building and construction, among other things. Ms. Wilcher teaches environmental law courses in the summers at Vermont Law School, and currently serves as Executive-in-Residence at the University of Kentucky.
From 2003-2007 Ms. Wilcher was a member of the U.S. National Park System Advisory Board. She currently is a member of the U.S. Commission on UNESCO, the Salmon P. Chase College of Law Board of Visitors, and the Vermont Law School Environmental Law Center Advisory Board.
Houchins is presently Executive Vice President and Director of Houchens Industries, Inc. in Bowling Green, KY. Houchens Industries, Inc. is the nation's largest 100% employee owned company in the US. It was named the 150th largest privately held company in the US by Forbes Magazine in 2011. Prior to joining Houchens, he worked in the banking and financial services industries for 20 years holding various Senior Management positions.
He is a graduate of Western Kentucky University with a B.S. in Accounting. Houchins presently sits on the following boards: Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, Hilltopper Athletic Foundation's Executive Committee, Community Foundation of SouthCentral Kentucky, and Executive Board Barren River Development Council Chairman
Del Marie Vaccaro
Del Marie Vaccaro is a Barren County native with lifelong ties to Mammoth Cave-her grandfather a local businessman near Glasgow Junction (now Park City) and her father and uncle early guides in Mammoth Cave. After a career in bank branch management, she has pursued her education and interests in historic preservation, history, folklore and research related to the Mammoth Cave area. She is a dedicated volunteer and shares her wealth of knowledge with community school groups and others interested in learning more about protecting and preserving Mammoth Cave for future generations.
is the current Board Chairman and has served on the Friends Board since 2007. He is a National Park Service retiree from Mammoth Cave National Park, with his early years of service as a cave guide. He additionally spent over 20 years as a law enforcement and resource management ranger. He completed the last several years of his career as a Management Assistant, helping guide the Park’s planning, projects, and long-range management efforts. Henry has a long family tradition of service to Mammoth Cave as well, with many family members having worked there through the last several decades. His love of the park and in-depth knowledge of its history are a tremendous resource.
Dr. S. Kay Gandy
is an associate professor in the School of Teacher Education at Western Kentucky University. She also serves as the state co-coordinator for the Kentucky Geographic Alliance. Dr. Gandy works with International programs for the School of Teacher Education at WKU and has spent the Fall 2012 semester teaching at Harlaxton College in Grantham, England.
Gary A. Ransdell
was named President of Western Kentucky University on September 12, 1997. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from WKU in 1973 and 1974, followed by a Doctorate in Higher Education from Indiana University in 1978. Dr. Ransdell came to WKU following his service as Vice President for Administration and Advancement at Clemson University in South Carolina. Prior to that, he served as Director of Alumni Relations at Southern Methodist University. Dr. Ransdell is leading WKU through a transformation from a university of regional importance to A Leading American University with International Reach.
is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Fortress Group, Inc. His company owns and operates Park Mammoth Resort, Rockcastle Shooting Center, Cave Valley Golf Club, and Cave Valley Winery and Vineyard in Park City, Kentucky. The 2,000 acre resort features a lodge, conference center, and restaurant in addition to its golf course, shooting ranges and wine production facilities.
Nick was born and raised in Durango, Colorado and graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in communication. His Rocky Mountain upbringing gave him a passion for the outdoors and he enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing and youth sports. He has been happily married to his wife Wendy for 18 years and has three beautiful children, Grant, Natalie, and Antonio.
is a 33 year veteran of the National Park Service. She began her career as a cave guide and soon moved into administrative positions in the divisions of Interpretation and Ranger Activities. She also worked in the Vocational Office of the Great Onyx Job Corps for five years before becoming the Superintendent's Executive Secretary in 1988. She worked closely with the park's top managers for over 23 years before retiring in 2011. In addition to park operational needs, Gayle assisted with special projects and initiatives throughout her career, including background work for the creation of Mojave National Preserve, the creation of the first Federal and State Tourism Summit east of the Mississippi, the Southeast Tourism Society's first Tourism Policy Council, and the start-up of the Friends of Mammoth Cave National Park. She accepted the role of Executive Director in September 2011.