Board of Directors

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Teresa Hill, Chair

Teresa grew up in Ft. Thomas and graduated from Highlands High School. She has a B.S. from Denison University and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Cincinnati. She worked as an Epidemiologist at the Cancer Prevention Institute (formerly Hipple Cancer Research Center) in Dayton, Ohio and later as a consultant and Scientist with Arcadis, in Cincinnati. Teresa and her husband, Donavan Hornsby, and their three children think the best weekends are those spent in the woods or hiking in Kentucky.  Her favorite things include books with paper pages, heirloom tomatoes without pesticides, organic farms, local honey, and all-things-conversation.

 

stephanie_meade_gravesStephanie Meade Graves, Director

Stephanie has lived most of her life in Ft. Thomas, as did her parents and grandparents. Some of her fondest early memories are of spending time in the woods with her friends, enjoying the creeks and exploring the deep forests that were so abundant during childhood. She graduated from Highlands High School and attended Central Art Academy in Cincinnati. While raising her three sons, she began her career serving in various volunteer positions in the Ft. Thomas School system. She recently retired as Executive Director of the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati, where she served on various regional and national literacy boards.

 

larry_holiadayLarry Holladay, Director

Originally from Lima, Ohio, Larry has lived in Fort Thomas for 17 years. His wife Lori Deckert Holladay grew up in Fort Thomas. Larry has been involved with local and statewide education issues and now volunteers at the Middle School helping students strengthen reading and math skills. He is an outdoors person and takes several backpacking and canoe camping trips each year and volunteers with efforts to remove honeysuckle from the parks and trails. He has a B.A. in Physics from Oberlin College and a Masters in Education (Human Resource Development) from Xavier University.

 

bill_holmesBill Holmes, Director & Treasurer

Bill has lived most of his life in Ft. Thomas. His wife Carole is a native of the city and they both graduated from Highlands High School as did their three children Jenny, Lisa and Mike. Bill is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a degree in marketing. He had a career in marketing and accounting endeavors and recently retired as Executive Vice President of Hosea Worldwide and Affiliates. He has enjoyed his extracurricular activities with the Lions Club of Fort Thomas, former treasurer of St. Andrews and most recently as Treasurer for the Conservancy.

 

Photo_ChuckKeller2Chuck Keller, Director

Chuck is a teacher, musician, gardener, kayaker, hiker, questioner, reader, writer, and a tinkerer with lots of questions.  His love of the nature, inspired first by his father and later by writers and nature advocates as well as camping and backpacking adventures, led him to question our relationship with the natural world, what we can learn from those questions, and how we can find balance in our modern life. Chuck, our newest Board Member, believes the hallmark of a great community is how it protects its wilderness.

 

mark_leopoldMark Leopold, Director

Mark Leopold is a native of Fort Thomas and a graduate of St. Thomas High School. While earning his Agronomy degree from UK he became involved with horticulture, forestry, and agricultural engineering projects, later serving as the Agriculture Extension Agent for McCreary and Robertson counties. On his return to the area he joined the Center for Applied Ecology at Northern Kentucky University, serving as its Agriculture and Natural Resource Specialist. He provides leadership and technical oversight for the Center’s stream and forest restoration projects conducted throughout the region. Along with supporting the Ft. Thomas Forest Conservancy, Mark serves on the Ft. Thomas Tree Commission and Northern Kentucky Urban and Community Forestry Council. He and his wife Emily, a Ft. Thomas native, have two daughters, Elizabeth and Sarah.

 

linda_rankinLinda Rankin, Director & Secretary

Linda is a lifelong resident of Ft. Thomas. She graduated from Highlands and obtained her BA and MA from the University of Kentucky and an advanced graduate education degree at NKU. Linda taught middle school and high school English, literature, and creative writing for 28 years at Highlands. She sponsored the school’s literary magazines and held leadership positions for many years in the Ft. Thomas Education Association and Kentucky Education Association. Since retiring, Linda has been involved in area animal rescue activities, founding an organization that finds homes for abandoned animals and serving on the board of Animal Welfare of Northern Kentucky. She is on the writing staff of Ft. Thomas Living and serves as a steering committee member and docent for the Ft. Thomas Military and Community Museum in Tower Park.

 

trish_grau_schroederTrisha Grau Schroeder, Director

Trisha and her husband, Trevor, reside on Grand Avenue with their two children. A third generation Fort Thomas resident, Trisha graduated from Highlands and received her BA of education from the University of Kentucky. As a part-time naturalist for the Cincinnati Park Board, she planned and implemented five summer camps and other seasonal programs. She was an educator for the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District focusing on pollution and watershed awareness. She is a volunteer within the Fort Thomas school system and leads a Girl Scout troop. Trish also organized the Go Green Earth Fairs held in central Fort Thomas. She began in the Conservancy as a member of the Steering Committee and joined the Board in 2010. Trisha has a lifetime love of the forests of Fort Thomas and believes all citizens, now and in the future, should be able to enjoy the natural beauty surrounding us.

 

Founders

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Bert Thomas Co-Founder

Bert and his wife, Diane, lived in the north part of town on Barrett Drive and have two grown children. He is a third generation native of Fort Thomas with advanced degrees from Virginia Tech and the University of Kentucky. In the Air Force he learned Chinese at Yale University’s Institute of Far Eastern Languages and served in Korea. He is also a graduate of the Naval War College in Newport, RI.  Bert was a civilian Federal employee based in the Washington, DC, area for more than twenty-five years in domestic and overseas positions. Upon retirement he continued working for private companies specializing in overseas operations. In 2007, Bert returned to the house where he grew up and is founder of the Conservancy.  He served as first chairman of the conservancy and stepped down on 1 October 2014.  Bert and his wife Diane now reside in Michigan.

 

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Bill Thomas, 1947-2014 Co-Founder

Bill Thomas and his wife, Sidney, lived on Highland Avenue, in the home built by local artist and writer Harlan Hubbard.  Bill graduated from Highlands High School, Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky.  Bill loved all things Fort Thomas and served as Vice President of the Thomas Tree Commission, proposed and constructed the Landmark Tree Trail, and started the Fort Thomas Garden Tour.  Bill also authored two books in addition to his monthly newspaper.  He was selected as Highlands High School “Alumnus of the Year” in 2013.