Maynard Crossland is the president. You’ll hear his laughter before you see him. Maynard’s energy and enthusiasm is contagious, along with his contemporary approach to leading Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. Decades of experience in managing more than 60 historic sites led Maynard down the path to the Village. He thrives on the energy of his staff and is extremely supportive of their new ideas—the more unorthodox the better. Maynard can often be found at programs and events, and he has chatted with many guests incognito, without them realizing that he runs the entire show! A dog lover, he may have his trusty companion Mack by his side. As a talented “baby whisperer,” his office is a welcome place for all youngsters, including his grandchildren, or new additions from his staff.
Ben Leffew is the preserve manager. A Kentucky Proud product straight out of Boyle County, Ben’s formal and informal education has prepared him to take on any conservation challenge that arises across the 3,000-acre site. His hard work has helped to increase the native prairie to nearly 1,200 acres and grow the Bob White Quail population by an almost unbelievable 150 percent. Don’t be surprised if you run into him on a UTV cruising (we mean maintaining) the nearly 40 miles of hiking trails in The Preserve. As his colleagues like to quote a 2014 magazine article, “You’re in his world now…”
Mike Moore is the farm manager. He grew up in the pastures and tobacco fields of Harrodsburg, surrounded by stories of Shaker Village. Working The Farm at Shaker Village is a return to his roots of gardening and walking through fields with his grandfather. Mike is passionate about teaching sustainable farming methods, preserving the land and soil, and diversifying agriculture through a variety of methods. This has led to a broad skill set for Mike, including sheep sheering, beekeeping, managing orchards, raising cattle and, of course, maintaining the Village’s historic vegetable garden!
Lorrin Ingerson is the retail manager and keeps The Shops full of intriguing products. Her background is just as diverse as our merchandise. From sailing ships to navigating the busy streets of NYC, Lorrin is ready to take on the big crowds of guests that fill the Village each year for the Craft Fair! A talented cook, she enjoys feeding colleagues, friends and family. She blows off a little steam by traveling for rock concerts, and you can definitely see a little bit of an edge in her confident, classy, quirky style.
William Updike is the vice president for natural and cultural resource management. An enthusiastic gardener and outdoorsman, he’s been digging in the dirt for as long as he can remember—and digging in the Pleasant Hill dirt since the early 90s. Formerly with FEMA, he’s no stranger to thinking on his feet and responding quickly to emergencies—which must be why he always backs into his parking spot. A dapper dresser (proven by the coveted best dressed award from a recent croquet match), William has festive apparel for every Shaker Village function and prides himself on being a good steward of the architectural marvels left to us by the Shakers.
Becky Soules is the curator of collections. A youthful love of living history and playing “dress up” matured into an interest in material culture studies. Becky’s especially fascinated with the collecting choices that museums make as arbiters of history – why do we save and preserve the things that we do? Her initial exposure to the Shakers started more than a decade ago, with a college course on the Shakers and a summer internship at a Shaker museum. One of her favorite aspects of her job is using the Shakers’ rich material culture in diverse ways – virtually any topic in American history can be studied from the perspective of the Shakers!
Maggie McAdams is the education and engagement manager. A self-proclaimed life-long learner, she loves working in museums and historic sites because there is always something new to learn and explore. Maggie grew up visiting museums, which resulted in a life-long passion for history and material culture (artifacts!), and led her to pursue her degrees in history and historical administration (basically museum studies for history organizations). For Maggie, the best part about working at Shaker Village is that she is able to help people engage with history and with the Shakers in new and exciting ways. With a decade of museum experience behind her, Maggie is always ready to share Pleasant Hill stories, just don’t ask her about water or cholera unless you have at least an hour to spare!