[L-R] Outgoing Executive Director Stephanie Wooten, Incoming Executive Director Ben Southworth, and Incoming Program Director Jimmy Earley.

With the upcoming departure of Glean Kentucky’s long-standing Executive Director, Stephanie Wooten, the Board of Directors is thrilled to announce a series of personnel changes geared at keeping experience at the forefront of the organization’s leadership team.

Ben Southworth, who has served six years in Director-level roles at Glean Kentucky has been selected to serve as the organization’s next Executive Director. Ben brings experience, professionalism, vision, and passion to this role and is looking forward to stewarding the organization’s next chapter of growth. “It has been an incredible experience to be part of Glean Kentucky as it has grown into an organization taking root throughout the state while seeing its core values stay consistent all the while,” Ben said. “I’m very excited for this next chapter at Glean Kentucky and grateful for the great staff, volunteers, and community stakeholders we’ve built around us.” 

Ben will be vacating Glean Kentucky’s Program Director position and experienced program coordinator, Jimmy Earley will be taking over the helm at that time. Jimmy has served as Glean Kentucky’s field coordinator in the Central Kentucky region for 4 years. Jimmy was instrumental in growing Glean Kentucky’s presence from programming largely centered in Fayette County to an 8-county region of service. This experience will serve him well as he builds Glean Kentucky’s programming across the commonwealth. Jimmy said, “Glean Kentucky’s wonderful working culture has been built slowly and steadily over the last decade by its founders, steadfast volunteers, and community partners, compassionate, innovative, and dedicated staff members, and all of the farmers, grocers, and gardeners who so generously contribute their food and labor to our mission. I am beyond excited for the opportunity to get to work finding new ways to deepen and expand our programming.”

The Board of Directors is committed to a smooth transition this summer so that the focus can remain on the critical services Glean Kentucky provides throughout the food system. “Glean Kentucky is in a season of growth and change and we are delighted to have two of our long-term employees continue to lead our work. Ben & Jimmy have both established important relationships with our stakeholders and have a clear vision for the important work that lies ahead,” Jillian Pyatte, Board President said. “The Board has immense gratitude for Stephanie’s leadership and the legacy of service & innovation she leaves behind.”

Glean Kentucky will host an Open House celebrating Stephanie Wooten’s leadership and the next chapter of the organization’s growth at the West Sixth Brewing Barrel Room [501 W. Sixth Street] on June 28th from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. All supporters, past and present, are welcome to join in this celebration.

Ben Southworth and Jimmy Earley gleaning sweet potatoes from Elkhorn Oaks Farm in Midway, KY.

Stephanie Wooten and Ben Southworth loading produce at Stonehedge Farm in Versailles, KY.