VIRGINIA STATE BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION
As a group, VSBA supports our members to help maintain vibrant local beekeeping organizations by providing educational programs and tools, improve relations between Beekeepers, Government Agencies, and the Public, promote and maintain industry connections at the State, National, and International level, and to fund, promote and enhance beekeeping research.
MEET OUR NEW OFFICERS
Carla A. Park
For nearly forty years Carla was a career educator in Chesterfield County Public School and worked with many administrators and served on an endless number of committees while also serving over 7,000 students in her classroom. As a teacher of art, photo and graphics, she wrote curriculum, worked with the school PTA, attended and presented at state conferences, and in 2001 was named Virginia Art Education Association Teacher of the Year.
Carla is recently retired and can devote more time to creative endeavors, including beekeeping and her sideline business, Chestnut Ridge Garden. Relatively speaking, Carla together with her husband is active in the Rockwood Park Backyard Beekeepers Association (RPBBA). She has attained the Journeyman level in the VSBA MB Program.
Her projects related to community outreach/education are as follows: RPBBA Honey Bee Festival Committee (planning, logistics, organization, marketing, PR); Children’s Activities at the Honey Bee Festival (planning, supplies, set up and follow through); Volunteer on behalf of RPBBA at the Virginia State Fair Honey Booth; Presentations to local garden clubs sharing importance of pro-pollinator gardening practices; Presentations to fellow beekeepers on marketing of honey and value-added products; Monthly Study groups using the VSBA study guides for Apprentice/Journeyman; Member of the RPBBA Board for the past two years.
Carla looks forward to the opportunity to learn, to grow and to serve the VSBA, and will do her best to make it a productive time of growth for all of us, as we move forward into a changing world. While nothing can take the place of personal and face-to-face interactions, Carla applauds the use of webinars during the last two years and hopes that the VSBA can continue to use technology to supplement the goals of the VSBA, as education, unification and inclusion should continue to be expanded as integral components in the vision of the Virginia State Beekeepers Association.
1st VICE PRESIDENT
Jeremy Blackwell, husband to Nancy and father to Graham and Bella, has a strong passion for beekeeping in Southwest Virginia. Jeremy is a Project Manager in the IT Industry, owner of Abingdon Bee Company, leader of Cub Scouts and Program Coordinator of the Highlands Beekeepers Association. He also helped revive the Honey Show at the Washington Country fair in 2021.
Jeremy established the Rhea Valley Pollinators bee club at Rhea Valley Elementary school with plans to expand to other schools in the county. He believes in developing sustainable beekeeping practices, educating younger generations the importance of Apis Mellifera while promoting beekeeping locally through supporting his community via the Highlands Beekeepers Association.
Jeremy’s dedication to the future of young beekeepers coupled with deep community involvement has Jeremy poised to lead the Virginia State Beekeepers Association into the Virginia State Beekeeping Association (VSBA) Slate of Officers - October 2021 future. Fresh new ideas are needed, modernization by implementing new technologies and a vision for growth through community outreach are a few of his topics to bring to VSBA.
2nd VICE PRESIDENT
Nathanial (Nate) Muller
Nate is a founding member of the Fairfax Beekeepers where he has served for the last few years as President and is now turning that role over to others. He also serves as the treasurer for the Virginia Beekeeping Teaching Consortium (VBTC) a group that shares a similar curriculum with several other beekeeping clubs.
Nate helped develop the Fairfax Beekeepers group from a small group of about 15 new beekeepers to a tightly knit small club with about 150 members at present. He has taught beekeeping as part of the VBTC and assisted in the review and revisions of the curriculum. Locally Nate works with local Boy and Girl Scout troops to educate children about honey bees, pollination, and our native pollinators.
Nate has been keeping bees since 2015 and maintains between 10 and 20 hives depending on the season. He was taught by Pat and Jim Haskell. Nate spends most of my free time helping bee club members with their bees and bee problems, organizing club meetings, and learning more by continuing to explore the world of beekeeping. He is currently a Journeyman in the VSBA MB Program.
Nate would like to investigate the possibility of an umbrella insurance policy that beekeeping clubs could buy into to reduce the liability faced by clubs, especially in any public outreach or events with live bees. Currently it seems that every club has a very different policy. Nate is also interested in the possibility of programming two tracks at one of the VSBA meetings instead of one if there is interest. Overall Nate would like to investigate how local beekeeping clubs and the state beekeeping organization can best support each other.
Martha has served as both VSBA President and Vice President. She has agreed to serve in another role within the VSBA as secretary which will help the VSBA transition with its other newly elected leadership. Martha’s passion is teaching and outreach She has been a mentor to new beekeepers and volunteers as a mentor to a veteran though the Hives for Hero program. Martha is an EAS Master Beekeeper. In her role as VSBA President Martha has provided leadership for many activities. She opened the organization up in a positive manner by supporting more representation at VSBA Board meetings to include regional representatives and committee members, enhanced access, and engagement for the membership via her support of a modern-day website and electronic membership Virginia State Beekeeping Association (VSBA) Slate of Officers - October 2021 database and supported more efficient electronic communication. She also was the brain child of the VSBA’s flagship “pandemic” program, the VSBA speaker series.
Ian D. Henry (Incumbent)
Ian has been the VSBA treasurer for several years and has led the VSBA with financial transparency. He is a retired accountant. He is the current Treasurer of the Central Virginia Beekeepers Association and served four times as Treasurer of District 66 Toastmasters. He also was the treasurer of the Virginia Storytellers Association for six years (and only resigned due to term limits but still does accounting work for the association). Ian also served as Treasurer of the Funeral Information Society of the Piedmont while also serving on the Board. Ian still performs some accounting work for several organizations.