Former Kentucky State Beekeepers Association (KSBA) President Mike Mabry was named 2023 Beekeeper of the Year by a panel of past honorees. The group’s annually awarded highest honor, given after multiple nominations for Mabry, recognizes his efforts in revitalizing the organization following challenges it faced culminating in the pandemic year of 2020.
Mabry’s efforts in the presidency were largely accomplished without fanfare behind the scenes, said past president Jessica Mayes in her presentation of the award during the KSBA Annual Meeting Oct. 28 in Elizabethtown. “At a critical crossroads for KSBA, Mike showed exemplary leadership to make sure KSBA survived to bounce back quickly.”
Mabry’s efforts led KSBA’s response to the cancellation of the 2020 Kentucky State Fair, the group’s linchpin fundraising event. He also helped solidify KSBA’s 501-c-3 nonprofit organization status, strengthening its budget structure.
He continues his contribution to the organization as a director of the organization and co-chair of the State Fair, which set all-time records for members this year. Mabry also oversaw the evolution of the Certified Kentucky Honey Program and the development of a more vigorous website that better serves the needs of the membership.
“Through all aspects of his personal and professional life, Mike always promotes the best interest of Kentucky beekeepers and KSBA. We would not be at this point without the hard work Mike Mabry put in to preserve the very foundation of KSBA in 2019 and 2020,” Mayes said.