Bernheim Forest announces new Director of Advancement

By Amy Joseph Landon

CLERMONT, Ky –  (Sept. 14, 2022) Bernheim is thrilled to welcome Melissa Raley to the Bernheim team as Director of Advancement.

Melissa grew up in Clermont on her family’s farm, across the highway from Bernheim. She has been visiting Bernheim her whole life, and now enjoys bringing her young daughter to enjoy all the Forest has to offer.

Bernheim Executive Director Mark Wourms, Ph.D. said the Director of Advancement is an essential position at the 16,000+ acre nonprofit.

“Melissa will be working with me, the Board of Trustees Advancement Committee, and the Advancement team to provide leadership, coordination and implementation of Bernheim’s comprehensive fundraising, membership, and advancement activities,” Dr. Wourms said. “With our excellent Advancement team now in place, Bernheim anticipates a successful future of raising funds to support our mission of connecting people with nature.”

Raley has 14 years of nonprofit experience, most recently serving as the Director of Development at the Coalition for the Homeless in Louisville. She has a bachelor’s degree from Centre College, an Executive Master of Nonprofit Administration degree from Notre Dame, and her Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) credential.

She will work with the staff and community to build the resources for Bernheim to continue to fulfill its mission and vision.


About Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest 

Bernheim’s mission is to connect people with nature. Bernheim is the largest privately held contiguous forest block in the eastern United States dedicated to conservation and education. Bourbon maker Isaac Wolfe Bernheim established the arboretum and forest in 1929 as a gift to the people of Kentucky. A recent land acquisition brought the total acreage of land that Bernheim protects to 16,140. Fun, educational programs, diverse tree collections, 40 miles of hiking trails and varied landscapes are available every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. A $10 per car donation is suggested for non-members.

Bernheim is in Clermont, Ky., about 20 minutes south of the Louisville airport. From I-65 take exit 112 and follow the signs. Bernheim is a non-profit organization that relies on memberships, grants and donations for support. Come visit and enjoy the beauty of nature. For more information, please visit

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