LEXINGTON, Ky. — The University of Kentucky Alumni Association has announced its 2021-2022 board of directors’ officers. This year’s officers are Mary L. Shelman, president; Antoine Huffman, president-elect; Janie McKenzie-Wells, treasurer; and Jill Smith, secretary. The new slate officially took office July 1, 2021, and will serve until June 30, 2022.
Mary L. Shelman of Belmont, Massachusetts, received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1981 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1987. She has been serving as treasurer of the UK Alumni Association this past year and has held numerous committee leadership positions. Shelman, who is also a 2021 recipient of the UK Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award, is an internationally recognized thought leader on the global ag-tech and agrifood system. She has consulted, taught and presented at conferences in 20 countries. Shelman is a native of Elizabethtown, where she still owns a farm. She is married to Nathan “Chip” Cohen and they have one son, Alexander “AJ” Shelman-Cohen.
Antoine S. Huffman of Prosper, Texas, received his bachelor’s degree in telecommunications in 2005. While at Kentucky, he was a three-year starter for the Wildcats football team, becoming a UK NCAA record holder. He was also a member of the UK Athletic Association Board of Directors. In 2005, Huffman became the first African American to be crowned UK Homecoming king. He is active in the community with Habitat for Humanity, Boys and Girls Club, the Salvation Army, and is a motivational speaker at local churches, schools and special regional events. Huffman is in the medical field as a regional director of sales for the Southwest and he and his wife, Jessica Kibbe Huffman, who is a UK College of Education graduate, have two sons, Jayden and Adonis.
Janie C. McKenzie-Wells of Staffordsville, Kentucky, earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from UK in 1983 and a law degree from the UK J. David Rosenberg College of Law in 1986. She was admitted to the practice of law in 1986, and was the first woman elected as 24th Circuit Family Court Judge. She has served on the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors and has been chair and vice-chair of numerous committees as well as an officer of the Big Sandy UK Alumni Club. McKenzie-Wells received the UK Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award and the UK Law Alumni Association Distinguished Jurist Award. She and her husband, Frank, have a daughter, Katherine, who is a UK medical student.
Jill H. Smith of Lexington, Kentucky, earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from the University of Kentucky in 2005 and a master’s degree in career, technical and leadership education from the University of Kentucky in 2011. She joined the UK Alumni Association in 2006 as a program coordinator and held four other positions at the association before becoming executive director in February 2020. She also serves as associate vice president for alumni engagement and secretary of the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors. She is an advisor to the Delta Rho chapter of Delta Delta Delta and an active participant in Lexington area Tri-Delta alumni activities. She and her husband, Ryan Smith, who is a UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment graduate, have two children, Tanner and Emmy.
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