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Our Staff

Mark was born and raised in southern California. He enjoyed growing up as a teenager in the revolutionary 1960’s, experiencing many things that most folks have only read about. He received a bachelor’s degree in geology from UCLA and a master’s degree in hydrogeology from Stanford University. For a quarter of a century his work brought him to live in six states (from as far away as Alaska and as close to home as Virginia) working in the government, industry and consulting worlds and led to travel throughout the United States. His work involved solving groundwater pollution problems (working on several EPA Superfund sites) and also the analysis of water resource development. He has been married to the love of his life, Doniphan, for 30 years. In 2000 Doniphan and Mark moved to Doniphan’s family farm, Corduroy, in central Viriginia, to reinvent themselves as cow/calf producers.

Elizabeth Doniphan Purcell Howland was born in Louisa. Her parents were Francis H. Purcell and Frederick Smith Purcell. She grew up at Corduroy Farm where her parents were dairy farmers. She attended Louisa County schools until sophomore year when she transferred to St. Agness in Alexandria until graduation. After high school she continued her education at Stratford College in Danville and received a history degree. After a stint in California working as a librarian working for the Nature Conservancy Doniphan came back to her old stomping grounds. During this time she was involved in many activities and organizations dedicated to local history, a passion of hers. During her time here she served on the board of the Louisa Historical Society for 6 years and contributed to the Louisa Historical Society Museum.

Lynn Engler is an old Yankee carpenter who moved to Virginia in 1994. She began working on the buildings of Corduroy in 1997, while living at Twin Oaks community. She now lives with her husband, 2 poodles and seven orchids in rural Louisa.

Donna Stewart has been involved with Corduroy Farm since 1997. She is responsible for overseeing building maintenance and construction projects for Corduroy Farm. She has lifelong interests in music making her a perfect fit for organizing music events for the trust.

Chris Keup is a songwriter and producer and owner of White Star Sound. His songs have sold several million copies worldwide and his productions have reached #1 overall on the iTunes Charts. He is the recipient of ASCAP’s Sammy Cahn Lyricist Award (other past winners include John Mayer, Josh Ritter, and Lori McKenna) and has been showcased at Sundance, SXSW and several NYC ASCAP events.


“…Well I know what’s right, I got just one life

In a world that keeps pushin’ me around

But I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down…”

from “I Won’t Back Down”┬áby Tom Petty