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TECH selects Cynthia Bohn as 2000 distinguished alum

Dr. Cynthia F. Bohn, EKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni

EKU's Department of Technology is pleased to announce that Dr. Cynthia F. Bohn has been selected as their departmental distinguished alum for 2000.

Dr. Bohn was honored during a presentation on Friday, April 7, 2000, at the annual College of Business and Technology Professional Skills Conference senior recognition luncheon.

The honor is reserved for special alumni who have distinguished themselves in their professions through excellence, dedication, and service.

Dr. Cynthia F. Bohn ('80 BA Speech & Theater, AS Broadcast Engineering; '81 MS Industrial Technology) - Technology

The college also honored distinguished seniors for the year as selected by their respective departments within the College of Business and Technology. In addition, recipients of scholarships and awards for the 1999-2000 academic year were recognized. Students were honored for outstanding achievement and more than 40 area employers were on hand to engage in networking activities with college graduating seniors.

Dr. Bohn was inducted into EKU's Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2011.

What’s a highly-educated, world-traveled IBM executive doing wielding a wrench on a farm tractor in the hot summer sun?  Living her dream, that’s what.

While attending an IBM business course at Harvard in the mid 1990’s, Cynthia Bohn came across a case study of the California-based Mondavi wines. Having frequently visited some of the world’s most famous wineries due to her international business travel, her question was only natural. Why not Kentucky, at one time one of the nation’s largest wine producers, and why not me?

But this dream couldn’t wait until retirement. What was a hobby became a passion, and the passion became a business idea. While still working full-time for the technology giant, managing IT projects worldwide, Bohn ignored lenders’ initial reticence and plunged ahead with her winery plans, helping to pioneer a comeback for the wine and agri-tourism industries in the Bluegrass State.

Established in 1998, Equus Run near Midway is today a large commercial winery, owned and operated by a woman, and renowned for the quality of its wines, as noted by the Churchill Downs Commemorative Derby wine series. Surrounded by picturesque horse farms along the banks of South Elkhorn Creek, Equus Run draws visitors worldwide, not just for a tour of the farm and a taste of its award-winning wines, but also for summer concerts, theater performances and numerous charity events.

Equus Run was selected by CNN as one of the 16 Best Hidden Treasures of the United States, cited by Southern Living magazine as a “must tour” location, and earned a Top 20 Tourism award from the Southeast Tourism Society. Annual sales now exceed more than $1 million.

The three degrees Bohn earned at EKU testify to her multiple talents and interests: an associate degree in broadcast engineering, a bachelor’s degree in speech and theatre and a master’s degree in industrial technology. She later added a doctoral degree in educational technology from the University of Kentucky.

Throughout her 30-year career with IBM and today as owner-operator for Equus Run, Bohn has maintained contact with EKU, serving on the Alumni Board and receiving a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University’s College of Business and Technology. She remembers the “rich environment of learning opportunities, in-depth opportunities with work study on and off campus, and lifelong academic relationships.”

Having grown up on a tobacco farm in Hart County, Ky., Bohn learned from her parents the value of hard work and even the ability to take apart a motor and put it back together. Little wonder she has hands-on contact with all phases of winemaking at Equus, beginning in the vineyard and ending at the cellar. An admitted “triple-type A” personality, she dons jeans one day to drive a tractor, the next day a nice suit for an important business trip. One day she’s repairing equipment or cleaning a tank, the next day she’s introducing a music group from the amphitheater stage.  Whatever it takes to keep the dream alive.

Published on April 07, 2000

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