SILVER LAKE EXPERIENCE 2017 PRESENTERS’ BIOGRAPHIES
REV. DR. ROULA ALKHOURI
Rev. Dr. Roula Alkhouri is an ordained Presbyterian minister and is currently serving as the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Batavia, New York. Roula grew up in Damascus, Syria. She graduated from the University of Damascus with a B.A. in English Literature and earned her Master of Divinity from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and her Doctor of Ministry in prophetic preaching from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. Roula has an extensive background in the Middle East. She has led many workshops and done a variety of presentations around the country about faith, social justice and women's concerns. She is committed to ecumenical and interfaith connections and cooperation between Jews, Christians and Muslims.
CHRISTINE BAILOR, RN, LMT, CSI
Christine Bailor is the owner of The Body Essential Holistic Fusion Wellness Center, located in Williamsville, New York. She has been a full-time massage therapist since 2000, when she placed her full-time nursing career aside to pursue another area of healthcare. She is a Registered Professional Nurse and a Licensed Massage Therapist in New York State and Pennsylvania, as well as being Board Certified. She graduated from Sisters' Hospital School of Nursing in 1985 and the New York Institute of Massage in 1999. Christine continued her education at St. Joseph's College in Windham, Maine in Health Care Administration and the CORE Institute in Tallahassee, Florida. Her main areas of practice are Structural Integration, Myofascial Therapy and Oncology Massage. As one of only two CORE Certified Structural Integrative Therapists in the Western New York area, Christine provides clients with an individual treatment regime, combining her specialized skills to obtain maximum benefit from the work. She has been trained in a spectrum of massage practices including but not limited to: : CrainoSacral Therapy, SomatoEmotional Release, Myofascial Therapy, Aromatherapy Techniques, Oncology Massage, Vedic Thai Massage, Lymphatic Drainage and Reflexology, Pre-natal Massage and Orthopedics. Christine is a past member of the faculty at the New York Institute of Massage and has also served as a Teaching Assistant for the Upledger Institute. Christine is a Continuing Educator for LMTeach and the owner of BE Continuing Education, which offers a variety of CE programs for massage therapists. She is an active member of American Massage Therapy Association, Society for Oncology Massage and American Holistic Nurses Association. Christine is currently the AMTA State Secretary for New York and past secretary for the National Association of Nurse Massage Therapists. Personal responsibility is highly valued by Christine and this is evident in her work, as she encourages her clients to explore what their bodies are saying to them and to discover the why behind it. We are responsible for our disease as well as our healing. Her clientele covers a wide demographic, and everyone is welcomed equally across the spectrum. Christine has gathered a highly qualified group of practitioners to provide services out of The Body Essential, where they strive to remain at the forefront of the holistic healthcare world to always bring their clients the best in health and wellness services in the Western New York region.
JACQUIE BILLINGS BARLOW
PATRICIA BARON MILLS
Patricia Baron-Mills received her Master’s in Family Psychology at Hardin-Simmon’s University, Abilene, Texas. With over 30 years experience she has worked as a therapist in Texas, New Mexico, and New York garnering knowledge and experiences of many diverse cultures and peoples. A native of Western New York and a “product of suburbia”, extensive travel and a driving curiosity of “Why do people do the things they do?” keep her interested and engaged in life. She is currently the Acting Program Director at the Wyoming County Mental Health Clinic in Warsaw, New York.
John began his work in addictions in 1985, as an addictions counselor. He is proud to say he has spent his entire 32 years working for councils, which were the grass roots of all modern day addiction agencies. John worked as a primary therapist for 10 years, in direct care of the jail program, adolescent program, IOP, multi family program and relapse prevention. He has served in the capacity of Clinical Supervisor, Treatment Services Director, Director of Residential and Treatment Services, Director of EAP services and the past four years as Executive Director of the Genesee Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. John is trained in corporate and family medication. He has served as member of the Finger Lakes consortium and the Western region consortium and most recently was vice chair for the western region. He was a member of the NYS OASAS credentialed board for 6 years and has been a member of two OASAS commissioner gold standard committees since 2006. He has presented at several statewide and local conferences. In 2010, John received the distinguished service award from NYS OASAS commissioner Karen Carpenter-Palumbo.
Chad Bradford (director of "A Tinker's Tale"©) is an actor, director, and composer based in New York City. A native of Little Rock, AR, Chad has performed Off-Broadway in New York, on National Tours, Regionally, and is currently the Associate Artistic Director for Shake on the Lake. Chad has also worked as a director across the country and most recently directed TAMING OF THE SHREW and played Harold Hill in THE MUSIC MAN for the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre. Chad was recently selected as a 2015-2016 Creative Community Fellow through national Arts Strategies.
Frank V. Bright is a SUNY Distinguished Professor, UB Distinguished Professor, Henry M. Woodburn Chair He has a B.S. from The University of Redlands (1982), Ph.D., Oklahoma State University (1985), Postdoctoral Fellow, Indiana University (1985-87), Visiting Professor, School of Chemical Engineering, Georgia Tech (1994-95). Frank has been a Silver Lake Resident for several years and serves on the Silver Lake Association Water Quality Committee where he uses his expertise in seeking to evaluate and improve the quality of the lake.
Barbara is a nationally known author and speaker. She teaches at the district, conference, and national level on many aspects of aging well and living well. Barbara co-teaches “Celebrating Aging” at the Colgate Rochester Crozier Divinity School and has served two quadrennium as the North East Jurisdictional Representative to the Discipleship Ministry on the Committee of Aging and Older Adult Ministry. Barbara has a BS in Education, an MS in Creative Studies, and a Certificate in Gerontology.
Jen Chapin has been celebrated for writing “brilliant soulfully poetic urban folk music” (NPR) for over a decade, beginning with her debut, Open Wide, in 2002. Nurtured in and around NYC by a large family of artists, writers, and musicians, Jen's “observant, lyrically deft, politically aware and emotionally intuitive” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) songwriting features both her "extraordinary voice” (De krenten uit de pop, The Netherlands) and “astonishing jazz band” (popmatters), the combination of which has garnered her well-deserved praise, solidified by appearances on Late Nite with Conan O’Brien, NPR’s Mountain Stage, WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, WFUV's Sunday Breakfast with John Platt, Mary Sue Twohy's Folk Village and the Bob Edwards Show on Sirius Satellite. As much as an artistic legacy, the roots of Jen's upbringing have inspired her "potent, jazzy, layered folk" (Newsday) songs and a lifetime of passionate activism, through ongoing work with WhyHunger (founded by her late father Harry Chapin), and other food justice groups. She has performed on stage with Bruce Springsteen, on bills with Aimee Mann, Bruce Hornsby, and The Neville Brothers, her rendition of Van Morrison's "Into The Mystic" was recently featured in an episode of the SyFy TV series "Defiance" and her song, "Go Away" honored by the USA Songwriting Competition. Jen Chapin's new release Reckoning, produced and engineered by five-time GRAMMY© Winner Kevin Killen (U2, Elvis Costello, Kate Bush) is a new collection of urban folk/jazz/pop storytelling songs, reckoning with the challenge of balancing creative ambitions with the immediate demands of mothering small children, combined with a good dose of social commentary.
Julie Ciferni, NCIDQ, is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology's Interior Design program and owner of Cottage Philosophy Design LLC & Julie D. Ciferni Interior Design. Julie and her husband, Jamie, cottage owners at Silver Lake Institute, organize the Saturday evening Coffee Houses during the SLI summer program. Julie also is often a design consultant for other cottage owners in the area.
Bob, a Silver Lake resident, has been fishing Silver Lake for 17 years. His specialty is trolling for Northern Pike and Walleye. When he isn't fishing, Bob is President and CEO of Conolly Printing Co., Inc. in Rochester, NY.
Rev. Denise Donato is the pastor of Mary Magdalene Church in East Rochester, NY. She has worked in ministry for 22 years and was ordained a Catholic Priest in 2003. She has been married to her husband Phil for 39 years. She has three grown children and four precious grandchildren.
Chet Fery is the founder of Bread Time Stories and More. Often called “The Bread Man,” he began his hobby of baking and giving away bread over 15 years ago. He promotes doing random acts of kindness. He believes the world can be changed one loaf of bread at a time, one act of kindness at a time. He estimates he has given away over 80,000 loaves of bread, created over 50 recipes and generated over 100 inspirational “Bread Time Stories” which he shares with audiences across the region. A former teacher, counselor and school administrator, Chet now devotes most of his time to this effort.
Amanda's Garden is owned and operated by Ellen Folts. Ellen has a degree in agricultural and natural resources from SUNY Cobleskill and has worked in the horticultural field for 31+ years. She is a Senior New York State Certified Nursery and Landscape Professional. Ellen believes that it is important to sell only in-house nursery produced plants. Educating the public about native plants through the website, talks to garden clubs and during sales are important values to Amanda's Garden.
Linda Franke is an educator and quality improvement specialist, but her passion is preserving the stories and crafts of our families for future generations. She graduated from Roberts Wesleyan College with a Bachelors degree in Education, a teaching major in Psychology and a minor in Religion and Philosophy. She has taught early childhood students on up to high school, worked summers teaching prisoners basic reading and math skills, spent some time working as a teacher of the deaf, wrote curriculum for public schools and for Letchworth State Park education programs, and then fell into practice facilitation and medical qualitative research. She currently works as an adjunct professor at Millard Fillmore College at University at Buffalo and as a practice facilitator through Accountable Health Partners. She also feeds her passion as an instructor through the Arts Council for Wyoming County and around Western New York, speaking and teaching classes in different fiber arts including shuttle tatting, needle tatting, hairpin lace, Irish crocheted lace, and more. Linda lives with her family in Wyoming County.
REV. GREG FRANKLIN
The Rev. Greg Franklin holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the NYS Regents External Program, having studied at SUNY Buffalo, Houghton College, and Bryant & Stratton College. He also holds a Masters in Theology from the Colgate Rochester Divinity School. Rev. Greg is a retired pastor in the United Methodist Church, having served 7 parishes for 31 years including 11 years at Orchard Park UMC. Prior to serving in the church, he spent 11 years in newspaper publishing, 2 years in the Active Army including 1 year at Ft. Bragg, N.C. as a Personnel Specialist and 1 year in the Republic of Vietnam as a Chaplain’s Assistant for the 20th Engineer Battalion (Combat). He also spent 7 years as a trained and certified Army Chaplain in the NYS Army National Guard (1988-1994). In his retirement years, he serves both as the Chaplain of the Silver Lake Institute (10 years), and as the Editor & Publisher of several News Blogs (6 years) including the SilverLakeNYnews.blog. Rev. Greg has one son, three daughters, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
(GENESEE COUNTY PARK STAFF - TBA)
Mark is a native of Rochester, NY and currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife Jennifer and their children (Tabatha and Dylan). He is retiring this year from the Navy after 19 years as a Corpsman. He holds a Masters of Arts in Theological Studies, Masters of Arts in Human Service Counseling (Crisis and Trauma Response) and a Masters of Divinity. In his military position, he has been a sexual assault victim advocate, suicide prevention coordinator, health promotions coordinator, and equal opportunity advisor. Mark is currently working as a Chaplain/Spiritual Counselor at Homeland Hospice. Mark is passionate about trauma response, crisis counseling and resiliency building.”
Ann is a retired health field worker, hospital volunteer (cuddling babies), and an advising member of a support group at the senior living center where she lives, The Meadows. She loves traveling, music, reading, and overnights with the grandkids.
A native of Rochester, NY, Cynthia Howk has worked for over 30 years in the field of preservation planning as a staff member of the Landmark Society of Western NY, one of America’s oldest historic preservation organizations. Her projects with local residents, neighborhood associations, and area governments in a 9-county area have included Historic Resources Surveys, nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, and advocacy for the re-use and rehabilitation of historic buildings. A graduate of Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia, she has lectured widely on regional architecture, local history, and the benefits of historic preservation planning.
Jacqueline Hoyt (Jackie) is the Executive Director and gallery curator of the Arts Council for Wyoming County located in Perry, New York. She has served in this capacity since 2008 and for almost 20 years prior, was the director of the Cordelia A. Greene Library located in Castile, New York, where she led that organization in a capital building remodeling project, and the automation of the collection, that significantly increased the physical capacity and operational infrastructure of the library. Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, in the West Indies, Jackie was trained as a high school art and social studies teacher, and during her time at the Westwood all girls high school, she cosponsored the international interfaith after school program (ISCF) that provided opportunities for young adults to express, navigate or question faith. With almost 30 years of working the non-profit sector, and prior years as a high school teacher, Jackie has had the privilege of working with many young adults in different capacities, including mentoring, administering youth scholarships, and grants, and exposure to Ethnic and Cultural diversity. Jackie has been the recipient of several awards including the: I. Marion Moshier/Asa Wynkoo Award, for Distinguished Librarianship, New York Library Association, 2005; Outstanding Adult Career Service to Youth, Wyoming County Youth Board, April 2003; Best Building Award, Public Libraries Section of the New York Library Association, 2002; First recipient of the Pioneer Award, for dedicated service to the Cordelia A. Greene Library and the Pioneer Library System, October 2000;
Outstanding Volunteer Adult Award, for support of youth services in Wyoming County, April 1993.
Jackie has conducted several panel discussions, and served as a panelist at the State level for the New York State Council on the Arts in 2009 and 2010. In her role as an art administrator, Jackie believes it is critical to foster and help create opportunities that promote diversity and understanding. She has introduced liturgical dance and drumming into a traditional Lutheran Church located in Western NY, curated an exhibition, “Body Art” that sparked community dialog, and, for the Silver Lake Experience, will moderate a conversation about gender and sexuality in the context of faith.
Zack is a lifelong Perry resident and has been fishing Silver Lake for 26 years. His specialties are largemouth and small mouth bath fishing. Zack also is a certified land surveyor.
Adam is a lifelong resident of Silver Lake and has been fishing Silver Lake since it was a ditch. Adam's specialty is pan fishing, but he also is the owner of Koziel Bait and Tackle and Koziel General Contracting.
REV. THOMAS KRAFT
Hans is a graduate of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell where he majored in banking and enjoyed courses in agriculture and horticulture. He has been a farm and commercial loan officer for the last 35 years and has been with Steuben Trust Company in Warsaw over the last 12 years. His lifelong hobbies include farming, birding, and gardening among several other things. He and his wife Leslie have 3 children all in college who also thoroughly enjoy the outdoors. Hans and Leslie operate a bird feeding shop and retail greenhouse at their home and enjoy doing plenty of their own birding and gardening. They are active in the Wyoming County master gardener program and do some landscaping on the side. They enjoy sharing their love of nature and gardening with numerous other groups. Hans has been a nature columnist for several local newspapers over the last 25+ years and enjoys leading bird, nature, and garden walks.
Leonora received her degree in Art History from Nazareth College of Rochester and received her “Boot Camp training” serving 7 years at the Landmark Society of Western New York as Assistant to the Director of Museums serving the Campbell Whittlesey House and the Stone Tolan House as well as special assignments with the Susan B. Anthony House and the LeRoy Historical Society. After a year at Knox’s Headquarters State Historic Site in the Hudson Valley, she returned to Western New York to accept a position as Curator of the William Pryor Letchworth Museum at Letchworth State Park. Leonora worked with the collection at Letchworth for 10 years, and after retiring, married Hayden Letchworth. She has been curating his vast collection of Letchworth family archives and a “museum” of a house full of stuff. William Pryor Letchworth was Hayden’s great uncle.
DR. PATRICK MCGRADY
Patrick J. McGrady is the Charles V. Hallman Curator at Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art. He is responsible for the museum’s European collections and specializes in works on paper with a particular concentration on Old Master and American prints. He has organized over seventy-five exhibitions, ranging in content from 15th-century woodcuts to 21st-century paintings, and including monographic presentations of artists such as Edouard Manet, Honoré Daumier, Lyonel Feininger, George Gershwin, Will Barnet, and Betye Saar. Dr. McGrady oversees the Palmer Museum’s print study room and directs its Print and Drawing Study Club. Among the courses he teaches for Penn State’s department of art history is “The History of Prints and Printmaking.” He currently is working on a catalogue, titled From Your Town to Ours, which documents the museum’s extensive collection of nineteenth-century intaglios and lithographs featuring views of Pennsylvania’s cities and villages.
Jim Montanus was born in Rochester, New York in 1961 and grew up in northwest Greece, New York and attended the Hilton School District, graduating in 1979. As the son of legendary Kodak photographer Neil Montanus, he has been around photography his entire life. But it wasn't until his college years that he became intensely interested in photography. Jim’s first job out of college was the University of Rochester Staff Photographer which he held for 8 years. At the U of R, Jim created images for the University's finest publications including The Rochester Review (alumni magazine), Currents, Undergraduate and Graduate Bulletins, and the University's Prospectus. Many of his assignments were at the Strong Hospital, Simon School of Business administration, College of Arts and Sciences, Warner Graduate School of Education and his favorite, the Eastman School of Music where he had taken both piano and trombone lessens as a youth. He also supplied photographs of U of R various media, including New York Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Science Magazine, Discover, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, Sports Illustrated and more.
Jim took a 17 year diversion into the corporate world and had many other interests that he also pursued vigorously, including writing, graphic design, and the then new discipline of desktop publishing on Macintosh Computers. This ultimately led Jim to leave the U of R for a career in marketing and communication at Rochester General Hospital, Frontier Corporation, Global Crossing and Unity Health System. After this 17 year diversion from his true passion, a layoff created a renaissance. It was literally the day after his layoff when Jim began shooting almost nonstop every day - for up to eight hours each day between shooting and post processing his images. During the brutally cold winter of 2014, he consistently braved up to -35 degree wind chills and traversed dangerous ice mountains on Lake Ontario and elsewhere to capture some of the hidden beauty in what was otherwise an ugly and freezing cold winter. Living on Lake Ontario, he had direct and easy access to the amazing ice world that was transforming before his eyes every day. Jim’s imagery of the brutal cold winter began to capture the imagination of tens of thousands of people across Western New York and across the country. It was this period which helped to catapult his career into overdrive. He was interviewed on national television regarding his winter photography (The Weather Channel) and was featured on local media numerous times, including a feature story on Time Warner Cable News and the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper. And his social media presence began to flourish. Due to the explosive growth of his new business, Jim opened his own gallery in Rochester in the Anderson Arts Building in the neighborhood of the arts. His grand opening was on May 1, 2015 and was attended by hundreds of fans and well-wishers. Although it initially opened as a gallery, it also became his photo studio and photography classroom. This fulfilled a 35-year dream that Jim had to open his own gallery. Today, Jim is still vigorously pursuing his dream. He is passionate about teaching photography classes in his gallery, doing professional photography - including commercial photography, editorial, portraiture and architectural photography - and he sells his fine art photography out of his gallery in Rochester.
Jim was recently voted "Rochester's Best Photographer" in City Newspaper's annual reader's poll for the second year in a row.
Jim (libretto co-author and lyricist of "A Tinker's Tale"©) collaborated on the book and wrote the music for a produced musical play at Ohio University (where he also acted and sang in musicals), and majored in modern drama at Columbia University where he earned an MA. He worked as a writer and radio/television producer in marketing and corporate communications on major national and regional accounts at a number of agencies. Writing lyrics and producing music for persuasive 30- and 60-second commercials as well as short films resulted in sales for clients, significant awards, and the pleasures of a working life of creativity. After five years at Hutchins Advertising in Rochester, NY, Jim became agency president. Subsequently, the agency was acquired by international giant Young & Rubicam (Y&R), where he spent nineteen years as president, CEO, and ultimately chairman of Hutchins/Y&R. Playwriting with wife, Jeanne, has been a joy. Songwriting with Earle the same.
Born in Buffalo, New York, Jeanne (libretto co-author of "A Tinker's Tale"©) attended SUNY Fredonia, graduating with a BA in English Liberal Arts. She has worked in journalism, public relations, advertising and marketing for several companies, including J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy & Mather, and Mobil Chemical Company. She also holds an MS in Education. Her theater background includes acting in community theater productions of Cuckoo’s Nest, Peter Pan, SteelMagnolias, and more. In addition, she has served on the boards of two theater companies and other arts organizations, and remains an avid theatergoer. Besides her work as a collaborator on A Tinker’s Tale, she is currently working on a play entitled "The Women in the Room."
JAMES PILC, MD
As a Physician of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jim currently leads his complementary practice of Meditative Self-Healing and Fusion Medicine as the CEO of James D Pilc LLC. As a Personal Meditative Guide, healer and awakening coach, he teaches self-awareness and healing techniques. Meditative Self-Healing extends to any illness and career or life problem where a quiet mind can bring about positive change. Jim guides families, couples, children and corporations through Meditative Healing and Fusion Medicine to include Western and Eastern Medicine. Jim is an author of “Unstuck: The Enlightenment of Medicine”, “Introduction to Meditation: A Path to Ourselves” and “Beyond”. By collaborating with a top sound composer, he offers a unique collection of meditative CDs/digital downloads for adults and children including “Guided Meditation: A Path to Peace”, “Children’s Meditation: A Beautiful and Magical Relaxation” and “Deep Mindful Exploration”. Accompanying the Children’s Meditation CD is a meditation buddy to snuggle with during their relaxation, designed by Jim’s nine year-old son. Jim’s journey into Eastern Medicine began after being diagnosed with bone marrow cancer in 2005. He came to meditation as a complementary therapy to his Western treatment resulting in complete healing. His calling is to help those in need of physical, emotional and energetic or spiritual healing and to further investigate the connection between Western Medicine, Eastern Medicine and Meditative Self-Healing. He teaches group guided meditation classes and holds individual Meditative Self-Healing sessions to guide people to find the Core causative Agent of their disease and heal themselves. He has a fresh approach to traditional meditation and offered meditative sailing aboard the Spirit of Buffalo, bringing it to WNY for the first time. Jim has lectured to national and international organizations and talked on national and local radio shows. His efforts and mission is to raise the global consciousness, help people reach complete healing, and create a new and improved connection with spirit. Jim graduated from the University of Buffalo with a Bachelor’s in Science and Medical Doctorate and was privileged to create a thriving Obstetrics and Gynecology practice in Western New York for more than 25 years. He managed and cared for a private practice of greater than 5000 wonderful people and currently lives in Buffalo, New York with his husband and 2 sons. His favorite quote is from Mother Teresa “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love”. This is where healing begins. Presently, he is working with a group of highly motivated individuals, who are creating “Fusion One: A Fusion Center for Well-Being” to serve Western New York. For more information, visit AmericasMeditationDoctor.com, jamespilcmd.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
ROCHESTER PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA BRASS QUINTET
The Rochester Philharmonic Brass Quintet has been in existence for well over fifty years. Starting in the early 1960’s to provide a meaningful chamber music outlet for members of the RPO brass section, the quintet annually performs for young people’s concerts, recitals, and at important orchestra events. This ensemble has performed on the WXXI “Live from Hochstein” series multiple times as well as at the Bravo Vail Valley (CO) Music Festival, the First Unitarian Concert Series, the Rochester Society for Chamber Music, and the Canandaigua Lake Music Festival. The current members of the ensemble are Douglas Prosser and Wesley Nance, trumpet; David Angus, horn; David Bruestle, trombone; and Craig Sutherland, tuba.
Josh Rice is a NYC-based theatre artist specializing in physical performance, improvisation, and puppetry. He is very proud to be the co-founder and Producing Artistic director of “Shake on the Lake” in his hometown of Silver Lake, NHY. Josh will co-direct SOTL’s 2017 production of Romeo & Juliet and he directed their 2015 puppet-infused production of The Tempest. Most recently Josh appeared in Dan Hurlin’s puppet piece, “Demolishing Everything With Amazing Speed” at the Holland Festival in Amsterdam. He will also be performing in the Hawaiian tour of the puppet piece, “Shank’s Mare” in October, 2017. Josh is an Adjunct Theatre Faculty with Pace University where he founded The Pace Performance Series and the Pace Devised Theatre Festival. Josh is planning on touring The Vulnerability Project with his students in Spain in the Spring, 2017. He also teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, and is a Teaching Artist with the New Victory Theatre and Culture Hub NYC/La Mama. Josh and SOTL have been the recipients of numerous regional grants and individually, he has been the recipient of Arts-Grant to travel/collaborate in Japan with fifth generation puppet master, Koryu Nishikawa V.; a 2015 Artist in Residency with Sagafest in Iceland; a 2015 Celebration Barn Theatre Arts Incubator Residency; a 2015 Seniors Partnering withArtists Citywide (SPARC) Grant from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; and was awarded a 2014 Creative Community Fellowship with National Arts Strategies for his work as Founder and Director of the Mnemonic Theatre Project, his puppetry program with seniors living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, which was featured on the PBS documentary series, Visionaries. Through his work he has earned his AEA union card as an actor. Josh has an MFA in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA in Theatre from SUNY Brockport.
Rich Robinson is the Executive Chef at the historic Glen Iris Inn. Formerly the estate of William Pryor Letchworth, the Glen Iris has welcomed guests as a country inn since 1914. The Inn overlooks magnificent Middle Falls on the Genesee River and is surrounded by the unparalleled beauty of Letchworth State Park. Rich has lived in the Letchworth area all of his life. His passion for cooking began with the tutelage of his mother at a very young age. He began working at the Glen Iris Inn over 35 years ago as a dishwasher. Over the years he has developed his craft by working under other chefs, owning his own restaurant, and taking classes at the Culinary Institute of America.
Vicky is a retired Microbiologist from the U of R, hospital volunteer (cuddling babies), and a facilitator for Alzheimer's Association support groups. She loves gardening, traveling, the beach, reading, visiting her son in New Hampshire, and living with her 4 year old Pocket Beagle, Lily.
DR. WILLIAM RUSSELL & MARYJANE RUSSELL
Dr. William Russell is a retired School Psychologist who also holds a degree in Theology and is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church. Mary Jane Russell is a retired School Teacher and Assistant School Principal. Both remain very active in social justice ministry.
Tom Sellar, a writer, editor and curator, is Professor of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism and Editor of Yale’s performance journal Theater. At the School of Drama he teaches criticism workshops and courses on contemporary global performance and the curation of performance. Under his editorship since 2003, Theater has commissioned and published essays, creative dossiers, reviews, interviews, commentary, polemics, plays, and portfolios from a wide range of global artists and authors. (A complete list of themes and editions can be found on theatermagazine.org) The journal also presents lectures, workshops, and creative colloquia on the Yale campus, including the Yale Eastern European Theater Project, supported by a grant from the Trust for Mutual Understanding. Sellar’s arts writing and criticism has appeared in national publications including Artforum, the New York Times, the Guardian, TheatreForum, and American Theatre. From 2001-2016 he was a frequent contributor to the Village Voice, where he covered theater and performance art nationally, serving as an Obie award judge and for two years as chief theater critic. He has also contributed to numerous book anthologies including The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy (2015), Curating Live Arts: Global Perspectives, Envisioning Theory and Practice in Performance (in press), and the forthcoming history BAM: The Next Wave Festival (2018). He served as curator of Prelude 2015 (What Could We Build, or Is the Future Already Behind Us?) and Prelude 2016 (Welcome Failure) with Antje Oegel at New York’s Martin E. Segal Center. He has also curated programs for the Prague Quadrennial (Stages of Utopia, 2014), Philadelphia Fringe Arts (Live Remix: Stage Adaptations in the New Media Age, 2015), and other organizations. He has given guest lectures and workshops at many universities, theaters, and art centers including Swarthmore College, Harvard University, De Singel (Antwerp), Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Oslo Internasjonale Teaterfestival, and Signal/CIFAS (Brussels). A New York City native, Sellar is a graduate of Haverford College and received his Master of Fine Arts and Doctor of Fine Arts from Yale University, where he was twice awarded the John W. Gassner Memorial Prize for critical writing.
GRETCHEN MURRAY SEPIK
Ms. Sepik majored in dance at Point Park College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she also studied acting. She has performed with the Paddy Toon Modern Ensemble in Pittsburgh, with the Rochester Philharmonic's "Phil Revue" and the mime troupe, Flash in the Pan. Gretchen studied with the Bottom of the Bucket, but, currently Garth Fagan Dance, and worked with the company as a rookie. Her dance career ended with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in the early eighties. "My storytelling started when a teacher's aide asked me to come into her school and do storytelling. I was too shy to tell stories as myself so I developed Naomi Brown from the Blue Ridge Mountains to tell the stories of Brer Rabbit for me. Storytelling helped me overcome my shyness.” Gretchen does her form of storytelling across New York State and into Pennsylvania and was the co-founder of the Flight of Fancy Experimental Theatre (F.O.F.) and worked with Young Audiences Rochester, Inc. for twenty-four years and is presently a teaching artist with Young Audiences of Western New York, located in Buffalo. In 2004 she was honored by Young Audiences of Western New York for her work with young people and commitment to learning through the arts. She lives in Albion, New York with her husband Walter, golden retriever/husky Bud, Labradoodle Rigley and cats Tig, Willy, and Jinn Chin Lee, in an old 1830's cobblestone house full of antiques and curbside finds, surrounded by flower, herb and organic vegetable gardens. " I have a great love and respect for nature and I hope that through some of my storytelling I might be able to awaken that love in others." Along with Naomi Brown and Mary Jemison, Gretchen also portrays much loved children's author and illustrator, Beatrix Potter and narrates "The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse"; Sal McMurray, an Irish cook working on a packet boat on the Erie Canal in the year 1840. Sal weaves Irish Folk Tales from the canal through her life's story based on facts about the canal. The audience learns as it laughs. The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council awarded Gretchen a grant in 2009 to adapt her script of, “Erie Canal Sal”, into a children’s book, which she also illustrated. Also on her list of programs is temperance leader, abolitionist and women's rights activist , Susan B. Anthony. "I think storytelling is one of the most wonderful creative art forms because it allows each person to be who they are and use what talents they have to tell a story." Gretchen believes that if too many restrictions are put upon a child or adult when doing storytelling then the spirit of creativity is destroyed. " If a person can sing, let them sing, if a person can dance, let them dance, if a person can juggle, let them juggle; as each storyteller weaves a story, their own unique individuality adds to the tapestry of the tale each person tells.”
Pat founded Community Action Angels, often referred to as Angel Action, a volunteer, resource development program, in 1996 after receiving a one time assistance from Community Action for Wyoming County upon the death of her husband. This program serves the working poor and fills the gaps where programs do not exist to help the underprivileged. The program places a special focus on children and their physical, social, emotional and academic needs. 100% of money raised by volunteers goes directly to helping families and all people can be helped based only on need and Angel Action’s ability to help. Pat wanted to give back for the help she received. Her work with Community Action started when she volunteered her time on their public relations committee and subsequently served six years on the agency’s Board of Directors. It was there she learned about working poor families who did not qualify for help because their income fell just above the guidelines established. There were also many children needing help where programs did not exist. In an effort to help, Pat gathered eleven friends around her kitchen table and it was there that Angel Action was born. She attributes the success of this program to her dedicated staff, Advisory Board and the thousands of committed volunteers across the state that care deeply about supporting the strength in people and creating opportunity for success. After six years of operation from her home, Pat gifted the program to Wyoming County Community Action for use by any Community Action agency and with the agreement that 100% of money raised by volunteers goes directly to helping families and all people can be helped based only on need and Angel Action’s ability to help. In 2002 New York State, Department of State, hired Pat to promote Community Action Angels across New York State and to provide training focused on all aspects of volunteer management and resource/program development to the 62 Community Action agencies across the state. In 2011, she received a sole source contract which now included the New York State Department of State, Office for New Americans, to provide training to 27 newly established Opportunity Centers designed to serve new immigrants and refugees. With 1 out of 5 children in New York State experiencing hunger and recognizing that many schools are seeing a 70% poverty rate among elementary students, meeting the basic needs of children along with education has become the focus of Angel Action. As a long time folk artist and now illustrator, Pat teamed up with her close friend, Vinnie Taylor, an early learning expert from Pennsylvania, and they developed early learning books titled Pathways to Kindergarten, the companion storybook, Wonder and most recent the storybook “Circles” which teaches empathy through stories based on helping others with a service learning aspect. Through private funding 16,000 children and teachers in NYS have access to these books at no cost. In recent years, through the Community Action Angels network, 145 new programs, including 7 statewide initiatives to assist children designed by Pat, were implemented. In-kind donations exceed 18 million dollars and over 160 thousand people have been helped. Pat is mom to Kristine, Troy and four beautiful grandchildren. Pat is a graduate of Bryant and Stratton. She received certification from Cornell University as a teacher and facilitator of Family Development and the Family Development for Leaders Certification. Pat is a certified Communication Across Barriers poverty coach, trained to conduct workshops for breaking poverty barriers, improving communication and relationships and serve as on-site experts for educating colleagues, providing leadership for breaking poverty barriers, and developing system wide approaches for improving outcomes for families who live in the war zone of poverty. Pat has served on the board of the New York State Community Action Association, New York State Family Development Association, New York Connects and as a member of the Wyoming County United Way Council. Among her awards are New York State Senate Woman of Distinction, Pi State (NY) Delta Kappa Gamma Friends of Education Award, New York State Community Action Association Leadership Award, Leadership Wyoming Alumnae Leader Award, GLOW Regional YMCA Spirit Award and the National Community Action Partnership, Jayne Thomas Award.
EARLE TERWILLIGER (JERRIS)
Earle (composer of "A Tinker's Tale"©) graduated from the Juilliard School of Music and was active in writing for orchestras and ensembles. He appeared as the headliner singer/pianist in supper clubs nationwide. He also produced and appeared in his own TV and radio shows under the professional name of Earle Jerris, and acted as a frequent guest host for Sherry Lewis at NBC as well as on other TV shows. Earle was the musical director and arranger for the U.S. Army, and later toured the country as the pianist with the Charlie Spivak Big Band. His company, Jerris Productions, wrote and produced regional and national ads, jingles, and film scores, working much of the time with Jim Morey, with whom he’s thrilled to reconnect after so many years.
In addition to his work on "A Tinker’s Tale"©, Earle is the composer of numerous songs and has become a well-known and sought-after arranger, working most recently with regional big bands and professional singers.
REV. DR. BARBARA THERESA
Sandra has had many years painting experience in both watercolor and oils, loving them both. She has taught watercolor classes at the Art Store in Rochester, the Village Hall and BF Bungalow in Wyoming N. Y. and at her art studio in Perry, NY. She is a member of the Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society and has participated in many of their shows and attended numerous workshops featuring nationally known artists. She also has shown at the Corn Hill and Clothesline Art Festivals in Rochester. "I love everything about painting and find great satisfaction in introducing or reintroducing this to others!" says Sandra.
From 1980 to present Barbara has been a consultant and workshop leader for Christian Education in Western New York Conference/Upper New York State Conference. Additionally since 1984 she has been a workshop facilitator (trainer) for Children's Disaster Service (also site manager and team leader) under the umbrella of CDS. She is a member of the National Critical Response Team (AIR) and National Critical Response Team of American Red Cross. In 1988, Barbara co-wrote the curriculum "Spiritual and Emotional Care with Children Who Have Experienced Disaster Situations - which is used with both adults and children in times of disaster. From 1996- to present she has designed and teaches a one day workshop program, "Putting Back The Pieces”, which is used with state and local agencies for helping children and families after times of traumatic events in their lives. Barbara is a wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother and she loves being a part of the Silver Lake family for over 30 years.
REV. DONALD WEAVER
Rev. Weaver is an ordained clergy in the United Methodist Church and has served churches large and small, rural, small town and large suburban throughout Western New York. Don also served as Associate Executive Secretary and District Superintendent in the Western New York Conference of the United Methodist Church and, most recently, pastorate Senior Pastor of Kenmore United Church in Kenmore, New York. Don retired from active pastoral ministry in 1997. He served as Interim Pastor at Fredonia, East Aurora, Trinity United Methodist Church, Amherst, Kenmore, Niagara Falls between 2001-2016. Don served as Disaster Response Consultant for Church World Service, UMCOR, “Actions by Churches Together” and Church of the Brethren, Children’s Disaster Services beginning in 1980. He responded to the 9/11/2001 New York City World Trade Center Attack as Project Manager for Children’s Disaster Services in New York City and in Long Island in response to Hurricane Sandy in November, 2012. Don has taught workshops on Disaster Response both Nationally and Internationally. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Arts Education, Masters of Divinity from Alfred University School of Theology and Doctorate of Ministry in Pastoral Care from Drew University. Don’s hobbies include Alpine skiing (he is a member of the National Ski Patrol), camping, canoeing, backpacking, vintage auto restoration, sailing and woodworking.
After working in the Agriculture industry for many years, Debra joined the Agriculture Department at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wyoming County in 2010. A graduate of Alfred Ag and Tech, Debra and her husband Kyle own and operate a farm in Wyoming County and raised their two children there. The farm operation consists of growing hay, corn, and buckwheat. Their farm also produces grass-fed beef cattle, pastured laying hens, pastured broilers, and includes a sugarbush for maple production, a large vegetable garden, fruit trees, and most recently a bee-yard. At Extension, Debra facilitates the Maple program which helps promote and educate folks for the maple industry through workshops and the annual WNY Maple School and served as interim editor for the ‘Maple Pipeline’. Other programs include CDL Training for Farms and Employees, the Poultry Discussion Group, Pasture Walks for Beef Producers, contributor to the Eat Fresh Buy Local publication, and also the Beekeepers Discussion Group, a dedicated core group of seasoned beekeepers, and a larger group of newcomers and those who would like to learn more about the fascinating honeybee. Debra’s lifelong hobbies include traveling, horseback riding, gardening, and raising farm animals. The study, husbandry, and establishment of the beeyard was a natural fit.
Andrew Zelar is the Pastry Chef at the historic Glen Iris Inn. Formerly the estate of William Pryor Letchworth, the Glen Iris has welcomed guests as a country inn since 1914. The Inn overlooks magnificent Middle Falls on the Genesee River and is surrounded by the unparalleled beauty of Letchworth State Park. Andrew grew up in the Letchworth area. After graduating from Fillmore Central School, he continued his education, receiving a Pastry Degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Pittsburgh, PA. His career experience has taken him to work at several country clubs in Florida before returning to the area and working at SUNY Geneseo. This is Andrew’s first season at the Glen Iris Inn.