Nanci Kryzak became a member of Bard LLI in 2017 and quickly joined the Membership Development Committee. She served as Chair of the Member Services Team beginning in July 2018 and was also appointed First Vice President in February 2019. She began her term as President in July 2020.
Welcoming our new members remains one of Nanci’s favorite responsibilities. She wants them to know from their first days that LLI is managed by interested volunteers who invite all members to get involved in helping everyone to learn and grow. She also loves leading our new member tours of the eclectic and horticulturally-diverse Bard campus.
Nanci was born and raised in Dutchess County and now lives in Clinton Corners with her husband, Jack. Her professional background is in advertising account management, and she lived and worked in the city of New York until she retired early to nurture their two children in the country.
Beyond LLI, she is a garden docent and a member of Mad Gardeners, touring gardens near and far to share her love of plants and garden design. She sings with her church choir and the Bard Symphonic Chorus, feeding her passion for sacred choral music. One of Nanci’s favorite pastimes is driving the backroads of the Hudson Valley to discover even more about the exquisite natural beauty that surrounds us.
“I am honored to serve as President of LLI, and I am enormously grateful for the colleagues and friends with whom I share the privilege of working for this excellent organization.”
1st Vice President
Linda Stanley, our incoming 1st Vice President, is modest about her long history as a volunteer. She described her role as a founder and ultimately president of the Rhinebeck Farmers Market this way:
“John Honey knocked on our door and said ‘We need a farmers’ market.’ I didn’t even know what that was. He sold me on the idea. I was one of 15 people who met every other week with Judy from the Cornell Cooperative Extension who helped us find the farmers, then we found a potential manager and worked with the village to make sure we had the go-ahead. Those of us who got it going eventually became the board. I loved the market once I figured out what it was.”
Her experience with Wilderstein was not so different. “I was asked to join the board and did. I didn’t know much about it, so decided to be a docent to learn more. I love that… Wilderstein has been very fortunate to have a great board over the years of people who were very committed to it. And it has a great director. It’s a wonderful volunteer organization because there are only four paid positions. It’s like LLI. It brings out the best in people because they have a real commitment to the organization.”
Asked about her aspirations for the Council, she said she would like to see the volunteer program moving forward and growing. “The organization exists because volunteers do the work. I want to support Nanci who has some innovative ideas. It’s great to have new members as volunteers and officers.” And, as always, “I’ll learn more.”
Linda is an excellent cook and, with an eye to the times in which we are living, shares this recipe for two.
2nd Vice President
Felice is retired from 28 years on Wall Street, where she worked for several investment banks and investment managers and then began her own business. Before that, her work life was quite varied — postal carrier, trade union organizer, social worker, substitute teacher, typesetter, etc. She graduated from Boston University, earned an MA from Tufts University, and an MBA from NYU.
She and her husband Yoram had a weekend house in Rhinebeck for 35 years and finally decided to move to the area full-time two years ago. Bard LLI played a significant role in that decision. They now live in Red Hook. She’s involved in local community activities, including Red Hook Mutual Aid, and has, for many years, supported a theater in the West Bank, Occupied Palestinian Territories. LLI members may have heard her 2019 Winter Intersession presentation Theatre in a Conflict Zone: Cultural Resistance.
Since joining Bard LLI in 2013, Felice has been a class manager and has worked on the Communications Team and the Social Gatherings Team. She’s had a great time learning about LLI by writing for the LLI newsletter, getting to know other LLI members by being a class manager, and, most recently, helping people get together in online social events.
Deborah became Secretary of the Bard LLI Council as a way of contributing to the organization and becoming more fully involved with the community. The position built on her more than 40 years’ experience as a writer and editor as well as her volunteer work as secretary for a nonprofit organization in New York City. In her time at Bard LLI, she has worked on the Communications Committee and the Catalog Committee, and acted as a class manager.
She was raised in the Hudson River Valley, went to college in Chicago, and then moved to New York City. While she and her husband, Steve, lived in the city, they also maintained a place in Newburgh and often came up to Bard to hear concerts. When they retired, they chose to move to Rhinebeck, knowing they would enjoy the beauty of the Hudson River Valley and the cultural riches of the area.
Their participation in Bard LLI has only enhanced their pleasure in living here. They have delighted in taking both intellectually challenging and lighthearted courses. And they have continued to attend concerts at Bard, with a profound appreciation for the quality of the performances. But perhaps the most rewarding aspect of joining Bard LLI has been connection with so many interesting, engaged people from a diversity of backgrounds. She is looking forward to helping Bard LLI enrich of our lives.
Robert Beaury, our new Treasurer, wears many hats. As a town supervisor, he also holds a seat on the Columbia County legislature and serves on most of the County’s standing committees, including the Economic Development Committee, which he chairs. The coronavirus shutdown has him setting up platforms for grants to help small businesses, recruiting a small army of volunteers to reach out to people needing food and other support; procuring hand sanitizer for the retirement home, school district, fire company, and the general public; making sure town employees are safeguarded from contagion; and participating in county business via remote meetings.
As an historian and political science teacher, Robert is particularly interested in late 19th and early 20th century American history – looking at the progressive movement, populism, imperialism, xenophobia, racism, and sexism, and he sees many of the same issues in play today. His class Lessons from Our Civil War, sadly cancelled as part of this spring’s semester, would have focused on that period and how those issues are reflected in society today. We really look forward to its being rescheduled in the future.
Why did such a busy man agree to be our Treasurer? Tom Esposito told him he was the perfect person for the job. “As town CFO, I’m used to making the numbers work.”
Members at Large
Member at Large
Carol has been a member of LLI since 2003. Through the pre-Zoom years of 2016-2020, Carol was co-chair of the Class Support Team, enlisting and training LLI’s army of class managers each semester.
Carol received a BA degree from Hunter College and an MS from SUNY NewPaltz. She worked as a primary grade teacher in New York City and the Arlington School District before retiring in 2002. Carol first volunteered at the Red Hook Library. She has thoroughly enjoyed her LLI experience, even more after she became actively involved. Carol feels that volunteering is a good way to pay back for all she has received being a member of LLI.
Carol is a long-time resident of Milan. She lives with her husband Peter, surrounded by woods, wildlife, and an occasional bear. During the pandemic, Carol has enjoyed watching the many resident and just-passing-through birds and the small animals occasionally featured on her new trail camera.
Member at Large
Chuck Mishaan was re-elected to Council as a member at large. Chuck has been busy behind the scenes as well as part of a group of tech-savvy LLI members who are working with SummerFest presenters teach them the necessary technical skills to offer a successful class. He’s also working on creating an online format for LLI’s annual meeting.
An important aim of this work is, as Chuck says, “… to stay in touch with the membership, especially the social component. There is lots of educational material available online, but we have a special, unique organization we want to nurture even when we cannot be physically together.”
He’s looking forward to warmer weather and the possibility of having some social gatherings — appropriately distanced — in his backyard.
Chuck is a software solutions developer, specializing in medical applications. He still actively consults with healthcare providers in automating their clinical practice. For many years, he was an adjunct professor at NYU, teaching about technology and its impact on health care.
Chuck is a member of the AV/Tech committee, serves on the Planning & Evaluation Committee, and liaises with the Registration, Communications, Curriculum and Photo/Video Committees. He’s already well known to the LLI membership through his class series Opera as Politics which he has also been presenting at Marist CLS, SUNY New Paltz, Lifespring Saugerties, and Vassar LLI.
You may also have had the opportunity of hearing his introductory lectures to the Met HD Live opera presentations at The Bardavon.
Member at Large
Margaret Moran was elected to Council as one of four members at large. She has lived her entire adult life in Dutchess County – first in Clinton Corners, then in Rhinebeck. She feels really fortunate to be here during this time of social distancing. She is able to continue her life in the outdoors – in this season, walking or hiking every day if weather permits. She’s looking forward to summer and her true love — kayaking. “It’s a mini-vacation in itself. I bought my kayak as a present to myself when I was 60.” Her favorite spot to kayak is at the Cape but you can find her on the Hudson on a calm, sunny day as well.
Her work as a Reiki master (a post-retirement profession), along with meditation and mindfulness practice has been very helpful in getting through our social isolation.
Margaret is passing some of her stay-home time doing some creative Zoom calls with her grandchildren up and down the East Coast. She and the grandchildren have been taking turns reading to each other at night, and she’s done some virtual babysitting as well — keeping a Zoom eye on the younger ones playing in their backyard.
Like so many of us, it was word of mouth that brought her to LLI. She sat on the Stanford library board with Bobbi Post, who told her about LLI and convinced her to join. “I loved being on a college campus and Bard is one of the most beautiful. It’s invigorating to have the students there.” After a stint as a class manager, she went to a Curriculum committee meeting. “One meeting and I never stopped going. It was the perfect spot for me.” Right now she is working with some SummerFest presenters to see if they could teach their classes online. Stay tuned.
Member at Large
Raised in the desert Southwest in Tucson, I attended the University of Arizona where I received a BS in biology and an MS in genetics. In 1979 I moved to Europe for six years while attending medical school in Belgium.
After completing my MD, I returned to Arizona to complete an internship and residency in anesthesiology. Moving to the Hudson Valley area in 1992, I joined the Columbia Memorial Hospital Dept. of Anesthesia, serving as chief from 1998 to 2013. I retired from medicine in Sept of 2018. My career at CMH spanned 26 years and I currently serve on both the hospital Foundation Board and the Board of Trustees.
I have been involved with medical humanitarian work in areas of armed conflict with Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders. Assignments included five missions: Amman, Jordan; Nigeria; Democratic Republic of Congo (twice), and South Sudan.
My husband Paul and I met in Belgium when I was a med student and have been together 40 years. We live in Athens, NY with our English setter ‘Kai’ in an old (1790’s) Dutch farmhouse. Although Belgian, Paul is an American citizen now and is fluent in English, however, we still speak French at home as it helps maintain my skills (and the dog’s) with that beautifully melodic language. Visitors are always delighted the dog understands French.
I’m also a gentle beekeeper, although I think most beekeepers are gentle by nature. I’m also very happy indeed to have joined Bard LLI in 2019.
Standing Committee Chairs
Administration / Infrastructure
Deborah serves as Administration/ Infrastructure Chair. As such, she works with Chuck Mishaan to evaluate and support the LLI technology structure. Most recently, she redesigned and developed the LLI WordPress website published in June 2018. She joined LLI in August 2017 and has been thrilled to meet and work with so many interesting people at LLI.
Deborah has worked as a technology consultant with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), as an owner and manager of a small business specializing in technology-based training for major corporations, and as an MBA professor at Iona College, Fordham, East Carolina University and University of Georgia. She has a Bachelor’s degree from University of Binghamton and MS and Ph.D. from Clemson University.
Deborah is the proud mother of adult, boy-girl twins, the joys of her life.
Curricular and Special Programs
Robert enjoys serving on the MD Committee because he likes meeting new people and making new members feel welcome. He and his husband Craig have owned their Woodstock home for 20 years, they have been full-time residents for 6 years. LLI has provided an opportunity to
meet fellow learners in the Hudson Valley.
Besides a passion for learning, he enjoys reading, gardening, studying French, and exploring New York.
Leadership roles have included LGBT rights, the ACLU, historic preservation, and education.
A native of Oklahoma, he returned after college to the small town in which he grew up to practice law with his father. He continues to serve as president of the local title company. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University and his law degree from the University of Oklahoma. In 1988 he received the Courageous Advocate Award from the Oklahoma Bar Association for his representation of a special needs student excluded from public schools because of his HIV status.
Planning and Evaluation
Jill has served on the LLI Council since 2013 and has been responsible for developing its policy manual and operations manual. She serves on the Long Range Planning Committee, the Planning and Evaluation Committee, the Communications Committee, and chaired the Bylaws Committee that recently completed a revision of our bylaws. Jill also serves as LLI’s liaison to the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE), our umbrella program at Bard, and is a member of the CCE Advisory Board.
Jill was Director of Admissions at Poughkeepsie Day School until her retirement in 2011. Certified in education and social work, she had a long career as an educator and administrator in educational and human service organizations. She was Director of Mid-Hudson Family Mediation Center, was a clinician at Catskill Family Institute, and was Director of Community Education for Ulster County Mental Health Services. She was a member of the Board of Education for the Red Hook Central School District, and ran an enrichment program for the Red Hook Schools. In the 1970’s she worked in the grants office at Bard College.
Jill lives in Barrytown with her husband Doug Baz. They have three adult children and two grandchildren.
Carmela Gersbeck became an LLI member in 2019. She soon joined the Communications Committee and the Technology Committee. She is Chair of the Program Support team, which is responsible for the classes presented in Zoom, and the class manager, A/V, and hospitality teams when on campus. Carmela also assists with answering emails seeking technical help and produces the Bard LLI monthly newsletter.
Carmela moved full-time to Tillson in 2018, after spending 20 years as a weekender in the Woodstock area with her husband, Al. She retired in 2018 from a 40-year career working in leadership roles for Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns and JP Morgan. Carmela’s favorite pastimes are spending time with her two grandchildren, camping, cooking, bicycling, hiking, and reading detective novels.