Charlie Hunter, Chair
Charlie brings a wealth of experience of art and music to the Board. He started as a graphic artist and studied graphic design at Yale. He created concert posters for bands in the 1980's, then, in the 1990's, transitioned into music management. In 1994, the career of one of his clients, singer-songwriter Dar Williams, took off. Around 2000, he quit music management because the business overshadowed the love of music. Charlie now runs Roots on the Rails, which organizes railroad tours for music lovers and, in his paintings, “starkly depicts the husk left behind when industrialization fails” (vtdigger.org).
Alan Fowler, Treasurer
Alan, with his wife, Pat, owns and operates the Village Square Booksellers in Bellows Falls where Alan takes care of bookkeeping, returns, and customer service. He is active in the community and serves as Treasurer of several local organizations. He is a member of the Bellows Falls Post 37 of the American Legion. Alan and Pat Fowler were honored by the Great Falls Regional Chamber of Commerce as "Co-Persons of the Year" at the March 2009 annual dinner for all their extensive community service.
The Rev. Bruce MacDuffie, Secretary
Bruce received his B.A. from Blackburn College, M.Ed. from Boston University and M.Div and D.Min. from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. After being a member of Immanuel Church in the early 1980's, he served Episcopal parishes beginnign in 1985, most recently in the Diocese of Western New York. He especially values his time spent serving as a priest to American Indian nations in Minnesota and North Dakota. He also spent time developing and teaching formation for local ministry programs. He is married to Lee, and has seven children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Robert McBride, Board Member
A native of California, Robert McBride was educated at the University of California at Berkeley where he received a B.A. in painting. He moved to New York City where he earned an M.F.A. at Hunter College and was a founding member of Painting Space 122 an alternate art space on Manhattan's lower east side. In 1995 he moved to Bellows Falls, Vermont full time and founded, the Rockingham Arts and Museum Project (RAMP). RAMP has been working diligently for over a decade to demonstrate that artists play a significant role in the sustainability of rural communities culturally and economically.
Sarah McKee, Board Member
Sarah is a Certified Music Practitioner who plays the harp for many occasions, including for Alzheimer's/dementia people. Her previous career was as a federal prosecutor with a specialty in international criminal law. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she has served on local Boards and has become entranced with classical ballet.
Eugene Friesen, Artistic Director
Four-time Grammy winner Eugene Friesen is active internationally as a cellist, composer, conductor and teacher. He has been featured in concerts all over the world with the Paul Winter Consort, with Trio Globo (Friesen, Howard Levy and Glen Velez), and in his popular CelloMan performances for children and families. A pioneer in the teaching of improvisation to classically trained musicians, Eugene has led workshops throughout North America and around the world.He is an artist-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and on the faculty of the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Robert Bowler, Director
Robert or "Beau" became the Parish Administrator of Immanuel Episcopal Church in 2006 and, since that time, has managed Stone Church Arts. In 2013, he was asked to start Immanuel Retreat Center. He earned an M.Div. degree from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California and, as a minister, served Unitarian congregations for a decade before returning to the Episcopal Church in which he grew up. Beau's undergraduate major at Reed College was Religious Studies.
Elizabeth Rogers, Caterer
Liz brings a wealth of cooking experience to her catering at Immanuel Retreat Center. She spent many years living in the Findhorn Community in Scotland where she cooked for guests and community members, from 20-200 at a time. An experienced organic farmer, her passion for food and health has led her to study and explore various cuisines including vegetarian, vegan, raw, gluten-free, and macrobiotic at the Kushi Institute in Massachusetts. She now adheres to no particular school, simply preferring organic, whole-food cooking that tastes delicious. Liz loves cooking for our workshop participants and happily caters for special dietary needs.
Nancy Tusinski, Spiritual Director
Nancy is a Spiritual Director affiliated with Immanuel Retreat Center, having received her formal training with the Christos Center for Spiritual Formation in Lino Lakes, MN. She also has a BS in Adult Learning and Development. She is a facilitator of spiritual formation courses and creative writing courses for adults. For the past few years she has called Vermont home, where she also works as a librarian in a small town.