JAMES MERRILL HOUSE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Randy Bean and Cynthia Elliott
Kathryn Nason Burchenal
JAMES MERRILL HOUSE CO-CHAIRS
Randy Bean is James Merrill House co-chair. He is Founder and CEO of NewVantage Partners, a nationally known management consulting firm, and is a regular contributor to Forbes, Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, and The Wall Street Journal. Randy holds a BA from Washington University in St. Louis, where he sits on the board of the College of Arts & Sciences and sat on the board of the University Libraries, where James Merrill’s papers reside.
Cynthia Elliott retired as President and CEO of Symphony Space, a performing arts center in New York City. Through her career, Cynthia worked in the private sector -- in marketing and business development -- and the non-profit sector -- in program development and fundraising. She was chair of Packer Collegiate Institute’s $20 million capital campaign, and subsequently chair of their board of trustees.
JAMES MERRILL HOUSE COMMITTEE BIOS
Communications and Program Committees and Juror for the WIR
Dee Aldrich is a juror for the James Merrill House WIR selection and a member of the Program and Communications committees. Her experience includes over 20 years as a Managing Editor at Conde Nast Publications in New York. Previously she was an Associate Producer on Bookmark, a book show hosted by Lewis Lapham on PBS. She has. B.A. in Comparative Literature, and an MBA in International Business & Marketing from Columbia University.
Treasurer, Building Committee
Diana Beck is Treasurer of the James Merrill House Committee. She has a degree in Economics from Wellesley College where she also served as the 1st student representative to the College Endowment Fund. She has an MBA from The Tuck School, Dartmouth College and served as a banking officer at Citibank, N.A. She has been actively involved with numerous non-profit organizations.
KATHRYN NASON BURCHENAL
Building Committee and past President of the Stonington Village Improvement Association (SVIA)
Kathryn Burchenal has a Ph.D. in molecular biology with a twenty-year career spent at the National Institutes of Health, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and the Pasteur Institute. Kathryn was founding Vice President of the Malaria Foundation International and has served as a Stonington Borough Burgess and on the Borough Planning & Zoning Commission.
Chair of the Building Committee
Tony Crane holds a Masters’ Degree in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and was founder of French & Crane, Architects, which completed over 900 projects. Tony serving on the faculty at the Penn Graduate School of Architecture, was President of the Haverford Civic Association, and chaired the Lower Merion Township Zoning Board.
Conservation and Nominating & Governance Committees
Jenny Dixon was Director of four New York City cultural organizations, The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, The Bronx Museum for the Arts, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Public Art Fund. In January of 2018, Jenny retired from the Directorship of the Noguchi Museum after a 15-year tenure, assuming the role of Director Emeritus.
Co-Chair of Program and 25th Anniversary Committees
Penny Duckham is the executive director of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation’s media fellowships program. Penny previously worked in the private office of the President of the EEC in Brussels, and the Harkness family’s Commonwealth Fund in New York City. She was educated in England and graduated with a first-class honors degree in modern history at Lady Margaret Hall, at Oxford University.
Chair of Nominating & Governance Committee, Communications
Charlie Hatton was on the Board of Raynham Hall, an historic house museum, served on the Mill Neck Zoning Board of Appeals and was a trustee at Seawhanaka Corinthian Yacht Club. More recently, he has served as Commodore at the Stonington Harbor Yacht Club, a Board member at Denison Pequots Nature Center, and President of the Stonington Village Improvement Association.
Program and Development Committees
Rick Larkin is a principal with Larkin, Brooks & Pratt. He graduated from Philips Exeter Academy and earned a BA from Yale University. Rick was a founding member of the California State Extension Services Committee for creating a Marketing and Fundraising Certificate Program and taught, for several semesters, Managing the Fundraising Process at the University of California, Irvine.
Susan Lindberg is responsible for all James Merrill House graphic design projects. She previously worked as senior graphic designer, art director and associate director of publications at Connecticut College. Prior to that she was a graphic designer at Eastern Connecticut State University, at Command Engineering & Technical Services and at the Bureau of Business Practice.
Chair of the Development Committee
Geoffrey Little is a non-fiction writer on high tech-topics--robotics, space exploration and autonomous vehicles—for Air & Space Smithsonian and other publications. Geoffrey was a documentary television executive on prime-time productions for NOVA, National Geographic, National Audubon, Wall Street Journal TV, TBS and Time Inc. and IMAX.
Chair of the Conservation Committee
Sibby Lynch is the longest tenured member of the James Merrill House board. She grew up in Stonington and was a friend of James Merrill’s. She was the president of the Stonington Village Improvement Association when the James Merrill House was gifted to the SVIA. Sibby had the vision to preserve the top floors of the building for a writer’s residency, and oversaw this effort aided by the dozens of people who believed in the idea and knew how to make it happen.
Chair of the Communications Committee
Laura Matthews began her publishing career as an editorial assistant and fact-checker at The Atlantic Monthly, eventually becoming a senior editor at Condé Nast, Penguin-Putnam, Martha Stewart Living, and the Hearst Corporation. She is a resident of Manhattan and Westerly, Rhode Island.
President of the Stonington Village Improvement Association (SVIA).
Janet McClendon is President of the Stonington Village Improvement Association (SVIA). She grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, and graduated from the Madeira School, Brown University, and the University of Texas School of Law, Austin. She became a partner in a New York City law firm. Janet is a member of the Stonington Harbor Yacht Club and the Wadawanuck Club, and she serves on the Governance, Financial, and Landscaping Committees of the SVIA.
Nominating & Governance and Finance Committees
Scott Muller is a retired litigation partner at the international law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, Scott also served at various points in his career as a law clerk on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force and as General Counsel of the CIA. He has served on the Boards of St Paul’s School, St Albans School, Stonington Free Library, and was founder and past chairman of SAM (Serve America Movement).
Nominating & Governance and Finance Committees
Geoffrey Phillips is a graduate of Amherst College –James Merrill’s alma mater. At two Fortune 500 companies, he was a senior executive, COO, and corporate director. He founded Geoffrey Phillips Business Advisory Services. Geoff has written and published six children’s detective stories, three and novels anticipating self-aware computers. He is a director of the Stonington Community Center.
Program and Development Committees
Joanna Scott is the author of twelve works of fiction, and recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, Lannan Literary Award, and a Guggenheim fellowship. Her novel, The Manikin, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her new collection, Excuse Me While I Disappear, is forthcoming from Little, Brown. She was in residence at the James Merrill House in the spring of 2019.
Program Committee, Juror for the WIR selection
Willard Spiegelman is the Hughes Professor of English (Emeritus) at SMU in Dallas. Between 1984 and 2016 he was the editor-in-chief of the Southwest Review. A longtime contributor to the arts pages of The Wall Street Journal, he is also the author of a dozen books of essays and literary criticism.