Advisory Board

Russell Banks

Russell Banks is the internationally acclaimed author of eighteen works of fiction, including the novels Continental Drift, Rule of the Bone, The Book of Jamaica and Lost Memory of Skin, and six short story collections, as well as several works of non-fiction, most recently Voyager: Travel Writings.  Banks has been a PEN/Faulkner Finalist (Affliction, Cloudsplitter, Lost Memory of Skin) and a Pulitzer Prize Finalist (Continental Drift, Cloudsplitter).  Banks is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was New York State Author (2004-2008).  He lives in upstate New York with his wife, the poet Chase Twichell.

Joseph Bruchac

Joseph Bruchac, Abenaki writer and traditional storyteller, lives in northern New York in the house where he was raised by his grandparents.  Author of over 130 books, his experiences include running a college program in a maximum security prison and teaching in West Africa.

Sue Halpern

Sue Halpern’s sixth and most recent book, A Dog Walks Into A Nursing Home, was published in May, 2013 by Riverhead. She has written for any number of magazines–from Rolling Stone to The New Yorker and everything in between: The New York Times Magazine, Glamour, The New York Review of Books, Good Housekeeping, Mother Jones, and Conde Nast Traveler to name more than a few. At Middlebury College, where Sue is a scholar-in-residence, she runs the Narrative Journalism Fellowship, and at The New York Review of Books, she is the editor of NYRB Lit, the electronic imprint of NYR Books.  She is also the human half of a therapy dog team, was a Rhodes Scholar and a Guggenheim Fellow, and remains hopeful that ice cream is the key to world peace.

Christine Jerome

Christine Jerome is a former managing editor of Car and Driver and New England Monthly magazines. Her work has also appeared in Boston Globe Magazine, Outside, Adirondack Life, and Countryside.  She is the author of An Adirondack Passage: The Cruise of the Canoe Sairy Gamp, now in its third edition. She lives in western Massachusetts.

Christine McDonald

Christine McDonald was the Director at Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls for 33 years and in her time initiated and coordinated the library’s popular film program in 1980. She applied for and received grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, as well as increased business and foundation support for the program. She started the Black History Month Film Program in 1999 with the cooperation of the Glens Falls Chapter of the NAACP. She served as the treasurer for the New York State Library Association through 2013, and is athe secretary for Saratoga Opera (formerly the Lake George Opera), as well a as a member of the board of the Glens Falls Medical Mission and is a Glens Falls Rotarian.

Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben is the author of a dozen books on environmental issues, and the founder of, the world’s main grassroots global climate campaign. He recently was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel prize.’

Ellen Rocco

Born and raised and schooled in Manhattan, Ellen Rocco moved to the North Country farm she still lives on in 1971. She has been at the station since 1980; station manager since 1985. Ellen served six years on the NPR Board (tenure ended about 18 months ago), and has been a panelist for CPB, the NYS Council on the Arts, and other media and cultural organizations. She’s at NCPR because it’s great to do good work…in this place. She has never had ambitions to climb the ladder to bigger, better known stations. She works there because she lives there, and is part of that community.

Bill Smith

Bill Smith, who’s also well known as a traditional Adirondack ash splint basket maker and storyteller, learned old songs as a boy from his mother and from the radio.  Here he talks about his early life on the Featherbed section on the northwestern foothills of the Adirondacks, his early musical influences, getting his first guitar as a boy, how itinerant local men shaped his love of stories and storytelling, his career as a performer of old   songs and stories in the last 30 years, writing his own songs, and planning for a show— for local audiences and for outsiders.

Chase Twichell

Chase Twichell’s most recent book is Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon, 2010), which won both the Kingsley Tufts Award and the Balcones Poetry Prize. A new book, Now’s Dream, is forthcoming in 2018. She lives in Keene with her husband, the novelist Russell Banks.

Fran Yardley

Writer, retreat director, storyteller, and workshop leader, Fran is committed to exploring diverse ways to use storytelling for healing. As co-founder and Executive Director of Creative Healing Connections for sixteen years, she led retreats for women with cancer and chronic illness and women veterans. Currently she is writing a book, Finding True North: A history of one small corner of the Adirondacks. She has four recordings of stories.

Board of Directors

Ken Aaron

Ken Aaron loves telling a good story – and helping people and organizations find creative, compelling ways to share the things that make them special. He is a partner in GreatRange, a Saranac Lake branding and communications firm, and has done work for Brandeis College, Manhattanville College, The Nature Conservancy, the Wild Center, College for Every Student, and several other clients. After moving to the Adirondacks in 2006, Ken became director of communications for Paul Smith’s College, where his duties included editing the alumni magazine, Sequel. Before that, he spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter. His work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Adirondack Life and several others. He is an alumnus of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and Johns Hopkins University. Ken lives in Saranac Lake with his wife, Hadley Kruczek-Aaron, and two children. He skis in the winter, hikes in the summer, and is addicted to crossword puzzles and coffee year-round.

Rob Carr

Rob Carr has close to 15 years of experience in exhibit and program development and interpretive planning and training and design. He started Darwin Design in 2015, and now works full-time as freelance interpretive specialist, writer and designer, specializing in interpretive planning, exhibit and graphic design and interpretive training and communications. Prior to this, Rob worked as the Exhibits and Interpretive Programs Manager at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY, and before that, directed the on-site education at the International Crane Foundation’s world headquarters in Baraboo, Wisconsin. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts from Susquehanna University and a master’s degree in Environmental Interpretation from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Rob is also a Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG), Trainer (CIT) and Host Trainer (CIHT) through the National Association for Interpretation.

Tony Holtzman

Tony (Neil A.) Holtzman, MD, MPH began writing fiction ten years ago after a distinguished career as Professor of Pediatrics, Health Policy, and Epidemiology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and School of Public Health. He founded, and was the first Director of, Genetics and Public Policy Studies at Johns Hopkins. He is currently Emeritus Professor. Tony has spent summers in the Adirondacks for over fifty years has climbed most of the forty-six peaks over four thousand feet and canoed many rivers and lakes. His interest in the history of the region and the roots of the current conflicts among developers, environmentalists, and the people who live in the region year-round inspired him to write Adirondack Trilogy.

Rich Frost

Rich Frost, a physician by training, has long written on travel and history topics.  Currently he writes the column “Rich in History”  for Lake Champlain Weekly, plus contributes regularly to Northern Home Garden Leisure and the Adirondack Enterprise.  Among his five books are regional travel compendia, a history of Plattsburgh, and a volume about Hotel Champlain, once the summer White House for President William McKinley and now transformed into Clinton Community College.  His newest books, a history of Plattsburgh’s military heritage, and his first venture into fiction, will be published in 2017. He lives in Schuyler Falls with his wife Marty and their yellow Labrador retriever Zoey.


Nancy Rosenthal

Nancy Rosenthal served as the President of the Board of Directors for the Lake Placid Center for the Arts and is currently a member of the LPCA and an NCPR underwriter.

Mary Sanders Shartle

Mary Sanders Shartle’s novel, The Truth and Legend of Lily Martindale, appeared 2014 from SUNY Press, and has won several critical awards. Her essay, “The Spider’s Web” was a finalist for the Tupelo Press Open Prose Award and appeared on their blog in January, 2014. She is a member of “The Three Poets” with colleagues Marilyn McCabe and Elaine Handley, three time winners of the Adirondack Center for Writing Poetry Award. Their book, Tear of the Clouds, was released by Ra Press in 2010. Shartle teaches numerous writing workshops and hosts book groups for Road Scholars at Great Camp Sagamore.