Coming to Oregon from New York City, at the suggestion of Paul Simon in 1970, Jack has been actively involved in media, musical productions and non-profit organizations. Jack conceptualized and produced the first concert series ever held in a zoological institution. “Your Zoo and All That Jazz”, held annually at the Oregon Zoo, is now in its 33rd year. This concept has now been adopted by many zoos worldwide. Jack, along with his business partner, started the Mt. Hood Festival of Jazz. In addition to hosting numerous television documentaries during his career, Jack and his wife, Jan, co-directed the statewide volunteer environmental organization, SOLV for 18 years, leading it to become one of the largest volunteer non-profits in the Pacific Northwest. Jack has been accorded the Oregon Statesman Award, the Portland First Citizen Award and has received an Honorary Doctorate from Pacific University for his work in preserving Oregon’s livability. Jack and Jan were married in Camp Sherman in 1986 and, fulfilling a 25 year dream, finally moved to Sisters in 2008. With his continuing volunteer work with other non-profits, Jack also serves as Chair of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s statewide Community Advisory Board in addition to holding a position on OPB’s Board of Directors.
A pioneer woman at heart, Cris grew up on a cattle ranch in Eastern Oregon and is most at home in the outdoors. She graduated Cum Laude with a degree in math, and spent a decade splitting her time between teaching math and leading wilderness survival trips. Upon leaving academia, she channelled her analytical skills into a successful career as an organizational development consultant, providing services to a diverse field of clients. Cris first lived in Sisters in 1971 and continued as a frequent visitor until becoming a full-time resident in 2009. Following the unexpected death of her brother in 2008, she found comfort in the music of the Sisters Folk Festival and discovered her passion for folk music. Her Folk Festival experience was the catalyst for her decision to honor her brother’s life by committing her support to the Americana Project, the Sisters Folk Festival and folk singer-songwriters. When not working on the ranch or doing volunteer work, Cris spends her time waterskiing or doing some crazy stunt behind a ski.
Debbie is a native of the Sisters area, born and raised on the Metolius River in Camp Sherman. She recently retired from 35 years of service in the public education system, beginning as a teacher, then school counselor and student services employee, and finishing as a program administrator operating educational and life skill programs for at-risk and developmentally disabled students. Debbie became a member of the SFF board to support and contribute to the educational programming that happens through the folk festival organization. She hs been involved in the Americana music program since it’s inception and believe it has changed the lives of many student participants.
Sue has lived in Sisters over 6 years. Prior to that she lived in Bend for 14 years. For over 35 years, Sue has worked in the park and recreation field, and currently works for Bend Park and Recreation District as a recreation manager. She enjoys giving back to the community and has served on many volunteer boards. When she’s not working she can be found at either her daughter Maddi’s running events or her son Eli’s baseball or soccer games. Her favorite pastimes are listening to live music or cooking and having friends over. She is excited to be part of the SFF Board!
Jim Cornelius is a co-founder of the Sisters Folk Festival. His passion for music grew out of his love for good storytelling, and his musical heroes tend to be storytellers — Tom Russell, Dave Alvin, Steve Earle, Guy Clark. He makes his living with his pen as the editor of The Nugget Newspaper in Sisters, Oregon and is himself a songwriter and performer with the band “The Anvil Blasters.”
Jay Mather brings to Sisters Folk Festival his skills as an internationally recognized photojournalist. His passion for documentary photography began while he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Malaysia in 1969-70. He worked at newspapers in Denver, CO, Louisville, KY and Sacramento, CA. before retiring to Sisters in 2007.
In 1979 he and fellow journalist Joel Brinkley traveled to the Thailand-Cambodia border to witness the massive exodus of refugees fleeing the wrath of the Khmer Rouge regime. This was the beginning of what the world would come to know as the “Killing Fields.” Their work, “Living the Cambodian Nightmare,” for the Louisville (KY) Courier-Journal won the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. Jay also enjoys playing his old Martin guitar, woodworking and cycling.
Jim is a retired United Airlines pilot and former commander of the Oregon Air National Guard. His family has lived in the Sisters area for more than twenty years, and is active in several non-profit organizations. He plays guitar and banjo, and his passion for the music and community arts development is evident in the organizational skills he employs to support the festival and the Americana Project.
Steve’s Undergraduate training was in painting and illustration. He began his career as a staff artist for a publisher of Western magazines. After years of being a “monk,” he found his passion in teaching art, eco-sytem management and educating students from high school through graduate school. After conducting extensive research in high-risk students, he spent the remainder of his career working to lower drop-out rates. He and his wife, Jan, retired to Sisters in 2000, where he’s volunteered in the art program at Sisters High School for the past 9 years.
Jeff joined the SFF Board in May 0f 2012, after serving for a dozen years on the Sisters School Board. He moved to Sisters in 1995, but continued to teach as a Professor of Public Administration at Cal State University Dominguez Hills until his retirement in 2004. His primary teaching areas included public finance and public policy analysis.
His passion for education and music – just a listener – is complemented by a love of the outdoors. He has rafted the Grand Canyon several times, has section-hiked about half of the Pacific Crest Trail and has trekked to the base of the Himalayas in Nepal.
JoAn Mann, a three-decade-plus Central Oregon resident, has a wide background that started in the performing arts and teaching, then getting down to business with an MBA, focusing on Human Resource Management and statistics. Like most in Central Oregon, JoAn has run her own business; she travels around the US, Europe and occasionally to Asia teaching and consulting in intercultural management, personality assessment and specialized HR topics. Her passion is folk music, and she’s been a longtime supporter of the arts, education and the Folk Festival in Sisters. She is delighted to be a Bend-based conduit for the mission and outreach of SFF. She has two grown children, loves songwriting and guitar, hiking, ballet, swimming, X-C skiing, travel adventures and a few moments of peace…
Joining the board in 2014 Kerry’s focus has been on industrial arts programs in the High School including the Americana Luthier program and modern manufacturing skills including 3D printing and automated CNC routing. In the Luthier program, he has focused on helping the students with sophisticated inlays. He retired to Sisters 7 years ago from the Portland area where he had a 30 year career in the high tech computer industry. His other interests include photography, woodworking, computer, and electronic projects.
Susie is a native Oregonian. Growing up in a family who were very active in all the outdoor recreational sports, she loves the mountain lifestyle and the artistic and musical spirit she found in Sisters. Listening to all the exceptional music in this community is her regular past time.
She and her husband Dan bought property in Sisters in 2001 and built their dream home and studio here. She moved here full time from Eugene, upon his untimely death in 2010.