Our Leadership

Session of Elders/Governing Board

Linda Burpee

Linda and her husband, David have been members of the Bedford church since the mid-1970’s. Linda has served as the Clerk of Session for the past 8 years and is a member of the personnel and mission committees. She also serves as a committee member of the Presbytery’s Permanent Judicial Commission and the Boundary Training/Response Committee on Ministry Sub-Committee.

Linda is an attorney with a practice focusing on elder law, estate planning/settlement and real estate law in Somers, where she has lived and practiced law for over 30 years. She and David have three children. Their son lives and works at a university in the Chicago area, one daughter is an immigration attorney in NYC, and their younger daughter is currently serving in the Peace Corps.

The Bedford church has had a tremendous impact on their family and has truly helped to shape the paths their kids have taken in their lives. The family has cumulatively volunteered on some 19 trips to Nicaragua, and their oldest daughter was an in-country staff member for Bridges to Community in Nicaragua for two years. Linda now serves on the Bridges to Community board, as well as on the board of the Westchester Youth Alliance, and also as the chair of the program committee of the Presbyterian Center at Holmes. The church continues to challenge their family to learn and grow in their faith.

Alison Cape

Alison lives in Bedford with her husband Jim and her two children. Upon moving to the area in 2010, Bedford Presbyterian was her first and last stop when church shopping. She was immediately drawn not only to the focus on social justice and outreach, but the feeling that the church as a whole participates in raising our community of children with these ideals. The past seven years have borne out that Bedford Presbyterian Church is the “village” it takes to raise a child in today’s world. In addition to the wonderful children’s programs, Alison is involved in the music program, Midnight Run and coordinates the Northeast CROP walk.

Jeanne Collins

Jeanne lives in Bedford with her husband Matt and their two kids Tinsley and Luke and works at Prestige Consumer Healthcare as VP of Marketing.  Jeanne served as a deacon for two years and has served on the Session for the past four years including leading the Vision Study team.  Her favorite aspect of BPC is the feeling and the reality of “all our welcome.”  This feeling comes to life in the people, in the style of worship and in the actions BPC takes in the community.

Eric Eichhorn

Eric lives in Bedford with his son, Dylan, and daughter, Lindsay. Eric joined the church in 1997 because upon his first visit he immediately felt an incredible warmth and sense of community that were similar to his church as a child. Bedford Presbyterian has been a wonderful place to raise his family and grow spiritually. Eric and his children have participated in the work trips to Nicaragua and Virginia, the Midnight Run and Emergency Shelter Partnership. Eric has served on the Board of Deacons and is currently a member of the Session, in charge of Property and Maintenance. He looks forward to being a part of the continued positive outreach of the church, both locally and globally.

Michelle Gosh

Michelle lives in Mount Kisco with her wife, Kim, two sons, Kevin and Brady, and their three pups, Harrison, Teddy and Georgie.  Michelle works in the Brewster School District as the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment.  Michelle has served as a deacon for six years and was a member of the Pastoral Nominating Committee this past year.

Being a member of Bedford Presbyterian Church has been transformative. The spirit of care and kindness and the purposeful work carried out for the betterment of others are only two of the many reasons that BPC has become a cornerstone in the lives of Michelle, Kim and their family. They are grateful to be members of such a wonderful, spiritual community.

Brian Hiller-Dupont

Brian lives with his husband, Don, and their son, Brandon James, in Armonk, New York. In a career spanning 33 years, Brian has taught Kindergarten, First Grade, General Music and Instrumental Music in Chappaqua, New York. Brian is an internationally-known author and clinician and presents workshops at national and state music conferences throughout the United States and in Canada. Brian and Don have co-authored 14 books for music educators. He is now a retired, stay at home Dad for Brandon.

Brian’s first introduction to BPC was through Scott and Michele Eames and their sons, Patrick and Tyler. Brian would often attend services when the boys were performing in the children’s choirs. What struck Brian the most was the warmth and welcome he received each time he visited. The inclusive environment, the countless outreach opportunities, the strong sense of community and fine music program all contributed to Brian and Don’s decision to become members and to raise their son in this special place

Alan McDougall

Alan and his wife, Joan moved to Bedford in 1970 and became members of Bedford Presbyterian Church shortly afterward. Following his retirement, Alan has served as a volunteer consultant and a trustee to a number of nonprofit organizations. At BPC he has served as an Elder on Finance and currently on Stewardship. He has also chaired the Personnel Committee. He is a member of the Senior Choir and participates in the Church’s Bible Study group. Joan and Alan have three children, all who live in the Boston area, and seven grandchildren. The Church continues to be an important part of our lives in Bedford.

Suzanne Millette

Suzanne joined the church a little over 10 years ago. She lives in Bedford with her husband Sean and son Stephen. Her favorite aspect of BPC is the sense of community it provides. She has enjoyed getting to know fellow members, being a part of BPC’s many activities and working with the Deacons for the past six years.

 

Shirani Ponnambalam

Shirani has been a resident of Westchester since 1980. During her career, spanning forty plus years, she worked in academia and practiced law in several jurisdictions. She is a published author of a textbook and legal articles. Recently retired, she volunteers at the Pace Women’s Justice Center representing victims of domestic abuse. She is involved in various BPC mission projects including the Emergency Shelter Partnership, and the Rewarding Potential Scholarship program where she is a mentor to a college student. Her sons, from a young age, were active in the BPC youth group and were exposed to hands on community service locally and abroad. This resulted in the career choices they made, and their enduring commitment to work for social justice.

Deacons

Wendy Branche

Bio to follow.

Blakely Brodbeck

Blakely has lived in Armonk, New York, with her husband, two children, and five rescue animals since 2006. She is actively involved in several nonprofits within the Westchester community, including Family Services of Westchester (Board of Directors), Hope’s Door (Board of Directors), and the Junior League of Northern Westchester (Past President).

After “researching” several churches in the area, Blakely and her family found themselves particularly drawn to Bedford Presbyterian, not only for its inclusiveness and commitment to children’s programming, but for its tremendous support of community outreach initiatives. Blakely and her family are especially involved with the Emergency Shelter Partnership, Midnight Run, and the Rewarding Potential Scholarship.

Kathy DiBiasi

Kathy DiBiasi lives in Bedford and has been a member of BPC since 1998, served as a session member for six years (Christian Education Committee) and subsequently became the Education Director, a position she loved and held for 12 years. They were definitely the most rewarding years of her work life. Her son’s Peter and James are also members. Kathy immediately felt an abundance of warmth and sense of community on her first visit to BPC. She joined because BPC doesn’t just say the words “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”, but strives to live these words. Her son’s Peter and James have been very involved as well, having participated in Youth Group all through Middle School and High School and work trips to Nicaragua and West Virginia. Kathy’s passion is acting and hopefully you will see her on stage in the surrounding area.

Amy Drabek

I live here in Bedford with my husband Greg, daughter Chloe and dog, Frankie. Before I became a mother and Bedford resident, I taught English and lived  in NYC, Prague, Czech Republic and Tokyo, Japan. While I believe that travel is truly the best education, for now and the foreseeable future, I teach middle school in White Plains, NY.  I love the philosophy and congregation of BPC and being a member and deacon is a great part of my life. Other parts include: practicing and teaching Yoga, cooking  real food  for my family and a few clients and thinking about how to be of service: I live by a quote I heard in one of Paul Alcorn’s services: “If not me, who? If not now, when?

Michele Eames

Bio to follow.

Don Hiller-Dupont

Don lives in his native Armonk, New York, with his husband, son and rescue dog, Daisy. He is a music educator in the Chappaqua School District and is a published author of multiple educational resources for music educators. He and his husband, Brian, travel throughout the  United States and Canada presenting music education workshops based on their books.

The inclusive atmosphere was what brought Don and his family to join the church. They wanted their child to be involved with a church that would not only celebrate their family but also enrich him with deep and meaningful experiences. Bedford Presbyterian is a joyful place to worship and does so much to enrich the community beyond its walls of the church.

Kim Lapple

Kim lives in Mount Kisco with her wife, Michelle, two sons, Kevin and Brady, and their three pups, Harrison, Teddy and Georgie.  Kim is principal of H.C. Crittenden Middle school in the Byram Hills School District.  At BPC, she has previously served as a deacon for six years and is the co-chair of the Rewarding Potential Scholarship.

Being a member of Bedford Presbyterian Church has been transformative. The spirit of care and kindness and the purposeful work carried out for the betterment of others are only two of the many reasons that BPC has become a cornerstone in the lives of Michelle, Kim and their family. They are grateful to be members of such a wonderful, spiritual community.

 

Natasha Mast

Natasha lives in Bedford with her husband, Rick, and their two sons, Sebastian and Sawyer. She is a learning and development professional with experience educating people in a wide range of organizational contexts.

The Mast family moved to Bedford from NYC in 2016, and immediately started attending BPC. Upon arrival, the church was so welcoming and warm, and truly helped integrate the family into the Bedford and church community. Spiritually, the church has guided the family through the challenges and joys of life. The BPC community is so special, and Natasha is grateful for the role it plays in her life.

Elyssa Michaels

Elyssa Michaels has been a part of our Youth Group leadership since 2015.  Elyssa brings her enthusiasm, creativity and welcoming personality in working with BPC’s Middle and High School groups.  Elyssa is a former collegiate softball player and holds a BA Degree in Psychology from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY.

Elyssa has been a part of the BPC family all of her life and has most enjoyed the Mission Trips to Hurley, VA, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.  The Youth Program at BPC meets bi-weekly from September through June and participates in the Midnight Run, Mission Trips, Neighbors Link and other local charities.  In addition, Elyssa leads fun, creative, and meaningful meetings at the church for the youth to enrich their social and emotional growth.  BPC’s Youth Group is fun, inclusive, accepting and open to all denominations.

Julia Newton

Judy was born and raised in Bedford and attended Bedford Presbyterian Church as a young child. After raising a family here in Bedford (mom, dad and two sons are all graduates of Fox Lane) and finishing her degree in Occupational Therapy, she has retired from her position as a Senior Occupational Therapist at a public elementary school in the Bronx.

Now, as a grandmother of five (two grandsons and three granddaughters), Judy has come back to Bedford Presbyterian. She loves singing in the church choir with so many loving, dedicated singers. She is also president of the Bedford Presbyterian Women’s Group and is coordinator of the annual Mistletoe Mart. Bedford Presbyterian Church is like a second home and a second family because of the warmth, inclusiveness and kindness of the church community.

Rebecca Rivard

Bio to follow.

Sarah Ryan

Sarah was born and Raised in Bedford now lives with her husband Conor and their blended family of four children (Madison, Luke, Ava Rose and Annabel). As a family they began volunteering to cook at BPC while the church hosted the Emergency Shelter. They found the BPC’s commitment to service inspiring, and the warm accepting community to be a place they felt at home. They joined BPC wanting their children to grow in faith in a place where all were welcome.

Sarah is a real estate agent and store owner who loves to celebrate the creativity of others. She is part of the Children’s Education Committee and is helping with Sunday Spirit activities and is grateful for the dedication and hard work that so many put into developing this amazing community.