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.

Lara DiCorpo

Lara has lived in Bedford since 2000 with her husband and two sons. After witnessing the September 11th attacks while working in lower Manhattan, Lara and her husband found their way to several local churches looking for the right fit to help them process the horror of the day. It quickly became clear that Bedford Presbyterian Church was the welcoming and supportive environment they craved. BPC has continually been a source of inspiration for both the parents and children in her family. Lara loves how a place that feels “right” to her holds the same endearment for the rest of her family. Her family has participated in the Emergency Shelter Partnership as well as the Appalachian work trip, both of which have been transformative.

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.

Dave Keeffe

Dave and his wife Dina, live in New Canaan, Connecticut. The family joined the church in 1992 and all three kids, Liz, Kate and Chris, were confirmed at BPC. Dave owns a specialty wood window business in Vermont and commutes weekly. Dina works for a retail shop in town. The main draw for the family is the church’s call to action to embrace our neighbors both locally and around the globe. Thanks to the church the family is deeply connected to Nicaragua with Liz having worked for 2 years with Bridges to Community in Nicaragua as a Volunteer Coordinator.

Jorge Pedraza

Jorge has made a home in Katonah and Bedford Hills with his wife Jen Mcquaid for the past 12 years with a growing family – Rowan (12), Fiona (10), Emma (8). Jorge is a wireless telecommunications investor and Jen is a practicing clinical psychologist focusing on families. She provides program advisory and training for the Sanctuary for Families and is on the faculty of the Yale Center for Asylum Medicine. Jorge is also on the Board of Trustees of the Katonah Museum of Art. Jorge and Jen immediately recognized a home they wanted to be a part of at BPC, where a spirit of warmth, caring, generosity and goodness permeates all.

Chris Perry

Chris has lived in Katonah, New York, for almost twenty years, and has been a member of Bedford Presbyterian Church throughout that time period. Having never attended church growing up in Illinois, California, and Connecticut, Chris came to BPC because his wife Kathy (who attended church growing up in Greenwich, Connecticut) was looking for a church community to raise their two boys, Ben and Erik. BPC has been a home for their family, a place filled with nurturing, caring people who have at various times been Cherub Choir members, fellow Bell Ringers, adult choir singers, work trip participants to Virginia/West Virginia and to Nicaragua, volunteers for Midnight Run and Habitat for Humanity, and thoughtful and thought-provoking contributors to book group discussions. Chris continues to serve on the Mission Committee and is currently a member of the Session (governing board).

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

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.

Don 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.

Cathy Ehrlich

Cathy and her family have lived in Armonk for more than 25 years. She works as a life insurance actuary in Manhattan. She and her daughter Barbara attended church in Armonk until it closed in 2012. Cathy was initially attracted to Bedford Presbyterian Church because of the opportunity it gave Barbara to understand “who she is and who she is called to be” and to become involved in activities like the work trip to Appalachia, Midnight Run and the Emergency Shelter Partnership. As a mostly empty-nester, Cathy has stayed involved herself with BPC because of the hope and love that is present in every church message and event.

Brian Hiller

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.

Kim Lapple

Kim lives in Mount Kisco with her wife, Michelle, two sons, Kevin and Brady, and their two pups, Quincy and Harrison. After searching for a church that aligned with the inclusive and spiritual beliefs of her family, a friend suggested that they visit BPC. One visit was all it took.

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 Kim and her family. They are grateful to be members of such a wonderful, spiritual community. Kim serves as deacon and as a member of the Rewarding Potential Scholars Steering Committee.

Suzanne Millette

Suzanne and her husband moved to Bedford in 2008, where they now reside with their son. She is an investment risk manager for a firm in Norwalk, Connecticut. Upon moving to the area, Suzanne visited different churches looking for the right environment to provide spiritual growth and an active community for children and adults. She was drawn to Bedford Presbyterian because of its history, extensive community involvement, and its commitment to children’s programs. She has been involved with a number of family and children’s events at BPC and is pleased to be part of such a dedicated and involved force within the community.

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 is now a Senior Occupational Therapist at a public elementary school in the Bronx.

Now, as a grandmother of four (two grandsons and two 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.

Julie Williams

Julie and her husband Peter have lived in Bedford since 2002. They have two children, Laura and Harrison, and a dog, Einstein. Julie and Peter grew up with very different religious backgrounds and struggled to find a religious community they felt aligned with their beliefs. In 2010, their daughter began singing in the Cherub Choir and they started to attend services at BPC more regularly. They immediately realized they had found a home at BPC. The church’s inclusive community and strong commitment to outreach programs especially appealed to them.
Julie is a Deacon and also assists Kathy DiBiasi with creating Sunday Spirit lessons for BPC’s Children’s Program.