James Pagliasotti, President
Jim has a long-term commitment to community activism and a firm belief in the importance of the nonprofit sector to the well-being of the community. He has extensive experience on boards and commissions, with a particular interest in organizations that support creativity and develop leadership. Recently, he served as board vice president of the Schneider Museum of Art and as vice president of the Trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and he is an enthusiastic fan of theater, dance, music, and film. He is committed to strengthening support for artistic enterprise and increasing investment in the cultural infrastructure of the community. A self-employed entrepreneur for most of his adult life, he is a native of Colorado who, with his wife, Lucretia Weems, moved to the Rogue Valley in 2005 to be closer to their three grandchildren.
Beth Falkenstein, Vice President
In 2016 Beth moved to Ashland from Los Angeles, California, where she had spent many years working in the entertainment industry. As a Production Coordinator for episodic television and movies-of-the-week, her nearly compulsive need for organization served her well; and, as a writer for several network sitcoms she found a productive outlet for her natural inclination toward irreverence and sarcasm. More recently, Beth has been the owner and manager of a successful music publishing and recording catalog. A graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in Theater, she has fond memories of the regular summer trips her family made from Detroit to the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario. Making a home here, amid the theater community of Ashland, has been a dream come true. As a member of the board, Beth is thrilled for the opportunity to unite her administrative and artistic sensibilities, and to be a part of an organization as dynamic and vital as ANPF.
Roger Pearce, Secretary
Roger worked for many years in community theater as a dancer, singer, and actor while supporting his theatre habit by working as a cook and baker. After going to law school in his thirties, he practiced land use law at one of Seattle’s largest law firms for 23 years. Roger and wife, Julie, have been trying to move to Ashland for years. In 2013 they were finally able to make the move to Ashland, where Roger is practicing law less, enjoying it more, and making time for theater-oriented pursuits like Ashland New Plays Festival.
Michele Lansdowne, Treasurer
Michele remembers coming to Ashland from Eugene as a child to see the Shakespeare plays her mother, an English professor, was teaching. It comes as no surprise that Michele became an English teacher herself at the middle and high school levels. As her 33-year teaching career developed, she also became a business professor at tribal colleges in Washington and Montana, teaching marketing, management, and economics. Her PhD in entrepreneurship and community economic development led to academic research and publications in the field of indigenous entrepreneurship. As she expanded the Business Department at Salish Kootenai College in Montana, Michele wrote and managed more than $1 million in grants from charitable foundations. Retirement has allowed her to return to live in the town she loved and become an active part of the community that always felt inviting. She received her BA in English from Lewis and Clark College, an MA in German literature from the University of Washington and an MBA from Western Washington University.
Sunny has been a lifelong supporter of the performing arts. She has more than 25 years of board experience with theatre, opera, and dance companies in Seattle and Ashland. She was co-president of the board of the Ashland Chapter of the American Association of University Women, is currently program chair for AAUW, and is on the Board of Directors of Dancing People Company. She has been a reader for ANPF since 2010, a group leader since 2011, currently co-chairs the Reading Committee, and is chair of the Theatre Talk Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, and the Nominating Committee. She is also a volunteer with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Tudor Guild, and Friends of the Animal Shelter. Sunny was vice president of organization development for large telecommunication and medical device companies, including T-Mobile USA, Medtronic, TCI, and AT&T Broadband. She has led strategic-planning, succession-planning, leadership and team development, and cultural integration initiatives. Sunny has an MBA and a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Washington. She joined the ANPF board in 2012.
Peggy has lived in the Colestin Valley for 31 years. She and her partner, 39 goats, and rescue cats and dogs live on a farm and raise hogs and make goat milk soap. Peggy taught at Foothill College in the San Francisco Bay Area for 19 years. She taught English and drama and had the distinction of teaching King Lear about 82 times. She has actually taught the entire Shakespeare canon. Peggy started the women’s studies program at Foothill, which was the first community college in the country to grant an associate degree in women’s studies, awarding the first one in 1975. Before retiring in 2004, Peggy was the academic vice president at College of the Siskiyous for 15 years, an interim VP at Shasta College (twice) and Lassen College once, and the interim superintendent/president of College of the Siskiyous. She holds two master’s degrees—one in English and one is social science (women’s studies) from San Jose State University. Peggy loves theater and is delighted serve on the ANPF Board. She has been a reader for several years, as well. Peggy also loves animals and serves as the president of the board for Friends of the Animal Shelter; she has been on that board since 1999. She is also on the board of AAUW Ashland, chairs the board of the Colestin Rural Fire District, and chairs the Animal Control Advisory Committee for Jackson County. She volunteers with the Ashland Independent Film Festival and continues to serve as a consultant for colleges in both California and Wyoming.
Carol, a native Oregonian, has been attending plays, musicals, dance performances, and concerts since she was a child. Her first tickets were purchased with savings from her allowance. After more than twenty-five years working in global hi-tech companies (Hewlett-Packard, Tektronix, and Microsoft), in a variety of roles, Carol decided she would like to live and work in one time zone. She and her husband moved to the Rogue Valley in 2015. (They have been coming to Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for thirty years.) Within mere months of their move, Carol became a Reader for ANPF. A personal and professional coach, Carol works with executives, entrepreneurs, organizations, and small businesses. She has a M.Ed. in Adult Education, a M.S. in Counseling, and a Ph.D. in Education, focusing in Training and Organizational Development. Carol is a member of Ashland Business Connections, a chapter of BNI (Business Network International) and Women Entrepreneurs of Southern Oregon.
Jim is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the retired director of the John S. Knight Fellowships for Professional Journalists at Stanford University. A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, Jim reported for 20 years for the Des Moines Register, mostly as the paper’s Washington DC bureau chief until moving to Stanford in 1985. Jim served as a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board from 1989 to 1999, including service on the Board’s Drama Committee. He was on the board of San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre, and, in 2003, he was elected to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Board of Directors, where he served nine years, including a two-year term as president. His proudest moment there was chairing the search committee that chose Bill Rauch as OSF’s new artistic director. Jim and his wife Sandi started coming to Ashland in the late 1980s to see OSF plays and moved to Ashland in 2004. Both do volunteer work at OSF. They have attended the Ashland New Plays Festival ever since moving to Ashland.
Judith’s brief career as a playwright—second-grade triumphs sadly lost to history—was enough to convince her of the joy and importance of bringing scripts to the stage. It also lit a love of theater she has since pursued by multiple means. She was an English professor at UCLA before moving to Ashland, where she works for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as a production and research dramaturg and writer. She has served OSF as a Boarshead participant and ANPF as a reader. And she has performed with the Randall Theatre, Ashland Contemporary Theatre, Camelot, ANPF, Atelier, Oregon Stage Works, and others. She is also active in the nonprofit world and has worked since 2005 as development director for the Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team (JC SART). Judith holds an AB from Harvard University and a PhD in English from the University of California, Berkeley. She joined ANPF’s board in 2015.