Member Spotlights

Learn more about WKC membership here (now with a monthly sustaining membership!)

Are you a current WKC member who would like to be featured? Contact info@westkc.org


June 29, 2020
Wendy Buerge, the proprietress of Dry Town Tavern

Member since: 2014

Favorite WKC performance thus far: The Holmes Brothers

Currently on heavy rotation on her playlist: Michael Kiwanuka

Greatest obsession outside of WKC: Chef Deanna‘s Sunday Suppers

Favorite local business or organization: Heart of the Catskill Humane Society

Favorite smell: Cardamom

Permanent source of inspiration: My daughter

Greatest extravagance: My greenhouse

Most overrated virtue: Ambition! I am striving to be a bit more of an underachiever these days.

Favorite flower: Amaranth (Martha Van Burek introduced me to this incredible flower during a West Kortright dinner!)


June 22, 2020
Tod Maitland

Tod has been nominated for four Academy Awards in the category Best Sound, and has worked on films such as West Side Story, Born on the Fourth of July and Joker.

Member since: 2017, the first year we arrived in Delaware County.

Favorite WKC performance thus far: All the outdoor concerts. I love outdoor music, dancing, talking to local friends, and a cold Brewery Ommegang Rare Vos Amber Ale. Sarah and I took the rock wall building class and loved it. I’m building a wall now.

Idea of perfect happiness: If East Meredith were on the ocean.

Currently on his bedside table: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. I read it many years ago. With the current state of the world, it struck me as a good time to re-read it.

Favorite flower: Sunflowers 🌻🌻🌻 they say it all, especially when they hang out in groups.

Favorite holiday: Thanksgiving: The 4 F’s: Food, Family, Friends, and Football.

Favorite film: It’s not my favorite film, but a recent film I really connected with was the documentary “The Biggest Little Farm”. If I didn’t make films, farm life would be the life I’d choose.

Favorite walk: Heading out from our house with my GPS, a bottle of water and no particular destination.


June 15, 2020
Clara Clack

You know that cool piece that you bought for a song at the West Kortright Fair a few summers ago? It’s all thanks to the lovely Clara Clack who has been running our amazing silent auction for years.

Member since: I’ve lost count, more than 15 years? (confirmed: since 1997, to be exact!)

Favorite WKC performance thus far: Shakespeare in the Valley, Flor de Toloache, the Roche sisters, classicals etc.

First WKC performance or event: “Midsummer Nights Dream” at the Delhi school

Greatest obsession outside of WKC: Rolf’s Pork Store in Albany

Favorite local business or organization: Buck Hill Farm

Permanent source of inspiration: my husband

Idea of perfect happiness: my husband

Greatest fear: brown recluse spiders

Most overrated virtue: dusting

Quality you most like in a man: gardening

Quality you most like in a woman: organization

Favorite smell: lilacs


June 8, 2020

Nini Ordoubadi of Tay Tea in Delhi

Member since: 2018

Favorite WKC performance thus far: Mohsen Namjoo

First WKC performance: Vieux Farka Touré concert

Currently on heavy rotation on your playlist: Carlos Santana “OYE COMO VA”

Greatest obsession outside of WKC: foraging

Favorite local business or organization: Heart of the Catskill Humane Society

Permanent source of inspiration: Frida Kahlo

Idea of perfect happiness: watching my cats sleeping

Living person you most admire: Jane Goodall

Historical figure you most identify with: Diana Vreeland

Favorite film: La nuit de Varennes

Favorite flower: Rosa Rugosa – it’s an important ingredient in some of my tea blends

Your most overused emoji: 🙄🙄🙄

Coffee or tea: Tea of course!

Your motto: “We drink tea to forget the noise of the world”

More about Tay Teahttps://www.taytea.com/


June 1, 2020

Sarah Orlinsky-Maitland 

Member since: 2017

Favorite WKC performance thus far: DakhaBrakha, Meredith Monk, and J.P. Harris & Chance McCoy were just some of the events that have blown me away. But honestly, I’ve never been disappointed.

Favorite local beverage: Nini’s Tay Tea Azul Tea spiked with KAS Krupnikas on ice

Currently on heavy rotation on your playlist: Wild Women Blues Live

Favorite local walk: Andes Rail Trail

Greatest obsession outside of WKC: Good Cheap Food

Greatest fear: ticks

Favorite smell: spring

Pet peeve: littering

Motto: choose happiness


May 25, 2020

Bella Mirabella

Member: since the very beginning

Favorite WKC performance: Jacky Terrasson, jazz pianist

Fictional Hero: Hamlet

Favorite flower: Hairy mountain mint

Motto: “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” Winston Churchill

Greatest fear: Donald Trump remains in power

Favorite Holiday: Christmas

Permanent source of inspiration: Shakespeare and Nature

On bedside table: The Odd Women, George Gissing


May 18, 2020

Andrea Sanders from Delhi’s tiny but mighty store, The StoneHouse

Member since: sometime after 2007. That’s when I moved up here full time…. My husband Clark has been a member forever.

Favorite WKC performance thus far: there have been so many, and my memory fails me… one of the best was the second concert of last season, Sona Jobarteh

First WKC performance or event: summer dance 2008

Favorite local walk: across all the fields around our property between Turnpike Road, West Kortright Church Road, and Hanford Road. I can see the WKC!

Permanent source of inspiration: artisans all over the world

Most overrated virtues: tenacity and assertiveness

Favorite season: always the one that I experience at the moment… except for mud season!!

Andrea’s most overused emoji: 😅


May 11, 2020

Deirdre Larkin and Tom Groves

Members since: 1998

Favorite WKC performance thus far: (unanimously) DakhaBrakha

Favorite local beverage: (again, unanimously) our friend Michael’s cider

Currently on heavy rotation on your playlist: anything by Purcell (Tom), Leonard Cohen Live in London (Deirdre)

Greatest obsession outside of WKC: the plant world (Deirdre), singing opera (Tom)

Greatest fear: Losing his voice (Tom), losing her eyesight (Deirdre)

Most admired living person: (unanimously) the notorious RBG

Motto: “Keep on moving and don’t look back” (Deirdre), per aspera ad astra (Tom)


May 4, 2020

Mermer Blakeslee

Member since: 1999

Favorite WKC performance thus far: DakhaBrakha and Greg Brown (so different I can’t choose) 

First WKC performance or event: Queen Ida and her Zydeco Band 

Favorite upstate beverage: Three Philosophers beer (Ommegang Brewery) 

Currently on heavy rotation on your playlist: The Iranian singer Rana Farhan and Leonard Cohen 

Favorite walk: through my garden and up to the top of the north meadow 

Greatest obsession outside of WKC: gardening 

Local ingredient that is always in your fridge: salad greens from Berry Brook Farm

Mermer is also our beloved long-time Fiction Writing instructor!
More about Mermer’s writing here


April 27, 2020

Kate Marsiglio

Today’s Member Spotlight shines on Kate Marsiglio from Stony Creek Farmstead in Walton

Member since: 2005 

Favorite WKC performance thus far: An acapella singing workshop with the Bumper Jacksons

First WKC performance or event: Shakespeare in the Valley – Love’s Labor Lost 

Currently on heavy rotation on her playlist: Anything my two teenagers are listening to. With my daughter – Green Day, Weezer, Led Zeppelin, The Clash; and anything that is electronic/dance music with my son. 

Favorite local business or organization: Just too many to choose! Faiga at Good Cheap food, Lucky Dog Farm and Stone and Thistle Farm have been instrumental in helping us start as farmers. Now, after 15 years, I feel like we are witnessing the rebirth of small diverse farms all over the county thanks in no small part to the support of all of the incredible support of our community members! 

Greatest extravagance: Swimming in our pond once a day in the Summer. 

Quality she likes most in a man: The renaissance quality – He can do just about anything. 

Quality she likes most in a woman: Confidence. 

Favorite season: Spring! no Summer! no Fall! wait…Winter!! 

Favorite smell: The smell of milkweed flowers when they bloom. Better than lilac or rose!


April 20, 2020

Bas Berkhout & Hanne Ghijsen

Bas Berkhout and Hanne Ghijsen are two visual powerhouses. Here’s a peek into their lives in today’s Member Spotlight. 

Members since: 2020 

Favorite WKC performance thus far: Arm-of-the-Sea 

First WKC performance or event: We don’t remember! 😭 

Favorite local walk: From our house to Heleen Heyning’s

Permanent source of inspiration: Local friends 

Idea of perfect happiness: No more emails 

Most overrated virtue: Patience 

Favorite flower: Tulip 

Coffee or tea: Fruity coffee from Africa 

Bas’s film work
Hanne’s web design work


April 13, 2020

Jenine Osbon

On our second Member Spotlight Monday, we’re proudly presenting Jenine Osbon of Peakes Brook Farm. She’s a mother, farmer, yoga teacher – and our latest board member!

Member since: 2020

Favorite WKC event thus far: West Kortright Fair

Currently on heavy rotation on your playlist: The Beach Boys and the Mary Poppins soundtrack

Favorite local walk: Catskill Scenic Trail

Favorite yoga pose: Standing Forward Bend

Favorite color: Indigo

Pet peeve: Putting produce in plastic bags


April 6, 2020

Lenny Davis

Member since: the beginning

Favorite performance: John Cage and Meredith Monk

First WKC performance: Oregon

Favorite local drink: the cabernet franc I’m growing in my vineyard

Greatest obsession outside of WKC: working on a book about how poverty is represented in literature and media

Greatest fear: boredom

Last vacation destination: Sicily

Favorite food: chocolate