Vestry

Our vestry – comprising the Rector, the senior warden, the junior warden and (up to) 12 members of the parish – plays an important role at St. John’s. As a group, the vestry determines the policies and goals of the congregation, while individual members often bring specific background or experience to their roles that is valuable in the administration of the parish. Chosen for three-year terms (two-year for wardens), vestry members are recommended by a nominating committee and confirmed by the parish at the annual church meeting in January.

    • Ryan O’Connell, Senior Warden (term commenced January 2017)
      Ryan and his wife Janet moved to Larchmont from New York City in 1993. Ryan was raised Roman Catholic and joined the Episcopal Church after marrying Janet. He served on the Vestry during the 1990s and is pleased to return for a second tour of duty. Their son Kevin is a second-year student at Stanford Law School, and their daughter Elizabeth recently returned from a 10-month backpacking trip in South America after working as a paralegal for four years.
      Ryan was born in New York City but spent most of his childhood in Pennsylvania. He graduated from Harvard University (A.B., History) and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. After practicing law for several years, Ryan moved into the investment world. He is a fixed-income analyst covering financial institutions at Bloomberg Intelligence, the company’s group of publishing analysts. Ryan enjoys tennis, sailing, and badminton.
    • Robin Ingram , Junior Warden (term commenced January 2018)
      Robin brings a wealth of leadership experience and a long history of involvement with St. John’s and the Episcopal Diocese of New York.  Robin and her family have been members of St. John’s for 18 years.  During that time, she has served on the Vestry, the Stewardship Committee, and the Rector Search Committee, and has also represented St. John’s at two Diocesan conventions.  She has been Coordinator of the Midnight Run, a Nursery Advisory Board member, an Open Arms Volunteer, and continues to be an active member of the choir and a Eucharistic Lay Minister.  She has served on the Diocesan Standing kCommittee (2012-2016) and was a member of the Diocesan Strategic Planning Committee (2015-2016).  Robin has been Head of the Middle Division at the Horace Mann School for 13 years, and is also on their faculty as a science teacher. Prior to moving to the area, Robin held leadership positions in her parish and Diocese in Philadelphia.
    • Richard K. Berry, Clerk (term commenced January 2017)
      Rick and his wife Carla moved to New Rochelle from New York City in 1990 and joined St. John’s soon thereafter.  They have three children: Matthew is completing a MSc. Degree in Urban Economic Development at University College London; Eliza completed her Masters of Environmental Science & Management at UCSB in June and is a Coastal Planner at the San Francisco Bay Conservation & Development Commission; and Susannah graduated from Hobart & Wm Smith Colleges in May and is a Case Planner in the NYC foster care system with HeartShare St. Vincent’s.  Rick graduated from Princeton University (AB, History) and Columbia University (MBA, Marketing); and worked for many years as a general management consultant (strategy) with Willis Towers Watson and Deloitte Consulting.  He is now with Market Metrics LLC (Strategic Insights, Inc.) and works with insurance company clients on distribution and related issues.  Rick has long been involved with the Princeton-in-Asia Program, which provides year-long service-oriented jobs/fellowships in 21 countries to ~150 recent college graduates.
    • Kathleen (Kathy) Brenner (term commenced January 2017)
      Kathy and her husband Andy moved to Larchmont in 1985.  They have three children who attended St. John’s nursery school, were confirmed at St. John’s and have gone on to careers in law, finance, and educational technology.  Their son Matthew was married to his wife, Jessica, at St. John’s in May of 2014.  Kathy graduated from Northwestern University and the Institute of Fine Arts.  She was previously on the vestry at the time of the Thorne bequest and amongst other projects she has worked on the committee which researched and recommended organizations for the portion of the bequest that was used as outreach.  Kathy has also been a part of the Arts Preservation Committee since its inception and is active in the Altar Guild and Lay Eucharist Ministry.  For the last 25 years Kathy has worked as an interior designer.  She works on projects in Westchester and NYC and ran the renovation of the nave at St. John’s (the best project!).
    • Pete Bennitt (term commenced in 2018) Pete and his family have been members of St. John’s for 13 years.  He and Sonita have three children. Pete and two of his children participated in St. John’s trip to Nicaragua in 2017, where Pete quickly became an expert cement mixer! Pete has worked in finance since 1998; he is currently at Imperial Capital where he is a senior Vice President in the debt capital markets group. He has an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and a BS and BA from Lehigh University.
    • Dami Burckin (term commenced in 2018) Dami Burckin and her family first moved to Larchmont in 2006, left in 2013 and returned again in 2016.  She has two children, the youngest of whom was Baptized at St. John’s.  Dami was raised Catholic but became an Episcopalian at St. John’s in 2013.  Her husband, Jon, was raised in the Reform Jewish tradition and although her family fully participates at St. John’s, they consider themselves to be an Interfaith family and also celebrate the Jewish High Holy Days.  Dami served as secretary of the ECW and co-chair of the Cultural Arts Committee on the Chatsworth PTA prior to their 2013 departure and has since served on the Stewardship Committee at St. John’s and co-chair of the Food Allergy Committee on the Chatsworth PTA.  She also enjoys the Contemplative Prayer Group and credits it for deepening both her faith and her experience at St. John’s.  Dami has a BA in History from the University of Virginia and worked in the entertainment industry prior to taking time to raise her family.
    • Christopher Burrows (term commenced January 2016)
      Christopher and his wife Kristin moved to New Rochelle in January 2008 and began attending services at St. John’s shortly thereafter. They were previously members of St. Michael’s in New York City. They are blessed with three wonderful sons.
      Christopher originally hails from Highland Park, Ill. He relocated to New York to attend college at Hofstra University (BA, Political Science & Philosophy). After a brief stint in the finance industry, he followed his heart and began working in the music industry. His first foray into the business was on the label side at Atlantic Records and Polygram. That led to his present position as an Operations & Logistics specialist in the Live Entertainment industry.
      In his free time, Christopher enjoys many family adventures: sailing, traveling, and great food. He’s a pretty decent cook; at least that’s what his sons tell him! Most of all, he treasures time on the Vineyard each summer where he finds peace and solace in the beaches and hills of Chilmark and where he can also indulge in his other passion: reading.
    • Diane Goodman (term commenced January 2017)
      Diane grew up in Rochester, NY as a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. She graduated from Williams College and Columbia Business School and worked on Wall Street for 7 years before retiring to be a full-time parent. She and her husband Bob moved to Larchmont after they married, and joined St. John’s in 1989. They have three children; Vicky and John live and work full-time in New York City, and Katie is a student at Colgate University. Diane has been the registrar for the Larchmont Soccer League for 10 years and has enjoyed getting to know many parishioners through the soccer connection. She and Bob love to travel and are avid golfers.
    • Candace (Dacey) E. Killam Hall (term commenced January 2016)
      Dacey was raised an Episcopalian, so when she and her husband Greg bought a house from Ann and Collier Kirkham 33 years ago, it was a bonus that their first friends in Larchmont were also members of the town’s Episcopal church. Their three children–Whittemore, Austin, and Abigail– were baptized and confirmed at St. John’s; the young Halls’ involvement with St. John’s began with participation in St. John’s playgroup, followed by attendance at St. John’s nursery school, junior choir, Christmas pageant and youth group. Over the years Dacey has served as president of the ECW, vice president of St. Margaret’s, Stewardship chairwoman, church treasurer and still-learning member of the Altar Guild. She is a New Englander who has never totally lost her accent (and probably never will), and was educated at Mount Holyoke College, University of St. Andrews and Princeton University. Professionally, she spent 15 years in finance at Chemical Bank, Dillon Read & Co., Inc., and the private equity firm Saratoga Partners, LLC before returning to the classroom as a New York Teaching Fellow at a challenged high school in the Bronx. After tending to family responsibilities for the last few years, she would like to return to teaching English and composition this fall; she is never far from a Victorian novel.
    • Karen Hall (termed commenced in 2018) Karen and her family have been actively involved in the St. John’s community since moving to Larchmont in January 2012.  She and Taddy have two children. Karen served on the ECW board for two years, organizes the ECW Christmas wreath fundraising event, is a member of the Sunday School Committee and teaches in the Sunday School program. She is actively involved in the community; she serves on the Larchmont Parks and Trees Committee, has served on the Chatsworth PTA board, and developed and leads the Chatsworth Elementary School GArden program.  Karen has a BS in Computer and Information Science and worked in the digital media industry in sales and marketing for 15 years before taking a break to raise her family.
    • Frank D. Pierson, Treasurer (term commenced January 2017)
      Frank and his wife, Nancy, moved to Larchmont from Bermuda in 1993 and joined St. John’s that year. They have three children: Abbie (31), Kristy (28) and Melissa (26). They also have three grandchildren, with a fourth expected in June, 2017. Frank was graduated from Colgate University (where he met Nancy) with a BA in mathematics and international relations. He worked for 37 years in the reinsurance industry as an actuary and in senior management at a number of companies. He is on the Board of Directors for Bridges to Community and the finance committee for Hearts and Homes for Refugees – Larchmont Mamaroneck. He is involved with Untied Way and serves as Chairperson for a professional committee. In his spare time, Frank likes to travel, play golf, write and solve crossword puzzles.
    • J.B. Simko (term commenced January 2018) J.B. and his family moved to Larchmont in 2010, after having lived in Switzerland for nine years, and have been active members of St. John’s since 2013.  J.B can frequently be seen ushering at St. John’s. His wife Kris is active with the ECW.  They have three daughters.  J.B grew up in South Dakota, and attended school at the University of Iowa and the University of Minnesota Law School.  He is Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Philip Morris International.  He and his family are active with tennis, soccer, and basketball in the community.
    • Susan Swanezy (term commenced January 2016)
      Susan has been a resident of the Larchmont community since 1991. Until joining St. John’s in 2004, Susan was a practicing Roman Catholic attending mass at Sts. John and Paul and later, St. Augustine’s. Susan and her husband, Scott, joined St. John’s to join a community that shared their values and where there was greater emphasis on service. Susan has three children, Jacqueline LeBoutillier, age 29, and Geer LeBoutillier, age 26 who both live and work or study in New York City. Their youngest son, has been a participant in Sunday School, Voyagers and is now attends High School. He had the good fortune to be Joseph in the Christmas Pageant while Mary was a foot taller. Susan is a Partner at HodesWeill & Associates, a real estate advisory boutique that is active in the real estate investment management industry. She is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. Susan enjoys cooking, gardening and skiing or playing golf with her family.
    • Amy Basey van den Dijssel (term commenced January 2017)
      Amy and her husband, Jan-Willem, moved from Geneva, Switzerland to Westchester in 2011 and joined St. John’s soon thereafter. They have two children – Sofia (13) and Emma (11). Amy was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She graduated from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service with a B.S. in Humanities in International Relations. She currently works part-time as a translator and copywriter. She also serves on the board of the local Sharing Shelf and is committed to the charity, ECAD, which trains service dogs for veterans and people with disabilities. Her family recently adopted one of ECAD’s Golden Retrievers, Patriot. Her passions include skiing, traveling, and spending time in her home state of Colorado.
    • Dan VanderWoude (term commenced 2018) Dan and his family moved to Larchmont from Chicago in 2012, and have been members of St. John’s since 2014.  As Dan says, “after a rough patch in his daughter’s health in 2013 we started attending a few different churches in the area.  A new one each week or two. When we got to St. John’s we felt so welcomed that we just stopped looking and started attending.” Dan and Polly have two children. Dan is Vice President and Chief of Staff at Alon Benfield, where he helps launch new growth efforts, define strategies, research issues/opportunities, and coach/support leaders. He has an MBA from the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

Vestry Meeting Minutes are available in the “For Members” section.

Vestry Meeting Dates

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