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Laurin Parker


Laurin Parker


Past President

I was born and raised in Riverside, CA. My parents put a strong focus on appreciation of all types of cultural events, so I was fortunate to be introduced to Broadway musicals, dance and classical music at a very early age.

I went to Pitzer College, Claremont, CA, where my major was French and French philosophy.

I married my husband Michael in 1984. We moved to Oregon in 2005, where we live on 78 acres in the Applegate Valley, overlooking the Siskiyou Mountains, with 2 horses, 2 dogs, 25 highland cows and 1 macaw.

I have been self employed most of working life, including owning an exotic bird store, The Pecking Order. I bred miniature horses and exotic birds, including macaws and cockatoos. I was the Marshall of the Wee Wheelers, a miniature horse driving group, which was featured for ten years in the Rose Parade, in Pasadena, CA on New Year's Day. I successfully competed at the National level in many horse events - dressage, driving, and vaulting (gymnastics on horseback), winning National Championships. I currently compete with my dog, Daisy, a Portuguese Water Dog, in agility and rally obedience.

My other passions are gardening, travel, theater and music. I am totally committed to volunteering at the Britt as I believe in what it offers to the community. We are so lucky to have access to a full philharmonic orchestra and other world class musical entertainment in such a magical setting. I thoroughly enjoy the company of the other volunteers who donate so much time and energy to enhance the Britt experience. I have found my "home" on the Britt Hill in the Gift Booth, where I love interacting with the Britt patrons and helping them purchase the best that we have for sale.



Lucy Pylkki


Lucy Pylkki



I was born and raised in the San Francisco bay area and have lived in Southern Oregon for a little over 20 years. I graduated from Stanford University's Physician Assistant Program in 1985. Before moving to Oregon, I worked as a Physician Assistant in emergency medicine for 8 years and I have worked for Asante Health Systems, as a Physician Assistant, in the Occupational Medicine Department for a little over 18 years.

I have volunteered at Britt Festivals for 10+ years. The first couple of years I tried all the positions on the hill but found "Security", now known as Event Staff, to suit me the best. I have also filled in as the EMT (First Aid volunteer) when needed. I really enjoy my time at Britt especially working with the other volunteers. They are a great group of people and I have made a lot of new friends. I also enjoy experiencing the different types of music and artists who perform at Britt. I especially appreciate the work that Britt does with our schools and young people in promoting musical education.

My husband, Ron and I live in the Griffin Creek area on some small acreage and raise a flock of registered Katahdin sheep along with 2 dogs and 3 cats. I love to garden and raise vegetables in the summer and hope to one day go through the Master Gardeners Program.





Jef Smith



I was born in Eureka California on tax day 1964. My family moved to the Medford area in 1970. After graduating from Phoenix high school, I went to Oregon Institute of Technology, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Diesel Power Technology. I turned down job offers from Toyota and Peter Kewitt to stay in the the area. I could not imagine any other places being as beautiful or desirable at the time! So, I went to work at Pape' Cat. In 1994, I changed professions and went to work for the City of Medford Water Commission, where I have remained for the past 21 years. I have 2 wonderful boys of whom I am proud, Dylan 24, and Corey 21. I have many hobbies and spend much time remodeling rentals and doing side jobs for numerous people in the valley. I love to travel and have travelled throughout the world. I have been a Britt volunteer for the past 7 years, and before that, a volunteer at the Ginger Rogers Craterian Theater. I was also "sold" at a bachelor auction for Sanctuary One, twice!! "The things I do to make the Rogue Valley a better place for people to live!" I love Britt and feel the importance of music to bring peace and tranquility through songs and social gathering. I look forward to helping steer the venue in a positive direction for all to enjoy for years to come. See you on the hill.





Linda McGuire


Corresponding Secretary

I moved to the Rogue Valley in the 1970s after being raised and educated in Southern California. I began volunteering for Britt in the 1980’s when my youngest child was in High School. Within a couple of years I joined the Britt Society Board and have been on the Board ever since, holding every office but Treasurer. My husband, Mike, joined Britt and volunteered more than 15 years. I love working at Britt every summer. I have worked almost every position on “the hill.” The volunteers are some of the nicest people you can meet. I also love to hear all the different types of music. I have taught music in the schools and still play the pipe organ for churches. About 20 years ago, I changed the focus of my teaching and began to work in the school library. I first worked at the High School level, then 10 years at Middle School, and now over 10 years in the Elementary School. Mike and I have three children and 6 grandchildren.





Yolanda Nagel



I was born in Tempe Arizona and raised in the small town of Tolleson just 10 miles west of Phoenix. At the age of 20 I moved to Pasadena Ca. I graduated from Citrus College in Azusa Ca, raised 5 children and worked at Wells Fargo Realty Service as the supervisor of the accounting department and then executive secretary to the President. I met the love of my life and best friend, Rick Nagel, in Pasadena and married him. We have been together since 1980. In 1987 we moved to Ashland and now live in Talent. Sports have always been a part of my life. I played volleyball, softball, ran 5k’s weight lifting, kickboxing and bowled. Still love to play volleyball, but it has to be a senior league. I am a total football couch potato during the NFL season and host a great Super Bowl party with my husband. My other passions are cooking, travel, music concerts, dancing to old rock songs, and volunteering at Britt (since 2005). I enjoy a good red wine with dinner or a micro-brew during sports. Ok, anytime. My professional experience includes a public accounting background, Office Manager, Licensed Tax Preparer and Quickbooks data entry. Am very active in the community. I am a member of Soroptimist International of Ashland having served as President twice and being recognized with the Woman of Distinction Award. My involvement with the Ashland Chamber of Commerce includes chairing various committees including Ashland’s Old Fashion Fourth of July. I have also served on various Boards and committees including the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Phoenix Talent Schools Foundation and Shakespeare fundraising. Currently, am self-employed with my husband doing tax returns during the tax season.




Bob Williamson


Bob Williamson



I was born in Oakland, California, but have lived in Southern Oregon most of my adult life. I graduated from Southern Oregon University in 1981 with a degree in accounting. Back then it was Southern Oregon State College. Prior to my college years, I was a nanny in The Netherlands from July 1976 to July 1977.

I have been a volunteer with Britt for more than 20 years. I have been on the Britt Society Board since the early 1990’s. I served two years as President, and then become the Treasurer in 1996. I have also served on the Associate Board of the Britt Festival organization.

Outside of Britt (yes, I do have a life outside of Britt), I have been an Oregon State employee for 30 years. My main passion is my Golden Retrievers; Amber, Casey, Jasper and Annie. Jasper and Annie have now had three litters of puppies. Other hobbies include league bowling and motorcycle riding. Yard work keeps me busy as well.



Steve Sincerny


Steve Sincerny


Recording Secretary

Having started this life in Minnesota, I grew up in New England, Ohio, New Jersey, and attended college in Pennsylvania. I settled in the Applegate Valley in 1974 and lived on a commune there and in the Illinois Valley. It was the old back to the land movement, and turned out to be a great way to live and raise a family. Homesteading is a tough job, and does not pay very well, so I worked as a tree trimmer, forest worker and did some construction. I also worked as a beekeeper, following the springs from Modesto to North Dakota. When my children started to require more resources, I realized it was time to embrace a career, and became a middle school teacher. I have been a teacher for twenty-seven years at Pinehurst School on the Green Springs and at Talent Middle School. Teaching a variety of subjects, I taught mostly Tech Ed (shop, engineering and design) and eighth grade science. I have lived in Ashland since 1988 and am blessed with three beautiful children and two grandchildren. You will often see me riding my motorcycle to Britt on summer evenings, or perhaps in a national park, or on some remote logging road. I enjoy playing and listening to music and living life fully in whatever form appears. I started coming to the Brit in the late seventies, and became a volunteer in about 2000. My life is enriched by being exposed to a wide range of music and artists both familiar and new. Britt volunteering has filled my summers with hundreds of enchanting nights. I love socializing with Britt volunteers and patrons, and helping make sure that folks have a safe, fun and inspiring evening. I have worked mostly in event staff and as a security captain. I love being a part of the Britt team and my intention is to support this awesome organization in whatever way I can and the volunteers who contribute so much to create the magic called Britt Festivals.





LeeAnn Bower



I grew up outside Detroit, Michigan and attended Central Michigan University. In 1974 I married my college roommate's brother and shortly after, escaped to California. We lived in Paradise for 5 years where my son was born. Three years later my daughter arrived. I was very fortunate and was able to be a stay at home mom for 6 years. It was the best time of my life. Over the years we moved north through the San Joaquin Valley. In Stockton, I went to work for a farm and home supply company and got in on the start up of their wholesale division. In 1990 I found myself on my own with my children and we relocated to Medford. My first job was working at Pinnacle Orchards where my education of Oregon agriculture began. When Pinnacle closed in 1995, a friend and I started a successful wholesale gift fruit fulfillment company. We closed the company in 2006 and I went to work at the Rogue Creamery where I learned the business from the ground up and set up their mail order division. From there I went to Agate Ridge Vineyard and learned about grapes, winemaking and wine drinking! Finally, I enjoyed 8 years working at Lillie Belle Farms chocolate shop. Aside from the wonderful chocolate, the facility was always filled with music. In 2017 I retired to enjoy life at my own pace and pursue volunteer opportunities. Music has always been a part of my life. I remember helping my Mom clean the house with Frank Sinatra on the turntable. I fell in love with the Beatles and their songs are still a part of my life. I danced to their music with my children and now my grandchildren. I've attended concerts by everyone from John Denver to Paul McCartney. When I moved to the Rogue Valley and wanted to meet new people, I decided to volunteer at Britt. The first season I signed up for 8 shows and ended up working 23 as Security, now Event Staff. I became a Security captain and after 10 years had to take a break to tend to family matters. I was able to return to the festival in 2017 as a member of the Event Staff. I love being on the hill in the summertime.


Jan Ritter


Jan Ritter



I was born and raised in the Southwestern Michigan town of Dowagiac. After graduating from high school, I moved to Orange County, California where I attended several junior colleges, as well as Long Beach State. I stayed in Southern California for 15 years before moving to Southern Oregon. Here I met and married my wife Marla Cates and raised a son Jesse who also has volunteered at Britt.

My pastimes include golf, fly-fishing and a little guitar picking. I think that everybody should contribute some of their time and resources to community service, and the Britt Society is one of the best options available. 





Trina Patterson


First Vice President


I was born and raised in Brentwood, CA a small, northern California town. Music has always been a big part of my life. I started playing clarinet at age nine and by age 12 I had self-taught all the band woodwinds. I played in band for over 20 years and sang in choir for four. I moved to the Rogue Valley in 1988 to study Music Education at SOU. I was part of the American Band College and completed a four-year Band Director Prep program. In that program I learned how to play and teach all band instruments. I went back to college in 2005 to get a Business Degree. As a class final, I started volunteering for Britt in 2010, writing a paper that discussed my experience and the music during my summer on The Hill. I enjoyed the experience so much, meeting interesting people, working with a great team and getting to hear wonderful music, I have continued to be volunteer ever since. I’ve worked in an accounting office for 25 years. I have raised two daughters who are both in college studying the arts. Our family enjoys traveling and boating. I married my husband in 1993. The two of us love riding roller coasters just as much as we love music.





Toby Brown


Second Vice President

I was born and raised in Waterbury, Connecticut and graduated from Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey with a BA in American Civilization. I moved to California with a college roommate during the turbulent 70’s and had many interesting times in the Bay Area – including meeting my husband, Peter, at a wild Christmas Eve Party in Berkeley. We got married a year later and moved “back to the land”in Washington state in 1976, where we lived off the grid for several years, built our own house (I peeled many logs!), grew our own food and learned how to survive without all the creature comforts we now love! Since my husband was in construction, we moved around a lot – wherever the latest building boom was happening somehow we ended up there. We have lived in California (3 different times), Washington, Hawaii and for the past 15 years outside of Jacksonville where we plan to retire.

I have had many different types of jobs – from Consumer Research to Social Work to Personal and Health Insurance. On December 31, 2017 I retired from my job as Supervisor of a small testing center in Medford. That leaves me way more time to do what I love – volunteer! I have been a Britt Volunteer for 7 years – and have happily settled in to the Gift Booth where I get to meet so many interesting patrons and feel part of the Gift Booth Family. I am also a Volunteer Ambassador for Dogs for Better Lives and have a small pet sitting business. I am passionate about rescuing dogs and currently have 2 rescues who are the loves of my life

I look forward to every summer when I get to spend many hours on the hill with my Britt Family.