News, September 2019

Jennifer Karsten. Photo courtesy of Pendle Hill.

Jennifer Karsten moves from Pendle Hill to the Hickman

On September 5, Jennifer Karsten begins as executive director of the Hickman, a Quaker senior living community in West Chester, Pa. The appointment follows Karsten’s nine-year tenure as executive director at Pendle Hill, a Quaker study and retreat center in Wallingford, Pa.

Karsten succeeds Pam Leland, who has served as the Hickman’s executive director since 2013. “Pam will continue in her position until Jen’s arrival in September and will be available to Jen to ensure a smooth transition,” according to the announcement from Betsy Stratton, chair of the Hickman’s Board of Directors, and Mark J. Snyder, clerk of the Search Committee.

In announcing the transition, Pendle Hill’s board clerk Arthur Larrabee commented:

For nine years, Jen has provided Pendle Hill with extraordinary leadership, and we are very sorry to see her leave. . . . The Board unites in great appreciation for all that Jen has given to Pendle Hill and wishes her every future success. . . . In the near term we will name an interim and then undertake a national search for a new executive director.

On August 1, Traci Hjelt Sullivan began serving as the interim executive director of Pendle Hill.


Susan Wilson and Bob Fisher. Photo by Bob Fisher.

New directors begin at Ben Lomond Quaker Center

Susan Wilson and Bob Fisher began as the directors of Ben Lomond Quaker Center in August. Coming from Plainfield (Vt.) Meeting, they will replace Kathy and Bob Runyan, who have served as directors of Quaker Center since 2011.

Wilson has a history of program development, from First-day school to college student programing (primarily leadership education) and adult learning activities (most recently anti-racism education).

Fisher has practical skills useful in addressing property, facilities usage, and maintenance issues. He has used his writing and editing skills to help solve organizational problems or to find responses for those in need.

In their marriage vows 30 years ago, Wilson and Fisher pledged to work together toward “a peaceful and just world for ourselves, our children, and all of humanity.”

Quaker Center is a self-service conference and retreat center in Ben Lomond, Calif., an hour and a half south of San Francisco. Quaker Center was operated by American Friends Service Committee from 1949 to 1982. Since then the Ben Lomond Quaker Center Association—an independent, non-profit, tax-exempt religious corporation—has carried forward the bequest. Members of the board of directors of the association are approved by College Park Quarterly Meeting in northern California.

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