Lonnie Ford

Board President

Lonnie Ford is a 41-year resident of Saranac Lake, originally from Hot Springs, AR. He retired last year after a 33-year career in sales with American Management Association.  He and wife Kathy, a visual artist, have raised two boys (Devon and Kyle), who have careers in the arts in Chicago and Hong Kong. The entire family has been intimately involved with the arts community of Saranac Lake and Lake Placid since living here. Lonnie has been part of the theatre scene since the early 1980s, first with the Community Theater Players and then with Pendragon. His first Pendragon show was a small part in "The Flowering Peach" in 1986.  He's been cast as "Froggie" in this season's run of "The Foreigner." The entire Ford clan has performed on the Pendragon stage at one time or another.  Lonnie is also a member of the Northern Lights Choir. Behind the scenes he has been a avid supporter of the region's arts community.  He served on the Pendragon board and the LPCA board in the 1990s and has helped with fund raising campaigns for both organizations. Lonnie is a member of the Saranac Lake Kiwanis Club and is a regular community volunteer for various activities.

Christopher Leifheit

Vice President

Bio Coming SOON!

Jeremy Evans


Jeremy is the Chief Executive Officer for the Franklin County (New York) Industrial Development Agency, Local Development Corporation, and Civic Development Corporation. From 2007 to 2017 he held the position of Community Development Director for the Village of Saranac Lake. He Iives in Saranac Lake with his wife Jenni and his three children Alex, Amelia and Isaac where he serves as a member of the Saranac Lake Central School District Board of Education. Jeremy earned his BS in Planning and Resource Management from Brigham Young University and holds master’s degrees in Urban and Regional Planning from the University at Albany and Public Administration from Binghamton University. The Evans family spends free time hiking, skiing, kayaking and camping.

Burdette Parks


Burdette is 74 and has spent the majority of his life working in or around live theater. He was born,raised and got the fundaments of his education in North Dakota. He started off in Pre-Med but was always involved with play making and finally switched majors to Theater Arts. In collage, in addition to acting in a number of main stage productions, Burdette was hired to design and build the sets for the music department's operas for two years. In the summers, he worked as a sound engineer for one of the local TV stations and it was there he got seriously interested in photography. While serving in the US Army after graduation he connected with Special Services and spent some of his service time as set designer and tour director for a variety show that toured throughout the mid-west. He continued working for Special Services in a civilian capacity after his discharge from the Army and was Artistic Director for on-post theaters at both Fort Hood and Fort Sam Houston in Texas.When a local theater operation in San Antonio needed new leadership, Burdette stepped in and took over management and ownership. This was melodrama theater at its most robust, serving up old standards and new scripts complete with audience participation. For Burdette and many of the actors who worked there, it was a master course in how to survive on-stage under all circumstances. The San Antonio theater was successful enough to encourage an expansion and soon there were Melodrama Theaters in both San Antonio and Austin. While managing, writing for, acting in and directing at those two theaters, Burdette also jobbed out to Texas Scenic Company of San Antonio as a free-lance scenic artist, make-up artist and rigger. During the time he worked for the army and owned the two theater operations, he oversaw the renovation of two theaters and designed and built two others.True to the genre, when leases were being renewed, the landlords raised the rents sufficiently to make the theaters unsustainable and both closed. Prior to this, Burdette had hired managers for both theatres and spent a summer in Lake Placid as Technical Director for a summer theater company called Enterplay that included in its membership Bob Pettee and Susan Neal. Also during that summer, he began researching and writing his first one-man show, “Frankly, B. Franklin”. So when the theaters closed, he pursued the one-man show format in earnest. For over a decade, he toured the county with Franklin and a second show featuring William Shakespeare. While touring, he returned regularly to the Adirondacks and stayed in touch with Bob and Susan. In 1987, while performing in Denver, CO, he was flown to Washington, D.C. to appear and speak as Franklin at the 200th Anniversary celebration of the US Constitution on the steps of the Capitol. The following year, he spent his first full summer at Pendragon acting, directing and performing his one-man shows. Two years later, he was invited to direct at Pendragon again and in the process met Fran Yardley to whom he was soon happily married.Burdette has made the Adirondacks home for thirty years and has continued to work with Pendragon Theater as well as expand his photographic work. He has also performed with the Adirondack StageRats and has been an exhibiting member of the Adirondack Artists Guild since 2003, serving as bookkeeper for them since 2005. He looks forward to continuing his association with Pendragon in this new role.

Kelly Brunette

Board Member

Kelly Brunette is Saranac Lake Regional Marketing Manager for Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST). In that capacity, she has helped lead the development of the new Saranac Lake brand, and she has set up the recent article about Pendragon Theatre. Her previous position was with Village of Saranac Lake Community Development. Kelly is a wife, mom, dog lover, vegetarian, planner, and traveler of cool towns from Bar Harbor to Bend. She has lived in each village of the Tri-Lakes, and decided to put her roots down in Saranac Lake 15 years ago. She is passionate about the community, and has in-depth knowledge of its assets and dynamics. She attended the College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Environmental Communications, and has served on the Downtown Advisory Board, the Downtown Revitalization Initiative Local Planning committee, and the Saranac Lake Street Fest team.

Jodi Keet

Board Member

Jodi holds a B.A. in Media and Fine Arts from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT and an M.A. dual major in Marketing and Media Communications from Webster University in Webster Groves, MO. She has a wide range of experience in direct marketing and consumer awareness, including as Vice President of Sales for a display manufacturer in NYC. She and her family are residents of Weston, CT. They have been coming to Saranac Lake, where her husband was raised, and to Pendragon for many years.

Dan Kilbourne-Hill

Board Member

Dan is the Director of Business Development at Adirondack Health.  Originally from West Hartford Connecticut, Dan graduated from Boston College in 1994.  He worked as a producer at MSNBC for NBC News in New York City for many years.  After graduating with an MBA from Babson College in 2004, Dan settled in the Adirondacks.  He started working for Adirondack Medical Center in 2005 as the Director of Community Health and Wellness.  Over the years he has also managed a number of outpatient programs and services such as Bariatrics, Cardiology, Rheumatology and Wound Care for the hospital.  He and his wife Andrea live in Saranac Lake with their two children, Stephanie and Thomas.

Bob Laba

Board Member

Robert (Bob) Laba is the Chief Financial Officer at Adirondack Health.  He and his wife and son are full time residents of the Adirondacks, living in Saranac Lake.  Bob also sits on the board of the Adirondack Housing Development Corporation and is the president of the Helen Hill Housing Fund Corporation.  In his free time, Bob enjoys staying active by running, hiking, skiing, camping and boating.  He earned his BS in Accounting with a minor in Music from Plattsburgh State University and is currently enrolled in the MBA Healthcare Administration program at Columbia Southern University.  Bob joined the Pendragon Board and Finance Committee in the summer of 2014.

Bob Ross

Board Member

Bob Ross is CEO of St Joseph's Addiction and Treatment Center. Ross joined St. Joseph’s in 2007 and has overseen dynamic expansion to the agency’s continuum of care, including a $13 million renovation of the agency’s 53,000 square-foot inpatient facility, the opening of new outpatient clinics in Franklin and Essex Counties, establishing one of just three long-term residential care facilities in the State for veterans for the treatment of addiction and co-occurring disorders including PTSD, and most recently securing funding to establish a supportive housing facility in Malone for families in recovery.

Ross serves as the president of the New York State Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of New York State. He is also the President of the Board of the veterans reintegration program, Homeward Bound Adirondacks, and serves on North Country Community College’s Human Services Advisory Board

Chuck VanAnden

Board Member

Chuck and his wife Beth relocated to Saranac Lake in 2013. He retired in 2017 as Director of Nursing Programs at North Country Community College. Prior to moving to Saranac Lake, Chuck and Beth lived in the greater Washington D.C. area, where he was a Professor of Nursing at Northern Virginia Community College. Chuck spent over 20 years as a senior officer in the U.S. Public Health Services working with health professionals, community professional organizations, and educational institutions to develop and support community-based primary care programs to address access to care in rural and under-served communities across the United States and Territories. Chuck is involved in a number of community organizations in the Saranac Lake area. He is committed to helping Saranac Lake grow and develop as a vibrant and welcoming community.

Fran Yardley

Board Member

Fran is a writer, actor, nationally known storyteller and workshop leader. She moved to the Adirondacks in 1968 with her late husband, Jay Yardley, to renovate and manage the Bartlett Carry Club, a historic summer resort on Upper Saranac Lake. During the 1980s and 1990s, she traveled as a storyteller to schools and libraries across the North Country. In 1999, she cofounded Creative Healing Connections, a nonprofit organization offering retreats for women veterans and women with cancer and chronic illness. As Executive Director and Retreat Leader for CHC for sixteen years, she was committed to exploring diverse ways to use storytelling for healing. She has served as Facilitator of the Saranac Lake Bereavement Group since 2002. In 2018, her memoir/history, Finding True North, was
published by Excelsior Editions of SUNY Albany Press and was awarded the 2018 Foreword Review INDIES Silver Winner in  egional Nonfiction. She has four storytelling recordings. Fran performs regularly with both Pendragon and the Adirondack Stage Rats.  Favorite roles over the past 40 years include Stella in
A Streetcar Named Desire, Sister Aloysius in Doubt (Pendragon); Kimberly in
Kimberly Akimbo and Fanny in Painting Churches (Adirondack Stage Rats). Originally from Buffalo, she is rooted into the shores of Middle Saranac Lake where she lives with her actor/photographer husband, Burdette Parks. She served on the Pendragon Board from its inception for fourteen years and looks forward to being back.

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Pendragon Theatre

15 Brandy Brook Avenue

Saranac Lake, NY 12983


Thank you to the Glenn and Carol Pearsall Foundation for their support.

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© 2021 by Pendragon Theatre.