Jan Booth ~ Co-Chair
When a hospice colleague sent me a flyer in 2014 for a new Threshold Choir starting in the Washington, DC area, he wrote, “This is surely a no-brainer for you!” He was right — it brought together my love of singing with my longtime passion for compassionate end-of-life care. I have loved being a part of the Threshold Singers of Washington, DC, both as a bedside singer and as the Music Director. I knew I would love the singing, but I hadn’t counted on how important the rehearsals would become for building beautiful community and sacred space together. I look forward to being part of a Threshold Choir in Colorado, once we land in our permanent home.
I felt a call to hospice nursing while I was still in nursing school, and have spent the past three decades focused on end-of-life care. My work trajectory has taken me from the bedside of hospice and palliative care patients to supporting the wellbeing of caregivers, and now into the larger community to further open our cultural conversation about end of life. I serve as faculty for the New York Open Center's integrative thanatology program, the Integrative Nurse Coach Academy, and formerly for the Conscious Dying Institute's end-of-life coach and doula programs. Leading workshops & retreats on the transformational possibilities of end-of-life work is one of my passions. Part of that work involves tracking innovative models for end-of-life care that are emerging throughout our culture – some are new, and others come out of human wisdom traditions, reimagined for the time we’re in. I see Threshold Choirs as part of that reimagining.
I’m honored to be asked to serve on the TCI Board, and look forward to seeing how I might best contribute. We are clearly in a time of growth and transition for the organization, balancing the core mission of ‘kindness made audible’ and ‘one choir, many voices.’ I hope to honor those values and do my small part to carry this sacred work forward.
Nancy Roberts-Brown ~ Co-Chair
It is my distinct honor and delight to be able to introduce myself as a member of the Threshold Choir Board of Directors. Although I am quite new to the Threshold Choir, I am well acquainted with the joy of singing, the challenge and reward of non-profit leadership, and the wonder of accompanying people in the last stage of their life's journey. I have a passion for all that the Threshold Choir is and is yet to be, and I am excited to bring my energies and skills into the next stage of the Threshold Choir adventure.
I recently retired from a career in non-profit management and public service, advocating for children and families, strengthening the consumer voice in public policy and system change, and promoting justice for children and families of color and other marginalized populations. During the past ten years, it was my privilege to work with an inspiring group of parents to successfully navigate the child welfare system. Together we created a program of peer mentoring for parents entering that system, providing them with information, support, and hope. Our efforts were rewarded when the Washington State Legislature enacted this program into law and provided the funding to sustain it. Securing this funding and passing the torch of leadership to one of the program's remarkable parents was a thrilling way to begin my retirement.
Singing has been a lifelong interest, and I currently sing in our church choir and in a community choir. While contemplating my retirement last fall, I was looking for an opportunity to bring together my interest in hospice and my love of singing. While I was out running one Sunday morning, I heard an NPR interview with Kate Munger. As soon as I got back to the house I looked online, discovered the Seattle Threshold Singers, and immediately contacted them. Now I am not only an active bedside singer with the Seattle Threshold Singers, but I also have the amazing privilege of working on this Board. I am blessed by these opportunities and will bring all that I can into shaping with you the future of this exceptional organization.
Aly Lynch ~ Secretary
I'm honored to join Threshold Choir's Board of Directors and bring my passion for compassionate end-of-life care and music to the organization. I believe in the power of singing and music to bring people together and bring peace to individuals at every phase of their lives. For me, music represents an acceptance of life as it is, in all of its complexities and joys. When I was introduced to Threshold Choir, I knew that I had found like-minded people and an organization with a mission closely aligned with my own values.
I’m a Senior Communications Associate at Compassion & Choices, a national nonprofit dedicated to helping everyone realize an end-of-life journey based on their values and priorities. In this role, I amplify the end-of-life planning and education aspects of the organization's work. I have expertise in nonprofit leadership and social impact strategy, skills I hope to bring to Threshold Choir.
I’m eager to get further involved with Threshold Choir and learn from and grow with the organization.
Betty Szatkowski ~ Treasurer
It is an honor to be a member of the Threshold Choir Board of Directors. When a friend told me about her involvement with Threshold Choir and what they do, I knew I wanted to be a part of the organization. It brings together my lifelong desire to help others and also the special quality of singing that can cross many barriers and create bridges of connection. It is a language of the heart.
I worked for many years in the field of cartography for local, state and federal institutions creating maps to help others in their work or journey. My interest and love of maps continues with me to this day. When my family moved to New Jersey I started working in elementary education and a whole new world opened up to me. I have many rich memories of the children, caring staff and good friends.
For over 30 years I have volunteered in non-profit organizations that help the homeless, people in need of short term financial support and groups that partner with dogs to help the blind and comfort the sick. Our family raised four dogs for The Seeing Eye organization for the blind and I visited young patients at a children’s hospital with my black Labrador, Octavia. During these years, I have been on three non-profit Boards in the position of president, treasurer and secretary. It has been through these opportunities that I have seen the importance of a group of people coming together from their passion to be of service to others.
Threshold Choir inspires me in its dedication to bring the gift of music to end-of-life situations.
Karen Hendrickson ~ Board Member
Karen Hendrickson is a professional coach in Life, Death, Grief, and all the messy in-between. With over 35 years as a corporate business leader and human resources professional, Karen has extensive training and expertise in communications, coaching, relationship management, and conflict resolution. With training and experience in emotional intelligence, public speaking, training and facilitation of large and small groups, Karen is well versed in the human dynamic, and what it takes to support others through change, challenges and difficult times.
Karen is Co-Founder of The Death Doula Network of BC and is passionate about leading heart centred death education to support others in exploring and accepting their mortality. Her work allows others to not only complete meaningful end of life planning, but also inspires them to live and love more fully right now.
As a Death Doula and a Licensed Willow End of Life Educator, Karen is an accredited Member of the End of Life Doula Association of Canada, The National End of Life Doula Alliance, and The Death Doula Ontario Network. Karen has met the NEDA proficiency requirements and is committed to a regulated and monitored scope of practise for the Death Doula Profession.
Karen has received certification as a Grief & Loss Support Group Facilitator, and from the Living with Loss Society. Karen has experience as a hospice volunteer, and a UBC Health Student Mentor, and has participated in SFU’s End of Life Studies program. She is committed to ongoing learning and development in her field.
Karen’s prior knowledge and experiences include significant training and education from Queen’s University, Banff Centre for Leadership, UBC and SFU’s schools of business. including specific training and experience in collective bargaining negotiations, grievance and conflict resolution and human relations.
You will always hear Karen say:
Sudie Pollock ~ Board Member
I spent 30 years as the Head Teacher for the Hill & Valley Teen Parent Program, a school for pregnant students aged 12 – 18, in Napa, California. During that time, I earned a Masters Degree in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling and had a private practice. I taught Human Sexuality at Napa Valley College for several semesters, was a volunteer trainer for Planned Parenthood, and taught Health Classes at local high schools. I retired in 2002 to care for my aging parents.
Kate Munger started coming to Napa to hold Rounds Group sings sometime in the late 1990s and I was a regular attendee. She began teaching us her new Threshold Songs. I was drawn to the songs and the concept of bedside singing so in 2007, I gathered some of the singers from Rounds and started holding rehearsals at my home. We had our first public sing at a funeral in 2008 and grew to bedside singing after that.
Prior to Covid, I held rehearsals on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Thursdays. Fifth Thursdays were reserved for potlucks at my home where we sang our thanks for the food, shared thoughts on a specific topic chosen beforehand, and sang after each woman’s turn to speak. In that way, we bonded as a group who knew each other as more than singers. Several of us composed Threshold songs that are now in the Repertoire and we recorded a CD of our original songs that is available through the website. We look forward to re-creating our connection though our voices and our stories.
Bridget Baker ~ Board Member
In July of 2018, a group of singers from my community choir met to form what would become the Greater Lafayette Threshold Singers. I have since become the director of our chapter. I grew up in the middle of the East Texas woods in the 1970s and 80s where I developed a love of music – singing as well as playing several instruments. Growing up in a chaotic environment, I leaned heavily into my music for calming my anxiety. In 1990, I moved to Indiana for a graduate degree in botany and decided to stay here. I am semi-retired from doing research in the biological sciences and teaching. Currently, I tutor kids with learning difficulties, after school.
In addition to my tutoring, I am active in the local community choir where I sing and contribute to the administrative running of the choir. I enjoy growing exotic house plants and gardening in the summer. My current plant obsession is growing unusual succulents from seeds. I am heavily invested – emotionally and financially – in arts and crafts. I am involved in several ongoing projects in my community such as making baby mittens for local organizations that have interactions with young families. They give the mittens to protect infants and toddlers in the winter months. Other crafts I do on a regular basis include sewing, embroidery, crochet, card making and playing with my Cricut machine. I am owned by two cats who have earned me the name “Cat Lady” by the neighborhood kids.
Much of the compassion I have for others has come from my own mental health journey and struggle. I have dealt with profound depression and severe PTSD stemming from childhood trauma. Recovery from these and ongoing anxiety has made me a much more compassionate person and is a driving force behind many of the choices I make about involvement with the community around me. This includes not only being a member of a Threshold Choir and serving on the board, but also my work with kids who need help after school and making sure babies have warm hands in the winter.