Board of Directors
I am an enrolled member of the Brothertown Indian Nation and descendant of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. I was born at home in Morgan Siding, Wisconsin. My early years were spent hunting and fishing. I enlisted in the Army in 1967 and spent 24 great years as a soldier. I served as an Infantryman in Vietnam 1969 – 1971. I retired from the military in 1991 and went back to school. My educational background includes a BA from the University of WI; MA from USC; and PhD from the University of Washington. Post Doctoral work focuses on Organizational Leadership and Change Management. Faculty appointments include University of Washington and Chapman University. My wife, youngest daughter and I live in Washington state and my oldest daughter and grandkids live in Cambridge, MA.
I am non-Tribal, yet the more I learn the more I find connections between my own musical and worship life and Brothertown founder and descendent achievements, and the more I find that I have had an uncanny way of walking with my little feet (and paddling kayak or rolling bicycle wheels!) in exactly some places of earliest Brothertown roots. I am a freelance musician, performing most often on violin and viola and with tenor voice, and mixing in musicology, composition, and music-editing/parts-library-curating as well. I’m also a shape note singer for decades on tenor, bass, or treble parts, as needed, and I was one of the co-founders in 1999 of the proudly on-going annual Keystone Convention of Sacred Harp Singing in SE Pennsylvania. Previous Board experiences include a year with "OSCA" (the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association, a half-million dollar per year cash flow student housing and dining organization), three years as a musician-member of the Board of the Eastern CT Symphony in New London, CT, where I am a tenured violinist, and a year on the Executive Board of the musicians union for that area, AFofM 285-403.
I was born in Arlington, Virginia at Fort Belvoir in 1967. My father, Robert Stark was stationed in the Army at the time I was born. My parents were only in a Virginia a brief time. Soon, we headed back to my mother, Virginia (Bislew) Stark’s hometown of Racine, Wisconsin. Our family remained in Racine until 1977 when my father had a job change that led our family to Atlanta, Georgia. In the late 1980’s our family moved to Belleville, Illinois as my father’s job led him to St. Louis. I’ve remained in the St. Louis, MO area since that time, with the exception of a brief residence in Tucson, Arizona in the 1990’s. My wife, Carrie, and I married in 2001. We have 2 children, Brian born in 2004 and Allison, born in 2006. I’m a member of the Knights of Columbus at our church, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Columbia, Illinois. I’ve spent numerous seasons coaching my son’s basketball teams. I enjoy watching and playing sports, visiting with relatives, and spending time with my family. Since 2005 I’ve worked as a Senior Quality Analyst with United Healthcare. My job primarily consists of creating reports and analyzing data.
My mother and her family passed down stories of my family’s ancestry, with my much pride in our Native American past. I hope to be able to continue those traditions in the years to come as my children start their own families.
Amy Besaw Medford
Amy Besaw Medford is a Research Affiliate of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an Analyst for the Taylor Policy Group. Previously, Amy was the Director of Program Development and Director of Honoring Nations at the Harvard Project, as well as the Manager of Program Development at the Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy at the Udall Center for Studies in Social Policy at the University of Arizona.
Amy received her BA in Business Administration from the University of Washington, MA in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University, and EdM in Human Development and Psychology from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. She is enrolled in the Brothertown Indian Nation and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and their two children.
I was born on August 7, 1946, in Paterson, New Jersey. In 1947 I moved with my parents and sister to Deansboro, New York to a home on what I discovered later was located on parts of lots 21 and 22 of the Brothertown tract of 1795, embodied in "The Act relative to Lands in Brothertown." In 1974, upon my father's death, my husband and I bought the house in which I grew up - the one on the Brothertown lots. In 1985, I went to work for Oneida-Herkimer-Madison (counties) Board of Cooperative Educational Services and retired in 2014. My interest in the Brothertown Indians was sparked in the 1990s when a busload of Brothertown Indians came to Deansboro in 1999, attended a church service in our Congregational Church (with a Presbyterian minister conducting the service), visited the gravesites of their ancestors, and broke bread with us that evening. My interest was nurtured by former Town of Marshall Historian Dorothy McConnell and former Town of Sangerfield Historian Phillipa Brown, both of whom had a keen interest in the history of the Brothertown Indians and were eager to share it. In 2015, I succeeded Dorothy McConnell, who has since passed away, as Town of Marshall Historian. I have done a lot of reading about the Brothertown Indians which I found fascinating, and have been fortunate to speak to several groups about their history and relevance today. On a personal note, my husband and I have three children and four grandchildren.
Bradley Dubos is the current Public Humanities Fellow at the New-York Historical Society, where he is at work on a traveling exhibit and educational initiative titled Acts of Faith: Religion and the American West. Brad recently completed his PhD in English at Northwestern University. In Chicago, he also contributed to a public humanities project aimed at improving Native communities' access to the Newberry Library.
Brad's research and teaching focus on Native American poetry, religion, and placemaking. He has written about the Brothertown Indian Nation's hymnody, particularly the ways that hymn singing practices have shaped Brothertown spaces in New York, Wisconsin, and beyond. Beginning in 2019, his research connected him with various Brothertown citizens and friends, and he has since maintained interest in the ongoing and newly developing shape note singing within the tribe.
Shaun Nadolny is an enrolled member of the Brothertown Indian Nation and descendant from the Cochegan family. Cochegan was originally a Mohegan family. Born and raised in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Shaun has worked in aviation his entire career. Starting in the early 90’s at the MKE Airport, he worked for Comair / Delta Air Lines until 2010 when he joined the team at Milwaukee County. Milwaukee County owns and operates the MKE Airport and currently his role is Assistant Airport Operations Manager. Shaun is actively involved in the Brothertown Indian Nation via Tribal Council meetings, Peacemaker meetings, and recently served on the Election Committee in 2022. Additionally, Shaun serves on the Board of Directors for the Mitchell Gallery of Flight Museum preserving the history of southeastern Wisconsin aviation.
Shaun is married and is a proud father of two daughters. His oldest daughter is also enrolled Brothertown and attends the University of Oshkosh for Nursing. His youngest is patiently awaiting the BIN Rolls to open. Shaun has also been doing photography for over 25 years and has been a featured artist in several art shows all over the county.
Courtney (Cottrell) Gerzetich
Courtney Cottrell is a cultural anthropologist and focuses her research on museum representations about Native North America. Her interests stem from her own background as a citizen of the Brothertown Indian Nation as well as her career as a museum professional. Dr. Cottrell is also interested in the federal recognition process for Native tribes in the U.S., specifically issues surrounding sovereignty’s authority over intellectual property and repatriations. Her activist work as a Tribal Historic Preservation Officer has been written about and published, as well as her work on bringing voice to Native artists in the museum world.
Dr. Robin Rivas is a Language Acquisition Consultant in CESA 2 with the Language and Culture Center of Excellence. She has been working with and advocating for English Language Learners for over 39 years, with teaching experience working with K-12th grade EL students as an ESL specialist in Milwaukee Public Schools. In addition, she has administrative experience as both a curriculum specialist and a Bilingual/EL/WL Program Interim Director in Milwaukee and Executive Director in Racine, Wisconsin. Robin has also worked in the teacher education programs at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, CESA 2 CLASS Program, and as a consultant/coach to public and private schools and districts in Wisconsin and Illinois.
After receiving her BS in education from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, Robin attained an MS in Urban Education from UW-M and EdD in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University with a research focus on RTI and English Language Learners. Robin currently lives with her husband in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She has two grown sons with families of their own and one cherished granddaughter. Robin is an enrolled member of the Brothertown Indian Nation, family lineage through her third great-grandfather, Simeon Shelley (Brothertown, Pequot).
Cheryl “Cheri” Welch
Cheryl (Cheri) Welch is an enrolled member of the Brothertown Indian Nation residing in Fond du Lac, WI. She served on the Election Committee for several years, volunteered on the Picnic and Homecoming Committees, represented the tribe at the annual Celebrate Community Event in Fond du Lac, contributed several articles to the Brothertown Newsletter and did some limited volunteer work under the ANA Grant. She is also participating in the Brothertown Book Club.
Cheri earned a BA Degree in Spanish and Education, attending schools in both Mexico and Spain. She was employed for over 30 years as a Social Worker at the Fond du Lac County Department of Social Services where she worked in many capacities. Prior to retirement, she provided services to the adult and elderly population, co-leading an Elder Abuse and Neglect Interdisciplinary Team.
In retirement, Cheri enjoys gardening (she completed the Master Gardener Certification), travel, reading, music, swimming and other forms of exercise. She is also involved in many church activities. Cheri is a widow with an adult son and daughter.
Remnants of seven tribes from Long Island and Connecticut called Brothertown Indians settled in the southern part of Richard's home town, Kirkland, named after a missionary to the Oneida Indians, Samuel Kirkland. With a keen interest in his community, Richard has researched, wrote, and presented about the Brothertown Indians to understand why and when they came and why they left. It is a sad story, but he salutes the Brothertowns for persevering through the years of removal, settlement, and then removal again to land in Wisconsin. Richard has written or edited six books on local history and have contributed numerous articles on local history to the Waterville Times and the Clinton Courier since the early 1970s.
After attending Syracuse University where he was a history major and active in the marching band, Richard went to SUNY at Albany, New York for a master’s degree in social studies education. After Army service for two years he taught history in two area high schools and was vice-principal for 15 years retiring in 1995. Since then Richard has been very active in the Clinton Historical Society and the Oneida County History Center in Utica volunteering many times over the years. He served ten years as mayor of Clinton, NY in the town of Kirkland.
Richard's service to the Calumet Society will center around burial grounds in the neighboring town of Marshall. The tribe has expressed interest in cleaning up and preserving the Brothertown burial grounds which is truly a worthy chore for any historian. A widower, Richard lives in a neighboring town of New Hartford which is a suburb of Utica, NY.
Mark Baldwin passed away in April 2021. He began researching his Brothertown tribal heritage in the late 1970s and was part of the nascent tribal reorganizational efforts that began in Gresham, Wisconsin in 1979. Mark initiated and edited the first tribal newsletter “The Brothertown Messenger,” served on the tribal Council and as Vice Chairman of the tribe. Beginning in 1980, he served as a grant writer securing funds from the Administration for Native Americans to support the tribe’s federal acknowledgement petition and other social and economic development projects. Mark’s passion, dedication, and diligence brought life to so many efforts to better the lives of Brothertown Indians and the Brothertown Indian Nation.
Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management. He had 40+ years of experience in communications, fundraising and community development working for a variety of nonprofit organizations in Wisconsin and California. Mark was a direct descendant of Samson Occom and Mary Fowler through their daughter Christiana.