Staff

J. Stanley Mattson

stan mattsonDr. Mattson is the Founder and President of the C.S. Lewis Foundation; Director of the C.S. Lewis Study Centre at The Kilns in Oxford, England; and Executive Director of the C.S. Lewis Summer Institute.

Education

He has a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the State University of New York, Oswego; Master’s degree in history from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; and Ph.D. in American Social and Intellectual History from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Background

A past member of the faculty of Gordon College and of the faculty and administration of the University of Redlands, Dr. Mattson has also served as Headmaster of The Master’s School of West Simsbury, CT. He founded the C.S. Lewis Foundation in 1986.

Family / Interests

He and his wife, Jean, have two adult children, Todd and Elizabeth, and five grandchildren. Dr. Mattson’s interests include sailing, singing, and playing traditional folk music.


Gayne Anacker

Gayne-Anacker Staff Pic

Dr. Anacker is Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Assistant Director of the triennial C.S. Lewis Summer Institute in the cities and Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, England.

Education

He holds the B.A. in Philosophy from Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California; the Master of Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts; the M.A. in Philosophy from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington; the Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of California, Irvine.

Background

Gayne has been centrally associated with the C. S. Lewis Foundation for 21 years, and he has been its Vice President for Academic Affairs (volunteer basis) for 19 years. He is also a member of its Board of Trustees. He began his career as Prof. of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, California. He was also Founding President of Community Christian College, Redlands, California. He is currently Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Prof. of Philosophy at California Baptist University, Riverside, where he has taught and led for 10 years.  His areas of academic competence include philosophy of religion, virtue ethics, Christian worldview, C.S. Lewis, and Great Books.

Family / Interests

He and his wife Karen, who have been married since 1977, have one child, Rachael, a senior Music major (Vocal Performance) at Houghton College in Western New York.  As a family, they enjoy music, reading, and politics. In addition to serious addictions to Narnia, Middle-earth, and Jane Austen, they are also Harry Potter fans.


 Steven Elmore

Steve-Elmore-in-the-Library-at-The-KilnsSteve Elmore is the Foundation’s Vice President of Events and Communications.

Education

He has a B.A. in English from Pepperdine University and an M.A. in Literature and Film from Claremont Graduate University.

Background

Prior to joining the Foundation in June 2006, Steve had experience working as a community college instructor (English composition), software instructor (basic to advanced MS Office), GED instructor (science, history), and as technical and clerical support staff in the nonprofit, education, and small business sectors.

Family / Interests

He and his wife Becky have a seven year old daughter, Rowan. His interests include literature, film, video games, and playing with Rowan.


Richard Durant

Dick Durant Staff PicDick serves as Treasurer and Director of Administration for the C.S. Lewis Foundation.

Education

Dick earned his Bachelor of Science in Physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology, his Master of Arts in Theological Studies from the International School of Theology, and his Master of Business Administration from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Background

Dick has been involved in leadership, management, and development work for Christian ministries, other non-profits, and businesses for more than thirty years.  He served for 14 years with Campus Crusade for Christ in campus ministry and various administrative roles.  Since 1988, Dick has served as a leadership and organizational consultant, seeking to help the leaders of Christian ministries, non-profit organizations, and businesses clarify and achieve the vision God has placed in their hearts and the hearts of their team members.

Family / Interests

Married since 1981 to Brenda, the Durants have three children, two sons and one daughter.  They live in Redlands, California, and are very active in their local church.  Following their children’s activities in youth sports, music, and theatre has been the focus of much of their interests.


 Mary Key

Mary Key Staff PicDr. Key serves as Director of Special Programs for the C.S. Lewis Foundation.

Education

Mary earned both her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and her Master of Science in Counseling Psychology degrees from California Baptist University. She earned a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with a specialty in College Student Development through the School of Education at the University of Southern California.

Background

She has served California Baptist University as faculty teaching in the Psychology, Education and Literature departments and in the Counseling Graduate Program. She has held positions as Counseling Center Director, Director of Women’s Housing, and Career Services Director. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, was in private practice for several years, and conducted seminars in organizational consulting. Her calling for the past several years has been to Home Education (particularly focused on their three children), and the development and networking of community resources in that context.

Family / Interests

Mary, her husband, Scott, and their two sons and daughter are avid Lewis and Tolkien fans. As a family, they enjoy every aspect of theater – acting, singing, dancing, dramaturgy, “propping,” and cheering on those who do it all. Their home is held up by bookcases, and their refrigerator is barely visible through the magnets collected from travels to over 40 states and 6 countries.


David Beckmann

beckmanns-at-kilns

The Rev. David Beckmann, with the aid of his wife Sheila, is the Resident Director or “Warden” of the C. S. Lewis Study Centre located at the Kilns, in Oxford, England.

Education

David earned a B.A. in History at the University of South Carolina. He has also studied at Washington University in St. Louis, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and Columbia Bible College. He earned a M.Div. from Covenant Theological Seminary. Additionally, David has done extensive work in Ecclesiastical Latin through Whitefield Theological Seminary.

Background

David has broad experience in both Church and para-Church ministries. After working with Jack and Kay Arthur in the formative years of Precept Ministries, he went on to help found Hilton Head Christian School. After seminary, he pastored The Presbyterian Church of Boatswain Bay (PCA), Grand Cayman Island, BWI. Returning to the States, he pastored a small PCA church in Rome, Georgia, but, having a heart for both homeschoolers and classical education, he returned to his home in Chattanooga and founded Knox Academy (ACCS Affiliate), a tutorial for homeschooling families seeking a classical education for their students. Subsequently, he taught Latin, Ethics, English, and History at Chattanooga Christian School and, most recently, he was an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, in the Classics Department.

For thirteen years, David was a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America. In 2004 he and his wife were confirmed as Anglicans and he is now a priest in the Anglican Church in North America. As part of his pastoral work in Chattanooga, David established the C. S. Lewis Society of Chattanooga in 2005. He has spoken and written about C. S. Lewis over the years.

Family / Interests

Sheila is a graduate of the Evangelical Institute of Greenville, SC. She has 25 years of experience as a legal assistant and is enjoying the ministry of hospitality at the Kilns. She also enjoys cooking, reading, and piano. She especially plays hymns beautifully. David and his wife have one son, Paul, who is married to the former Rachel Hackenberger of Lancaster, PA. Paul and Rachel have two lovely daughters – Helen and Catherine – and, as of this posting, a third daughter due in January of 2015.

Like other fans of Lewis and friends of the Foundation, David and Sheila love reading. Besides Lewis books, they love Tolkien, MacDonald, Austen, Rowling, Dickens, and are currently laughing their way through Trollope. David also has a life-long passion for airplanes and Military History.


 Debbie Higgens

Debbie Higgens Staff PicDr. Debbie Higgens is Advisor to the C.S. Lewis Study Centre at “The Kilns.”

Education

Debbie received her B.A. in English Education from Columbia Union College, Maryland; her M.A. in English from Andrews University, Michigan; and her Ph.D. in Medieval and Renaissance Literature from Middle Tennessee State University,Tennessee.  Her dissertation title is “Anglo-Saxon Community in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings” and she wrote her dissertation while living at the Kilns as a Scholar-in-Residence.

Background

Debbie currently serves as the Resident Medievalist in the English department at La Sierra University.  She served as Director to the C.S. Lewis Study Centre at The Kilns from 2010 until 2014.  Previous to her work for the C.S. Lewis Foundation, she taught in the English Department of Southern Adventist University for the past 17 years.  She has also served as a full-time missionary in Costa Rica, lived in Japan as a child, and spent five of her teen-age years living in Turkey and Germany.  Debbie has been involved with the C.S. Lewis Foundation since 2002 and first visited the Kilns in its early renovation stages in 1994.

Family / Interests

She has two children, Christina and Nathan, who are also avid readers and have travelled extensively.  Debbie has been an equestrian since her childhood and enjoys falconry whenever she gets a chance; her favorite bird to fly is the owl. She enjoys reading and researching Anglo-Saxon literature and artifacts as well as the works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.


Karen Anacker

karenanacker2Karen Anacker is the Office Assistant at the Foundation.

Education

Karen has a B.A. in Diversified-Elementary Education from Biola University and an M.Mus. in Vocal Performance from California State University, Fullerton.

Background

After a brief stint teaching second grade, Karen worked for over ten years as administrative assistant in both the public and private sectors while singing professionally with LA Opera, Orange County Opera, Opera Pacific, Oregon Bach Festival, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, Aspen Opera Theater Center, and the Crystal Cathedral, among others. She then conducted various children’s choirs and taught voice as well as musicianship while homeschooling daughter Rachael for eight years. In addition to her part-time work at the Foundation, she is currently the staff accompanist and assistant conductor for the choral program at Citrus Valley High School in Redlands.

Family / Interests

Karen has been married to Gayne since 1977 and is the proud mom of one daughter. When she’s not reading, playing piano, or walking her dogs, Karen can probably be found watching Chopped, her favorite Food Network program.


Mary Carol Howell

MCHMary Carol works as a volunteer communications assistant for the C.S. Lewis Foundation.

Education

She finished her B.A. in English Literature at Auburn University.

Background

Mary Carol has worked at the Foundation on-and-off for over 2 years during her academic studies as an intern, volunteer, and employee. She also had the opportunity to serve at The Kilns during her time as a student at the University of Oxford. She most recently served as Volunteer Coordinator at our 2014 C.S. Lewis Summer Institute.

Family / Interests

Mary Carol is married to Chris Howell, whom she met while working together at the C.S. Lewis Foundation. Mary Carol enjoys reading, running, biking, watching Auburn football, exploring the outdoors, traveling around Europe, and talking about the weather.


 Kirk Manton

Kirk Manton Staff PicKirk is a Regional Representative for the C.S. Lewis Foundation, serving in a variety of capacities including our Program Planning Committee (various events), our Event Management Team (various events), and Production & Scheduling Manager (various events).

Education

Kirk earned his Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies at The Union Institutes.

Background

Kirk served the local church as a youth pastor for over 10 years. Since that time he has worked in the film and video production and the event production industry. He trained and worked for years on all kinds of film and video projects as a freelance lighting technician and he help found and manage a film lighting rental company in Orange County California. Kirk then transitioned into event production managing for companies such as The Disney Hotel and The Amarillo Civic Center. He is now the Director of Production Services at a mega church, Trinity Fellowship, in Amarillo, Texas.

Family / Interests

Married since 1994 to Rachelle, he has 5 children: one birth daughter, one step daughter, one adopted son, and one goddaughter. They live in Amarillo, Texas, and are very active in their local church. Following and supporting his children’s activities is the greatest joy of his life. With all four in college at one time or another now, that is about all he can do.


 Nancy Rinella

Nan Rinella Staff PicNan is a Regional Representative for the C.S. Lewis Foundation, serving in a variety of capacities including our Program Planning Committee (various events), our Event Management Team (The C.S. Lewis Retreat), and Volunteer Coordinator (various events).

Education

Attended the University of Colorado, UCLA, and studied journalism at West Texas A&M. She was a National Journalism Center senior fellow with Human Events in Washington D.C. and is a graduate of Bible Study Fellowship and Christian Leaders, Authors & Speakers Services Seminar and Personality Training Workshop.

Background

Nan is a former flight attendant and inflight coordinator, winning a system wide award for the best domicile newsletter. She’s been a writer, speaker, and freelance journalist for the last 20 years, publishing over 200 articles in Amarillo, Texas, publications, and in Daily Devotions for Writers, Focus on the Family Magazine, and Consumer Research. Over the last 20 years Nan has served as program and publicity chair, and president with Panhandle Professional Writers and directed their annual writers’ conference, Frontiers in Writing. She has written a book on travel.

Family / Interests

She and Joe have been married 40 years. Their son and daughter-in-law became a proud parents of a baby girl in May ’14. “Nana” is delighted with little Mary Macall. Nan is an avid student of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and is currently writing a Narnia inspired novel. Nan considers herself a “Hobbit in Narnia.”


Lancia E. Smith

Lancia-Smith-3

Lancia is a Regional Representative for the C.S. Lewis Foundation, serving in a variety of capacities including our Program Planning Committee (various events), our Event Management Team (The C.S. Lewis Retreat), organizational development consulting, and official photographer for Foundation events.

Education

Lancia did her bachelor’s work in English Literature at the University of Colorado in Boulder and says that the real expansion of her education has occurred while serving with the C.S. Lewis Foundation. Lancia continues her studies in literature with a specific focus on the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R. R. Tolkien and George MacDonald.

Background

Always of an entrepreneurial bent, Lancia is currently president of an environmental consulting and engineering firm based in Denver CO; has been photographing professionally for 30 years and spent many years in publishing and graphic design. Having served in church leadership capacities for more than 25 years, she has an extensive background in lay counseling in addiction recovery, bereavement, and women survivors of abuse. Lancia writes on topics related to C.S. Lewis and arts intersecting culture. She also hosts the website “Cultivating the Good, the True and the Beautiful” at lanciaesmith.com.

Family / Interests

Lancia is happily married to Peter and they are parents to 6 adult children, two fabulous son-in-laws and one beautiful daughter-in-law. She and Peter are grandparents to five beloved grandchildren. They co-pastor a house church and have worked for more than a decade with group formation and intensive discipleship. Lancia is happiest listening to the music of conversation at the dinner table, being settled at the keyboard writing, lost somewhere deep in a book, puttering the garden, working behind a camera, curled up on the sofa while Peter reads out loud to her, and most especially in quiet time with the Lord. She’s loved and studied C.S. Lewis since she first read “Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy.”


Andrew Lazo

Andrew Lazo Staff PicAndrew is a Regional Representative for the C.S. Lewis Foundation, serving in a variety of capacities including our Program Planning Committee (various events), C.S. Lewis 101 Track Coordinator (various events), and Bag End Cafe Coordinator (various events).

Education

Andrew completed his B.A. from the University of California, Davis, majoring in English and double-minoring in Latin and Medieval Studies. He went on to take a Post-Baccalaureate in Classics from U.C. Davis. The recipient of the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship in the Humanities, Andrew studied Modernist British Literature at Rice University, finishing ABD and taking his M.A. there.

Background

Andrew teaches. For the past half dozen years or more he’s done so both in high school and college classrooms in Houston, TX, and also in seminar rooms churches, and lecture halls around the country and even across the ocean. C.S. Lewis long ago opened doors into the wide rooms of reason and of imagination, and Andrew explores this introduction in his writing, teaching, and relationships. Good talk with great friends around well-laid tables delight him most. Such conversations led him to co-edit and publish Mere Christians in 2009 and inspire him in his current research on Till We Have Faces. You can find out more at andrewlazo.com.

Family / Interests

A lifelong interest in cooking continues to flourish in Andrew. He also has a deep and growing interest in sports ranging from cricket to rugby to NASCAR and curling, but most especially focusing on basketball. He loves to travel, having visited nearly every state and several foreign countries, and speaks Spanish fluently. And, seriously, don’t even get him *started* on music, art, or technology!