Leadership Council

Our leadership council consists of Steven Elmore, Richard Durant, Lancia E. Smith, Kirk Manton, Amber Salladin, Chris Howell, Joshua George, and Jason Smith.

Steven Elmore – President

Steven Elmore is the President of the C.S. Lewis Foundation. He has over 20 years of experience working at nonprofit organizations and educational institutions, including serving as a community college adjunct professor (English composition), software instructor (basic to advanced MS Office), GED instructor (science, history), test preparation tutor, and in a wide range of office management and administration roles. His specific skill sets include event management, teaching/training, team leadership, program management, writing, communications strategy, strategic planning, and computer technology. He is also a writer for Cultivating.

Steven earned his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with a business emphasis from Pepperdine University and his Master of Arts in in Literature and Film from Claremont Graduate University.

Richard Durant – Treasurer / Director of Administration

Dick Durant Staff Pic

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.

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.

Lancia E. Smith – Leadership Council

Lancia is a member and advisor on the Leadership Council of the C.S. Lewis Foundation, serving in a variety of capacities including our Program Planning Committee (various events) and organizational development consulting.

A grateful lover of the Triune God, Lancia is the Founder & Publisher of Cultivating Oaks Press, Cultivating, and the Executive Director of The Cultivating Project. She has gratefully served in executive management, church leadership, school boards, and Art & Faith organizations for more than 35 years. She has done extensive support counseling for the bereaved, trauma and abuse survivors, and recovering addicts and alcoholics. Lancia’s core calling is discipleship, especially for those wrestling with difficult pasts and gifted with creative inclinations. 

Now empty nesters, Lancia & her husband Peter make their home in the Black Forest of Colorado. Lancia loves land reclamation, website and print design, beautiful typography, road trips, being read aloud to by Peter, & cherishes every book she ever read by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Kirk Manton – Leadership Council

Kirk Manton Staff Pic

Kirk is a a member and advisor on the Leadership Council of the C.S. Lewis Foundation, serving in a variety of capacities including our Event Management Team (various events) and Production & Scheduling Manager (various events).

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. In 2004, Kirk became the Director of Production Services for Trinity Fellowship, a mega church, there in Amarillo. In 2020, Kirk embarked on a new adventure as the COO for the Amarillo based, Sharpened Iron Studios, an ambitious film studio complex, production company, and film crew train program.

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

Amber Salladin – Arts & Ministry Director

Amber first started working with the C.S. Lewis Foundation during her teen years in Redlands, California. She has over twenty years of experience as a conductor, church musician, worship leader, and educator in the US, Canada, and the UK. She serves as Music Director for Emmanuel Anglican Church in New York City, as well as for the Diocese of the Living Word. Amber works with United Adoration, a wing of the Anglican Church in North America, encouraging artists in the church. She is a music teacher at The Geneva School of Manhattan.

Amber holds a Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) from Wheaton College and a Masters of Music in Conducting (M.M.) from the University of Southern California.

Christopher Howell – Academic Director

Chris teaches on religion and has taught a course on C.S. Lewis at Duke University for the Religion Department. As a teacher, he has also taught undergraduate classes at Duke as well as English foreign language courses in Prague, Czech Republic.

He has also worked side jobs in video game development and sports radio. He has worked with the CS Lewis Foundation since 2010, filling various roles as Communications Associate, conference staffer, registrar, and event planner, and has worked conferences in England, Massachusetts, and California.

He has a Ph.D. American Religion (dissertation on the history of religion and science) from Duke University, a Master’s in Theological Studies from Duke Divinity School and a Bachelor’s in American history from the University of California, Riverside. 

Joshua George – Brand Manager

With over ten years of experience in graphic design, front-end web design and development, and marketing, Joshua is the creative director at Bold Marketing & Design in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Joshua’s passion for serving others is evident in his involvement with his local church. He spent 15 years in youth ministry and now serves in other various roles as media director, church council member and trustee, plays piano and is a vocalist for his church’s worship team.

Joshua studied communications at Lee University in Cleveland, TN and Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA.

Jason Smith – Strategist

Jason Smith serves on the board of An Unexpected Journal, as a strategist for the C.S. Lewis Foundation, and as the senior editor for acquisitions and development at Wootton Major Publishing.

In his spare time, he works a day job as a marketing director for a medical device engineering firm, where he writes about fun things like FDA regulations and embedded cybersecurity.

He is the pseudonymous author of the much-loved young adult fantasy series Fayborn and reviews every book he reads at

Office Staff

Mary Adams – Bookkeeper

Jennifer Bohnert – Receptionist

Rowan Elmore – Gifts Processor

Maribeth Barber Albritton – Executive Assistant

C.S. Lewis Study Centre At The Kilns

Deborah Higgens – Coordinator of the C.S. Lewis Study Centre at The Kilns / C.S. Lewis Summer Seminar Director

Debbie Higgens Staff Pic

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.

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 book title is Anglo-Saxon Community in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and she wrote it while living at the Kilns as a Scholar-in-Residence.

Regional Staff

 Nancy Rinella

Nan Rinella Staff Pic

Nan is a Regional Representative for the C.S. Lewis Foundation in Amarillo, Texas, 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).

She 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.

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.

Andrew Lazo

Andrew is a Regional Representative for the C.S. Lewis Foundation in Orlando, Florida, 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).

For the past half dozen years or more he’s taught in both high school and college classrooms in Houston, TX, as well as 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 his website.

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.

David Beckmann

David is a Regional Representative for the C.S. Lewis Foundation in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

David has for many years been involved in both the Church and education. He helped to start a Christian school in South Carolina, tutored homeschoolers, and has been adjunct faculty for both Covenant College and the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga.

In the meantime, he has pastored churches, having been a minister in the Presbyterian Church of America, and now a priest in the Anglican Church of North America. He founded the C.S. Lewis Society of Chattanooga in 2005 as part of his church ministry.  He has spoken extensively on C.S Lewis, and was the Director of the C.S Lewis Study Centre at The Kilns from 2014-2015. He blogs at

David began his undergraduate work at Washington University, going on to study for a year at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  He eventually earned a B.A. in History from the University of South Carolina and a M.Div (magna cum laude) at Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis.  He has also studied at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.

Advisors and Emeritus Officers

J. Stanley Mattson – Founder / President Emeritus / Trustee

stan mattson

Stan founded the C.S. Lewis Foundation in 1986. 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 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.

Mary Key – President, C.S. Lewis Study Center, Northfield

Mary Key Staff Pic

Dr. Key serves as President of C.S. Lewis Study Center, Northfield, MA, which, as of June 2018, is an affiliate of the C.S. Lewis Foundation. (For more information, see She has served the Foundation as Director of Special Programs and Executive Director of the C.S. Lewis Study Center in Northfield, and continues as a member of the Programming committee for retreats and conferences.

Mary is co-author, along with Carolyn Curtis, of Women and C.S. Lewis: What His Life and Literature Reveal for Today’s Culture. Mary and Carolyn began their collaboration after meeting at one of the C.S. Lewis Foundation’s Writer’s Retreats at Camp Allen, TX. Mary has served California Baptist University as a faculty member 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. She and her husband, Scott, recently “graduated” from 20 years of “Home Education” – after launching their three children into college and beyond. They have all been involved in the work the C.S. Lewis Foundation began in Northfield, MA, since 2010.

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.

Event Management & Support Team

Our Event Management & Support Team for our various in-person and virtual events also includes our Leadership Council members (above), Jill Fort, Jennifer Bohnert, Nancy Rinella, Andrew Lazo, Randy Ray, Lori Arnold, Anthony Amor, Scott Key, Ralph Linhardt, Chris Hernandez, Susan Adkins, and others depending on the event.