Lindsay Andreolli-Comstock I Director, LeadNOW!
When Lindsay is not directing or writing curriculum for the Wild Goose’s LeadNOW! initiative (for seminarians and first-call ministers), she can be found commuting between Atlanta, GA and New York City directing justice ministry education programs, equipping young clergy for social transformation, and helping churches cultivate a social justice ethos in their congregations. This is Lindsay’s fifth time at the Goose and is excited that LeadNOW! has doubled in size since last year. In her free time, Lindsay enjoys traveling, kayaking, and taking in live music with her wife, Mary.
Full bio here
Lindsay Andreolli-Comstock I Director, LeadNOW!
Shawna Bowman | Studio Tent, Art Integration & Co-Creation, Storytelling
Shawna used to get in trouble for drawing “too loud” in church. But music, crafts, woodworking, sewing projects were the life-blood of her family and she was just pitching in with her best gifts – visual arts. Shawna used her education in Studio Art and Art Education to teach, learn and play with amazing students in the public schools before heading off to seminary. Then she learned that for her pastoral imagination to flourish she couldn’t stop creating. Now she makes, builds, creates, writes and speaks in worship experiences all over the country and in the quirky community she pastors in Chicago, Friendship Presbyterian Church. Shawna’s excited to cultivate a working studio tent at the Goose integrating visual art with the arts of story telling and music making. artforgodsake.com twitter and instagram: @shawnabowman
Jenna Bowman | Site Operations
Jenna can usually be found riding around the grounds in various trucks, putting up and down the festival and making sure it all works. When she’s not doing that, you may find her helping out at the Desanka tent. She’s been volunteering here since The Goose’s second year.
She’s traveled and lived in Kenya, India, Peru, South American, and the U.K., knows various different sign languages and has worked with the Deaf worldwide. Jenna treasures family and community, and has a heart to serve, to give and spread love to anyone and everyone. She’s Interested in anything and everything involving human connection, nature, meditation and spirituality.
Tommy Brown | Stage Management
Tommy Brown has been a part of the Wild Goose community since 2012. In his real life, he serves as volunteer coordinator/cook/development coordinator at F.A.R.M. (Feed All Regardless of Means) Cafe in Boone, NC, and as Ministry Consultant at Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. He and his wife of 30 years, Karen, live in the mountains near Boone, NC He loves hiking, traveling, eating, cooking, and drinking craft beer. Other than Wildgoose, his other sacred event of the year is Merlefest where he doesn’t volunteer or work anymore – he just enjoys the great Americana/Bluegrass music. He loves being a part of the Goose community -especially getting to know the artists, presenters, musicians, and other wildgoosers.
Whitney Brown | LEAD NOW Programming
Whitney Brown is witty, determined, and always has a kazoo handy if you need a song in your life. She has been a visual artist since the moment she could hold a crayon and has been coloring outside the lines ever since. When she’s not enjoying a day on the patio with her friends, you’ll find Whitney practicing radical hospitality among neighbors experiencing homelessness, DJing at the local flea market, teaching in an after-school program, or curating the art gallery at Memphis Theological Seminary. She helped develop the LEADNOW initiative, connecting fresh church leaders with the community and home that awaits them at WGF.
Jeff Clark | President/Producer
When Jeff isn’t leading The Goose, he’s probably either teaching grad students at MTSU, riding a bike, consulting in a political campaign, dancing in a club on Broadway, directing an academic conference in Chicago, or out finding the best ice cream shop in town. Jeff is happiest when he’s multi-tasking.
Jeff loves music and production and creating. In addition to bringing strategic thinking to The Goose, you’ll find him all over the festival grounds making sure the lighting and sound are perfect. And dancing in front of the stage.
Carrie Craig | ADA Coordinator and Bookstore Manager
Carrie is a writer and an Episcopal priest with “a leaning toward the East,” raised in the south and studying from Boulder to Berkeley. She’s honored to work with geese who fly by their own unique patterns, loves meeting people at the festival, and is always looking forward to gathering with people who share their stories of “spirituality awakening” in a place filled with the celebration of these stories. . Carrie enjoys being outdoors, good food and time with friends. Evenings often find her with a book and a glass of wine.
Contact Carrie with any questons about accessibility or bookstore.
Bec Cranford | Volunteer Coordinator
Bec Cranford is a self-identified Bapticostal misfit preacher* from Atlanta, Georgia. When she’s not hanging out with her dog Basil or painting, you can probably find her at the Gateway Center working to make homelessness brief and rare in the city. Or at Candler School of Theology, rocking her students’ socks off. Or, preaching, marrying folks, or sitting on her front porch with friends, having conversations about life, God, and everything in between. This year at the Goose, Bec’s happy to serve as Volunteer Coordinator and offer hospitality to everybody she meets
Rita DeMario | Ranger Manager
The best way to describe Rita is “gets it done.” She has never encountered a challenge she couldn’t meet. While volunteering with The Wild Goose Festival since the first festival in 2011, working on various committees at her church, and being a steadfast activist for the homeless and the LGBT community in Raleigh, NC she makes time for her husband, Mark (also a Wild Goose volunteer), her two daughters, and her three grandchildren. Rita thrives on the energy she gets from the like-minded community she has found at Wild Goose. If you are lucky enough to share the dance floor or the yoga mat with “Rita Ranger,” you’ll know you have found a lifelong friend.
Vanna Fox | Senior Vice President/Director of Strategic Partnerships & Development
Vanna is a rare breed, an actual native of Asheville!! She discovered that you really can go home again. Which she did. After being bitten by a Wild Goose,she gave away everything she owned to downsize and serve the Wild Goose Community. As an ordained Baptist Minister, the only thing she enjoys more than working with Wild Geese, is to officiate weddings. If you want to see her happy, give her a stage and a mic. If you want to see who she really is, sing and dance with her. If you want a big hug and kiss, hand her a donation! Vanna is honored and humbled to serve the Wild Goose community year round.
Anna Golladay | Art Director/Creative Guru
If you are digging the creative vibe of the Goose, then Anna is the recipient of your high-five. The STORY logo and all Goose branding and swag oozed from this brain. When Anna isn’t chained to her Macbook, she’s likely in one of four states of being:
TRAVELING as Creative Director in her corporate role, with the Faithmarks exhibit or representing Neighborhood Economics;
ADVOCATING as an ally for LGBTQ rights or in pastoral leadership at St Marks Church in Chattanooga;
JAMMING out at a live music festival or
CHASING the drive of entrepreneurship, the latest Washington Caps/New Orleans Saints game or the four-legged fur balls she calls children.
Emily Griffin | Co-Director, Children’s Programming
Emily will be co-leading children’s activities at Wild Goose this year. She’s an Episcopal priest in Washington, DC and a trainer in Godly Play – a hands-on, creative method of spiritual guidance used primarily with kids. When she’s not in a circle sharing stories, she’s either reading voraciously, attempting French cooking with her husband, or brushing up on her Spanish. She’s most at home in the mountains and can’t wait to sing and work and pray and play at her first Wild Goose.
Terry Gonda | Music
Terry has dedicated her life to living up to a declaration she made as a five year old to grow up to be “lots of things.” She is a wife, Ignatian-trained spiritual director, singer-songwriter, Catholic music director, engineer, organizational development consultant, teacher, speaker, world-class hugger, and a mystic-in-training. She’s honored to bring a strategic and contemplative perspective to the music programming team and especially thrilled at the headliners at this year’s festival. She looks forward to using her many hats to support the Goose, especially performing with her wife and doling out hugs.
Russ Jennings | Podcasts
Russ is an avid reader and (in all modesty) an amazing cook. He’s from rural Michigan, spent a lot of years in the SF Bay Area, and now lives on the island at the center of the world, New York City.
Russ has had many incarnations. His many years of concert production in the Bay Area led him to stage manage the Goose’s main stage for all but the first Wild Goose. In the last couple of years he has created a podcast (LoveInADangerousTime.net) that looks at Church issues. This year he’ll be found at the GooseCast tent.
Nancy St. John | Co-Director, Children’s Programming
Nancy is very much looking forward to joining teammates in co-leading children’s activities at Wild Goose this year. She is a trained early childhood Montessori teacher at a Montessori school in Scituate, Massachusetts. Nancy is also a trainer for the Godly Play, a religious method that helps children explore their faith through story. Both these passions compliment the other, as she sits on the floor with children most Sundays at a nearby Episcopal church telling stories. Nancy lives along the rocky Massachusetts seashore, where she marvels at its beauty and loves walking along the beach any chance she gets in search of “treasure.”
Brian McLaren | Board Vice-Chair
Known as an author, activist, and speaker, and formerly known as a church planter and pastor, Brian McLaren has a secret life as a grandparent, kayaker, fly fisher, tortoise keeper, birder, and songwriter. He lived most of his life in Maryland, but for the last seven years has lived in Southwest Florida where he volunteers as a sea turtle nesting monitor. He collaborates with the Convergence, Center for Progressive Renewal, Convergence Music Project, Auburn Senior Fellows, and – of course! – Wild Goose Festival. 2016 is the first year he’s missing the Festival (due to a sabbatical), but in 2017, you’ll see him wandering around enjoying surprising conversations, while keeping his eyes and ears open for a warbler, vireo, finch, or thrush.
Rick Meredith | Creative Director
Programming, Communications, & Wild Goose TV
Having accumulated a lifetime of experience communicating clients’ messages in film, video, audio, photography, and multi-media, Rick set out on a quest a few years ago, searching for a way to use his creative talents to help “make the world a better place.” He soon encountered the Goose and noticed that, oddly enough, it appeared to be on a nearly identical quest. When he’s not working on Goose projects, you might find him shooting or editing video, riding his road bike on a long treks around Chicago, cooking, reading, or watching a movie, or just puttering around on some mindless activity. This year, look for Rick at the video tent, right next to the Art Studio. Rick’s Website
Jasmin Morrell | Director of Operations and Communications
Though she is probably most at home with her nose in a book, Jasmin will not turn down the opportunity to host a party. Especially if dancing is involved. Hospitality is her thing–whether it shows up through her writing, in her home, or hanging with her friends experiencing homelessness–any space she lands is a warm and welcoming one. She’s taught a creative writing workshop and helped curate the festival’s sacred/worship spaces in the past. This year, her role with the Goose is year-round and touches a variety of aspects of coordinating the festival. When you see her around, be sure to get a hug!
Doug Paggit | OPEN Faith tent coordinator
“I’ve been at every Wild Goose Festival, including the west-coast one in Portland. If by some odd set of circumstances we were to meet at a party where neither of us knew the host and were both the party-partners of someone else and we were trapped in the kitchen and in a kind effort you sought to break the awkward silence by saying, “so, who are you?”, I would want to tell you that deep down I am an aspiring novice ultra marathoner who at that very moment wishes I was out on a run. But instead, in order to fit the protocol of casual, professional interactions I would tell you that I am a pastor, an author, a convener who seeks to be a goodness conspirator & possibility evangelist finding creative, entrepreneurial and generative ways to enlist people to join in the hopes, dreams, and desires of God for the world . . .” Doug’s website
Gary Rand | Creative Integration and Liturgy
Gary loves making music and creating ritual experiences that open up people to mystery, justice, and a greater sense of community. He currently does that at LaSalle Street Church in Chicago and at McCormick Seminary, as well as through a new arts/liturgy collective, The Plural Guild. He’s also producing a new band, The Many, a collaboration working to create honest, reflective and prophetic music for people to sing in worship. A regular on the LaSalle softball team, he even thinks bowling can be fun, especially when done ironically.
Lenora Rand | Communications, Social Media/Website
Lenora tries to blog with honesty, humor and even a little wisdom about a mostly-epiphany-free spiritual journey on her Chicago-Tribune-hosted blog, Spiritual Suckitude. A regular contributor on RedLetterChristians.org, she and husband Gary Rand co-direct an arts/liturgy collective, The Plural Guild. Because she rarely sleeps, she also writes lyrics for the band The Many, works a very full time job as creative director in a big Chicago ad agency, and helps with communications for Wild Goose. She loves Jesus, chocolate and shoes. Though, unfortunately, not always in that order.
Kirsti Reeve | Music
Kirsti was happily living in England until she fell in love with a woman from Detroit. In 2003, she moved to Michigan where she is still adjusting to the culture shock, while loving married life, and working as a counselor, musician, and minister. A long-time Greenbelter, this will be her fifth Goose, and she is delighted to be part of the music team. She is especially glad to see the Indigo Girls here again, since their email list is where she first encountered her wife. An INFP, Kirsti rarely goes anywhere without a good book, a mug of tea, and her knitting.
Sally Thomas | Co-Director, Children’s Programming
“Sally is the most irreverent reverent person” a childhood friend recently proclaimed. Yep! Since her own children declared their innate theology as they emerged from the womb, Sally has been attuned to the spiritual wisdom children offer in this wondrous world. She has been in cahoots with circles of children and their families using Godly Play for twenty years and is thrilled to join peeps Emily Griffin and Nancy St. John for Godly Play’s 2nd year at the Goose.
Joy Carrol Wallis |Board Chair
Joy Wallis was one of the first women ordained to the priesthood in the Church of England in 1994. She was the real-life Vicar of Dibley and the inspiration for the 1994 BBC comedy series of the same name. She’s the author of Beneath the Cassock: The Real Life Vicar of Dibley, and The Woman Behind the Collar. Joy and her husband, Jim Wallis (Soujourners), live in Washington, D.C. with their two children, Luke and Jack.
Ben Wright | House DJ and Audio Tech Support
Ben Wright understands himself as being called to “amplify the voices of others.” When not doing this through urban and social justice ministry, he does so through audio mixers and powered speakers. Ben also teaches religion and cultural appreciation courses in Danville, VA. A loyal face since the first Goose, this year Ben is celebrating his April wedding to wife Rebecca. Check out his mix at the Silent Disco and Youth dueling karoke.