Highlands Current Inc., which publishes The Highlands Current and its website at highlandscurrent.org, is run by a volunteer board of directors and an advisory board.

Damon BanksDamon Banks has been a bassist, composer, teaching artist and producer for more than 30 years. A native of the Bronx, he has worked with George Benson, Peter Gabriel, The Neville Brothers, Bobby Womack, Chico Hamilton, Terry Riley, Andre de Shields and Angelique Kidjo, among many others. He released his debut album, Travelguides, in 2014. Damon lives in Beacon with his wife, violinist Gwen Laster.

Christine BockelmannChristine Bockelmann (chair) is a former assistant business editor at The New York Times who also worked at Newsday and The Chicago Sun-Times after starting in journalism as editor of a local newspaper in Oak Park, Illinois. She joined The Current board in 2014. She is the co-author of The New York Times Century of Business, published in 1999, with her husband, Floyd Norris, a retired business columnist at The Times. They bought their home in Garrison in 2006.

Wendy Bounds

Gwendolyn (Wendy) Bounds, who lives in Garrison, is the head of content (U.S.) for SmartNews and a former vice president and chief content officer for Consumer Reports and editor and executive producer of video at The Wall Street Journal. Her book Little Chapel on the River: A Pub, A Town and the Search for What Matters Most chronicles the story of the former Guinan’s Pub & Country Store in Garrison.

Susan BruneSusan Brune is a white-collar defense and trial lawyer who practices at her own firm in Manhattan. The Philipstown resident joined the board because of the importance of local journalism in knitting communities together and keeping people informed about local government and other important local issues.

David DuffyDavid Duffy is a crime-fiction writer and business ghostwriter. He has published two novels, Last to Fold and In for a Ruble, and written on a range of business, finance and technology subjects. He was previously a financial public relations consultant and executive. He and his wife, also a writer, have lived in Philipstown since 2000.

Kyle GoodKyle Good was senior vice president for global communications at Scholastic Corp. for 15 years after serving as director of communications for the Children’s Defense Fund. From 1979-1998, she was a producer/director at CBS News and NBC News. A resident of Philipstown, Kyle also serves as a trustee of the Desmond-Fish Public Library.

Nick GroombridgeNicholas Groombridge (treasurer) is a partner at Groombridge, Wu, Baughman & Stone LLP, where he focuses on intellectual property litigation matters. He is also on the board of Riverkeeper and spends some of his down time racing cars. He and his family live in Philipstown.

Todd HaskellTodd Haskell, is the senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Hearst Magazines. Previously, he served as chief revenue officer for digital at Hearst Magazines, as well as the group vice president and head of digital sales at The New York Times. Todd and his wife, Angela, have lived in Beacon since 2016.

Robert LanierRobert Lanier is the public affairs officer at the Keller Army Community Hospital at West Point. He retired from the U.S. Coast Guard after 21 years of service, the majority as a public affairs specialist. He is a lifelong Beacon resident, a Marist College alumnus, a member of the Beacon Elks Club, has served on the City of Beacon Ethics Committee and Zoning Board of Appeals, is a public speaker and has been a baseball umpire for more than 30 years.

Mel LaytnerMel Laytner (secretary) is a former foreign correspondent for NBC News and United Press International and author of the memoir What They Didn’t Burn: Uncovering My Father’s Holocaust Secrets. He and his wife, Anat, live in Nelsonville.

Bevis Longstreth built his house in Garrison in 1967-68. He is a retired partner of the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton; a former commissioner of the Securities & Exchange Commission; a trustee of New School University, and a retired member of a number of educational and charitable boards. He taught law at Columbia Law School after retiring from practice and then turned to writing novels, including Out of the Whirlwind, published in 2022, and four historical novels.

Joe PlummerJoseph Plummer (vice chair) and his wife, Kathy, have lived in Nelsonville for 25 years. His 40-plus years in advertising led to “encore careers” in global work for a Japanese wellness company and for a research and consulting company in Pittsburgh. He serves on numerous nonprofit and corporate boards.

Fran ReillyFrances S. Reilly is the principal of Reilly Emerging Media. She was most recently publisher of City Limits, the oldest nonprofit investigative news agency in New York City, and formerly a media executive at Time Inc. Ventures and Scholastic. Reilly, who holds an MFA in creative writing, began her career at The Atlantic and Mother Jones. She lives in Beacon.

Michelle RivasMichelle Rivas is the community engagement librarian at the Howland Public Library in Beacon. Before joining the library in 2014, she was a program director and teacher at Creative Classrooms in New York City for 15 years. She holds a bachelor of fine arts from the Parsons School of Design, a master’s degree in elementary education from Walden University and a master’s degree in library science from San Jose State. Michelle lives in Wappingers Falls.

Highlands Current Inc. Advisory Board

Allen Alter
Ralph Arditi*
Suzanne Baker
Christopher Buck*
Stacey Farley*
Irvine Flinn*
Judith Mogul
Frederick Osborn III*
John C. Plummer
Eben Shapiro
Zanne Stewart

*former directors