Lagom Landing is co-directed by Rock Castor and Laurel Nelson.
As young adults, both Rock and Laurel benefited from “gap years” of their own.
Rock (below, second from left) did not know what he wanted to do when he graduated from high school. So, he went to Papua New Guinea as a volunteer at age 18. There, he was exposed to simple pole construction, and within six months was writing home “I’ve figured out what I want to do!” Since then, Rock has run his own construction business in Western New York for over 30 years. He supervises the construction component of Lagom Landing with a contagious enthusiasm for the joy that comes from working with his hands. Some of Rock’s other favorite parts of the program are making maple syrup and apple cider. Rock also loves to ski and to play tennis and ping-pong. He serves as the “fun committee” at Lagom Landing.
Before Laurel (below, right) became an ordained minister with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a calling that originally brought her to Western New York, she spent a year with the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Young Adult Volunteer program as a volunteer in Jerusalem. The faith of Palestinian Christians inspired Laurel’s pursuit of ministry. Today she is the leader of Lagom Landing’s spiritual development activities. Laurel has continued her interest in humanitarian and environmental issues, loves hiking and preparing for triathlons, and is passionate about cooking and gardening. Together, this makes her the perfect facilitator for personal inquiry and life skills activities throughout the program. Laurel’s commitment to building community partnerships with Lagom’s “country neighbors” makes it possible for us to cater to the interests and needs of each student.
Support Staff and Board of Directors
Administrative Assistant, Terri Burkett – Hemlock, New York
Terri’s background is in printing and publicity and her passion is increasing opportunities for underprivileged youth, especially urban young people. In her role at Lagom Landing, she wears many hats including marketing, website maintenance, student recruitment, and bookkeeping. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors, bread baking, reading, and learning new skills in sustainability as she homesteads with her husband and children.
Board President, Gretchen Roth – Geneseo, NY
Gretchen is a classroom assistant at Geneseo Central School and has a passion for young people. She has also served as Christian Educator at Geneseo Central Presbyterian Church. Gretchen’s extensive experience with youth and young adults, her past-life as a professional cook, and her ability to discover and develop gifts in people, make her an asset to the Board.
Board Secretary, Joshua Murphy – Rochester, NY
Joshua was a student of Lagom Landing’s pilot year (2012-13). After his time at Lagom Landing, Joshua continued his learning through completing his BA in Psychology and Masters degree in Education. Joshua’s passion is creating unique educational opportunities for young people and he has had the pleasure of working with various organizations to achieve this. Joshua comes back to his Lagom roots each year to lead workshops in goal setting, building community, and finding internships.
Board Treasurer, Cindy Schmitt – Geneseo, NY
Cindy is a retired English teacher who was an educator for 34 years. She is a member of the Geneseo Central Education Fund board and is a runner, walker, and avid reader.
Board Member, Paul Hudson – Bloomfield, NY
Paul is a retired advertising executive who teaches part-time at The University of Rochester and is a church volunteer at the West Bloomfield UCC. Paul has spent 15 years on the board of Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua and 13 years on the Bloomfield School Board. He married his high school sweetheart and has five daughters and 16 grandkids. He loves golf, reading, writing, and history. Paul is a social justice advocate. He started Big World, a rural summertime experience for Rochester city youth. His passion is solving problems.
Board Member, Bob Insull – Brighton, NY
Dr. Bob is an NY State Licensed Psychologist with more than 50 years experience teaching, training, and treating in the arena of human behavior. In his clinical practice, he has worked across the developmental stages (children to golden-agers), across the diagnostic spectrum (chemical dependency, severe mental illness, relationship issues, depression, anxiety, and PTSD), and treatment settings (clinics, inpatient psychiatric centers, and private practice). During the closing years of his practice, he became interested in the area of psychological trauma and worked with survivors in individual and group settings. Dr. Bob, a native of NY City, has lived in Brighton with his wife, Joanne, for 38 years. They have three grown children and six grandchildren. He has been retired from active practice for about 10 years and spends his time engaged in social-change activities with his church and with the Rochester Alliance of Communities Transforming Society (Roc/ACTS).
Board Member, Brian Keyes – Honeoye, NY
Brian is currently working for The Outdoor Group, a company that builds professional archery equipment. Brian enjoys listening to and making music. He also loves most outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, camping, archery, and sports. Brian’s family consists of his wife Britney, his amazing stepson, Lucian, and numerous pets. Helping people and volunteering are very important to Brian and his family.
Erin is a graduate of St. Lawrence University, where she double majored in Psychology and Political Science with a minor in Gender & Sexuality Studies. After graduation, Erin spent a year as an Americorps VISTA with a non-profit law firm in Rochester, NY. She currently works in the same organization assisting with grant writing and capacity building projects. Erin loves partaking in community projects, gardening, reading, and hiking.
Board Member, Betty Reinhart– Conesus, NY
Betty is a retired School Counselor of 38 years who continues to work part-time in the Restorative Justice field for Partners in Restorative Initiatives, a nonprofit in Rochester. She loves doing Community Building Circles and training and especially honored to share this restorative practice at Lagom Landing. She also teaches Grounded Kids Yoga and lives with her partner of 14 years, Barry. She loves being a Mom and a new grandmother!