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Board of Directors


The Trust is dedicated to preserving Bannerman Castle as an educational, cultural, historical, and recreational facility that promotes heritage tourism in the Hudson Valley.  We coordinate resources and funding to stabilize the structures on Pollepel Island so that the island is a safe and lasting destination for public tours and special events.  We also arrange public tours of the island each year, as well as maintain docks, trails, and gardens. We conduct other special projects such as preparation of Historic Structures Reports to document the history of the Castle, under the purview of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation (NYSOPRHP).

Executive Director & Founder

Neil J. Caplan, Realtor and co-owner of the Swann Inn, Beacon, NY.

Board of Directors:

Len Warner, President
Senior Vice President, Environmental Engineering at WSP.

John Atherton, Vice President and Secretary

Dr. John Wolbeck, Treasurer
Dr. Wolbeck is a Professor of Physics and Engineering, and Chair of the Science, Engineering & Architecture Department at SUNY-Orange.

Susan Anderson
Susan has worked in New York City as a CPA since 1982, serving individuals, small companies, and non-profits.  Her love of hiking and the outdoors brought her to the Cold Spring–Beacon area in the 1970s where she developed a long-standing love for the Hudson River Valley that has been enriched by volunteering with the Bannerman Castle Trust.

Virginia Palen Donovan
Co-owner of Riverwinds Gallery in Beacon, NY, and online. Virginia is retired from IBM where she worked for over 35 years in programming, education, marketing, and management.

Robert Doyle
Robert Doyle is a U.S. Coast Guard Licensed Captain who owns and operates Hudson Highland Tours and Hudson Views 19thC Fine Art Gallery. In addition to his service on the BCT Board, he is the current President of the Dutchess County Historical Society.

Barbara Gottlock
Retired educator who has co-authored six books on Hudson Valley history, including Bannerman Castle.

John Lanc
Partner at Lanc & Tully Engineering and Surveying.

Michael TJ McCormack, AIA
Partner of the architecture firm Liscum McCormack VanVoorhis LLP.

Advisory Board:

Frederick Osborn, III
Chereese Jervis-Hill
Thom Johnson
David Rocco
Robert Schiera


Kelly Ellenwood, Director of Development
Laurie Clark, BCT Administrator, Exhibition Coordinator and Curator of the Bannerman Gallery
Mary Babcock, Island Staff Coordinator
Wes Gottlock, Senior Tour Guide Coordinator
Donna Blakemore, Garden Coordinator
Barbara Gottlock, Co-Garden Coordinator
Molly Foley, Volunteer Coordinator
John Antinori, Head Captain of the Estuary Steward
Joan Maldarelli, Bookkeeper
Mary Ann Glass, Gallery Staff
Johan Ayoob, Gallery Staff
Paul Kluckman, Island Steward

Website Photo Credit:

Scott Snell
John Morzen
Linda T. Hubbard
Neil Caplan
Laurie A. Clark
Rob Yasinsac
Thom Johnson
Russell Cusick


The rich history of Bannerman Castle and the beautiful scenery of Pollepel Island will provide a wonderfully enriching day for the whole family.


Become a Seasonal Sponsor! Your business will be recognized at all of our award-winning events. There are also opportunities to sponsor specific capital projects.


Make a donation to the Bannerman Castle Trust to help preserve Bannerman Castle, stabilize the buildings, and maintain the grounds on Pollepel Island.