Contacts and Hours
The CDSS office is closed until further notice, and all CDSS staff are working remotely. Email is the best way to reach us; you'll find our addresses below.
116 Pleasant St., Suite 345
Easthampton, MA 01027-2759
Most weeks, our office and store are staffed Monday–Friday, 9:30–5:00.
Meet the CDSS Team
|Katy German||Executive Director||x100|
|Robin Hayden||Director of Development||x107|
|Steve Howe||Director of Camp Programs||x102|
|Julie Brodnitzki||Director of Finance||x111|
|Sarah Pilzer||Director of Operations||x103|
|Anna Mach||Accounting Manager||x113|
|Linda Henry||Community Resources Manager||x105|
|Nicki Perez||Membership & Development Coordinator||x104|
|Crispin Youngberg||Office & Registration Manager||x101|
|Ben Williams||Sales & Insurance Manager||x106|
|Kelsey Wells||Marketing & Communications Manager|
Executive DirectorEmail x100
A native of Berea, Kentucky, Katy grew up immersed in traditional song, dance, and music. Her first involvement with CDSS was as a camper at CDSS Family Week at Pinewoods as a teenager, where she fell in love with the work of CDSS. Over the years she’s continued to support the organization as a CDSS member, donor, camp instructor, camp program director, and board member.
Before becoming the Executive Director of CDSS in 2017, Katy spent 6 years in clinical trials data management, and 7 years in food banking, where she supervised a remote team that worked with 200 partner agencies to end hunger in western North Carolina. Today Katy is blending her previous professional experiences with her love of traditional dance, music, and song, as she leads CDSS in becoming a high-functioning remote team, rooted in a strong mission, and harnessing today’s technology to bridge geographic distance.
Outside the office you might find Katy paddle-boarding with her family, singing with others, driving her two kids around to any number of activities, working in the yard, reading novels, or planning some big gathering or adventure.
Director of DevelopmentEmail x107
Robin started dancing when she arrived at Swarthmore College in 1983, and soon after, following only a few years of teaching 4th grade, began working for CDSS as a volunteer when both she and the office (coincidentally) moved to Western MA. What began in 1987 as a volunteer Membership Secretary role grew, as CDSS grew over the next 33 years, into Robin’s deeply fulfilling work as Director of Development, in which she is grateful to be able to offer CDSS’s many friends the opportunity to support our important work through membership and generous giving.
After 22 years of residing and raising her two children in Amherst, MA, she settled in a quiet house of her own in Greenfield. A widely-traveled English country dancer and leader, she recently retired from 25 years as the organizer of the weekly English dance in Amherst.
Director of Camp ProgramsEmail x102
Steve started dancing while in high school in Charlotte NC, and, with his parents and siblings, was involved with the nascent Charlotte Country Dancers. Later, backstage theater work led to behind the scenes dance camp work, full time with CDSS since 1989. Steve oversees all CDSS camp sessions and is Camp Director for the six weeks at Pinewoods.
Steve dances with Marlboro Morris and Green Mountain Mummers, looks for any excuse to dance longsword and to play with different expressions of the Abbots Bromley antler dance, and is now a sporadic ECD and contra dancer. He is married to clog and morris dancer, Meg Ryan, and their three adult children are regular social and display dancers.
Director of FinanceEmail x111
Julie grew up in Barkhamsted, CT and after graduating from the University of Central Florida moved out to Missoula, MT for a brief period before moving back to Barkhamsted to raise her three children. She has a M.S. in Accounting from the University of Connecticut and B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida. Prior to joining CDSS, Julie worked at several nonprofit organizations in CT. She joined CDSS in December of 2019 as the Director of Finance and is responsible for the organization's finances and human resources.
When Julie is not at the office, she is enjoying the outdoors, running, skiing or hiking with family and friends. She loves traveling and was fortunate to enjoy a month-long RV trip across the United States with her family in 2018. She visited 28 states and drove 9529 miles.
Director of OperationsEmail x103
Sarah is a New England transplant from Takoma Park, MD, now living in Greenfield, MA. Her first involvement with CDSS was as a young camper at Family Week. She went on to join the Governing Board as a college student, and then later in 2016, was hired to work in the office in Easthampton. Sarah has worn many hats at CDSS over the years, but currently serves as the Director of Operations, guiding the smooth functioning of the organization’s systems and processes.
Sarah grew up in a music & dance family and has been involved in the folk community her entire life. She has a rainbow of morris vests from the various teams she has danced with but most recently can be found wearing either red with Marlboro Morris & Sword or gray with Oxbow Morris. Sarah is a graduate of Oberlin College and Boston University and holds a M.A. in Marine Biology (ask her about talking to fish!). Other hobbies/interests include: board games, crochet, flower gardening, and parades.
Accounting ManagerEmail x113
Anna grew up in Canada and went to the University of Manitoba for her B.S in Accounting and Mathematics. She now lives in West Springfield, MA with her husband and two children. Prior to joining CDSS, she started and ran her own business for 5 years in Canada, and then worked for Girl Scouts of Pioneer Valley as their Accounting/Finance Manager. She joined CDSS in December 2011. As Accounting Manager, she oversees organization accounting activities and processes.
During most of her time off from CDSS, she is busy driving her two kids to their activities and taking care of her mother both remotely and in Canada. She loves traveling and learning about different cultures from the places she visits. She was fortunate enough to be able to give her children their first overseas trip to Asia last summer. She hopes she will be able to continue her travels after the kids are all grown up.
Community Resources ManagerEmail x105
Linda grew up in five states across the South, and she first encountered contra dancing in Asheville, NC in the early 80s. As her love for dancing grew, she started organizing and playing piano for monthly dances in her community. This led to moving to New England and immersing herself in the Boston dance scene. In the early 90s she moved to western Massachusetts and joined the CDSS staff. She now lives in Amherst, MA, where she started and co-organized the Fiddlers Green Contra Dance for 14 years, including playing piano and leading an open band. She has also been organizing a local family dance series for the last five years.
Linda thoroughly enjoys her current role as Community Resources Manager, which provides a variety of opportunities to support music, dance, and song communities across the continent. She hosts Web Chats, offers grants and scholarships, and supports organizers in planning leadership training events. (Here's a glimpse of her trip to Albuquerque, NM to help lead the Southwest Regional Leadership Conference.) She loves using her local experiences to understand the needs of organizers and introduce them to the vast resources now available through CDSS!
Membership & Development CoordinatorEmail x104
Nicki grew up in Hanover, NH and now lives in Northampton, MA. Working as the Membership & Development Coordinator at CDSS, she’s the one who processes all your memberships and donations, mails your renewal notices, and more!
Nicki has been an avid dancer and singer since birth. Starting with Irish step dance classes, she later became involved with Revels North, Village Harmony, and Maple Leaf Morris & Sword in Norwich, VT. After touring with Northern Harmony in 2014, she moved to the Pioneer Valley, and has been working for CDSS since 2016.
Office & Registration ManagerEmail x101
Crispin grew up in Devon, England, and now lives in Greenfield, MA. He joined the CDSS team in June 2019. As Office and Registration Manager, Crispin works with Steve Howe administering CDSS’ camp programs (including working at Pinewoods for the six weeks of CDSS camp there), and with Sarah Pilzer on operations and admin in the main office.
Outside of his work for CDSS, Crispin has been involved in folk communities in the UK and now in the USA since he was a child. He dances with Marlboro Morris, plays fiddle, and organizes a monthly pub sing in Greenfield. He also enjoys knitting, hiking, and gluten-free baking.
Sales & Insurance ManagerEmail x106
Ben Williams grew up in the suburbs of Boston and now lives in Northampton, MA. He began working for CDSS in fall of 2018. He’s responsible for CDSS’ publications, including digital publications and the online library. He also runs the store and coordinates insurance and 501(c)(3) services for Group Affiliates.
Ben has been a life-long singer and began contra dancing in Greenfield while he attended UMass Amherst for journalism and psychology (after a brief stint in chemistry). While not singing and dancing he enjoys playing games (board, card, and otherwise), woodworking, and other craft projects. He also helps run a local meditation center and a Buddhist summer camp for children ages 10-16.
Marketing & Communications ManagerEmail
Kelsey works for CDSS from her home near Nashville, TN. As Marketing and Communications Manager, she oversees News publications, designs camp promotions, writes social media content, and much more. Kelsey works with Robin Hayden and Nicki Perez on the Development team and with anyone else in the office who needs art! She joined CDSS in 2019 after having been a primary school music teacher, a university graphic designer, and a guitar builder.
Kelsey plays fiddle and banjo in the dance bands Turnip the Beet and Silver Sail, spending many weekends traveling to dance festivals around the country. She is the founder and co-leader of the Nashville Country Dancers community open band and served as the US delegate to the world folk music project Ethno Flanders in 2017. Outside of playing music, Kelsey enjoys making crankies and hiking with her pup, Isham.
Anne lives and works in Orlando, FL. She graduated from Hampshire College in 1995 and has been designing and building websites ever since. In 2019, she joined the CDSS team as webmaster, taking care of updates, maintenance, and design on both the main CDSS site and the camp site.
Anne's dance career began and ended at age 4, when the ballet teacher told her parents not to bother sending her back. However, she enjoys group singing, and her time with CDSS has inspired her to dip a toe into contra dance. Her other interests include travel, cooking, needlepoint, and Star Wars.