Jackson Center Staff
James C. Johnson
James C. Johnson is currently the President and CEO of the Robert H. Jackson Center, located in Jamestown, New York. The Robert H. Jackson Center’s mission is to advance the legacy of Robert H. Jackson—U.S. Supreme Court Justice and Chief U.S. Prosecutor at the International Military Tribunal (IMT) trial at Nuremberg—through education and exhibits, and by pursuing the relevance of his ideas for future generations.
Thomas W. Schmidt
Tom Schmidt is a retired Superintendent of the Sherman Central School District. He began his career in the Randolph School District as a teacher. In his career, Tom worked as a Principal in the Bemus Point and Jamestown School Districts. Prior to being a Superintendent, he was an assistant Superintendent in the Depew School District. He also served as an interim Superintendent for Cassadaga Valley Central Schools and continues to do educational consulting.
Tom serves as the Communications Coordinator of the Mission of Peace in the Northeast Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church and also serves on the Upper New York Conference Council for Youth Ministry. He has been involved with the United Way for several years, serving on the Board of Directors, Secretary to the Executive Committee and was a past Campaign Chair.
Tom lives with his wife Katherine in the Jamestown area. They have six grown children and two grandchildren.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadsided, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming, Wow, what a ride!
T. Marion Beckerink
Director of Development
Marion Beckerink oversees the Center's development activities and contributes to the planning and direction of its fundraising efforts. Marion provides strategy and vision for the Center and its Board of Directors in support of the President, Executive Director and in conjunction with senior staff as the Jackson Center implements its Strategic Plan for 2015-2017.
A native of Philadelphia, PA, Marion recently moved to Jamestown from Cleveland, OH where she was a Staff Attorney for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio for 15 years, analyzing and researching complex legal issues to draft proposed memoranda for the court. From 1994 – 1999, she was Career Law Clerk to the late Chief Judge George W. White of the Northern District of Ohio. Prior to her career with the federal court, Marion was a Contracting Officer for the Department of Defense - negotiating forward pricing rate agreements with TRW, Argo-Tech, Chromalloy, and International Gear, among others. Marion began her career as Assistant Director of Admissions for Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Marion lives in Jamestown with her husband, Rod, with whom she enjoys traveling off-highway trips throughout the country. Her son, Josh, lives and works as a marketing agent in D.C., where he recently was graduated from the George Washington University.
Justice Jackson’s life story is a vivid illustration of the lengths to which an individual’s influence can travel; and, what an amazing inspiration he still is on issues of civil liberty, international law and what how justice is expressed in society.
Liz oversees the general office management and building usage of the Jackson Center. In her position she plans and coordinates the logistics for events and programs while also carrying out the Center’s communications plan and volunteer program.
Liz is a native of Jamestown and graduate of SUNY Fredonia with a bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts. Her professional career over the past 10 years includes experience in office management, development and communications for several area non-profits and small businesses. Liz and her husband own a local restaurant that has been part of a family business in downtown Jamestown for over a hundred years.
Working at the Jackson Center I enjoy sharing the history of Jackson’s roots in his hometown, it is a universal story anyone can connect to. Justice Jackson’s accomplishments are something we can all be proud of in Jamestown, a small town in Upstate NY, that helped nurture and shape someone who would go on to have such a profound impact on our world.
Archives and Exhibits Manager
Jennifer manages the Jackson Center archives, curates exhibits and educational displays, oversees content creation for the Center's website, coordinates and trains interns, and works with the Center's educational initiatives.
Jennifer is a native of Jamestown, NY, and graduated from SUNY Fredonia with a BA in English in 2000, and SUNY Albany with a MA in History in 2005. Before returning to her hometown in 2008, Jennifer worked as the Public Programs Coordinator for Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz, NY. She lives with her partner David, and their two children Willa and Max in Falconer, NY.
When I was a little girl my grandmother would tell me about growing up during the Great Depression, and her experience serving in the Women's Army Corps during World War II. She made history something I could connect to. The story of Jackson's life provides me with many opportunities to help people write, create, and understand their own history.
Sonya oversees the organization and maintenance of office duties. She aids in event planning and handles rental coordination’s. Sonya is a native of Jamestown and a graduate of SUNY Fredonia with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in History.
It is an honor and pleasure to work at the Jackson Center and be a part of such a powerful mission of universal equality, fairness, and justice.
Dr. Douglas Neckers
I am a native of Clymer, New York where my Grandfather, Albert Neckers, Jr., was a Jackson client while President of the Clymer State Bank. My specific Jackson Center interest revolves around my extensive research on ethics as it relates to I. G. Farben Cartel and the Trial at Nuremberg where 11 Ph. D. organic chemists were found guilty of crimes against humanity. All were leaders of their communities. The Farben Trial was, in many ways, the first Enron trial.
Randall J. Sweeney
Executive Director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation
In early 2001, Carl Cappa, one of the founders of the Jackson Center, asked me if I would assist with this new project, the start-up of this interesting non-profit organization, the Jackson Center. Mr. Cappa had also been one of the early founders and board members of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. The “birth” of the organization and the years that followed have been challenging but also very exciting for our region. Then Jackson Center has introduced our area to one of our own “hometown heroes” that had made it to major success on many fronts throughout his life. During these years, many personalities from the direct world of Justice Jackson to the Chief Justice of the United States have visited the Center. I have been honored to serve and, even in a small way, assist the Jackson Center to where it is today and the tremendous potential for tomorrow.
Faculty Consultant, ETS, Princeton, NJ;
I am from Warren, Pennsylvania, Robert H. Jackson's birthplace. His distinguished career in U.S. government, on the World Stage (especially at the Nuremberg trials); and, in national and international legal circles, as well as his unique personal history as a self-made man, all inspire me. I would like to celebrate his career and continue to foster the ideals for which he so ably stood. I am especially interested in educating future leaders about Jackson and how he represented the best of the United States.
Executive and owner of Bodell Overcash Anderson & Co., Inc., a broker-dealer with 8 registered representatives in NY. John has held an industry securities registration for over 31 years.
I am involved with the Jackson Center because I see it as my civil service to Jamestown and an opportunity to pursue history.
Honorable Willard Cass
John Q. Barrett
Professor of Law at St. John's University, Elizabeth S. Lenna Fellow
Robert H. Jackson’s life was very human, accessible, real, imperfect, well-spent and happy. His effective work, his glowing words and his powerful example across so many fields are greatness and high inspiration. Millions around the world know that already, and many millions more should. I’m honored to be part of the Jackson Center because it shares information, promotes values and teaches habits that give every person, and especially every younger person starting out “nowhere” as RHJ once did, a chance to live a fuller, smarter, more substantive, more engaged, and more successful life—a more Jacksonian life.
Ambassador Hans Corell
Ambassador (ret.) Former Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and the Legal Counsel of the United Nations
President, Ensight Consulting
Our family always felt that my grandfather's significant life should matter to current and future generations. Imagine our gratitude when we discovered that others in Jamestown not only recognized his unique career and contributions to the law, but started an organization dedicated to his legacy.
I am on the board of the Jackson Center to promote the principles my grandfather represented as a way to help people take informed action today.
David M. Crane
Immediate Past Chair
Professor, Syracuse University College of Law and founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone
Serving on the board allows me to assist in the development of the mission, goals, and programs of the Robert H. Jackson Center. I consider the Center one of excellence, focusing the life of Justice Jackson locally in the Jamestown area, nationally as a leader in American jurisprudence, and internationally as the American Chief of Counsel at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.
Timothy Goodell, Esq.
Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Hess Corporation, and former Co-Head of the Mergers & Acquisitions Practice at White & Case's New York office
for 24 years.
John A. Jackson, Esq.
I am pleased to be a member of the organization that promotes the moral, intellectual, and legal legacy of someone who embodied the highest principles in all three categories.
Honorable Melissa Jackson
I serve on the Board in order to preserve and disseminate my Grandfather's legacy.
Jamestown Container Corporation
Honorable Judith S. Kaye
Of Counsel, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where she focuses her practice on appellate litigation and arbitration. Former Chief Judge of the State of New York and Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for 15 years, until her retirement on December 31, 2008. Appointed to the Court in 1983 by Governor Mario Cuomo as the first woman ever to serve on New York’s highest court. At Skadden, Judge Kaye continues her "passion project" of helping to find ways to keep kids in school and out of court. Apart from service as an advocate and arbitrator, and service on several pro bono Boards of Directors – including the Jackson Center – she chairs both the New York International Arbitration Center (NYIAC) and the Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children.
Honorable Stan Lundine
Former Lieutenant Governor, State of New York
Robert H. Jackson is a beloved son of this area with an inspiring life story. His leadership in establishing an international standard for war crimes remains important in today’s world.
Lowell H. Lustig
Executive Director, Leadership Giving
American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science
My maternal grandfather was one of nine brothers and sisters. Only he and one brother survived the Holocaust. The legacy of Justice Robert H. Jackson is an unwavering commitment to the pursuit of justice and the rule of law. Nuremberg is not just a reminder of past events, but a standard to be emulated on a world stage whenever those who are oppressed are in need of justice and fair treatment. It is a privilege to serve on this board.
Gregory L. Peterson, Esq.
Partner, Phillips and Lytle LLP
As one of the co-founders, I am thrilled to see the progress of the Center and its mission since 2001 and am willing to assist in its continued viability and vision in enhancing the legacy of Justice Jackson.
E. Barrett Prettyman, Jr.
Of Counsel, Hogan Lovells
Former law clerk, successively, to Justices Jackson, Frankfurter, and Harlan of the U.S. Supreme Court
I want to serve on the board because if I am successful, it might advance the cause of justice.
F. Cole Stearns
Senior Client Advisor, Insurance Management Company
I serve on the Jackson Center Board of Directors because I feel that the Center’s mission of advancing justice and the rule of law is decidedly the best chance we have to fight the oppression and brutality that is rampant in the world today.
Joseph M. Zanetta, Esq.
Chief Executive Officer, Citrus Valley Health Foundation
Growing up in Jamestown, New York, one of my boyhood heroes was Robert H. Jackson. Although I moved away from Jamestown after college and law school, I have been impressed that local philanthropists created a living tribute to Jackson. In some small way, my volunteer efforts as a Board member possibly help to enhance the Center and honor a truly great statesman and one of Jamestown finest!