Revision of Staff Bios Retired from Mon, 10/23/2017 - 15:20

Staff BIOS - Recently Retired

Oct 23, 2017

The all-volunteer staff of the American Nudist Research Library come from a rich diversity of backgrounds. Two things they all share are an appreciation of naturist history, and a desire to be helpful.

This page records the recently retired Staff members.

Mark Silverstein


Mark Silverstein of the scanning team joined The Naturist Society in 1998 after his first visit to Gunnison Beach at Sandy Hook in New Jersey. He was a charter member of Capitol Area Family Naturists and held positions on their Board of Directors for several years. He has published articles in N Magazine, covering clubs, beaches, resorts, home naturism, on being a care-giver to a wife battling breast cancer, and the “Did You Know?” column about the library.

With a degree in mathematics, Mark served the American public for 37 years at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, doing scientific programming, system administration, information technology project management and security. He started helping at the library in 2012. He currently belongs to TNS, AANR, South Florida Free Beaches, and Cypress Cove Nudist Resort.  Mark has been on 24 cruises—6 of them clothing-optional.

He says, “I volunteer at the library because I believe there are facts, stories and histories about nudism/naturism that need to be preserved, known, and shared. They must never be lost or forgotten. I want to be a part of that preservation. I’d like people to leave the library having learned something.”

Connie Torres
Connie Torres works behind the scenes, putting out the library newsletter since 2014. She began coming to Cypress Cove in 1983, with her husband and three daughters. After her family grew up, she moved here in 1999. Some of her grandchildren have lived with her at the nudist resort for up to a year. Seeing all of the kindly and trusting people, one of her grandsons asked, “Grandma, is this what it was like when you were growing up?” Now great grandchildren visit.

She worked many years as an Industrial Engineering Analyst in the shipbuilding and aerospace industries.

Connie was raised in a minister’s family where doing good deeds was a part of daily life. Besides helping at the library, she gives people rides to the store, and helps take care of the elderly. She says, “That’s what I was created for; I volunteer when needed.”

Barb Westen


Barb Westen has begun helping with the newsletter. She grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. Nudism wasn’t even a word in her dictionary. The closest she came to it was wearing a nightie to bed with no underwear. That would be considered pretty scandalous in those days.

She became a nudist in 2001 when she married Ed. Barb thought he was nuts when he first mentioned this idea, but she was looking for a good man and agreed to go along. They visited Valley View in Wisconsin and later joined Cypress Cove, where she belongs to the Cove singers and Cove players.

Barb’s background is strong in administration. Her last position was Project Manager for a steam generator replacement at a Nuclear Power Plant. While working full-time, she earned a degree in Health Care Business. She also found time to get her Emergency Medical Technician license and spent many years on call with her local ambulance service. When she married Ed, she became part-owner of a home health care business. As Policy & Compliance Director, she researched and wrote all the applicable policies and trained the employees.

Barb aspires to be a knowledgeable, capable, funny, and just over-all good person.

Ed Westen


Ed Westen has served since 2012 as the library’s electronic scanning coördinator, responsible for the direction and supervision of the scanning department and its six dedicated volunteers. His 33 years as a high school Mathematics and Computer Science teacher helped prepare him for this position. So did his interest in serious photography. And he worked four years in the Chicago Public Libraries.

The whole process of scanning, editing, formatting and archiving magazine files was developed over many months with much trial and error. The current procedures have been documented for future workers, and several volunteers have been trained in their use. Under his direction, hundreds of thousands of pages of historic nudist documents have been electronically preserved.

Ed joined The Naturist Society in 1988, and AANR about ten years later. Now a member of Cypress Cove, he holds fond memories of Valley View Recreation Club in Wisconsin.