Meet The Villagers

The Executive Team at Ancient Lore Village

Ancient Lore Village

Tom Boyd and Sandi Burdick

Tom is the author of "Bokee's Trek: Outcasts to Inner Earth" and visionary of Ancient Lore Village.  His wife, Sandi Burdick, is the resident interior [and landscape] design guru.

Tom & Sandi

— Where did you grow up?

S: I was born and raised in Idaho Falls, Idaho, but have lived in Knoxville for 45 years. Knoxville is home; I love the people and the natural beauty of East Tennessee!

T: The small town of Kenton in West Tennessee; population: 1,000. Big city, right? <wink>

— What is your favorite place you have ever visited?

S: I especially enjoyed visiting ancient structures found all over Europe! My favorites were in Ephesus, Turkey and the pyramids in Egypt - and closer to home in Tulum, Mexico and Tikal, Guatemala.

T: We have traveled to over 64 countries and, for me, it's all about the people. Fortunately, I have found that people everywhere are basically good and share our same values and dreams. I’ve never been anywhere that I didn’t enjoy the people!

 

— Favorite part of the Village's creation + building process?

S: Seeing it all come together, especially when we started moving furniture and accessories into the dwellings.

T: Seeing how a dedicated and smart team can create a Village from ideas they only heard me talk about!

 

— Do you have a favorite dwelling at the Village?

S: I honestly do not have a favorite dwelling. However, there are elements in each dwelling that I consider favorites.

T: Each dwelling represents one of the characters from my book “Bokee’s Trek”. If I have to choose a favorite, I’d say I’m partial to the Leprechaun Lair.— What do you hope people walk away with from each experience at the Village?

S: I hope that visitors will feel the sense of peace and tranquility that I always feel when I’m on the property. I also hope they take home some inspiration [and maybe a few design ideas] for their own home or garden!

T: My vision for the Village is that it will be a place of peace and quiet for visitors who would talk with each other and become friends. At the same time, the Village would provide them with unique dwellings to spend the night rounding out a great experience!

 

Sidenote: Tom gave us this little nugget which is, simply, wonderful: "What I have enjoyed the most in building the Village was the opportunity to work with my wife from the inception of the book until the completion of the Village. Sandi helped name the characters in the book and was instrumental in furnishing the dwellings and designing the gardens." May all of you Toms find a Sandi in your life to start the most epic of adventures!

Ancient Lore Village

Melissa Blettner, CEO

Melissa Blettner

— Where did you grow up?

Rockford, Illinois and my family spent the summers in Wisconsin. Just in case you're wondering, the accent is still going strong.

— Favorite song/ band?

Billy Joel was my first concert and he's had the #1 position ever since.

— What is your favorite place you have ever visited?

I love the Caribbean! My husband and I love cruising, exploring, and meeting the locals.

— Do you have a hidden talent?

I love swimming and in high school I was part of the synchronized swimming team.

— Favorite part of the Village's creation + building process?

My favorite part for each aspect of the Village has been when all of the finishing touches have been placed and the vision is finally something that people can see, touch, and feel!

— Do you have a favorite dwelling at the Village?

Wow; I love them all! I think the Fairy 🧚🏼‍♀️ Cottage is my new favorite. We just finished hanging the crown and veil over the bed and it’s simply magical!

— What do you hope people walk away with from each experience at the Village?

I hope everyone has a great time connecting and being present with one another. Most importantly, after they leave, my hope is that they continue to connect, be present, and live in the now with not only themselves, but their loved ones.

Ancient Lore Village

Olivia McGhee, Director of Finance & Administration

Olivia McGhee

— Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised right here in South Knoxville (just 10 minutes from the Village) so I am happy this in in our South Knoxville community!

— Favorite song/ band?

I love all types of music but if I had to choose, I would say Kari Jobe or Garth Brooks.

— What is your favorite place you have ever visited?

Any beach is good by me!

— Do you have a hidden talent?

In a man’s world of baseball, I coached a rec and travel boys baseball team for many years!

— Favorite part of the Village's creation + building process?

Dealing with over 100 subcontractors and seeing all of their talents come to life throughout the Village!

— Do you have a favorite dwelling at the Village?

Waterfall Villas – it’s just peaceful!

— What do you hope people walk away with from each experience at the Village?

What a beautiful and unique - and fun - venue this is for Knoxville with so many possibilities for all ages! We are tucked away as to not interrupt the community but close enough to be downtown in five minutes. We have a great team ready to go to make your experience here unforgettable. From an overnight stay to attending one of our events to hosting a wedding… or simply having a small get-together, we can accommodate so many different ways in bringing people together in this beautiful setting!

Ancient Lore Village

Micah Spicer, Sales Manager

Micah Spicer

— Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Sevierville, TN. With the Smoky Mountains as my backyard, I can’t complain!

— Favorite song/ band?

This is a hard one! I don’t usually have favorites, but I’d say “Beautiful Life” by Zak Abel is in my top three for sure.

— What is your favorite place you have ever visited?

Travel is always tied with memories; I’d say the most beautiful places and memories I’ve made abroad were in the Himalayas of northern India and Marseille in southern France. A big chunk of my heart is with non-profits and I had the privilege of working with some amazing ones in each place.

— Do you have a hidden talent?

I’ll let you know if I find it. Always seems to go missing at the worst times.

— Favorite part of the Village's creation + building process?

I’m a sucker for luxury resorts and the detail that goes into every part of the process. Watching the rooms come to life was such a fun experience!

— Do you have a favorite dwelling at the Village?

I would say Bokee’s Bungalow; it’s just so cool. And, personally, I think it has the most comfortable beds.

— What do you hope people walk away with from each experience at the Village?

I hope people walk away feeling closer to themselves, nature, and anyone they came with. The Village is all about creating those pure moments that refresh you and bring you joy with friends and family.

Ancient Lore Village

Martin Montoya, Sales & Events Coordinator

Martin Montoya

— Where did you grow up?

I moved around a lot, spending the majority of my life split between the two T’s (Tennessee & Texas).

— Favorite song/ band?

This changes as often as the weather here in Knoxville. Right now, I would have to say “Montreal” by Roosevelt.

— What is your favorite place you have ever visited?

Colombia! I still have a ton of family down there so it’s a trip I look forward to every year. Hard to beat such a tropical paradise! Enjoy hiking mountains? Check! Want to spend a few days kicking back on a beach? Check Check! Looking to explore some of the most bio-diverse jungles in the world? Check Check Check! The food is fantastic, too!

— Do you have a hidden talent?

I was a bartender in a past life, so I can make a pretty mean margarita or Long Island Iced Tea.

— Favorite part of the Village's creation + building process?

It’s very rare that you get to be a part of a vision coming to life, so I would say that the whole aspect of this experience has been my favorite! It has also been fun to plan out future features such as an axe throwing and archery range and croquet court!

— Do you have a favorite dwelling at the Village?

It’s a toss-up between the Leprechaun Lair and Bokee’s Bungalow. The Leprechaun Lair is impressively detailed/ decorated, while Bokee’s provides some of the most unique features on the premises like a family dinette (fits 10-12), bunk beds, and reading nook.

— What do you hope people walk away with from each experience at the Village?

Ideally, I hope they leave with an urge to come back again soon! The past year or so has been devastating for many people, so the Village gives our community a chance to take a break from the worries of everyday life while enjoying great food, a welcome atmosphere, and one of the most unique venues you will likely ever see!

Ancient Lore Village