2021 Board of Directors
Hilde Weisert has long experience in the high tech field, currently working at Dell Technologies. She has served on the board of several non-profit organizations, was a volunteer coordinator for Planned Parenthood of Bergen County, and has consulted with numerous nonprofit boards on ways to improve their operations. She is a published poet, winner of several national awards, who reads and gives workshops around the Berkshires. Her books include a poetry collection, The Scheme of Things (David Robert Books, 2015) and Animal Companions, Animal Doctors, Animal People which she co-edited with Dr. Elizabeth Stone (University of Guelph, 2012). She has also hosted several literary and community-centred programs at the Arts Center.
Sheila Liberman was the founder of Group 30, a marketing and PR agency that provided services in both the public and private sectors. Involved in education issues, she served as PTA president, co-chair of the city-wide PTA council, and the board of the Newton Schools Foundation. A member of the board of the Friends of the Newton Free Library, Sheila was chair of the library’s annual Book and Author Luncheon. As a member of the staff of the Mabel T. Riley Foundation (Boston, MA), she had a role in the founding of the Dudley Street (Roxbury, MA) Neighborhood Association. She has been a mentor for new mothers through Jewish Family and Children’s Services (Waltham, MA). Sheila and her husband, Allen, have been part-time residents of Tolland since 1985.
Barbara Penn, MS, is a certified Executive and Business Coach, a member of the International Coaching Foundation, and the founder of Boundless Potential Living, a holistic learning and teaching center. Barbara was founder and Executive Director for the 939 Foundation for the Arts in NYC and Executive Director for the Moore Humane Society in NC. She has consulted widely to both educational, corporate and non-profit organizations in the management and development of effective boards and programs. In the arts, Barbara produced and directed “Poets at the Public” at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater and created a reading series and literary salon for Books and Co. in New York City. She is a published fiction writer. Barbara has been a great fan of the Arts Center for years and hosted one of our most successful community events, the 2014 “Wild & Wooly” Animal Storytelling session.
Before it ever occurred to her she would have to earn a living, Jean Atwater-Williams attended Boston Conservatory of Music, earning a Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Voice. She has performed in a wide array of venues across several genres (art song, operetta, sacred music, musical theater and straight drama and comedy) and is a core member of the Sandisfield Players. But because she does have to earn a living, Jean owns and operates BizTech Associates, LLC, a technology firm specializing in helping small businesses and nonprofits utilize computer, Internet and telecommunications technology.
Jean has held office and served on numerous boards and committees for professional, civic and arts organizations such as the American Heart Association, WiredWest, the Hillstead Museum, the Rotary Club of Farmington, the Sandisfield Times and the Sandisfield Arts Center. Formerly of Farmington, Connecticut, Jean, her husband Ron, and their two furry Keeshonds reside in Sandisfield when they are not out on the open road sharing yet another RV adventure.
Jean was president of the Arts Center 2010-2012.
Tom Christopher is a graduate of Brown University and the New York Botanical Garden School of Professional Horticulture. He worked for 10 years at Columbia University, restoring the landscape of an historic Hudson River estate and then went on to a career as a horticultural journalist, [publishing in a variety of newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, House and Garden and Martha Stewart Living. He is the author of more than a dozen books about gardening and currently divides his time between Sandisfield and Middletown, CT. his interests include vintage New England hard ciders (he and his wife Suzanne have 30 gallons fermenting in their basement), heirloom chicken breeds, and writing for the Sandisfield Times.
Peter Baiamonte was born, raised, and still makes his primary home in Brooklyn, NY. He received a BA from Brooklyn College: his major was Art with a focus on photography and a minor in English. He has been working in the photographic industry in New York since graduating from college in 1996. He has held a variety of positions in various studios, from intern to full- time staff. He now owns his own small business- Peter Baiamonte Photography- with diverse clients that include ad agencies, magazines, small PR firms and more.
Peter started bicycle racing in the early 1990’s and raced on an amateur level for over 20 years. Cycling remains an active interest. Peter and his wife Midori Nakamura purchased a house at 3 New Hartford Road about three years ago and divide their time between Brooklyn and Sandisfield.
An active volunteer since the inception of the Sandisfield Arts Center, Susie is an artist working in watercolors and acrylics. She is on the board of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council, is a member of the Steering Committee of the Highlands Community Initiative and is actively involved with the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. Susie has served two terms as Arts Center co-president.
Adam Manacher lives in Cambridge and here on Silverbrook Road where his family has had a home for 42 years. Adam is a trained Chef with an impressive resume that includes stints in France, New York, Hartford and Boston. Adam is our Guest Chef for various fund raising dinners throughout the year, and offers food prep workshops at the Arts Center from time to time. Adam is now out of the professional kitchen. Adam is also well known for his occasional column in the Sandisfield Times (Edible Sandisfield) and is active on boards and organizations in Cambridge.
Bogart Muller works and plays here in Sandisfield. He has been involved with the town in helping to hire the Highway Superintendent and he has served on the Truck Committee. His company, RES LLC subcontracts with the town for landscape maintenance and he manages more than 20 estates in Sandisfield. Occasionally Bogart writes and reports for the Sandisfield Times. He plays several musical instruments and has performed in groups playing blues, rock and punk. He and his wife Tina and son Riley Jack have found the perfect place to call home here in Sandisfield.
Suzanne OConnell grew up in Monterey, MA and is a graduate of Mt. Everett Regional High School. Now she splits her time between Middletown, CT where is a Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences at Wesleyan University, and Sandisfield. She is a marine geologist, studying past climate as recorded in deep ocean sediments. She has authored and co-authored over eighty peer-reviewed articles. Outside of Sandisfield, her favorite place to be is onboard the JOIDES Resolution, the flagship vessel of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). This ship has taken her to the Atlantic, Pacific and Antarctic. Informing the public about science and how science is done is a new passion and she has published articles in The Conversation, the Washington Post, Slate, the Hartford Courant and the Houston Chronicle.
She has been an active member of the SArC Community for over twenty years, painting the stairway during the initial days, organizing programs (e.g. Mushrooms and The Bill of Rights), presenting and volunteering.
John has held several leadership positions in Sandisfield including school board member and chairperson, cultural council member and chairperson, town moderator and most recently town Selectman.
In addition to his past service as Treasurer, as a member of the Board of Directors he acts as a conduit to local residents to encourage their participation. John is also chair of the Rentals Committee.
After 34 years of teaching and school administration, John retired in 2002, and is currently a member of the adjunct faculty at 2 community colleges where he teaches chemistry.
1985-1997 Leonard Dryansky (founding President)
1997-1998 Erica Fay
1998-2001 Dr. Ron Myers
2001-2002 Liana Toscanini
2002-2003 Irene Conley
2003-2006 Tina Sotis
2005-2008 Rita Kasky
2008-2010 Barbara Elton
2010-2012 Jean Atwater-Williams
2013-2014 Susie Crofut and Alice Boyd
2015-2016 Marcella Smith
2016-2017 Susie Crofut and Sandy Parisky
2018-2019 Sheila Liberman, Barbara Penn, Rosanne Skrip, Hilde Weisert, co-presidents