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The Mass Cultural Council Board

The Mass Cultural Council is governed by a board of private citizens appointed by the Governor for staggered three-year terms. Board members represent various regions of the state and have demonstrated distinguished service, creativity and/or scholarship in the arts, humanities, or sciences. Board Meeting Schedule

Jacob Brennan, Arlington
Jodi-Tatiana Charles, Marblehead
Cindy Cuba Clements, Newton
Ranny Cooper, Richmond
Sherry Dong, Boston
Sandra Dunn, Holden
Nina Fialkow, Boston, Chair
Barbara W. Grossman, Newton, Vice-Chair
Matthew D.M. Keator, Lenox
Susan Winston Leff, Boston
Victoria Marsh, Arlington
Ann S. Murphy, Waltham
Allyce J. Najimy, Boston
Rosemary Noon, Lowell
Vanessa Otero, Springfield
Bruce A. Percelay, Nantucket
Barbara Schaffer Bacon, Belchertown
Malcolm L. Sherman, Wellesley
Troy Siebels, Shrewsbury
Michael Yaremchuk, Lynnfield

Jake Brennan is an independent media producer working primarily in music and experiential events. He is the Producer of the Boston Music Awards, Coordinating Producer of the award-winning public space, The Lawn On D, founder of the bespoke music house, RAMS: Recording And Music Services. In 2011, Jake co-wrote and produced original compositions for the Parker Posey film, “The Love Guide.” He occasionally performs on his own and with Cast Iron Hike. He is currently working in partnership with GYK Antler on "1Band1Brand", the strategic alignment of bands and brands that helps musicians access resources in an increasingly fragmented music industry.

Jodi-Tatiana Charles has enjoyed bringing people and companies together for over three decades. As a strategic marketing & branding specialist, she has combined her passion for branding with her love of business development. She has worked with high profile organizations including Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, MassChallenge, Massachusetts Governor's Office, Massachusetts Conference for Women (MCW), and Clear Channel Communications/iHeart Radio.

Cindy Cuba Clements is an artist and attorney from Newton, Massachusetts. As an artist, Cindy works primarily as an abstract painter and printmaker, also experimenting with various elements of mixed media. She has exhibited in local galleries, both in group and solo exhibitions. Prior to her career as an artist, Cindy practiced law for several years with the law firm of Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam and Roberts in New York City. There, she focused primarily on securities law and other transactional work. In 1990, Cindy moved to Boston and joined the law firm of Goulston & Storrs, P.C., where she represented banking and other business clients and had a substantial pro bono practice, representing Boston area non-profits. Cindy retired from the law to raise her family and later to pursue her art career. Since 1998, Cindy has served as a Board member for a small family foundation that focuses on education, health and poverty, acting as Secretary from 1998-2007 and President and Chairperson from 2007-2011. Cindy has also been an active volunteer within her community. Cindy is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and The Cornell Law School.

Ranny Cooper is the president of the public affairs practice of Weber Shandwick, a global communications firm, where she specializes in helping public institutions, non-profit organizations and corporations shape and execute their strategic agendas. She was the Chief of Staff for Senator Edward Kennedy for many years, and is now a member of the board of the recently established Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. Ranny is also a member of the board of directors of the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, the National Partnership for Women & Families, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and is on the board of overseers of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ranny is a graduate of the University of Rochester.

Sherry Dong has held the position of Director of Community Health Improvement Programs for Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA since 2008. She is a familiar face around the blocks of Boston's Chinatown.

Known for her dedication to promoting Asian-American health, Dong’s involvement in the community goes above and beyond her role at Tufts Medical Center.

She was born and raised in New York City, on the Lower East Side, Chinatown and holds a Masters in Public Administration at Northeastern University.

Sandra Dunn has held the position of General Manager for the city-owned Arena and Convention Center in Worcester, MA since 1997. She oversaw the construction and grand opening of the Convention Center in 1997 and the $31.5M expansion and renovation project of the 14,000-seat Arena in October 2013, as well as the opening and management of the Worcester Common Oval Public Ice Skating Rink on the Worcester Common in 2013. She has been an instrumental contributor to Central Massachusetts and the Greater Worcester region for more than 15 years, having served on several volunteer boards and participated in many community outreach programs. Currently, Dunn serves on the Worcester Municipal Research Bureau Board of Directors (Former Chair), Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Destination Worcester Executive Committee and Economic Development Coordinating Council Committee. She is a graduate of Allegheny College in Pennsylvania.

Nina Fialkow is an Emmy Award winning producer and an independent filmmaker who worked for many years at Boston’s public television station, WGBH. Currently, she is a member of the film partnership, Impact Partners, which focuses on social justice-themed documentaries.

An avid supporter of the Arts, Mrs. Fialkow is on the National Committee for Performing Arts at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and sits on the Executive Committee. As a longtime trustee of the Boston Ballet, she is the past Chair of the Board of Overseers. She is also an Overseer at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and is a member of the Fashion Council at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Education is another area of interest for Mrs. Fialkow and her husband, David Fialkow. In 2005, they founded the Margot Stern Strom Teaching Award for Facing History and Ourselves, an internationally taught social justice curriculum. She sits on the board of two schools, Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, MA and the Cambridge School of Weston in Weston, MA. Mrs. Fialkow resides in Boston, MA with her husband David Fialkow and has two grown children.

Barbara Wallace Grossman, Ph. D., a Professor of Drama at Tufts University, is Vice Chair of the Mass Cultural Council and a member of its Executive, Advocacy, and Grants Committees. A theater historian, director, and voice specialist, she is the author of Funny Woman: The Life and Times of Fanny Brice and A Spectacle of Suffering: Clara Morris on the American Stage. She was a Presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts from 1994 to 1999 and the United States Holocaust Memorial Council from 2000 to 2005, serving on the Museum’s Committee on Conscience until 2011. She is a longtime member of the American Repertory Theater’s Board of Advisors and was recently named to the Leadership Council for Boston Creates, as well as to the Board of Trustees of the Anti-Defamation League (New England Region). An honors graduate of Smith College with an MFA from Boston University and a PhD in Drama from Tufts, she received a certificate in Voice and Speech from the American Repertory Theater’s Institute for Advanced Theater Training in 2011.

Matthew D.M. Keator is a Senior Partner and Owner of Keator Group, LLC. a nationally recognized wealth management firm located in Lenox, MA. He holds his series 7,63 and 65 securities registrations. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business Executive Education Program. He holds his CFS designation and is a member of the Fixed Income Analyst Society. Matthew has been recognized by the Heritage Registry of Who’s Who in Business. He is frequently quoted as a source in major financial news outlets such as: Wall Street Journal, Fortune, BusinessWeek, MarketWatch, Smart Money, and Reuters.

He is a graduate of West Virginia University’s Eberly College of Arts and Science and received his degree in political science and communications. He is a member of West Virginia University’s Marmaduke Dent Society. Matthew is currently serving as an Ambassador to the school and is a lifetime member of the WVU Alumni Association. He serves on the boards of the Mass Cultural Council, Lenox Library Association, Country Club of Pittsfield, and trustee for Berkshire Housing, Inc. He is a former board member and big brother of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Berkshire County.

Prior to his work in the securities industry, he worked in Washington, D.C. with lobbyists and legislators across the country helping to educate them on a wide range of legislative matters.

Matthew and his wife Hannah live in Lenox with their 3 children.

Susan Winston Leff is an independent consultant with over 30 years' experience in commercial real estate finance, having served in senior positions at several national commercial banks. Her experience encompasses both conventional and innovative capital structures for private and nonprofit developers and investors. She has worked in depth on affordable housing.

She was originally trained as an art and architectural historian and has taught those disciplines at Princeton, UMass/Boston and Wellesley College. Susan graduated from the University of Chicago in General Studies in the Humanities and has Master's degrees in Art History from the University of Chicago and from Princeton University. She has an MBA in non-profit management from Boston University. She is a co-author of the inaugural volume of 'This Old House,' the companion book to the award-winning PBS TV series about adaptive use.

Susan is a past board chair of Mass Humanities, the List Visual Arts Center at MIT, and The Boston Children's Museum. She is the current Board Chair of Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston. She also serves on the board of Tufts Medical Center and the Healthy Neighborhood Investment Fund. She is a founder of New England Women in Real Estate and a former President of the Real Estate Finance Association. She is a frequent speaker on topics in management and commercial real estate finance.

Susan lives in the Leather District in Boston.

Victoria Marsh is the World Channel Outreach Manager and the Senior Programming Coordinator for WGBH Television. She served as the Board President of Company One Theatre from 2006-2015 during a period of explosive growth for the theatre and for the Boston Theatre community in general. Company One Theatre is the recipient of an Official Resolution by the Boston City Council for “Countless contributions to Boston’s Art community and dedication to diversifying arts and theater in Boston.” Company One Theatre productions have received 12 Elliot Norton Awards and 10 Independent Reviewers of New England Awards since 2007. Victoria directed 6 Company One productions including 2 Boston premieres by Kirsten Greenidge and a world premiere by Lois Roach. She co-directs the Company One Theatre Professional Development for Actors program with Rosalind Thomas-Clark and is an Honorary Board Member of TC Squared Theatre Company, producers of labs, readings and performances of new work by Boston Arts Academy alumni and other Boston-based artists.

Ann S. Murphy is a senior vice president in the communications practice at O’Neill and Associates.  She brings to her role more than 25 years of experience with the media including professional roles in print and broadcast news as well as government, political and corporate public relations. Women’s Business Boston has featured Ms. Murphy in their annual “Top 10 PR Specialists” list twice in three years.
Prior to joining O’Neill and Associates, Ms. Murphy was the director of media relations at Cablevision in Boston, Massachusetts.  In this capacity, she served as the company’s chief spokesperson, coordinated media events with cable partners such as C-SPAN and Home and Garden TV, and supported marketing efforts to launch new products such as digital television, cable modems and other high tech options.

Ms. Murphy also served as director of communications for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue where she was instrumental in developing the public information/education campaign on the agency’s innovative tax filing technology.  At the D.O.R., she contributed to numerous awards including the Computerworld/Smithsonian Award for Telefile, tax filing by telephone.

She also served as press secretary for former U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney and was deputy press secretary for Gov. William Weld and Lt. Gov. Paul Cellucci.

Ms. Murphy’s experience extends to the working media as she was an assignment editor at WBZ-TV, an assistant news director at WBZ radio and a news reporter at radio stations in Brockton, Fitchburg and on Cape Cod.  She started her journalism career as a newspaper reporter for the Cape Cod Independent in Buzzards Bay. 

Ms. Murphy is a board member and past president of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. She served on the advisory board of GRLZ Radio, a radio station originated and operated by teenage girls in Boston to give them a voice in their community, and the board of the Under the Tree Foundation, a nonprofit that provides disadvantaged 12-17 year olds with gifts during the holiday season. Additionally, she serves on the board of Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of women and children in Afghanistan through community-based education. Ms. Murphy also serves on the board of Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

Ms. Murphy holds a bachelor’s degree in journalistic studies and English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She resides in Waltham, Mass.

Allyce J. Najimy is the CEO and Executive Director of the Foundation To Be Named Later(FTBNL). Named after the Major League Baseball trade term, "player to be named later," the foundation was launched ten years ago by Theo Epstein, former Red Sox EVP and General Manager and current Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations and his twin brother Paul Epstein, MSW, with the mission of supporting youth and families from disadvantaged neighborhoods. The foundation raises money and has donated over $7.3 Million in grants to more than 200 innovative, creative, effective non-profits that promote education, leadership and healthy development in Boston and Chicago. FTBNL also sends deserving young people to college through their Peter Gammons’ College Scholarships, which Allyce created. FTBNL hosts bi-annual concerts and baseball and diversity panels, celebrating music, baseball and giving back to raise awareness and funds.

Allyce has spent the past two and a half decades working in sports, higher education and community service organizations to live up to her hero Jackie Robinson’s words that, “the importance of one’s life is measured in the impact it has on other lives.” After beginning her career as a teacher, she joined City Year as a founding staff member in 1990 and later worked as the COO for the Center for Sport in Society at Northeastern University.

Today, in addition to her work at Foundation To Be Named Later, Allyce is an adjunct professor in Assumption College’s MBA Program, consults with UMASS Boston developing their new Sport Leadership Bachelor Degree Program and works on events for Chicago Children’s Choir, Hot Stove Cool Music, The Pearl Jam Foundation and Jake Peavy’s Concert Series. She serves on the board of Beacon Academy, the National Consortium for Academics and Sports, The New England Sports Museum and the Mass Cultural Council. She has her Masters in Education from UMASS Boston and Bachelor in Psychology from Assumption College.

Rosemary Noon is the Assistant Director of the Lowell Plan, Inc., a nonprofit economic development organization that provides a forum for private and public sector leaders to discuss Lowell’s economic, educational, and cultural development. Ms. Noon has more than 25 years of experience in cultural affairs planning and management, art history, and museum studies education, and communications. A graduate of Regis College, she has a master’s degree in Art History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is a former Loeb Fellow at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. As the first director of the Lowell Office of Cultural Affairs, she implemented the Lowell Cultural Plan and managed the development of the acclaimed Lowell Public Art Collection. At Regis College, she was the first director of a new Fine Arts Center and was later was appointed Director of Communications and Cultural Affairs. At Regis College, she taught Art History courses and co-directed the Museum Studies Program for several years. Ms. Noon has served as curator of the Carney Art Gallery at Regis since 1993. She is a trustee of the Lowell Cemetery, board member of the Pollard Memorial Library Foundation, and the current chair of the New England Quilt Museum. She lives in Lowell with her husband Paul Marion and their son Joe.

Vanessa Otero is part of the Executive team at Partners for Community where she oversees 70 million dollars in public and private grants and contracts in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Puerto Rico. Before joining Partners for Community, Otero was the director of North End Campus Coalition in Springfield and ran her own consulting firm, specializing in grant writing, program development and professional development.  Prior to this, she worked as a parent facilitator for the Springfield Public School District and as program design and management manager for the Holyoke-Chicopee-Springfield Head Start Program.

Otero received her Masters of Public Policy and Administration from CPPA in 2009.

Bruce A. Percelay is chairman and founder of The Mount Vernon Company, a real estate investment firm considered among the leading apartment landlords in Massachusetts. The company has grown over the past 30 years to include approximately 1,600 apartments, 5 hotels, as well as select commercial and vacation properties. Combining his marketing savvy with his real estate experience, Percelay next authored the top selling business book, Packaging Your Home for Profit, published by Little Brown and Company. The success of the book prompted appearances on CNN, Good Morning America and over 50 newspapers and magazines around the country. Percelay pioneered the concept of marketing and staging homes for sale and has used the theories in his book to build The Mount Vernon Company to where it is today. 

Extremely active in support of the communities in which he lives, Percelay was the driving force behind the construction of Nantucket's new whaling museum, the most significant new building on the island in the last 100 years and is chairman of the $120 million capital campaign for the new Nantucket hospital. He is also a Presidents Council Board Member of Massachusetts General Hospital. Percelay was the chairman of the Massachusetts chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, helping it to become the most successful in the country, and chairman of Habitat for Humanity in Boston where he launched the largest urban project ever built in America during his tenure.

Barbara Schaffer Bacon co-directs Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts that inspires, informs, promotes, and connects arts and culture as potent contributors to community, civic, and social change. She has written, edited, and contributed to many publications including Civic Dialogue, Arts & Culture: Findings from Animating Democracy; Case Studies from Animating Democracy; Animating Democracy: The Artistic Imagination as a Force for Civic Dialogue; Fundamentals of Local Arts Management; and The Cultural Planning Work Kit. She has delivered presentations and workshops for cultural, nonprofit, and foundation leaders nationally and internationally in Canada, Australia, and England. Since 1990, Barbara has worked as a consultant in program design and evaluation for state and local arts agencies and private foundations nationally and has served as a panelist and adviser for many state and national arts agencies. Barbara previously served as executive director of the Arts Extension Service at the University of Massachusetts. An arts management educator, she has served as a primary instructor for the Fundamentals and Advanced Arts Management seminars. Barbara served for 14 years on the Belchertown, MA School Committee. She is a board member of WomenArts. She serves as president of the Arts Extension Institute, Inc. A graduate of UMASS, Barbara was born and raised and has raised her family in western Massachusetts.

Malcom L. Sherman is chairman of the Gordon Brothers Group, a merchant services business, and a director of Active International, a media/barter company, and Paratek Pharmaceuticals. He was formerly chairman and executive vice-president of Zayre Corporation, and chief executive officer of Regina Electric Company, Chanel Home Centers, Inc., Morse Shoe Company, Ekco Group, Inc., and SmartBargains.com. Mr. Sherman is a former overseer of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the former chairman of the Museum of Science, where he remains a trustee. He currently serves on the boards of Brandeis University, Museum of Science, Two Ten International Foundation, New England Medical Center, the Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary, The Fourth of July Foundation, and the Molecular Cardiology Research Institute.

Troy Siebels serves as President and CEO of The Hanover Theatre, a 2,300-seat world-class performing arts center in downtown Worcester which opened in 2008 following a $32 million dollar historic restoration. The theatre presents more than 140 performances to audiences of more than 180,000 annually. The theatre is a key catalyst to the city’s revitalization, and anchors Worcester’s new Theatre District. Troy serves as Chairperson of Discover Central Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Performing Arts Center Coalition, on the Boards of Directors of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and MassCreative, and as a member of the Mass Cultural Council.

Michael Yaremchuk was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from Cass Technical High School where he was captain of the baseball team and quarterback of the football team. Dr. Yaremchuk moved to the east coast for his further education and professional career. He obtained his undergraduate education at Yale College where he was captain of the lightweight crew. He received his M.D. from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He received his general surgery training at the Harvard Surgical Service and his plastic surgery training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Yaremchuk completed a craniofacial surgery fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr.Yaremchuk was a member of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Maryland Shock –Trauma Institute before moving to Boston. At present, he is Chief of Craniofacial Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Program Director for the Harvard Plastic Surgery Training Program and a Clinical Professor of Surgery at the Harvard Medical School. He has authored four textbooks, 40 book chapters, and over150 scientific articles. He lectures and demonstrates his surgical techniques both nationally and internationally on aesthetic and craniofacial topics. Dr. Yaremchuk performs reconstructive surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital and cosmetic surgery at the Boston Center located in the historic Vendome Building in Boston’s Back Bay.

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