MCA is governed by an all-volunteer board. Members are elected for three year terms, and are eligible for a second term. The Board of Directors meets once a month, with the exception of December. MCA’s Annual Meeting of the Corporation is held in January when MCA members elect new board members, receive the annual report, and learn about MCA’s strategic direction.
Since 2015, Dr. Saul Reyes has served as the Vice President for Student Affairs at the College of Central Florida in Ocala, Florida. Reyes has over 30 years of leadership experience in higher education, including 13 years in the Florida College System and State University System. He previously served as Dean of Student Services and Center Manager for Polk State College.
Reyes has a doctorate in higher education leadership from the University of South Florida and a master’s in counseling from West Virginia University. He has participated in leadership programs of the American Association of Community Colleges, National Community College Hispanic Council, and Florida College System Chancellor’s Leadership Program.
Saul is a first generation American born to Cuban immigrants. Saul and his wife Sharon, celebrating 34 years of marriage in 2020, have lived in Florida since 1996. Together they have three adult sons, Joshua, Benjamin, and Caleb. Saul enjoys wildlife and nature photography and visiting America’s national parks.
Ginger was born in Davenport, Iowa and has lived in several places – St. Louis, MO; Glen Cove, NY; & Oak Ridge, TN. She finally settled down in Ocala in 1986. Ginger is currently the principal of West Port High School – she is proud to be at the helm of the Marion County Center for the Arts, Arts Achieve Model School. She boosts that the school has 13 Arts programs along with 3 other magnet programs. She has taught at Lake Weir Middle School, College of Central Florida, and West Port High. Ginger has been a reading coach for 10 years; for 3 of those years she was the district coach for CTE. In September 2020, Ginger was selected for the Leadership Florida board; she also serves on the board for the Public Education Foundation of Marion County.
In Ginger’s spare time she loves to read, exercise, go to the beach, and mostly loves to play with granddaughters. She has been married to Randy for 36 years. Her two children, Jordan and Cailin, are both educators. Jordan lives in St. Augustine with his wife Annie and has two daughters. Cailin lives in Ocala, carrying on the teaching tradition, at Liberty Middle School.
James is a native to Ocala. He is currently the Director of Business Operations at the Reilly Arts Center where he handles all of the financial and legal aspects for the organization. He has an undergrad degree from UCF in Psychology, and obtained his law degree in 2016 from the University of South Carolina. On top of serving the MCA Board as part of the financial committee, he also serves on the City of Ocala Board of Adjustment.
James has been married to his high school sweet heart, Kaycie, for 10 years. They have a 2-year-old boy named Clark, with another baby boy on the way in August. They are also animal lovers with two dogs named Champ and Steve, and a cat named Squeeks. In James’ off-time he enjoys being with his family, cooking, live music, and Florida football.
Mary Ellen was born and raised in Ohio. She was awarded a license as a registered nurse in 1970. After working in that role for a few years, Mary Ellen’s career direction moved into nursing administration. She furthered her education at St. Joseph’s College in Maine, graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in administration. Later, she was awarded a Master’s of Science degree in Administration from Central Michigan University.
Living in Florida became a reality in 1985 when she accepted a position with a software company located in Orlando. From there she moved to Winter Haven and began an extended career path in nursing administration with the local health system. Her last position with the health system was as the Administrator of Good Shepherd Hospice. She later held an executive position at TideWell Hospice in Sarasota. In 2009, Mary Ellen was named the CEO of Hospice of Marion County. She retired from that position in December 2019.
Since her arrival in the Ocala/Marion area, Mary Ellen immersed herself into the community. She continues to be actively involved as a member or as a volunteer with several local organizations. When approved as a member of MCA’s Board of Directors, Mary Ellen noted “…there is a welcoming environment that exists within the walls of the MCA’s Brick City Center. The leadership team has extended that spirit of collaboration and cooperation to other organizations in the Ocala/Marion area. Because of these efforts, strong partnerships have been created to benefit all involved.”
Lisa Irwin Midgett, a native of Miami, FL, has lived in Ocala/Marion County since 1994. Her work experience has included management roles in both for profit and not for profit organizations. Lisa also owned and operated a coffee shop, a fitness studio, and a hair salon. Currently, she is the owner of NOMA Gallery, President of the DLM Foundation and Founder of Arts in Health Ocala Metro.
Art Quote: “I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.” – Vincent Van Gogh
David A. D’Alessandris creates artworks in acrylics, watercolor, and mixed media, emphasizing color, vibrancy, texture, and perspective. His materials of choice are recycled paper, boards, various fibers ,wood, canvas and glass. (also found recycled and repurposed objects).
His award winning paintings, drawings, and mixed-media/ decorative arts have been featured in group/ solo exhibits and International Juried shows including Lynn Kottler Galleries, 225 Gallery, and DIFFA , New York City; Around the Coyote, Chicago, ILL.; Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA.; Shady Side Arts Festival, PGH. PA, .The Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Watercolor Society, Pittsburgh, PA.; Greenburg Museum Of Art, Greensburg PA, Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, West VA.; Cornell Museum of Art, Delray Beach, FL; Gallery 221, Boca Raton, FL; Gallery East, Webber Gallery (CF Campus) Ocala, FL., Kevro, Gallery, Delray,FL.; Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, FL; Marion Cultural Alliance, Ocala, FL.,FAFO, Ocala; FL., ArtRestoration, Dallas,TX, Artspace, Miami,FL.
David is the recipient the Annual “Conch Awards” from the Burdines Department Store for Home Fashion/Design,(89,90,91) National Accessory Design/ Home Fashion Awards from the Dallas Buyers Mart: 1991/92/93. International Color-Marketing Award 1998, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, product design.(93,94,95)
Who’s Who in American Art.(2000).
David has more than 30 years experience in home fashion and product design. His work in that field has been featured at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta , Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh; PA ,Merchandise Mart, High Point, N.C., Dallas Merchandise Mart, Dallas; TX. Chicago Merchandise mart. He credits his international travel and retail experience as a major influence on his fine art and home designs.
He earned an Associate of Science Degree in Commercial Art, Beaver Co. Community College/1974, Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting, design, and studio arts from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1976. Graduate study in the Master of Fine Arts program at Carnegie Mellon University/Huntingtom Museum, West VA., and holds a dual MFA in Fine Art/Design and Art/Product Marketing 1980.
David is a member of the following organizations:
Ocala Art group, Visual Artists Society, Marion Cultural Alliance (Board member), Delray Art League, Gainesville Arts Association, Florida Society of Artists, Gallery 22, Boca Raton, Society of Artists, Pgh. PA., National Watercolor Society. Smithsonian Invitational.
In 2011 David’s design “Forest King” was chosen to be part of the second generation of “Horse Fever”. Angie Lewis Insurance sponsored David’s piece and it sat on their grounds for several months.
Received the 2017 Service Award from Applaud the Arts, City of Ocala /National Endowments of the Arts for his active service to the arts in the city of Ocala.
David D’Alessandris, [email protected], www.david-d-art.com
Art Quote: “To be an artist is to believe in life.” – Henry Moore
Angi Grabbe and her husband Jay relocated to Ocala, Florida from Indiana in 2021. She is the Communications and External Affairs coordinator with bp America where she manages community investment funds, procurement for Lobbyists and serves as the federal grants administrator. Currently she is an active member of the Women’s Energy Network, as well as a core member of the bpWIN and bp Pride business resource groups. Prior to relocating, Angi volunteered as the community engagement lead for bp’s Chicagoland area events and STEAM Ambassador.
Though not an artist herself, Angi jumped right into the art scene to volunteer and advocate. She believes in giving back to the community with hope that her contributions will make a positive impact.
Wendy was born in Canton, Ohio but raised in Sarasota, Florida. Wendy, her husband Ken and their 4 children moved to Ocala in 2002 where they continued to homeschool.
Currently, Wendy is the Executive Director of Wear Gloves, a non-profit that provides economic opportunity for the distressed in Marion County, FL. Art therapies including Recovery Art are an important part of the healing process for many of their clients.
In her free time, Wendy loves cuddling her 3 grandbabies, traveling with her number one guy, and is an avid reader.
Art Quote: “The more I think it over, the more I feel there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” – Vincent Van Gogh
Salyers has had a diverse career in tourism, marketing and hospitality. For the past 15 years Jo has been with On Top of the World Communities, LLC in positions including Corporate Director of Marketing and General Manager of Circle Square Commons. Today, Jo’s focus is on Circle Square Commons and the Cultural Center.
In the past, Salyers’ community involvement included the Ocala/Marion Chamber of Commerce, and was instrumental in passing the Tourist Development Tax. She served as founding member of the Tourist Development Council and was a Council member for 7 years. She was a member of the merger committee of the EDC and Chamber, and continues to serve on the board of the Ocala/Marion Chamber and Economic Partnership. Salyers is a member of the 2020 Ocala Culinary Festival.
Lisa is the Chief People and Culture Officer for HDG Hotels. Her go-to words include “onward” and “be bold.” She has worked in a leadership and mentoring capacity with nonprofits, financial institutions, arts organizations, televised and other high profile events, higher education institutions, start-ups, individual executives, and now hospitality.
Before joining the HDG Hotels team, Lisa worked in roles such as the Director of Development at the CF Foundation and Campaign Counsel for the Central Florida Y’s DeLuca YMCA, helping each raise their single largest charitable gifts at that time. As a consultant, she worked with a diverse roster of clients including Broadway based organizations; which fed her passion for the performing arts – a lifelong love that also motivated her co-founding a performing arts conservatory. She has also led organizations through overhauls of mission statements, global brand launches, conducted board development trainings, and represented brands throughout the state of Florida, nationally and internationally through partnerships such as the LPGA.
When asked what motivates her, she answers, “People.” She believes the first step toward progress is having clarity of purpose – knowing your “why”. As HDG’s Chief People and Culture Officer, she leads all things “engagement”. Internally, that means making sure the team members we onboard feel on board, especially with our vision, mission, and core values. Externally, that includes representing HDG within the industry, in government affairs, communications, and community outreach. She serves on multiple industry association boards and committees and frequently presents on the topics of culture, engagement, and strategy.
Lisa received a bachelor of arts in Communication Studies from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, and a master of arts in Public Administration from the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Scott Mitchell has served as the Director of the Silver River Museum in Ocala since 2004. He has worked as a field archaeologist, scientific illustrator and museum professional for the last thirty years. Prior to coming to the Silver River Museum, Scott worked as an archaeological research Collections Manager at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.
Scott holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in anthropology from the University of Florida and a Master’s of Arts degree in archaeology from the University of South Florida. He is a registered professional archaeologist and serves on advisory boards for both the Fort King historic site and the Trail of Florida Indian Heritage. He also serves as the Director of the Camp Kiwanis summer camp program in the Ocala National Forest.
His interests include the prehistory and history of Florida, Native American cultures and primitive technologies. He has an affinity for American folk art, especially early southeastern folk pottery. Scott is also a history buff, a former United States Marine, an avid outdoorsman and a fourth generation Floridian.
Dr. Meghani, a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Palliative Medicine and Hospice Care, has a rich clinical and leadership experience for over 20 years.
As a senior partner of Diversified Consulting Concepts, LLC, which specializes in providing training and consulting in diversity and inclusion, organizational development and leadership, Dr. Meghani is responsible for the firm’s strategic planning and execution of business practices. She has developed and conducted trainings in the areas of leadership, cultural competence, diversity, de-escalation for a wide variety of clients such as healthcare, nonprofit and law enforcement organizations. She holds certification as an EEO investigator from the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission and is a graduate of the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training’s De-Escalation Instructor Course.
Dr. Meghani is the president of Strategic Community Alliance, Inc., which is a nonprofit organization based in Marion County with a focus on diversity and inclusion through education, outreach, the arts, counseling and other means to promote equality and fairness.
Fluent in three languages, Dr. Meghani enjoys wearing Indian sarees at every opportunity she gets, singing Indian songs and painting. She calls Ocala, FL her home.
Richard Mutarelli, Jr., is a partner at Schatt, McGraw, Rauba and Mutarelli, PA, specializing in property related matters and civil litigation. After graduating from St. John Lutheran High School in 2005, he obtained a B.S. in marketing from Concordia University Wisconsin and a Juris Doctor from Florida Coastal School of Law. Richard currently serves on the board for NAMI Marion County and is a member of the Sunset Rotary Club. He enjoys traveling, running and spending time with friends, family, Steph and Wager.
Nick Navetta is a financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments in Ocala. He is an Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS) through the College For Financial Planning and has been involved in financial services since 1980. Nick also served as the Agency Manager for the Marion County Farm Bureau; Sales Manager for MetLife; and President of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors/Ocala.
As an Army Reservist, Nick served 30 years and retired at the rank of Colonel, with his last duty position as the Training Division Chief for U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). He is branch-qualified in Field Artillery; Combat Military Police; and Civil Affairs and is a Veteran of Desert Shield/Desert Storm; Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia; Operation Iraqi Freedom; and Operation Enduring Freedom. Colonel Navetta has commanded several units and has served in a variety of key staff positions. His awards include The Army Achievement and Army Commendation Medals; The Meritorious Service Medal; The Bronze Star Medal; and The Legion of Merit Medal.
Nick currently serves as Vice President of the Military Officers Association of America local chapter; Officer, Marion County Estate Planning Council; Board Member, Marion County Continuity of Care Council; and Military Liaison to West Point Military Academy. He is the past President of Kiwanis Club of Ocala, Co-Chair of the Walk to End Alzheimers; Board of Governors, Clubcorp; Vice Chairman, Marion Military Academy; Pastoral Council, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church; Scoutmaster/Merit Badge Counselor, Boy Scouts of America; and 4th Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus.
Nick and his family have lived in the Ocala/Dunnellon area since 1974. He is a graduate of the University of Florida, earning a bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science. He and his wife of 37+ years, Diana, currently have four grandchildren. Nick is honored to be a member of the MCA Board and looks forward to giving back to the Community.
Cherrietta has been a business owner for more than 20 years. During half of that, she was college professor, and assisted a number of entrepreneurs to establish solid ventures. This native Floridian is a University of Florida Gator, and holds a master’s degree in business from Southern New Hampshire University. Growing up in a family of businessmen and women, she learned how to survive in the marketplace.
A proud Marine, Cherrietta supports numerous veterans’ organizations and initiatives. She is Events/Marketing Coordinator of Ocala VetNet (supporting veteran businesses), active in VFW, American Legion, and teaches Yoga with Connected Warriors at veterans’ facilities. She is passionate to help reduce the number of homeless veterans. In 2021, she was named a cohort to ACCE’s Inclusive Economic Growth Fellowship.
Cherrietta has been a CEP Ambassador for more than seven years. In her spare time, she enjoys a day at the beach, reading and spending time with family. Working with the #1 Chamber and CEP team is her greatest adventure to help boost the economy and support small businesses.
Margaret Hankinson Spontak, a native Ocalan, has two strong passions – arts and conservation. Once chosen the Chamber’s Environmentalist of the Year, Margaret has been involved in major efforts to protect natural areas, water, and wildlife such as the passage of the “Pennies for Parks” referendum, a $20 million parks acquisition program. Margaret is currently leading the Free the Ocklawaha River Coalition for Everyone, a coalition of 50 national, state and local organizations focused on restoring the Ocklawaha River and Silver Springs. She also serves on the board of Conservation Florida.
Her past arts and cultural work includes promoting organizations such as Fine Arts for Ocala, Gainesville Arts Celebration, and the former Big Sun Arts Fest. During her stint at College of Central Florida, she was charged with overseeing conference and cultural facilities, including Brick City Center for the Arts and the Webber Gallery.
She has held a variety of senior management positions at Silver Springs, St. Johns River Water Management District, Career Source, UF Leadership Institute, College of Central Florida, Audubon Florida, and the Duke Energy Foundation.
Margaret has been married to Vince Spontak, former co-owner of Toffaletti Hardware, for 38 years and has one son, Michael. She has authored two environmental books and dabbles at poetry.
Lisa is originally from Merritt Island, FL and has been an Ocala resident since 2003. She’s a numbers geek and counts sprinkles for a living at Signature Brands, LLC (translate that as “she’s in the Finance department and looks at spreadsheets all day and likes it!”). Lisa has always enjoyed art; taking drawing and painting classes up through high school, singing in her church choir and holding season tickets to Broadway shows in Orlando. A big Star Wars fan since forever, she has a room decorated with all kinds of memorabilia from the movies. Lisa also loves to read, cook and bake (all her cookies get rave reviews).
Art Quote: “[Art] is very, very involved. It requires the passion and commitment, the research and the dog-mindedness just to bludgeon your way through it and make it happen” – Lawrence Noble (creator of the Yoda statue at Presidio Park)
Jordan Shapot is a professional fine artist living and working in Ocala, Florida. He was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and grew up in Citrus County, Florida a neighboring community to Marion County. He began studying art at a very young age. Shapot went on to attend the Lecanto School of Art in high school and then furthered his art education at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration.
Now, primarily a painter, Shapot is the owner of Jordan Shapot Art. He exhibits his artwork at reputable galleries, art festivals, art fairs, public art projects, murals, and merchandise. He has won many of awards over the years including five separate Best in Show awards.
Shapot has also been involved in community service efforts for most of his life. He was awarded the high rank of Eagle Scout at the age of 15, he has served on many community service-oriented boards and loves giving back to the community in creative ways.
As a part of the Board of Directors, Jordan acts as a liaison and advocate for artists both local and abroad. He offers a wealth of knowledge of the art world, fresh and exciting views backed by new studies and groups of thought, and valuable relationships with many artists and creative entities.
Maureen Tartaglione is the Manager of Government and Public Affairs for Cox Communications. She joined Cox in 2011 to lead its Central Florida community outreach and to oversee the distribution of the more than $1 million in cash and in-kind support Cox contributes to local non-profits.
Maureen is passionate about and has a long history of community volunteerism. She has served on the boards on many nonprofit organizations including the United Way, Junior Achievement, Education Foundation, Child Advocacy Center and Boys and Girls and her Rotary Club in Alachua County. She is looking forward to becoming more involved in Marion County, as well.
Maureen received her B.S. in Public Relations (with Highest Honors); and an M.A. in Mass Communication, both from UF. She spent three years as a Grinter Fellow in UF’s political science doctoral program and has authored or co-authored several book chapters and articles on Florida politics. Maureen taught American Federal Government and upper division public relations courses for UF and Santa Fe for more than 20 years and worked with the University Athletic Association to keep student athletes focused on their academics.
Prior to joining Cox, Maureen worked as a speech writer and community liaison for five UF presidents and supported UF’s state legislative affairs. She also worked as a consultant, helping organizations and municipalities navigate complex inter-institutional processes, like redistricting.
Maureen has two children, Jacquelyn and Robert (Mae), and two grandchildren.
Daryl was born in Kentucky and grew up in Fort Pierce, Florida before migrating north to Tallahassee where he attended college. He received both his Bachelors and Master’s Degrees from Florida State University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He began his career with Price Waterhouse & Co. and in 1978 founded his own Certified Public Accounting Practice in Ocala. His expertise spans a wide array of industries as well as financial statement design and analysis. He created a six hour course on understanding financial statements for FASTTRAC, a nationally known entrepreneurial program sponsored by the University of Florida. Daryl has served in the capacity of president at his accounting firm for over 40 years and continues to work full time.
Daryl and his wife of more than 50 years, Dee, raised their family in Ocala and have always been actively involved within the community, serving on many boards and sponsoring community events. They have always considered everyone having access to the arts of the utmost importance and believe it enhances the community as a whole. Daryl’s love of art is on full display as he shares his office with many forms of art, each speaking to him uniquely.
Art Quote: “Art speaks where words are unable to explain.” – Unknown
Growing grown up in Marion County, then moving to other areas, I came back in 1989 to find the Appleton Museum! Since I moved back here from Washington, D.C. where I had the opportunity to visit so many wonderful exhibits, it was a marvelous surprise.
Over the years there have been arts activities in Marion County…now there are ARTS ACTIVITIES IN MARION COUNTY! Much of that is due to Marion Cultural Alliance (MCA), partner artists and organizations, and the community. As a non-artist, I am so grateful to be associated with the arts movement in the area by being on the MCA board.
I have had a wide variety of work adventures, and have been selling real estate in Marion County since 1989. It is so nice to be able to talk about the growing arts community to folks who are moving to the area. It’s work that will continue to offer artists and non-artists the ability to support this lovely place to live.
Paula King has been a resident of Ocala since 1989, and owns Agapanthus boutique since 2007, and Breeze Day Spa in Ocala, and in Gainesville, Florida since 2013. In 2020, Paula was named one of the top 50 retailers in the U.S. by Home Accents Today.
Her support the arts in Ocala began in 1990 when she wrote the initial strategic plan and very first grant for the Discovery Science Center, then operating in what is currently the Marion Theatre. Other volunteer work includes service as a member of the board of the Munroe Foundation supporting Munroe Regional Medical Center (now Advent Health), and as the Style Partner to the Ocala Culinary Festival (2016 – 2019).
Paula continued her downtown commitment through volunteer support of Brick City Center for the Arts, beginning on it’s opening day in 1991 through its merger with Discovery Science Center forming the Ocala Arts and Sciences Coalition. Over the next decade Paula worked with others on multiple fundraisers and events supporting “The Brick” as it served as a catalyst for downtown redevelopment.
Inspired by abundance and excellence in the Ocala arts community, in 2000 Paula worked with others on the development of MCA as a support and funding organization for all local arts organizations. Paula served as founding chairman of the board, also serving four subsequent terms and on various other committees over the next 15 years.
Paula was a leader in conception and development of MCA key initiatives including public art (Horse Fever co-chair 2000, 2005, 2010), the Artist Within, Ride for the Arts (2015-2019), advocacy, community and city partnerships, endowment, grants, and strategic planning.
Paula retired from the MCA board in 2019, devoting herself full time to her business and family. Her current ambition outside of work is to experience as much of the arts as she can as an audience member, travel, and one day pick up her tennis racquet again.
Jessica McCune is a Registered Nurse and Licensed Mental Health Counselor working for Hospice of Marion County. She is passionate about Health Advocacy and believes our health is the infrastructure we stand upon as we pursue happiness. She volunteers with the arts and enjoys storytelling as a path for healing and insight. She has worked in preventive medicine, whole person health and the combination of body, mind and spirit her entire career, but specifically since 1999 here in Marion County. She holds a BS in Nursing from Baylor University and a MS in Counseling Education from the University of North Texas plus a MA in Storytelling from East Tennessee State University.
Laurie is a creative, results driven professional with entrepreneurial vision, who has over twenty-five years of experience greatly impacting growth and performance in both not-for-profit and for-profit organizations. Originally from Colorado and arriving in Florida from North Carolina and Brazil, she landed in Ocala due to her work in the equine industry.
Due to her love of the arts, Laurie became one of the original founding members of Marion Cultural Alliance, a not-for-profit arts council which was developed to provide funding for community arts organizations, and subsequently was the chairman of both the inaugural and tenth anniversary Horse Fever public arts projects and the current HF 20/20 Anniversary Collection. She is currently an Honorary Emeritus board member and has served as MCA chairman twice and has been an active board member for many years.
While working as the Development Director for the Centers, Laurie designed and created Kidfetti, the first of its kind, kid-centric, outdoor music and cultural festival focusing on the importance of protecting and nurturing the mental and physical wellness of children, and conceived Healing Heart, an art show featuring the works of the physically and/or mentally disadvantaged that celebrate the power of healing through the arts. The results are an exhibit that has moved many to action, personally and/or for area service providers.
Laurie was a partner in the creation and foundation of the Silver Springs International Film Festival in Marion County, Florida and served as the volunteer Executive Director of both the festival and the Ocala Film Foundation.
Laurie is currently the Development and Community Outreach Director at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), a world-renown research facility that pioneers technologies aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities.
She is also the current Ocala Civic Theatre board chairman, chair of the A/V Technology and Communications Business Advisory Council, founding board member of Circle Up-Center for Practical Peacebuilding and has served as the chairman of the Ocala Municipal Arts Commission, the Marion Therapeutic Riding Association and was a Take Stock in Children mentor.
Laurie treasures her roles of Mom, volunteer, community activist, sailor, arts enthusiast, accomplished horsewoman, traveler, reader and lifelong learner and explorer!
Jaye Sterchi Baillie, APR is a creative, enthusiastic, seasoned professional with more than 35 years of progressive governmental and non-profit management experience. Her extensive portfolio includes skills in results-oriented program development, board development, human relations, public relations, marketing, fundraising, and strategic planning. Jaye has served as the Executive Director of Marion Cultural Alliance, since 2016, where she works alongside the board, volunteers, and arts enthusiasts to champion, convene, and create opportunities for artists and nonprofit arts organizations. While not an artist herself, she is honored to work with the creative industry to support their work and values how art and cultural impact our quality of life and our local community.
Baillie is a travel enthusiast having visited China, Cuba, Colombia, Switzerland, Italy, Alaska, Greece, Hawaii, Iceland, Mexico, and Crotia and many ports of calls while cruising.
She is an avid boater, shrimper, and fisherwoman and lives on Lake George with her husband, Russell. They have two grown children, Rebecca and Sam and four grandchildren, Henry & Lora Kate (Ocala) and Emory & Clark (Los Angeles).
Nicole Upton, is a local artist and alumni of the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Nicole has coupled her life long passion for art and animals with her international upbringing. Nicole lived in the United Arab Emirates and Oman for several years, which lead to her spirited interest in theology and diversity. Nicole’s artwork projects her love of animals and multiculturalism. As a former member of the Worldwide Art Movement based out of Kochi, India, Nicole participated in two international art exhibitions, i.e., Art Maestro 2016 and 2017. Nicole’s domestic art participation includes venues such as NOMA and The Brick.
Today, Nicole spends her time raising her two beautiful daughters, volunteering with animal rescue, participating and understanding the autism community, and immersing herself within the local art community.
Stephani is a Navy veteran and has lived in Ocala for almost 4 years. She is married to “a wonderful man who rocks her world”, with two awesome boys and one more on the way. Stephani is enthusiastic about art and all the different shapes and forms it can take. She is passionate about giving back to her community and furthering the creative outlets available to all artists. She enjoys creating upcycled fashion and the challenge of bringing new ideas to life. She has an undergrad in Business Marketing and an MFA in Fashion Product Development.
We are thrilled to have Stephani join our growing volunteer team! Her skills and enthusiasm make her an asset to MCA. Look out for more of Stephani’s work helping out the MCA team.
Born in Ocala, Lynn graduated from Forest High School in 1972. She moved to Oklahoma where she married Roy Neil Burch in 1973. She and Roy owned and ran a very successful car dealership for over 40 years. She has a daughter named Sandra and a granddaughter named Declan whom she can’t stop raving about. When her husband Roy passed away in 2014, Lynn moved back to Ocala and built a house just down the street from her brother and sister-in-law. She was introduced to MCA through Amy Mangan during a Mark Emery event at The Brick Gallery. Lynn is so grateful to Amy for her kindness. She says: “I love volunteering at MCA! So glad to be back home.”
We love Lynn! She is a ray of sunshine to those who are fortunate to know her. She is always in for anything and does everything with a big smile on her face.