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.
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.
Lisa 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.
Lisa has been married to David Midgett for 27 years and has two grown children and a grandchild. When not horsing around at her farm, Lisa focuses on her philanthropic work, traveling with David, and learning new things.
Art Quote: “I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.” – Vincent Van Gogh
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)
Mary Delancey has been an “arts enthusiast” from the first time she took a crayon in her hand and drew pictures on the underside of her grandmother’s kitchen table. Her love of all things creative has been nurtured by classes in drawing, painting, music and dance from a very early age. And all these experiences have given Mary an appreciation of artistic expression and an understanding of how art enriches our lives. She is grateful for the arts community here in Ocala and to be part of MCA’s work to support art and artists.
Mary came to Ocala 10 years ago after a 30 year career with the Department of Veterans Affairs, living almost all those years in San Francisco. Currently she is on the clergy staff of Grace Episcopal Church where she serves as Chaplain for Grace VPK. Art is an essential part of learning and development for these children and it is her pleasure to nourish a love of the creative as they learn. Mary is also a Coordinator for the Orlando Volunteer Team of International Justice Mission. As passionate as she is about art, Mary is also passionate about ending modern day slavery and works locally, regionally and globally to this end. These two passions converge in Mary’s conviction that both are working toward seeing the world as God intends it to be.
Ellen Amatea is currently serving as Treasurer of MCA, MCA Public Art Chair and is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida where she taught courses in child, marriage and family counseling for many years. In her academic research she explored how the quality of school, family and community relationships influences children’s and academic achievement and emotional development. She recently retired and is now exploring the many forms of watercolor painting and is especially interested in the impact of public art in under-resourced neighborhoods.
Jo grew up in Miami, Florida, and after trying out half a dozen other states, moved back to Florida in 2007. She received a B.S. in Audio Engineering and Music Education from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, and a Master’s of Educational Leadership from Saint Leo University. She has worked as a studio vocalist and sound engineer, and has been in the education field for 18 years. Jo has taught chorus, general music, orchestra, percussion, piano, science, and math; and is also the Director of Music Ministries at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.
Jo spent ten years teaching in the Marion County Public Schools, and is currently serving as the Fine Arts Program Specialist for the Marion County Public Schools. She facilitates collaboration between our local schools and the community, and utilizes Marion County’s diverse arts resources to benefit the students of Marion County including, but not limited to, Fine Arts for Ocala, the Ocala Civic Theater, the Marion Cultural Alliance, the City of Ocala’s Cultural Division, and the Appleton Museum.
Ms. Crowder is a strong advocate of a well-rounded education, and believes that the fine arts are an essential element of child development. Her mission is to ensure that all of Marion County’s students are receiving excellent instruction in the Fine Arts, and that students are given varied opportunities to experience and interact with the arts. She was recognized as the Fine Arts Educator of the Year in 2017 by the Marion Cultural Alliance for her advocacy of Fine Arts in Education.
Jo is proud to call Ocala home, and is especially impressed with Ocala’s love for the arts and the quality of the arts offered in the community.
Art Quote: “The arts are fundamental to our common humanity. Every time we attend the theater, a museum or a concert, we are literally feeding our souls, and investing in and preserving our collective future.” – Julie Andrews
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.
Art Quote: “To be an artist is to believe in life.” – Henry Moore
Here she is on the top of the SpringHill Suites by Marriott, the newest hotel to be added to the HDG Hotels profile and the site of MCA’s Over the Edge rapelling event March 30…which she is also chairing! (Have you signed up?!)
Before joining the HDG Hotels team in 2016 as Chief People and Culture Officer, Lisa worked in a leadership, local advocacy and mentoring capacity with nonprofits, financial institutions, arts organizations, high profile events, higher education, start-ups, and with individual executives. She has led organizations through overhauls of vision and mission statements, conducted board development trainings, and represented brands as a spokesperson, primarily in Florida and New York.
Lisa also served as Director of Development at the College of Central Florida Foundation and Campaign Counsel for the Central Florida Y’s DeLuca YMCA – helping each raise their single largest gifts at that time. She is a co-founder and instructor at the Performing Arts Conservatory and currently serves as chair for the Marion Cultural Alliance, (which she declares, “the best board EVER”) a micro-volunteer for Dance Alive National Ballet, and the Executive Leadership Team for the AHA Heart Walk.
She has an incredible partner in all this, Adam Lombardo and two sons, Caleb (13) and Luke (10) who can’t imagine a life without the arts. An Ocala native, she and Adam returned to Ocala 13 years ago to be near their parents and sisters who all live in this great community they so proudly call home.
When asked what inspires her, she answers, “people,” and she believes the first step toward progress is a person having clarity of purpose. Lisa received a bachelor of arts in Communication Studies from Furman University in South Carolina and a master of arts in Public Administration from the University of South Florida. Lisa remains involved in advocacy for the arts through the Marion Cultural Alliance, which she chairs; and also the hospitality industry.
Jennifer owns Magnolia Media Company, a full service marketing firm and publisher of Ocala Style Magazine. Jennifer is also the co-founder and organizer of the annual Ocala Culinary Festival.
Jennifer enjoys supporting the arts because art reminds her of the beauty that can be found in the human spirit.
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.
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.”
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.
Todd Rudnianyn was born and raised in Ocala, graduating from Vanguard High School in 2000. Since then he has lived in Philadelphia, Seoul, New York, and Boston. In 2014, he returned to Ocala to serve as President of Neighborhood Storage Center Co., a regional commercial property management company. He earned a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and is currently pursuing an Executive Masters in Urban Planning at the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. He enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with his two beagles, Rosco and Snoop.
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.
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