FESTIVAL STAFF AND BOARD
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In photo L to R: Diane Bloom, Rick Bryant and Carol Baney
Rick Bryant, Executive Director
Rick Bryant joined the paid staff of the CPFA as its director of visual arts in 1999, though his involvement with the Festival dates back to 1984, when he first volunteered on the Trash Crew. Rick was named executive director in 2005.
Born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, before the county hospital moved to State College, Rick attended public schools in State College, and afterward the University of Virginia, where he earned a bachelor’s degree from the School of Architecture in 1979. After college he entered the family insurance business and pursued professional education, earning a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter designation in 1986. He retired from the insurance business in 1998 to pursue other interests.
In addition to serving as a long-time Festival volunteer, he served as a founding board member, and later as president of The AIDS Project, Centre and Clinton County’s independent HIV/AIDS service organization. He served as president of the Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania, on several boards, including the State College Board of Health, the Board of Deacons of State College Presbyterian Church, and the Community Advisory Board for Penn State’s Center for the Performing Arts. He is the chair of the State College Historic Resources Commission.
Carol Baney, Director of Operations
Carol Baney, director of operations, has been with the Festival for nearly twenty years. She is a native of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, and attended public schools there, and afterwards attended the Hagerstown Business College, Hagerstown, Maryland, where she received an associate in arts degree. Carol has continued her post-college education and earned an associate in liberal arts degree from Penn State in 2009.
Prior to joining the Festival, Carol worked at the Washington Hospital Center for twelve years as a medical assistant for the chairman of the Department of Orthopedics, and also in the Office of Public Affairs and Marketing. Carol notes that the stress levels of the Festival do not compare to those of a large urban hospital.
Carol holds a Master Gardener certification from Penn State Cooperative Extension and Emergency Medical Technician certification from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
In 2010, Carol was one of the founding members of Girls on the Run of Happy Valley and is currently the program coordinator and treasurer.
Diane Bloom, Director of Development
Diane Bloom joined the Festival staff as its director of development in January 2007. She worked for Penn State for thirty-five years, the last thirty-one at the Center for the Performing Arts, where she was responsible for fundraising and special events. Obviously, her retirement was short lived!
Diane’s interest and pursuits in photography have given her the title of “Designated Photographer” for the Festival office. She takes great pleasure in capturing not only photographs of sponsored Festival events and First Night ice sculptures and activities, but also of artists, art work, and volunteers.
Diane has served as a volunteer with the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association as well as with the Festival. On occasion, you will find her serving as classroom “grandparent” in the schools attended by the little ones. She takes great pleasure in nurturing her many gardens, which serve as a source of mental therapy. She and her husband, Barry, also “retired,” enjoy traveling—both on their Harley as well as to places such as Alaska and the Caribbean. Diane and Barry have two children, Krista and Jason, as well as three granddaughters, Paige, Katelyn, and Julie, and one new grandson, Parker.
The 2012-2013 Board of Directors of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. Front Row, L to R: Anne Layng, Katherine Allen, Susan Steinberg, Star Campbell, Joyce Robinson. Back Row, L to R; Sue Haug, Amy Caputo, Steve Watson, Bob Mountz, Colleen Toomey. Missing from photo: Adam Duff, Charles DeBow, Bill Ryan
To many people the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is something that “just happens” each summer. School lets out for the summer, and in what seems like the blink of an eye, the Festival is upon us. Landscapers, stage hands, musicians, artists, volunteers, all appear, and in their wake both State College and the Penn State campus are alive with visitors.
The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts also produces First Night State College, an arts-centric, family oriented, alcohol-free celebration of the New Year’s holiday. First Night State College features one of Pennsylvania’s largest displays of ice carving, performances in downtown churches, theatres, and public buildings, resolution sculptures, a giant puppet procession children’s activities, and a 5K Resolution Run.
The festival is governed by a volunteer board of directors that determines the mission and goals of the organization. The Festival’s mission is ”to celebrate the arts with presentations of diverse, high-quality visual and performing arts through the cooperative volunteer support of the community and The Pennsylvania State University.”
The Board of Directors is made up of men and women from both Penn State and the State College community. They set policies, raise funds, monitor budgets, and of course, attend lots of meetings.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Katherine Allen is associate general counsel at Penn State, working primarily in the area of higher education and employment law. She graduated from Davidson College and the University of North Carolina School of Law and practiced in Tennessee and Wisconsin before moving to State College in 1995. Katherine has served on the board of the Centre County Women's Resource Center and on the Session and Board of Deacons of the State College Presbyterian Church. She is an adjunct instructor of advocacy for the Dickinson School of Law at Penn State. Katherine is married to Richard Page, an associate professor in German at Penn State. They have three children in college; two are students at Penn State and one attends Rhodes College in Memphis. Katherine is past-president of the CPFA Board and has served in several volunteer roles at First Night and the Arts Festival. She especially enjoys meeting and greeting the artists.
Star Campbell is the librarian at the State College Christian Science Reading Room and Bookstore. In addition to managing sales, she oversees fourteen volunteer staff members and helps initiate activities that benefit the State College community. For the past few years, the Christian Science Reading Room has been the official warm-up station for First Night and the volunteer embassy for the Arts Festival.
Star also works at Penn State as a nutrition education curriculum specialist for the Nutrition Education Engineering Design Center. She develops print and web-based materials. Star is a former Peace Corps volunteer (Senegal, 1977–79), loves to travel, read novels, eat new foods, and attend Penn State women’s volleyball. She and her husband, Mike, have hosted more than a dozen international students from around the world.
Amy F. Caputo
Amy Caputo is currently director of strategic communications for the Penn State Alumni Association. She has more than twenty-five years of experience in business development, marketing, communications, and management for corporations, non-profit associations, government, education, and media organizations.
Prior to returning to Pennsylvania in 2007, she was director of marketing and business development for a top-tier Southeastern regional law firm with 300 attorneys based in Richmond, Virginia. Amy earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Penn State and a master’s in mass communications with a concentration in media management from Virginia Commonwealth University. She currently serves on the board of Altrusa International of Centre County and is an alumna of the 2013 Leadership Centre County class.
Charley DeBow is originally from the Philadelphia suburb of Willow Grove and is a graduate of LaSalle College High School. In 2002, he received his B.A. in the Administration of Justice from Penn State. After graduation he lived in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. while working for a national parking management company. In 2009, he became the parking manager for the Borough of State College. He is an avid golfer, and his two favorite sports teams are the Philadelphia Eagles and whoever is playing the Steelers.
Yvonne Gaudelius is originally from Toronto, Canada, but has considered State College home for more than twenty years. She is an associate vice president and senior associate dean for undergraduate education at Penn State and a faculty member in the College of Arts and Architecture. Yvonne earned undergraduate degrees from Queen’s University and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and a doctoral degree from Penn State. She is the author of numerous articles and two co-authored books about art and education. Yvonne is an avid gardener and cook who also loves to travel. She is married to Nigel Higson, a math professor at the University. They have one daughter, who is a senior at State High. Together the three of them enjoy travel, especially biking through the countryside and small towns that are off the beaten path.
Sue Haug is director of the School of Music at Penn State. She joined the Penn State faculty in 2005 after having served on the faculty at Iowa State University for thirty years and as head of the Department of Music for fifteen years. She is vice-president of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and served for eleven years on the NASM Commission on Accreditation. She is a pianist and enjoys teaching and performing as her schedule permits. She holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa…but she always roots for the Blue and White.
Sue enjoys gardening, her book club, and traveling. She is thoroughly enamored of her grandson and granddaughter, who live in Madison, Wisconsin (thus, she travels often to Wisconsin, where most of her extended family lives and where the weather is usually worse than in Happy Valley). In her previous life in Iowa, she was blessed to be a part of community boards and committees, such as the Ames International Orchestra Festival and the Ames Community Arts Council. In State College, she helped to develop a town-and-gown partnership to reestablish the Music at Penn’s Woods Summer Orchestra Festival, which is now a thriving organization.
Bob Hicks is currently pursuing a master’s degree in mental health counseling and is also a candidate for ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He hopes to enter the world of family counseling and therapy, while working with non-profits organizations.
Bob is also a board member on the Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art as well as Project Education, Inc., which oversees a secondary school in Kenya. Bob has a B.S. in accounting from Penn State, an M.B.A. in corporate finance from Fairleigh Dickinson, and a master of divinity degree from Drew Seminary. Bob previously managed various commercial lending groups in the U.S. and Europe during a twenty-four-year corporate career.
Bob recently moved to State College with his lovely wife, Irene, and loving daughters, Emilia and Claire. Bob and Irene like to bike, golf, and run (ok, maybe only Bob likes to run). In addition to serving as an ambassador for the Arts Festival, Bob has participated in the First Night Resolution Run for many years as he continues to try to prove to himself that he is not aging!
Anne Layng is an operations manager for the Geisinger Health System, where she is responsible for the ambulatory surgery/endoscopy center, specialty procedure, and medical clinics. Prior to taking her current position, she served in several different capacities at Geisinger, after serving for eight years as vice-president for professional services at the Mount Nittany Medical Center. Anne holds an undergraduate degree in nursing from Cornell and a graduate degree in Health Policy Administration from Penn State.
Anne has served in many volunteer positions, for organizations ranging from The American Red Cross to the Women’s Resource Center. She currently volunteers for both Juniata College and State College Presbyterian Church, where she makes a joyful noise singing in the Chancel Choir. Anne has volunteered for the Festival for many years, chairing its fundraising gala in 1989. She helps lay out the Sidewalk Sale and Exhibition route, using her considerable interpersonal skills to assuage the fears of grouchy artists who don’t understand why they can’t set up until 6:00 p.m. or who worry that the public will find every other booth in the Sidewalk Sale but theirs. Once the Sidewalk Sale is set up, Anne works on the Silent Auction committee.
Bob Mountz moved to State College in April 2002, after retirement from a career as math teacher and track coach in Twin Valley School District, Berks County. He is an alumnus of Penn State’s College of Education, and served on the College’s Alumni Board for twelve years. Bob and his wife Ginny have been chairs of the Festival’s Silent Auction for three years, and in that time the auction has raised over $30,000 for the Festival. Bob’s older granddaughter Becca has been a participant in the Children and Youth Sidewalk Sale.
Bob can be found at Penn State track meets wearing a stopwatch around his neck, or browsing in antique shops, or visiting auctions looking for Pennsylvania redware, among other things.
Joyce Robinson is a curator at the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State, where she is also an affiliate associate professor of art history, teaching courses primarily in the fields of American and African American art. During her tenure at the Palmer, Joyce has organized more than twenty exhibitions, several of which traveled to other institutions, and authored exhibition catalogues primarily in the fields of contemporary art, photography, and American art. She has also served as in-house curator for numerous major traveling exhibitions on topics ranging from Indian miniature painting and Chinese tomb sculpture to archaeology and forgery.
Joyce is active in the community and has undertaken a number of volunteer positions while her children have grown from toddlers to teens. These include treasurer and co-president of the Park Forest Elementary PTO; president and board member of T-MART (Tussey Mountain Alpine Racing Team); Sunday school teacher and youth leader at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church; and volunteer pledge host for WPSU-TV and WPSU-Radio. Joyce is married to Norman Spivey, a professor on the voice faculty at Penn State, and was a singer, pianist, and actress in an earlier life. She currently sings with The Orpheus Singers under the direction of Christopher Kiver. Joyce was one of the team of jurors for the Festival in 2012 and also served as the guest juror for Images in 2013.
State College-native John Snyder is the managing director McQuaide Blasko, Inc., where he is civil trial lawyer with an emphasis on employment and labor law as well as oil and gas litigation. John is married and has four children who are students in the State College Area School District. John graduated from State High and Penn State, and he received his law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. Outside of work, John’s interests include baseball, fishing, and full-contact cribbage.
Susan will be the first to tell you that her background is not complicated. She grew up in Englewood, New Jersey, graduated from the University of Wisconsin, and then worked at the East Asian Research Center at Harvard University. She and her husband, Lewis, have lived in central Pennsylvania since 1972, the first twenty-five years in Lock Haven and the remainder of the time in State College.
Susan served as the Victim’s Advocate for the Centre County District Attorney’s office for thirteen years. She and Lewis and have been supporters of the performing arts since the Artists’ Series performed in Rec Hall, and Susan is currently on the Community Advisory Board for Penn State’s Center for the Performing Arts. She is an avid traveler and has been on two safaris in Africa, a bicycle trip in France, and numerous other excursions. Susan and Lewis have one son, an attorney married to an attorney/French pastry chef, and a daughter, a South East Asian refugee specialist, all of whom live in Washington, D.C.
Steve Watson is a university planner with Penn State’s Division of Campus Planning and Design in the Office of Physical Plant, where he has worked since 2002. Campus Planning provides the “big picture” view of Penn State’s campus environments and ensures the highest standards of design quality for all buildings and civic spaces throughout the University system. Steve, who holds a professional registration as a landscape architect, is responsible for leading the development of campus master plans, facilitating site selection and evaluation, participating in site and building feasibility studies, reviewing and critiquing planning studies prepared by consultants to the University, assisting with transportation planning studies, serving as the University authority on municipal zoning, and assuring that site development plans adhere to the principles and requirements of campus master plans.
Steve serves on various University committees, including the Outdoor Public Art Committee, the Intermodal Transportation Committee, and the Environmental Forum Committee at University Park. He also serves as the University representative on the Centre Regional Planning Commission. A Centre County native and graduate of Penn State, Steve resides in Bellefonte with his wife, Valerie, a post-doctoral researcher in environmental engineering with a focus on microbial fuel cell technologies. They have two daughters, Alina and Kira, who enjoy competitive gymnastics.
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