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Board of Directors/Annual Report

2019 Board of Directors


Mitchell Wilber, Chair, Treasurer
Mitch is a lifelong resident of western New York with a career centered around various aspects of production agriculture. He is a graduate of Brown University and is married to Aliceann Wilber, the remarkable coach of the William Smith College soccer team. The couple have two adult children who are doing interesting things in Nashville and Washington, D.C. He has been a member of the Smith board since 2011. He has a long history of taking on community and civic roles with other organizations: the Geneva City School District Board of Education (past president), the Town of Geneva Planning Board, Geneva Generals Hockey Organization and the Geneva Soccer Club. He is also the former president of the New York State Agri-Business Association.

Vinny Aliperti, Vice Chair
A 5-year member of The Smith’s Board of Directors, Vinny currently holds the role of Vice Chair of the Board and is Chair of The Smith’s Nominating Committee.  He and his wife, Kim, are co-owners of Billsboro Winery in Geneva.
Vinny is also the winemaker for Atwater Vineyards in Burdett.
For Vinny, work and family life “is full but satisfying.”

Kelby Russell, Secretary
Kelby first became involved with The Smith through his role planning the Scott LaFaro Celebration Concert from its first iteration in 2015.  After being invited to serve on the Board, he and Joan Grela co-chaired the Executive Director Search Committee that resulted in the hiring of Susie Monagan, and he was asked to serve as Secretary starting in 2018. Kelby’s first passion will always be music. His career path while studying at Harvard University was Orchestra Management, so his Board involvement is a particularly rewarding complement to his day job of winemaking.


Frank Bartels
Frank brings to The Smith’s Board more than 40 years of information technology experience, and is on the Earned Income Committee. He is the Senior Ancillary Systems Analyst at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Prior to joining HWS in 1996, Bartels ran his own company, Paratech Services, serving personal computer and network systems for small businesses in Geneva. He also worked for Zotos International for nearly a decade as a design draftsman and engineering technician. Bartels plans on retiring from HWS at the end of the 2018-2019 academic year and continuing to do part time work in his field.
Bartels and his wife, Barb, are avid sailors and longtime members of the Seneca Yacht Club. They own and operate Sail Seneca, which provides sail tours of Seneca Lake aboard the 30-foot Sloop, La Vida. Frank has is USCG Captain’s license. The couple live in Geneva and have two grown sons who live in Colorado and Maryland. They also have a grandson.
“I feel the time is right to do something different but also something where my experiences can lend a hand.  Being my first board experience I’m also glad to be in such great and experienced company as the current board members,” he says.

Martha Bond
Martha and her husband Jerry have lived in Geneva for 20 years and have deep family roots throughout the Finger Lakes. A graduate of Mt. Holyoke College, she held various positions in healthcare administration in Rochester before moving to the community in 2000. The following year, she joined Hobart and William Smith Colleges as Director of Grants, a position from which she retired in 2016.
Martha became a member of the Smith Board in 2014 and currently serves as chair of the Grants Committee, as well as a member of the Buildings/Grounds and Membership/Annual Support committees. She and Jerry have two married children and three grandchildren.

Rebecca (Becky) Burditt
Becky joined The Smith’s Board in 2018 after serving on its Film Committee since 2016. She programmed the Voting Rights Film Series in 2018, and has facilitated numerous collaborations with Hobart and William Smith Colleges faculty to bring films to The Smith that support the themes of their courses.
Becky is an Assistant Professor in the Media and Society Program at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva. She teach courses on the history of advertising, global musicals and media and theory.

Patty Gilbert

Joan Sullivan Grela
Joan has been a member of the Smith Board of Directors for almost ten years.  Joan previously served as Chief of Staff for State Senator Michael Nozzolio before retiring in 2016.
In addition to the Smith Board of Directors, Joan also serves on the Ability Partners Board of Directors, the Finger Lakes Health Foundation Board of Directors and is a member of the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester Community Action Committee.
Joan has three children: Megan Castro, Marissa Ryan and Michael Grela and spends lots of time with her seven grandchildren: Jesse, Travis, Emily & Elyse Castro and Mirabelle, Sullivan and Fitzgerald Ryan and great-granddaughter Gabriella Castro.

Murray Heaton

Nancy McDermott

Mara O’Laughlin
Mara joined the Smith Board right after retiring from Hobart and William Smith in 2013. A native of New York City and a graduate of William Smith College, she was first employed as a Social Studies teacher at the Romulus Central School from 1967-1972. She then returned to her alma mater where she served as Director of Admissions for 31 years. In 2006, she assumed the position of Assistant Vice President for Advancement, leading the William Smith Centennial and then securing funding for the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts. The Colleges recognized her service with its highest honor: Doctor of Humane Letters in 2013.
Smith Board service has included Chair, Membership and Annual Support; Member: Grants, Nominating, and 125th Committees.
Her family includes partner Joanne Goff; two step-sons, Ryan and Benjamin; and three grandsons: Kian, Grayson, and Asher Goff.

Jan Regan
A Smith Board Member since 2010, Jan Regan has concentrated her Smith work on live programing, marketing, grant and development work. She has chaired several committees and headed up a number of fundraising events, including the first two Medley on Linden events and the annual Celebrate Smith! dinner. She has served as Secretary and Board Chair, and, in 2017 stepped in as the Smith’s Interim Executive Director during the year-long search that culminated in the hiring of Susie Monagan. As chair of the Programming committee, Jan began a series of small concerts, called the Smith Club Series, that brings intimate concert experiences to venues such as wineries and small clubs around Geneva. The Board of Directors has since named that series for Regan, in appreciation of her service.
Jan has been active on numerous community boards including Geneva Community Projects (which she co-founded and served as chair), Geneva Boys and Girls Club, and the Musselman Triathlon (where she served as Run Coordinator). With her father, she founded Benchmark Geneva, which brought benches to Geneva’s lakefront. She was named Citizen of the Year in 2007.
In her professional life, Jan is a Finger Lakes-based photographer, with a studio just a couple doors down from the Smith Opera House. Jan Regan Photography offers commercial, portrait and wedding photography. Jan has a passion for photographing musical performance, and has covered many of the Smith’s concerts, and also serves as Tour Photographer for the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Harrison Schutzer
Harrison currently works with a team of professionals at MRB Group to serve local governments across the State of New York. In his role as Business Development Coordinator, he manages web and social media presence, in addition to coordinating events for the firm and its clients. His experience includes working for the New York State Legislature, serving under Senators Michael Nozzolio and Simcha Felder. Harrison graduated from Hobart College with a B.A.. in Public Policy and Political Science.
He chose to establish his home and pursue a career in the Finger Lakes region.

Anthony (Tony) Shelton
Tony joined the board in 2016 and serves on the Grants Committee. He’s been a long-term supporter of The Smith and previously served on the Board of Directors for Geneva Concerts and the Geneva School Board. Tony is an International Professor at Cornell and is the Director for a USAID-funded project in Bangladesh.
When not traveling, he enjoys spending time sailing, fishing and biking in the Finger Lakes.

S. Ford Weiskittel

Chris Woodworth
Chris made her debut on the Smith Opera House stage at the age of 5 in a ballet recital for Helen and Jane’s dance studio. Since then she has been involved in a number of capacities including as the creator and producer of Finger Lakes Photo/Plays and as a performer and director for a number of Geneva Theatre Guild productions. As co-chair of the 125th anniversary committee, she has been conducting research and regularly leading historic tours of The Smith. Outside of her work on the board, Chris is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. For information on her scholarship and artistry, visit her website:



2017 Annual Report