Board of Trustees
Jason Fisher has a deep appreciation for aesthetic and visual design articulation in all aspects of his life and career.
As a graduate of Kent State University, Jason earned his BFA in Visual Communication Design, where he also taught as an adjunct professor, and has spent the past 15+ years leading global brands through marketing, creative, and consumer experiences. Jason is currently the Sr. Director of Marketing, for a Global Water Innovations Company, where he strives to ignite teams around the spirit of possibility and creative solutions that deliver category-defining results.
As a husband and father of two, Jason enjoys his family time in Chagrin Falls, OH. You can often find him on the soccer field sidelines, inspiring youth through the soccer community, adding character to his 1925 craftsman home, and investing in his creative soul - always the entrepreneur.
Melissa Bertke is Senior Counsel at Progressive Insurance where she manages complex commercial litigation and class action defense. Formerly a litigation partner at BakerHostetler, Melissa has significant experience in the defense and prosecution of general business litigation. She is also a graduate of FDCC Ladder Down -- a year-long leadership, development and mentoring program for women lawyers. Prior to attending University of Michigan Law School, Melissa received a B.A. in English from Kenyon College and spent a year serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Colorado. A mother to two young boys, Melissa is passionate about the arts and is a longtime fan of the Valley Art Center and Art by the Falls.
Karen Cunningham is a Managing Director at Deloitte Consulting where she focuses on enabling her clients to manage industry disruptions and realize their transformational goals by driving adoption of new ways of organizing, operating and behaving. She specializes in strategic change management, organization alignment, workforce of the future and persona-driven engagement. She also leads Deloitte’s Human Capital US and global markets for ESG and Sustainability, Climate & Equity, advising her clients on the organization and workforce imperatives to drive meaningful change, impact and value. Karen earned her Masters of Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a Bachelors of Psychology from The Ohio State University. She serves on several boards, including chairing the Development Committee on the Valley Art Center board.
Adam Philipp is a Partner with Cedar Brook Group. He helps counsel a select group of corporate executives, professionals, business owners, and other high-net-worth individuals and families on investments and a wide range of financial planning issues. Adam received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history from Northwestern University and a law degree from The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law. As an attorney, Adam clerked for Judge Raymond Moore on the United States District Court for the District of Colorado in Denver and then became a corporate and capital markets associate with Jones Day and Calfee, Halter & Griswold. In these experiences, Adam maintained an active pro bono practice.
Born and raised in the Cleveland area, Adam is passionate about Northeast Ohio and the region’s vast potential. He also coaches baseball as a member of University School’s staff. Adam enjoys international affairs and foreign policy and he is a Council on Foreign Relations term member. He also enjoys attending American Council on Germany and Cleveland Council on World Affairs events. Both Adam and his wife, Mariam, grew up on the east side. They currently reside in Shaker Heights with their young children, Arthur and Lily.
Pam Wilson is the Vice President of Products at Premier Packaging, LLC. After spending over a decade managing research and development labs and promoting sustainability within coatings, she now oversees custom packaging design and automation. Pam has a PhD in Macromolecular Science and Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, and a BS in Chemistry from Rochester Institute of Technology. She is an avid collector of local art, including masterpieces from her two creative children!
Shannon Ake is a decorated Navy Veteran and holds a Masters Degree in Consumer Research and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. She has lived in the Village of Chagrin Falls since 2015 and in the township since 2008. She is the mother of 5 sons. She enjoys volunteering and community service in environmental cleanup groups and many arts and culture organizations. In her spare time Shannon enjoys spending time with her family, cooking new recipes, and being a ‘maker’.
Stephen Burks has spent more than 30 years bridging enterprise and creativity. He is the Principal and Creative Director of GoodCity Concepts, a digital storytelling/media production company with local, national and global clients including Unger Enterprises, CT3 Education, the University of Southern California at San Francisco, Deakin University Australia, the Cleveland Clinic and more.
Stephen received his degree in Music Theory and Composition with a minor in Marketing from the Dana School of Music in Youngstown, Ohio and held positions with The Nashville Symphony, The Louisville Orchestra, the Hendersonville Arts Council and The Glema Mahr Center for the Performing Arts. Stephen was the founder of the East Asia Arts Partnership and coordinated cross cultural visual art shows and concerts by American artists at the Two Cities Gallery in Shanghai, China, as well as venues in Beijing and Suzhou, China and Bangkok, Thailand.
He’s been married to Laura Nealy, a musician he met while working at the Nashville Symphony. Together they’ve travelled the world, camped across America and raised three children during their 33 years of marriage! Now they’re looking forward to meeting and making new friends from the Valley Art Center family.
Jennifer Crawford brings nearly 25 years of design and marketing expertise to her role as a Creative Partner at Impel Creative, Inc. With decades of small agency and freelance graphic design experience, Jennifer prides herself in the details and take a fresh approach to each new design challenge. With a focus on print media, she has managed and designed projects ranging from corporate identity and logo design, brochures, annual reports, and magazines to exhibit design, product design and email marketing. Jennifer has three children including a daughter who takes jewelry classes at Valley Art Center. Jennifer resides in Twinsburg but spends significant time in Chagrin Falls and is excited to support the arts community with her time and creative skills.
Andrea Dawson is a staff pathologist at the Cleveland Clinic, where she has spent the past twenty one years providing expert diagnoses for patients with breast cancer. She grew up in Wyoming, which she attributes her love of the outdoors to and went to medical school at the University of Utah. She been on the board of Urban Squash Cleveland, a program for inner city Cleveland children and is an active volunteer in the local squash community.
Her exploration of the art world began in the last several years when she enrolled in classes at the Valley Art Center. At the same time, she had the opportunity to participate in a photography mentorship with a Martha’s Vineyard based photographer. These experiences have inspired her to find the connections between her photography and painting of the natural world and to continue her “art education”. She is very grateful to the teachers and mentors at the Valley Art Center who have been instrumental in encouraging her to show her art in local juried and student art shows. One of these days she will quit her day job and just focus on her art..…in the meantime, she is excited to be a contributing member of the Valley Art Center Board and will work to create opportunities and exposure to the arts for our community.
Kate Humphrey relocated to Chagrin Falls in 2022 from a short but fun stint in Key West, FL with her husband Jay, a retired Air Force helicopter pilot. Kate has a long history as a creative professional in many roles and industries, including advertising, visual merchandising, interior design and fashion. She also has a long history of fundraising and event planning for organizations and causes near and dear to her heart, taking advantage of her can-do, results-oriented demeanor. No problem arises that she cannot solve creatively. She spends a significant amount of her time volunteering and is currently redesigning the store at Camp Fitch, where she and her husband volunteer. They very happily reside in the Village of Chagrin Falls with their three remaining rescue dogs from the six they’ve adopted together as Kate continues to advocate for children and animals as often as she can. Kate is excited to become an even more integral member of both the Chagrin Falls and Arts community and is ready and waiting to jump in and contribute to furthering the mission of the Valley Arts Center in new and creative ways.
Tricia Kaman has been painting traditional figurative works for over 50 years. She started drawing portraits at Cedar Point Amusement Park working from life, creating pastel sketches and silhouette souvenirs for park guests. In 1971, Tricia became the Founder and President of Kaman’s Art Shoppes, America’s largest art, photo, and specialty merchandise concessionaire for theme parks and zoos.
She has recently retired and is devoting full time to her fine art.
She attended Cleveland’s Cooper School of Art, Cleveland Institute of Art, and the New York Art Students League. Tricia has also studied under Nelson Shanks at Studio Incamminati, Philadelphia. Her art has been exhibited in hundreds of juried regional, national, and international shows.
A lifetime Ohio resident, Tricia teaches workshops for the Valley Art Center at the Tricia Kaman Studio/Gallery in Cleveland’s Little Italy. It is here, where she paints directly from live models and also displays her original oil and pastel paintings. Tricia is excited to bring her exceptional experience as a professional artist and business owner to Valley Art Center.
Yelena Katz is an attorney in the Labor & Employment practice group at Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLC, an AmLaw 200 business law firm with offices in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Hackensack, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai and Wilmington. Yelena works with employers on a variety of federal and state labor and employment matters. She has represented employers before administrative agencies and in courts nationwide, and also counsels businesses of all sizes on best practices for employment-related matters. Yelena serves on the steering committee for Benesch’s Women’s Initiative group and on the firm’s Associate Development Committee. Prior to graduating from Case Western Reserve University School of Law with her Juris Doctorate, Yelena received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management (Marketing) also from Case Western Reserve University. Yelena lives in Orange Village with her husband, two sons (both budding artists in daycare!), and Standard Poodle Charlie. The family has been attending Art by the Falls for many years and Yelena is excited to serve on the Valley Art Center Board. Yelena chairs the Board’s Governance Committee.
Matt Silla is a senior manager in the business valuation and litigation consulting group at Apple Growth Partners (AGP). Matt has been responsible for the development of hundreds of business valuation engagements for a variety of businesses and ownership interests covering various industries. AGP provides valuation and litigation consulting services to approximately 150 clients annually in addition to accounting and tax services.
Matt has over fifteen years of professional experience and has focused exclusively on valuation services since 2004. Matt’s areas of concentration include the valuation of businesses, intangible assets and stock options. He has performed valuations for many purposes including estate and gift tax, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), mergers and acquisitions, succession planning and financial reporting matters, among others.
Lynn Rogers Vail
Lynn Rogers Vail is a retired sales professional from Sun Microsystems, a $12 billion company focused on products and services for network computing.
With a strong customer service background and enthusiasm for the products and professional services she was commissioned to sell, Lynn exceeded in her field.
Upon her retirement, Lynn sought out new experiences and found the Valley Art Center. With no art background, Lynn began her art journey with a jewelry beading class with Kim Mettee. She loved the environment, people and vibe of Valley Art Center. She took that experience forward and ended up diving into the craft of Polymer Clay. She now sells her polymer clay art in the VAC Art/Shop and continues to take various classes to expand her art knowledge.
Lynn lives in Chagrin Falls and is a member of the Bentleyville Road Neighborhood Club, member of the Gates Mills Garden Club, former employee of Be.Gallery of Chagrin Falls, and is active in volunteering around the Chagrin Falls area.
Marianne Veniero is an artist, biologist, teacher, and community volunteer. After earning her PhD in Cell Biology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, she went on to share her love of science as a professor at the collegiate, elementary, and middle school levels for many years, Marianne can now be found volunteering throughout the community often in leadership roles as well as performing improv in the greater Cleveland area. A proud mother of two grown children, Marianne has been a student of many mediums and an exhibiting artist at Valley Art Center's Annual Juried Art Exhibition. Marianne enjoys continuing to learn the art of jewelry design at VAC and fabricating her metal creations.
Diversity Advisory Board