Chair Myron Beasley, PhD Chair, American Studies and Professor, American Studies, Bates College
Vice Chair Troy Moon City of Portland Sustainability Coordinator
Secretary Will Pratt Co-owner, Tandem Coffee
Treasurer Hayden Anderson, PhD Executive Director, Maine Humanities Council
Liz Cotter Schlax President & CEO at United Way of Greater Portland
Rich Entel, MD Physician, Visual Artist
Larry Hayden Visual Artist
Emily Krohne Co-Chair of the Membership & Programming Committee of the Brick and Beam Society of the United Way, Senior Project Manager at Vets First Choice
Charlie Miller Co-Founder and Director, The Children’s Initiative
Robert Montgomery Attorney
Jan Piribeck Visual Artist; Faculty, University of Southern Maine
James Rohman Sr. Director, EVO Payments International
Cherie Wendelken Director, Brooks Family Foundation
Elizabeth Whitman Portland
About the Board of Directors
Myron Beasley, Chair, is a professor at Bates College in Lewiston, where he teaches American Cultural Studies, African American Studies, and Women and Gender studies. His research includes exploring the intersection of art and social change, as he believes in the power of artists and recognize them as cultural workers. His writing appears in such journals as Text and Performance Quarterly, The Journal of Poverty, Performance Research, and The Journal of Curatorial Studies. He has been awarded fellowships and grants by the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Ruth Landes Foundation for his writing about art and cultural engagement.
Troy Moon, Vice Chair, is the Sustainability Director for the City of Portland. Throughout his tenure with the City, Troy has been engaged in a broad range of sustainability projects. He oversaw the completion of Portland’s greenhouse gas inventories in 2001 and 2007 and chaired the committee tasked with drafting the city’s Climate Action Plan in 2008. He became the City’s Sustainability Director in April, 2016 focuses on community resilience and energy efficiency. He led Portland’s LED streetlight conversion project and leads the city’s effort become carbon neutral.
Troy has a long interest in the arts, graduating from the University of Maine with degrees in English and Art. He is especially interested in art that involves performance and theatrical elements. He lives in Portland with his wife, Sally, and their daughter, Teagan.
Hayden Anderson, Treasurer, is Executive Director of the Maine Humanities Council, the State of Maine affiliate for the National Endowment for the Humanities and Library of Congress Center for the Book. Prior to starting with the Council, he worked at the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, a Portland-based immigration law nonprofit. He lives in Portland with his wife, Meredith, and their son, Gus.
Will Pratt, Secretary, is a co-owner of Tandem Coffee Roasters and the leader of the Tandem Christmas Sing Along band. Before moving to Portland in 2012 he worked as a carpenter in New York, Martha’s Vineyard and San Francisco where he got to build treehouses for the stars! Will lives in East Bayside amongst many half-finished home projects with his wife Kathleen and their sons Claude and Cosmo.
Liz Cotter Schlax assumed leadership of United Way of Greater Portland in January 2015. As President & CEO, she guides United Way’s strategies that achieve community change in the areas of education, financial stability, and health to improve people’s lives.
Liz grew up in Waterville, Maine, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Harvard University and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University. Liz and her husband, Michael, have two school-aged daughters.
Larry Hayden is a visual artist whose drawings, paintings and photographs are included in Maine’s major art museums as well as in private and institutional collections throughout the Northeast. Author of PULLUM, the world’s only known book of photographs of chickens accompanied by text entirely in the Latin language, his photographs were selected to illustrate the deluxe centennial edition of Robert Frost’s North of Boston, published in 2015 by the Ascensius Press. Recently retired from an undistinguished foray into vintage motorcycle racing, which yielded one victory in eight years of effort, he is now an avid street rider of 1960’s era Triumph motorbikes. Larry’s ongoing photographic work centers on his home environment, and the daily lives of his small flock of chickens. He shares a nineteenth century Portland farm house with spouse Allice; their family dog, Ruby; several hundred thousand honey bees, in four hives; and, of course, the celebrated hens.
Emily Krohne is a Sr. Manager at Vets First Choice and has been chair of the United Way Brick + Beam society for the prior 4 years. Upon moving to Portland 8 years ago, Emily became very invested in the local community and connecting with other like-minded individuals who want to make an impact on local neighborhoods and invest in the future of this city. The majority of her work has been with the United Way where she became connected with Mayo Street Arts and saw the impact of this organization on the community. She lives on Munjoy Hill and enjoys walking the Eastern Prom daily with her Norfolk Terrier, Mr. Pickles.
Charlie Miller is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Children’s Initiative, an international social service project that strives to improve the health and education of children in resource-starved communities. He established East India Salvage twenty years ago and also served as president. Charlie taught for many years at St. Mark’s and Andover Academy before teaching internationally at high schools in Spain, Ecuador, China, Japan and Hawaii. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Breadloaf School, where he received his MA. He currently tutors at The Telling Room, a young writers and leaders program in Portland. Aside from MSA, he is also on the board of directors for the Portland Public Library and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine. A Portland native, Charlie is an avid traveler, reader, kayaker, and is a God Dad to many.
Jan Piribeck is a Professor of Art at the University of Southern Maine. Prior to her arrival at USM she was an Associate Professor of Art and Gallery Director at the University of Maine at Farmington and was Curator of Exhibitions and Education at the Rockford Art Museum in Rockford, Illinois. She has a long standing interest in public art and community-based art programs that is reflected in her work as an artist and arts advocate.
James Rohman is a Sr. Director at EVO Payments International. James grew up and lives in Portland and caught the puppetry bug early from his family and Shoestring Theater. He enjoys practicing yoga and singing in an local Argentine Tango band. James discovered Mayo Street Arts by attending shows and dance events and became aware of MSA’s programs and positive impact on the community.
Betsy Whitman has held a diversity of community activism jobs and positions in Portland, the last as a shelter staff person at Preble Street Resource Center. She has a degree in Theater Arts from the University of Southern Maine and studied mask work at Naropa Institute. She received an MA in Psychology and Expressive Arts Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies, focusing her master’s thesis on the intersection of trauma, self-narrative, creative expression and healing. She was a member of Shoestring Puppet Theater for many years and although retired from stilting, she continues to help with the Old Port Parade. She is also a Maine Cooperative Extension master gardener and has planted hundreds of spring bulbs with schoolchildren. She loves compost. She shares the responsibility of the Soccer Barn with her husband and daughter and is passionate about community-based, community empowering arts and activism.