Board & Staff
Founder and Artistic Director
Cellist Wilhelmina Smith made her solo debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra while a student at the Curtis Institute of Music. She has since forged a versatile musical career based on the strength of her beautiful sound, commitment to a vast repertoire and impassioned performances. This past fall, she was soloist in Esa-Pekka Salonen’s cello concerto “Mania” with the SinfoniettaNYC, with the composer present. She has been soloist with numerous orchestras including the Millenium Orchestra of Guatemala and the Ural Philharmonic in Russia and has performed recitals across the US and Japan. As a chamber musician she has performed with musicians such as Paul Tortelier, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Pamela Frank, Dawn Upshaw, Benita Valente, and members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Brentano, Miami, Borromeo and Galimir String Quartets in major venues across the US and Europe. In 1997 she was a prizewinner in the Leonard Rose International Cello Competition. She has been a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Boston Chamber Music Society, and is currently cellist with the Mannes Trio, Music from Copland House, and Artistic Director of Salt Bay Chamberfest, on the coast of Maine, and Pensacola, Florida’s Classicfest. In 2005 she formed the Variation String Trio with violinist Jennifer Koh and violist Hsin-Yun Huang. Her cd of sonatas by Britten and Schnittke with pianist Thomas Sauer was released on the Arabesque label in December of 2006. She currently lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with husband Mark Mandarano and her children, August and Giovanna. www.wilhelminasmith.com
Board of Directors
Michael J. Acton, CFA, is a Managing Director at AEW and Director of AEW Research, with responsibility for directing the activities of AEW Research, the firm’s highly regarded in-house research group. Mike joined the firm in 1990 and has 24 years of experience as an economic analyst and forecaster. He chairs AEW’s Investment Policy Group and is a member of AEW’s Management Committee and Investment Committee. The resources of AEW Research are an integral part of AEW’s investment process and Mike works closely with senior professionals in all areas of the firm to develop investment strategies that match clients’ risk/reward objectives with market opportunities. Prior to joining AEW, he was with DRI/McGraw-Hill where he managed the Metropolitan Area Forecasting Service. He is a graduate of Bates College (B.A.) and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Vivian has been involved in the visual arts as a docent at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Design for the last 20 years where she served for a term as Docent Chair and as docent at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden for 7 years. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania and receiving her Masters in Social Work from NYU she worked as a social worker for 30 years – mainly in school social work. Among other social work positions she served as the Director of Senior Services for Northern Westchester Jewish Community Services. For several years she was on the faculties of Fordham University and Catholic University where she taught and supervised graduate students. She has served on various Boards including the Mt Kisco Day Care Board and her Condo Board for 9 years. Originally a Philadelphian, she and her husband Marc raised 2 children in Westchester County , NY and for the last 21 years they have lived in Washington, DC and South Bristol, Maine.
Sarah Fisher recently retired as Head of Painting Conservation at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. where she also worked as Senior Painting Conservator. Previously she held positions at the Balboa Art Conservation Center in San Diego, California, the Intermuseum Laboratory in Oberlin, Ohio and at the Swiss Institute for Art Research in Zurich, Switzerland. Following a B.A. in art history from Wellesley College, she was apprenticeship-trained in Europe, first in Florence, then in Stuttgart/Ludwigsburg, Zurich, Amsterdam and Brussels, the latter on a Fulbright Fellowship at the Royal Institute for Artistic Patrimony. She has published and lectured in her field and has traveled extensively to Europe and Japan to assure the safe handling and shipment of paintings on loan for exhibition abroad. She has steadily volunteered for the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) serving as a board member, head of the Membership Committee, and as the project guide and a contributing author for the publication of the AIC Painting Specialty Group’s catalog.
Sarah lives in Damariscotta with her husband, Derek.
Jane lives in East Boothbay, with an apartment in Bronxville, New York, for the winter months. Her career was in computer technology, working at IBM as a Marketing Manager, and developing a technology consulting practice as a Partner at Deloitte & Touche. She became a Vice President and Director of Consulting at Siemens, and then became a Senior Partner and Managing Director at CSC, a $17.5B global consulting and outsourcing firm. Jane and her husband, Phillip, were able to balance two careers and multiple moves: with Phillip becoming an Art Museum Curator at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, and then Director at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Museum of Art at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in Santa Barbara, California. Jane has a real interest in helping to craft organizational strategy and management leadership, supported by clearly defined Board responsibilities. Her not-for-profit board experience includes WQED Public Radio and Television and the Phipps Conservatory and Gardens in Pittsburgh.
A cum laude graduate of Radcliffe College, Alison Lahnston holds an MBA in Finance and Investments from George Washington University and a Master’s degree from Simmons School of Library Science. She began her fundraising career in 1983 after extensive experience in business, trust and financial planning and educational administration. In her second year as Director of Planned Giving at Wheaton College, the program was awarded a silver medal for most improvement by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). She then was appointed Director of Planned Giving and Stewardship in Boston University’s $200 million campaign. From 1988 to 1996 Ms. Lahnston served as a Major Gifts Officer and Director of Major Gifts at Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences where she participated in the planning and implementation of Harvard’s $2.1 billion campaign. After a move to New Jersey, she served as the Director of Planned Giving for the Peddie School (1997 -2007). Alison served as an elected director of the Harvard Alumni Association, for two terms as a Trustee of Radcliffe College and as President of the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association. She has served on the boards of the Cambridge (Massachusetts) Historical Society, the Planned Giving Group of New England, and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. She has also served on the Board of the Princeton Public Library Foundation, as Vice President of the Historical Society of Princeton, and President of the New Jersey Gift Planning Council. She is currently a Trustee of the Princeton Public Library, Co-Chair of the Public Library Endowment Campaign, a Trustee of the Historical Society of Princeton and the first woman President of the Nassau Club.
Sandy Leonard came home to her native Maine in 1992 after 30 years away. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Maine with advanced studies at Colgate and Harvard. Sandy taught English in high schools in Maine, New York, and Tokyo, Japan, as well as at Tokyo’s Toho Gakuen (Seiji Ozawa’s alma mater) and Wagner College in New York City. She then went on to spend 25 years as a stockbroker with A.G. Edwards before retiring in 2010. She currently serves on many boards and is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. Sandy is a National Accredited Flower Show Judge and holds a certificate from the Ichiyo School of Ikebana. She lectures widely on flower arranging and competes and judges throughout the Northeast. A mother of two and grandmother of four, Sandy lives on Southport Island with Shawn Lewin and spends part of the year in Asheville, North Carolina.
Elizabeth Lubetkin Lipton
Elizabeth is a native and current New Yorker, and has spent the last 30 summers in Maine, 21 of them on Riverview Road in Pemaquid. She received her Master of Social Work from the Columbia School of Social Work, and worked for over 23 years in various administrative and executive positions in the New York City and State Government. She also worked as the Deputy Director of Labor Relations at Time Inc. Since leaving government service, she received training and still practices as a labor arbitrator and mediator.
Elizabeth currently serves on a number of boards. She is the Vice President for Development for the Women’s City Club of New York, and previously was its President and Vice President for Public Policy. She has also served as co-chair of the Goddard Riverside Community Center’s Musical Evenings Concert Series for the last 25 years, which raises funds through five chamber music concerts a year performed in private homes. Distinguished musician performers featured in the Concert Series have included Jeremy Denk, Romie de Guise-Langlois, Fred Sherry and Mina Smith.
Penelope grew up in Ramsey, New Jersey, attended Hood College in Frederick, Maryland and graduated with a BA in music in 1962. She married right out of college and was a general music teacher and choral director at Overbrook Regional High School in Lindenwold, New Jersey for five years. She and her husband moved to Connecticut in 1967 and she began teaching private piano lessons and retired after 44 years. She was president of the Schubert Club of Fairfield County and the New Canaan Beautification League. She was also chairman of the Young Musician’s Festival which provided for pianists and other musicians to be evaluated in a non-competitive setting for nine years. Currently, she is a life member of AAUW and on the Music Ministry Team of the New Canaan Congregational Church. Her outside interests include going to concerts at the New York Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall. She has been a summer resident of South Bristol for over 60 years.
Sarah Peskin grew up in a musical household in Princeton, New Jersey, and particularly enjoys her role as an enthusiastic audience member. She retired from the National Park Service in 2009 after a 30-year career that included heading the organization’s planning and legislative office for the North Atlantic Region. She also spearheaded planning of the Schoodic section of Acadia National Park, and managed the design and planning of Harbor Park Pavilion on Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway. While serving as planning director for the Lowell (Massachusetts) Historic Preservation Commission, she was active in the development of that city’s Mogan Cultural Center, Boarding House Park, and Park Trolley System. She is a director of the Frances Perkins Center in Newcastle, and recently prepared the successful proposal for nomination of the Frances Perkins Homestead as a National Historic Landmark. She also serves on the board of Friends of Fairsted, the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site. A graduate of Smith College, Sarah holds an M.A. in Urban Planning from New York University and was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University. She lives with her husband Dr. William Kelley in Walpole, Maine, and Brookline, Massachusetts.
Founding Partner of the Aspen Leadership Group and the Chief Development Officer Career Network, Ronald J. Schiller is a nationally recognized advisor to presidents, board members, and other leaders in social profit organizations: higher education, arts and culture, health care, and social services. Since 2011, he has focused his attention on executive search and strategic consulting, bringing the perspectives of fundraising leader, executive team member, board member, and search consultant, together with a large and trusted network of social profit leaders built over his career, to the service of clients.
He has held leadership positions in seven educational and cultural institutions, including the University of Chicago, where he led a team of more than 450 that completed a $2.3 billion campaign and facilitated two nine-figure gifts. He serves on the faculty of the annual CASE conference, “Inspiring the Largest Gifts of a Lifetime” and serves as co-chair of CASE’s Winter Institute for Chief Development Officers. His book, The Chief Development Officer: Beyond Fundraising, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in October 2013.
Ron is a member of the Cornell University Council, the Cornell University Trustees Glee Club Advisory Council, and the boards of directors of The Buddy Program, the American Friends of Covent Garden, and the Salt Bay Chamberfest. He has served on the boards of Chicago’s Harris Theater for Music and Dance, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.
Barrett Silver was born and raised in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. A graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a B.A. in Finance and Economics, his love of music goes back to his high school and college days when he was a musician in the Blue Band and performed professionally in local venues. Throughout his career, he has been an entrepreneur in financial planning, real estate, and other small-business ventures. Barrett has followed the example of his parents and grandparents, participating in community life and taking leadership roles in a variety of activities. Barrett and his wife, Barbara, have two daughters and four grandsons. They split their time between Bristol, Maine, and Scottsdale, Arizona, and enjoy expanding their interest in art and antiques.
Wilhelmina Smith, Founder and Artistic Director
See top of page for bio.
Ari Solotoff, Treasurer
Ari Solotoff is an Attorney at the Maine law firm of Bernstein Shur, where he is a member of the firm’s Business Law practice group. Prior to joining Bernstein Shur, Ari provided ten years of leadership to symphony orchestras, including service as Executive Vice President of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Executive Director of the Portland Symphony Orchestra (Maine). Ari is a 2010 graduate of the Aspen Institute Fellowship for Emerging Nonprofit Leaders and the Orchestra Management Fellowship Program of the League of American Orchestras. Ari holds a bachelor’s degree in classical languages from the University of California, Berkeley and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Maine School of Law. At Maine Law, Ari earned the 2015 Law School Alumni Association Award and the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Awards in Business & Commercial Law and Labor & Employment Law. Ari lives with his wife and son in Portland, Maine.
Paul Weislogel, President and Interim Managing Director
Paul Weislogel and his wife, Judy, bought their farmhouse in Bristol in 1995 as a vacation home and finally retired here in 2007. Paul’s career in New York entailed negotiating and maintaining journal-publishing agreements with major medical societies, and the acquisition of new ventures for the publishing houses of Elsevier Science and Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott. After earning degrees in biomedical sciences research from Iowa State and Princeton, he taught chemistry and biochemistry at the U.S. Naval Academy. He subsequently conducted post-doctoral research at the Medical School of the University of Amsterdam and later, in this country, was the principal investigator for a National Cancer Institute research contract. A member of the vestry of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Paul sings with its choir and previously with Tapestry Singers. In addition, he serves on the board of Heartwood Theater. The non-gardening months allow for frequent trips back to New York, where Paul and Judy are patrons of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.