BOARD OF tRUSTEES
Officers

 

Chairman  - Jim Ellison
Vice Chairman  - Olaive Jones
Treasurer  - R. Stephen Sumption
Secretary  - Steve Rogers

 

The RAL is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Trustees serve three year terms.

MORE INFO BELOW:

Theda Blackwelder

 

Theda is a graduate of Lynchburg College in Virginia with Masters work at the University of Virginia in Education and Religion. Her work experience includes, Director of Religious Education, Teacher, Advocate for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America as Director of Public Policy. She has served on the OperaDelaware Board and Interfaith Housing, DE. Presently she is a Trustee of the Biggs Museum of American Art and President of Village Improvement Association after completing 3 years as their Capital Campaign Chairwoman.

Ken Casazza

 

Ken and his wife Jane have been active members and supporters of the Rehoboth Art League for many years, magnifying that support and interest when they became full time residents of Lewes seven years ago.  Ken has in depth knowledge of RAL, having served on the finance committee for two years, and his wife was a former employee in arts education and outreach.  Ken is a senior business executive with experience in organizational planning, strategic development, financial management and marketing.  In more than 30 years in the Information Technology industry, Ken is currently consulting for a number of companies in Geographic Information Systems.  He has also served on several corporate boards.

Jim Ellison

 

Jim is an Architect who provides conceptual design services to residential clients in historic urban districts and beach resort communities.  Having received a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Utah, Ellison's extensive career has included tenures as a Group Vice President of The American Institute of Architects, Executive Director of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, and Special Assistant to The Architect of the Capitol, all in Washington, D.C. He currently serves as East Regional Vice-President of Lambda Alpha International (an International Land Economics Honor Society). At RAL, he serves as Co-Chair of the Buildings & Grounds Committee and has served as a Committee Member and Special Lecturer associated with RAL’s Cottage Tours.

Joshua Grapski (Josh)

 

Josh has participated in several Art League events over the year, most recently as Logistics Officer for last year’s Beaux Art Ball.  Through his restaurant, Nage, he has also supported the RAL’s annual Outdoor Show and several special receptions and events in the past several years.

Coming up through the ranks of the restaurant world, Josh Grapski offers over 20 years of restaurant experience from dishwasher to business owner.  He is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, with a focus on food & beverage, and the Philadelphia Restaurant School, with a degree in culinary arts.
During his educational training, Grapski worked with a range of highly reputable restaurant companies to obtain a broad base of operational and business model understanding. He is owner of Muriel’s Jackson Square in New Orleans, Nage Restaurant in Rehoboth and Washington DC, Big Chill Surf Cantina in Rehoboth, and Root Gourmet in Rehoboth.  Most recently, Grapski has created as the management company for his Mid-Atlantic operations called Livin La Vida Inc. Livin La Vida is focused on hospitality businesses that focus on specific lifestyle
niches by concept.

Brook Hedge

 

Brook Hedge is a resident of Lewes, Delaware having retired to the community in early 2011, after forty years in the legal profession in Washington D.C.  In 1992, she was appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to be an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, where she presided over a wide-range of cases and was Chair of the Court Technology Committee.   In 2010, she took Senior status and continues to serve on occasion.  During her Washington career, she served on several Boards of Directors including, the Women’s Bar Association Foundation, the Frederick B. Abramson Memorial Foundation, and the Council for Court Excellence.

After moving to Lewes, she resumed the pursuit of her first love, photography.  She joined the Coastal Camera Club and is on its Board of Directors.  She serves as Chair of the Competition Committee.  Her work has been included in juried member shows of the Rehoboth Art League.  She also was on the Board of Directors of the Overfalls Foundation and is actively involved in the community and serving as Chair of the Lewes Board of Adjustment.

Owen (Toby) Johnson

 

Toby Johnson worked with the U.S. Government for thirty-five years. He was most recently working with nuclear security, technology development, and operations at the Department of Energy. He received a BA and MA from Western Michigan University, as well as an MA in Communications from Michigan State University. He currently lives in Rehoboth Beach, and is an active volunteer in organizations including the Lewes-Rehoboth Area Churches (LRAC) and the Rehoboth Beach Farmers Market. His serves on the Board of Directors for both the Holland Glade Homeowners Association and the Philadelphia Condo Association.

Olaive Jones

 

Olaive is an artist, art collector and frequent student at the Art League.  Her work can be found in local galleries and in RAL member shows. She serves on the Collections and Exhibitions Committees. Olaive holds an MA in Counseling from Boston College and is a psychotherapist. She is on the faculty and a board member of the Zero Balancing Health Association, and serves on the Board of the Greater Lewes Foundation. Olaive is a resident of Lewes.

Maryanne Murray

 

Maryanne is the owner of the Delaware offices of Griswold Home Care.  Prior to her taking this leadership role she worked in academic hospitals in Baltimore, MD and Philadelphia, PA, managing physician group practices.  Raised in North Carolina, Maryanne has both an undergraduate degree and a MSPH from UNC-Chapel Hill.   She moved to Lewes full-time with her husband, B.J. Clark in 2012.  She brings tremendous board experience, serving on the boards of Greater Lewes Community Village, Fund for Women, and the National Association of Women Owned Businesses—DE Chapter.  “For the past 3 years, I have been trying to be a potter at the Rehoboth Art League.  I love the setting and the wonderful pottery studio.  We are so lucky to have the RAL and its art resources so close and accessible.” ~Maryanne

Rose Marie DeFiore Patin

 

Rose Marie DeFiore Patin hails from Youngstown, Ohio, and has made Rehoboth Beach her home since 2005. Rose Marie and her family lived in Baton Rouge, LA three decades before moving and accepting the Executive Director’s position of the Gurerri Heart Center at Peninsula Regional Medical Center. She has had a rewarding career in nursing and healthcare administration. As an advocate for patient centered care she has specialized in Cardiology and Critical Care, both as a practitioner and administrator. She holds three degrees from Loyola University of New Orleans, BSN, MSN, and MPS.

Since her retirement Rose Marie has immersed herself in the Rehoboth Beach community as a member of a variety of community, civic, and church organizations and groups. Currently she is President of the Village Improvement Association, a member of the Board of Trustees at the Rehoboth Beach Public Library, and President of the St. Edmond Parish Council.

Steve Rogers

 

Steve is an accomplished and acclaimed Marine and Landscape Artist who has loved boats and water all his life. Not only does he paint boats, Steve builds them, as well, in ship model form.  He is a nationally recognized ship model builder, has written five books on the subject, teaches at The Woodenboat School in Maine, and won a Certificate of Commendation at the 2000 Model builders’ Competition at the Mariners Museum in Newport News, Virginia.   Steve is a signature member of the American Society of Marine Artists, has won numerous awards including a The Delaware Division of the Arts’ Established Artist Fellowship, Delaware by Hand Master, and RAL’s 2010 Plein Air Completion’s First Prize.  His work is represented by The Peninsula Gallery in Lewes, Delaware, and The Art of the Sea Gallery in South Thomaston Maine.  Steve is on the Board of the Greater Lewes Foundation and Vice Chair of the Historic Preservation Commission in Lewes.  He is a leader among Rehoboth Art League’s artists and serves on RAL’s Outdoor Show Committee.

John Schroeder

 

John, son of longtime RAL artist/teacher Howard Schroeder, has always been both an arts advocate and an integral part of Rehoboth Art League’s legacy.  Since graduating from The University of Delaware, John has worked 34 years in the banking industry and is currently Senior Vice President at Applied Bank.  He has been elected to 7 terms as Representative to The Delaware General Assembly and was recently appointed by Governor Jack Markell as Chairperson of Delaware's Open Space Council.   With extensive experience in helping non-profits, John currently serves as Vice-Chairperson of The Greater Lewes Foundation and as a Founding Board Member of The Sussex County Land Trust. Along with Kevin Moore, he co-wrote and published two art books: one on Jack Lewis, entitled "A Brush With Fate"; the other on his late father, entitled "Schroeder - A Man and His Art".  Recently, John helped coordinate the Art League’s highly acclaimed Howard Schroeder Exhibition. 

R. Stephen Sumption (Steve)

 

Steve is a member of the Art League who has enjoyed participating in Art League events over the years.  A retired business leader, he held positions in sales, marketing and executive management with Hercules Incorporated located in Wilmington, Delaware, and National Starch and Chemical Company in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

Prior to entering the corporate world, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University and a commission in the US Navy, spending three years in the Pacific arena.  His business experience includes international assignments in the United Kingdom and Europe.  He also served on the Board of Trustees of The Tatnall School, the Board of YMCA Resource Center, and the Colgate University Alumni Board. 

Along with his wife, Ariane, Steve retired to Lewes, Delaware in 2003, and works with Jack Lingo REALTOR.   Together they have had a long history of interest in and promotion of the arts as evidenced in both their children having careers in the field of Fine Arts.  Steve looks forward to extending that interest and encouragement to others in the community via his leadership involvement with the RAL.

Phil Wescott

 

Phil Wescott is a Pittsburgh native who came to Delaware in 1986 as a member of the new Christiana Care Health System executive team. He holds a BA in English and Psychology and a Master's degree in Mass Communications, Business Administration, and Liberal Studies. Phil's professional career included work as a marketing executive at Bristol-Myers Squibb, several large national Advertising and Public Relations agencies, and subsequently as Senior Vice President of Marketing, Development, and External Relations for Christiana Care. Phil has been heavily involved in the Non-Profit sector throughout his adult life, including helping establish the Delaware Community Foundation and Delaware's first Charter School.

Phil is a full-time Lewes, Delaware resident who volunteers for and supports local community-based organizations, including the Beebe Healthcare Foundation, the University of Delaware's Osher Life Long Learning program, and the Rehoboth Art League. He is also an acrylic painter who teaches art at the Osher Lewes campus.

Rob White

 

Rob has been involved in leadership roles at Beebe Medical Center, Beebe Medical Foundation, Henlopen Theatre Project and various other non-profits in the area.  He is a retired VP of MNC Financial, a multi bank holding company. With his strong business background and extensive experience in fundraising and events coordination, he is widely known and respected for his volunteer work and charitable contributions in the greater Rehoboth area. In recent years, Rob and his partner, Dennis Chupella, have served as Chairs of Beebe’s Thanksgiving Ball raising over $100K annually for Beebe Medical Center. Rob’s first exposure to RAL was over 35 years ago when he vacationed in Rehoboth and attended the outdoor show. He is honored to now have a leadership role with this historic and important arts institution.