Board Members

Board of Directors 

Mary Ann McSweeney,  Chairman
Mary Ann McSweeney was trained as a classical musician, studying piano at the age of five, then violin at eight.  At the age of 16, she appeared at the Monterey Jazz Festival in a big band directed by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis. In Los Angeles she studied at California State Northridge under Dave Young who introduced her to Ray Brown with whom she also studied, later becoming a pupil of John Clayton. In addition to Brown and Clayton, McSweeney has also cited Richie Beirach as one of her mentors. Throughout most of the 80s, McSweeney worked in Los Angeles jazz clubs, at festivals and studio sessions. In 1993, together with her husband, valve trombonist Mike Fahn, she moved to New York where she found work on record dates, at clubs and in pit bands for many Broadway shows. She has appeared at jazz festivals in the USA and Europe. Among numerous and diverse artists with whom she has played are Lynne Arriale, Dizzy Gillespie, Donny McCaslin, Rick Margitza, Sherrie Maricle’s big band, DIVA, and Jimmy Witherspoon, as well as with classical groups under Leonard Bernstein, Lalo Schifrin and John Williams.  She has a residence in Becket, MA and has been with Topia Arts Center for 8 years.

Caroline Scully, Clerk 
Caroline has lived in Adams for 17 years in the house where her mother was born and raised. Her uncle once owned and ran the Adams Theater until it closed in 1967. She is involved in environmental and agriculture, and community groups in Northern Berkshire County and has a masters degree in Environmental Studies.  

John Worth, Treasurer
John Worth is a native of Adams and a professional musician.  He has been with Topia Arts Center beginning with facilities manager since its inception in 2004.  He moved to board member position 5 years ago.

James Wojtaszek, Director
Jim was on Topia Art Center’s original Board of Directors as the Chairman.  He is an Adams native and a Senior Vice President at Greylock Federal Credit Union.  He is also a musician/guitarist and performs widely in the Berkshires area.

Joe Nowak, Director 
Joe has lived in Adams all his live and is a Select Board member for the Town of Adams. He has a Masters degree in geography (with an emphasis on land management) from the University of Idaho. He is a founder of the Adams Agricultural Commission and the Adams Agricultural Fair and is passionate about keeping family farms solvent. Joe was a long time member of the Adams Conservation Commission. He worked for the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation. Joe enjoys woodworking and antiques.  

Mara Woolley, Director 
Mara is an Adams native, a local elementary school teacher at C.T. Plunkett and foster parent, and has been involved with Topia from the beginning.

Mariah Worth, Director
Mariah Worth is a native of Adams, MA and has recently joined the board of directors as the director of the youth board and is Topia Art Center’s volunteer coordinator.

David Tonnesen, PhD is a 25-year veteran in the computer graphics industry.  His contributions to the science of computer graphics include a US Patent for a deformation solver and publications with the International Compute Machinery Special Interest Group.  Dr. Tonnesen’s technology solutions have been seen in feature films from Sony Imageworks, Disney, Laika, Digital Domain, Moving Picture Company, and Dreamworks. Currently, Dr. Tonnesen manages a Research and Development Character Effects team at Dreamworks in Glendale, CA.  He completed his doctorate at University of Toronto, his masters at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and computer science at Washington University in St. Louis.  His passion for the intersection of science and art keeps him engaged in emerging technologies, visual, and experiential art projects.

Carrie Nedrow is a business operations and technology leader within the financial services industry.  She specializes in optimizing team and organizational performance through business strategy development, process efficiencies, and a laser-focus on customer priorities.  Ms. Nedrow is an engaging manager with a passion for developing new leaders; she provides mentoring with several non-profit women’s development agencies such as Step-Up and Career Closet in Los Angeles.  Her career has spanned Wall Street to Silicon Valley working with Intuit, JP Morgan, The Auto Club Group, and a subsidiary of Bank of America. Ms. Nedrow received her Master’s in Business Administration from Villanova University and her undergraduate degree in Dance from The Juilliard School.  Currently, she is involved in a stealth startup based in Los Angeles, CA.

 

Advisory Board

Robin Avery, Adams, MA
Renee Dumouchel, New York, NY
Jason Ennis, Williamstown, MA
Marcia Gay Harden, Los Angeles, CA
Lauri Klefos, Pittsfield, MA
Kurt Kolok, North Adams, MA
Buffy Lord, North Adams, MA
Janice Messer, Adams, MA
Anastas Michos, New York, NY
Steven Pagnotta, North Adams, MA
Nate Samson, Adams, MA
Jonathan Secor, New York, NY
Stephen Stenson, Adams, MA