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ASI Enters New Stage of Governance

We are happy to share that Arts Services Initiative of WNY (ASI) is entering the next stage of governance with several members of our Board of Directors terming off, many being elected to a second term, and a few being elected to serve as chairs of specific committees. This news comes as we prepare for FY2021, a year that will mark our tenth anniversary.

Those terming off include Hal Payne, chair of ASI’s Finance and Audit Committee, former vice president of Student Affairs for SUNY Buffalo State, and council member of New York State Council on the Arts; John Mueller, chair of ASI’s Governance Committee and partner at Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP; and Journey Gunderson, executive director of Lucy Desi Museum / National Comedy Center. All three members contributed their time, resources, and expertise to ASI for six years—more than half of the amount of time we’ve been in operation. In addition, Lucy Dadd, an active member of ASI’s Lawyers for the Arts Committee and the director of Legal Talent and Development at Harter Secrest & Emery LLP, has completed her one-year term.

“We’re very grateful to these directors for volunteering their skills and enthusiasm to strengthen Western New York’s arts and cultural sector,” ASI Executive Director Jen Swan-Kilpatrick said. “Our community is better because of their leadership.”

Succeeding Payne as chair of our Finance and Audit Committee is Heather Warnes, a CPA and assurance manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Warnes has been involved with ASI since December of 2019, when she was appointed to our Board of Directors and Finance and Audit Committee. In addition, Anne Janczak, the former product manager of Evans Bank, is succeeding Mueller as chair of our Governance Committee. Janczak has been with ASI for four years, and has contributed as a member of our Marketing Committee and Governance Committee.

“Heather and Anne are dedicated members of our leadership team,” Jen said. “It is a great pleasure to work alongside them to ensure the success of ASI’s financial and managerial future.”

Amid these changes, ASI has also reelected Michael Jackson, Board Secretary and property manager of Savarino Companies; Dave Wedekindt, chair of ASI’s Marketing Committee and director of Marketing and Sales at Artpark; and Wendy Mednick, personal financial representative and financial specialist at Allstate. All three members have been reelected for their second three-year terms.

“We have an important year ahead of us,” Jen said. “With all of our recent initiatives to support the sector during the COVID-19 crisis, and with our ten-year anniversary on the horizon, it’s crucial that we continue putting together a strong roster of directors to get us through this challenging time. I’m confident that we’re doing that.”

For more information on ASI’s governance, visit the Staff and Board page of our website.

Photo: Three members of ASI’s Board of Directors captured in Alana Adetola Arts Photography’s photobooth at the 2019 Spark Awards. Left to right: Dan Montante, director and president of Montante Solar; Michelle Watorek, treasurer and senior director of Finance at HealthNow New York Inc.; and Broderick Cason, president, community engagement program manager at Univera Health Care, and front of house manager at Shea’s Performing Arts Center.

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