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Board of Directors

Rebecca Fernandez Short
Chair

Rebecca Fernandez Short has a degree from Trinity University, Texas, USA and a post-graduate from University of East Anglia, UK. She has volunteered in the arts community as Chair, Arts Awards Waterloo Region; founding Board Member, Region of Waterloo ARTS Fund and on Economic Development Advisory Committee, City of Kitchener. She serves on the Board of Advisors, Waterloo Region Small Business Centres. Her business career in Canada, UK and US was in market research and marketing at Conoco Chemicals, Uniroyal Tires, BFGoodrich and Geon. She is a co-founder of Machteld Faas Xander, a marketing communications firm, and Axonify, an online training SAAS company.

Neil Sarginson
Vice-Chair

Neil has a deep interest in music and the arts, with an eclectic taste in both.  With over twenty-five years of progressive roles in the I.T. industry, finances and contract negotiations, he brings a depth of business knowledge and acumen to the board.  Neil currently holds the role of AVP Global I.T. Procurement at Manulife in Waterloo.

Meghan Whitfield
Past Chair

Meghan Whitfield is a Senior Advisor with the Office of Advancement at the University of Waterloo. Throughout her career she has demonstrated a passion for fundraising in education, culture, and the arts. Meghan has extensive experience in Gift Planning, Annual and Leadership Giving both at the University of Toronto and at Trinity College. Prior to that, Meghan fulfilled a number of roles in fundraising for the Royal Ontario Museum. Meghan lives in Kitchener with her partner and young daughter.

Veronica Chapman
Treasurer

Veronica is the Treasurer of the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery. She is a Chartered Public Accountant and has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. Veronica is very passionate about protecting the environment and serving her community by volunteering. She leads the finance department at the rare Charitable Research Reserve.

Devin Santos
Secretary

Devin Santos is a lawyer at Miller Thomson LLP in Waterloo, where he brings a pragmatic and considered approach to the practice of family law. Before embarking on his legal career, Devin lived, worked and studied in Singapore, Italy and France. Devin has degrees from the University of Waterloo and Osgoode Hall Law School, and brings to the board varied experience in business, real estate, and the arts.

Marilyn Allen

Marilyn Allen holds degrees from Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Toronto. After training as a chartered accountant and working in several sectors, Marilyn began a 30 year career as a school board financial administrator and senior executive. During that time she was involved in local and provincial educational initiatives as well as in training and advisory roles. Her volunteer activities have included several positions in the arts arena such as gala organizer, director, treasurer and president. Now retired, she continues to work with Kitchener Grand River Rotary Club and with the Gallery.

Jerre Davidson

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Jerre Davidson studied at The Scottish Ballet School and later danced professionally. These early experiences are fundamental to her identity and her love of dance and music is evident in the flowing cast glass sculptures she creates. Each sculpture explores the shifting rhythms of a particular space and she uses gestural shapes, light, shadow and reflection, to captures these spatial rhythms. Jerre studied at various centers of excellence in glass education, including Pilchuck, WA; The Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass, NY; and North Lands Creative Glass in Caithness, Scotland. She has received a number of awards and grants, including a first place award of excellence in sculpture at the Canadian Society of Artists Exhibition. Her work has been exhibited in Korea, Scotland, USA and Canada. Jerre works out of her studio in Elora, Ontario.

www.jerredavidsonart.com

Soheila Esfahani

Soheila Esfahani has practiced as an artist and educator for more than fifteen years in Waterloo Region. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario and her BA in Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo. Esfahani is a recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund. Esfahani’s work is represented in public and private collections including the Canada Council’s Art Bank. She is a recipient of 2016 Waterloo Region Arts Awards (Visual Arts category) and was nominated for the Jameel Prize at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, UK in 2015. Currently, she is a lecturer at the University of Waterloo and teaches in the school programs at the Art Gallery of Ontario and is a member of the Red Head Gallery, an artist–run centre in Toronto.

Terry O’Neill

Originally trained as an architect at University of Waterloo, Terry splits his time between filmmaking and collaborating on art projects with his wife, artist Tara Cooper. From 1995-2015, he worked as an art director in the Documentary Unit at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation crafting the look and feel of award-winning feature-length documentaries. His feature-length documentary Follow the Bones is currently in post-production. He is a member of the Documentary Organization of Canada.

Sarah Schilbe

Sarah Schilbe has spent the past 20 years of her career in the Financial Services industry and is currently the Director of Inside Insurance Sales at Manulife Financial, where she has worked since 2008 and in her current position, since 2013.  She volunteers on their Employee Engagement Committee and has enjoyed other volunteer opportunities with Habitat for Humanity & St. Mary’s Hospital.  She is a graduate of the Financial Services program at Fanshawe College and attended Laurier University for Honors Communications.  Her passions lie in art, animal welfare and embracing any opportunity to design & build projects around the house.

Astero Kaolgeropoulos
Non-voting
Arts & Culture Manager, City of Waterloo

Angela Vieth
Non-Voting
City of Waterloo Council Liaison

Angela Vieth has been involved at the grass roots level in the Kitchener-Waterloo community since the day she arrived. Currently she volunteers with The Kiwanis Club of KW, The Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Volunteer Committee and other community organizations. She is an active member of St Jerome’s University Catholic Community. Vieth has served on various committees in her capacity as Councillor. She is the Owner and Managing Director of Your KW Host, a company that offers custom relocation and group tours. She is a passionate advocate for the community and she looks forward to, and is honoured to continue to serve the residents of the amazing city of Waterloo for the next four years.

Email: angela.vieth@waterloo.ca