Board of Directors

Dennis MacDonald – Chairman/Treasurer 

Dennis is currently serving his second 6-year term on the Board of Finance for the town of Bridgewater, Connecticut and has held the position of Chairman.  He is also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Bridgewater Congregational Church. Prior to retirement, Dennis was employed for over 20 years as a Senior Vice President at Reed Exhibitions. Reed Exhibitions produces over 500 tradeshows and conventions world-wide.  Dennis specialized in developing partnerships with non-profit industry associations for events produced by Reed. Prior to joining Reed, Dennis was the U.S. Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Product Management for an international corporation in the life safety industry, where he was employed for over 15 years. During this time Dennis was a member and elected Executive Vice President of the Security Industry Association. Dennis is a graduate of Newtown High School and attended Sacred Heart University earning a degree in Sociology.  For many years he was an “on the air” personally at WSHU- 91.1 FM. Dennis lives in Bridgewater with his wife Kristin who recently retired from Pilobolus, the world renown dance company.  He also volunteers at Lime Rock Park raceway and can be found at local pubs & establishments playing guitar and bass in several Rock & Roll bands.

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Brett DeWeese – Vice Chair

An event management and trade show professional for more than 20 years. Brett DeWeese has worked on events for the publishing, golf, casino, eye care, pharmaceutical processing and transportation/logistic industries. An avid music fan and concert goer, Brett has been volunteering at the Ives for more than twelve years. Brett grew up in Danbury and lives in Brookfield with his wife Joanne and daughter Emma.

gina marcus zoomGina Marcus – Secretary

A lifelong lover of the arts, Gina grew up with a Mom who brought her to every outlet for the arts possible. Gina has worked during her career as an event planner for places like The Parrish Art Museum, The New York Botanical Garden, The Katonah Museum of Art and Marcus Dairy. Now, she is married to a wonderful guy and has a daughter who is currently being groomed to be the next Prima ballerina for The American Ballet Theater or the newest member of the E Street Band – it could go either way.

Missy Alexander – Board Member

Missy Alexander is the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Western Connecticut State University, where she oversees all academic programs from Early College to Graduate.  Prior to being appointed to the position of Provost, she served as Dean of the Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences at WCSU, championing interdisciplinary programs and general education reform. Dr. Alexander taught communication at Marist College for nine years, and then took on leadership roles there as both Assistant Dean of the School of Communication and the Arts, and Director of the branch campus in Italy. She earned her doctorate in Media Ecology from New York University, and her MA and BA from Hunter College.  When not working in higher education, she and her husband perform locally as the duo MissyandBill, featuring jazz, country, blues, and original music.

Paul Barkan – Board Member

Paul Barkan is Senior Vice President, Chief Risk Officer of Newtown Savings Bank and joined the Bank in 2016. He is responsible for leading the Risk Management, Compliance and Anti-Fraud units and has held various financial-related positions in Compliance and Risk Management during the course of his career.  Mr. Barkan earned a B.A. from Binghamton University in 1990 and a J.D. from American University in 1993.  He is currently a member of the ACAMS and has extensive experience in project management, data privacy and security, regulatory compliance, risk & crisis management, AML-KYC due diligence, risk assessments, monitoring and testing, and employee training.


Hayden Bates – Board Member

Hayden has curated/promoted the “Live at the Edmond Town Hall” music series in Newtown, Connecticut, since 2011. He has hosted a wide array of internationally-touring acts, and donated all profits back to restoration and technological upgrade efforts at the Depression-era theater. Hayden has also contributed to restoring and renovating the 150-year old theater in downtown Newport, Rhode Island, one of the 10 oldest surviving Opera Houses in America. He has worked in the financial advisory field for 12 years, and holds an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a B.A. from Marist College. Hayden lives with his girlfriend, Briana, and his dog, Karenin, in Newtown.

Corey Paris – Board Member 

Corey joined the Hispanic Health Council in 2017 as Director of Development after serving two years as Associate Director of Annual Leadership Giving and Associate Director of Development at the University of New Haven. At the University of New Haven, Corey secured nearly $1 million towards large gifts for scholarships benefiting students of color, women and other key affinity groups.  Additionally, he was instrumental in securing the capital for the naming of new buildings on campus to honor African American philanthropists. Corey’ previous positions included serving as an admissions counselor for the University of New Haven and a Development Associate at Berger Hirschberg Strategies in New York City, where he spearheaded fundraising efforts for numerous political and organizational campaigns including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Rep. Barbara Lee and Maria Cuomo Cole & Kenneth Cole. Corey has served on the board of directors for a number of influential organizations including Western Connecticut State University’s Alumni Association – where he today serves as Vice President, the Kansas City Kansas NAACP and Urban Leagues. Corey is also heavily involved in the Democratic Party on both local and state levels throughout the country and has previously served as a facilitator and trainer for progressive issues with People For the American Way in Washington, DC. Corey earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT. Today, he is a candidate for his master’s degree in public administration with a concentration focus in city management from the University of New Haven. Corey loves to travel and frequently visits his family in Kansas City, Kansas and his birthplace, Little Rock, Arkansas. He currently resides in Stamford, CT.

John Voket

John Voket – Board Member

John brings a virtual Swiss Army knife of skill sets to the Ives Board. He has been associate editor for The Newtown Bee since 2004, serves as director of Public Affairs for Connoisseur Media’s Connecticut radio group, and is in his 25th year hosting the award-winning “For the People” public affairs program, which is syndicated on eight radio stations statewide. John has also been an avid concertgoer since the early 1970s, and has produced music and concert reviews, photography and artist interviews professionally since 1979. He volunteers for a number of worthy causes, and is also a professional musician and disc jockey who fell in love with the Ives on his first visit and is thrilled to be supporting this unique and special arts and entertainment venue.