Frank has been on the Ives Authority board since it was founded prior to the 2007 season. He has been a major force behind the Fine Arts Series as a director, producer and production manager and has 35 years of professional performing arts experience in Connecticut, New York and internationally. Frank was the founding chairman of the WCSU Theatre Department in the School of Visual and Performing Arts. He serves on the HVCA board, The Child Care Commission and The Friends of The North Castle Library board. Frank looks forward to collaborating with the Ives board, university and community to bring an even broader set of cultural offering at Ives. “Ives is a beautiful setting where great things are going on.”
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.
Dennis MacDonald – 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.
Sherri Hill – Secretary
A public relations professional for more than 25 years, Sherri is associate director of Public Relations at Western Connecticut State University, where she works to publicize the university’s many events and the accomplishments of its students, faculty and staff. Sherri formerly was director of public relations for two entertainment industry trade associations — the National Association of Recording Merchandisers and the Video Software Dealers Association — and also ran her own PR consulting company. She serves the Ives as Board secretary and social media manager. A live music enthusiast, Sherri started attending concerts at a young age and later encouraged her daughter, Becca, to love music, too. Sherri lives in Bethel with her boyfriend and a crazy little cat named Latte.
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.
Michael Cancellieri – Board Member
Michael spent 28 years in advertising as a creative director at Ogilvy & Mather and McCann Ericson. He was responsible for creating advertising campaigns for clients such as AT&T, General Foods, American Express, Buick, Jaguar, Nestle Foods and Hershey. After leaving the advertising industry he started a business designing and building wood furniture, kitchens and wood windows and doors. He later spent three years serving in the United States Peace Corps as a Youth and Community Volunteer in Armenia. In addition to his Peace Corps service, Michael’s volunteer activities have included Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, Girl Scouts of America as well as coaching youth baseball, soccer and basketball. Michael has always had a love for the visual and performing arts and has been attending performances at Ives Concert Park for years.
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.
Brian is founder and CEO of McKenna Group Productions LLC, a management, media, music, production company whose mission is to support, guide and mange talent with their creation of high quality content. He currently manages seven professional artists, three Grammy Award winning engineers and two Grammy Award winning producers. Prior to forming MGP LLC, Brian was a partner and COO of a global music, entertainment and media company called SevenSeas Entertainment, Inc. A seasoned music executive with over 20 years of experience, Brian was formerly vice president, Audio Operations and Marketing of Sony Music Studios in New York City where he was responsible for creating and overseeing a 12MM annual audio operation, in addition to driving business development and marketing initiatives. While at Sony Music Entertainment, Inc. Brian increased the studio division’s sales by 50% through the implementation of a worldwide digital distribution model for Sony Music’s global manufacturing plants. Brian has worked with a wide-range of artists from Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, Wynton Marsalis, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, and Herbie Hancock. He has won a DOWNBEAT award, been interviewed by many music industry magazines, and holds a Masters of Music from Eastman School of Music and a Bachelor of Music from Ithaca College.
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 boards of director 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 – 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.