FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ArtsWestchester Appoints Six New Board Members
January 25, 2020 (ArtsWestchester) White Plains, NY – – ArtsWestchester’s Board President Michael Minihan recently announced the appointment of six new board members to ArtsWestchester’s Board of Directors – Dawn French, Mark Ettenger, Troy De Vries and Bernard Thombs – each of whom will serve a three-year term along with two Affiliate board members Laura deBuys and Dave Steck – who will each serve a two-year term at the arts council. ArtsWestchester, the largest, private not-for-profit arts council in New York State, provides cultural programs and services that enrich the lives of Westchester residents and visitors.
New ArtsWestchester Board Members include:
Dawn French. As Senior Vice President of Marketing and Community Outreach for White Plains Hospital (WPH), Dawn French guides the hospital on its strategic goals. She is a seasoned healthcare executive who maintains strong relationships with community and government leaders and oversees a team that provides philanthropic support for the hospital. According to French: “As a hospital professional, I believe that creative expression enhances healing and promotes overall wellness. My new role on ArtsWestchester’s board will enable me to bring the benefits of arts to our neighbors across Westchester.” One of French’s most innovative community partnerships is the ArtsMobile, launched with ArtsWestchester in 2018.
Mark Ettenger of Mamaroneck is President of The Emelin Theatre, Chair of the Village of Mamaroneck Ethics Board, President of the Edgewater Point Property Owners Association, Inc. and President of the Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa. A former attorney, Ettenger had a 20-year career at Goldman Sachs & Co., where he was a Managing Director. With his vast experience in business, finance and the arts, Ettenger has actively contributed to ArtsWestchester through his previous role as an Affiliate Representative, and will continue to do so during his new term.
Bernard (Bernie) Thombs is President of Bernard Raymond Incorporated, a security, surveillance and information management company, which specializes in all aspects of public safety for federal, state and municipal government agencies. During his more than 30 years of technical experience, Thombs has worked extensively with federal and state housing authorities and has lectured both nationally and locally on the ever-changing issues of public safety in the workplace and urban communities. He currently serves as a Westchester County Planning Board member, where he highlights the need for security and public safety policy. In addition to the Planning Board, Thombs serves his community as a member of the Hudson Valley Housing Authority, the African American Men of Westchester, the White Plains Juneteenth Heritage Committee and Westchester County Black Scholars Program. He also leads the White Plains Housing Authority Crisis Task Force.
Troy De Vries, General Manager, Electric Operations, Bronx/Westchester for Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, has also joined ArtsWestchester’s board. De Vries will continue the strong relationship that ArtsWestchester and Con Edison have honed for more than 20 years. At Con Edison, De Vries is responsible for the electric distribution system through aerial infrastructure using bucket trucks. During more than 25 years at Con Edison, De Vries’ responsibilities have included risk management strategies, command and control systems, equipment analysis and asset management strategies, and quality assurance programs. During Hurricane Maria, he led a response team of 500 in Puerto Rico.
ArtsWestchester Appoints Two New Affiliate Board Members to its Board of Directors
Laura deBuys, President and Executive Director of Picture House Regional Film Center, and Dave Steck, Co-Founder and Executive Director of YoFiFest were both recently nominated by their Affiliate peers and then confirmed by ArtsWestchester’s Nominating Committee and Board.
Laura deBuys has served as president and executive director of the Picture House Regional Film Center in Pelham since 2014. In non-COVID times, Picture House screens films 364 days a year for more than 42,000 people, fields more than 40 arts education programs in area schools and partners with countless non-profit and community-based organizations throughout Westchester. She was previously the stage manager of over 100 productions including Broadway shows, national tours and corporate events. She has also developed marketing and fundraising strategies for established organizations like the Salvation Army of Greater New York, Children’s Hope India, Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and more.
Dave Steck is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the YoFiFest (Yonkers Film Fest). Steck is a filmmaker who specializes in telling compelling stories with stylistic visuals and engaging narratives. He has created and produced feature films, television shows, commercials and more, giving him a unique approach to projects and a vision to unlock their potential. The two-time Emmy Award-nominee was an Adjunct Professor at Sarah Lawrence College in the Graduate Writing Institute, served on the Yonkers Arts Council board and is also an active member of Arts Round Table – Yonkers, and the YOHO Artist Studios. His digital collage work has been shown in galleries including Blue Door Art Center, Urban Studio Unbound and more.
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For over 50 years, ArtsWestchester has been the community’s connection to the arts. Founded in 1965, it is the largest private not-for-profit arts council in New York State. Its mission is to provide leadership, vision and support to ensure the availability, accessibility and diversity of the arts. ArtsWestchester provides programs and services that enrich the lives of everyone in Westchester County. ArtsWestchester helps fund concerts exhibitions and plays through grants; brings artists into schools and community centers; advocates for the arts, including public art; and builds audiences through diverse marketing initiatives. In 1998, ArtsWestchester purchased the nine-story neo-classical bank building at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue which has since been transformed into a multi-use resource for artists, cultural organizations and the community. A two-story gallery is located on the first floor of ArtsWestchester’s historic building on Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains, NY. Artsw.org
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