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Arts Services initiative enters new stage of governance

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Tue, Jun 23rd 2020 12:30 pm

Arts Services Initiative of Western New York Inc. announced it is entering the next stage of organizational governance with several members of its board of directors terming off, others elected to a second term, and a few being elected to serve as chairs of specific committees. This news comes as ASI prepares for fiscal year 2021, when it will celebrate its 10th 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.

A press release stated, “All three members contributed their time, resources and expertise to ASI for six years – more than half of the amount of time the nonprofit arts council has 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 ASI’s finance and audit committee is Heather Warnes, a CPA and assurance manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Warnes has been involved with ASI since December, when she was appointed to its board of directors and its finance and audit committee. In addition, Anne Janczak, the former product manager of Evans Bank, is succeeding Mueller as chair of ASI’s governance committee. Janczak has been with ASI for four years, and has contributed as a member of its marketing committee and governance committee.

“Heather and Anne are dedicated members of our leadership team,” Swan-Kilpatrick 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 to a second three-year term 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 & Company; and Wendy Mednick, personal financial representative and financial specialist at Allstate.

“We have an important year ahead of us,” Swan-Kilpatrick said. “With all of our recent initiatives to support the sector during the COVID-19 crisis, and with our 10-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.”

Arts Services Initiative (ASI) empowers the region's artists and arts organizations with connections to funding, learning opportunities, and community access to the arts. ASI is a resource hub for the Western New York arts and cultural sector.

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