Board of Directors
Roy David has been owner, president, and/or director of several successful companies, in addition to serving as a consultant, counselor and turnaround manager for over 50 companies. Roy has been President of the Board of Directors of the Farmington Valley Arts Center since 2010 when he led a reorganization of the Center and renegotiated new mortgage and lease obligations. His wife Roberta is an accomplished sculptor and potter and worked at the FVAC for years with her partners.
Linda Howard Sorrell, Vice President
is an exiled Scot, and now US citizen, who has lived in the Farmington Valley with her family for over 20 years. After retiring from her career as a Human Resources Executive with several global companies, Linda has become involved with the Boards of several local not for profit organizations. Her particular interest is in ensuring that the FVAC can realize its full potential to become a true leader in the Arts.
Helen Thomas, Secretary
has lived in Avon for over 20 years and served on the Board of Trustees at The Cobb School, Montessori for over ten years. She enjoys art and is a student at the Farmington Valley Arts Center. Besides art, Helen enjoys making fabric handbags, ballroom dancing and watching baseball.
Meryl Dann has long been involved with the arts, including her own passion for ceramics and explorations with paper jewelry and weaving. She brings to FVAC an extensive history of serving on the Boards of many Chicago not-for-profits, including the Hyde Park Art Center where, in addition to her Board duties, she hung shows, chaired the Schools Committee and introduced new classes and workshops. Meryl is well versed in the challenges faced by small NFPs, which offer vital services to the community and their residents. Determined to help people connect with art "up front and personal", Meryl brought an art gallery of residents' work to her 700+ unit condominium. She says of FVAC that she "has now found an arts home with talented instructors, a committed Board and management, and engaged volunteers" and is eager to assist FVAC as it moves forward. Meryl is looking forward to meeting each of you and hopes to encourage your participation in FVAC especially the Drezner Gallery which committee she Chairs.
Nine’s passion for the arts began in theater. In her pre-children and pre-America life, she was Assistant to Artistic Director Peter Zadek at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, Germany (“the hands-down best job anyone could ever have!”) When she moved to the States, Nine was able to continue her love for theater with the Acts Factory Players. There she directed plays, designed and built sets and tried her hand at costume designing. She also served for two years on the Board of New Britain's Hole in the Wall Theater. Nine is very excited to become part of FVAC and hopes to help support and nurture this beautiful art community.
Clasina Jones first joined FVAC as a student in 2012 when she pursued her desire to learn oil painting. Since then, she has become involved in the creative reuse of discarded items, and now focuses her passion for art on upcycling to reduce waste entering the trash stream. A certified Master Gardener (UConn 2019-Intern), with a background in Anthropology and Human Geography, Clasina believes art and gardening is a natural fit. She follows this philosophy in her own business, Bazaar Gardening, a vibrant fusion of upcycling and urban gardening. Clasina previously worked in fundraising and development for local nonprofits including KNOX, Inc., YWCA Hartford Region, and Operation Fuel, Inc.
Lara Dotson-Renta, PhD
Lara Dotson-Renta is a scholar, freelance writer, and educator. A native of Puerto Rico who grew up between there and Connecticut, she holds a doctorate in Romance Languages with a specialization in Spanish and French and a certificate in African Studies. She is also a yoga instructor, offering specialized classes for adults and children. Since moving to the area several years ago, Lara has begun taking pottery classes at the Farmington Valley Arts Center, where her daughters have also enjoyed many sessions of art camp. She is looking forward to helping the FVAC grow, and getting her hands dirty in the process! Lara lives in Simsbury with her husband and three young children.
Melissa Meredith is an intaglio printmaker with a much-loved studio at the FVAC where she both works and teaches. Her artwork is in museums, numerous private and corporate collections, and can be found in several New England galleries. An avid gardener, Melissa lives in Bloomfield.
Donna Miller is a certified interior designer with twenty five years of upscale residential design experience. She has participated in BFA and MBA programs and museums nationally and continues to be active in the arts of the Farmington Valley.
Deb Shulansky is a former elementary school art teacher at Renbrook School and currently the Director of Development at The Children's Law Center of Connecticut. Deb has always participated in and enjoyed art, and is especially passionate about ceramics. She is a graduate of Suffolk University School of Law and the University of Rochester. Deb has worked as a legal consultant to Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities and as an Administrative Attorney with the CT Department of Banking. In her free time, in addition to playing with clay, Deb loves cooking, traveling, and spending time with family.
Carol Kaplan, Executive Director