Board and Staff

Our Board of Trustees

Dennis Hagen – (Board Member since 2019) Dennis is the Director of Sales and Marketing for a large Japanese corporation and brings his expertise in fundraising to the HV Arts Council.  Dennis is part of a classic rock band and enjoys working with young musicians. 

Erwin Harbat – (Board Member since 2020) Born and raised in Hopewell Valley, Erwin owned and operated a dairy farm and was the CEO of Agrain, a grain merchandizing operation.  He currently owns and manages a real estate management company. Very active in the community, Erwin is a Trustee of the Woosamonsa School House, and was the former VP of the Pennington Business & Professionals Association. Erwin emphasis on the Board is to represent the perspectives of our local Seniors.

Michelle Needham (President and Board Member since 2016) – Michelle is a licensed Realtor with BHHS Fox Roach-Princeton with over 25 years of experience.  Michelle is very active in the community as a member of the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Pennington Business & Professional Association and serves on the Pennington Economic Development Commission, Parks & Recreation Commission and YMCA Annual TJ Golf Outing.

Susie Henkel is a seasoned graphic designer with over 25 years of experience, having graduated from the University of Delaware’s Visual Communications program. She began her career in New York, working with major accounts such as Penguin Books, American Express, Agfa Film, and the New York Yankees. Transitioning to her own business, Codrington Design, Susie focuses on brand identity, helping numerous small businesses establish themselves through logos, websites, and collateral materials. Her work extends to major pharmaceutical companies and local non-profits, where she combines innovative thinking with marketing expertise to produce powerful, effective designs. As one of the founding members of the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, Susie brings valuable experience and a fresh perspective to the board.

Gail Gendler – (Board Member since 2023) As the founder of Buffalo Girl Productions, Gail focuses on delivering unique content acquisitions licensing deals, programming budgets, as well as editorial and launch strategies for her clients. She is an accomplished corporate veteran with extensive experience in content acquisitions licensing. Gail has held roles at the boutique streaming platform Fandor, AMC Networks/Sundance Channel Global as part of the executive team that launched Sundance Channel globally and at Sundance Channel and IFC Networks on their domestic channels. Gendler started her career at NBC, working on the late-night talk show LATER…with Bob Costas and with NBC’s Olympic Unit at the Sydney, Barcelona and Atlanta Summer Olympic Games.


Lynn DeClemente Losavio is a Non-Profit Executive, Curator, and Collaborator with a profound background in the arts. Holding a Master of Fine Art from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, specializing in Textiles and Social Practice, Lynn’s career has been shaped by her passion for the intersection of art and community. As Chief Legacy Officer for The Seward Johnson Atelier, Lynn plays a pivotal role in steering major short- and long-term planning decisions, preserving and promoting the legacy of Seward Johnson. She adeptly manages the comprehensive history and future direction of The Seward Johnson Atelier, ensuring strategic initiatives align with the organization’s vision. A key communicator with the board of directors, Lynn oversees the narrative, sales, and exhibitions of Seward Johnson’s work, contributing significantly to the appreciation and recognition of his artistic contributions. Notably, Lynn has curated exhibitions celebrating the philanthropic and artistic journey of the Johnson family, showcasing her expertise in presenting compelling narratives. 

Grant Peterson has cultivated a distinguished career in photography and music. Beginning his education in photography with notable mentors such as Peter Bunnell, Lisette Model, George Tice, and Phillip Halsman, Grant opened his first studio in New York at 26, pioneering a highly narrative and lyrical approach to still-life photography that defined a generation of photographers. Renowned as “The Sun King” by Photo District News, Grant has shared his expertise globally through lectures and teaching engagements at prestigious institutions. Beyond photography, Grant is a versatile artist who has contributed his musical talents to off-off Broadway productions and regularly performs in the Hopewell, Lambertville, and Princeton area. Grant has been instrumental in Hopewell Tour Des Arts since 2017 and has his studio at the Highland Design Farm. With his wealth of experience and artistic insight, Grant Peterson brings invaluable contributions to the Hopewell Valley Arts Council board of directors, enriching and promoting the arts in the community.

Stephen Webb is the co-founder of Aspire Studios in Pennington, NJ, where he channels his passion for accelerating the process of building interest, connections, and relationships between clients and their audience through impactful visual storytelling. With over 20 years of video production experience, Stephen has worked in diverse venues ranging from the Winter Olympic Games to narrative and documentary film sets, small businesses, international enterprises, and universities. His expertise in team leadership, adult learning theory, sales behaviors, and instructional design enables him to quickly identify and focus on key issues to creatively address them, delivering tailored stories that benefit his clients. Before co-founding Aspire Studios, Stephen worked in global corporate retail, historic universities, and donor-driven non-profits, bringing a wealth of experience and lifelong learning to his current role as Creative Director and Producer. He takes pride in leading his team from inception to completion, ensuring clients’ creative needs are met with excellence.

Former Trustees:  Betsy Ackerman+, Liz Bell+, Dawn Berman, Elaine Borges, Chad Goerner, Ken Hill, Heidi Kahme, Craig Lieboff, Liza Morehouse, Jennifer Petrino, Bob Prewitt*, Vanessa Sandom, C.a. Shofed, Randi Tengi+, Jennifer Wasserman, Kyle Wille

Our Staff

Carol Lipson – Executive Director+ – As one of the founding members of the Arts Council in 2014, Carol has worked for many years as a volunteer and continues to serve as a Board Member and Executive Director.  Her previous professional positions include, vice president of marketing for a high-tech Fortune 500 management consulting firm, and senior partner with a computer timesharing company, as well as a variety of software sales and sales management positions. Carol has also served on the management team of the Philadelphia Flower Show for twenty+ years. Her creative pursuits include mixed media collage, photography, gardening and floral design.

Mary Galioto – PR & Media Consultant – A seasoned public relations professional, Mary is the publisher and founder of a hyperlocal independent online news website. She has a BA in English from Binghamton University and a JD from Seton Hall Law School. Mary also explores a variety of art mediums in particular photography, digital art, and drawing.

Non-Profit Accounting Solutions, LLC (NPAS) – Contracted in 2022, NPAS specialized in accounting services for non-profit and tax-exempt organizations. Formed in 2014 by Ann C. Zawartkay, CPA, CGMA, the firm and its staff are well-versed in the financial reporting and compliance needs specific to various types of tax-exempt organizations.  Their expertise includes auditing and assurance, preparation of Form 990, preparation of state charitable registrations and renewals, operational efficiency consulting, internal controls, bookkeeping and financial reporting.



+ Past Board President
* In Remembrance