Board Members and Staff
David Lyons, Founder and Board President
David Lyons founded Bethany Arts Community in May 2015. As President of the Board, Mr. Lyons brings a range of practical experience which he will apply in support of BAC’s purposes. For 10 years, he worked in the construction and plumbing industries. For the past 18 years, he has been actively working in a running a family real estate management company. Mr. Lyons’ appreciation for the arts began with influence from his grandfather who himself was a patron and supporter of the many disciplines of artist creation. While this brought him into direct contact with varying art forms, Mr. Lyons has only begun to explore his artistic potential. Being an active supporter and consumer of art as a result, Mr. Lyons’ commitment to BAC is inspired by several personal observances, lack of local art programs in the local community, unavailable quality of programming for children and firsthand knowledge of the detrimental effects of not being able to explore one’s own potential in the arts. Mr. Lyons’ philanthropic activities include support of Yonkers Partners in Education, Spring Community Partners and the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.
Abigail Lewis, Executive Director
Abby is the daughter of a choral conductor, who spent her school years going to Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts and her formative years visiting art museums in every city her family visited. Watching her mother conduct “open sings,” with professional soloists and a mix of professional and amateur instrumentalists, and a chorus of community members, left an indelible impression that the arts are a joyous and beautiful way to bring community together. Abby is a seasoned strategy and operations executive who spent many years at IBM leading innovative programs, including IBM’s Global Technology Outlook. Having begun her career with short stints in Legal Aid and Legal Services, she has recently re-energized her focus on efforts related to access and equity. As co-founder of Ossining Innovates!, a local project focused on inclusive entrepreneurship, and as a founding Board member of the Sing Sing Prison Museum, Ms. Lewis sees powerful similarities with BAC’s mission: to bring people together from all walks of life, ages, and experiences to learn, create, experience and engage with art while enhancing perception and diversifying perspectives of the world. The opportunity to help develop BAC and nurture its culture of open access, creating an environment where everyone – especially children – are invited to create and experience art without fear, is an opportunity Ms. Lewis could not pass up.
Ms. Lewis has a J.D. from Fordham Law School and a BA from NYU. She raised two children in Ossining and coached AYSO girl’s soccer.
Bonnie Bradley, Associate Director
Bonnie Bradley graduated from Delaware Valley High School, Milford PA in 1987, and studied art history and comparative religions at Penn State University and Purchase College. In 1997 she moved to Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. and immediately was drawn to its beauty and community. With her instilled values of volunteerism, work ethic and compassion for others, she became very involved in many of the Dobbs Ferry School District organizations, such as, The Dobbs Ferry School Foundation, PTSA, Hiring Committee and the Academic Enrichment Program for 15 years. In addition, she was an instructor at the Springhurst Elementary School where she created and taught “The Little Art Historian” for the SPREE after school program. In 2017, she became a part of Bethany Arts Community as a volunteer and was hired as the Associate Director in November 2019.
Kimball Lyons Gell, Board Member and Secretary
Kimball Lyons Gell has lived her entire life in New York State. She graduated from Croton-Harmon High School in 1976, and SUNY Albany in 1980, with a BS in economics. Kimball subsequently moved to Manhattan, where she lived for the next eighteen years. She has had three careers that embody the interests and fed the energy of their epoch. Her first career was in finance, working for several Wall Street firms before joining Merrill Lynch Investment Banking in 1986, as assistant vice president in equity capital markets. Following the birth of her second son in 1995 and led by a passion for books, a love of libraries, and a fascination with the nascent web technologies, she entered a master’s program in library science at Rutgers University, graduating with an MLS in 1997. For two years she managed the library at the Swedish Institute College in Manhattan. She moved with her family to Garrison, NY in 1997. After the birth of her third son in 2000, Kimball spent several years with her young children, and engaging with her new community. The natural beauty of the Hudson Valley is fuel for Kimball’s personal interest in running and hiking, and many hours are spent in those pursuits. In January 2004, Shelley Boris and Kimball partnered to start Fresh Company. Based out of the Garrison Institute in Garrison, NY, Fresh Company provides food service for this respected organization. From that kitchen, Fresh Company offers off-premise catering for a wide range of events. In 2010 Fresh Company opened a café at the Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, NY. The newest project for Fresh Company is a restaurant opening in the spring of 2018 in Garrison. Kimball’s role at Fresh Company is in administration, event planning, and project development. Kimball currently lives in Beacon, NY with her youngest son and dog.
Laurie Birrittella, Board Member and Treasurer
Laurie Birrittella is the Chief Administrative Officer of Tiedemann Investment Group and affiliated entities (TIG Advisors LLC) since July 1991 and became a General Partner in 1996. TIG Advisors LLC is a registered investment advisor with the SEC and operates a group of hedge funds across diverse strategies and is based in New York, NY. During Laurie’s 29 year tenure with Tiedemann she has been part of the senior management team which oversees the management of all aspects of the firm’s front and back office operations which support the portfolio management teams on Tiedemann’s platform. Laurie attended Hope College in Holland, Michigan and has undertaken further studies at Pace University in Pleasantville, New York. Laurie also currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of Ferncliff Manor Inc, a not-for-profit organization supporting the mission of a unique residential school located in Yonkers, New York, founded in 1935 for children with developmental disabilities. Laurie formerly served as Chairperson and Treasurer of New Beginnings Nursery School in Tarrytown for ten years, a not-for-profit preschool.
Jessica Irons, Board Member and Vice President
Jessica Irons, is an Ossining resident and sits on the boards of Ossining MATTERS (Ossining’s Educational Foundation) and the Ossining Arts Project (The Village Art Committee). For 10 years she was the Artistic Director of the award winning, NYC based Andhow! Theater Company where she fostered new plays from a seed of an idea through to full productions. She directed Off & Off Off Broadway at the Flea, The Ohio, HERE Arts Center, 78th Street Theater Lab, Dixon Place, The Blue Heron Arts Center, The Ontological at St. Marks, New Georges and adobe theatre company. She was the Associate Artistic Director of Adobe Theatre Company and the Artistic Associate at Adirondack Theater Festival. As an educator she has directed/taught in Newark NJ, Redhook, Brooklyn, for the 52nd Street Project in Manhattan, Allan Stevenson, Fordham University, the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester and elsewhere throughout the tri-state area. She was the original therapeutic arts director at Children of Promise, NYC in Bedford Stuyvesant, where she developed and implemented therapeutic art & theater curricula for children of incarcerated parents. Jessica studied theater at Skidmore College (BA) and Creative Arts Therapy at the New School.
Brenda Montanile, Board Member
Brenda Montanile is the Founder and President of Palmas Mosaic Arts, a nonprofit organization which has been developing and creating community-based mosaic projects and educational workshops since 2011. Her passion for the art of mosaics has led her on a quest for classical training. Most recently, she has studied in Chicago, as a Certification student at The Chicago Mosaic School, and in Italy, using traditional tools, techniques and materials. Her work is greatly influenced by the Italian masters she has studied with, including Verdiano Marzi, Matteo Randi and Adriana Gallo. Memberships: The Chicago Mosaic School, Contemporary Mosaic Artists, International Polymer Clay Association, Licensed Puerto Rican Artesano, Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA)
Paul Wallace, Board Member
Paul Wallace is an artist living in Los Angeles, California. For over 30 years, Mr. Wallace has been making painting and sculpture. Paul’s range of work incorporates traditional painting techniques as well as contemporary tools such digital development and output.
Dana Teague, Board Member
Dana Teague is a Project Manager for a Public Utility in Boston. During her tenure with the Utility, Dana has worked in Information Technology, Human Resources and Electric Operations. Her role in Electric Operations runs the gamut from managing Technology projects, to managing corporate initiatives throughout the tristate territory. Prior to working at the Utility, Dana was a Senior Analyst in Information Systems with Bank of Boston for seven years. Dana is currently on the Human Resources Board for the Town of Brookline, MA. Dana’s past volunteer work includes: President of Fund Raising for the YMCA Chimney Corners Camp, President of the Library Committee at Lincoln School in Brookline, MA. Most importantly, Dana is an appreciative and grateful lover of the Arts.
Joyce Sharrock Cole, Board Member
Joyce Sharrock Cole is a lifelong resident of the Village of Ossining. Earning her BS in Organizational Management from Mercy College and certification as a Genealogical Researcher from Boston University, she is now a founding member and lead researcher of the Little Bertie County Genealogical Society, which facilitates the Ossining Public Library Genealogy Group. Throughout her work, she has curated numerous presentations at such locations as the Ossining Public Library, The Ossining Historical Society, The Ossining Rotary Club, Park School, and The Historic Hope Plantation in Bertie County North Carolina. Her research led her to develop D.I.G. (Discovering in Genealogy) and D.I.G.me (Discovering in Genealogy me), a program designed to promote self-discovery through genealogical research.
Currently, Joyce is the Ossining Village Historian, serves as a member of the Ossining Historic Preservation Commission and has worked for Westchester County Department of Emergency Services for the past 23 years. She is proud to give back to the community in which she was raised, and excited to connect her historian expertise to the work of Bethany Arts Community.
Henry Welt, Board Member
Throughout his business and professional life, Henry who is a practicing lawyer, has sought to integrate his love of art and admiration for creativity into his how he makes his living. Henry has represented artists, art galleries as well as museums and art schools; he served as a member of the Board, a member of the Executive Committee, and as Vice Chairman of The Brooklyn Museum, a Board Member and Vice Chairman of the Harlem School for the Arts, Chair of the Board of the Drawing Society, and Editor of its magazine, Drawing. Since moving to Ossining, Henry has served as the first Chair of the Ossining Arts Project, (the Village Arts Committee), founding Board member of the Sing Sing History Museum, and is a supporter of the Westchester Collaborative Theater and a member of the Ossining Arts Council. Henry is committed to the notion that art and creativity are essential for people and communities to thrive. Together with his partner, Abby Lewis, he founded Ossining Innovates!, the first inclusive entrepreneurship initiative in New York State, which aims to empower people to design their own futures and build stronger, more caring communities, by providing entrepreneurship and critical thinking skills at no cost to participants.
Henry and his wife, Nicki, live in Ossining together with their two dogs, Huck and Finn.
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40 Somerstown Rd.
Ossining, NY 10562
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