BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Richard Companik, President
Richard Companik, President
Rich is Vice President of Strategic Development and a Realtor for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services New England, New York, and Hudson Valley Properties in New Canaan, Connecticut.
Prior to joining Berkshire Hathaway, Rich co-founded Great Bowery, an international artist management, content production and image licensing agency based in New York and London, where he served as CFO, COO and, ultimately, CEO. Richard also served as CFO for Art + Commerce, Assistant Controller for the Associated Press, and Director of Management Audit for The Walt Disney Company.
Rich is a licensed real estate agent in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and has nearly three decades of business experience primarily focused on arts, entertainment, and media.
Rich serves as the President of the New Canaan Society for the Arts/Carriage Barn Arts Center, as Treasurer for the Town Players of New Canaan/Powerhouse Performing Arts Center, and serves on the board of GMHC in New York City. Rich and his husband, along with their two children and two dogs, reside in New Canaan.
Suzy Lavieri, Vice President
Suzy is a 28 year resident of New Canaan, CT, holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Vermont and is a 2018 graduate of the Art Business Program at Christies, New York. She has held numerous board positions in the New Canaan Community including the East School PTC, Outback Teen Center, New Canaan Sports Council, Service League of Boys ,and the Fairfield County Alumnae Board of Kappa Alpha Theta.
Having grown up in a family of art and antique collectors, Suzy developed a passion for art and particularly studying history through studying art. Her educational experience at Christie’s New York exposed her to the financial, legal, valuation and marketing aspects of the art world. Suzy continues to be fascinated about what the human mind can create and feels strongly about highlighting and supporting arts education in the schools. The Carriage Barn is particularly important as it provides a unique venue to showcase artists while engaging and educating the community.
A former human resource professional, Suzy’s experiences included National Human Resource positions with Price Waterhouse, Booz, Allen & Hamilton, and Career Services at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Svava Bragason, Treasurer
Svava is an IT leader with over 20 years of professional experience in technology, analytics and data, currently employed by Nestle in Stamford. Svava enjoyed various forms of creative art, including painting, drawing, photography and sculpture through high school at St. Luke’s School in New Canaan and into Yale University, then came to realize that she did not feel the deep burning desire to create that motivates lifelong artists, and became an appreciator of art. Svava lives in New Canaan. Svava was the Special Education Parent Program Chair of the South School PTC and is a mentor for the Tsai City Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale.
Lisa Ferrante, Secretary
Lisa is a Realtor with Houlihan Lawrence in New Canaan. She is a New Canaan native, having grown up in town and attending all three levels of the public school system before she earned her degree in Art History at Ithaca College. in addition to her Real Estate credentials, she has over 20 years of sales and marketing experience working in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry consulting with Retailers to develop, package and market their portfolio of products. She is an active member of the Country Club of New Canaan and serves on the Membership Committee, Board Member on the New Canaan Beautification League, and Committee Member of Realtors supporting the New Canaan Library new building project.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
George Bennington (ex-officio)
Sveinn, a New Canaan resident, currently works with special needs children in the New Canaan School system after spending time as a stay at home parent. A position which gave him time with his two daughters and to focus more on his love and interest in art, photography and community involvement. Having interest in variety of arts and history from childhood made Sveinn a frequent visitor to museums, art exhibits and galleries where ever he has traveled internationally, both personally and for work as an IT professional. Interest in the arts was fueled by Sveinn’s focus on Asian, Middle Eastern, African history and culture whilst pursuing his BA and MA in History. He enjoys sharing his photography on social media and to select groups, and has had some work displayed in Carriage Barn shows. Sveinn was a part of the Art Committee for the New Canaan Library Curtis Gallery from 2014 – 2018, and co-curated some shows. He is an active volunteer Firefighter in New Canaan, currently serving as the Fire Company Vice President, and is also a volunteer EMT in the neighboring town of Wilton.
BJ is President & Founder of Nurenu Brand Marketing, a full-service integrated brand marketing agency. With a keen focus on strategic vision, BJ provides expertise in strategic brand marketing solutions, brand design, web development, customization, and integration solutions. Along with these efforts she has extensive experience in advertising, sales support, and new generation design applications offering a visual extension of the brand and professional user experience. She believes in collaborating with clients to create the best solutions for each company’s marketing goals.
BJ began her career working in Vermont and saw Burton Snowboards launch, taught design at UVM, and worked in printing. Moving from Vermont to NYC area, her love for graphic design never wavered, placing her with many well-known agencies including BBDO, J. Walter Thompson, and Hill & Knowlton. She later co-founded Flagg Brothers, Inc. which was a corporate communications agency with IBM as their first and steady account. The potential of the internet was just beginning and it was a privilege to see it through the lens of so many large corporations. BJ’s passion for the power of digital marketing was always an area of focus for her. Her love for working with start-ups and companies at the point of scaling up is contagious – companies that were either ‘new’ or ‘renewing’ their brand marketing. Thus, Nurenu was born.
Martie is an accomplished photographer living and working in New Canaan, CT. The daughter of an engineer and a painter, Martie has always been fascinated by the way a camera and, more recently,, digital technology, can allow the artist to escape the constraints of conventionality and to express a reflection of self, a new interpretation, or even a hint of mystery. Martie studied art history at the University of Virginia and has studied photography and mixed media at the Silvermine School of Art. Her work has been featured in solo, and group shows; she is a frequent contributor to shows at the Carriage Barn Arts Center.
Kathy is a third generation New Canaanite, who recently moved back to her hometown. She is a working artist sharing studio space at the Wilson Avenue Artists’ Loft in Norwalk. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Kathy worked in Manhattan as a graphic designer for Conde Nast Magazines and Richard Danne & Associates before starting her own firm, Studio Megrue. After a move to Dallas, she dedicated her time to her painting and printmaking, winning several awards and securing multiple solo exhibitions in Texas and New York.
Kathy is head of the RISD Alumni Club of Connecticut. She is the past co-leader of the RISD Alumni Club of NYC, a member of the Outreach Commission at St Peters Church in Morristown, NJ, a trustee of Gill St. Bernard’s School in Gladstone, NJ and co-head of the Arts Committee for Mountain Lakes Schools. Along with her husband Allen, Kathy has raised four children and survived multiple moves including several years in Toronto. She is happy to be back in New Canaan close to family and is very enthusiastic about supporting the Carriage Barn Arts Center.
Angela is a management consultant and entrepreneur with over 25 years of professional experience. She began her career as an equity research analyst at CS First Boston, worked as a senior manager at Deloitte Consulting and an executive in J.P. Morgan Chase’s global services business. Since adopting two children, Angela has worked as a philanthropist and consulted to small businesses and nonprofit organizations across a wide range of issues, including financial management, product development, business planning and marketing. Active in the community, Angela is an active volunteer in the schools, most recently running the annual spring event auction for The Children’s School, an independent Montessori-based school in Stamford, Connecticut. Angela has also initiated musician-in-residence and author-in-residence programs from The Children’s School and organizes STEM Night and chairs a fundraising committee for East Elementary School. Pro bono consulting work through Harvard Business School Club of Connecticut’s Community Partners affiliate includes developing a strategic plan for the Woodcock Nature Center, leading a project for Make-A-Wish Connecticut, and brainstorming for Thrown Stone, a theatre company dedicated to cutting-edge new plays. Angela holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.A. in Economics from Colby College. Angela also serves on the boards of Audubon Connecticut and Harvard Business School Club of Connecticut Community Partners, an organization that provides pro-bono consulting support, grants and scholarships to Connecticut nonprofits. Angela lives with her family in New Canaan, Connecticut.
Phil is a New Canaan resident, independent merchant, and active member of the community. He and his wife Amy moved to New Canaan in 2001 to raise their family. In 2013 Phil, a music enthusiast, opened New Canaan Music. Since opening the store, Phil has grown the business from a quaint back alley shop to a prominent retail destination located on Main Street. It provides all levels of musicians with lessons, band and orchestra rental instruments, as well as sales and service of top quality instruments and accessories. Phil also serves on the Board of Directors of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce. He is an active supporter of local causes, organizations, and charities and a promoter of the arts.
Prior to opening New Canaan Music, Phil had a 20+ year career in television production in New York City. His first position out of college was in Production for Paramount Television assigned to the Maury Povich Show. From there he went on to work on site at the studios as the Production Controller for CBS Television’s Montel Williams Show and then The Rachael Ray Show. He was also the Head of Finance for Little Airplane Productions, an animation studio founded by Josh Selig, the multi Emmy award winning children’s television talent. Little Airplane creates and produces numerous children’s television programs including The Wonder Pets, and Third & Bird. In his spare time Phil enjoys spending time with his family and playing music with his band.
John Dunn, Serena Gillespie, Jeanne McDonagh, Art Potts, Sue Stone
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About the Carriage Barn
The mission of the New Canaan Society for the Arts, Inc. is to promote the visual and performing arts, and to enrich the community through exhibitions, education, and cultural experiences, and to operate the Carriage Barn Arts Center.
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Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Avenue
New Canaan, CT 06840