Board of Directors Biographies

Dana Pauley
Board Chair; Chair, Executive Committee
President & CEO 
Leadership Montgomery

Dana Pauley is the President & CEO of Leadership Montgomery, a community leadership organization whose mission is to educate, inspire, convene, and connect leaders to advance Montgomery County. Together with staff and board, Dana leads the organizations’ strategic direction, program development, and day-to-day operations to serve an alumni network of more than 2,500 leaders. Before joining LM in 2018, Pauley served as Development Director for MdBio Foundation (now called Learning Undefeated), where she was instrumental in growing revenue more than forty percent during a three-year period. She has held leadership positions in development and marketing for education and health nonprofits after a career transition from retail management. Across her nonprofit career, she has partnered and worked with global companies, foundations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations to further collaborative leadership that achieves access, equity, and inclusion. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Services with a concentration in Counseling and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). She resides in Montgomery County with her husband and three children.

Ryan Lorey
Board Treasurer; Chair, Finance Committee; Public Arts Trust Steering Committee
EDENS

Elaine Robnett Moore
Board Secretary, Grants Committee 

Artist and CEO
Elaine Robnett Moore Collection

Elaine Robnett Moore is a jewelry artist, international business consultant, teacher, and author. As an artist/international development consultant, she works through governments, foundations, NGOs and private companies – assisting artists, artisans, and women’s coops in developing skills, establishing cottage industries, and refining products for export to western markets. Robnett Moore’s work has been published and exhibited internationally and she was recently commissioned by the Rwandan government to write their first “how to” book “Professional Jewelry Making With Beads”, an initiative being used to provide an income stream for women and girls throughout the country. Her second book, “The Art of Bead Stringing: Artist to Entrepreneur”, was published in November of 2014.

Eleanor Park Choi, AIA, LEEDap BD+C
Chair, Public Art Trust Steering Committee
Senior Project Manager and Architect 
Page

Eleanor Park Choi is an Associate, Project Manager and Architect at Page. Through her work on award winning, LEED certified, historic and institutional projects- both locally and nationally, she promotes sustainable design and place-making. By engaging the public through every stage of each project and continuing to build relationships even after project completion, she has seen the positive impact that these buildings have had on their communities. She had the honor of working directly with local artists to elevate the architecture of the building with the installation of their meaningful, authentic works of art. Combining her passion for music and architecture, Eleanor played the violin and presented a lecture titled “Architecture as Frozen Music,” with three of her colleagues. Born and educated in Montgomery County, a proud graduate of University of Maryland at College Park with a Masters of Architecture, and having served on the Friends of White Flint Board, Eleanor is committed to supporting local artists and encouraging opportunities for diverse cultural expression.

Ruby Lopez Harper
Chair, Advocacy Committee; Grants Committee
Director of Local Arts Services
Americans for the Arts

Ruby Lopez Harper is the Director of Local Arts Services for Americans for the Arts. She is the Co-chair for the National Coalition on Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response, serves as Co-chair on the Support for Individual Artist Steering Committee for Grantmakers in the Arts and serves on the WETA Community Advisory Council. Prior to joining AFTA, Ruby was the Director of Grants and Services at the Greater Columbus Arts Council in Columbus, OH where she focused on grantmaking, community development, economic development and tourism, and public art. She has a varied background that includes corporate affairs, marketing, and business administration. Ruby has an associate degree from Cerritos College, a certificate in Corporate Community Involvement from Boston College, and is a trained meeting facilitator.

Raesharn Spain Beam
Chair, Audit Committee
Interior Architect

Raesharn Spain Beam is an interior architect, space planner and project manager for Davidson Brown. She serves as a contractor for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in Washington, DC. She has over 25 years experience in design, graphic art, furniture, construction and project management with projects from Washington, DC to Guam. She is CEO/artist of Zaneta P. A jewelry and design company where she is committed to creating unique art and design elements. She designs jewelry,  produces graphic art interior design pieces. She volunteers her services at First Baptist Church of Glenarden as an art ministry member and Banner Specialist. She is also a member of the Charles County Arts Alliance. She received her Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1993 from Illinois Institute of Technology, College of Architecture, Chicago, IL & Castiglione Fiorentino, Arezzo, Italy.

Mamie Bittner
Chair, Grants Committee; Advocacy Committee
Executive Coach, Communications Strategist

Mamie Bittner is a career and leadership coach based in Takoma Park, Maryland. She focuses on resilient leadership helping clients develop the skills they need to maintain a positive attitude during periods of turbulence and find creative ways of moving forward. Most recently she was director of communications and congressional relations for the Architect of the Capitol. In this role she directed all internal and external communications and client relations for the 2100 person agency that serves the U.S. Congress and the Supreme Court.  Previous to that she held a series of leadership positions at the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal grantmaking agency, the primary source of federal support for U.S. libraries and museums. She has a B.A. in Political Science from Fairfield University and a M.A. in Education and Human Development from George Washington University. She is currently pursuing International Coach Federation certification through the George Mason University Leadership Coaching for Organizational Well-Being.

Lauren Cook
Board Vice Chair
Visual Artist and Instructor

Lauren Cook teaches visual arts at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, serving four terms as department head, and is a committed advocate of arts education for all ages.  She has experience as a consultant on K-12 arts curricula and teacher training, as an independent curator and jurist for art competitions, and designed and ran an accredited overseas summer studio program for K-12 art teachers.  Cook is a trained facilitator in educational neuroscience research for the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning at St. Andrew’s and previously worked for the Council on Foundations and the Council of Governors’ Policy Advisors on intersectional policy development.  She maintains an active studio art practice and holds a M.A. in Art Education from Maryland Institute College of Art, a M.B.A. from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Philosophy from Grand Valley University.

Norman Rogers
Advocacy Committee
American Gene Technologies

Norman S. Rogers has over 10 years of experience in the biotechnology field with the last two spent in the heart of Montgomery County. In his position as a business development lead for American Gene Technologies, Norman promotes the positive growth of the Montgomery Country biotechnology market as a leader in life-saving medical advancements. As a graduate from a liberal arts college and an avid “artistic tinker and part-time ice sculpture”, Norman has a deep respect for the arts and their role in the preservation and articulation of Maryland culture. Norman is honored to bring together his role in the biotech sector and love of the arts to support AHCMC’s mission and development.  

Suraya Mohamed
Chair, Governance Committee; Grants Committee
Producer, Programming & Partnerships
NPR Music

Suraya Mohamed is a three-time Peabody Award-winning producer, sound designer and editor. As NPR Music’s Producer of Programming & Partnerships, she serves as the Project Manager for Jazz Night In America, a multi-platform cooperative between NPR Music, WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. She is also the Project Manager for Slingshot – a new artist initiative designed to boost public radio music station collaboration, develop and diversify digital content to incorporate new methods of storytelling and accelerate the careers of multi-genre, exceptional, emerging artists. She works on a variety of NPR Music projects including the Tiny Desk Concert series and also produces the NPR holiday specials package that includes Tinsel Tales, Hanukkah Lights, Toast Of The Nation, Hamilton: A Story Of US and others.

Prof. Cinder Cooper Barnes
Director of the Global Humanities Institute, Professor of English
Global Humanities Institute

Global Humanities Institute Director Cinder Barnes teaches credit level English at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. She earned degrees in English at the University of South Carolina and Northern Illinois University. Prior to becoming director of the Global Humanities Institute (GHI), Professor Barnes served as college level English Coordinator at the Takoma Park Silver Spring campus and as an Honors Faculty Fellow, and is currently a faculty member in the Renaissance Honors Program. In addition, Professor Barnes is an active participant in various other MC initiatives, work groups, and committees. She has served as co-chair of the General Education Standing Committee and has been a member of the College Area Review Committee, and the General Studies Humanities Arts Communication and Literature Core Committee. Professor Barnes vast involvement in global education and in the Global Humanities institute includes being a Learning Community Fellowship alum, a Macau Millennial College Teaching Fellow; India Seminar Abroad fellow, Senegal Faculty Fellow, and participant in, and facilitator of, the Globalization Reading Group. These experiences give her an understanding and first-hand appreciation of the important work of the institute. Professor Barnes has also presented at national and regional conferences including Two-Year College Association (TYCA), College English Association (CEA), College Composition and Communication Conference (CCCCs), Community College Humanities Association (CCHA) and spearheaded regional global education conferences at Montgomery College. As director of the Global Humanities Institute, Professor Barnes also serves as one of Montgomery College’s Fulbright liaisons and helps sustain and cultivate partnerships with various government agencies, organizations and other institutions of higher learning including various community colleges in the region, the Department of State, the Department of Education, Council of American Oversees Research Centers, Howard University, and various universities in several countries including El Salvador, India, and China. Professor Barnes has been awarded a National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award, MC’s Outstanding Faculty Service Award, and a Montgomery College Innovation Grant. Her commitment to foster in herself and her students an understanding of our place in a global context is demonstrated in the work that she has done thus far. Leading the Institute allows her to share her enthusiasm and knowledge with the larger college community. She also secured an NEH grant on black diaspora : https://www.montgomerycollege.edu/special-programs/global-humanities-institute/neh-summer-institute/index.html 

Dr. Sharon Fechter
Dean of Humanities, Professor of Spanish
Montgomery College

Sharon Ahern Fechter, Ph.D., is Professor of Spanish and was the former chair of the department of World Languages and Philosophy at Montgomery College. She is currently the Dean of Humanities. She earned her Ph.D. from New York University and her M.A. and B.A. from The Catholic University of America. Dr. Fechter was awarded the 2009 Outstanding Teacher of the Year for Two-Year Colleges by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP).  She has served as president and executive council member of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, on the working group for America’s Languages, and is an active member of several professional organizations. She previously served as Director of Inter-Institutional Collaboration for Project 2001 at Middlebury College, a project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon foundation to foster the innovative use of instructional technologies in foreign language education. She has presented and published on numerous topics dealing with foreign language pedagogy, literature, distance education, and international education. She is co-author of the textbook for advanced beginners, Paso adelante, co-author of the laboratory manual for ¡En directo! and author of the online task-based activities for ¡Arriba!

Daniel Guzman
Curator of Public Programs
Torpedo Factory

Daniel Guzman joined the Torpedo Factory team in 2015, overseeing public programs and projects focused on cultural growth, community engagement, and art opportunities in Alexandria and the greater D.C. metropolitan area. Prior to his time at the Art Center, he worked in New York for 10 years, developing culture crawls, pop-up events, workshops and roundtables for various organizations. Daniel serves as Board Co-chair for the Arts Administrators of Color Network and contributes to several of their planning committees. He has served as a panelist for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. He is a Certified Program Planner (CPP). He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master of Science in Project Management at George Washington University.

Sarah Andrew Wilson
Strategic Entrepreneur and Performing Arts Leader
Matchbox.io

Sarah Andrew Wilson is a strategic entrepreneur and performing arts leader, with more than 20 years of experience cultivating innovative, high quality arts and education experiences for learners of all ages in Montgomery County, MD, in the greater Washington, DC area, and around the world. Wilson has worked with internationally renowned performing artists and educators at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Washington National Opera, and Levine School of Music. She has also served, by invitation, on multiple grants panels for the National Endowment for the Arts. As a classical flutist, she holds two degrees in music from the University of North Texas and Arizona State University, as well as an Executive Certificate in Arts and Culture Strategy from the University of Pennsylvania.  For the past four years, Wilson has been the co-owner of tech start-up Matchbox.io, the award-winning brand behind some of the most popular interactive voice applications on Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Samsung Bixby. She has been named an Alexa Champion by Amazon, a Top 12 Leader in Voice AI by Voicebot, and a Top 40 Voice AI Influencer by SoundHound. In 2022, Matchbox was acquired in a multimillion dollar deal.  In her free time, Wilson enjoys hiking, running half marathons, and painting with acrylics.