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Advisory Board

Anna Bledsoe

Anna NVV Bledsoe is a CPA who has a passion for the arts. She graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a bachelor of science degree in accounting and focused on Shakespearean Literature and Pre-Raphaelite Art at Virginia Tech’s study abroad program conducted at Brighton Polytechnic. She went on to find ways to accommodate both her passion for the arts and her financial skills set. Professionally, Anna worked as an auditor at Price Waterhouse and has held other corporate accounting roles. Through volunteer positions at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Council for the Arts of Herndon, Herndon Community Television and various other arts organizations, Anna learned how impactful arts organizations are to the communities they serve: culturally, artistically and economically. Anna continues to seek out ways to help arts organizations stay on sound financial ground.

Richard L. Lyon

Richard L. Lyon is an attorney who is admitted to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia. He is engaged in the private practice of law with a concentration in estate and trust matters. He has lectured and written extensively in that concentration. A graduate of Georgetown University and University of Maryland School of Law, he and his family reside in Rockville, Maryland. He is an active member of the poetry community and serves on the Folger Poetry Board of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

Ben Martz

Dr. Wm. Benjamin Martz, Jr. is dean of the College of Business and chair of the Department of Business Administration at Shepherd University. Dr. Martz earned his Ph.D. in business-management information systems from the University of Arizona, master’s degree in management information systems from the University of Arizona, and his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the College of William and Mary.

Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas is the co-founder, storyteller, and Chief Imaginator of Kalamata’s  itchen, a brand and book series with Random House Children’s Books whose mission is to inspire families to experience the whole world through adventures with food. Kalamata’s Kitchen is also developing an animated series with Ron Howard’s production company Imagine Kids+Family. Before developing Kalamata’s Kitchen, Thomas was a sommelier at Le Bernardin, a three-Michelin-star restaurant in Manhattan. She also earned her MPhil in English Literature from Cambridge University in 2010.

Magda Tondera

A native of Poland, Magda Tondera attended Shepherd University where she earned a bachelor of science in management with a minor in Spanish. She also holds an MBA from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. She is a licensed CPA and is nearing a completion of a master of science in taxation from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California, in August 2019. Magda progressed professionally by working at such public accounting firms as MGO (Macias Gini and O’Connell LLP) and Gallina LLP (now Clifton Larson Allen) in the Sacramento, California, area and for DHG (Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP) at its West Virginia locations. She currently works as a senior tax manager for The Winebow Group, LLC, a fine wine and spirits importer and distributor at its headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. She oversees all things tax for the company. An avid lover of the arts, Magda enjoys visiting fine arts museums, attending theater and dance performances, and she returns to Shepherd for literary and theatrical occasions.

Stacey Waite

Stacey Waite is Associate Professor of English at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and is the author of: Choke, Love Poem to Androgynythe lake has no saint, and Butch Geography. Waite’s poems have appeared most recently in Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Cherry Tree and Court Green. Waite’s newest book is a mixed genre text entitled, Teaching Queer: Radical Possibilities for Writing and Knowing, published by University of Pittsburgh Press in 2017.