Officers

Chair

E. Scott Johnson, Baltimore, MD

E. Scott Johnson is co-chair of the Copyright, Media and Entertainment Group at Baker Donelson,  a national law firm. His practice includes copyright, trademark, licensing, entertainment, and media law matters. Since 2003, Scott has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law; he was named Best Lawyers’ Baltimore “2013 Music Lawyer of the Year”; and Baltimore “2015 Copyright Lawyer of the Year.” Johnson served on Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Board from 1997-2007 and was Chair from 2003-2006. He is a past Chair of the Maryland State Arts Council and recipient of the 2011 Arts Advocate of the Year Award from Maryland Citizens for the Arts. Johnson has served on the boards of CityLit Project (past Chair), Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (past President), and Creative Alliance. He currently serves on the board of Young Audiences of Maryland (past President), Maryland Film Industry Coalition (immediate past Chair), and Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (Secretary). He is a member of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. and The Recording Academy.

Vice Chair

Hal Real, Rockland, DE

Hal Real is the Founder and President of Real Entertainment Group, creator and operator of the nationally-acclaimed World Cafe Live music, restaurant and event venues located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania since 2004 and Wilmington, Delaware (2011-2017). In 2008 he helped a team of artists and educators launch LiveConnections, a nonprofit organization that inspires learning and builds community through collaborative music-making. Currently he is President of LiveConnections and Vice Chair of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. Hal also serves on the board of the Freire (Charter Schools) Foundation, Philadelphia’s Fringe Arts, the Philadelphia Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Board and the Chairman’s Council of the Philadelphia Zoo. In the past he served as board Chair of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, a board and executive committee member of People’s Light (Malvern, PA), Chair of the Main Line Chamber of Commerce and as a board member of the Light Up the Queen Foundation, the Wilmington Leaders Alliance and the President’s Advisory Council of the Delaware College of Art and Design.

Treasurer

J. Mack Wathen, Newark, DE

J. Mack Wathen recently retired as Vice President, Support Services at Pepco Holdings, Inc. (Potomac Electric Power Company, Delmarva Power, and Atlantic City Electric Company), where he served in executive leadership roles for 18 years. He is currently the Chairman of the Delaware State Arts Council. Mr. Wathen has served in a volunteer capacity with other organizations in the arts community and beyond including the Arts Consortium of Delaware, the Delaware College of Art and Design, the Center for the Creative Arts (past Board Member), and the Food Bank of Delaware (current Board Member).

Secretary

Barbara Bershon, Leonardtown, MD

Barbara Bershon was appointed to the Maryland State Arts in 2008 and served as Chair from 2012 to 2014. Bershon also serves on the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Board and was elected Secretary in 2015. Bershon is the Emeritus Executive Director of the Chesapeake Orchestra in Southern Maryland. She is also a past president of the St. Mary’s County Arts Council. For many years Bershon was Director of Arts Outreach at St. Mary’s College of Maryland where she was
the Managing Director of the River Concert Series at the College. Bershon earned her Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Maryland and has been an Adjunct Professor in Psychology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and American University in Washington, DC. Her publications include: Tales of teenage survival: Former teens recount their adolescence and lived to tell about it, Lincoln, Nebraska: iUniverse (2007) and “Cooperative problem solving: A link to inner speech,” In N. Miller & R. Lazarowitz (Eds.) Interaction in cooperative groups: The theoretical anatomy of group learning, New York: Cambridge University Press (1992).

Directors

Romona Riscoe Benson, Philadelphia, PA

Romona Riscoe Benson is Director of Corporate Relations at PECO. She oversees a $6 million contributions budget and leads PECO’s sponsorships, community partnerships, employee engagement, and event and sports facility management programs. Previously she was the President and CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia. She served for five years as the Executive Director of the PCVB’s Philadelphia Multicultural Affairs Congress where she produced the PECO Jazz Festival. Benson has also held the position of Senior Director of Visitor services and Community Relations with the New Jersey State Aquarium. Benson is a well-known jazz vocalist and has been performing in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia for over 30 years.

Susan Butler, Washington, DC

Susan Butler is a former Chair of the Board of The Studio Theatre and currently serves on the Board as Chair of  the Development Committee.  She is on the Board of the Phillips Collection where she serves on the Art Committee and Education Committee.  For fifteen years, she was Director of the Best Products Foundation, a corporate foundation.  She is a former board member of the Sexual Minority Youth Action League.  She was co-chair of the giving Circle at the Washington Area Women’s Foundation and a past President of the Washington Project of the Arts.  She formerly served on the Board of Overseers of the Corcoran Museum and the Board of Trustees of Washington and Lee University.

Stewart R. Cades, Philadelphia, PA

Stewart R. Cades is President and CEO of Overseas Strategic Consulting (OSC), Ltd. based in Philadelphia. OSC delivers effective, sustainable strategic and behavior change communications solutions in the world’s most challenging environments. Cades is also chairman of the board of Porcupine Press, Inc., a scholarly publishing company. He on the boards of the Fabric Workshop and Museum, the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, and the Audobon Society Pennsylvania. He is a past member of the boards of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Print Club, and the Foundation for Architecture. Cades earned a Masters of Education from Temple University, an L.L.B. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Susie Farr, Silver Spring, MD

Susie Farr was the Executive Director of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, College Park from 1999 until 2013 where she was responsible for the stewardship of the Center as a place for learning, exploration and growth through the performing arts. Farr was the Executive Director of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters from 1986 until 1999. Prior to her tenure at Arts Presenters, she served for six years as Director of Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley. She also held arts management positions at Stanford University. Farr has served on numerous review panels for private foundations, state arts agencies, and the National Endowment for the Arts as well as serving as a member of the Maryland State Arts Council. 

David E. Fedeles, Christiansted, VI

David E. Fedeles is one of St. Croix’s leading real-estate brokers with over 25 years’ experience. He is also a licensed Broker in New York City and has worked with both Douglas Elliman and Charles Rutenberg. Prior to entering the real estate business, Fedeles held executive positions in corporate sales, marketing, and general management with several Fortune 100 firms. He has served as President of the St. Croix Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. He is a member of the St. Croix Board of Realtors and the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce. For nine years, he served as a Trustee of the Good Hope School in Frederiksted, an independent, multicultural, college preparatory educational community.

Kay Kendall, Washington, DC

Kay Kendall is the Chair of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She has more than four decades of experience in arts, education and community outreach activities. She was a 25-year board member of the Washington Ballet, including eight years as its chair, and is currently on the boards of CityDance and THEARC. As the founder of Kendall+Associates in 2008, she is a consultant on fundraising and non-profit board governance, helping community groups build leadership and organizational structure. Since coming to Washington in 1977, Kendall has also been involved with the Maret School, the Kingsbury Center, Ashoka International and Children’s Hospital.

Susan S. Landis, Beckley, WV

Susan S. Landis chairs the West Virginia Commission on the Arts where she has served since 1998.  She is also Executive Director of the Beckley Area Foundation, a community foundation serving a several county region in southern West Virginia.  She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.  Susan is Secretary of the Board of Philanthropy West Virginia; a past President of the Beckley Rotary Club; a member of the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce; executive board member of the Friends of West Virginia Public Broadcasting; and a member of the West Virginia Humanities Council, Leave a Legacy of Greater West Virginia, the Beckley Concert Association, and the College of William and Mary Alumni Association.

Charlene “Suny” Monk, Amherst, VA

Charlene “Suny” Monk is the former Executive Director of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), a position she held from 1997 through 2011. Under her leadership, VCCA established and developed its international studio center in Southwest France, Le Moulin á Nef. Monk is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of New Vistas School in Lynchburg, president of Second Stage|Amherst, and past President of Virginians for the Arts. She is a former board member of Virginians for the Arts Foundation and Endstation Theatre Company. She has also served on the boards of The Alliance of Artist Communities, Lynchburg Fine Arts Center, and the Academy of Fine Arts (Lynchburg). In 2006, Monk was named Woman of the Year in the Arts by the YWCA Academy of Women of Central Virginia. Suny is a partner at Oxide Pottery in Lynchburg, VA.

Steven D. Spiess, Denver, CO

Steven D. Spiess is COO of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. Previously, he was the executive director of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. He is a founding board member of Americans for the Arts (AFTA) and served as its board chair from 2003-2011. He is the vice chair of Americans for the Arts Action Fund, and sits on the boards of the Arts & Business Council of New York and the Business Committee for the Arts. Steve served as a board member and treasurer of the American Council for the Arts (ACA) and was a member of the team responsible for the merger of ACA and the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies.

Margaret G. Vanderhye, Richmond, VA

Margaret G. Vanderhye is the Executive Director of the Virginia Commission on the Arts. She is a former member of the House of Delegates of the Virginia General Assembly representing the 34th District. She was appointed by Governor Douglas Wilder to the Virginia Commission on Population Growth and Development and to a four-year term (1992-1996) on the Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance Board. Vanderhye also served as the Chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Virginia Transportation Coordinating Council. President Bill Clinton appointed her to the National Capital Planning Commission where she chaired the Commission’s Joint Memorials Task Force. Governor Mark Warner appointed her to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority in 2002, and she was reappointed to the Authority by Governor Tim Kaine. She is former Vice Chair of the Board of McLean Project for the Arts (MPA), and twice served as Co-Chair of the MPA ArtFest, She is a Sustaining Director of the Prevent Cancer Foundation and a former board member of the Claude Moore Colonial Farm and Our Military Kids.