Caffè Lena Board of Directors
Jocelyn Arem, Caffè Lena History Project Director – Jocelyn is a folklorist, musician, lecturer and Library of Congress Parsons Award scholar who divides her time between North Carolina and NYC. She holds advanced degrees in Ethnomusicology and Folklore. Her research on Caffè Lena appears on NPR, in The New York Times, The American Folklife Center News, and The New York Folklore Journal. Jocelyn divides her research time between North Carolina, Washington DC, and New York.
William Belcher, Greenwich, NY - Bill is Director of Development at MASS MoCA. Prior to his gig in Massachusetts, Bill was the Senior Director of Corporate, Government, and Foundation Relations at The Sage Colleges. As a writer and development professional, he has led writing workshops in New York and Massachusetts, worked as a Grant Writer for The Hyde Collection, and served as a community workshop facilitator / reading series coordinator for Inkberry.
Sarah Craig, Shushan, NY (see below)
Michael Eck, Albany, NY - Michael Eck is a nationally-recognized arts reporter and cultural critic. He is also a singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and roots scholar, with a deep love of historic American music. He has been performing at Caffe Lena for over 20 years and often assists with producing and hosting fundraising concerts.
Bob Goepfert, Ballston Lake, NY - Bob is a respected area arts administrator. He served as the Executive Director of Albany’s Palace Theatre for 14 years. Before that he was the Marketing Director of Proctors Theatre in Schenectady. For over 30 years Bob has contributed feature stories and reviews to several area newspapers. His theater reviews can be heard on PBS radio at WAMC.
Stanley McGaughey, Shushan, NY: Chairman - Stan was chairman of the Caffè Lena Board of Directors during the campaign to purchase its building and resumed the chairmanship in 2008. He spent 30 years at Skidmore College in information technology and is a lifelong composer, writing music for chamber and jazz ensembles, choirs, and solo instruments.
Gary M. Moon, Lake George, NY: Recording Secretary - Gary is a long-time volunteer, singer/songwriter and open mic host for Caffe Lena, having first performed here in 1982. His profession is computer technology.
Bob Rehm, Gansevoort, NY : Treasurer
George Ward, Rexford, NY - Folklorist, singer of traditional songs and songwriter, George first came to Caffe Lena the year it opened. He’s been performer, audience and – since the Caffe incorporated – board member ever since. “Many small arts venues don’t outlive their founding visionaries,” he says. “The Caffe has. That’s our ongoing trust and challenge.”
Brent Wilkes, Saratoga Springs, NY - Brent Wilkes has a great appreciation of music, believing it to be the most emotional form of expression. He has devoted his professional career to improving the management of municipal governments and non-profit associations. He has served, and currently serves, on a number of boards of community organizations. He and his wife, Linda, reside in Saratoga Springs with their two Jack Russell Terriers, Guinness and Stout.
Rob Woods, Wilton, NY: Vice Chairman - Rob Woods spent most of his career at Utica College, where he was Dean of Students. He became involved with Caffe Lena out of his love of music and his desire to help the Caffe develop plans for its future.
Caffè Lena Staff
Director & Bookings – Sarah Craig - Sarah handles booking and publicity, and works with volunteers on everything from strategic planning to baking cookies. Her husband played New Lost City Ramblers records throughout their courtship, thereby making her a Folkie. Before coming to Lena’s in 1995 she worked with Massachusetts Peace Action, following a stint as a VISTA volunteer and four years at the University of Vermont.
Associate Director – Dianne Winter - Dianne oversees the Caffe’s financial management and development activities. Growing up in West Virginia, the seeds of folk music were planted early. After four years with a consulting firm, she found herself too far removed from her roots, leading her to complete her MA in Arts Management at American University. While in Washington, DC she discovered her love of intimate performance spaces and all things folk-inspired.
Sound – Joe Deuel -
Baker – Lizzie Mehrtens - A native of New Orleans, Lizzie arrived in Saratoga in 1976 and was hired by Lena to clean the Caffe after every show for $25 a week. She’s a life-long baker, including a stint as the head baker for her commune at age eighteen (yup, commune). She’s been baking the Caffe’s desserts here in Lena’s kitchen every week since 1996.
Office Assistant – Anne Hodge - Anne walked up the stairs one evening in 1999 to volunteer for a show, having heard of the Caffè from a musical friend in CT. Halfway up, on the landing, she paused to take in the scene, breathed the air, and her fate was sealed. She’s been here ever since as volunteer, board member, Assistant Manager, and now as Office Assistant.
Sunday House Manager – Cheryl Jenks - Cheryl started attending performances at Caffe Lena in her teenage years in the mid 70’s. Her first show was Michael Cooney, the One Man Folk Festival. She was hooked. She’s a Mom, Grandmother, musician, Skidmore grad, researcher, x-ray tech and coolest of all—the Sunday night manager at Caffe Lena.
Open Mic Manager – John Wilson - John Wilson is a long-haired hooligan who believes he must have volunteered at the Caffe in a past life. He’s the founder and director of a local acting troupe (Tyranny of Evil Men), and he loves the Caffe with all his heart.