Members of the Board of Trustees are volunteers who contribute a variety of skills and expertise toward the operation of the theater. Individuals who are interested in joining the board should contact the Academy at email@example.com for an application and additional information.
BOARD of TRUSTEES
- Andrew J. Crystal, President
- Gail Yacuzzo, Vice-President
- Stuart Mieher, Treasurer
- Linda McInerney, Clerk
- Brian Foote
- Amanda Herman
- Jennifer Rippel
- Minh Ly
- Gina Wall
- Kathleen McCartney (Ex-Officio)
- David Narkewicz (Ex-Officio)
For more than two decades, Andrew Crystal has been a civic leader. Fifteen years of that time he was the chair or a member of the city’s Planning Board and a vocal advocate that projects be well designed. As vice president of O’Connell Development Group of Holyoke, Andrew has developed and managed several notable area projects, including The Village Commons in South Hadley and the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. A city resident, Andrew’s lifelong appreciation for the performing arts drew him to the Academy. He serves on the board to ensure that generations to come will be able to enjoy the historic theater.
A long-time resident and former co-owner of Eastside Grill, Gail Yacuzzo has been actively involved with the Academy for over a decade. As co-owner of Eastside Grill for 25 years, she served on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. Her other interests led her to community service with the Friends of Children as Board President and she currently sits on the Childs Park Association as Board Vice-President. She enjoys employing her history of the organization and operations expertise to bolster the continued growth of the Academy of Music and its flourishing arts community.
Stuart Mieher is a member of the investment management team at Select Equity Group, a New York-based firm that oversees a large stock portfolio. Earlier in his career, he worked as a journalist with the Wall Street Journal and later as a business consultant with Monitor Group, a Cambridge-based consulting firm, before moving to Northampton in 2002. He enjoys putting his business experience to work in the service of the Pioneer Valley’s vibrant performing arts community.
For more than 20 years Linda McInerney has worked as an actor, singer, director, and producer in New York and throughout New England, with credits including Circle Repertory Company and ABC’s All My Children. She co-created, directed and produced the original musical, “Women in Arms” that was presented at the Academy of Music in 2006. Currently the artistic director of Old Deerfield Productions, Linda has many credits to her name. A resident of Deerfield, she has also taught theater at Deerfield Academy, Deerfield Elementary School, Eaglebrook School and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She brings her deep knowledge of the theater and connections to that community to the board.
Brian Foote is the Director of the Northampton Arts Council and the City of Northampton’s Arts and Culture Department. He has worked in retail, sales, education, banking, business development, marketing, fundraising, venue management, and event production. He attended Bard College and graduated with a B.A double-majoring in Political Studies and Latin America-Iberian Studies. He went on to receive an M.A. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in Political Science. He is a dedicated community member with a passion to make positive change..
Amanda Herman is the editor and producer of Live Art Magazine, an annual art and music magazine created for the stage and held at the Academy of Music in Northampton, MA. She also an independent multi-media artist who works directly with communities to create films, photographs and public events that address complex social issues. She holds MFA in Social Practice from California College of the Arts in San Francisco where she was resident faculty from 2008-2011. She was a visiting lecturer of Art at Smith College in 2014-15 and is now teaching Art & Social Practice at Amherst College. She’s committed to building community through art and sees the Academy of Music as a crucial piece of Northampton’s creative landscape.
Jennifer Rippel,CPA is the Assistant Controller at The O’Connell Companies, Inc., a construction and real estate development company in Holyoke. A resident of Northampton and a Smith College alumna, she currently serves as a board member of the Smith Students’ Aid Society and formerly as treasurer for the Hampshire County Smith Club. She enjoys using her general financial knowledge and experience to help ensure the vitality of the Academy.
Minh Ly is the Associate Director for Assessment at Smith College. With expertise in evaluation, he conducts research to determine if programs work and how students learn. During his twelve years at Smith, Minh has fostered a culture of continual curricular and institutional improvement through meaningful collaboration. His research interests focus on programs that promote access and inclusion for all students in higher education. A Pioneer Valley resident for over 20 years, he holds a deep appreciation for the area and the community. Minh is a firm believer and beneficiary of arts education, and is grateful for the Academy’s important place within the region. He enjoys attending art events throughout the valley with his wife, Kathy Foley, and their two children.
Gina Wall retired in 2013 after more than a 30-year career at Hampshire OB-GYN Associates, Inc. in medical practice management, where she was responsible for all operations and finance. She has held leadership roles for the national Medical Group Management Association, through which she also became a Certified Medical Practice Executive, and served a term as President of its Obstetrics and Gynecology Assembly. During her early career and while attending the University of Massachusetts, she was a vocalist with several local bands performing music from many genres including rock and jazz. She was a classically trained dancer studying ballet under the tutelage of Michael Arnaud at the Amherst School of Ballet, where she was also a ballet instructor for pre-school aged children. She also taught beginning ballet to adults in the Town of Amherst’s continuing education program and was a ballet instructor at the University of Massachusetts while finishing her B.S. degree in Public Health. Gina currently serves as a volunteer on the Community Investment Committee of the United Way of Hampshire County. Gina lives in Florence with her husband, Michael J. Wall.
Kathleen McCartney (ex officio) is the eleventh president of Smith College. Before coming to Smith, McCartney was dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, only the fifth woman dean in the history of Harvard University. The first in her family to attend college, McCartney received her bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and her master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from Yale University. She and her husband, Bill Hagen, live in the president’s house on the Smith campus and are proud to call Northampton home.
David Narkewicz (ex-officio) is the 44th Mayor of the City of Northampton. Mayor Narkewicz was first elected in 2011 and was reelected to a four-year term in 2013. Prior to serving as the city’s Chief Executive Officer, he was elected to three terms on the Northampton City Council and served as City Council President from 2010-2011. David is an Air Force veteran and earned his bachelors degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He and his wife, Dr. Yelena Mikich, have two teenage daughters who attend Northampton High School.