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 firstname.lastname@example.org for an application and additional information.
BOARD of TRUSTEES
- Andrew J. Crystal, President
- Stuart Mieher, Treasurer
- Linda McInerney, Clerk
- Robert Cilman
- Susan G. Fentin
- Leah Kunkel
- Marylin Richards
- Bob Reckman
- Kathy San Antonio
- David Narkewicz (Ex-Officio)
- Carol Christ (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.
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.
Bob Cilman is probably best known as the director of the celebrated Young@Heart Chorus. Since he helped found the local chorus in 1982, Cilman has directed what was once a fledgling group of off-key elders into an internationally acclaimed chorus that performs songs as varied as the Rolling Stones and Ramones. As the chorus gained visibility on stages around the world, it also caught the attention of a documentary filmmaker. The resulting film was so popular that Fox Searchlight released it in mainstream cinemas. In recent years, the group — whose current performers range in age from 73 to 89 — also released a CD, “Mostly Live.” Bob has served as the group’s director throughout its remarkable young history. Additionally, he is the executive director of the Northampton Arts Council, which presents a broad range of arts events at the historic Academy of Music Theatre. His fondness for the venue is evident in his service on the board.
Susan Fentin is a labor and employment attorney with the law firm of Skoler Abbott and Presser. Before entering law, Susan headed a Springfield marketing and advertising firm. This combination of legal acumen and marketing expertise offers a unique contribution to the board for the Academy. A resident of Conway, Susan has longstanding ties to the Greater Northampton community, as a former resident, student at Smith College and teacher at the Campus School. She enjoys helping to keep the Academy thriving as a member of the board.
Leah Kunkel is a local attorney and former songwriter and background vocalist. Her voice can be heard on numerous recordings, including those of Arlo Guthrie, Livingston Taylor, Jackson Browne, Carly Simon and Art Garfunkel. Having resided in Northampton for a quarter century, Leah has served the community in many capacities. During her tenure on the Center for the Arts Board of Directors, the center paid off its debt, increased First Night attendance and launched the “Eat Your Art Out” fundraiser. A member of the advisory board for the Institute of the Musical Arts, Leah teaches voice at the institute’s Rock and Roll Camp for Girls. Her inside knowledge of the performing arts is an asset to the board.
After retiring from a 15-year tenure as Director of External Affairs at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Marylin Richards served in several interim positions including the CEO of United Way of Hampshire County. A resident of Northampton, Marilyn has also served in local government as a councilor on the Northampton City Council and a member of the Northampton Planning Board. Marilyn is a proud member of the Pioneer Valley Symphony where she has played violin for the last six years. Marilyn shares her love for the city, philanthropy and the arts to the Academy Board
Bob Reckman is a retired building contractor and owner of Construct Associates. Throughout his 34 years living in Northampton, he has served the city in many capacities. Those include serving a term as the City Council representative for the neighborhood in which he resides, serving as the president of the Ward Three Neighborhood Association, as co-chair of the JFK Middle School Building Committee, and as a member of the Board of Public Works. Bob’s knowledge of the city’s operations and historic buildings adds to the diverse expertise on the board
Kathy San Antonio has worked in events management at Smith College for the past twelve years, where her primary responsibilities include oversight of the scheduling program used for the College’s vibrant, busy and wide-ranging schedule of non-academic events. This role provides her with the opportunity to work with all constituencies of the college, nicely fitting her need to have the big picture perspective in whatever she does. Kathy has lived in the Valley for most of the past 35 years. Coming back after some time away deepened her awareness of and appreciation for the many historical, natural, and cultural riches that we enjoy here, the Academy of Music topping that list.
David Narkewicz is serving his first term as mayor of Northampton, a role that includes acting as an ex officio member of the board for the Academy of Music, which is owned by the citizens of Northampton. David has been actively involved in numerous community organizations, most notably the Northampton Education Foundation, where he is a twelve-year board member and has served as Co-President. He has served as a citizen appointee to the Transportation and Parking Commission (2003-2005) and the Zoning Board of Appeals (1999-2003).
An esteemed scholar of English literature and a recognized leader in higher education, Carol T. Christ is the 10th president of Smith College, a role that includes acting as an ex officio member of the board for the Academy. Carol came to Smith in 2002 following a 30-year career in teaching and administration at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2007, Yale University Graduate School presented Carol with its highest honor, the Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal, in recognition of her distinguished achievements in scholarship, teaching, administration and public service. Carol has an avid interest in music, and has studied the piano since childhood and learned to play the viola as an adult.