Seth Lepore is a performing artist, educator, arts advocate and connector. He has created eight solo shows since 1997 and currently tours the audience-driven monologue Kickin’ Ass and Takin’ Names. He performs a monthly observational satire show in Easthampton. His crash course The Nuts and Bolts of Being a Performing Artist has been hosted by art organizations and colleges throughout the country. He is currently writing Ruthless Reciprocity: A Living Document to Transform the Performing Arts Community.
Sita Magnuson is an astute listener, with a highly developed capacity for translating complex conversations, dialogues and presentations into visual form in the service of individual and collective understanding and action. She has over 16 years experience in the field of collaborative design and facilitation. When she’s not engaged with her two young children, she plays music and has a newly developed obsession with Google Earth.
María José Giménez is a translator, editor, and rough-weather poet with a rock climbing problem. A freelance translator and copy editor working in English, Spanish, and French, María José serves as board member of the Northampton Survival Center and the American Literary Translators’ Organization.
Jen Turner assists small to mid-sized businesses navigate their changing environments using a financial perspective. She also facilitates collaborations between individuals and resources by networking as much as possible and participating in the 2015 class of Leadership Pioneer Valley. Mother of two small children, Jen also volunteers as Treasurer for the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School Family Association, where her son attends school. In her spare time, she creates collage art and binge watches Netflix next to her husband, 2 cats and dog.
Jim Bliss is a musician and gardener at heart, and has aspirations of building custom greenhouses (among other things) one day. He is currently the co-founder of an online marketing firm that specializes in interactive ad campaigns, analytics and reporting. Jim also sits on the board of the Nonotuck Community School, where his son attends. He is also an incredible cook (can you tell that his wife Sita is writing this?)
Suzanne tames wild information products. She currently works for LegiStorm, a company that combines sophisticated technology with hard-nosed research to provide intelligence on the inner workings of Congress. When she’s not wrestling data feeds into submission, Suzanne can be found running long distances at tortoise-like speeds, seeking out inventive uses for farmshare vegetables, or volunteering at a VITA low-income taxpayer clinic.
For over a decade, Fran Hutchins has been committed to fighting for equality for LGBTQ people. Since 2012, she has been with Equality Federation, the strategic partner to state equality groups such as MassEquality and EqualityMaine. Through leadership development, strategic and advocacy planning, and campaign and organizational development, Fran helps local leaders build the movement to win equality in the communities they call home.
Raised in Brazil and rooted in western Massachusetts since 2003, Elena Langdon is a translator, interpreter, and language access consultant. She is on the board of directors of the New England Translators Association and helps produce and host webinars for the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care. The mother of three young kids, she also finds time for triathlon and Sudoku.
William Moore writes short fiction. He plays guitar as though his hands were made of ham, which might be endearing, and he would sooner give up his car than his ice cream maker. He’s also written technical documentation, plain language health materials, and web copy. He lives in Easthampton with his wife and daughter.
Ryan is the creative director of Saving Daylight, a boutique documentary production company that tells stories in nearly every format. He’s directed feature films, animated TV series, radio documentaries and non-profit web videos. His work has been featured on Showtime, This American Life, The BBC, The New York Times, PBS NOVA, and StoryCorps, among others.
Jamie has made a career out of renewable energy. After 10 years working with a solar education and advocacy organization in New York, Jamie has spent the last 4 years applying his knowledge as a recruiter for clean energy companies across the U.S. with a small dash of IT consulting work on the side. He’s the father of 2 energetic boys who use him like a jungle gym. Outside of work you might find him puttering in the garden, playing hockey, towing a kid or two down the bike path and eating too many bagels.
For over 15 years, Mike has been staring at a computer screen, bringing all sorts of characters to life through the power of animation. His work can be found in commercials, video games, film and in some of the country’s top museums. Never content with the ordinary world, he has co-founded NuHalu, a company that brings fantasy into the real world using the magic of mixed reality. He loves watching movies, cooking for his family (and himself), being in awe of nature – sometimes even photographing it – and can often be found torturing his bass guitar to some 80’s song or obscure prog music.
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Peggy enjoys helping independent talent thrive in the creative arts. At video game agency Digital Development Management, she currently works on top grossing video game crowdfunded campaigns. She previously organized the Paint & Pixel Festival, a small press expo for top regional children’s book illustrators, comic artists, and web comic creators. She founded Pioneer Valley Crowdworks, a community resource to help individuals and organizations in Western Mass successfully use Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other crowdfunding platforms.