The Fine Arts Association of Willoughby, serving Northeast Ohio graphic

Our executive staff


Linda Wise

Linda Wise, CEO

is responsible for the development, oversight and coordination of the properties, affairs and finances of The Fine Arts Association. She holds an M.E. in Education Administration from Kent State University; and a B.M. in Music Education from Miami University. She served as a member of the Board of Education of Solon City Schools for 19 years, 5 as president, and was awarded an honorary lifetime membership to Ohio PTA. Linda taught music at Hawken Middle and Lower School for 6 years and then became Assistant Director of the Middle School in 2000. She is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Lake County and has served as President of the Willoughby Rotary. She is currently Secretary of the board of the Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce.  Ms. Wise is also a member of Western Reserve Junior Service League and Painesville United Methodist Church.
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photo of Jeannie Fleming-Gifford

Jeannie Fleming-Gifford, Director of Education & Lead Director

Jeannie Fleming-Gifford holds a B.A. in music (French Horn) and a M.A. in child development.

Prior to joining the team at The Fine Arts Association, Fleming-Gifford was the Director of CHABAM (Children Have Active Bodies And Minds). This locally owned, start-up company’s mission was to provide quality, developmentally appropriate arts education program for the youngest learners and their families. Fleming-Gifford was charged with developing an early childhood multi-arts curriculum, hiring and training a team of educators, and working with the owners on the creation of a unique, interactive environment for families.

Jeannie also brings the experiences of more traditional arts education roles, with both Center for Arts- Inspired Learning and The Columbus Symphony Orchestra (Columbus, OH). She served as Education Director with both of these non-profit organizations. In both of these capacities, Jeannie worked with professional artists and musicians, area educators and the community to build and implement quality arts education programs.

Before launching in arts administration, Fleming-Gifford worked for COSI Columbus, an interactive science center. It is here she developed COSI’s first preschool workshop programs which are still going strong today. She was also a team member of the design team, working on COSI’s new 300,000 sq. foot museum. Specifically, she focused on the early childhood environments.

Fleming-Gifford has been recognized as an emerging leader in the Cleveland area, having been selected and completed the Cleveland Bridge Builders Leadership Training Program. Previously, she has served as a Board Member of The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, has been a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and was the PR/Marketing Chairperson for Guiding Eyes for the Blind (Cuyahoga region).

Her personal passions include running, yoga, and being a volunteer puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
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Amy Sabath, Director of Development

Ms. Sabath raises funds to support The Fine Arts Association through individual donations, as well as corporate, foundation and government grants. She has a BS in Communications and a minor in Journalism from Kent State University. She is also a graduate of the JoAnn Davidson Ohio Leadership Institute.

For over 15 years, Ms. Sabath has had a successful Political Consulting business with Fundraising clients including Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Congressman Jim Renacci.  Amy continues to consult for several political candidates in Ohio as well as several nonprofits in Ohio, Florida, California and Colorado.  Amy also serves as Co-Chair of the non-partisan 2016 Organizing Committee dedicated to promoting and bringing business to Lake County during the RNC Convention.

Ms. Sabath is a member of the Board of Directors for the Salvation Army, Western Reserve Junior Service League and Catholics for Ohio. She also serves on the Saint Gabriel Parish Council and volunteers for the Mother Teresa Society Meals on Wheels program. Amy also teaches classes for the Choose Life Program in Northeast Ohio.

Amy also enjoys traveling for fun as often as possible, trying new restaurants, wine tastings, and attending concerts.

David Malinowski
Roger and Anne Clapp Chair of Performing Arts

David began his relationship with The Fine Arts Association in 1983 as a violin student of Dr. Carol Linsenmeier. His interest and fondness of theatre began and developed while a member of the Youth Orchestra between 1990-92. In December of ’93, he appeared in his first production, Babes in Toyland. David continued his theatrical and musical training at FAA until he graduated from Notre Dame Cathedral Latin School in 1998.

A professional actor and director, David earned his BA in Theatre with Minors in English and Philosophy at Ashland University. He has been acting for twenty years and been teaching for seven. David’s previous directing credits at FAA include Willy Wonka, Doctor Dolittle, Alice in Wonderland, and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. He has directed at other area theatres including Almost, Maine, God of Carnage and The Maltese Bodkin (Chagrin Valley Little Theatre), Of Mice and Men (Geauga Lyric Theatre Guild), An Evening of David Ives and #MyLife (co-directed with Sandy Kosovich Peck at South High School).

David runs the Theatre program at Notre Dame Elementary as well as The Breckenridge Village Players. He is also a Baritone with the North Coast Men’s Chorus. Some of David’s favorite acting credits include The Sound of Music (Captain Von Trapp), The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (Wackford Squeers/Mulberry Hawk), Doubt: A Parable (Father Flynn), Frost/Nixon (David Frost) at Rabbit Run Theatre, Cats (Munkustrap) at GLTG and A Tuna Christmas (11 roles) at CVLT. David has directed, stage-managed and performed at many local theatres including, FAA, CVLT, GLTG, The Beck Centre for the Arts, the Jewish Community Center, and the Cleveland Play House. 
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photo of Wanda Wareham

Wanda Wareham, Director of Communications and Marketing & Customer Service Supervisor

joined The Fine Arts Association as Director of Communications and Marketing in 2001. She is responsible for the development and coordination of all marketing, publicity, public relations, media relations and advertising for the organization. She also supervises the Customer Service Department.

Before coming to Fine Arts Ms. Wareham held the position of Executive Director of the Willoughby Area Chamber of Commerce for twelve years. She holds a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from Clarion University in PA and earned a certification in Organizational Management from the Institutes for Organization Management at the University of Notre Dame. She completed the Dale Carnegie Course and was awarded the Highest Award for Achievement by her peers.

Wanda currently serves on the Steering Committee of Lake Kidz Biz. Formerly she served on the boards of Lake Communicators (holding the positions of President and Treasurer), the American Marketing Association (Cleveland Chapter)where she held the positions of Hospitality and Programming chairs, United Way of Lake County, Lake County Council on Aging and Chamber of Commerce Executives of Ohio.

In her spare time Wanda enjoys reading, needlework, attending arts events and most importantly spending time with family and friends.
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photo of Shellie Knupp

Shellie Knupp, Director of Finance

is responsible for the oversight and coordination of all financial matter at The Fine Arts Association.

Ms. Knupp has over twenty years of accounting experience, ten of those in the non-profit sector. She was formerly a Senior Accountant for a social outreach organization with a wide range of programming including education programs. She was also a Finance Manager for a spiritually based organization and a Director of Finance for a medical non-profit corporation. In addition she has served on the Stewardship Committee of a religious based organization.

Shellie enjoys working with non-profits that are making a difference in peoples' lives. The Fine Arts Association is giving the community a special gift, the ability to grow in one's chosen art.

Shellie says, "The Fine Arts Association has given me the unique opportunity of combining my professional skills with my love for the arts."
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Support Staff

Judy Nagel

Judy Nagel, Adminstrative Coordinator

joined The Fine Arts Association staff in 2007.  She works directly with the CEO, Director of Finance, Board of Directors and Development Department. Among her various responsibilities she also coordinates the rental of the facility.
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Ann Hedger

Ann Hedger, Programming Coordinator

has been involved with The Fine Arts Association's theatre productions since 1982. She joined the office staff full time in 1994 and currently is the Programming Coordinator working with both the Theatre and Education Departments and handling the Fine Arts IT system. In addition, Ann has performed, directed and stage managed over 80 productions at the Fine Arts and other area theatres over the past 25 years. Ann created the FAA Annual One Act Festival and has been involved as an actor or director since its inception in 1997. She has directed productions at many area theatres and favorite directing projects include To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday at the River Street Playhouse, Frost/Nixon, Educating Rita, Broadway Bound, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Sleuth at Rabbit Run Theatre and You Can't Take it With You and Barefoot in the Park at Geauga Lyric Theater Guild.
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photo of Brett Harris

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Supported by:

United Way Lake County logo The Riverbend Fund graphic Ohio Arts Council logo National Endowment of the Arts logo The South Waite Foundation graphic The Women's Committee of The Fine Arts Association graphic Lake County Vistors Bureau logo