Board of Directors

Officers and Directors of The Salisbury Forum for 2018-2019 Season:

Mary Close Oppenheimer, President:  Mary worked as a graphic designer and illustrator in New York for ten years and then has worked almost exclusively as a fine artist focusing on painting and drawing. For over 25 years she has served on the board of The Reading Reform Foundation of New York which trained inner-city public school teachers phonetic-based teaching skills.  She also served on the board of the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council and is currently a member of the Salisbury Affordable Housing Commission.

Frank Fitzmaurice, Vice President:  Frank had a career of more than 35 years managing broadcast facilities and producing news and public affairs programs in Washington D.C.  He was executive producer of NPR's Morning Edition and was on the staff of American University's School of Communication. 

Jeanette Weber, Secretary:  As a National Educational Consultant and textbook author for McGraw-Hill, Jeanette was involved in many aspects of editorial, marketing, and sales of educational materials.   Since retirement she has served on the boards of several local organizations.

Bill Littauer, Treasurer:  Bill Littauer had a 50 year career in broadcast news as a reporter, producer, executive  producer and manager in Baltimore, Washington and New York.

Claudia Cayne, Emeritus: Claudia has been Director of the Scoville Memorial Library in Salisbury since 2002.

Caroline Burchfield:  Director of Community Relations and Development at Noble Horizons in Salisbury, CT, and the Coordinator of Community Service at The Hotchkiss School.  Caroline was Director of the Annual Fund at Hotchkiss from which she graduated as a member of the school's first class of girls. She has worked with The Jane Lloyd Fund for over a decade, the Salisbury Volunteer Ambulance Service and the Northwest Corner Triad.  Caroline attended St. Lawrence University (BA) and Wesleyan University (MALS).

Lee deBoer:  Lee was part of the early management team at Home Box Office and ultimately helped to chart its growth for nearly 20 years, focusing on expansion into new services and global markets.  Subsequently, he has served as the CEO for a number of digital media enterprises and as a longtime media industry consultant.

Joshua Ginsberg, Ph. D.:  President of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY.  He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and his B.S. from Yale University.  His career in conservation science spans 35 years and several continents. During the 1980s and 1990s, he led ecology and conservation projects in Asia and East and Southern Africa.  For 18 years at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), he held a series of senior management roles that benefited from his scientific, fiscal, and administrative expertise.  Dr. Ginsberg has been an adjunct professor at Columbia University since 1998.

Richard Lanier:  Chair of the Trust for Mutual Understanding and President Emeritus of the Asian Cultural Council. He is a member of the Asian Art Visiting Committee at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a former member of the President’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee, and currently serves on the boards of the Japan Society and the Little Guild.

Dennis Mincieli:  Dennis is a former Vice President of AKRF, Inc., one of the leading environmental and urban planning firms in the Northeast, where he directed the company’s real estate advisory group. He was previously a senior member of the real estate development subsidiary of Parsons Brinckerhoff and a partner in the Lord Company, real estate developers. Dennis continues to consult on economic development projects in the State of Connecticut and for Pure Earth/Blacksmith Institute, a global leader in toxic pollution cleanup.

Cynthia Rhys:  Cindy's first career was in the arts, where she performed opera, concerts, and straight theater, working on a wide range of projects with innovative creators from Meredith Monk to Arthur Miller.  With a background in the humanities, she then moved to the other side of the stage lights, presenting and writing for arts organizations.   Cindy is the sole proprietor of a company specializing in life transitions, organizing ideas, words, people and their transitions.

Donald Ross: Ross served for 2 years in the US Peace Corps (Nigeria); graduated from NYU law school; and worked as a consumer advocate for Ralph Nader.  He helped found and led the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), and then directed the Rockefeller Family Fund for 14 years.  Ross served as the Chair of Greenpeace USA.  He is a senior partner in the Albany-based law firm of Malkin & Ross.  For the last 8 years, he led the National Campaign to Reform State Juvenile Justice Systems for the John D & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Lisa Sheble: Lisa left New York for Salisbury in 1986. She had been Director of Publications and an instructor in photography at a girls’ day school. She also had a freelance photography business serving non-profit organizations. She became Director of Publications and taught photography at The Salisbury School. She also earned a Master’s degree in Religious Studies and now teaches World Religions and World Ethics. Her volunteer work includes the Salisbury Winter Sports Association, Women’s Support Service and Hands In Outreach, a small foundation dedicated to providing funds for the education of girls in Nepal.

Katherine "Shrevie" Shepherd:  Shrevie Shepherd lives in Sharon, CT with her husband and three sons, where they grow hops for local microbreweries. She recently graduated with a Master's in Social Work from University of Connecticut with a focus on international social work, social justice and community organizing.  Last year she worked at the United Nations focusing on the Global Compact for Migration. From 2004-2014, Shrevie lived in Abuja, Nigeria and Gaborone, Botswana working within pediatric HIV/AIDS clinics and as a small grants officer for the US State Department.

Electra Webb Tortorella:  Electra is Director of Donor Relations and Stewardship at Salisbury School.  Previous to this position, she served as Director of The Hotchkiss Fund for The Hotchkiss School.  Electra has also been the Associate Director of Development for Indian Mountain School, as well as Vice President, Corporate Operations for the AmeriCares Foundation in New Canaan, CT.  Electra served on the Sharon Board of Education for twelve years, ten as Chair.  In addition, she served on the All Board Chairs Committee, Region One for ten years, two as Chair.  Electra resides in Sharon with her husband Al and two children.