Val McCarthy, Executive Director
Valeri McCarthy is the Executive Director of Arts for All of Northern Michigan. With over twenty years of experience in various capacities, she has developed a strong understanding of the organization’s operations and fundraising. She can effectively manage multiple aspects of the organization’s business, including fundraising and staff development. In addition to being an artist, Valeri has a background in human resource management, graphic & web design, writing, and illustration.
As the Executive Director of Arts for All, she can oversee the organization’s various programs and activities, which are designed to provide individuals with the necessary skills to experience the joy of arts and cultural experiences, with an emphasis on creating a sense of belonging, for and among all, in her community.
Valeri is driven by her passion for helping others and her ability to follow her mission and inspire the people around her. She believes that she is well-positioned to lead and is committed to building strong relationships with community members. In her free time, she enjoys being active in the outdoors and writing children’s books.
Diane Frederick, Programs Director
Diane Frederick is a filmmaker and film educator. Her work has taken her around the country, from Los Angeles to rural Alaska, New York, and Northern Michigan. Diane looks forward to developing more teaching workshops and other creative programs for Arts for All.
Caroline Simaz —Board Co-Chair, Traverse City, MI
Cherryland Electric Cooperative
Caroline is employed at Cherryland Electric Cooperative as a GIS Technician. She has been on the Arts for All board for six years.
Ellie Vratanina – Board Co-Chair, Traverse City, MI
Real Estate One
Ellie has been a realtor with Real Estate One in Traverse City, MI for the past thirteen years and has been an Arts for All Board Member for six years. She also serves on the Real Estate One Charitable Foundation Executive Board of Directors for Northern MI.
Elizabeth Clarke—Board Secretary, Traverse City, MI.
West Shore Bank
Liz is a branch manager with West Shore Bank and sits on the Finance and Governance committee for Arts for All. She has been on the board for eight years.
Nick & Lois Edson —Board Member, Traverse City, MI.
Cherryland Electric Cooperative (retired)
Nick was an editor of the Traverse City Record-Eagle for 25 years and Country Lines Magazine for 15 years. He has been on the A4A board for four years. Nick has served several local boards: the YMCA board for nine years, with two as board chair; the NMC Scholarship Committee board for six years, with three as board chair; the TC Rotary Club board for two years; Communities In Schools board for three years (and running), taking over as board chair this fall.
Chris Wendel – Board Member, Traverse City
Business Advisor, Northern Initiatives
Chris Wendel works for Northern Initiatives, a community development financial institution (CDFI) that provides financing and technical assistance to small businesses throughout Michigan. He graduated from University of Colorado, before settling in northern Michigan in 1988. Chris resides in Traverse City where he enjoys running, swimming and walking the family dog Pancake (pictured left).
Robin Smillie – Board Member, Traverse City
School Liaison, Big Brothers Big Sisters
Robin Smillie is the School Liaison for Big Brothers Big Sisters and has a passion for creating and nurturing meaningful, lasting relationships and hopes to do this as a board member for Arts for All. She has served on the boards of Planned Parenthood, the HIV/Aids Wellness Network and the Traverse City West Band Parent Organization. As a twenty-year TCAPS volunteer she created connections and friendships that remain today. “I am thrilled to join the Arts for All board. I believe that the arts add enrichment, provide an avenue for self-expression and improve the quality of our lives. Everyone is entitled to access to the arts.”
Robin and her husband Dave have called Traverse City their home since 1991 and raised their children here. Kendall is a kindergarten teacher at Traverse Heights Elementary and Bryce is an architect for a firm based in the Corktown area of Detroit.