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Meet the Board

The following are the members of the Board of Trustees for Adirondack Folk School, a §501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization registered in New York State:

Tanya Tobias-Tomis

President – Tanya has two decades of non-profit experience, and is currently the Executive Director of The Lake George Arts Project. Tanya has a BFA in Art History from U Albany, and a MA in Arts Administration and Museum Education from Skidmore College. Tanya is a past Americans for the Arts Emerging Leader Scholarship Award Winner and has been an Americans for the Arts Emerging Leader Award Panelist, as well as an exhibition juror and guest speaker for many local and regional arts organizations. Tanya lives in Hadley with her husband, their four year old daughter, a feisty Akita mix, Odin, and the sweetest cat in the blueline, Meepers. Before she had a toddler, Tanya enjoyed doing yard work, woodworking and gardening. Tanya fell in love with The Adirondack Folk School while participating in an open forge night and when she has time again will be signing up for a blacksmithing class.

David Riihimaki

Treasurer –David Riihimaki has been a member of the Adirondack School Board of Directors since 2015 and a resident of Corinth since 2003. He has worked as a commercial banker for Glens Falls National Bank since 2013, helping business owners in the Capital region with their financial needs. On occasion, Dave’s wife, Meghan, and their children, Anna and Lila, can be found at the Folk School enjoying a slice of pizza from the on-site wood-fired pizza oven that Dave operates. The rest of the time, they make him feel like the luckiest guy in the world. Dave got involved with the Adirondack Folk School because it provides hands-on engagement with great projects and wonderful instructors and helps him feel more connected to the Adirondack region.

Patricia Goldberg

Secretary – Patricia worked as a mainframe computer programmer and owned her own consulting company for 25 years, working at many major companies in the New York and New Jersey area. She has been involved with the Adirondack Folk School since before it opened and has served as a board member, secretary, teacher and volunteer, but her favorite role is as a student. Patricia’s taken over 50 classes so far and has no plans to stop. She says there’s no place else where she can have so much fun learning a huge number of wonderful skills taught by amazing teachers. Patricia also hopes that her involvement in the Adirondack Folk School will be one way she can give back to the area she loves.

Cal Austin

Board Member – Cal splits his time between Hadley, NY and Manhattan, where he works in Innovation and Customer Experience at Pfizer. Buying a weekend getaway on the Hudson River 18 years ago gave Cal and his wife Annie a deep appreciation for the beauty and traditions of the Adirondacks. A maker and craftsman at heart, he was delighted when the Adirondack Folk School opened their doors in 2010. His first class had an immediate impact and he is happy to continue on the learning journey as well as contribute to the future growth and success of the school. 

Susie Brandt

Board Member – Susie Brandt is an artist and teacher who grew up downriver and around the mountain in Queensbury, NY. She now divides her time between the Adirondacks and Baltimore, Maryland where she is on the faculty of the Maryland Institute College of Art. A self-described “textile generalist,” she brings an abiding interest in forging communities through craft to the Adirondakc Folk School.

Kathleen Fagan

Kathleen Fagan

Board Member – Kathleen Fagan grew up in RI and graduated from Colgate University in 1978 with a BA in history. Her husband Chris (yes, this was back in the day and they married right after graduation) and she went overseas where he played professional basketball in Holland and France. They settled in Niskayuna in 1987 with their two daughters and Kathleen had a long career in sales and marketing in higher-education publishing. They bought a vacation home in Bolton Landing in 2014 and shortly thereafter Chris was diagnosed with ALS. He passed away in December of 2019 and Kathleen moved permanently to Bolton Landing in 2020. She took the Wee Lassie canoe course with AFS and understood immediately what a huge asset the school is to our local community and the wider region.

Stephen Fisk

Board Member –

Sheila Flanagan

Board Member – Sheila Flanagan is an owner and cheesemaker at Nettle Meadow Farm and Cheese Company located in Thurman and Lake Luzerne New York. Sheila is originally from Stamford, Connecticut and earned Bachelor’s degree at Macalester College in St. Paul Minnesota, a Master’s degree at San Francisco State University and a J.D. at Golden Gate University, also in San Francisco. Sheila was a partner at two highly regarded law firm in Oakland, California before pivoting to attain a long-term dream of artisan cheese production and domestic animal care with her partner Lorraine at Nettle Meadow Farm since 2005. Since that time, Nettle Meadow has grown 20-fold and received more than 25 national and international awards for their hand-made bloomy rind, washed rind and fresh cheeses, as well as ecological awards and recognition. Perhaps more importantly, Nettle Meadow has managed to rescue and care for more than 200 non-productive farm animals over the last decade or more. Most recently, Nettle Meadow has begun an expansion into the old Hitching Post location in Lake Luzerne where they will be able to grow larger in the unique log structure that is the Hitching Post while offering a tasting room and expanded retail location and spread the joy of great cheese even wider around our region and beyond. Sheila also keeps her legal mind active by serving as the town justice in Thurman and her community agricultural and rural economic awareness current by serving as a director of the Farm Service Agency for Warren County.

Karen Goldberg

Board Member – Karen Goldberg grew up in the flatlands of Ohio, graduated with a BA in math from Ohio Wesleyan University and an MAT from Harvard University. Karen began her teaching career on Long Island where she met her husband, Bob; and her daughters, Alison and Kerri, were born there. They discovered Lake Luzerne while visiting relatives in the area and bought a two-room camp on the Hudson River in 1978. They spent every summer in the North Country and gradually expanded their tiny camp into a summer home. In 2010 when the Adirondack Folk School opened its doors, they had found our people! Bob and I have volunteered at the School in many capacities, taken many classes separately or with other family members, and have seen our tiny School expand like our tiny house. We are truly fortunate to have this gem in our very own town.

Steve Gurzler

Board Member – I was born in New Jersey and earned a Batchelor’s Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Newark College of Engineering at NJIT in 1979. I spent the next 42 years working in design and construction of water and wastewater treatment and conveyance systems, always striving for the most energy – efficient and sustainable solutions.
As a young fellow, I spent many years involved in the Scouting program, often spending summers in the Adirondacks, hiking, camping, canoeing, and ski touring, which gave me a deep appreciation for the Adirondack region.
Blacksmithing fascinated me from an early age, and in the early 80’s I built my first forge and borrowed an anvil. I hacked along for many years, making simple items for camp cookery and basic medieval style armor for my friends and myself for recreational armored combat.
When we moved to the upstate region my skills improved when I began working with other blacksmiths in the Capital Districts Blacksmiths’ Association. I also spent 15 years as the Blacksmith at Fort Klock in St. Johnsville, NY focusing on colonial era blacksmith work. I became involved with the Adirondack Folk School through the Open Forge Night Program about 8 or so years ago and soon jumped in to do demonstrations for the AFS at craft events, Teddy Roosevelt Days in North Creek, and Fort Wm. Henry. Lately I’ve been running the Open Forge Nights and helping coordinate the blacksmithing program.
I now reside in a small energy – efficient log house we built a few miles up the road from the AFS in lake Luzerne with my musician wife Beth and our greyhound Clay.
I look forward to continuing to teach classes at AFS and to serving on the Board to help further the goals of the AFS.

Jim Schreiner

Board Member – Jim Schreiner of Great Sacandaga Designs and master-level woodworker, is a former National Team Kayak racer who has been building rustic and traditional furniture professionally since the early 1990’s. Jim works and lives in one of three octagonal log cabins that he and his family built with his family in the 1970’s and 1980’s on the South Shore of the Sacandaga Lake in Day NY.

Sandy Sherman

Board Member – Sandy has been involved in the non-profit world for 2 years. She is an active Board member of the Double H Ranch in Lake Luzerne and President of Amorak youth in Hudson Falls. Originally from NYC, Sandy is and entrepreneur with a background in accounting, sales, marketing, and tourism. She was on the startup team of Chrysalis Records in Los Angeles before moving to New York City where she started and ran a technical placement firm. She and her husband Bob purchased an Inn and shops on Block Island where they had a summer home and did historical renovations. After moving to CT, Sandy and Bob opened Seaport Sofware in Stonington where she was involved in sales and marketing. With Jim Mandle, she helped open the doors of the Adirondack Folk School.

Mary Stevens

Board Member – Mary Stevens has returned to the Adirondack region after a few years in North Carolina, spending quality time with two little granddaughters. Born and raised in Suffern, NY and graduating from SUNY Cortland where she met her husband, Mary has lived in upstate New York, western Massachusetts, and the Hudson Valley, where she and her husband raised their two children, Sarah and Daniel. Mary has worked in a number of educational, municipal government and non-profit organizational positions, including Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board and Village Board (Deputy Mayor) as well as Assistant to the Director at Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls, NY. She was the Program Manager at the Adirondack Folk School from 2011 through 2018, where she worked very closely with instructors, getting to know their special talents, and is excited to participate in a different capacity as AFS continues to grow and flourish.

Dennis Wilson

Board Member – After a ten-year career teaching English abroad, Dennis moved to Chestertown, NY in 1985 to teach English at North Warren Central School. He retired in 2002. Always interested in wood carving, he saw beautiful examples of chip carving one summer at the Fletcher Farms School in Vermont and then took classes there. He has been chip carving ever since. He teaches chip carving at AFS and joined the board in 2020. Dennis loves teaching this ornate style of carving for its own sake, but also loves introducing it to students because it is little known and little practiced even among experienced woodworkers. Teaching at AFS is helping him to help others discover chip carving. Being a board member gives him the opportunity to help influence the school’s development. AFS has plans for expansion to accommodate increasing interest in the folk arts, and it is exciting for him to be part of this effort.

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