Board & Staff

Board of Directors

Sharon Watkins, President

  • Teacher, elementary & high school
  • College social worker
  • UMC Pastor
  • Training facilitator, workshop planning; personal development
  • Watercolor artist

Anthony Szep, Vice President

  • VP, financial services software company, retired
  • Amelia Arts Academy, Past President, Board of Directors
  • Gilmer Arts, Gallery Director
  • Community Chorus, Potter

Betty Reece, Treasurer

  • CPA (GA-1972),  Retired
  • Controller, software industry
  • Board Member, large homeowners association , past treasurer, past VP
  • Specialist in data analysis, practical approaches and drawing conclusions

Theresa Miller, Secretary

  • Business background/MBA
  • Fundraising  & volunteering for American Heart Association, Literary Action and various schools and other organizations
  • Board Member, neighborhood associations

Diane Anderson, Marketing

  • Playwright & author
  • B.A. Creative Writing
  • Various business, legal, financial and HR experience
  • Gilmer Arts Marketing Committee Chair

Leslie Ellis, Theater

  • Forensic Psychologist, Ph.D.
  • Theater, Ph.D.
  • Author, History of Asolo Theater (the State Theater of Florida)
  • President, National Education Systems, Inc.

Dan Hicks, Grants

  • Principal, Gwinnett County Public Schools, elementary/ middle
  • Teacher, DeKalb/ Gwinnett County Public Schools, elementary/ middle
  • Board Member/ VP/ Secretary, neighborhood association
  • Gourd artist

Steve Jones, Live Music

  • Landscape ecologist
  • Clemson University faculty (past)
  • Owner, Meanders River Restoration, Inc
  • Musician (mandolin & harmonica), member of band Downtown Roy

Sharon Stokes, Literary Arts

  • Assistant United States Attorney (Northern District GA), Retired
  • Owner, Ellishack Collectibles
  • Experienced mediator
  • Speaker manager, Decatur Book Festival

Wanda Allen, Member at Large

David Richey - Member at Large

John Rathbone, Executive Director - George Link, Jr. Gilmer Arts PLAYHOUSE

  • Past President, Gilmer Arts
  • Owner/ President, Dirt Cheep Music (music merchandise)
  • Professional musician
  • University Instructor, BM/MM in Performance


Debbi Friend, Office Coordinator

  • Owner, Hummingbird Lace - designer and technical editor
  • General manager, homeowner associations, retired
  • General business experience, MBA
  • Theater- directing and acting


Cheryl Veon, Receptionist

  • Owner, CJV Marketing (coaching, training, internet marketing)
  • Project Management, quality control
  • Interior design, real estate rehab, visual display management