From the Executive Director

For a Better Genesee County…

In case you haven’t heard, the most significant event since the Flint Institute of Arts moved to the Cultural Center in 1958 is about to occur­—and I’m not talking about the new spectacular Contemporary Craft wing and Glass Making studio scheduled to open in April 2018—this event impacts the entire Cultural Center!

Over the years, the FIA has expanded its exhibitions, classroom offerings, and special programs, which in turn has led to serving a larger, more diverse, community. With that and the services of the other cultural institutions in mind, a community group, Citizens for a Better Genesee County, recently formed an independent ballot committee to work on ways to ensure the continuing operations of the community’s treasured arts and cultural institutions. Its objective is to secure funds that will ensure financial sustainability for Cultural Center institutions through a proposed countywide millage in August of 2018. 

Following millage approval, the cultural institutions will provide all Genesee County residents free general admission to the Sloan Museum and the FIA, and discounts on select shows and programs at the Longway Planetarium; the Whiting Auditorium; the Capitol Theatre; the Flint Youth Theatre; The School of Performing Arts and the Flint Institute of Music. We did the math, and the per household cost of the millage is far less than the total benefits a family would receive.

This funding would be historic, as Cultural Center organizations have never before received operating support from the City or the County. Although none of the cultural organizations are directly involved with the citizens group, our respective boards and staff are wholeheartedly behind this effort and encourage you to do all you can to help the group over the next 10 months. 

Flint has received bad press for far too long, so it is thrilling to see attention given to the importance of the Cultural Center’s significant contribution to the County’s prosperity and reputation. We are thankful to see this initiative promote­—and seek to sustain—the great things we have to offer everyone in the community. 

I know of no other city the size of Flint that has the depth of offerings the Cultural Center does, and we applaud the committee’s efforts to get us on the ballot. Naturally, we will do all we can to support this effort, and I hope I can count on your vote.  

If you would like additional information, please contact Randall Thompson at Citizens for a Better Genesee County via BetterGenesee.com. Sign up and get involved.  Your help is wanted and needed. 

John Henry

Executive Director

John Henry has been the FIA's Director since July 1996, and holds an M.A. from the University of Mississippi in Art History and a B.F.A. from the University of South Carolina in sculpture.

He is a member of Rotary International and a member of numerous professional affiliations including the Board of Trustees of the Flint Classroom Support Fund, The Association of Art Museum Directors, American Association of Museums and the Midwest Museum Conference.

The Director is responsible for the administration of board policies and all museum operations.

Email John

Board of Trustees

The FIA welcomes the following members to the Board of Trustees:

Shannon Easter White

Trustee

Shannon Easter White resides in Fenton with husband, Ridgway, and their children, Isabella and Sammy, who have taken numerous classes at the FIA Art School. She is the president and architect of FUNchitecture, LLC. Since its inception, Shannon served both as chairperson or committee member of The PARTY. She currently is a trustee and chairman of the board of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. She also serves on the boards of the American Institute of Architects, the Ruth Mott Foundation, and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. 

Richard Harris

Trustee

Richard Harris, a Flint native, graduated from Oberlin College, Wayne State University School of Law, and New York University School of Law. He has a law practice specializing in estate planning, tax, and business planning and advised charitably inclined individuals and charitable organizations on legal and tax matters. He has served on the boards of the Friends of Sloan Museum, the Flint Estate Planning Council, the Genesee County Bar Association, and a religious federation, in addition to serving on FIA committees. He and wife, Ilene, reside in Grand Blanc and have two children. 

Mark Lippincott

Trustee

Mark Lippincott grew up in Flint and has a degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The president and owner of American Electric Motor Corporation, Mark has previously served on the FIA board, and currently serves on the boards of both the Genesee County Humane Society and the Glenwood Cemetery. He and his wife, Charlotte, have three children and four grandchildren. 

Eureka McCormick

Trustee

Eureka McCormick grew up in Flint. She and her husband, Sean, have three children, all of whom took classes at the FIA yearly until they graduated from high school. An art/technology teacher, Eureka holds an Associate of Applied Science Degree from Mott Community College, a B.S.Ed. degree from the University of Michigan-Flint, and a M.Ed. from Marygrove College.

Mary Ryan

Trustee

Mary Coe Ryan and Dr. Daniel Ryan have resided in Flint for 30 years. In addition to a 25-year career at McLaren Healthcare Corporation in Nuclear Medicine, Mary has fostered her lifelong love of art through collecting. She has also served on the FIA Development, Collections, and Exhibitions committees, and is a member of both the Founder’s Society and the Rubens Society, chairing its Annual Holiday Dinner in 2014.        

Officers & Trustees

The board of directors is the governing body of a nonprofit. Individuals who sit on the board are responsible for overseeing the organization’s activities. Board members meet periodically to discuss and vote on the affairs of the organization. At a minimum, an annual meeting must occur with all board members present. Additional meetings are likely to take place throughout the year so board members can discuss and make other necessary decisions. Board memberships are not set up to be permanent positions; most organizations have terms set up for board members, which typically fall between two and five years.

Thomas J. Mitchell

President

Thomas J. Mitchell is Senior Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager, Huntington Private Bank. Tom is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and Genesee County Bar Association. Tom serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Communities First, Inc., and is a member of the Capital Theatre Revival & Renewal Campaign Committee. He is a past Finance Committee member of Whaley Children’s Center and past board member of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival and the Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Thomas B. Lillie

First Vice-President

Thomas B. Lillie is a Director at Lewis & Knopf, CPAs and a licensed Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner.™ Tom is a director of AmerInst Insurance Group Ltd, a Bermuda based reinsurer and chair of their investment committee. He is a member of the investment committee for the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and the Beechwood Estates Association President. Tom served as past chair of the State and Local Tax Committee and as editor of the State and Local Tax Clinic for the Michigan Association of CPA’s. Tom is a member and former chairman of the Flint Estate Planning Council and former chairman of the Leave A Legacy group of Greater Flint.

Louis A. Hawkins

Second Vice-President

Louis A. Hawkins, since 2003, is the Community Relations Administrator for HealthPlus of Michigan. He previously served on the FIA Board of Trustees for nearly a decade, 2008–2010 as President, and currently serves on the Flint Downtown Development Authority and Jewish Community Services Boards of Directors, the McCree Theatre Board of Directors as Vice President, and the Community Capital Development Corporation as Treasurer, to name just a few. 

Kathryn C. Boles

Secretary

Kathryn C. Boles is the Executive Director for the Valley Area Agency on Aging which serves Genesee, Lapeer and Shiawassee Counties. Kathy currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Alzheimer’s Association. She also serves as an Advisory Council member of the Central Michigan Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Kathy is serving her second term on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging in Washington D.C. She first became involved with FIA by serving as co-chair for the yearly Community Gala event. Kathy is married to Jim.

Martha Sanford

Treasurer

Martha Sanford has been a resident of the Flint area her entire life and is a 1985 graduate of Albion College. Martha is Director of Marketing for Miller Apple which owns 22 Applebee’s restaurants in Michigan. Her past volunteer work includes serving on the board of the Bishop Trust, treasurer of the FIA Founder’s Board, the Junior League of Flint and Cedar Street Children’s Center. Martha and her husband of 30 years, Timothy, live in Grand Blanc and have two grown children living in Chicago. 

Dean Yeotis

Immediate Past President

Attorney Dean Yeotis is in private practice in Flint. He serves on the boards of the Greater Flint Sports Hall of Fame, the Bruin Club, and the Atwood Stadium Authority.  Dean lives in Flint with his wife, Lynda, who is Executive Director of Jewish Community Services.

Shannon Easter White

Trustee

Shannon Easter White resides in Fenton with husband, Ridgway, and their children, Isabella and Sammy, who have taken numerous classes at the FIA Art School. She is the president and architect of FUNchitecture, LLC. Since its inception, Shannon served both as chairperson or committee member of The PARTY. She currently is a trustee and chairman of the board of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. She also serves on the boards of the American Institute of Architects, the Ruth Mott Foundation, and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. 

Janice T. Harden

Trustee

Janice T. Harden, a long-time resident of Flint and retiree from General Motors’ SPO, has been a member of the Urban League of Flint, a board member and Chair of the Black Scholars Program for 30 years, served on the FIA Community Gala Committee for the last four years, and on the FIA’s Art School Committee. 

Richard Harris

Trustee

Richard Harris, a Flint native, graduated from Oberlin College, Wayne State University School of Law, and New York University School of Law. He has a law practice specializing in estate planning, tax, and business planning and advised charitably inclined individuals and charitable organizations on legal and tax matters. He has served on the boards of the Friends of Sloan Museum, the Flint Estate Planning Council, the Genesee County Bar Association, and a religious federation, in addition to serving on FIA committees. He and wife, Ilene, reside in Grand Blanc and have two children. 

Lynne Hurand

Trustee

Lynne Hurand is a Flint resident, FIA docent and on the Founders Society Board. Lynne was vice president of Education & International Business Development at the Flint Area Chamber of Commerce, general manager of the Ramada/Sheraton Flint, and marketing coordinator/trainer for Dawn Donut Systems Inc. She is past-president of the Flint Jewish Federation and was a director at the Flint Area Chamber of Commerce, Flint Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (president), Fair Winds Girl Scout Council, GEAR, and the Greater Flint Arts Council. 

Raymond J. Kelly, III

Trustee

Raymond J. Kelly, III was raised in Flint and has a B.A. cum laude from Notre Dame in English and a B.A. honours and M.A. in Literae Humaniores (Ancient and Modern Philosophy and Ancient History) from Oxford University. After Oxford, he served for nearly four years on active duty with Army Intelligence in Berlin, Washington, and Vietnam and is a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve. R.J. is in his 47th year of serving Flint-area clients in the financial services industry.

R.J. and his wife, Kathleen, have five children and five grandchildren. He and Kathleen have lived in Flushing since 1972. R.J. has written two books as catalogues for exhibitions at the Flint Institute of Arts, Love Everlasting: The Art of Romance Through the Millennia and To Be or Not to Be: Four Hundred Years of Vanitas Painting.

Alan Klein

Trustee

Dr. Alan Klein graduated from New York University’s College of Dentistry, followed by three years at the University of Rochester, completing a general dentistry internship and a fellowship in Pediatric Dentistry. Currently, Dr. Klein is in private practice, providing care to children with special needs and extensive needs in a hospital setting. In addition, Dr. Klein received a law degree from Cooley Law School and a Master’s in Taxation from Wayne State University. Over the years, he has visited hundreds of art and history museums throughout the world! 

Jimmy King

Trustee

Jimmy W. King, Consumers Energy retired area manager, enjoys his family and community service. He is past chair and board member of the Foundation for Mott Community College, treasurer of the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, past chair of Metro Community Development and Lapeer County Child Advocacy Vice Chair. Jim supports the IMA Children Recreation Fund by serving on the Human Relations Committee. He is also president of the Easterners, a Consumers Energy Retirees club. Jim enjoys his art work, watercolors, pen and ink, acrylics, oils, and pastels.

Jamille Lawand

Trustee

Jamile Trueba Lawand teaches Spanish at the University of Michigan-Flint, where she also chairs the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures and directs the "Middle Eastern" Studies Program. Born in Brazil, she was raised both in Michigan and Spain, and has travelled to numerous European destinations. A graduate from the University of Seville, she received her PhD in Romance Languages & Literatures from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and has been a faculty member at the University of Michigan-Flint since 1995. Her publications include a book on the art of letter-writing in Renaissance Spain and scholarly articles in her specialty, Golden Age Spanish literature. 

Mark Lippincott

Trustee

Mark Lippincott grew up in Flint and has a degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The president and owner of American Electric Motor Corporation, Mark has previously served on the FIA board, and currently serves on the boards of both the Genesee County Humane Society and the Glenwood Cemetery. He and his wife, Charlotte, have three children and four grandchildren. 

Eureka McCormick

Trustee

Eureka McCormick grew up in Flint. She and her husband, Sean, have three children, all of whom took classes at the FIA yearly until they graduated from high school. An art/technology teacher, Eureka holds an Associate of Applied Science Degree from Mott Community College, a B.S.Ed. degree from the University of Michigan-Flint, and a M.Ed. from Marygrove College.

Bill Moeller

Trustee

Bill Moeller and his wife Kitty moved from Detroit to Flint in 1958. Flint became a wonderful home for them to raise their three children. They both also became very active in the community. Bill have always enjoyed the FIA and was pleased to be on the board during the last expansion and look forward to his future time back on the board.

Elizabeth S. Murphy

Trustee

Elizabeth Murphy is returning to the FIA Board of Trustees after having served two previous six-year terms in which she served as Board Secretary for five years and Board President for two more of those years. Liz is a member of the Rubens Society and previously served as the FIA’s Rubens Society Coordinator for five years. Professionally Liz is an industrial engineer, receiving her BS and MS from GMI (now Kettering University). She was a senior engineer with Buick, served on the executive staff of Flint’s Mayor Collier as Deputy City Administrator, and is currently the Senior Assistant to the Emergency Manager for the City of Flint. Liz is married to Dr. Kienan Murphy (pediatrician) and they have three adult children.

Jay Nelson

Trustee

received his BS Degree in Industrial Engineering from Ohio State University in 1959. Jay was commissioned in the U.S. Navy after completion of his NROTC scholarship. He joined the Trane Company after completion of his tour of duty in San Diego on the Pacific theater. Jay graduated from Trane Company's graduate HVAC engineer program and was assigned field sales positions in Connecticut and Chicago. In January 1997 he purchased the Trane Franchise for Mid-Michigan and incorporated Nelson Trane with his offices in Flint, Saginaw, and Lansing. Jay and his wife of 56 years live in Grand Blanc.

Michael Rucks

Trustee

Michael Rucks, EdD, is a retired professor of psychology and sociology. He taught for 20 years at Baker College of Flint. Wife Virginia is a retired counselor and faculty of Mott Community College. Michael has been a trustee several times at the FIA and is very happy to return. He is also a member of Friends of Modern Art where he has been chairman of the Film Series committee for 20 years. He has also served as a chairman of the annual Flint Art Fair. 

Ira Rutherford

Trustee

Ira Rutherford is also returning to the FIA Board of Trustees after having served one previous six-year term. Ira has been a resident of Flint for 37 years. During his 40 years in education, Ira served in a variety of capacities ranging from class room teacher to Superintendent of schools. Ira has been an active member of the Flint community serving on numerous boards. He has garnered several awards for his service. His interests are varied with music, the arts, and athletics in the forefront. Currently he is President/CEO of the Rutherford Group and a happy member of the Grandfathers Club.

Mary Ryan

Trustee

Mary Coe Ryan and Dr. Daniel Ryan have resided in Flint for 30 years. In addition to a 25-year career at McLaren Healthcare Corporation in Nuclear Medicine, Mary has fostered her lifelong love of art through collecting. She has also served on the FIA Development, Collections, and Exhibitions committees, and is a member of both the Founder’s Society and the Rubens Society, chairing its Annual Holiday Dinner in 2014.        

Elisabeth Saab

Trustee

Elisabeth Saab works for Sorensen Gross Construction Services in Flint Township and currently serves on the FIA’s The Party and Beer Tasting event committees. Elisabeth serves on the boards of the Foundation for Mott Community College, Metro Community Development, Workforce Development/Career Alliance, and the YWCA of Flint.

Pat Spangler

Trustee

Patricia Spangler is joining the FIA Board of Trustees in 2015 as a new board member. She is a member of the Rubens Society and has co-chaired the Rubens Holiday Event. Patt received her BA Degree in education and history from Drury University and a Masters Degree in education from Oakland University. Professionally, she was a classroom teacher for 16 years with the Lapeer Community Schools where she received awards for her service. She has been an active volunteer and board member in Flint and Metamora communities. Patt is married to James Spangler and has two married children and three grandchildren. 

Jan Werschky

Trustee

Janis (Jan) Werschky is returning to the FIA Board of Trustees after serving a previous 6-year term. As a life-long resident of the Flint area, Jan has been involved in many community projects over the years but the one constant has been her service to the Flint Institute of Arts. It is here where she has volunteered in many capacities for over thirty years. Graduating from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in biology, Jan has previously worked in the health field. Jan and her husband, Jay (a dentist), have two daughters and four grandchildren.

Elizabeth Neithercut 

Honorary Trustee

Shiela Smith

Founders Society President

Lynne A. Taft-Draper

FOMA President

Steve Heddy

FCCC Board Representatives