Sarah Best is the award winning CEO/chief strategist of Sarah Best Strategy, a social media company. She has been invited to speak at various conferences around the country, and is an avid traveler, foodie, and multi-faceted creative. Sarah is also a poet who has been published in The Yale Review. She is a visual artist and film curator who has shown work at many significant Chicago institutions as well as the Echo Park Film Center, in Los Angeles. She is a Madison Downtown Rotarian and is secretary of the board of New Harvest Foundation.
Michael Bridgeman is the retired Communications Director for Wisconsin Public Television where he oversaw promotion, public relations, design, special events and online services. He has been active in historic preservation and neighborhood organizations and served for ten years on the Madison Arts Commission, including two as chair. Michael has attended BDDS concerts since the first season and also enjoys orchestral music, opera and theater.
Jody Clowes is the director of the Academy’s James Watrous Gallery and arts editor for Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine. Jody’s favorite exhibition projects emphasize connections between contemporary art and other disciplines and issues, from environmental concerns to social and economic history, technological change, and the history of craft. She has years of experience developing and curating exhibits, designing public programs, and writing about art, including senior positions at Milwaukee Art Museum, Detroit’s Pewabic Pottery, and the UW-Madison’s Design Gallery. An eclectic reader, mad gardener, and stubbornly improvisational cook, she is happiest with her hands in the dirt.
For Maria Saffiotti Dale, the chamber music world is in her DNA: her mother organized a concert series that ran for forty years in Bethesda, MD, and was deeply involved in the Marlboro Music Festival; her aunt in Milan, Italy, represented a roster of international musicians; and her grandfather served on the boards of musical organizations in Milan, including the Società del Quartetto and the committee that oversaw the rebuilding of the Teatro alla Scala after WWII. She recently retired from the Chazen Museum of Art where she was Curator of Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts.
Beth Larson has a wealth of experience in nonprofit administration, fundraising, program development, and education as well as performance. As a violinist, Beth has performed with numerous ensembles including the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Willy Street Chamber Players, and Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She is the former Director of Development-Corporate Partnerships at Overture Center for the Arts in Madison. She is currently Vice President of Development for Habitat for Humanity.
David Polet was born in Holland, Michigan into a family of Dutch immigrants. One of his passions was living in Russia, studying language and literature, and attending the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. Having worked at Epic Systems, and CUNA Mutual Group, he is currently employed at the State of Wisconsin Investment Board as a project manager. He likes to attend Chamber Orchestra concerts and is a member of the Salon series at Farley’s House of Pianos.
Claire Ann Resop is a partner in the Downtown Madison, Wis., office of Steinhilber Swanson LLP, where she concentrates her practice in bankruptcy, real estate, and commercial and claim litigation. In 2005, she was recognized as one of the “Top 25 Female SuperLawyers,” and has been named a “SuperLawyer” in Law & Politics and Milwaukee Magazine. She enjoys theater, symphony orchestras, museums, entertaining, and travel.
Sarah Siskind is an attorney who specializes in class action and other complex litigation. She has represented clients in trial, mediation, and arbitrations in front of a variety of federal, state and local forums, and served as lead counsel in numerous large-scale class action lawsuits. She’s a champion for children in the arts and joined the BDDS board in 2014.
Norma Sober, now retired, had a long career as an arts administrator in Madison as the director of outreach at the Madison Civic Center and as director of development and education at Madison Repertory Theatre. She is a member of the Madison Arts Commission and is an occasional consultant to cultural organizations, for which she sometimes gets paid.
Beth Walsh earned a MA in Business from the newly-minted UW-Madison’s Bolz Center for Arts Administration. She has been at the Wisconsin Arts Board and UW-Madison’s School of Education. She believes that the arts make us better humans and will help BDDS continue its tradition of creating truly unique chamber music experiences.