President of The Gathering Place, Board Member
“The exciting thing about The Gathering Place is it’s a little like planting a petunia and growing a rosebush. It has exceeded my expectations as it grew and evolved.”
As a founding member of the Abington Area Community Classroom, Waters develops and administrates adult education programing for the residents of the Abingtons and surrounding communities. Dolores, Dori, was the owner and operator of a NARHA Accredited Therapeutic Riding Stable for ten years, in which time she developed a creative curriculum for riders with special needs and worked with children and adults of varying abilities. Currently the owner/operator of the Clearwater Farm Special Olympics’ Riding Stable, she is continuing her work with a variety of intellectually and physically disabled riders. Waters’ first encounter with organizing instructional writing and arts workshops occurred when she was the Proprietor of The Art & Book Boutique. Since then she has received the Rotary of the Abingtons’ Four Way Award for community involvement and volunteerism and was named the Healthy Community/Healthy Youth Volunteer of the Year for having a significant impact on local youth. Waters has a B.A. in English from Hofstra University.
“The Abingtons has always been my home. I am honored to be part of this project that creates a community arts and educational center which enriches the sense of home by joining all of us in a “community living room.”
An individual involved in her local community, Nichols has used her expertise in business management, responsible budgeting and operations coordination to contribute to the conceptualization of The Gathering Place. Previously the owner of Atlantic Fish & Fabulous Foods, a gourmet take-out vendor with $500,000 in annual sales, she managed a staff of sixteen employees and gained experiences in customer service, retail management and sales. Mary Ann also served as a Women’s Wear Buyer for Suburban Casuals and was responsible for purchasing with a budget and deadlines. Nichols was the Operations Coordinator and Administrative Assistant at The Inn at Nichols Village for nearly two decades.
Vice President of The Gathering Place, Board Member
“I love taking classes and learning new things myself, so reviving adult education in the Abingtons followed that desire. A Gathering Place, anchored by our community classroom, is a natural progression from that idea, and will present the citizens of the Abingtons with so many creative possibilities.”
A retired teacher, Rancier is an active member of the Abingtons’ literary community. She has taught workshops in poetry and fiber arts for children and adults. Emily writes a monthly column for The Abington Journal and is a founding member of the Abington Area Community Classroom. She was a recipient of the Abington Heights Middle School Pepper Award, and was named a Healthy Community/Healthy Youth Volunteer of the Year. The organization’s registration secretary, Rancier has also served as one of the Abington Area Community Classroom’s instructors. She has a B.A. in English from Wells College.
Secretary of The Gathering Place, Board Member
Having lived in NEPA all my life, I believe this area has a wealth of heritage and knowledge. The Gathering Place offers many opportunities for people from our local communities to come together and share our love of art and learning. The Gathering Place has evolved from a small venture into a wonderful community resource, and I am looking forward with pride to its future possibilities.
Anne Armezzani was a teacher for the Abington Heights School District for thirty-nine years, most of which were as a seventh grade English teacher at the middle school. She is presently retired and able to devote time to the Community Classroom, which is a major part of The Gathering Place. She is co-facilitator of the Classroom’s Book Group, supervises the Teen Board, and is a member of the Monday night Writers’ Group sponsored by The Gathering Place. Anne lives in Scott Township with her husband. She received her B.A. in education and English from East Stroudsburg University and her M.A. in English from the University of Scranton.
Paula M. Baillie The Gathering Place, Board Member
A freelance writer and former English teacher, Baillie’s experiences in education have prepared her for her current roles with The Gathering Place. Paula has taught children and young adults in seventh through twelfth grades in a variety of locations, most within northeastern Pennsylvania. She was an editor and writer for The University of Scranton’s Ignite magazine. Baillie is a founding member of the Abington Area Community Classroom, a co-facilitator of the Classroom’s Book Group and is also the organization’s web developer. She has a B.S. in English and Education from Springfield College and an M.A. in English from the University of Scranton.
“The Gathering Place will enhance the quality of life for so many in our community and I feel privileged to be part of this remarkable project.”
A seasoned lawyer with a well deserved reputation for diligent, ethical advocacy and community involvement. Bolock is a past President of the Lackawanna Bar Association and remains actively involved in a multitude of committees and organizations focused on improving the justice system in Pennsylvania. Bolock serves on the Boards of numerous community, arts, and youth organizations, and is legal counsel to a number of municipalities and non-profit organizations. Atty. Bolock received his Juris Doctorate Degree from the Duquesne University School of Law and his Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Scranton.
“Life in a suburban community is enhanced when there are opportunities to bring people together for learning and friendship. Otherwise we can become isolated and insulated. The Gathering Place provides a wonderful mixture
of skills and interests, all to benefit our community.”
As a professional jazz pianist and a pastor, Carter spends his time serving his community and creating music. He has published eight books on various religious and musical topics and he is the leader of the jazz band, Presbybop Quartet. The group has released ten recordings, most recently Jazz for the Earth, as well as a DVD titled Listening for Selah. Bill is the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Clarks Summit. He has a Master of Divinity from the Princeton Theological Seminary and a B.A. in Philosophy from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton.
William Farrell, Board Member
James Gavigan, Board Member
David Jenkins, Board Member
Tracey Khalife, Board Member
Tracey became involved in the Community Classroom because of a connection made with Clearwater Farms where her youngest daughter, Natalie, participated in the riding program. She started volunteering for the Community Classroom and subsequently The Gathering Place, has never looked back! In the last few months she has taken the lead on procuring chefs and home cooks for the cooking classes and will now be on the Kitchen Committee. Though a pharmacist by training, she enjoys cooking for family and friends.
Constance McDonnell, Board Member
Trudy Montella, Board Member
Verano is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for the state of Pennsylvania. His public services include tax planning, compliance and consulting for small businesses, representation before taxing authorities and litigation support in civil and criminal matters. James was the Vice President of Finance for Jewelcor Companies and served as the Manager and Principal CPA for Kronick Kalada Berdy & Co. He served as a supervisor for Laventhold & Horwath CPAs and was a Revenue Agent, Appeals Officer, Analyst and Group Manager for the Internal Revenue Service. Verano has a B.S. in Accounting from Mount Saint Mary’s College.
As the Principal of JMV ARTchitecture, Vipond works in arts management and marketing, striving to manage the business and artistic elements of architecture while ensuring his clients are focused, organized, marketable and profitable. Jim was the Executive Director of the Everhart Museum for five years and directed the Museum’s reorganization, which resulted in fiscal solvency, a transition to professional staffing and an increased compliance with established industry standards. Past occupational experiences also include financial planning, real estate development, urban planning, property management and architecture. Vipond attended the University of Pennsylvania and he earned a B.A. in American Studies and Art from Williams College.