Michele Anderson

Rural Program Director
Springboard for the Arts

Presenting: Morning Plenary What Else is Possible? Creative People Power in Small Towns and Cities; Staying Inspired in your Career Path 

Michele Anderson is the Rural Program Director for Springboard for the Arts, a community and economic development organizations for artists based in St. Paul and Fergus Falls, Minnesota. In 2011, she started Springboard’s office in Fergus Falls, which has become a hub of thought and action about arts-based community development and creative placemaking in rural settings. Through her work at Springboard, Michele has launched nationally recognized programs at the intersection of the arts, historic preservation, health and economic development. Her writing and ideas on dismantling stereotypes of rural life have been featured in mnartists.orgthe New York Timesthe Huffington PostCBC’s “As it Happens,” and more. Michele is also a pianist and creative writer, and lives in Fergus Falls, MN with her husband, Spencer, and their new son Ash.

Alan Goffinski

Executive Director
The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative // Charlottesville Mural Project

Presenting: Drinks & Decompression Overworked and Underplayed

Alan Goffinski is Executive Director of The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative in Charlottesville Virginia. He also wears several other hats, including Director of The Charlottesville Mural Project, Director of Fun for Charlottesville CreativeMornings, and Producer of the Telemetry Music Series. In all roles, Alan seeks creative ways to build social cohesion and facilitate meaningful experiences through accessible creative and cultural exchange.

Jaylin Randolph

Rapper, Entertainer, and Entrepreneur

Create Virginia Emcee

Jaylin Randolph also known as Jiggy M and is a rapper, entertainer, and entrepreneur from central VA. Known for his innovative leadership in the community he has branded himself as a content creator for unity and positivity. He has created music video campaigns for organizations like the Lynchburg Community Market, Lynchburg City Schools, and Lynchburg Beacon of Hope just to name a few. These campaigns highlight healthy living, positive decision making, and college preparation. Not only entertaining us with his musical and comedic talents but using them to help us grow and heal as individuals. 

Nick George

Local Poet + Nonprofit Founder

Nicholas Steven George was born and raised in Newark, NJ, but has been a part of Lynchburg’s creative community for over a decade. Developing his creative and performance style of writing since his teenage years, Nick is continuously growing as a poet, author, public speaker and facilitator. With a strong background in performance poetry (also referred to as “spoken word poetry”), Nick pulls from his own life experiences and personal challenges as inspiration for his work. 
As an artist, Nick has taken his talents to multiple stages and platforms, including 2017 TedXCharlottesville, where he performed an original piece, “Revenge of the Snap“, as an homage to his grandmother, Mrs. Inez George. Nick was also recognized as a contributor to “Generation Y, Spirituality & Social Change“, regarding the new spaces being crafted with creativity, passion and healing. Locally, Nick has contributed to various campaigns and organizations around Lynchburg, including the Office of Economic Development, the Academy Center of the Arts, and the YWCA. He has also been recognized in 2017 as one of Lynchburg Living’s Millennials on the Move, as well as being one of the recipients of the Vice Mayor’s Award of Excellence in the same year.
Through advocating for mental health and recognizing the utility of the performing arts, Nicholas uses his voice and skills to ignite social impact, challenge stigmas, and develop deep community.

Daryl Calfee

VP of Marketing 
Moore & Giles

Co-Presenting: Finding Social Media Influencers

Daryl is VP of Marketing for Moore & Giles and a founder of The S.E.E.D. Program for Sports Outreach. Currently, he is VP of the board at The Lynchburg Daily Bread – Lynchburg’s daily soup kitchen and recently he was also an adjunct professor at Liberty University & Lynchburg College in both design & marketing. Daryl worked on the ad agency side for a decade as a Sr. Art Director after learning the the craft of professional communications for large retail footwear brand. Daryl and his wife Johanna are partners in several small businesses that include creative development and real estate.

Adam Shurr

Marketing & Communications Manager
Moore & Giles

Co-Presenting: Finding Social Media Influencers

Adam is the Marketing and communications manager at Moore & Giles. Founded in 1933, Moore & Giles designs and develops the most innovative and luxurious natural leathers for the high-end hospitality, aviation/automotive, and residential interior design industries. In addition to his work at Moore & Giles, Adam is the co-founder of Golf Park Coffee Company–a local coffee startup that opened its first brick and mortar shop in 2018.

Anne & Aaron Vaughan

Anne Vaughan Designs

Presenting: Experiences in Scaling a Handcraft Business

Founded in 2006, Anne Vaughan Designs was created so Anne could find a way to work while doing her first job – being a mom.

Created in the basement of a tiny brick ranch home, Anne began creating one piece of jewelry a day as a side hustle after the birth of her son, Gabe. Soon her husband Aaron was creating displays and traveling with her to shows and teaching himself print and web marketing at night in order to help her.

Tens of thousands of pieces of distinct jewelry later (all handcrafted in our studio) and dozens of retail locations across the United States, Anne continues to design each individual item with a talented team of makers supporting her work.

Anne Vaughan Jewelry can be found at retail events, festivals and in unique boutiques and stores across the United States.

Becky Caldwell

Executive Director
Virginia Highlands Festival

Presenting: How to Make a Splash at Your Next Festival

Becky Caldwell is an executive coach, podcast host of “Virtual Executive Director,” and the actual executive director of the Virginia Highlands Festival (VHF) in Abingdon, Virginia.

A graduate of Northwestern University, Becky spent much of her career in Chicago with Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Chicago Humanities Festival, and the Chicago Improv Festival (among other organizations). She has produced international arts programs and festivals since 1992. In 2012 she came to Abingdon to become the first-ever executive director for VHF, a 70-year-old arts and culture organization. 

While at VHF, she launched several pilot programs to help innovate programming. These programs have included “The Wolf Crystal” public performance art project; a series of culinary arts events highlighting the rich heritage and inherent creativity of food production in Southwest Virginia; and “Plein Air Abingdon,” a 3-day springtime spin-off festival from the summer flagship event. 

Since 2016 she has been advising, consulting, and coaching nonprofit leaders, helping them with fundraising strategies, board development, and strategic planning. Becky’s areas of coaching expertise include leadership transition, building effective corporate culture. She started her weekly podcast, “Virtual Executive Director,” in September 2017, as a free resource for cash-strapped nonprofits, and supplements the podcast with an active Facebook group for nonprofit leaders to receive peer-to-peer support..

In her personal life, Becky is a gamer, foodie, and supernerd. She is married with two big goofy dogs who make frequent appearances on her podcast and Instagram feed.

Check out her Ted Talk: The Art of Connection.

Cameron Baxter Lewis

Director of Emergency Relief and Recovery Services
CERF+ The Artist’s Safety Net

Presenting: Disaster Prep and Insurance

Cameron Baxter Lewis is the Director of Emergency Relief and Recovery Services at CERF+ The Artist’s Safety Net. He manages CERF+’s signature emergency relief grant program and coordinates local, state, and national partners to assist artists in times of need.

Cameron began his career as an AmeriCorps NCCC member and spent a year rebuilding houses in Gulf Coast communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina. This experience inspired him to pursue a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Emergency Management.

He has spent more than a decade starting complex programs in disaster recovery zones to serve vulnerable populations at organizations including Save the Children, Points of Light, Peace Corps, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. He previously served as the Chair of the NVOAD Volunteer Management Committee and Triangle AmeriCorps Alums Chapter.

Joe Eskridge, MBA, AB, CFP

Financial Planner | Partner
HSC Wealth Advisors

Presenting:Saving for Retirement (When No One is Contributing)

Joe developed his financial services acumen from his experience with Fortune 500 companies in roles such as M&A professional and investment management adviser. His interests include servant leadership activities with HumanKind, AFSP Out of the Darkness Community Walks and other charities in our community.

Joe is also an alumnus of Leadership Lynchburg, former chairman of LACIL Disability Services, past president of the local Kiwanis Club, former board member of First Presbyterian Weekday School and a former deacon at church. He enjoys playing racquetball and watching college sports. Joe and his wife, Beth, have three daughters. The elements that make him a trusted fiduciary—loyalty, commitment and enthusiasm—also make him a great husband and father.

Manuel Cordovez

Creativity IP PLLC

Presenting: Register your Copyrights!  The what, why, and how of copyright registrations; Red Flags and Boilerplate: Making sense of contracts for creative professionals 

Manuel Cordovez is the founder of Creativity IP PLLC, a Virginia-based intellectual property law firm for creative professionals and businesses.

Manuel has over fourteen years of experience in all areas of intellectual property law, including obtaining and enforcing patents, trademarks, and copyright registrations, drafting and negotiating IP-related contracts, and counseling businesses of all sizes on intellectual property matters and strategies. During his career, Manuel has worked with clients ranging from solo inventors and entrepreneurs and local non-profits to some of America’s largest corporations.

Mark Bold

Chief Executive Officer
Relevant Law

Presenting: Entity Formation

Mark Bold is an entrepreneur, businessman, and lawyer. Mark is chief executive officer of Relevant Law, a national law firm focused on modernizing the way businesses and consumers get quality legal services. Bold has over 20 years of multi-channel branding, marketing and sales experience in the technology industry, including his role as Executive Vice President of HomeAdvisor.com where he oversaw business development and sales. Mark is from Seattle, Washington and currently resides in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Paul Reisler

Composer, Songwriter, Recording Artist, Performer and Teacher

Panelist on: Fellowships for Individual Artists Panel

Paul Reisler is a composer, songwriter, recording artist, performer and teacher. He’s the founder and artistic director of Kid Pan Alley, co-founder of Trapezoid, as well as his current bands, Paul Reisler & A Thousand Questions featuring Howard Levy, and Three Good Reasons. For 2 decades, he was the music director for Ki Theatre.

Over the past 45 years, he’s performed in over 3,000 concerts, recorded close to three-dozen albums, written Aesop’s Fables for Orchestra and Narrator, as well as the script and songs 2 musicals, Bouncin’ and The Talented Clementine.

He’s has written more songs than the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Stephen Foster combined—somewhere north of 3,500 compositions thanks in no small part to his army of 65,000 short collaborators as well a handful of Grammy-winning co-writers. Artists including Sissy Spacek, Raul Malo, Darrell Scott, Cracker, Corey Harris, Jesse Winchester and many others have recorded his songs.

He’s one of the most popular songwriting teachers in the country and has taught at workshops and songwriting schools including Rocky Mountain Song School, Utah Song School, New Song Academy, Swannanoa Gathering, Augusta Workshop, Hollyhock, Kerrville, NSAI, Songcamp in the Mountains, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Berklee College of Music, University of the Pacific, and Moulin a Nef (France). 

Sheila Gulley Pleasants

Deputy Director
Virginia Center for the Creative Arts

Panelist on: Fellowships for Individual Artists Panel

Sheila Gulley Pleasants has been with VCCA since 1989 when she moved from New York City to Mt. San Angelo to become residential staff with her husband Craig. In addition to directing the residency program that serves over four hundred writers, visual artists and composers each year, she administers VCCA’s international exchange programs with artists communities in Austria, Germany, and Ireland. Since 2004, she has also managed VCCA’s programming at the Moulin à Nef, VCCA’s studio center in Auvillar, France. She has taught French in the Modern Languages Department at Sweet Briar College and Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. She has also taught English at the Université d’Orléans in France. She holds an M.A. in French from New York University, an M.Ed. in English from Converse College, and a B.A. in French from Wake Forest University.  

Sydney Lane

Founder + Creative Director
Lane Paper Works

Presenting: Selling Art Online

Sydney Lane is the founder + creative director of Lane Paper Works. 

She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in graphic design from Liberty University in 2016. She did her internship at Mama’s Sauce in Orlando, Florida where she found a love for both print and sending greeting cards to her family + friends back at home. Lane Paper Works launched in September of 2016 with a few greeting card designs (none of which still exist to this day!) She has spent the last three years growing her brand through traveling to craft shows across the US, online sales, and debuting at the National Stationery Show in February of 2020. Her main source of income has been online sales through a heavy social media presence. 

She recently got engaged to her boyfriend of 7 years, a nursing student at Liberty. They enjoy spending time with their cats (6 of them!), binging tv shows, and traveling. They will be moving to Lynchburg this fall after their wedding. 

Charese L. Jefferson

Financial Fancy

Presenting: Planning for the Off-Season

Charese is a bookkeeper, with specialized area of work with non-profits and small business owners. She draws upon more than 14 years in the fields of tax preparation that lays the foundation for guidance in bookkeeping to help new entrepreneurs create long term sustainability and accountability with their business finances.

Over her career, she has had the opportunity to speak to multiple industries how to set budgets, create service/product pricing, and tax education for small business owners. As a QuickBooks professional she helps small business owners know their numbers in a way that makes sense.

Charese speaks regularly on panels, working groups, webinars and at conferences. She also has been featured in a variety of publications, including Lynchburg Business(Article: Millennials on the Move), Women Leaders of the World, and Collective Purpose.

She is has a weekly podcast given information to small business owners from startup and beyond. It can be found on all streaming platforms entitled Financial Fancy Podcast.

Christina Garnett

Founder and Digital Strategist
Marketing Media Maven

Presenting: Reimagine Your Content Voice

A North Carolina native and Davidson College Alumna, Christina Garnett has found her home in the Roanoke Valley. As a marketing strategist and social media consultant, Christina strives to stay up to date with the ever-changing digital marketing landscape. She is currently certified by Google, Hootsuite, HubSpot, Wix, and YouTube. With her teaching and counseling experience, she works to empower small business owners to take charge of their marketing needs and use it to create and share their brand. She loves the voice that social media can grant people and adores Twitter. With a marketing foundation based on inbound marketing, she showcases a deep love of audience understanding and data analysis. Experienced in Google Analytics and Tag Manager, she enjoys diving into the data to learn more about the audience experience, perform A/B testing, and utilizing Google Optimize to further enhance her campaign(s).