Corey Fecteau - President

Corey Fecteau lives with her family in Allegany County and works at Alfred University’s Career Development Center. Her personal involvement with the arts includes studies in visual arts and art history, and she has been a member of various school and community choral groups since childhood. Corey is grateful for the opportunity to support the arts regionally through her service on the Tri-County Arts Council Board. “I wholeheartedly believe in our collective responsibility to foster the arts by sustaining and encouraging the artists, artisans, musicians, and makers whose creativity enriches and uplifts our communities. In my work I mentor arts students, and the Tri-County Arts Council Board allows me to support visual and performing artists on a regional level.”

Jason Dilworth, Vice President

Jason Dilworth is a graphic designer, artist, and educator living and working in western New York. Originally hailing from the deserts of the American West, his creative work focuses on the relationship between rural communities and wildlands. This focus has led him to develop a career that is concerned with both the physicality of place and the society responsibly of defending natural ecosystems and bioregions. Trained as a graphic designer, he believes in the power of storytelling and in the importance of learning through listening. As a design educator, he challenges students to take a systems view of the discipline and teaches students how to learn and be critically engaged citizens. ​Working collaboratively, he co-founded Designers & Forests in part to help communities respond to the adverse effects of climate change. Through this experience, he has gained an in-depth knowledge of forests ecosystems and the importance of sustainably managing working forests and preserving wild tracts of land for both rural and urban communities. Designers and Forests have led workshops in Utah, Iceland, New York, and Sweden and invite others to collaborate on research and practical efforts. Jason’s holds a teaching post as an associate professor at the State University of New at Fredonia. He has been a fellow for the Marion International Fellowship for the Visual and Performing Arts where he undertook a creative journey crossing the interior of North America following the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to a terminal in Missouri. His work has been recognized by and included in exhibitions from Iceland’s Design March to Print Magazine, and American Alliance of Museums. ​Photography by David Moog/Courtesy Burchfield Penney

Betsy Matz, Treasurer

An Olean resident, Betsy Matz recently retired from her position as an Professor Emeritus of Accounting at the University of Pittsburgh, Bradford, where she taught accounting for 26 years. She grew up in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado, graduated from Lawrence University in Wisconsin, and lived in Minneapolis nine years before coming to Allegany in 1981. Now that she is retired, Betsy has more time to enjoy her pastimes of basketry and needlework. She started knitting and embroidering as a little girl. In college she expanded to weaving and wove her first basket in 1983. Betsy does all types of needlework: canvas, hardanger embroidery, cutwork, and pulled thread. Betsy has always supported the arts where she lived and worked. She was one of the founding members of Bradford Little Theatre in Bradford, and for over 30 years has served with other organizations that have brought or supported art of one genre or another in the region. At the Arts Council Betsy says, “I wanted to do what I can to support the arts community in the region. When I was asked to join, I thought it was a great opportunity to give some of my time - which I have a lot more of since my retirement - to do that.”

John Stevens, Secretary

Joining the board in early 2015 is John Stevens, Instructor in the Management Department School of Business at St. Bonaventure University and President of JB Stevens Organizational Solutions which provides a variety of training and consulting services to business, industry, non-profit and governmental agencies. He received his Bachelor of Arts.A. in Journalism from St. Bonaventure and a Masters of Arts degree in Business and Policy Studies from the Empire State College division of the State University of New York. He is a past president of the Greater Olean Chamber of Commerce, participated in the Western New York Employee Involvement Council, and served for 35 years on the local Workforce Investment Board. Born, raised and residing in Olean, John hopes “to learn more about the wonderful arts experiences available in this area and do what I can to promote the arts primarily in Cattaraugus County.” He goes on to say, “I believe Art is an important part of the human experience. I enjoy attending arts related events at the Quick Center at St. Bonaventure and the annual Art in the Park in Olean and I would like to see opportunities to enjoy the arts grow.”

Crystal Abers, Director

Crystal Abers is proud to be a member of the Tri-County Arts Council Board, believing as she does that “Arts - any and all - are important in everyday life.” Crystal is interested in many art forms - painting, woodworking, knitting, crochet - as well as being a Master Gardener and creating Garden Art. A lifelong resident of Olean, New York, and a graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia, she is the Director of the Cattaraugus County Department of Economic Development, Planning and Tourism. Crystal explains her interest in supporting the arts in our region as a way to “give the opportunity of art availability to people young and old, and bring out the art in everyone.”

Ryann Cooley, Director

Ryann Cooley is an award-winning artist in both the fine and applied arts, working in the mediums of photography, video, sculpture and installation. His work has been exhibited internationally and widely published. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Brooks Institute of Photography and a Master of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Ryann is also an Associate Professor of Photography and Digital Media at Houghton College.

Debra Eck, Director

Debra Eck is a teaching artist, originally from the UK, she has made her home in WNY for almost 30 years now. In that time she has taught art history and a variety of studio classes at Jamestown Community College and SUNY Fredonia, workshops in book and paper arts all over the world, and curated for many galleries and organizations. She juggles all those things with her own studio practice. I'm delighted to bring my perspective as a working creative to the board at Tri-County Arts Council where I hope to continue to advocate for the agency of the arts to transform lives from the inside out and the bottom up.

Jack Hart, Director

Jack’s parents were born and raised in Olean, but because his father was a career Army officer, the family lived in many states as well as Japan before returning to Olean when Jack was in high school. Since then, except for the years when Jack was away for school and in the military, Olean has been his home. ​Jack has many interests which include enjoying many forms of fine art and participating in public affairs. This has led to what Jack calls “an easy decision,” when invited to join the Board. As he explains, “The work of the Tri-County Arts Council is important. I think the arts add much to the quality of life in our region, and the Council makes a significant contribution to keeping the artist-community vibrant and growing. Whether by introducing art and artists to the public, offering classes, or by providing artists with quality business support and assistance, our area as a whole is benefited. I am looking forward to my tenure.”

Denise Schneider, Director

Joining the board in the fall of 2016, an Allegany resident of 27 years, Denise Schneider was born and raised in the suburbs of Buffalo. She has been married 31 years to her high school sweetheart, Bernard Schneider, DDS and is the CFO of their family-owned dental practice, Family Dental Wellness in Olean. Denise attended Niagara University as a Biology major, then studied Art and Art History at Case Western University and completed her studies at Houghton in Management and Business Administration. Outside of her work, Denise enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, as well as gardening, reading, doing yoga and creating. She has been an artist most of her life working in oils, collage and mixed media. Her love of the arts made serving on the Board an easy choice for Denise, as she explains, “I feel the declining emphasis placed on the Arts in our public schools has left a gap in the awareness of and appreciation for the Arts. Tri-County Arts helps to close that gap. We all have an inner Artist hiding within and the Arts Council offers people of all ages the opportunity to explore that. Their support of the many facets of Art, including visual, performing and literary arts is demonstrated by the many programs they offer and support throughout our area. I look forward to more opportunities in the future to help support the awareness of the important work that the dedicated people at Tri-County Arts do.”


Melissa Meyers, Director

A lot of people ask, “where are you from?” There is no specific place as Melissa hails from WNY – born in Niagara Falls and lived there for 7 years, then off to Williamsville through 9 th grade, then moving to Ashville, NY, graduating from Chautauqua Central School. She graduated from JCC with an Associates in Art, then moved back to Buffalo to graduate from Buffalo State College with a bachelor’s degree in Design. Her first art job was with New Era Cap Company, doing artwork by hand using acetate and Rapidograph ink pens to create and color separate the art for baseball caps. While fun and interesting, doing art in a 2”x2” space was rather limiting. She left to work at Bee Group Newspapers, where digital art and computer technology was just coming into the workplace. Her husband was an engineer with General Motors, but with the ups and downs in the auto industry, they ventured back into the family business of McDonald’s. She was able to expand computer art to advertising McDonald’s in West Virginia where they moved to, when they purchased their first store. She was also very involved in the day to day operations and earned a degree from Hamburger University (Yes, there really is such a place!) to become an official Owner/Operator with McDonald’s Corporation. While in West Virginia, they had 2 children, and decided they’d rather raise the kids closer to family in NY. The family moved and bought the eastern end of the Meyer’s family “patch” of McDonald’s restaurant in 2000. Things in the corporate world change and evolve, and McDonald’s is no different. The decision was made to sell the stores in 2010, and open up new ventures. Melissa opened The Ink Well, an art supply store in Olean, and moved it to Allegany in 2011 where there was more room, and she could offer more classes, and expand on picture framing. The business was very successful, but after years of many many long hours, Melissa decided to head towards retirement, and reduced the store hours, stopping the classes, and selling off the art supplies. Soon, she realized she wasn’t quite ready for retirement. When the opportunity came up to teach visual art to K-12 th grade students at Archbishop Walsh Southern Tier Catholic school, she decided to take it, closing the store. After about a year, teaching consumed many hours, and she decided again to retire. Meanwhile, Melissa and her husband bought a “fixer up” house in Bemus Point, to be a summer house, but as the work on it progressed, they realized with family so close by, and kids grown, it was time to downsize and move to Bemus full time. So, a week before the pandemic closed everything down, they put the house in Allegany on the market. As soon as the market opened back up, the house sold, and they moved to Bemus Point. Melissa has already joined the North Shore Arts Alliance, and the Rotary Club in Jamestown, looking forward to being able to help in both ventures. Picture Xavier Seubert, OFM, Director Xavier John Seubert, OFM, STD holds a doctorate in sacramental theology from the Albert-Ludwigs Universitaet in Freiburg im Breisgau in Germany and is a graduate of New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts in conjunction with the Metropolitan Museum Art. He is the Thomas Plassmann Distinguished Professor of Art and Theology Emeritus at St. Bonaventure University, and, until recently, Professor of Liturgy and Sacramental Theology at Christ the King Seminary in Buffalo, NY. He has also taught at The Washington Theological Union and Villanova University. He has lectured and published articles and catalog essays on the relationship between religious symbolism and the artistic process, Franciscan and Byzantine art history and sacramentality. He co-edited with Prof. Oleg Bychkov of St. Bonaventure University Beyond the Text: Franciscan Art History and the Construction of Religion, published by FranciscanInstitute Publications in 2013 and Aesthetic Theology in the Fr anciscan Tradition: The Senses and the Experience of God in Art, published by Routledge in 2020. He is presently working on a book on the sacramentality of art. He is a frequent lecturer at The Cloisters of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He was recently appointed Guardian of the community of Franciscan Friars at St. Bonaventure University

John Bartimole, Director

John Bartimole brings years of experience in a variety of leadership and consulting roles for regional organizations and institutions. He is also a past recipient of the LOUIE Award, the area's highest honor for outstanding service to the community.

Eric Van Druff

Eric is a lifelong resident of the Southern Tier - born and raised in Cuba NY, living for many years in Olean NY, and recently returning to his hometown. Eric has been involved for many years in the performing arts community as an actor, director, conductor, vocal director, musician, and technician, as well as performing with a number of local professional musical groups. He has worked with many of the community theatrical groups in the area, including Olean Community Theatre, Olean Theatre Workshop, Bradford (PA) Little Theatre, and the Palmer Opera House in Cuba Eric has also performed with the Seneca Junction Barbershop Chorus (Salamanca/Ellicottville) and the Southern Tier Symphony, and has shared his technical and musical expertise to Allegany-Limestone Central School District and Dance Arts (Olean NY). For his “day job”, Eric is employed as a Solutions Consultant for Therapy Brands, Inc., based in Birmingham AL. Eric hopes that his broad experience in the arts will assist the Arts Council in providing guidance and support to this particular segment of the arts community, as well as all artists that create and provide joy and comfort to our local communities.

Jan Comstock, Director

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