Maine College of Art & Design welcomes new Emeritus Trustees and Trustees

Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) today announced the election of three new Emeritus Trustees and four new members of the Board of Trustees. These individuals bring a wealth of experience in higher education, philanthropy, business, and arts to the Board. 

As part of the College’s governing body, the new trustees will support the College’s mission to deliver the highest quality of arts education and to drive the growth and development of the College.

Joining the board as Emeritus Trustees are Daniel N. Crewe, Hon. DFA '21; Alison Hildreth '76, Hon. DFA '17; and Paula Crane Lunder, Hon. DFA '17. The College also welcomes new Trustees Michael Boyson; Roberta March, MFA '21; Marianna Pierce, and Gimbala Sankare.

“These exceptional individuals are joining the Board at a pivotal moment in Maine College of Art & Design’s history,” said President Laura Freid. “Their personal and professional perspectives will be invaluable as we work together to guide the College through the next phase of its development.”

Full biographies for each new Trustee are included below. Please visit MECA&D’s Board of Trustees website for more information on the full Board.

Daniel N. Crewe, Hon. DFA '21

Daniel N. Crewe

Daniel N. Crewe is a passionate humanitarian and philanthropist; his leadership in the arts, education, and human rights, including LGBTQ support, has had an enormous impact on the lives of countless Mainers. Dan has been a generous supporter of Maine College of Art & Design for many years. He served faithfully on the Board of Trustees for ten years, including five years as Chair of the Advancement/Development Committee, and has remained an active community member on the Advancement Committee since concluding his board service in 2021.

Dan is the president and chair of the Crewe Foundation. He is the past chair of the USM Foundation and chaired the Great University campaign. He has served on the board of and is the former president of the ACLU of Maine and served on the Board of and is a member of the President’s Council of the Portland Symphony Orchestra.

In 1992, Dan co-founded Gateway Mastering Studio in Portland which brought Maine to the forefront of the national music business. Since his move to Maine in 1991, he has served on the Susan Curtis Foundation, the Maine Children’s Cancer Program, Breakwater School, Equality Maine, and the Maine Audubon. Dan is the father of two daughters and grandfather of four spectacular children. Dan is a United States Naval Academy graduate and a retired captain of the United States Air Force.

Alison Hildreth '76, Hon. DFA '17

Alison Hildreth

Alison “Wooly” Hildreth faithfully served as a Trustee of Maine College of Art & Design from 1995 through 2006. She also taught as a non-resident studio instructor in the College’s MFA program, as well as in our Continuing Studies program, in addition to teaching in the MFA programs at Vermont College and Lesley College in Boston. Maine College of Art & Design is indebted to Alison and her family for her commitment to supporting MECA&D students and faculty through multiple endowed funds, including the Hildreth Family BFA Scholarship, the Hildreth Family MFA Scholarship, and the Hildreth Family Faculty Development Fund. In 2017, the college formally recognized Alison’s many contributions by awarding her an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Fine Arts.

Alison embarked on her artistic journey after earning a B.A. in Art History from Vassar College. While in New York, she attended night school at the Art Students League and the National Academy of Art. Later, Alison relocated to Maine, where she continued her artistic pursuits and graduated from the BFA program at Maine College of Art & Design in 1976.

Alison has since established herself as a prominent figure in the Portland art community, with her practice encompassing mixed media drawing, painting, printmaking, and installation work. In 1991, Alison and Katarina Weslien (former MECA&D MFA Director) purchased the Bakery Studios to create affordable studio space in Portland. She also helped found the non-profit fine arts printmaking cooperative Peregrine Press.

Alison has also been involved in various public art initiatives, serving as a member of the Portland Public Art Committee and participating in the re-envisioning of Congress Square as a public space for the city. Notably, she currently sits on the committee responsible for selecting Sarah Sze to create a work for the park. Furthermore, Alison is a partner with Katarina Weslien in owning and running the Bakery Studios.

Alison Hildreth's exceptional artwork has been exhibited both in the United States and internationally. Her pieces are proudly displayed in numerous prestigious permanent collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Farnsworth Art Museum, Portland Museum of Art, and the New York, Boston, and Portland Public Libraries.

Paula Crane Lunder, Hon. DFA '17

Paula Crane Lunder

Paula Lunder joined the Board of Trustees of Maine College of Art & Design in 2003 and served faithfully for 12 years. During her tenure on the Board, Paula served as co-chair of The Campaign to Advance Maine College of Art & Design in the late 2000s, which concluded in 2010 with $5.8M raised in capital and $4.2M in endowment.

Paula and her husband Peter Lunder established the Lunder Foundation in 1988 to support educational, arts, and healthcare organizations, with scholarship support of Maine students at the core of their philanthropy. In 2002, the Lunder Foundation established the Lunder Scholars program at Maine College of Art & Design, providing need-based aid to undergraduate students from Maine. Since its inception, more than 150 scholarships have been awarded, making a lifelong and transformative impact on MECA&D students. Additionally, The Lunder Foundation has been instrumental in helping the College increase the value of its endowment significantly through multiple matching challenges and played an instrumental role in growing the college’s endowment to more than $15MM. In 2017, Maine College of Art & Design recognized Peter and Paula’s extraordinary leadership and profound commitment to education in the State of Maine by awarding them both the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Fine Arts.

Paula Lunder graduated from Lesley University with a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1959. Over the past 50 years, Paula has volunteered in many Maine-based organizations, including the Waterville Boys and Girls Club and the Kennebec Valley Mental Health Organization, and has served as a board member of the Maine Holocaust Center for Human Rights and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree in 1996 from Colby College and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2010 from Thomas College. At Colby College, Paula Lunder is a Lifetime Trustee and a member of the Colby College Museum of Art governing board.

Michael Boyson

Michael Boyson

Mike was born in Bangor, Maine. After a two-year stint in West Africa in the US Peace Corps followed by consulting work for the United Nations Development Programme, Mike started his investment career with the firm of EF Hutton in 1984. Initially building an equity and bond trading business, Mike gravitated to institutional and high-net-worth consulting in 1988 when his firm was acquired by what would eventually become Morgan Stanley. Ever since, Mike has had the opportunity to help affluent investors, businesses, and institutions, including investment committees, trustees, and financial officers meet their financial goals.

In 2000 Mike was awarded the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) designation from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and has been a member of the Investment Management Consultants Association for the past 18 years. In February 2009, Barron’s named Mike the #1 investment advisor in Maine. More recently, Morgan Stanley recognized Mike’s consistent creativity and excellence in providing a wide range of investment products and wealth management services to his clients.

Mike and his wife Nancy Grant have been supporters of MECA&D since early 2017. Current Trustee Sue Rogers and former Trustee Dan Poteet have been a part of cultivating this relationship. Mike's son Oscar took two animation courses at MECA&D in the early 2000s and credits the experience with helping his career producing films in New York City.

Mike is active in the Portland community. He served on a committee of the Greater Portland United Way for 25 years and as president of the Center for Cultural Exchange. He currently serves on the Board of Directors at Portland Ovations and was Board Chair from 2013 to 2015. In his free time, Mike indulges his passions for biking, skiing, sailing, and hiking mostly within the beautiful confines of his native state of Maine. Mike and Nancy have been married for more than 40 years and have two children, Oscar and Elise.

Roberta March MFA ‘21

Roberta March

Roberta March was born and raised in Brazil. She started to pursue her art education later in life and graduated from Maine College of Art & Design’s MFA program in 2021. Her first degree was in business administration and she received a master's in marketing, followed by a career in human resources in banking.

Roberta began taking art courses while living in London in 2013 and went on to attend the Hampstead School of Art, earning a foundation diploma in Fine Arts. After relocating to Houston, she studied at the Glassell School of Art from 2016–2018.

Portland, Maine, became Roberta’s new home in 2019 and she became an American citizen the same day she started her MFA program at Maine College of Art & Design. While earning her MFA, Roberta participated in the College's Graduate Teaching Assistantship program, which allows students to experience different types of teaching environments, from foundation level to advanced Art history or studio courses.

After graduating from the MFA program, Roberta joined the staff of Maine College of Art & Design for the 2021–2022 and 2022–2023 academic years as a Studio Technician in the Painting Department. Roberta recently secured a studio in Congress Square and is excited to focus on her own work while maintaining close contact with the College.

Marianna Pierce

Marianna Pierce

Marianna has worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since the early 2000s and currently serves as Senior Advisor to the Vice President for Human Resources. Marianna was previously selected to lead the Office of Labor and Employee Relations as its Director after serving as Director of Labor Relations.

Before working at MIT, Marianna held legal positions at Harvard University and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Marianna holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA in Romance Languages and Literature from Harvard University. She serves on the board of the Ignatian Spirituality Project, an organization that provides spiritual support for those recovering from homelessness and substance use addiction.

Gimbala Sankare

Gimbala Sankare

Gimbala is a diversity and talent acquisition leader with a decade of experience building high-performing teams in the fintech and technology industries. He currently serves as Head of Human Resources at Preti Flaherty, a law firm based in Portland. He is also the founder and CEO of StashUp, an organization whose mission is to strive to make financial prosperity more accessible to those who have been excluded from traditional wealth-building systems.

Prior to transitioning to focus full-time on launching StashUp, Gimbala spent two years in New York City as Vice President and Head of Talent Acquisition for the National Basketball Association (NBA). Before joining the NBA, Gimbala was Head of Global Talent Acquisition and Diversity at WEX, where he managed the company’s global talent acquisition and diversity and inclusion strategies. Gimbala also held the Head of Early Career Talent Pipeline Programs and Recruiting positions at WEX.

Before joining WEX, Gimbala served in public diplomacy, public affairs, consular, and counterintelligence in an official capacity through domestic and international assignments with the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Army. He also held workforce planning and engagement roles with both the Maine and U.S. Department of Labor.

Gimbala earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from Austin Peay State University, a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in human resources and non-profit organizations from Northeastern University, and strategic human resource leadership and diversity and inclusion certificates from Cornell University.

Gimbala joined Maine College of Art & Design as a trustee in July of 2020 and served for two years before taking a step back from trusteeship due to his professional relocation to New York City. He remained on the Finance Committee as a community member for the 2022–2023 academic year and is excited to return as a full trustee now that he is back in Maine full-time.