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BOARD OF governors

Andy Au

Currently an Associate Professor at Miami University College of Creative Arts, Middletown Campus since 2006. He received his BA from Asbury College and his MA from University of Cincinnati. Au is an artist and was influenced from an early age by science fiction, religion, reading and art. With each series of work he produces, he creates a working narrative that sets the parameters for the aesthetic conventions he uses. He teaches foundation studies at Miami University at Middletown, OH, and maintains a studio with his wife in Cincinnati.

Amy Abernathy

Currently the Branch Manager for the MidPointe Library in Middletown, Amy has served the MidPointe Middletown Library patrons for over 13 years. When she started in 2007, she served the community as the Audio/Visual Acquisitions Librarian. Amy is originally from the Middletown area, proud to be a LMHS graduate. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music from Bowling Green State University and worked for the Toledo Symphony for several years before relocating back to her roots in Middletown. 

Richard M. Davies

Co-Chair Exhibits

(Board member since 1996) is Co-Chair of the Exhibits and Nominating Committees in addition to active involvement in various special events. He is a Miami University graduate and a long-standing member of MAC, serving as President from 2000 until 2005. He held various commercial positions at Armco/AK Steel and has been actively involved in many community activities including Junior Achievement, YMCA, MiddFest and Hospice. He is also a member of the Browns Run Country Club Board of Directors.

Corinne Hemesath

Corinne Hemesath began her career in corporate finance and management in the technology field.  She was a Portfolio Manager with Morgan Stanley for twenty years until her recent retirement. She also serves on the Board of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio and is a member of their Investment Task Group. She is fluent in Spanish and completed her MBA in Global Business Management after earning her BS degree in English.  She is a registered volunteer with the SIFMA Foundation, serving as a judge for the last nine years for the Investwrite National Essay Competition sponsored by McGraw Hill Financial. She enjoys piano, wine tasting, entertaining, and spending time with family and friends.

Shane Mears

(Board member since 2010) is a graduate of Morehead State University with a B.S. degree in Business Administration and is associated with Mears Insurance Agency in Franklin, OH. He is active in the Middletown Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, Butler County Quail Unlimited, the Morehead State Alumni Association, and various youth sports organizations. 


Fran Morrison


Fran has been involved in public education for 34 years. She taught art for 15 years primarily at the high school level, focusing on drawing, painting, ceramics, and mixed media - with special attention to the AP Studio and AP Art History programs. Fran served in administration for the Northwest Local School District and included her position as Assistant Director of Curriculum. Later during her time at Lakota Local Schools she was the Senior Director of Curriculum. Currently Fran is the active Senior Director of Curriculum and Innovation for Middletown City Schools. She holds a BA in Art Education from Miami University and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Xavier University.

Cathie Mulligan

(Board member since 2008) is a graduate of the College of Mt. St. Joseph and the University of Cincinnati, and holds a Master’s degree in Mathematics. She was a member of the original faculty of Miami University-Middletown where she taught mathematics for 31 years. She retired from Fenwick High School in 2009 after serving as principal.  A Middletown native, Cathie has been actively involved in such community affairs as PRISM (Preservation, Restoration, and Improvement of South Main), the Miami Middletown Citizens Advisory Board and is a past president of Middletown Community Foundation. She is also a Board Member for Middletown Area Neediest Youth (MANY); is Vice President of the Middletown City School District Board of Education; and a member of the President’s Advisory Board for Cincinnati State - Middletown.

Janis Nein

(Board member since 2009) graduated in Fine Arts from Indiana University. She was an account executive/designer for Knight Goodman Inc., a Middletown public relations firm, and the chief fashion layout artist for Federated Dept stores in Milwaukee WI. After transferring to Philadelphia, she worked as a freelance designer. Upon returning to Middletown, she continued her freelance design business and produced many design projects for area companies and organizations. Presently, she is a sales representative/designer for Alliance Printing & Mailing Services. Janis is a previous member of the MAC Board of Governors and past chair of the Center’s Art Auction.

Julie Nickell

Vice President

A Middletown native, Julie has been involved with the MAC since the 1970s, when she served as president of the MAC while teaching art at Miami University. She received her bachelor’s degree in education from Miami University in 1968 and became a high school art teacher in Columbus. After obtaining her Master of Arts while teaching at Ohio State University in 1972, she joined Miami University to teach art education on both the Middletown and Oxford campuses. At the same time, she also worked on a Ph.D. in Art Education from Ohio State and took M.B.A coursework at Xavier University.

In 1979, Julie left teaching to pursue a career in communications and held a variety of positions in marketing, communications and public relations in the Dayton and Cincinnati markets. She worked with the Kettering Foundation, Tall Stacks, Cincinnati AAA, and several marketing firms in Cincinnati. She joined Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Cincinnati in 1995 as the Director of Individual Marketing. In 2001, she began a new career in fundraising as McCullough-Hyde Hospital’s first Development Director in Oxford, from which she retired in 2015.

Julie rejoined the MAC board in 2017 and has been President of the board since mid-2021.

Marilyn Noll


(Board member since 2011) Marilyn is a native of Northeast Ohio and graduated in 1976 from the University of Cincinnati with a BS degree in Medical Technology. Marilyn started working at Middletown Hospital in 1976 as staff medical technologist in the Clinical Lab, advanced to supervisor, then Laboratory Director for 20 years. Marilyn then stepped up to Project Manager for design and construction of Atrium Medical Center campus which includes the hospital & 7 other surrounding buildings/businesses. She retired as Vice President of Operations for Atrium Medical Center in 2017.


Nancy Peterson

A Middletown resident since 1967, Nancy has been involved in many community organizations over the years including the Middletown Symphony Board,  President of the Middletown Symphony Women's Association and Middfest International. Currently she is only active on our Board of Directors. She is a 1961 graduate of Presbyterian University Hospital School of Nursing, Pittsburgh, PA, and in the past has served on the Advisory Council for the Council on Aging, Advisory Board of the Orr Foundation for Nursing Excellence, and the Board of Quality Review Services.  In addition to being an active member of First Presbyterian Church, she also previously served as Moderator of Miami Presbytery.  Nancy was on the staff of Mount Pleasant Retirement Village as Admissions and Public Relations Director and then Director of Community Services. Once she retired, she took up watercolor!

Ray Peterson


A Middletown resident since 1980 and member of MAC since 2005 working in watercolor painting  and photography. Graduate of Wabash College, B.A. in Philosophy and the University of Dayton,  Master of Computer Science. Retired from General Electric Aviation in 2014 after 38 years. 

Anita Shew

Development Co-Chair

(Board member since July 2015) Graduate of the College of Wooster with B.A. in English and Masters of Library Science from (Case) Western Reserve Univ.  Retired Director of the Butler County Law Library and former Assistant Director of Univ. of Akron School of Law Library.  In retirement Anita has served as President of AAUW (Amer. Assn. Univ. Women), currently MidPointe Library System President,  and is active with Middletown Community Foundation, First United Methodist Church, Middfest volunteer, and Kiwanis.  She is an active supporter of arts in Middletown. 


Peggy Trimble

(Board member since 2014) Peggy Trimble is a graduate of New York School of Interior Design and attended Ohio State University and Miami University.  She is a current artist and art instructor at the Middletown Arts Center since 2008, teaching both Beginning/Intermediate and Advanced Watercolor classes. Her art has been shown in many one-person exhibits, received numerous awards, including acceptance in the Ohio Watercolor Society Exhibit, Cincinnati's Viewpoint, Arts Council of West Chester & Liberty, Fitton’s Greater Hamilton Art Exhibit, Kettering's Rosewood Gallery, and MAC Masters Exhibit.  She has recently been a guest artist at the Fifth St. Gallery, Cincinnati, and Pop Revolution Gallery, Hamilton.  Her work is currently on display at Hanover House in Cincinnati.  Her paintings are in private and corporate collections in 12 states and Europe. Peggy has had an art studio, Paint and Panache, at the Pendleton Art Center in Middletown since 2012. Preceding her art career, she worked in the corporate world, retiring from Financial Planning Consultants as Corporate Secretary in 1993.  She then founded The Finishing Touch, a custom framing business, from which she recently retired.

Jack Howard

Honorary Member & Co-Chair Exhibits

Upon receiving his BA in architecture and a smooth baseball swing at Miami University, Howard and his family moved to historic Glendale, Ohio.  He then pursued employment with several architectural firms and served as designer with the planning department of the City of Middletown, Ohio. A large commissioned project for Miami University generated many commissioned works from across the U.S.A. and the establishment of Howard’s company, the Atelier 8 Group.

In addition to Howard’s professional artistry, his long standing volunteer work as Co-Chair of the Exhibits Committee, and Honorary Board of Governors member, at the Middletown Arts Center provides support for regional artists to feature their work, bringing learning opportunities and art experiences to the Middletown community.

Howard enjoys continually adding to his body of work with newly commissioned full watercolor renderings of new buildings on the Miami University Campus, private homes, restaurants and businesses, landmark historical buildings, libraries and more.

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