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Southampton Arts is very fortunate to have such a varied and experienced Board of Directors.  

Our volunteer board members are the fiduciaries who steer the organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure the nonprofit has adequate resources to advance its mission.

Gerald Guenkel

Gerald background includes extensive experience as a college educator,  industrial forest manager and as a chainsaw artist for 25 years. 

Gerald is a wood carver, living near the Bruce Peninsula by Lake Huron.  His specialty is creating sculptures using chainsaws and other power tools. He will also put down the power tools on occasion to hand carve large custom, solid wood doors for clients.

Throughout his life, Gerald has been fascinated by the human face. This is apparent in his ability to capture facial expressions on paper, small carvings and most recently through his chainsaw carvings and now hand carved doors.
Like many artists, Gerald started his passion as a hobby. His techniques have been solely self-taught over the past nineteen years, and he has developed and modified his skills through the never ending learning process.

Today, Gerald’s work can be viewed at chainsaw carving demonstrations, exhibitions and recognized art and craft shows. He is becoming known for his quality workmanship and has been commissioned to construct pieces for institutions, municipalities and private individuals across Canada and USA.


Gerald has a strong belief  that a community that celebrates the arts is a strong community. 

Joyce Carr
Retired from a career in Education and Social Services specializing in persons with intellectual disabilities, the first few years of her career focused on Specialized Education with various Boards of Education.  Later in her career she effectively and decisively directed support systems ensuring overall effectiveness in the areas of person-centred planning, community development, networking, service planning, evaluation of outcomes and satisfaction on day to day operations while working within Ministry requirements. She received several awards and recognition for her outstanding contributions in removing barriers for individuals in business. Joyce was raised in a household where volunteering and contributing to one’s community was a way of life.  
Joyce  was active with the Board of Directors for Adult Education and Learning, and Victorian Order of Nurses, and was Instrumental on the ground floor planning and launching of Ronald McDonald House, London, and Geranium House (Hospice) in Chatham-Kent.  She has summered on the shores of Lake Huron, since the early sixties, and is on her third term with the SAC Board, and describes the Art School and Gallery the 'gem' of Saugeen Shores.  
Mary Lou Sinclair - CIH, ROH, CRSP

Mary Lou is a multi-disciplined leader committed to moving an organization forward in health, safety and environmental performance and she has sound knowledge of federal/provincial occupational health and safety legislation and Canadian standards.


Mary Lou has a strong project director tapped to lead cross functional teams in solving complex and high profile issues and has experienced in developing and implementing recognized management systems from the ground up in a diverse organization.  She is a dedicated manager, with a strong work ethic, able to motivate and inspire high performing teams.

Oron Miraie

Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Oron emigrated to Canada in 2008 and has lived in Southampton since 2016. He enjoys the small town feel of knowing one’s neighbours and the opportunity to establish strong ties with his community. 

He is the founder and managing director of Absolute Accounting, which he established in 2018 to help small and medium companies with their accounting needs. He holds a degree in Accounting and Finance and has over 15 years of experience in accounting and business advisory. 


While he is a numbers guy, Oron also has a creative side which led him to establishing a small design and print business, in addition to his accounting work. This allows him to exercise his creativity and his love for graphic design. He loves the outdoors, animals and playing sports such as tennis and golf. His biggest passion however, is basketball. Oron played many years for Maccabi Tel Aviv (think the Toronto Maple Leafs of Israel, except with a winning record) as a Forward and even today he cheers on their games remotely. 


He is grateful to be a part of the Southampton community and is eager to give back by bringing his expertise to the role of treasurer of the Southampton Arts.  

Sharon Barfoot

Sharon has worked in the arts for over 40 years as a curator, instructor, and designer, devoting the last 20 years as a printmaker and painter.  In her career she has worked in professional and community theatre and taught at several community colleges including the Toronto School of Art.  Her past experience includes exhibitions in Pakistan, USA,  Japan, Mexico and Canada, some exhibitions being supported by the Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council. 

Sharon has served on the boards of  Gallery 96 in Stratford, ON,   The Outdoor Education Centre, Wiarton and as Director of My One Square Mile.  She partnered with the Foundation for Rural Living to provide jobs in the arts for rural women living in Grey/Bruce Counties.

 Sharon was a part of the team raising over $500,00 to build the dorms at the Outdoor Education Centre and over $100,00 through My One Square Mile to build a rural school in Mumbai India.

Shelleen Nelson

English Language and Literature at Waterloo Lutheran (Wilfred Laurier University), Waterloo

Diploma in Education at McGill University, Montreal

Lifeguard and swimming instructor at Bear Lake Park; A carhop in Wawa; waitress and “pantry girl” at the Caledon MountainTrout Club; prop and costume maker and actor at You theatre in Montreal; Red Cross program consultant and writer in Nova Scotia, teaching on the topics of health, safety, and international education; elementary school teacher in the Magdalen Islands, Quebec, Igloolik and Iqaluit, Nunavut, and

the Waterloo Board, in K-W.

Port Elgin visits to partner’s family; enjoyment by Shelleen and her family of their cottage on Bruce Road 13 which always included summer visits to the Gallery and some classes at the Art School; and a happy retirement in Southampton where she has become and member/ volunteer with the Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores, the Southampton Residents Association, the Rail Trail Association (love that cycling!), the Women’s Centre Grey-Bruce, CFUW Southport, and the Southampton Arts Centre.

Shelleen believes that the Gallery and School are two unique and valuable “jewels in the crown” of Southampton and merit the best support and promotion possible.

Leslie McNamara

Leslie began her career as a bank teller.  After several years, she was asked to design and teach a banking course at Community College where she developed the love of teaching.  While at the College Leslie additionally taught French and ESL courses, also returning to school to earn her degree in Education.  This was the genesis of a long and happy teaching career in FSL and Immersion French, all grades, all levels, including Administration.


As an Educator, Leslie presented conference workshops throughout the province on topics such as Group Learning, Teaching Styles, Volunteer Training and Development, Mindstyles, and Effective Management. A great joy was directing student plays and performances. Leslie was a founding member of the Southport CFUW and was proud to travel to Moncton on behalf of that organization to bring back their Charter.


Leslie’s language skills have served her well as a bicycle tourist, having cycled more than 40,000 km throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand and North America.  On every tour Leslie prioritizes time spent in theatres and galleries, honing an appreciation of the gifts the Arts provide. It’s a tidy fit that she currently donates her time and energy as the Promotional Director for the Bruce County Playhouse and as a Board Member  for the Southampton Arts Centre.


Leslie believes that the Arts of all kinds play an integral role in a healthy mind, spirit and community.

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