Board and Staff

The Hopewell Valley Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing art awareness and appreciation in the greater Hopewell Valley. We celebrate art in the everyday by cultivating all types of creative exploration and artistic expression, and encourage us all to see the beauty inherent in the simple and ordinary parts of day-to-day life. Through community collaborations, events and art-based initiatives, the HV Arts Council highlights our local talents and enriches the cultural and creative life of our community.

Our Board of Trustees

Dawn Berman – a Board Member since 2016, Dawn studied at the University of the Arts and the Laban Centre for Dance and Movement in London, England, and had a successful professional dancing career with dance companies including, Transitions Dance Company in London, the Junk Dance Company, and the internationally acclaimed MOMIX Dance Company. Dawn is the founder and owner of The Pennington Studio for Dance and Creative Arts in Pennington, NJ.

Chad Goerner (Vice President) – A Board Member since 2017, Chad also heads the Finance Committee. With over 20 years of experience in institutional financial consulting, Chad graduated from The George Washington University and earned numerous industry certification including the Certified Financial Planner® (CFP) designation from the CFP Board in addition to the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA) designation in conjunction with IMCA and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  Chad was the former Mayor of Princeton Township, NJ.

Dennis Hagen – Dennis has been a Board Member since 2019 with a focus on music-related activities and events.  Dennis is the Director of Sales and Marketing for a large Japanese corporation and brings his expertise in fund raising to the HV Arts Council.  Dennis is part of a classic rock band and enjoys working with young musicians.

Erwin Harbat – Born and raised in Hopewell Valley, Erwin owned and operated a dairy farm and was the CEO of Agrain, a grain merchandizing operation.  He currently owns and manages a real estate management company. Very active in the community, Erwin is a Trustee of the Woosamonsa School House, and was the former VP of the Pennington Business & Professionals Association. Erwin joined the Board in 2020 and represents the perspectives of our local Seniors.

Craig Lieboff – On the Board since 2018, Craig is an sales executive with Microsoft.

Michelle Needham (President and Board Member since 2016) – Michelle is a licensed Sales Associate with over 25 years of experience.  Michelle is very active in the community as a member of the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Pennington Business & Professional Association and serves on the Pennington Economic Development Commission, Parks & Recreation Commission and YMCA Annual TJ Golf Outing.

Jennifer Petrino McElroy (Treasurer) – Jennifer is retired from a career with the State of New Jersey involving procurement, program management and operational process improvement spanning 40 years and includes work in the private, nonprofit and public sectors.

C.a.Shofed – Craig is a Fine Arts Photographer and active in his adopted hometown of Trenton, NJ. He serves on many boards that support the artists who work and live within the city’s borders, including Artworks Trenton, and the Trenton Arts Fund Board and was the curator of the BSB Gallery. Craig owns, operates, and promotes his art through his company Amphora Design, LLC.

Former Trustees:  Betsy Ackerman+, Liz Bell, Ken Hill, Heidi Kahme, Liza Morehouse, Bob Prewitt*, Vanessa Sandom, Randi Tengi+, Jennifer Wasserman, Kyle Wille

Our Staff

Carol Lipson – Executive Director+ – As one of the founding members of the Arts Council in 2014, Carol has worked for many years as a volunteer and served as a Board Member.  As the Arts Council rapidly expanded, Carol was hired to serve as its Executive Director in January 2020. Carol’s previous positions have included, Vice President of Marketing for a high-tech Fortune 500 management consulting firm, and Senior Partner with a computer time-sharing company, as well as a variety of software sales and sales management positions. Carol has also served on the management team for the Philadelphia Flower Show for twenty years. Her creative pursuits include mixed media collage, photography, gardening and floral design.

Mary Galioto – PR & Media Coordinator – A seasoned public relations professional, Mary is the publisher and founder of a hyperlocal independent online news website. She has a BA in English from Binghamton University and a JD from Seton Hall Law School. Mary also explores a variety of art mediums in particular photography and digital art.


+ Past Board President
* In Remembrance