Board of Directors
President: Leslie Benvenuti, Haverhill, MA
Vice President: Lou Bufano, Newton, NH
Lou was born into a family of musicians and studied piano, voice, and ‘cello. After a long and exciting career as a circuit designer, he now indulges in his love of music. Lou has found so much satisfaction performing with NECS that he wants to do what he can to be sure it thrives.
Treasurer: Peter Ersland, Littleton, MA
Has B.A. and M.A. degrees in Physics, and has worked as a reliability engineer in the semiconductor industry since moving from Minnesota to Massachusetts in 1986. He joined NECS in 1996, and has served in a variety of Board positions, including a four year stint as president. In addition to the NECS board, Peter has held leadership positions with his church, and on a number of professional engineering boards and committees.
Secretary: Jamie Penney, North Reading
Concert Committee Chair: Meredith Price, Andover, MA
Has a B.A. in American Studies and an MAT in English. After retiring from Phillips Academy, he has continued to teach in special middle schools in Lawrence and has written for the Merrimack Valley Habitat newsletter. Meredith began singing as a choir boy in the Washington National Cathedral and continued singing bass in barbershop quartets and glee clubs in college. He has been a member of NECS for 22 years, the last 14 of them serving as Concert Committee Chair.
Development Committee Chair: William Donelan, Andover, MA
Bill has been singing with NECS for more than 17 years. He is a past President of NECS. In addition to NECS, he is a singing member of Coro Allegro in Boston. Bill lives in Andover with his wife Pat, and works in Technology Sales. He has a B.A. in American History from Brandeis University, and often reads history books while listening to a recording from his large collection of records and CDs.
Membership Committee Chair: Ann O’Connell, Bradford, MA
Is a retired physical therapist with a B.S. degree from Boston University’s Sargent College. Ann has served on the NECS board in a number of capacities over the years and most recently has been instrumental in the success of our Annual Messiah Concert sponsorship program. She has been a member of NECS since 1987.
Publicity Committee Chair: Pablo Garcia, Lawrence, MA
Member-at-Large: Christopher Barker, North Andover, MA
Has a B.S. in Mathematics. Working in the field of education for most of his career, his experience includes project management, technology planning, and teaching. He brings considerable experience to the Board, having previously served as board president of NECS and Cantemus Chamber Singers. Chris is a member of the faculty at Fenn School in Concord, MA, is head coach of Concord Academy’s varsity wrestling team, and is Founder and Owner of Barker Tutoring Services, which specializes in math tutoring. His association with NECS dates back to 1990.
Community Member: Valerie Blanchard, Andover, MA
Valerie holds a B.A. from Northeastern University in Organizational Communications & Marketing, working for various companies helping them to create impactful marketing campaigns and managing business strategy for the past ten years. Prior to raising a family and her current job commitments, she sang with NECS. Valerie lives with her husband, daughter and step-daughter in Andover.
Community Member: Eric M. Heath, Melrose, MA
Eric has most recently served on the board of The Bridge: A School/Community Partnership, as president of the Melrose Bandaiders, Inc., and as chair of the Staff-Parish Relations Committee at Old South UMC. Although a community member of the NECS board, he has been a singer and has sung under the direction of Dorothy DiDomenico, Cleveland Howard and Allen Lannom. He also received the nicest rejection possible from John Oliver following an audition for the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Eric has worked for twenty-five years with East Boston Savings Bank, where he is Senior Vice President for Human Resources. He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in English.
Community Member: Dana Trismen, Boston, MA
Dana Trismen is a public relations professional specializing in social media. She currently works at Matter Communications, an award-winning PR agency based out of Newburyport. Passionate about social media, she has worked with a variety of tech and consumer brands on social media strategy development and content creation. She is a strong writer, and practiced at building relationships with media and conducting media outreach. She graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. in English and Creative Writing. She also grew up in Andover, and is excited to be active on the NECS Board in her hometown.
Community Member: David Williams, North Andover, MA
Has a B.S. in Engineering from University of Massachusetts. Prior to retirement Dave held various management positions in the electronics industry. Now his time is spent with his wife, his two grown children, and his grandchildren. He also volunteers his time with local non-profits, particularly Lazarus House in Lawrence, MA.