Meet the Board
Don Baker, President
(term ends May 2018)
Don is the former SERFA treasurer and helped to organize 2016 SERFA conference. He attended the FAI Leadership Retreat in 2016, has volunteered at SERFA conferences and hosted guerrilla showcase rooms at SERFA for the past five years. Don co-hosted Mountain Spirit Coffeehouse, a monthly music series, for over ten years. Don has been Chair of Sierra Club groups in Florida and North Carolina for ten years.
Grady Ormsby, Vice President
(term ends May 2020)
Grady has served two years as President of Down East Folk Arts Society (DEFAS). As president, Grady focused on two principles: 1) the artist always comes first, and 2) we should do whatever we can to promote local live music. Grady has been a member of the Board of Directors of DEFAS since 2006 and became Booking Manager in 2008. He has booked talent from 23 states and two foreign countries, and serves as emcee at the DEFAS Friday night shows. Grady helped DEFAS become a Fair Trade venue in 2013 and helped organize the first Down East Folk Festival in March 2016. He has attended every SERFA Conference since 2010 and helped establish the SERFA Kindness Scholarship in 2012.
Abby Parks (terms ends May 2019)
Abby Parks is a performing singer-songwriter who attended the first SERFA conference in 2007 and many others over the years. She has a B.A. in Musical Performance from Jacksonville State University and teaches various stringed instruments privately. Besides performing and recording, she is the host of the Folk Renaissance Radio show on 91.9 WLJS, a local college radio station in Jacksonville, Alabama that helps bring quality folk and roots music to a new audience. At SERFA conferences, Abby has hosted guerrilla showcases and sat on workshop panels. She is looking forward to her new role on the board, working behind the scenes.
Jefferson Ross (term ends May 2020)
Southern folk artist Jefferson Ross is a singer-songwriter, guitarist, painter, poet and photographer who has recorded five albums including his latest, “Live at Hillbilly Haiku.” Now based in Atlanta, Ross spent 27 years years in Nashville as a staff songwriter on Music Row and as a side musician for a number of national and international recording artists. He now travels throughout the United States and Europe weaving his songs and stories for audiences at both house concerts and listening rooms. Ross has been attending the SERFA conference since 2010 and was selected for an official showcase in 2015. He is currently working on a book of photography and southern poetry.
Roberta Schultz, Secretary
(term ends May 2019)
Roberta Schultz is a teacher, singer-songwriter, wellness drum facilitator, and poet from Wilder, Kentucky. A 26-year member of the folk trio, Raison D’Etre, Roberta has attended SERFA since 2009. She has served the conference committee as a volunteer, coordinating guerrilla showcases and assisting with program ads and exhibit space.
Isabel Taylor (term ends May 2019)
Isabel has over 25 years' experience in information technology project management, business analysis, communications, and customer relations, and runs Taylored Solutions, consulting with non-profits and small businesses to improve online and other forms of communication. She attended and volunteered at her first SERFA conference in 2015. In 2016, she served as conference registrar. She's interested in improving processes and communication, and is the SERFA site webmaster. Taylor is the president of the North Carolina Songwriters Co-op, based in Carrboro. She released a debut album, 'Awake Again,' in June 2016. www.isabeltaylorsings.com
Denise Williams, Treasurer
(term ends May 2020)
Denise founded Hillbilly Haiku House Concerts in 2007 to spotlight and advocate for songwriters, and together with husband Rick hosted their 100th concert in 2017. She was privileged to be part of the team that reopened the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville after renovations in 1994. A career in ticketing has allowed Denise to remain close to music in her day job in Nashville for the past 20 years. A self-professed music nerd, Denise volunteered to help with the first SERFA conference in 2008, and stayed on as Treasurer in 2009 and 2010. After a break to allow others the opportunity to participate, she is excited to be a part of the SERFA team again.
Art has worked for several of the most noted cultural institutions, including Appalshop, The ArtsCenter, Folk Alliance International (first president and first employee), and the International Bluegrass Music Association (first executive director). He has also served on the boards of the Americana Music Association (AMA), Old-Time Music Group (dba the Old-Time Herald) and Southeast Regional Folk Alliance (SERFA). Art worked full-time for MerleFest for ten years handling sponsorships, marketing, and media relations. He has collected most of his several hundred published articles on www.artmenius.com. Art operates a small marketing and fundraising shop serving non-profits, events, and musicians. He is working on two book projects, while serving as board chair for Carrboro community radio station, WCOM-FM 103.5, for which he produces a weekly topical song show, and the Carrboro Business Alliance, and as a member of the Orange County Unified Transportation Board, Orange County Historical Commission, and Carrboro Arts Commission.