Board of Directors
Neil Berman, Treasurer
Neil graduated from U. Mass-Amherst in 1977. During college Neil and his father opened and ran a used bookstore called The Book Collector, located in Wellesley and Newton. Neil went to Western New England Law School graduating in 1994. After passing the bar, Neil opened Common Sense Legal Counseling in Somerville. Neil has worked to provide the personal service of a small-town law office. Neil was on the Board of Directors of the National Lawyers Guild – Massachusetts chapter from 2001 – 2012 and was the Chair of the Board from 2008 – 2012. Neil is currently a member of the NLG Military Law Task Force. Neil intends to retire to the Azores. He enjoys reading, watching movies, visiting museums, skiing, bicycling, hiking and camping.
Pamela Fallon has established a distinguished career in communications and marketing that has included promoting world leaders on touring performances as well as international music artists, new businesses and non-profit organizations. Through her eponymous firm, Pamela has established herself as a trusted advisor and in-demand consultant in public relations, communications, crisis communications, marketing and public relations. Her strategic planning and business development clients include e-commerce leader Travelzoo, Rue La La, Inc., Tickets for Charity and Rounder Records. Pamela has successfully led campaigns for former Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Live 8, the National Alliance for Autism Research, Autism Tissue Program, The Rolling Stones, U2 and REN-TV Moscow. Currently, Pamela has established and is director Americans for Navalny. Americans for Navalny is working to raise awareness to the assassination attempt and arrest of pro-democracy leader and Putin opponent Alexei Navalny. Americans for Navalny will be working with congressional members, media and leaders in Moscow to free Navalny and allow for democratic elections in Russia. Pamela has held a variety of roles at Live Nation, a Fortune 500 company, including Senior Vice President of Communications at the world’s largest live entertainment company, and also oversaw crisis communications, public relations, strategic planning and communications, government affairs and investor relations.
Hathalee Higgs has lived in Somerville for 15 years and is a passionate arts advocate. She’s a founding partner of consulting and education services group Hunter Higgs, LLC, and has 20 years experience working with nonprofit cultural organizations in Massachusetts and Vermont. She served as Development Director of MAASH (MA Advocates for the Arts, Sciences & Humanities) and Producing Director of Kingdom County Productions, an independent film production company and nonprofit media arts organization in Northern Vermont. Hathalee earned a Masters in Arts Administration from Boston University and a B.A. in History from the University of Virginia.
Ruth Faris, Clerk
Ruth is a clinical social worker with a background in human resources. She has been a longtime Somerville resident and enjoys being a close neighbor to the Armory. She also volunteers time with the Somerville Library Foundation and the Center for Arabic Culture.
Robert Smyth, President
Robert has been involved with Arts at The Armory from the beginning. His professional life has included starting and running an independent publishing house and working in the book trade for 35 years. His professional career and involvement with Arts at The Armory have been motivated by his desire to provide individuals and organizations with avenues to tell and hear their stories.
Co-Director / CEO
An experienced and dynamic non-profit leader in both startup and institutional settings, Stephanie Scherpf has worked internationally in Haiti, Mozambique and Venezuela. She is motivated by a mission-driven passion for the arts and social impact. She co-founded the Haitian dance organization Jean Appolon Expressions in 2011 and served as Executive Director for the organization’s first five years. She has held senior leadership positions as Managing Director for Urbanity Dance and NEC’s El Sistema USA, respectively, and as Project Director for Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium. From 2005-2008, she lived in Maputo, Mozambique where she was the Founder and Project Manager of a grassroots project called “Dance for Life,” done in partnership with a Mozambican dance company and funded by foreign embassies and corporations. From 2000-2005, she served as the Director of Outreach and Education at Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) in Seattle, Washington. Having received a B.A. in English Literature at the University of Virginia and an M.A. in English Literature at the University of Washington, she has written about arts and culture for a wide variety of U.S. and foreign publications, and speaks French, Portuguese and Spanish.
Co-Director / COO
Jess White brings over twenty-five years of experience in Arts Management ranging from Venue Management to Concert Production and Touring. Most recently, Jess has been the Department Chair for the Entertainment Management program at Bay State College where she built a student run events space, a college radio station and created an industry-acclaimed educational curriculum preparing hundreds of students for careers in entertainment management. Jess has been involved in non-profit capital improvement projects with Central Park SummerStage and the City of New York, has toured with international touring artists, and has been active in producing benefit concerts and raising awareness to many social justice causes. Additionally, Jess has produced four albums and enjoys playing drums.
Lea Ruscio, Former Executive Director, Arts at the Armory