Who We are


The Trust is an independent body that includes  policymakers, philanthropists, artistic practitioners, business and community leaders and the public. We practice a generative thought process that results in obtainable solutions for arts and culturally related issues. The Trust's intent is to help sustain the long-term growth of the arts in Greater Rochester thereby providing a rich culture for all. Trustees determine policy and direction for the support and development of the arts and humanities through six generative goals.

And they’re also real people.




Brad Jones, Chair

Brad is the Executive Director of the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau. A man of many talents, he is adept at climbing mountains (both figuratively and literally) a hockey fanatic, huge Jimmy Buffet Parrothead and most importantly, recognizes that the arts are a key factor in Rochester’s future. He has been a percussionist for years, and let's not forget his dancing that earned him his DFTA trophy!

DR. Ashok Patel, Vice Chair

Dr. Patel is a pulmonologist and past president of the Rochester Diversity Council. When not caring for patients or teaching students at Mayo Clinic, he enjoys eco-adventures with his family and friends as well as dream-storming pathways to inspired peace, community resilience and sustainable global development.

Larry Guse, Treasurer

Larry is the Senior Vice-President and Chief People Officer of Think Mutual Bank. Known as a cool guy in the community, at home he’s a real mess….in the kitchen, but his peach pie is to die for! He is a singer, dancer and as noted, an expert in the culinary arts.


Bari Amadio, 


Bari is the CEO of the Greater Rochester Arts and Cultural Trust. Despite earning five degrees, she's still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. She is currently seeking her sixth degree in fine arts. She is an actress, has stage-managed many productions, studied piano and dance, and her art work has been displayed in Philadelphia's City Hall.


Ellen Huston, 


Ellen has been an active member of the Rochester area arts community for over two decades as the founder and artistic director of the Rochester Dance Company, Minnesota Youth Ballet Academy and the Minnesota Ballet Theatre. After hours find her enjoying time with her husband, family or friends. 



Mayor Ardell F. Brede

City of Rochester
Ardell is Rochester’s No. 1 supporter of the Arts. In fact, he's such an avid supporter that we named our Ardee Awards, celebrating excellence in the Arts, in his honor.  He’s quite the artist,  saxophone player and shortstop…who rarely stops short delivering service.



Mary Davenport

Interim President of RCTC
Mary is the Interim President of Rochester Community and Technical College and a textile artist. She has a closet full of fabric that mysteriously keeps multiplying.

State Senator Carla Nelson

Carla has been honored many times for the outstanding work she has achieved representing our community’s interests at the State Capitol. She currently is the Senate Education Finance Chair overseeing 42% of the State's budget! No wonder after hours will find her relaxing with yoga and sharing her gift of music through song. Carla plays piano and alto clarinet, was first chair in the Iowa All-State Band and toured Europe with America's Youth in Concert.

Judy Sloan and Jim Sloan

Judy and Jim Sloan Foundation
Judy is a dyslexia therapist with the Rochester Reading Center, former Arts Council member, and drama and speech coach. She sees herself as a singer, actress and dancer...forever young! Jim is a former IBMer and software business owner. He is big on Rotary, ice cream and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jim is also a singer and can strum a mean guitar. 

Al Mannino

Principal, Al Mannino and Associates Consulting
Al is a Rochester based Business Consultant. A native of the New York City metro area, he has grown to love the arts and culture of Minnesota and to appreciate a good Hot Dish but remains puzzled by the purpose of Lutefisk.

Joe Powers

Owner, Powers Ventures/Canadian Honker
Joe is President of Power Ventures, Canadian Honker Restaurant, Pinnacle Catering, Rochester International Event Center and Canadian Honker Events @ Apache. Whew! A well-respected civic leader and philanthropist, he spends his spare time (when he has any) at his Wisconsin cabin playing on the water.

Lisa Clarke

Executive Director, DMC Economic Development Agency
Lisa is the Executive Director of the DMC Economic Development Agency. Despite not being able to draw a stick figure, she is nonetheless an enthusiastic fan of all arts and an avid believer that strong arts and culture programming makes for a more viable and economically healthy community. And modesty will preclude her from saying that she's quite the graceful dancer as well. 

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Sue Mackert

Consultant, Arts Education
Sue has extensive experience in the field of arts education. When not flitting about or leaping tall buildings in a single bound, she can be found wandering in the arboretum or jetting off to NYC to visit family, former students and the bright lights of Broadway. Sue also plays guitar and banjo and has taught photography at college workshops. 

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Kay Caskey

Carl & Verna Schmidt Foundation
Kay is the Executive Director of the Carl & Verna Schmidt Foundation. In her spare time, she’s great at digging up dirt…..in her garden. Kay plays the piano and harp, and has utilized her musical talents as an accompaniest to other musicians. 



Bari Amadio, JD, MNM

Bari has attended the Kentucky Derby every year since 1989.  As a breeder and owner of thoroughbred horses, she's been to the winner's circle many times, proving that on occasion she can horse around.