Board, Staff + Advisory Committee
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
David Scholder – President
Serving on the Marketing and Screening Committees
David’s diverse professional background includes experience in marketing, communications, publishing and arts administration. After nearly 20 years managing the marketing department of one of Boston’s largest architecture and design firms, David relocated to Maine where he works as a freelance consultant when he is not hiking, skiing or watching movies. David also serves on the Board of the Jill Fox Memorial Fund and is a graduate of Bard College. He lives with his wife Tara and 2 cats in Kennebunkport.
Melinda Molin – Vice President
Chair of the Screening Committee
Melinda served on the Screening Committee for four years, two as Committee Chair, and is thrilled to combine her passion for film and the Jewish experience. She practiced surgery in Maine from 1990-2014 and is the founder of Breast Care Specialists of Maine at Mercy Hospital. Volunteer efforts include seven years teaching fourth grade Judaica at Bet Ha’am religious school, nine years as a volunteer physician at Seeds of Peace International Camp in Otisfield, Maine, and six years with the Portland Mentoring Alliance working with Sudanese and Iraqi high school girls.
Kim Volk – Treasurer
Chair of the Finance Committee
Kimberly L. Volk works with Aurora Financial Group where she is Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer and an Investment Advisor representative for the firm. She has more than 25 years’ experience in executive and financial capacities at wealth management/investment firms, including as CFO for a local Trust company and as President of a high net worth family office. Her MBA and undergraduate work focused on business communications and economics. In the Portland community, Kim volunteers at the Breakwater School, is on Board of Trustees and the Endowment Committee, and formerly served as the Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee. She serves as Chair & President of the Board of Trustees for Portland Downtown. Kim lives with her partner, daughter and Boykin spaniel in Portland.
Sheera LaBelle – Secretary
Serving on the Governance Committee
Sheera worked at University of Southern Maine’s Health and Counseling Services for 26 years as a college health nurse, retiring in 2015. Growing up in Minneapolis, she received her B.S.N. from the University of Minnesota and moved to Portland in 1979. Sheera has been involved on and off with the MJFF since its inception, primarily on the screening committee but also volunteering at special events and receptions. She is also on the Board of Portland’s Chevra Kadisha. Sheera loves to read, watch movies, hike and cook. She and her husband, Greg Adams, live in Portland and have two daughters.
Serving on the Screening Committee
Natalie Bornstein is the Social Justice and Advocacy Manager for the YWCA Central Maine in Lewiston. Her work consists of developing and implementing programming around racial justice, women and girls empowerment, and cross-cultural community building among immigrant and refugee populations and U.S.-born Mainers. She began her work at the YWCA in 2014 after graduating from Smith College. This is her second year on the Maine Jewish Film Festival Screening Committee and hopes to continue her work there. Natalie is an organizing committee member of the Southern Maine Workers Center Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign in Lewiston. She lives in Lewiston with friends and cats.
Peggy Greenhut Golden
Serving on the Development and Marketing Committee
Peggy, a native New Yorker is the past owner of Greenhut Galleries, Portland’s oldest contemporary art gallery. She has fundraised for the Portland Concert Association (now Portland Ovations), served on the board of BIG SOUNDS FROM ALL OVER, was appointed by the City Council and served on the Portland Public Art Committee for 20 plus years, is the past Vice Chair of Maine Friends of Seeds of Peace, a past member of the Maine Small Business Alliance, a member of the Director’s Circle at the Portland Museum of Art and a former Commissioner of the Maine Arts Commission appointed by Governor Angus King. At the gallery she has presented shows in support of the Maine Women’s Lobby, National Breast Cancer Awareness and the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project. She believes fiercely in giving back to the Portland community and enriching the Portland experience.
Serving on the Governance, Screening and Development Committees
Randi was a lawyer at the Peace Corps and the US State Department and a development associate for an after-school arts organization that served at-risk youth in Washington, DC. Since moving to Portland from Maryland with her husband six years ago, she has volunteered on the Obama for Maine and Hillary for Maine Finance Committees, Maine Immigrants Rights Coalition and other social justice efforts through Congregation Bet Ha’am.
Serving on the Screening Committee
Daniel’s desire to be part of a Jewish community began in high school following his bar mitzvah in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. He spent a number of years teaching Sunday school which led him to a sponsorship to attend a NFTY program in Israel in the summer of 2008. While in Israel he developed a passion for Jewish history and culture and attended Brandeis University in order to pursue this passion. He returned to Israel for his Junior year abroad and took courses at the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he spent much of his free time cooking. Upon his return to the USA, Daniel began his career in the culinary arts while finishing his degree in Near East and Judaic Studies. Since then, Daniel is now the administrative coordinator at Temple Beth El in Portland, where he and his wife now live with their two cats.
Chair of the Marketing Committee
Jon is Director of Brand and Marketing for EMHS (Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems). He has been working in marketing and advertising his entire professional career, just recently moving to the client side after working at ad agencies in New York and Maine. His professional work has been in developing brand strategies and research to identify and reach key audiences, which he has done for national, regional and local brands (and the MJFF). Here in Maine you can find him on the water in his kayak, on the dance floor at ballroom and latin dance nights, or on the golf course when our weather permits.
Chair of the Development Committee, also serving on the Finance Committee
Since 1994 Jamie has co-produced The North Atlantic Blues Festival, an annual two-day blues music festival featuring national blues performers, in Rockland, Maine. Jamie is also involved in several non-profit projects and organizations. He produces a scholarship concert series for Kents Hill School. Jamie also plays Chicago-styled piano with The Blues Prophets, who have been together for forty years. Jamie was a principal in his family’s wood products business for 30 years and grew up in the Lewiston-Auburn area. He currently also serves on the board of the St Lawrence Arts Center. Jamie and his wife Kris live on Munjoy Hill in Portland and in Wayne.
Phyllis Graber Jensen
Serving on the Screening Committee
Phyllis Graber Jensen is director of photography and video for the Bates College Communications Office in Lewiston, Maine. She worked as a staff photographer for The Boston Herald from 1984-1992, where her work received recognition from the National Press Photographers Association, the Boston Press Photographers Association, and the Washington Journalism Review. Her commitment to multimedia storytelling has included writing and photography projects completed with students in the Lewiston public schools, an oral history project about the Lewiston-Auburn Jewish community, three short films, and an edited collection of essays on the L-A immigration experience. She earned a B.S. degree in human development from Cornell University and an M.S. degree in journalism from Boston University.
Serving on the Screening Committee
A Portland native, Abby has moved back after leaving at age 2 and growing up in Cincinnati. She is currently the Director of Annual Giving & Special Events at Spurwink. Prior to her current position, she worked in the nonprofit sector, film, and publishing in New York City for sixteen years, as well as four years in the UK. Her background includes special events, marketing, and communications. She has a BA in English from Kenyon College and an MA in Comparative Literature from the University of London.
Serving on the Finance Committee
Rachel is Co-Owner and COO of RE/MAX Shoreline in Portland and Portsmouth, and CFO of RE/MAX By The Bay in Portland. Prior to her arrival at RE/MAX, Rachel was Treasurer of a commercial construction company in Auburn, Maine. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Rachel moved to the Greater Portland area after a career as a Wall Street consultant. She is an avid community volunteer, participating on a number of nonprofit and government Boards.
Chair of the Hospitality Committee serves on the Development Committee
Robin has a MA in counseling and certificate in gerontological counseling, from The College of New Jersey. Her BA is in psychology from Queens College, NY. Among other positions, Robin has worked as a Senior Mission Manager at United National Jewish Communities and Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston and as Senior Adult Program Coordinator at Kaiserman JCC in Wyncote, PA. Her volunteer experience includes the Board and Advisory Committee of the Maine Jewish Film Festival, Delegate, Union of American Hebrew Congregations Biennial, Board Member, DOROT, Treasurer and Board member Whistler Landing Condo Association.
Piotrek was born in Poland and immigrated to the United States 40 years ago. After graduating from the Wharton Graduate School in 1981, Piotrek relocated to Portland. Piotrek and his family belong to Temple Bet Ha’am, where he has played a leadership role and taught religious school. Past involvement with the Maine Jewish Film Festival includes serving on the screening committee. An employee of UNUM, Piotrek has been recognized as an outstanding volunteer by his company and by Portland High School.
Barbara Merson, Executive Director
Barbara joined the Maine Jewish Film Festival as executive director in 2016. Barbara comes to MJFF with extensive background in non-profit leadership, having most recently served as the Executive Director of Temple Shaaray Tefila in Westchester, New York. Barbara’s experience also includes senior leadership positions at the Stamford Jewish Community Center, the ISEF Foundation, and the Slifka Foundation. She is a graduate of Brandeis University, has received graduate degrees from Columbia University School of Business, SUNY Stony Brook, and Hebrew Union College. She recently completed a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership through a joint program of Lesley University and Hebrew College. An avid kayaker and hiker, Barbara lives in North Yarmouth with her glass artist husband Marty Kremer.
Janice Bailey, Festival Manager
Janice joined the Maine Jewish Film Festival with a background in broadcasting, advertising/public relations and teaching. She has worked as on on-air personality at radio stations in New Hampshire and Boston with formats ranging from alternative rock to classical. Her work in advertising and public relations earned multiple awards for copywriting and production. For ten years she taught communication and media courses at Hesser College in New Hampshire. In 2004 she joined PortTix, the box office at Merrill Auditorium, where she was the Director until 2014. Janice lives with her husband on Munjoy Hill, loves Portland but misses Videoport and likes any movie with the Marx Brothers.