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Crisfield Arts & Entertainment District Board & Staff

Board Members

Carol Heck, Chair

Carol served four years as Chairperson of the Crisfield A&E District Project Board and served as the Chair of 4th Saturday Bay Stroll 2016-2020. She is the Co-Founder of WBYC 107.3 Community Radio in Crisfield and the past Chair for the Phill Rayfield Memorial Run/Walk. She has been a previous board member for Crisfield Heritage Foundation and the Crisfield Library Foundation. Carol is the Owner of Shore Answer, LLC and Manager of Redi-Call Communications.


Carolyn Neal, Treasurer

Carolyn had a 30-year career in the banking industry beginning in the 1980’s with roles as a teller, teller supervisor and later, an Executive Administrative Assistant in credit card operations.  She served on a committee for process improvements that won team awards.  She also designed and implemented a newsletter for the Operations department that became the benchmark for a business-wide newsletter a few months later.  After moving to Maryland, she took an administrative assistant position at Perdue, retiring after 5 years. 


Carolyn has been involved with WBYC Community Radio, announcing events on the community calendar and volunteering at various fundraisers like the 4th Saturday events.  She served on the Crisfield Library Foundation Board for the 1st year the library was open, and she has been not only a volunteer with CAED, helping to clean up and renovate the old Corbin Library but she also created the 1st event hosted there, the Hangin’ Out Art Show which she co-chairs with her husband, Jim.


Carolyn loves nature photography and enjoys days out with Jim, taking photos that they display in the CAED Co-Op.  She loves spending time on ancestry research, traveling and seeing new places, loves being at the beach listening to the sounds of the waves and the birds, and she enjoys writing.  She has called Crisfield her home since December 2015. She has 2 wonderful children and an equally wonderful son-in-law. 


Jim Neal, Board Member

Jim is a ten-year veteran of the U.S Naval Submarine Service and has a bachelor’s degree in Education, Training and Development. He has been an instructor of many specialties for over 30 years. He has worked for technology companies in the Communications, Data, and Medical Imaging fields. Jim currently works for FUJIFILM in the non-destructive testing industry providing digital radiography solutions for companies specializing in electronics, oil and gas, aerospace and the military.
Jim and his wife Carolyn are residents of Crisfield, are avid photographers and have been involved with the CAED District since it's inception.  They have volunteered many hours to renovating the Corbin Studio and to CAED Events over the years.

Nicole Barkley, Secretary

Nicole lives in Severn, Maryland and grew up mostly in Germany while her father was stationed there. She later joined the Air Force as an Arabic translator/language instructor. She retired in 2014 and since then has held different jobs, including as an election judge trainer. She graduated early 2020 from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) with a Bachelor's in Language, Communication and Culture with the emphasis on Arabic and a minor in German. Currently Nicole is enrolled in graduate school at UMBC for a Master's in Learning and Performance Technology. This degree encompasses both the curriculum development as well as the technology and mechanisms to deliver learning. Nicole is married to Michael Mysik, who is a typesetter and graphic illustrator. They have four children combined, two in Germany, one in Ohio and one just starting to spread his wings to move to Baltimore.

Jackie Miller, Board Member


Jackie lives with her husband in Marion Station, just a few minutes’ drive from Crisfield. She graduated from Spring Woods High School-Houston, Texas, with an Art Major. She has worked with Chesapeake Publishing, The Avenue Newspaper, and The Baltimore Guide Newspaper. Currently, she is a freelance commercial artist for commissioned works. She works well in all mediums and specializes in watercolors. Her subject matter ranges from house portraits to still life to landscapes and wildlife. She has won
awards in many juried shows in Maryland as well as hosting several solo shows. Jackie also serves as a board member of the Somerset County Arts Council and Gallery and is published in Artist of the Mid-Atlantic.

Hitesh Patel, Board Member

Hitesh is an active community member, serving on the Crisfield Chamber of Commerce as second Vice President. He is the owner of two businesses in Crisfield: Somers Cove Motel, and Big Willeys. Hitesh also serves as Treasurer for the Board of the non-profit organization Friends of Crisfield. 

Linda Singh, Board Member

Linda brings more than twenty years marketing experience and deep knowledge of the consumer packaged goods beauty space. She has worked with multi-nationals as well as with start up organizations and espouses an entrepreneurial but easygoing working style. She is the founder, Marketing Launch Partners, a consulting firm specializing in helping innovative startups scale their business to take advantage of tech accelerators and investment opportunities and the owner of The Bay Gift Vault, a specialty boutique serving local residents and tourists located in Crisfield, MD. Linda is also the Founder of Sitara Collections, an online jewelry store launched in 2007 and based in Crisfield, MD. Sitara Collections is dedicated to creating handmade gemstone jewelry for women while keeping traditional craftsmanship alive. Linda is a partner at Ascent Beauty Brands, a Marketing Consultancy specializing in marketing strategy, business development and global product development. She served as a Senior Marketing Director at Coty, Inc., overseeing all marketing activities of a $250 million portfolio across fragrances and personal care brands. Linda has an MBA, Eastern University, Delta Mu Delta.


Jennifer Merritt, City of Crisfield Representative


Jennifer Merritt  serves as the representative for the City of Crisfield, where she is the Grant Administrator. Jen served in the grant funded position as Circuit Rider for the City of Crisfield from 2016- 2019.  While serving in this role she wrote over $3 million in successful grant applications as well as the Crisfield Arts & Entertainment District application to the Maryland Department of Commerce. She has a broad extent of professional experience, ranging from creating websites to conducting shows with live reptiles. Jen has a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy, with both degrees from George Mason University. She is a "casual" painter, and looks forward each year to the Hangin' Out Art Show.  

Bruce Stasi, Board Member

Bruce has diverse experience with teaching, education, and the arts. He holds a degree specializing in early Childhood Education. He has been a school teacher and has volunteered in the teaching field as well. He has also served on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona working for Bureau of Indian Affairs. Bruce has worked in London, England, for CineBuild Pty Ltd. a special effects company for film and television. In 2003 Bruce partnered with Carol Heck to start Shore Answer LLC, an answering service company, in Georgetown, DE. He has lived in Crisfield since 2003 and in 2013, with Carol, he started WBYC 107.3 Crisfield Community Radio. 


Christina Holden, Board Member


Christina Carlson is an artist who finds inspiration through her infinite love of nature. She began by utilizing her beachcombing collection of sea glass, driftwood, and other natural materials to produce beautiful, framed works of art.  Most recently, Christina has begun working with watercolor and acrylics, incorporating vibrant color into her pieces. She enjoys sharing her passions and inspiring others to seek their own creative expression through artist workshops.  She is passionate about outdoors, so it’s no surprise to hear she serves as a State Park Ranger in her professional career.

Jesse Halpern, Board Member

Jesse has recently joined the board and his bio will be added soon.

Betty Schulz, Board Member

Born and raised in Baltimore, Betty has also lived in Northern Arizona (on the Navajo Reservation), Saudi Arabia and NE Pennsylvania. Her house in Crisfield was built in the late 1980's. Over the last few years renovations have been added to allow it to be a full time residence. 

She was trained as an RN and continued school at the University of Maryland, Baltimore to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.  Most of her professional life has been spent working with children and families with special needs. The last 23 years of her career was spent employed by Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) in Baltimore working with homeless families. 

While in Arizona, working in the high school, she learned many of the traditions of the Navajo People (the Dine), including the relationship between their art and spirituality. This experience changed her relationship with nature, art, and the world around her. 

During her time with HCHI worked with the National HCH Council, planning programs for homeless families nationwide, advocating nationally and locally for services and programs for homeless families and children and their families living in poverty. Also in her work in the Baltimore HCH program she assisted with arts programs for the children and their families who were living in the shelters. She coordinated with a local organization to provide poetry readings and writing assistance (of which an amazing book of poetry was created by the children) and art in the form of a mural painting in one of the shelters. 

Her volunteer projects over the years include: Spring festival planning for the PTA for children's schools, fundraising projects for the Children's Health Outreach Project of HCH in Baltimore, and assisting with the planning and implementation of a feeding program for needy people in Baltimore. 

She is currently retired and looking for a chance to use her experience and skills to bring the arts and other opportunities to Crisfield for all its people.

"This town has an abundance of beauty, history and talent that I would also love to share with others."


Arts and Entertainment Coordinator: 

Heather Ross

Heather Ross is the newest addition to the City of Crisfield’s Circuit Rider Program.  She will act as the Arts and Entertainment Coordinator for events that happen in the A&E District as well as working on grants, especially the Facade and Business grant, that is intended for Crisfield Business owners.


After retiring from teaching around the world for 22 years, Heather, along with her retired 82nd Airborne husband, happily calls Crisfield home and enjoys exploring the vast natural entertainment this area has to offer.  She is very eager to plan, promote and participate in all the unique cultural events happening in the Crisfield community.


“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”  Emerson


If you have an event you would like promoted for the Crisfield A&E District or in the monthly e-newsletter, please email her at

Arts and Entertainment Facilitator:

Karen Sutherland

Karen grew up in Salisbury and spent many years in Maryland before moving to Boulder, Colorado with her family.  Karen spent over twenty years in retail, from managing a high-volume Copy and Print Center to overseeing a large Northeastern Region with over ninety stores. She also was an assistant manager for three Office Depot stores, before returning to her roots of copying, printing, and design.  After retirement, Karen moved back to the shore in 2015, and with her husband has been restoring an old Victorian House in Crisfield. Karen joined the Crisfield Arts & Entertainment District team in February 2023 as their Workshop Facilitator and Social Media Manager.  Working in the copy and print business
gives Karen a unique perspective working with artists and their work by creating flyers and videos. In addition, while not an artist, she aspires to create workshops for Crisfield that are useful and bring out participants' creativity.  Karen also volunteers as program director for WBYC 107.3 Community Radio.

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