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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. 


Betty Schulz, Secretary

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."

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.


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. 


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 started with photography at an early age in the family darkroom in the basement.  Having always had a deep love for the process of image making and documenting life around him, he chose to pursue photography in university.  Graduating with a degree in Advertising Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2000, he moved to New York city to pursue his career as a commercial photographer.  Having assisted for some of the industries’ top photographers he then launched his own commercial photography business in 2002.  Shooting for clients like the Village Voice, Canyon Ranch Resorts, Travel Holiday Magazine, and various other clients: Jesse James photography had carved it’s place in the field of commercial photography.  Many shoots and clients later the opportunity to travel and photograph in Asia presented itself, so Jesse packed up his camera bags and headed abroad.  As an English and Photography teacher in Korea for the next ten years, Jesse was able to pursue his business internationally as well as his own fine-art photography projects.  This inspired him to attend the New Hampshire Institute of the Arts in 2016, where he completed his Masters of Fine Arts in Photography in the summer of 2018.  He has exhibited his photographs both nationally and internationally.  Jesse is currently the Commercial Photography Coordinator at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.  He spends his time pursuing personal photography projects as well as taking on commercial clients on and off the Eastern Shore. 

Stan Rayford, Board Member

Stan is co-founding senior pastor of Restoration Fellowship Tabernacle of Detroit, Michigan along with his wife, Robin.  Previously, he served as youth pastor at Southwestern Church of God, associate pastor at Harvest Christian Church of Michigan and as interim pastor at Lincoln Park Church of God, all in the metro-Detroit area. 

 He is a pastoral counselor at Life Restoration Counseling & Psychological Services which was founded by his wife, Robin, a clinical psychotherapist and psychoanalyst for adults and children.   Stan’s specialty is pre-marital, marital and family counseling. 

 Stan is a retired marketing professional employed by the DuPont Company for 30 years.  While at DuPont he served as an advertising and promotion specialist and became the global leader and regional manager of marketing communications for the automotive market and engineering polymers products. 

 Academically, Stan earned his MA in Pastoral Counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary along with an MA in Religious Studies.  He has completed undergraduate work in the School of Journalism at the University of South Carolina.   He is presently pursuing his doctorate degree in community counseling and education. 

 Stan’s hobbies include listening to all genres of music but especially jazz.  Three years ago he fulfilled a childhood dream by becoming an internet radio DJ launching a program called “Inspirational Jazz” a seldom heard genre of music that features an inspirational or gospel message presented by jazz musicians and vocalists.  “Inspirational Jazz” launched on EAMT Radio in Detroit and is now heard Sundays at 6pm on WBYC-FM Crisfield, Maryland along with Stan’s “Just Jazz” Monday nights at 9.  Stan also broadcasts the best of “Inspirational Jazz” daily, 24 hours, on his own Restoration Radio internet station which can be downloaded through Google Play or the Apple Store on your cell phones or tablets.  Download “restoration music.” 

He enjoys writing and in 2021 published his first book, Expectation, Disappointment & Hope.   He is an amateur in photography and loves to capture God’s “fowls of the air”- eagles, herons, seagulls, and birds of every kind.

Stan and his wife, Robin spend many “date nights” viewing movies and having insightful discussions between the two of them or on occasion presenting to an audience of others whether to enlighten film enthusiasts or to encourage couples in marriage enhancement workshops. Together Stan and Robin enjoy traveling and spending time with family, especially their daughter, Heather, her husband, Eric, and their precious daughter, granddaughter Emily.


Stan and Robin have recently established a residence in Crisfield, Maryland while maintaining residence in Troy, Michigan as they continue to move toward completion of the ministry worked they have been called to do awaiting God’s timing for handing the leadership over to a successor and the next generation. 


Arts and Entertainment Coordinator: 

Heather Ross

Heather Ross serves as the City of Crisfield’s Circuit Rider which is a grant position through the State of Maryland's Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).  She will act as the Arts and Entertainment Coordinator for events that happen in the A&E District as well as working on grants to support the A&E and, especially the Facade and Business grant for the City of Crisfield, 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.  She is also an active volunteer for Crisfield's American Legion Post #16 Auxiliary where she is involved in many programs that enhance the lives of active duty military, veterans and their families.


“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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