Laura McTaggart, Chair, is a nonprofit consultant and a partner with Social Venture Partners Boston. Over the past 12 years, she has helped a variety of nonprofit organizations with strategic planning, operations, marketing, and governance. Earlier in her career, she worked in the automotive industry and was a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy. Her love of music began early; she played piano and woodwinds through high school and college with her favorite being the bassoon, but her musical claim-to-fame was playing the sousaphone in the University of Michigan Marching Band and marching in the Tournament of Roses Parade. Laura has an undergraduate degree from Michigan and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is a passionate supporter of SMB’s mission and believes everyone deserves to experience the joy of classical music.
Jesse Edsell-Vetter, Vice Chair, is the Director of Resident Services for Homeowner's Rehab Inc (HRI). Jesse has more than 25 years of non-profit experience, with a focus on housing and homelessness issues. Prior to joining HRI, Jesse developed a hoarding intervention program serving sites across the United States. When not at work, Jesse can be found playing guitar, hiding behind a camera lens, or spending time with his partner and two children.
Scott Woolweaver, Treasurer Scott is principal violist of the Ann Arbor (MI) Symphony, assistant principal violist of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, and a member of the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston. He is Artist Affiliate in Viola and Chamber Music at Tufts University and a faculty member of the All Newton Music School in West Newton (MA), where he directs the Con Brio Series. He has been an Artist Associate at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Instructor of Viola at Eastern Michigan University School of Music and Dance (Ypsilanit, MI), and Guest Artist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge (MA). He is a regular guest of the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society and Director of the Adult Chamber Music Institute at Kneisel Hall in Blue Hill, Maine. Scott is a longtime walker and fundraiser for the Boston AIDS Action Annual Walk Run.
Christina Simpson, Esq., Clerk Christina started her firm, The Law Office of Christina Simpson, Esq. in September of 2017. Her firm primarily focuses on transactional business law and business branding matters such as business entity formation, contract review, drafting and negotiating, and brand protection through trademark and copyright registration. Christina’s primary focus is on small business owners, entrepreneurs, and start-ups, especially those who would not otherwise have access to reasonable and affordable legal services. Additionally, Christina is the Incoming Executive Director for the National Conference of Women's Bar Associations, a co-chair of the Women of Color Committee of the Women’s Bar Association, serves on the Lawyers for Affordable Justice Panel, and is an active member of the Massachusetts Bar Association and Boston Bar Association. Christina is a 2015 graduate of Brooklyn Law School. Originally from Boston, MA, Ms. Simpson grew up in the Mission Hill section of Roxbury. She attended Boston Latin School for high school, graduating in 2008 and going on to Boston College where she graduated in 2012 with a degree in English and African Studies. Christina is admitted to the bars of Massachusetts, New York, the Southern District of New York, and the Eastern District of New York.
Rachel De Dora leads strategic partner marketing initiatives at BILL (formerly Bill.com), a growing fintech company that provides bill pay, invoicing, and spend management solutions to small and medium size businesses. There, Rachel oversees customer acquisition and engagement marketing campaigns for the largest banks that partner with BILL. She earned her M.S. in Business Management from the City University of New York in 2015 and her B.S., magna cum laude, from Syracuse University/SUNY ESF in 2008. Following a 7-year stint in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, she currently resides in Hingham with her second senior toy poodle rescue, Fluffy. Rachel grew up in New York and was heavily involved in music, theater, and dance and is thankful to be involved in an organization where she can combine her passion for helping others with the performing arts. Her history of grassroots volunteerism includes advocating for animal rights and women's rights. Rachel is the President of Alpha Chi Omega's Boston alumni chapter where she leads philanthropic efforts to benefit domestic violence survivors in the greater Boston area and served on the CHEER for Life Foundation Board from 2018-2020.
Mary Deissler A strong believer in arts access for all and in building community through the shared music experience, Mary Deissler has nearly 35 years of broad experience across performing arts and international nonprofits. Deissler served as CEO of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society for nearly 25 years. There she worked strategically to eliminate an accumulated debt and establish the organization’s first endowment fund. During her tenure, H&H conducted 8 tours, including 2 international tours and 10 recordings, one of which won a Grammy award. Most recently, Deissler served as President and CEO of the Charlotte Symphony from 2016-2019, where she eliminated a $1.9m debt, achieved record surpluses in each of three years, and expanded the organization’s community partnership, educational outreach and diversity and equity efforts. In addition to her consulting work, she now serves as Co-Executive Director of Boston Landmarks Orchestra and Chief Strategy Officer of From the Top. Deissler holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts Boston and an MBA from Babson College. In addition to Shelter Music Boston, she serves on the boards of The Sixteen, Chanticleer, and the Handel House Foundation of America.
Seychelle Dunn-Corbin, D.M.A. is a Boston-based saxophonist known for her dedication and advocacy of works by BIPOC and womxn composers. A first-generation college graduate, Seychelle has studied at Morgan State University, Longy School of Music of Bard College, and Boston University, recently completing a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Saxophone Performance. Currently, Seychelle is a standing member of NorthStar Duo, Area 9 Saxophone Quartet, and Megalopolis Saxophone Orchestra and adjunct faculty at Bunker Hill Community College and Salem State University. She is highly involved in serving the surrounding South Shore community and was elected as the Treasurer of the Omega Eta Zeta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and recently appointed as the Undergraduate Coordinator of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and continues to serve as Atlantic Region Reclamation Co-Coordinator.
Julie Leven, Founder and Executive and Artistic Director Emeritus of Shelter Music Boston, created Shelter Music Boston in 2010 as a social service organization able to deliver an immediate positive impact with classical music performances in environments of great need. Julie has been named a Boston Neighborhood Fellow, the first-ever Social Innovation Forum Classical Music Innovator, is a graduate of the BU School of Management Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Oberlin College, and Oberlin Conservatory. She has performed as a violinist at globally renowned concert halls, such as Symphony Hall in Boston, Royal Albert Hall in London, Sibelius Hall in Helsinki, the Jerusalem Theater, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo, as well as on over 35 commercial recordings. She is a member of the Handel + Haydn Society Orchestra and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. When not playing concerts or dreaming up SMB projects, she is passionate about organic farming and an avid Argentine tango dancer.
Michael McWilliams Michael is a social entrepreneur with experience across the NGO, public policy, and corporate sectors. Through his ongoing work in nonprofit development and impact assessment, he has most recently served as executive director for a fledgling arts-based social enterprise. Earlier on, he had repatriated to the US from Sweden upon finishing work with a UN-affiliated NGO focused on the planetary water crisis. This followed executive roles in the American public policy and nonprofit sectors after entrepreneurial and corporate careers in finance, manufacturing, and technology. Michael enjoys all forms of the performing arts, with a special affinity for classical, jazz, and folk music. He admits to a marginal tenor in choral singing and occasionally attempts to play the great highland bagpipes.
Chiquita Riceis a Financial Advisor with a passion for helping her clients realize their dreams. At Monarch Investment Advisors, Chiquita is enablingmoreclients to enjoy the sweetness of life. Whether they want to travel around the world orfinance their grandchildren’s education, she considers clients' goals her own. Her expertise ranges from retirement planning to building and protecting clients’ wealth. Chiquita began her career journey more than 10 years ago, starting as an auditor for both an insurance and asset management holding company, and then moving into a financial advisory role for a large investment firm. When she's not absorbed in her clients’ dreams, Chiquita is focused on the needs of her community and is honored to serve onthe boards of The G|Code Inc. and Shelter Music Boston. Chiquta’s credentials include Series 7 and Series 66 licenses from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA), and the Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS®) designation from the College for Financial Planning. Chiquita holds a bachelor's degree in international studies, with a concentration in Spanish, from Auburn University. She is also a beginner triathlete, gardner, and dog lover.
Pete Toporzycki started working as a consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP ("PwC") in the Mergers and Acquisitions practice in 2012, and in 2018 transitioned to be a product manager overseeing software development for the advisory, assurance, and tax lines of services. He earned his bachelor's degree in 2011 and his master's degree in accounting in 2012, both from Boston College. Growing up in Woburn, Massachusetts, Pete was always interested in music and played the piano until high school. It wasn't until he discovered audio production that he found his true passion. Pete is grateful to be able to work for an organization that values the importance of classical music and recognizes the value of all people. Outside work, he enjoys playing golf, producing music, and spending time with his family, friends, and golden retriever, Apollo.
Board Member Openings
Shelter Music Boston is seeking qualified Board Members to round out our Board of Directors. Candidates are professionals with diverse backgrounds (law, finance, development, marketing, entrepreneurship, technology). Candidates should have a passion for meaningful, high quality art, music, and community service. An interest in the transformational power of classical music is a plus but not a requirement. Board Members have the opportunity to be a part of our work to create social change. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.