Susan brings more than 25 years’ experience in non-profit management to the Bower Center for the Arts, most recently serving as the Director of the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act in the Blue Ridge Region and as the President & CEO of the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce for 11 years. In these roles, she developed strong leadership and management skills and completed a professional development program receiving her IOM, Institute for Organization Management designation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This four-year program educates participants on all facets of running a non-profit. Susan holds a BA in Journalism and Marketing from Marshall University.
Lauren graduated from Liberty University in 2021 with a degree in Youth Ministry. Worked for nonprofit in Brunswick, GA the summer after graduation followed by a year as a substitute teacher in Greensboro, NC.
Growing up in the performing arts, she would spend summers at a variety of arts camps. Doing theatre, singing in the choir, and a competitive dancer most of her life- Lauren believes that art in its most beautiful form is a pure expression of emotion. Whether that’s through a painting, a song or dance routine – it’s all an outlet for feelings. Being an introvert, she always had a tough time communicating but performing arts allowed her to completely let go of that anxiety as she found peace in being able to openly express herself through a character. She believes that the arts are vital in many people’s lives and are available to anyone and everyone. Whether you’re a graduate from SCAD or a single mom with a dream, there is truly no limit to a person’s potential – as long as there’s passion.
Amy brings 10+ years of photography experience and a background in graphic design, web management, social media marketing, and guest relations- we are very excited to welcome Amy to our Bower Center team! If you stop by during our business hours, you're likely to find Amy at the front welcoming you into the building or running about creating content for our social media and website. Amy is a Smith Mountain Lake native and has grown up in the area playing bluegrass music with her family. Today she spends her free time playing electric bass with local band Christian Q. & The Groove alongside her husband, and chasing her two year old son Atlas.
Dotti studied art at Richmond Professional Institute (now VCU), Richmond, VA. She spent over 40 years in the photography business in the DC area where she also operated Great Falls Stained Glass and later took up mosaics. She moved to southwest Virginia in 2007, began teaching mosaics to adults and youth at Bower Center in 2009, and in 2010 started managing exhibits. In 2015 she and a few other mosaic artists formed BRMA, Blue Ridge Mosaic Artists, who call Bower Center home. The group meets bimonthly, exhibits mosaics, and works on community mosaic projects.
Sarah is a Lynchburg based ceramic artist who has been working in clay for 16 years. After graduating from Berry College in 2010 and starting a family in Northern Georgia, she moved to the area in 2017. Sarah also continues her pursuits in environmental education, for all ages, and brings that joy and inspiration to her pottery to create useful, beautiful, everyday items for your home. Outside of a clay studio, she can be found getting her hands dirty in the garden, exploring the woods, or tending to her chickens.