From left to right: Carla E. Anderton, SueAnne Antonucci, Annette Buffer, Gerald Onesi, Mark A. Smith, and Joy Tillman-DeFerrari. Not Pictured: Heidi Kavanaugh, Adam Sedlock, Christina Gabonay, and Darren Hale.

Mark A. Smith
Chief Executive Officer

Mark, the founder, past President, and CEO of the Mon Valley Academy for the Arts, has worked in the Mon Valley music industry for over 50 years. Starting as a student drummer under the tutelage of the famed Edward “Prof” Sweadner and moving on to study with Twin Coaches Orchestra drummer Bill Crockett, Smith advanced to the professional drummer level, working in all phases of the music industry: teaching, performing and recording.

The Twin Coaches Orchestra Project was conceived during a chance meeting in November 2015 with the late Maestro Joe Campus. Following the initial “Coaches Tribute” concert, the Mon Valley Academy for the Arts (MVAA) was established, and it’s now the Mon Valley’s most active arts and cultural nonprofit organization.

Mark is a permanent Mon Valley resident, father of five, and grandfather of 11. With a lifetime of musical experience, Mark naturally moved into a leadership role with the MVAA. His future goals and objectives echo the MVAA’s motto: “Save the music and pass it on to the next generation!”

Annette Buffer

Annette is President of the Board of Directors for Mon Valley Academy for the Arts and a member of the organization’s media team. She is a retired Nursing Home Administrator and Speech-Language Pathologist. She has been a lifetime musician and choir director for over 40 years. Co-founder of the Power of Music (2014-present), a not-for-profit group providing free summer concerts, she is a tireless advocate for live music.

In addition to her duties as President, Annette is the instructor for the Fife students participating in MVAA Reg’t. Fife and Drum Corp and rehearses with them weekly. A new project under Annette’s direction is in the works for a show choir called VoiceZ on Fire. The students involved with the program will perform at concerts and by special request. Rehearsals are weekly; all music and direction are completed as a project under MVAA.

Annette serves as a community choir director with the Bentworth Ministerium Community Choir, which she began eight years ago. She holds a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology and an undergraduate degree in education from California University of Pennsylvania.

Annette, originally from Brownsville, PA, relocated to Daisytown in 1981. She remains active in organizing community events, fundraisers, concerts, and choir performances. Email her at

Carla E. Anderton
Vice President

Carla E. Anderton is Vice President of the Board of Directors for Mon Valley Academy for the Arts.

She is a former professor of English and communications at Westmoreland County Community College and Seton Hill University. She dabbles in stand-up comedy, which you can watch on YouTube.

From 2014 to 2019, she published Pennsylvania Bridges, a monthly regional newsmagazine; from 2006 to 2009, she was Editor-in-Chief of California Focus.

Previously, she served as President of the Board of Directors at Jozart Center for the Arts from 2010-2016. During that time, she oversaw the organization’s general operations and helped plan and coordinate over 500 arts and entertainment programs and events.

She holds a Master‘s in Fine Arts from Seton Hill University and an undergraduate degree in English from California University of Pennsylvania. Carla is the author of The Heart Absent, a fictional take on Jack the Ripper, and is an internationally recognized expert on the Jack the Ripper murders.

Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Carla relocated to Pennsylvania in 1999 to attend California University of Pennsylvania. She currently lives in Daisytown, PA. Email her at

SueAnne Antonucci
Interim Treasurer

SueAnne Antonucci earned her nursing degree from Washington Hospital School of Nursing and her BS in nursing from California University of Pennsylvania.  Her career spanned 41 years, beginning as a clinical nurse, moving from nurse manager of the Intensive Care Unit at Monongahela Valley Hospital to nurse educator and then to practice manager at UPMC Cardiovascular Institute.  Throughout her experience, SueAnne has ensured compliance with OSHA  Standards and State and Nuclear Regulatory Commission Regulations. She has administrated physician credentialing and prepared/controlled operating budgets for the hospital units and physician practices for multiple years.

SueAnne has organized community events and served on the Board of the American Heart Association. She has received the RJ Mientus Service Excellence Award and Gold Best Practice awards. SueAnne has trained staff for the quality improvement initiative and initial computer installation for the Monongahela Valley Hospital. 

In addition to her nursing career, SueAnne has been a choir member and music librarian, including church and community choirs, for 35 years. She has also served as the treasurer of the “Power of Music,” a community concert organization, over the past nine years. The organization is currently a project under the Mon Valley Academy for the Arts. She serves as Interim Treasurer of the Mon Valley Academy for the Arts Board of Directors.

Joy Tillman-DeFerrari

Joy DeFerrari has been the Mon Valley Academy for the Arts photographer since its beginning in 2016. She is also the Secretary of the Board of Directors. Joy grew up in Charleroi and resides with her husband and children in Eighty Four, PA.

Joy holds a BS in Psychology from West Virginia University, with minors in music and communications. She has performed with the Pride, WVU Symphony, Brass Quartet, WVU Taiko, and WVU Steel Band. She has also studied and performed with many of the directors and educators involved with the MVAA. 

After being inspired by a trip to Ireland with her Mom in 2013, she began studying photography. She now owns Live and Love Photography by Joy and has officially been in business since 2015. She has worked both on location and in her studio at 309 5th Street, Charleroi, PA, since 2019. 

Her love of the arts has made the journey with Mon Valley Academy for the Arts fantastic! The Board is an excellent team with a common goal: to continue and preserve the arts! Joy is proud to be a part of such an amazing nonprofit organization.

Darren Hale
Chief Financial Officer

Darren is the Chief Financial Officer for Mon Valley Academy for the Arts.  He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Duquesne University in 2002. He worked as a Certified Public Accountant for the Binkley Kanavy Group in Pittsburgh until 2020, when he decided to pursue a career in teaching. 

In 2021, Darren earned a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education and teaches business and personal finance courses at Ringgold High School.

Darren grew up in Cambridge Springs, PA, and has lived with his wife and family in Charleroi, PA, since 2005.

Gerald D. Onesi
Community Liaison

Gerald D. Onesi owns and operates West Side Auto Repair, an award-winning auto repair and body shop in Uniontown, PA. A professional bassist, guitarist, and vocalist, he’s played in local and regional bands for over 50 years.

Gerald is the lead singer of The Allies. This acoustic classic rock band performs most weekends. In recent years, he was a member of a successful tribute band that toured the region and was named “best cover band” by Columbus, Ohio’s premier rock radio station. On Sundays, he can often be found playing acoustic guitar for services at St. Therese Church.

In addition to serving on the Mon Valley Academy for the Arts board, Gerald also sits on the Uniontown Salvation Army advisory board, where he plays DJ for their 5K races and chairs their nominating committee. 

Adam Sedlock
Corporate Liaison

Adam Sedlock is a licensed psychologist with 40+ years of experience in behavioral health. He has been in the past and is currently an active member of the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Psychological Association, Pennsylvania Psychological Political Action Committee, East End Community Center, the Outdoor Wellness League, Kiwanis Club of Uniontown, and other Nonprofit organizations. He is a member of the medical staff of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and continues in private practice.

Christina Gabonay
Education Coordinator

Christina Gabonay is a versatile educator and writer specializing in Spanish language instruction. Holding a PA Instructional II English 7-12 certification, PA Instructional II Spanish PK-12 certification, and a PA Specialist Certificate in English as a Second Language, Christina is well-equipped to cater to diverse educational needs.

Her educational journey began at Duquesne University, where she earned a BA in K-12 Education and a BS in Spanish. Achieving a notable 3.59 GPA, she made the Dean’s List and was a member of honor societies, including Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Sigma Iota.

Christina’s career spans various roles, including her current position as an educator and writer at Chickadee Education since 2020. Here, she develops PreK-12 educational resources in Spanish, English language arts, elementary math, science, and STEAM. As a dedicated writer, Christina has contributed policy and waiver documents for a local non-profit. She provided numerous no-cost activities and workshops to area children, showcasing her commitment to community engagement.

Her involvement with the Penn State Master Gardeners as a volunteer Youth Outreach Program Developer and Social Media moderator further demonstrates her passion for educational outreach.

Christina’s earlier teaching experiences include roles in the Uniontown Area SD and Southmoreland SD as a middle school Spanish teacher and youth sports instructor for the YMCA. Her international experience includes teaching English as a Foreign Language, Italian, and Computer Studies in Ireland.

In addition to her teaching roles, Christina has been actively coaching various sports, including volleyball, soccer, cheerleading, and basketball. Her dedication to education extends beyond the classroom environment, as seen in her roles as a Head Cheerleading Coach at St. Mary and Assistant Volleyball Coach for Southmoreland SD.

Heidi Kavanaugh
Environmental Supervisor

Heidi Kavanaugh, a proud resident of Coal Center, is a distinguished individual with a rich background. A graduate of Bentworth High School, she furthered her education at California University of Pennsylvania, earning a degree in Foreign Language and Studies. Heidi dedicated 28 years to the US Army Military Police, showcasing her commitment and service to the nation. In her retirement, she actively engages in various community roles, including her duties at the Fayette City American Legion, involvement with the Tri-County Beekeepers, and serving as the Environmental Supervisor at Mon Valley Academy for the Arts (MVAA). Heidi’s diverse experiences and passion for community involvement make her a valuable asset to the organizations she supports.