Mark A. Smith
Chief Executive Officer
Mark, the founder, past President, and CEO of the Mon Valley Academy for the Arts has been working 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.
During a chance meeting in November 2015 with the late Maestro Joe Campus, the Twin Coaches Orchestra Project was conceived. 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 moved naturally 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 is President of the Board of Directors for Mon Valley Academy for the Arts and a member of the organization’s media team. Annette is a retired Nursing Home Administrator and Speech-Language Pathologist. She is 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 Annette’s duties as President, she 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 requests. Rehearsals are weekly, and all music and direction are completed as a project under MVAA.
Annette serves as a community choir director with the Bentworth Ministerium Community Choir that she began eight years ago. Annette 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 email@example.com.
Gerald D. Onesi
Gerald D. Onesi is the owner and operator of 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 board of the Mon Valley Academy for the Arts, Gerald also sits on the advisory board of the Uniontown Salvation Army, where he plays DJ for their 5K races, and chairs their nominating committee.
Carla E. Anderton
Carla E. Anderton is Secretary of the Board of Directors for Mon Valley Academy for the Arts and a member of the organization’s media team.
She is also a professor of English and communications at Westmoreland County Community College and Seton Hill University.
From 2014-2019, she published Pennsylvania Bridges, a monthly regional newsmagazine, and from 2006-2009, 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 general operations of the organization as well as 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. Visit her website at carlaanderton.com.
Rebecca (Becki) Cirinelli-Simms
Rebecca (Becki) Cirinelli-Simms is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors for Mon Valley Academy for the Arts (MVAA).
She holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from Penn State University.
She is an Automated Train Control Software engineer with Alstom, where she has been employed in various roles for 25 years.
Originally from Monongahela, Rebecca and her husband currently live in Fallowfield Township, where their two children attend Charleroi High School.
Her children were introduced to the MVAA with the Twin Coaches Junior Stage Band, where young musicians from neighboring schools are combined with professional conductors and instructors. They have also been involved with private lessons, her son with Regimental Fife and Drum, and her daughter with VoiceZ on Fire.
With the many hours spent with the amazing MVAA and through her children’s love of music and the arts, she decided to join the MVAA board.
The board has amazing energy and shares its love of music with students by providing professional coaching and expanding their talents into the community.
Board of Directors
SueAnne Antonucci earned her nursing degree from Washington Hospital School of Nursing and 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 install for the Monongahela Valley Hospital.
In addition to her nursing career, SueAnne continues to serve as a choir member and music librarian, including church and community choirs, for 35 years. She also serves as the treasurer of the “Power of Music,” a community concert organization over the past nine years, which is currently a project under the Mon Valley Academy for the Arts. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Mon Valley Academy for the Arts.
Nancy J. Gibson
Board of Directors
Nancy J. Gibson is a semi-retired florist who currently works part-time for a Pittsburgh trucking company as a clerical assistant. She remains active in the floral industry and frequently assists a local floral designer with events. She has a history of volunteerism and served on the board of another nonprofit organization in the past. She lives in Crabtree, Pennsylvania, is the mother of two children, and has three grandchildren.
Board of Directors
Joy DeFerrari has been the Mon Valley Academy for the Arts photographer since its beginning in 2016. She is also a member of the Board of Directors. Currently residing in Eighty Four, PA, with her husband and children, Joy grew up in Charleroi.
Joy holds a BS in Psychology, with minors in music and communications from West Virginia University. She 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 works both on location and in her studio since 2019 at 309 5th Street Charleroi, PA.
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.
Community Affiliate Board
Major Heidi Kavanaugh