FSF 2023 Committee Member Short Bios
Dr. Jackson R. Bryer (Past President) is Professor of English (Emeritus) at the University of Maryland. He is co-founder and president of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society and author, editor, or co-editor of 17 books by or about F. Scott and/or Zelda Fitzgerald, among them The Critical Reputation of F. Scott Fitzgerald, New Essays on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Neglected Stories, F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Critical Reception, The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald: New Approaches in Criticism, Dear Scott/Dear Max: The Fitzgerald-Perkins Correspondence, and Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. He has been a member of the Committee since its inception in 1996.
Dr. Gary Berg-Cross (President) a cognitive psychologist (PhD, SUNY–Stony Brook, BS from Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute) is now semi-retired from a professional life that included R&D in applied data & knowledge engineering, collaboration, and AI planning research. He has been a Board & Trustee Member of the Friends of the Library Montgomery County and serves are several professinal Boards.
Joseph Monte (Vice President) was an Einstein High School College Counselor for fifty-one years, has served on the F. Scott Fitzgerald Conference Committee for 10 years, and has been President of six different educational boards. He is also a writer for “American Teacher.”
Patricia Chickering (Treasurer) is a historian with a business background who retired in 2003 from the position of office manager for a Rockville historic preservation organization. She served as the bookkeeper and fiscal manager for the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference and became its Treasurer in 2009.
Patrick Fromm (Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) representation) is a regional manager of Montgomery County Public Libraries and implements the' strategic plan in the Rockville community. He oversees a team of circulation and information specialists responsible for delighting Montgomery County customers and provides top notch customers service. He is a liaison for community groups, a Library Advisory Committee, and the Friends of the Library, Rockville Memorial Chapter to develop the Rockville Memorial Library to meet the community's needs. He has a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), English Language and Literature University of Maryland Baltimore County and a Masters of Library and Information Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
Ari Brooks (Friends of the Library Liaison) is an experienced fundraiser and nonprofit manager. As Executive Director of Friends of the Library (FoL), Montgomery County, she handles fundraising, marketing, membership recruitment, board engagement, and financial oversight. She is a graduate of the 2004 class of Leadership Montgomery and was the first recipient of the County Executive's Emerging Leader award in 2009.
Taryn Trazkovich (MCPS liaison) .Taryn Trazkovich is the festival liaison to Montgomery County Public Schools. Currently, she teaches English and journalism at Rockville High School where she is also the staff advisor of the student newspaper, The Rampage.
Margaret Meleney (Committee Member, Writer’s Center Liaison) is senior executive of The Writer's Center with extensive experience in strategic planning, operations, investment, budgeting, annual auditing, and financial analysis. She has managed six entities with operating budgets of over $15 million and previously served as the Chief Financial Officer of Club Managers Association of America, where she has implemented cost-savings and reallocation strategies to improve overall financial health of the organization. She has also volunteered on a number of nonprofit committees
Betty Wisda (Rockville City Liaison) has been the Arts Programs Supervisor for the City of Rockville, Maryland since 1979. She is responsible for the coordination, planning and development of citywide visual, performing and literary arts for all ages. She has received numerous awards from the National Recreation and Parks Association and Maryland Recreation and Parks Association for her innovation, creativity, and dedication to the arts.
Dr. Eleanor Heginbotham (Secretary), Professor Emerita of English at Concordia University in St. Paul, co-chaired the first F. Scott Fitzgerald Society International Conference held in the author’s birthplace in St. Paul MN. Professor Heginbotham has helped with most of the conferences/ festivals in Rockville, site of the author’s grave. She has taught on five continents, most recently at American University's OLLI. She has co-chaired four major conferences; and has published two books and numerous articles, mainly on Emily Dickinson.
Dino Caterini (Committee Member) is a retired Foreign Service Officer who served for thirty-five years with the United States Information Agency, the organization that handled educational and cultural affairs overseas, including the Fulbright Scholarship program. He helped foster American Studies and American Literature in universities in India, Ethiopia, Somalia, Pakistan, Burma, Germany and Italy. He organized exhibits on Fitzgerald and other American literary figures at American Centers overseas as well as at foreign universities. His undergraduate BA degree is in International Relations from Miami University (Ohio), and his JD graduate degree is in law and political science from New York University. He studied overseas on a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Padua in Italy and has been associated with the Rockville Fitzgerald Festival/Conference since its beginning in1996. He is proud to have been to every annual conference since then and has been on the Fitzgerald Fest organizing committee for the past four years.
Susan Hoffmann (Committee Member), former mayor of Rockville, Biden delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, political and community activist. During her tenure in office, Ms. Hoffmann established the Rockville Art in Private Development statute which requires private developers to provide art or a donation to the support of public art. Ms. Hoffmann serves on the Judicial Inquiry Board of the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities, as well as Chair of the Spirit Club Foundation, and is Vice President of the Theatre Consortium of Silver Spring, is a member of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival Committee, and is on the Sunflower Bakery Board. She also is a former Rockville City Councilmember and a former member of the Rockville Planning Commission. During her employment with Montgomery County, MD, she headed up marketing and special events during and after the redevelopment of Downtown Silver Spring. Ms. Hoffmann is the founder of both the annual Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade and the annual Silver Spring Jazz Festival.
Nancy Pickard (Committee Member) is an historic preservation and community planning professional. In her current position as Executive Director at Peerless Rockville, Historic Preservation, Ltd., she works with concerned citizens, volunteers, property owners and local government agencies to identify, protect and safeguard the City’s heritage. Nancy holds Master’s Degrees in Community Planning and Historic Preservation from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State.
Mary Hopkins (Short Story Contest Coordinator) is an English teacher at The Steward School in Richmond, Virginia. She is currently the advisor to both the Middle School newspaper and Creative Writing Club. The former Assistant Head of School at Holy Child in Potomac, Maryland, Mary has worked in the field of English education as both an administrator and a classroom teacher for more than 25 years.
Zach Powers (Committee Member) is The Writer’s Center’s Communications Manager is a seasoned media specialist with 15 years of experience, including many years working with nonprofits. He’s also an accomplished author of literary fiction, including an award-winning short story collection Gravity Changes, BOA Editions, 2017) and a novel, First Cosmic Velocity,
Patricia Dubroof (Committee Member) is the Director of Community Relations for Assisting Hands Home Care. As a lifelong artist, she has over 35 years of experience in creativity and coaching. She developed arts and healing programs at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, Iona Senior Service, Washington DC Veterans Medical Center, Interfaith Works Women's Center, Capital Workspaces among many others. She creates partnerships with communities and organizations to share educational and creative tools for the well-being of all. Patricia is an active member of the Rockville Chamber of Commerce, Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce, GROWS, Rockville Art League, Peerless Rockville, Pump House Village, East Rockville Civic Association, Senior Services Alliance. Patricia serves on Rockville's Cultural Arts Commission.
Carol Rubin (Committee Member) recently retired from the Maryland-National Capital Planning Commission where she worked in various senior management and leadership roles. As an attorney, she held positions in both the private and public sectors, but her passion has always been public service. Throughout her career, Ms. Rubin served on various government appointed and non-profit boards to further give back to the Montgomery County community where she lives, and during her retirement hopes to continue with those activities. As a member of the FSF Committee, she can continue to serve her community by advancing her love of literature.
Liliane Blom (Committee Member) A cultural nomad with many roots (French, Norwegian, German, and Costa Rican) Liliane Blom has lived her life at the intersection of cultures. She has made her home in Rockville, Maryland, where she now lives and creates art.
An award-winning photographer, classically trained painter, and innovative installation artist, she describes her fusion of painting and photography as "digital painting."
In the last decade, she has been transforming her images into interactive and immersive environmental installations. Her installations are multi-sensory experiences, that engage the viewer with sound/touch and light. Playful, they unapologetically appeal to our sense of wonder and invite the viewer into a contemplative space.
Liliane Blom is very engaged in the arts community in the greater DMV and has served on a variety of boards. She is a founding member of ArtWatchDC a group of social-activist artists with whom she frequently participates in art actions.
Elizabeth Redisch (Festival Coordinator) is a jack of all trades. Trained as an attorney, she has not practiced since she moved to the DC area. She currently works as a Weight Watchers coach, a substitute teacher in the Montgomery County Schools, and as the Coordinator for the Festival.
* Shane S. Scott (contracted webmaster) is digital marketing consultant who specializes in graphic and web design, branding and marketing analytics. He has a wide range of experience from nonprofit branding to higher education marketing solutions, with award winning designs and clients. A 2015 graduate of MCCC he holds a Bachelors of Arts in Music Science from Columbia, and is a post-baccalaureate student in Premedical Sciences at Columbia University in the City of New York.