The Board of Directors of the Mattress Factory is proud to announce that it has elected six new members: Albert Fonticiella, Andi Irwin, Zach Malone, Shikeith, Sharon Werner and Brian Wongchaowart. The election took place on Thursday, January 28, 2021.
“We welcome six members who bring new energy and expertise to the Mattress Factory’s mission,” said Sherry DuCarme, Governance Committee Chair. “This is a time of unprecedented challenges for arts organizations, and I and the other members of our Board look forward to working with each of these new members as we strengthen the Mattress Factory, deepen connections to our community and champion contemporary artists.”
“The Mattress Factory as a space where when an artist asks if something is possible, the answer is yes,” said Hayley Haldeman, Interim Executive Director. “The six new members who join our Board of Directors – artists, entrepreneurs, leaders and big thinkers – fully embrace that ethos, and we are thrilled to welcome them at time when, perhaps more than ever, artists need people to say yes to their ideas and to support and elevate their work.”
The Mattress Factory reopens on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, after a two-month closure prompted by an increase in COVID-19 cases in the region. On Friday, March 12, 2021, the Museum will open Factory Installed 2021 featuring five, site-specific installations currently being created by artists Sarawut Chutiwongpeti, Luftwerk, Jeffrey Augustine Songco, Andréa Stanislav and Meir Tati.
Albert Fonticiella is the Vice President of Corporate Services for Edwards Marc Brands and The Milk Shake Factory where he leads all administrative functions at the rapidly growing manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer. In this capacity, he has primary responsibility for leading the areas of People, DE&I, talent development, benefits design and organizational planning. Prior to his current role, Albert worked as a healthcare policy consultant in Washington, DC after spending three years at a startup healthcare company in Tokyo, Japan. Albert earned his MBA with Honors from Georgetown University, studied at Corpus Christi College Oxford University and earned his BBA from The George Washington University.
Andi Irwin is an abstract painter and community artist living and working in Pittsburgh. She grew up in an artistic family in Manhattan, with the Metropolitan Museum of Art as her playground. After attending the School of Visual Arts, she moved to Pittsburgh to continue her education at Carnegie Mellon University, where she studied Fine Art, Design and Art History. Between 1998 and 2003 she was Co-Director, with Carolla Zap, of Blue Rider Design Studio which gained a reputation for merging art, design and technology for a diverse group of clients. They were named SBA Young Entrepreneurs of the Year. In addition to being a full-time artist Andi works as both Co-Owner of historic River Forest, Pennsylvania’s first and only majority women owned golf club, and she is the proprietor of My Favorite AirBNB on Forbes.
Zach Malone is a Partner at Magarac Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Pittsburgh, PA (formerly known as Draper Triangle Ventures). He currently serves as a Board Member on behalf of the firm at DayOwl, Locomation and Ikos. Prior to joining the firm, he worked as an analyst at UPMC Enterprises and Gateway Financial. Zach currently serves on the board of the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association, The City of Pittsburgh’s Startup Advisory Board and The Capital Foundry. Malone received his BS in Finance from Virginia Tech.
Shikeith, originally from Philadelphia, lives and works in Pittsburgh. He received his MFA in Sculpture from The Yale School of Art, after earning his BA in Integrative Arts from The Pennsylvania State University. Shikeith’s work investigates Black men’s experiences within and around concepts of psychic space. He has recently been highlighted in institutional solo exhibitions, including the Locust Projects, Miami, FL; Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA and The Alexander Brest Museum & Gallery, Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, FL. In 2019, Shikeith received a Painters & Sculptors Grant from The Joan Mitchell Foundation. He is a 2020 Art Matters Foundation Grant recipient, 2021 Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art Fellow and 2020 Factory Installed exhibiting artist at the Mattress Factory.
Sharon Werner earned her JD from Stanford Law School and her BA from Penn State University where she was a member of the varsity swim team. Today, Sharon is the Chief Operating Officer for the Corporate Responsibility Group at PNC Bank. Prior to PNC, Sharon served in the Obama Administration as the Chief of Staff to US Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch. Prior to her time in the Obama Administration, Sharon spent five years as Chief of Staff to Congressman Jason Altmire (D-PA). She also served as an Associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York, and she began her career as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Barbara S. Jones in the Southern District of New York.
Brian Wongchaowart is a Senior Software Engineer at Google. He was previously Senior AI Systems Engineer at Tulco Labs and a Lead AI Engineer at Target. Brian received bachelor’s degrees in computer science and classics and a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh.