Board of Directors


Robert Crifasi

Mr. Crifasi began taking classes at the Boulder Pottery Lab in 1995 and has remained an enthusiastic student of the ceramic arts ever since. Bob’s professional background is in water resources – he has over twenty five years of experience in that field – many of them spent managing non-profit irrigation ditch companies. Bob sees Studio Arts Boulder as a great community asset that can help serve Boulder as a top destination for arts learning.

Tamara Layman
Vice President

Ms. Layman is a Colorado native and a devoted art and design enthusiast. She is a free-lance designer, taking on a wide range of projects spanning the disciplines of art, architectural, interior and industrial design. Ms. Layman attended the University of Colorado for both her undergraduate and graduate work receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Science in both Fine Arts  and Humanities, and a Master’s Degree in Architecture.

Renate Mairie

Ms. Mairie is Vice President of Photo Finish Consulting, offering design and engineering services nationally since 2007.  She is also an arts educator, artist and advocate for art therapy.  She earned her undergraduate degree in printmaking and art history from CU Boulder and her graduate degree in psychology from Regis University. Renate teaches a variety of printmaking mediums and also offers group & individual art therapy, with a focus on issues of adoption.  Her latest project, The Continuous Line Printmaker’s Collective is a venue for subconscious dialogue through creative collaboration. As a Colorado native, she enjoys all that Boulder has to offer - its great community, immense beauty, incredible food and inspiring artisans.

Julie Penner

Ms. Penner is a Director at Techstars, a global tech start-up accelerator that's headquartered in Boulder. She has a background in venture capital and corporate development. She holds an JD/MBA from University of Colorado with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and a BA from Brown University. Earlier in her career she worked for a company that manages escrows and holdbacks, a startup that developed a sleep-tracking consumer hardware product, and the CU Tech Transfer Office. She began taking ceramics classes at the Pottery Lab in 2016 and looks forward to helping the organization navigate its growth and expansion.

Paul Heffron

Mr. Heffron is a founder of Studio Arts Boulder and a real estate broker for nearly 50 years. He is past owner of the Art Spirit Gallery, collector of ceramic and several other art forms, judge for  NCAR arts displays, past Director of National State Bank (now Wells Fargo), a Director of Downtown Boulder redevelopment, President of Rocky Mountain Center of the Environment, current Board member for Center of the American West, and founder, developer and president  of The Meadows Club.

Christy Gunter

Ms. Gunter has taken classes at the Pottery Lab since 2006, but her interest in ceramics has spanned many years. Christy took her first class in 1970 and continues today after a hiatus to have a family and two careers. The first was in Education – teaching, research, teacher training, program development and educational consulting. Her second career was in Business – owning and managing a sales and marketing company and as a business management consultant. Her academic background includes an undergraduate degree in Biology from UC Davis and a Masters of Arts from Stanford University. Christy brings to the Board a diverse professional background, a love of the arts, and the desire to help Studio Arts Boulder create an outstanding physical, educational, and social environment for the study of the studio arts.

Marc Milavitz

Mr. Milavitz is a criminal defense attorney in Boulder who started playing in the mud with clay in high school and was lucky enough to study ceramics with John Perry at University of Wisconsin - Stout, Don Reitz at University of Wisconsin - Madison, and Don Herron at University of Texas - Austin. These were great experiences and allowed Marc to greatly expand both his techniques and aesthetics regarding ceramics. Despite having this extensive background, Marc took a twenty year hiatus from ceramics until he started taking classes at the Pottery Lab, where he rediscovered the fun of Raku firing and hanging out with cool, like minded folks.

Cynthia Ruggero

Dr. Ruggero is a retired Emergency Medicine physician. She provided patient care in the Emergency Department at Boulder Community Hospital for many years as well as in private practice. She’s had an longstanding interest in the arts and took classes in painting and printmaking at CU before wandering into the ceramics department and falling in love with clay. She has been taking classes at the Pottery Lab since 2016 and is glad to bring her experience and community connections to help the organization expand.

Jessica Adams

After living in Boulder for over 25 years and participating in the local arts scene, Ms. Adams brings both artistic and business management knowledge to her role on the board. In 1994, Jessica founded her own blacksmithing company, which has grown into one of the most sought-after sources of artisan-designed custom architectural and ornamental metalwork. As a co-owner of Living Design Studios, Jessica is the visionary, chief financial officer, lead designer, salesperson, and HR manager for the business. Knowing what it takes to run a successful organization coupled with a love for both the craft of metalwork and the mission of arts education makes Jessica an immensely valuable member of the board.

Hannah Rogal

Ms. Rogal is co-owner and lead designer for Boulder Furniture Arts, a boutique client-to-craftsperson furniture business in Boulder that specializes in authentic woodcraft. With dual honors degrees in Fine Art History and Political Science from the University of Toronto, Hannah’s formal training is making interdisciplinary connections between art/visual culture and society. She has a unique appreciation for the influence of art and its relevance in today’s tech-savvy Boulder community and believes strongly in the power of art to realign the brain, reset accrued anxiety, and restore natural genius. Hannah’s passion for art, her business prowess, and her connections within the local wood and fabrication communities all adds up to a great member of the board.

Aaron Winston
& Kari Palazzari

As executive leaders of the organization, both Aaron & Kari serve as ex-officio (non-voting) members of the Board of Directors, providing information and support for the Board's governance of the organization.


Use the following links to view the organization’s annual reports:

2018 Momentum Report

2016 Annual Report

2015 Annual Report