The Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Foundation would like to welcome our newest board members, who will serve from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2024.
Al Martin, CPA
Returning to the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Foundation Board of Directors, Al is a retired CPA and Public Finance official. Prior to “retirement”, Al was the Director of Finance for the City of Hagerstown, MD for 30 years, the first Town Manager for Hancock, MD and started his career as an auditor for a regional public accounting firm. During his “break” from serving on the BISFA Foundation Board, Al continued assisting with the Finance Committee.
He serves in leadership roles and numerous community and state boards lending his energy and expertise to better his community. In 2017, in recognition of his commitment to helping his community succeed, Al was named Washington County Business Person of the Year by the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce. In 2021, he received the MD Library Association’s Distinguished Service Award and in 2019 received the prestigious national American Library Association Trustee Citation at the Opening Session of the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC.
Lara is a native of Hagerstown and is employed with Conservit, Inc. as the Human Resources Director. She is married and has two teenagers, including a student at BISFA. She enjoys working with the youth in our community and supporting their future.
Shelly Strong hails from Western Maryland and attended Smithsburg High School and Towson University. She got her start working in film right out of college by landing a job on He Said, She Said as a director’s assistant, followed by a stint as an office PA on David Mamet’s Homicide. Packing up her Chevy S-10, she moved to Los Angeles in 1991. There she landed low-budget work as a production coordinator but quickly moved on to producing independent films and toured the festivals. After several years of the indie/festival circuit she landed an executive job at Stratus and Bullseye where she worked on titles including Crash, The Illusionist, The Painted Veil and Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. Her break into the majors happened in 2006 when she was hired as VP of Production at DreamWorks Studios (now Amblin Partners) where she served as Head of Physical Production for five years. Credits include: Tropic Thunder, Need for Speed, The Help, I Love You, Man, Ghost in the Shell, A Dogs Purpose, 1917 and BIOS.
Strong is active in mentoring young filmmakers, with a focus on diversity and inclusion. She holds a position on the steering committee of the Women’s Production Society, a group of female executives in physical production with the mission to promote the hiring of women in leadership roles in film and television production. In addition to helping women in the film industry, Strong is an advocate for the homeless population in Los Angeles. She formerly served on the board of directors for The Downtown Women’s Center (DWC), an organization that is focused on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness and formerly homeless women.