Advisory Committee Members

Advisory Council

Dr. Jessica Hoffmann Davis, Advisory Council Chair


davisJessica Hoffmann Davis is a lifelong student of and advocate for the arts in education. Davis was the founder and first director of the Arts in Education Program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, a senior lecturer, and the first appointee to the Bauman and Bryant Chair in the Arts in Education. At Harvard’s Project Zero, Dr. Davis was the Principal Investigator for Project MUSE (Museums United with Schools in Education), a national and international study of inquiry-based learning in the art museum. She has published numerous articles, monographs, and books including most recently: Discourse and Disjuncture between the Arts and Higher Education (2016, Palgrave Macmillan) and Why Our High Schools Need the Arts (2011, Teachers College Press). Her author website is
Dr. Davis holds a Doctorate in Human Development and Psychology and a Master’s in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum Environments from Harvard University. She is married to Will Davis. They have homes in Holderness and Boston.

Stephen P. Barba

InBarba portrait 1 the spring of 2006 Barba accepted a senior cabinet post with Plymouth State University as the Executive Director of University Relations.  He was the University’s principal business and community liaison and led the University’s government and legislative affairs initiatives. Barba retired in June of 2015.

In his previous career, after 12 years as a summer season employee, Barba served as the president and managing partner of The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire for 36 years.  Barba has pledged to the Museum of the White Mountains his substantial collection of historic items relevant to The BALSAMS and environs.

Tiny Dixville Notch is famous around the nation and the world for its First-in-the-Nation voting tradition.  For nine presidential primary and general elections Barba organized his twenty-some fellow residents to vote at the stroke of midnight so as to be the first citizens to cast their ballots for the next president of the United States of America.

Barba has received numerous awards, including:  the National Resort Executive of the Year Award; a Master of New England Inn-keeping; NH Business Leader of the Year; NH Distinguished Citizen of the Year; Early Learning NH Champion; and he has been recognized for his life-time achievements by eight state and regional organizations.

Barba is the chair of the New Hampshire Humanities.  He is a member-for-life on the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund’s donor advised committee.

Diane Garfield

Diane GarfieldDiane Garfield lives in Center Harbor, NH with her husband, Peter L. Gross, MD. Diane retired in 2015 from a multi-faceted career that included positions in rare books curatorship, corporate website technology, national philanthropy, and museum administration. She held management positions at Fidelity Investments for over 27 years, and moved from business and website technology as a vice president at the firm to the administration of their large philanthropic donor advised fund, and concluded her career there as a grantmaker at the Fidelity Foundation. She has most recently been the administrator of an eleven museum consortium highlighting four centuries of furniture made in Massachusetts.

Diane’s first employment after graduate school in library science was as a curator of rare medical manuscripts at Harvard University’s Countway Library of Medicine. Diane served on the Board of the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center for 12 years, and is a member of the Council at Historic New England, and a Trustee of the Sandwich Home Industries.

Diane and Peter have a second home in Boston, travel often, and welcome their children and 10 grandchildren at Squam Lake as often as possible.

David Govatski

David Govatski retired from the US Forest Service after a 30-year career as a Fire and Aviation Management Officer, Forester and Silviculturist. He has a Bachelor of Science in Forest Management from Unity College in Maine and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Silviculture from the US Forest Service. David worked on a National Interagency Incident Management Team with the US Forest Service for eight years.

David serves on the board of directors of and is the Secretary of the Weeks Act Centennial Coordinating Committee. He was employed by the AMC Hut System in 1967 and 1968. He is one of a dozen people to have red lined all the trails in the White Mountains. David has a small forestry and natural resource consulting company in addition to his volunteer activities. He is an avid naturalist with a focus on birds and alpine plants, a hiker, canoeist, Nordic skier, and snowshoer. He serves on the Board of Directors of several environmental organizations and is an active trip leader.

He lives with his wife, Kathi, in their home in Jefferson NH.

Dick Hamilton

Dick Hamilton, of Littleton, N.H. has over 50 years experience in the travel and tourism industry including 35 years as CEO of the White Mountains Attractions Association, from which he recently retired. He was the first executive director of SKI 93 and is the founder of the N.H. Travel Council. He currently serves as the chair of the N.H. Scenic Byways Council, the chair of the Department of Resources and Economic Development Advisory Board, the chair of the DTTD Joint Promotional Committee (otherwise known as “tourism matching grants”), a member of the Old Man of the Mountain Legacy Fund, vice president of the Old Man of the Mountain Museum, a member of N.H. Travel and Tourism Development Advisory Council, a board member of the Flying Yankee Restoration Group and a member of the Littleton Chamber of Commerce. He also served 14 years as a member of the Board of Governors of the N.H. Community Technical College system.

As he has been an active promoter of the White Mountains as a tourism destination, he is also an avid collector of vintage White Mountains memorabilia, thus his long love affair with Mount Washington.

He has been married for 43 years to his best friend Sandra and has three grown children and six grandchildren aged 2-16. Dick was elected a trustee in 2005.

P. Andrews McLane

Andy McLane and his wife, Linda, live in Weston MA and have a vacation home in Bridgewater NH on Newfound Lake. He works with TA Associates, a Boston based private equity firm managing $16 billion in capital. Andy joined TA Associates in 1979, became a Managing Director in 1982 and Senior Managing Director in 1997, and served on TA’s Executive Committee for 20 years. He became a Senior Advisor of the firm in 2008. Andy is Chairman of the Board of Tempur-Pedic International. Prior to joining TA Andy was a Vice President at the State Street Bank and served two years with the U.S. Peace Corps in Chad, Central Africa.

He holds an AB degree from Dartmouth College (1969) and an MBA degree from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth (1973). Andy serves on the Boards of the Cambridge Boat Club, the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), St. Paul’s School and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation, and is a member of the Investment Committees of the Appalachian Mountain Club, Dartmouth College and Phillips Exeter Academy. He was born in Littleton NH.

Rebecca Weeks Sherrill More

Rebecca Weeks Sherrill MoreRebecca Weeks Sherrill More, Ph.D., holds appointments as Visiting Scholar in the department of History at Brown University and Lecturer in History in the Division of Liberal Arts: HPSS, Rhode Island School of Design. She holds a Ph.D. in History from Brown University. She directed the Harriet W. Sheridan Center, Brown’s professional development center in pedagogy for faculty and graduate students until her retirement in 2010. She continues to teach part-time at Brown andRISD. She and her husband, Tim, are also part-time residents of Lancaster NH on a family farm established by her grandfather Sinclair Weeks.

She continues active research on the social, economic and cultural history of Early Modern England and Colonial America. Her lectures include colonial settlement in New Hampshire and the 1911 Weeks Act, which her great-grandfather Congressman John Wingate Weeks sponsored to further development of the Federal National Forest Reserves.

She currently serves on the board of the Weeks Medical Center, the President’s Council at Plymouth State University and the Outreach committee for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and the National Council at Strawbery Banke Museum.

Ben Phinney

Ben PhinneyBen worked in commercial and international banking for eighteen years in Chicago, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and Boston. In 1992 Ben changed careers and worked in philanthropic advancement at Milton Academy (Milton, MA), Brown University (Providence, RI), and the Dexter and Southfield Schools (Brookline, MA). He has managed and been active in numerous fundraising activities and capital campaigns as a professional and as a volunteer.

Ben has a BA in History from Harvard University and an MBA from University of Chicago. He has a CMC certification from MentorCoach LLC (Bethesda, MD) and an ACC certification from the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Ben lives in Milton, MA and Randolph, NH and has been married for 35 years. He has three grown children of whom he is excessively proud.

Nature, athletics, foreign cultures and music have always been important in Ben’s life. He is an active backcountry skier, mountaineer, and hiker and has recently taken up road biking. Not long ago, he rode a bike over 400 miles in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Other strong interests include travel, photography, classical music, jazz and reading.

Bryant F. Tolles, Jr.

Bryant Tolles was born in Hartford, CT. He has a B.A. degree in American Studies from Yale (1961), an MAT in History also from Yale (1962), and a Ph.D. in History (New England and American Studies) from Boston University (l970). Bryant was assistant dean at Tufts University from l965-71, assistant director of the New Hampshire Historical Society (Concord, NH) from l972-74, executive director of the Essex Institute (Salem, MA) from 1974-84, and Professor of History and director of the Museum Studies Program at the University of Delaware from 1984 to 2006. Now retired he and his wife, Carolyn, live in Concord, NH where he has devoted time to book projects, nonprofit trustee and committee work, and part-time teaching (Tufts, Harvard). Focusing primarily on American architectural history in his scholarship, he has lectured and published books on New Hampshire and Salem, MA architecture; summer cottages in the White Mountains; resort hotels of the White Mountains, the Adirondacks and the New England coast; and, college and university architecture and campus planning in New England before 1860. His current non-profit board service includes the New Hampshire Humanities Council, the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center and the Canterbury Shaker Village.

Cynthia Vascak

Cynthia Vascak

Cynthia Vascak is the Dean, College of Arts and Sciences at Plymouth State University. She teaches integrated arts, curriculum and instruction, art education, and studio art at Plymouth State University. Prior to her work at PSU, she was a K–12 art teacher.

Vascak is co-creator of the award-winning Integrated Instructional Model (IIM), a curriculum model that focuses on arts integration, community building and critical thinking. She also directs the IIM Arts in Action research project, which was awarded a $500,000 grant by the National Department of Education. She oversees this project at several local schools, including Ashland, Inter-Lakes, and Gilford elementary schools. She also works as a professional consultant across the state.

Vascak’s artwork is represented by Winstanley-Roark Fine Arts in Dennis, MA and has appeared in exhibitions in New England. Her primary artistic media are drawing, egg tempera, and printmaking.