Megan McElfresh came to the Stained Glass Association of America with a background in Fine Arts and Operations Management. She joined the Association as a Professional Member in 2015 and became the Executive Director in the Fall of 2017.
McElfresh has dedicated her professional life to community service and the art and science of stained glass. Prior to working with the Stained Glass Association of America, she worked in a variety of roles from operations management at a life sciences firm in Washington, D.C. to IT & web support for small non-profit art organizations.
McElfresh grew up in small stained glass studios and continued to build on her technical skills in the medium by seeking mentorship opportunities all the way through college. Some of the highlights of her glass studies were traveling to Pilchuck Glass School and time spent at the nationally recognized kilnforming resource center, Vitrum Studio.
In 2011, McElfresh moved from Northern Virginia to Buffalo, NY, and that year, began her own studio, McElf GlassWorks. Megan drew energy and inspiration for her studio both from causes she was passionate about from her professional career as well as from her new community in Buffalo. She never turned down an opportunity to collaborate with neighborhood teens and local programs to provide enthusiastic and creative educational enrichment to those who might otherwise have never gotten such opportunities. In her personal work, McElfresh sought out ways to use her artwork in the advocacy of issues she was passionate about from her time working at the forensics laboratory concerning subjects like domestic violence and rape, and DNA backlogs. Megan’s studio work has been featured in Stained Glass Quarterly, Design NY, The Buffalo News, and Buffalo Rising.
Her background in operations management and art history gives her unique qualifications as the leader for the National Trade Association as it approaches its 125th anniversary of service to the industry. In her role with the SGAA, McElfresh is focused on sowing the seeds of long-term change and strengthening the SGAA’s core programs. Her focus is on showcasing the Association as a hub for the industry through strong partnerships with manufacturers, preservation and stewardship groups, and education centers. By bringing together the nation’s foremost architectural art glass studios in technical skill and integrity, the Stained Glass Association's cumulative knowledge can be combined for the benefit of all who are tasked with the care and investment of our nation’s living stained glass museum.
Now closing in on their 125th anniversary, in a new cooperative office space where staff can serve along with others working toward a similar mission, McElfresh is enthusiastic about working toward the SGAA’s renew
Helen Shandraw is tasked with all things communications at SGAA HQ, giving her a unique insight into every facet of our community and the projects here at the office. Her responsibilities include website management, social media content, researching, writing and editing for the SGQ, print content design, and anything else that helps spread the word about the SGAA's mission and our many growing resources.
Helen is an experienced researcher with a strong background in graphic design. She earned her bachelor’s degree from The College at Brockport, the State University of New York with a double major in anthropology and graphic design and a minor in museum studies. Her previous experience includes assisting the curator in documentation rights and photographs for research at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, serving as a research assistant for the State University of New York Research Foundation, specifically in work to listen to, study, and manage the care of first-hand accounts, interviews, and transcripts from local refugees, retail management, and researching, writing, digital editing, filming and photographing historical locations, for educational videos and the podcast at the Buffalo History Museum.
Her passions covering a range of interests from History to Typography and skills across a variety of digital tools, make Helen an invaluable part of our SGAA team.
Mark Banaszak is the fiscal associate at Arts Services. He oversees ASI’s Financial Services program, which offers low-cost bookkeeping and fiscal sponsorship to the region’s artists and arts organizations. Since 2018, Mark has served more than 20 bookkeeping clients and over 25 fiscal sponsorship clients.
Mark was born and raised, in Buffalo, where he attended St. Margaret’s Elementary School and St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute. In 1986, Mark received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Canisius College and went on to earn his credit hours in accounting from SUNY University at Buffalo.
Mark joined ASI after spending over three years as the business manager of SUNY University at Buffalo’s Child Care Center, where he was involved in financial matters such as billing and processing tuition payments, paying bills, assisting in the creation of the annual budget, and presenting financial results at monthly Finance Committee meetings. In addition, Mark’s experience included overseeing the payroll processing function and coordinating the delivery of the benefit enrollment program, for which he offered support to staff during the enrollment period.
Prior to his experience at the Child Care Center, Mark spent over 10 years in the banking industry, where he held positions in customer service, mortgage payment processing, investor reporting, and internal audits. Mark also worked for nine years in the telecommunications area as a risk prevention analyst with Sprint, where he had the responsibility of performing compliance/operational reviews in retail locations across New York State, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and Maryland.
SGAA ELECTED OFFICERS
Bryant J. Stanton
1st Vice President
2nd Vice President
Josephine A. Geiger
SGAA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SGAA COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS
Sister Ann Therese Kelly
Health and Safety
Stained Glass Quarterly