Megan McElfresh is a respected third-generation stained glass artisan with a background in nonprofit and operations management and art history. Combining her professional interest in the relationships between science, industry, and art in the glass ecosystem with a lifetime of community service, McElfresh is uniquely qualified to lead the National Trade Association. Her leadership comes at an exciting time as the organization celebrates 120 years of service to the industry and revitalizes its mission for the next generation.
Prior to working for the SGAA, McElfresh 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. She 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 include several trips to Pilchuck Glass School and time spent at the nationally recognized kilnforming resource center, Vitrum Studio. In her own architectural glass studio, McElf GlassWorks, 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. Both her artwork as well as her community programs and research have been featured in the Stained Glass Quarterly, Design NY, The Buffalo News, and Buffalo Rising.
As Executive Director, McElfresh is dedicated to sowing the seeds of long-term change and expanding the SGAA's core programs so that they are sustainable for the challenges facing the next generation. Her focus on showcasing the Association as a hub for the industry through strong partnerships with manufacturers, preservation and stewardship groups, and education centers highlights her commitment to collaboration and innovation. By bringing together the nation's foremost architectural art glass studios in technical skill and integrity, the SGAA's cumulative knowledge can be leveraged to benefit all who are tasked with the stewardship, care, and renewal of our nation's living stained glass museum.
McElfresh's research interests are equally intense and impactful. Her ongoing work centers on how the built environment impacts community health and safety, with a particular focus on increasing access to stained glass and the trade skills in underprivileged communities. She also explores preservation efforts and their impact on community revitalization and economic development. McElfresh's dedication to understanding the broader impact of her work on the community is a testament to her commitment to social responsibility and underscores her importance as a thought leader in the industry. Her dedication to the community-focused mission of the SGAA is driving innovation and collaboration within the organization.
McElfresh's work underscores the importance of collaboration, innovation, and social responsibility in driving meaningful change and making a positive impact on the communities we serve. With McElfresh's leadership, the SGAA is embracing a bright future of growth and development. Inspired by her energy, the organization is enthusiastic about becoming a more welcoming force in the stained glass industry, forging a path to serve a new generation that can continue to bring diversity and innovation to this incredible mate
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
SGAA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SGAA COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS
Stained Glass Quarterly
Stained Glass Quarterly