Board of Directors

The Charter Arts Foundation Board of Directors (February 2021):

Emrich Stellar- President
Chris Kulp- Vice-President
Melinda Stitt- Treasurer
Mark Metzgar- Secretary
Tim Charlesworth
Tami Booth Corwin
Anthony Crisafulli
Jennifer Giordano
Michelle Landis
Sheryl Maher

Frank Shipman (liaison to School Board, non-voting member)

Timothy Charlesworth has practiced law for over 30 years, and has been with Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba since the firm’s inception.  Currently, he is a Shareholder in the firm’s Corporate, Business and Banking Group.  Mr. Charlesworth is also an instructor at DeSales University in the field of International Business Law, and, since 2014 has regularly taught Masters of International Business Administration classes at the ESDES School of Management, which is part of the Catholic University of Lyon (France).

He is the President of the World Trade Club of the Lehigh Valley and is involved in many other community, business and legal organizations.

He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A. 1982) and American University’s Washington College of Law (J.D. 1985).  Mr. Charlesworth is admitted to practice before all courts in Pennsylvania, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of International Trade and other federal courts.

Chris Kulp is a senior executive with a national homebuilder overseeing regional mortgage operations.  Chris has been in the housing finance and real estate industries for over 35 years leading high performing sales teams and driving profitability while focusing on delivering exceptional customer experiences.

Prior to his current role Chris spent almost 20 years with Wells Fargo where his last position had him leading business to business relationships across eight states in the Northeast.  As a leader he has made people development and sales training a focus of his efforts and has had the honor of helping to create many industry leaders throughout his career.

In addition to his career in the real estate industry, Chris also owned and operated an independent ice cream store in partnership with his wife for 20 years as well as owning and operating a real estate company while earning his BS in Finance from Lehigh University.

Chris has served in various positions on boards and committees for several charities in the past and was drawn to the Charter Arts Foundation Board when his daughter began her high school career at Charter Arts as a visual art student.  The impact the school made on her from day one was amazing and her development artistically, academically, and socially has driven Chris’ passion to insure the future success of both the school and the Charter Arts Foundation.

Michelle Landis is founder and principal of Pinnacle 7, Inc. and a certified Master Business Coach with ActionCOACH.   She is an educator and a business professional with over 30 years experience in the business world running both small and medium-sized businesses. She has an extensive background in education, executive management, non-profit management, and entrepreneurial pursuits.

Michelle’s diverse background includes “hands-on” start-up experience with three successful small businesses she founded, a broad international focus including consulting assignments in China, and executive leadership roles with General Electric, Dun & Bradstreet and Armstrong World Industries. Michelle has most recently expanded her leadership and executive coaching to include non-profit organizations due to her on-going coaching work in the non-profit sector.

As a top producer with GE Capital, Michelle led a major re-engineering effort that delivered over $58 million to the bottom line. She developed a keen understanding and empathy for the challenges small businesses face when she was COO and acting President of GE Capital’s SBA business. As a senior executive with GE, Michelle was a frequent presenter for operations and strategy reviews to the GE Board led by Jack Welch.

Michelle has a master’s degree in management, business administration from Penn State University and a bachelor’s degree in education from Millersville University. She is a graduate of GE’s world-renowned executive leadership training program and is a certified six sigma master black belt. Michelle’s success is case studied in the book, “Making Six Sigma Last” by George Eckes.

Michelle is a frequent speaker and presenter throughout the Greater Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia area.   She has won the prestigious Lehigh Valley SUITS award for management consulting excellence, was a recipient of the Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal’s Spotlight Award for business and community leadership and a past recipient of the Easton Chamber’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Award in recognition of her business leadership. She is a member of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce where she served on the Board of the Small Business Council and chaired the Masterminds Committee. She is also an active member of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, the Good Shepherd Women’s Giving Circle where she was the past Chair of the Leadership Team, and is a member of the Foundation Board for the Charter School for the Arts in Bethlehem.

Since 1989, Emrich Stellar has practiced the “Serve First” philosophy by seeking to understand before seeking to be understood. Emrich is the Mid-Atlantic Partner of Equity Strategies Group (ESG) and the owner of Stellar Advisor. He and his team provide leadership and creativity in the areas of Business Succession, Estate, and Charitable Planning. Emrich’s commitment starts with understanding his client’s aspirations and “3 AM Questions!” He and his team have processes to provide clarity and value with a unique ability to make complex problems and solutions easy to understand. Understanding what it takes to build and preserve security flows from his years as an entrepreneur and experience working with successful business owners.

In addition to the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Certified Life Underwriter (CLU) designations, Emrich is one of the first Certified Business Exit Consultant (CBEC) designees. This rigorous study demonstrates competence and leadership in the psychological and technical areas of Business Succession Planning. As a Founder of the Business Intelligence Institute (BII) and CBEC, Emrich knows the process that BII deploys is unbiased unlike others in the Business Exit Planning marketplace. Our goal is to help clients meet their goals by helping them
understand and quantify their options, with the capabilities to deploy the options that are most appropriate.

Family and community are important to Emrich. He is married with four children. He is the past Treasurer of the Lehigh County Authority Board and elected to two
terms as a Lehigh County Commissioner. He is a past President of the Lehigh Valley Society of Financial Services Professionals and a Scout Leader has also served as a Cub Master. He is on the Foundation Board of The Lehigh ValleyCharter High School for the Arts.

Jennifer Giordano spent her 25-year career helping companies better strategize, execute and communicate their paths to market leadership. She has a keen sense of customer experience and the ability to connect the dots from the small details to the big picture. She served as VP of Sales and Marketing for Tribune Corporation’s Instructional Fair Group where she managed its educational and toy brands in three markets, and led the smooth transitions for multiple acquisitions, mergers, and corporate purchases. She credits this experience for her strategic mindset and sensitivity to company cultures and corporate communications.  During her 9 year tenure, the company grew from $8 million to $80 million in revenue and became the largest supplemental educational publisher.

Jennifer spent the next decade consulting for start-ups in several industries including Ben Franklin Technology Partner’s Electrikus Inc. and Map Decisions. She earned her MBA in corporate entrepreneurship at Lehigh University and served as the Director of Recruitment and Admissions for the university’s College of Business and Economics’ five graduate programs. With her student perspective as an MBA candidate, she revitalized the admissions process and re-branded the recruitment programs and marketing approach.  She traveled to China where she combined recruitment and her academic studies.

Jennifer earned her Bachelors in English/Journalism from University of Delaware where she started her career as a print reporter with Chesapeake Publishing. She is most proud of her current role supporting the active pursuits of her three teenage daughters as they prepare to follow their dreams. When her daughter joined Charter Arts’ as a dance major, Jen joined the Foundation Board to support its positive student impact. She is an active community volunteer and served in several leadership roles in her daughters’ schools and activities. She is a member of the Charter Arts Giving Circle.