The betterArts Board of Directors represents an eclectic mix of North Country professionals.


From a psychotherapist to retired Army veteran, freelance writer, scientist, professional artist, community educator and realtor, our board is a diverse mix of ideas and talents brought together to better serve the arts community of the region—and to attract artists from all over the world to create at our lovely farm setting in rural New York State.

  • Nicole Caldwell, PresidentNicole Caldwell is a professional writer and journalist, as well as owner and executive director of Better Farm. She holds a master's degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and an undergraduate degree from Hampshire College. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, comes out this July through New Society Publishers. Learn more at
  • Melissa Aulet, Creative Director * Melissa has been a member of the community since 2010. She earned a BA in Fashion Merchandise Management from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She now uses her unique energy and creative skills as a Senior Account Executive at Tunes 92.5 Radio Station in Watertown, where she produces commercials, creates promos and graphics, and photographs concerts and business events. She's also got her own photography business, Sarissa Melissa Photography
  • Julia Botero, Board Member * Bio coming soon!
  • Holly Boname, Marketing Director Holly heads all marketing- and press-related activities for betterArts. Her expertise on these subjects comes from her previous work as a reporter, journalist, and most recently serving as marketing director for Renzi Food Services in Watertown.

  • Allen Briggs, Board Member

  • Justin Chirico, Youth Coordinator Justin Chirico was born and raised in Watertown, N.Y. He earned two associate degrees from Jefferson Community College in Liberal Arts and Early Childhood Education. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree from SUNY Plattsburgh in History and Political Science. He has for the last 10 years worked with a variety of youth for in  human service and education fields; collaborating and facilitating relationships with community organizations, outreach programs, schools, non-profit organizations and many others. He currently works as a Community Educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County overseeing an after-school program and helping to write grants.

  • AmberLee Clement, Director of Programming AmberLee Clement is a native of the North Country who has traveled throughout the state to gain education and professional development in the Social Arts. Graduating with a degree in Sociology and participating in volunteer opportunities with an emphasis on community development is a strong passion that has brought her to Better ARTS.   AmberLee is currently a Community Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County and has focus on connecting community resources to individuals in the Fort Drum community and local surrounding areas.

  • Sarah Herold, Board MemberSarah Herold has felt the pull of community ever since participating in neighborhood kick-the-can games as a child. After years roaming the streets searching for her shadow, Sarah now finds herself standing on the shores of Brooklyn, waving a master's degree in Community Development & Planning. When not attempting the time-space continuum, Sarah gets her kicks from artistic endeavors, creative expression, cooportunities, strategizing radical alternatives, and glitter.

  • Eileen Kaleel, Board Member * With more than 20 years in various non-profits, Eileen brings considerable community-development expertise, organizational experience, liaison roles and public-relations skills to her role with betterArts and, specifically, Better Radio. Eileen is passionate about playing a role that positively impacts the people of her community while helping to find similarities and potential opportunities for growth. She is the wife of a Fort Drum soldier, mother of five and grandmother of six.

  • Scott Smith, Treasurer Scott Smith is a retired, 25-year veteran, most recently as an Infantry Company commander deployed in support of OEF and responsible for the training, equipping, and deployment of almost 10,000 ANA Soldiers. He now owns his own contracting company, North Country YDIY.

  • Sherilyn Smith, Board Member * Bio coming soon!

  • Matthew Tardif, Board Member * Bio coming soon!