HBAC is a community based non-profit arts organization
Founded in August 2013 as the result of FEMA Sponsored Hurricane Sandy Recovery Committees. Initially we worked cooperatively with Monmouth County Arts Council and still do. From 2014-2015 we were managed as an committee under the Atlantic Highlands Arts Council, a registered 5013c3.
As of January 2016, we are an independent registered 501c3 with a core leadership team of 6 volunteers: operations/events/programs, community outreach, digital marketing, treasurer, PTAK program, and membership.
As a relatively new organization, we balance grass roots initiatives with structured approaches.
We focus on leveraging the passion, creativity, and perspective of local artists, art enthusiasts and local businesses to co-create and manage diverse events and programs accessible to all.
HBAC has a broad interpretation of art and we embrace classically trained and self taught artists of all ages.
Lois Pongo, Membership Coordinator
Lois comes to Highlands from Oyster Bay and north Jersey.
After graduating Gettysburg College she first worked for the NY State Employment Service, then as office manager in her husband's Life & Health Insurance office on Long Island. In 1985 she graduated from The Swedish Institute School of Massage Therapy in Manhattan, and for the next 25 years practiced as a Licensed Massage Therapist in Manhattan, North Jersey and Long Island.
Lois joined the HBAC Team in 2015 and looks forward to assisting with our new adventures and offerings.
Arnie Fuog, Community Liaison
As the HBAC community liason, Arnie works with local businesses to secure venues for HBAC events and represents HBAC to other Highlands organizations where partnering is required.
As a gallery owner and operator in Santa Fe’s famed Canyon Road for 20 years, Fuog focused on “Santa Fe Style” furniture where natural twigs are inlaid into doors, cabinets, shutters and tables. His work has been featured in magazines such as Su Casa, House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, and Family Circle and he has shipped his work all over the world. Now an avid recycler and highly appreciative of old wood, Fuog often incorporates reclaimed wood and stone into many of his pieces.
Fuog attended Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico and Cape Fear Technical Institute where he focused on boat building and marine skills. In addition to his HBAC responsibilities, Arnie and his wife Maureen owned and operated the Bay Avenue community garden. He was also a housing commissioner for 5 years. In addition to furniture, Arnie has an interest in restoring historic properties and is currently renovating a 1790s farmhouse and an 1850s rectory.
Al Pritchard is an interaction designer, information architect and user advocate. He joined Sapient in 2006 and is a Assoc. Creative Director in the New York SapientNitro office. With a foundation in software design and development, coupled with his experience in user research and interaction design, Al spends his days working with clients to better understand their needs and desires. Translating them into rich user experiences.
Al has consulted for clients that include International Financial Management Providers, Global Pharmaceutical Companies, International Hospitality Providers, Leading Educational Institutions as well as a Leading Mobile Handset Manufacturer, and an International Mobile Telecommunications Provider. A proponent of the user’s experience he works tirelessly with his clients helping them translate business requirements into adoptable solutions.
He has been published in both online community publications and with industry leading organizations. Al has lead forums and industry panels on user acceptance and adoption trends, including the Cellular Telecommunications Internet Associations focus on mobile commerce in 2001.
Kim Skorka, Finance Director
Kim Skorka is Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with over 10 years of accounting and financial analysis experience across several industries. Highly organized and detail oriented, Kim is proficient in multiple software applications and systems including MS Excel, Word, Outlook, Power Point, and Skyline.
A graduate of Seton Hall University with a BS in Accounting, Kim was instrumental in filing HBAC’s 5013c paperwork required for our recent non-profit status. She manages the overall finances and the tax submissions for the HBAC organization and has introduced the organization to enabling tools such as Quickbooks and Square.
In addition to her HBAC responsibilities, Kim also sits on the Highlands Borough Finance committee and does the book keeping for her condo association. She is an avid arts appreciator and has a special fondness for the culinary arts.
RJ Clawson, Social Media Director
As the Social Media Director, Raymond (RJ) Clawson manages the HBAC Facebook page and Constant Contacts database and leads the charge on how social media can be used to better connect to the community.
To this role, RJ brings deep administrative, social media, and art skills and experience. As a Petty Officer in the United States Coast Guard he managed Human Resources benefits for military personnel. An artist himself (working with acrylic paint, mixed media and digital mediums), he also manages several Facebook pages - primarily for working artists. He is currently pursuing his Bachelors in Social Work at Monmouth University and plans to pursue his master's to ultimately work with disabled veterans.
RJ describes himself as equally interested in creating and appreciating the arts. His Inspiration comes from everyday interactions and associated feelings.
Maureen Welch, Program & Operations Director
Maureen Welch is a management consultant and program manager and the founder of CREate the Solution, LLC. She has over 30 years of strategy, operations, and change management experience in senior-level positions with large corporations, start-up organizations, non-profits and premier management consulting firms (including Ernst & Young and Deloitte Consulting). Professionally, she has focused on assisting Fortune 500 companies and large public organizations in leveraging and managing their real estate, facilities and capital projects and assets more strategically, efficiently and effectively.
Maureen is a recognized innovator and thought leader who is often quoted and published in major publications. Her most recent research on commercial real estate "bubbles" was published by the World Economic Forum in February 2016. She has a BS in Marketing from Boston College and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts; she received her Interior Design certification from The Design School in London and holds an MCR (Master of Corporate Real Estate) from CoreNet Global.
An advocate of community co-creation, Maureen is the HBAC Program and Operations Director managing over 15 events a years. Working with other members of the leadership team, Maureen hopes to continue to expand the organization.