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Our Board

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Cellist Katie Tertell lives in the UK and enjoys a rich and varied experience as a freelance artist in Europe and America. A former member of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Katie works with numerous European symphony and chamber orchestras. She is a current recipient of the prestigious Exceptional Talent visa awarded by Arts Council England and teaches cello at Durham University (UK) in addition to being the founder and artistic director of ACMF. More info here.



Vice President

Lewis Freeman has been executive director of a conservation organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the ecology of the Central Appalachian Highlands region. He has previously served as an executive with several national trade associations as well as president of an opera company. Lew is also a professional singer and actor, having performed over 75 roles in opera, oratorio, cabaret, film and theatre in the mid-Atlantic region and beyond. He resides in Highland County, VA.



Born in Gernika in the Basque Country of Spain, Jon Malaxetxebarria’s career as a conductor is now established mainly in Spain and in the United Kingdom. In Spain he has conducted many ensembles such as the Orquesta Radio Televisión Española, the Basque Country Symphony Orchestra, Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, Navarra Symphony Orchestra, Oviedo Filarmonía, Orquesta Sinfónica de Extremadura, the Orfeón Pamplonés and the Malaga Philharmonic. Since 2016 he has been Music Director of the Basque Youth Orchestra.



Merri is a professional in the tech sector (startups and currently working in operations at Uber) who has always had a keen interest in the arts, especially music. She's played viola from the age of 10 and is passionate about ensuring music is a part of her life, currently playing in the Kensington Symphony Orchestra in London. She enjoys combining her interest in both business and music whenever possible. 

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Walter Washington is a retired attorney who lives in Charles Town, West Virginia. Following his graduation from law school, he worked as a staff attorney at Community Law Offices, a non-profit legal clinic in Washington, D.C. He then served as an Assistant Attorney General to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission in Pierre, South Dakota. From Pierre, he moved to Austin, Texas, to serve as Deputy Public Utility Counsel in the Texas Office of Public Utility Counsel, a consumer advocate agency. He later headed the agency as an appointee of Gov. Ann Richards. Returning to private practice in Charles Town, he worked for the law firms of Avey & Steptoe, Steptoe and Johnson and the law office of John K. Dorsey.


Mr. Washington served on the board of West Virginia University Hospital in Morgantown for twelve years. He served on the board of Jefferson Memorial Hospital and West Virginia Hospitals-East (now WVU Medicine) for ten years, including as board vice president and secretary. He is president of the board of Friends of Happy Retreat and is a past member of the board of directors of the Jefferson County Historical Society and past chairman of the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission.


Mr. Washington earned his undergraduate degree in English Literature at Carleton College and his law degree from The Washington College of Law at American University.



As Marketing Director at LSY Architects & Laboratory Planners, Theresa has extensive experience in presenting marketing material clearly using varied business and graphic platforms.  Theresa is an accomplished visual artist and also experiments in other media.


Paul Tertell is a structural engineer, now retired from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He was responsible for numerous technical publications on how to “build back better” that address disaster-resistance, resilience and sustainability.   He writes: "during a disaster, you are rewarded by seeing the best in people, compassion, empathy, a kind touch. Working with musicians provides the same rewards"


Gretta Sandberg was a high school and elementary orchestra director in the public schools of Virginia for 44 years. She was the high orchestra director for ACMF Artists Katie Tertell and Rachelle Hunt. She is now string instructor and orchestra director for the Allegheny Mountain String Project in the mountains of Virginia. Gretta lives in Highland County, VA, is secretary of the Highland County Arts Council and teaches at a studio in Monterey, VA. 

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