Board of Directors

Kevin Bender

Kevin is a 20 year resident of Winston Salem and has spent all 20 of those years working at the School of Business at Wake Forest University serving in multiple leadership roles.  He has worked largely in graduate business school admissions and career services and as the program Director for the Master of Science in Management, Master of Science in Accountancy, and the Full-Time Master of Business Administration.  Kevin currently is the Executive Director of the Evening MBA program.  Kevin is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army with 28 years of service as a logistician.  Kevin is a big supporter of the arts in Winston Salem and has been involved with The Olio from its beginning. 


Jill Martin-Byers

Jill has been working in the music industry since 2000. She has worn many hats including Tour Manager, Production Coordinator, Production Runner, Production Assistant, Lighting, Talent Buying, Stage Manager, Staffing Manager, Events Director, Backstage Manager, Quarter Master, and many more! She is currently the Tour Manager for Che Apalache (Grammy nominated latingrass band from Buenos Aires, Argentina/NC). Also, the interim Tour Manager for Brooke Candy (American rapper, singer, songwriter, director, muse, and fashion stylist - L.A., CA) 2017-current.

When she's not working for other artists she loves to perform with the The B. Kin Band and Vagabond Saints Society ...and previously the Red Lipstick Society and the Cat Herders....And when she is not ripping up the roads with work I enjoy hanging with my two kiddos, Samuel Daye (11) and Vera (8), and my husband Ian Byers...adventuring outside canoeing, camping, hiking, swimming ...and more traveling!!

Chad Downard

is a professional visual artist living and working in Winston-Salem, NC. He served in the military for 12 years and had many adventures, at home and abroad. After living in Asia for over two years and and traveling to over 30 countries and most of the U.S., he can say Winston-Salem is one of the best places on earth to live. He married his wife, Martina, in North Carolina over 15 years ago and is happy they are now raising their three children here. After his time in the military, he immersed himself in the arts and has built a myriad of experiences and accomplishments involving many facets of the art world. He has worked as a fabricator, designer and model-builder for public artists and architects, assistant curator of a gallery, preparator for many exhibitions, taught art in the community, schools, museums, an art institute and a university, worked with emotionally disturbed kids and at-risk youth, sat in juries for public art commissions, showed his work both nationally and internationally and has won numerous awards for his art and design. He teaches at Sawtooth School for Visual Art and is excited to be a part of the “City of Arts and Innovation.” He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy (BS, English), Cornish College of Arts (BFA, Sculpture and Painting) and has a certificate in Environmental Horticulture from Augusta Technical College.

Jim Gallucci

is a Professional Metal Fabricator, Designer, and Artist who has developed a substantial and prolific career spanning four decades. He has exhibited internationally in dozens of group and solo shows such as the World Expo 88 in Brisbane, Australia and the 7th Henry Moore Grand Prize Exhibition at the Utsukushi-ga-hara Open-Air Museum, as well as a Diploma of Nomination from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Jim holds a BFA and an MFA in Sculpture from Syracuse University and has instructed art at UNC Greensboro, University of Alabama and was the Exhibit Director at the NC Zoo in Asheboro. He contributes greatly to his community through numerous philanthropic projects as well as through the Gallucci Creative Fund. 

Ann C. Bliss

Ann has been a resident of Winston-Salem, North Carolina since 2004. She has been a member of the Triad Buying Cooperative since 2004, and joined its Board in 2006. She served as Vice President while the co-op launched its Cobblestone Farmer’s Market initiative and expanded its operations with a major relocation into the city’s downtown. Ann’s work was instrumental in the forming the co-op’s collaboration with Carolina Farm Stewardship Association as fiscal agent for the Market, and she served as founding chair of the CFSA committee that oversaw funding and grant management for the Market’s initial years. Ann’s experience with charitable and tax-exempt organization compliance is grounded in her role as a Tax Advisor with the Wachovia Bank Charitable Tax Service Group.

When not in the classroom or hosting students for “Legal Lunch”, Ann enjoys time in her kitchen canning and preserving our area’s local bounty.

Rebeccah Byer

is the Founding Executive Director of The Olio, a Social Enterprise featuring an Apprentice Program and Glassblowing Studio which opened in September 2014 in Winston-Salem, NC. Since 2016 she has served as co-founder of Mary's Mavens, and in 2018 she joined Wake Forest University's Center for Entrepreneurship as a Visiting Professor of Practice. She has a bachelor's degree in crafts with a concentration in glassblowing from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and has worked in glass, education, and non-profit administration for over 25 years. She has created and worked for several for-profit and non-profit start-ups, and produced Indestructible, an award-winning documentary feature film written and directed by her brother Ben Byer (1970-2008), which documented the last six years of his life with ALS. Rebeccah's vision for The Olio and all projects is one of sustainability, empowerment, and community development. She also currently serves on the PTI Airport Public Art Committee and as faculty advisor for Social Impact 360.