The role of the Grunin Center for the Arts Advisory Committee is to

  • Review current and upcoming programming, recommending new partners or strategic initiatives
  • Make recommendations for local sponsorship or philanthropic support
  • Advance the mission of The Grunin Center for the Arts

Grunin Center Advisory Committee Members

Paul Chalakani

Title: College Lecturer II of Theater and Communications, Performing Arts Program Chair & Artistic/Producing Director of The OCC Repertory Theatre Co.
Organization: Ocean County College

About Paul

Paul received his B.A. in Fine Arts from Rider University, and his MFA from George Washington University. In addition to teaching, he has been a professional actor and director and is a Priest in the Episcopal Church.  When not preparing for class, in class, or directing a show, Paul enjoys family, including his four Dachshunds, travel, cooking and sailing.

Bill Colon

Bio Coming Soon

Brian Gilmore

Title: College Lecturer, Humanities & Fine Arts
Organization: Ocean County College

About Brian:

A native of Toms River, NJ, pianist Brian Gilmore earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano performance and has since devoted himself to chamber music. Mr. Gilmore has studied under Veda Zuponcic, Amanda Penick, and Galina Greysermann, and worked in masterclasses with Ida and Ani Kavafian, John Steele Ritter, Douglas Humphreys, and John Perry among others. 

As a solo and collaborative pianist, Mr. Gilmore has won awards in the NJMTA Young Artists Competition, Artists International Competition (NY), and the International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition (Boston). Playing throughout the Tri-state area, select performances include the College Music Society Composers Concert (Princeton, NJ), Philadelphia Flute Society, National Flute Association Convention (Charlotte, NC), and Kosciuszko Foundation (NY, NY). In 2010 Mr. Gilmore was interviewed by David Osenberg for the program Cadenza on WWFM regarding his work on the recordings Debut and The Russian Romantic Flute which featured several world premiere recordings.

As a lecturer at Ocean County College, Mr. Gilmore oversees the applied music program, has revitalized the classical recital series, and regularly collaborates with faculty, students, and area musicians. Through his work as an educator and performer, he aims to nurture musical awareness and understanding in this community, while ensuring that students with a desire to excel in music are afforded that opportunity.

Sanford (Sandy) Josephson

Title: Editor
Organization: Jersey Jazz Magazine

About Sanford (Sandy)

Sanford Josephson is the author of Jeru’s Journey: The Life and Music of Gerry Mulligan (Hal Leonard Books), published in October 2015, and Jazz Notes: Interviews Across the Generations (Praeger/ABC-Clio), published in June 2009. He is currently Editor of Jersey Jazz Magazine, published by the New Jersey Jazz Society. He has also written extensively about jazz musicians in publications ranging from the New York Daily News to American Way magazine and is co-host of the Grunin Center’s Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon concert series.

In July 2016, Josephson retired as Director of Public Relations and Development at the Matheny Medical and Educational Center, a special hospital and educational facility in Peapack, NJ, for children and adults with medically complex developmental disabilities.

Don Kehne

Bio Coming Soon

Melanie Magnin

Bio Coming Soon

Catherine Mancuso

Title: Dean of Faculty Development and Learning Innovation
Organization: Ocean County College

About Catherine

Catherine received her MA in Dance Education from NYU Steinhardt and her BA in Music Theatre/Mathematics from American University. As a performer she has performed with Disney Cruise Lines, The Kennedy Center, and  The Smithsonian Institute. She was previously the Program Chair of Dance at Ocean County College and has been on faculty at Monmouth University, 92nd Street Y, American Youth Dance Theater, Broadway Bodies, and US Performing Arts Camps. As a choreographer her work has been performed at American University, Monmouth University NYU, Ocean County College, The Player’s Theater, Dance New Amsterdam, Ailey Studio Theater, and TADA! Youth Theater. She has a passion for higher education and believes in giving students a holistic educational experience, including arts experiences.

Ricky Riccardi

Title: Director of Research Collections
Organization: The Louis Armstrong House Museum, Queens, NY

About Ricky

A 2001 graduate of Ocean County College, he has published two award-winning biographies on Louis Armstrong with a third set to be released in 2025. In 2022, he won a GRAMMY award for “Best Album Notes” for an Armstrong set he co-produced for Mosaic Records. He still lives in Toms River with his wife and three daughters.

Heidi Sheridan

Title: Executive & Artistic Director
Organization: Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College

About Heidi

Heidi M. Sheridan has more than 20 years of experience in Higher Education and the Arts.  She attended Crafton Hills Community College, the University of California, Riverside, and California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo as she earned her BA and MA in English. She subsequently taught college English, literature, creative writing, and humanities courses.  In 2013, she earned the terminal Master of Fine Arts degree in Poetry at Drew University in New Jersey, and in 2016, was named Dean of Arts and Humanities at Ocean County College and subsequently, named Executive and Artistic Director in the Grunin Center for the Arts. Sheridan is an award-winning poet whose most recent publications are in the Anthology Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California.  She received an honorable mention in the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize by University of Pittsburg Press. Sheridan currently lives in Ocean County with her husband and birdwatching companion, Thomas, and their dog.

Samantha Stokes

Title: Grants Manager /ADA Coordinator
Organization: Ocean County Cultural & Heritage Commission

About Samantha

Samantha is the Local Arts and History Grants manager. She is also the ADA coordinator for Culture & Heritage and is responsible for updating the website. She writes articles for Out & About. She majored in History at Georgian Court University and is active in Lakewood’s vibrant multicultural community.

Jaclyn Wood

Bio Coming Soon

Alizar (Nick) Zorojew

Title: Chief Operating Officer
Organization: Sure Land, Inc.

About Alizar (Nick)

A life-long Toms River resident, Nick is a husband and father of two, and the COO for his family-owned real estate enterprise.  Nick is also the former director and a current board member of the Downtown Toms River Business Improvement District and the former President/Treasurer of Toms River Artist Community. He is an advocate for public art,  an experienced grant writer, and non-profit consultant.