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Arts Escape Inc. is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 Arts Enrichment Center for seniors. Seniors will continue their education and interests in all aspects of the arts at the center with their peers. We will provide studio space and storage for individual artists at a nominal fee, including exhibit space. Our continuing arts education programs will be offered through lectures and workshops in literature, music, fine arts, and crafts.

“Arts Escape - where creativity and learning never get old.”

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Ron Oleet


Ron is currently a Senior Vice President at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in New York City. He is a partner in the wealth management practice, The Lenox Group. Ron is the Senior Portfolio Manager of the group's fixed income strategies, oversees the group's asset allocation process as well as being responsible for the relationship management of a portion of the practice's high net worth client base.

A graduate of Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Ron began his career in the financial services industry more than 35 years ago. He has worked as a Financial Adviser with Merrill Lynch and Kidder, Peabody before joining a Morgan Stanley predecessor firm in 1987. He has managed firm offices in New York City and Manhasset, New York. Ron is a member of the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA®) and the Association of Professional Investment Consultants (APIC), currently serving as a Board Director.

Ron is involved in a number of community organizations, including the Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley Region in Valhalla, New York, where he currently serves as Board President. He is a past President and Board Chairman of Sinai Free Synagogue in Mount Vernon, New York. Ron and his wife of 40 years, Eileen, maintain homes in Hartsdale, New York, and West Dover, Vermont. He has been a downhill skier for more than 45 years and volunteers at Mount Snow as a Mountain Ambassador. Ron is a road bike enthusiast, a lover of classical and Broadway music, and a collector of blown glass.

Thomas A. Burns


Thomas A. Burns, retired Vice President, Senior Project Manager, Connecticut On-Line Computer Center, an information technology company providing information services to more than 140 community-based financial institutions located primarily in the Northeast. Previously he was employed as a Senior Vice President and Installation Director for FBC Inc., and as a Senior Vice President and Installation Director for Banc Boston, Inc., and as Vice President, Systems Manager, for the First National Bank of Maryland, all of which provided information technology services to the community banking industry.

Mr. Burns has a BS degree from The Pennsylvania State University and an MS degree in Computer Science and Finance from The Pennsylvania State University. He brings forty years of experience managing complex projects in a rapidly changing environment to our Board of Directors. His personal activities in the arts include woodworking, cabinet making, and playing the bagpipes.

Dawn Fleming


Dawn Fleming is an accomplished fund-raising professional with more than 15 years’ experience in fund development, donor relations, corporate relations, community relations, and marketing. With a background in grant research, capital campaign fund-raising, major donor relations, donor research, event planning, strategic planning, and capacity building, Dawn has been recognized for her success in exceeding funding goals, relationship building, program improvement, dedication to mission, creative vision, and commitment to excellence.

Dawn is currently Director of Donor Relations for The Salvation Army, Southern New England Division, serving Connecticut and Rhode Island, where she manages a portfolio of 250 major donors. Prior to that position, she spent four years as Director of Development for Waterbury Youth Services where she worked closely with the executive director and board of directors to achieve fund-raising objectives while strengthening corporate and community relations. Dawn’s formative years in fund-raising were with The Martin J. Moran Company and Sand Dollar Associates, both headquartered in New York, where she conducted grants research and directed major capital campaigns.

Dawn is an active member of the Connecticut Association of Nonprofits and The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) where she has served on the 2011 and 2012 Education Committee for National Philanthropy Day in Connecticut. She directed marketing initiatives for AFP CT Chapters’ 2011-2012 Fundraising Professionals’ Speaker Series. She feels most fortunate to spend her career associated with people who lead organizations that enrich and improve lives as well as the philanthropists who support them. She lives in Southbury with her husband, Michael, and their three daughters.

Becky Butler

Founder and Executive Director, Arts Escape Inc.

After eleven plus years working with seniors in a planned retirement community in Connecticut as the Community Life Director, Becky created the “Art of Living” concept and now the nonprofit Arts Escape Inc. The Art of Living program was designed by Becky for seniors in her community to enhance their quality of life through creativity and learning. The program was also adopted by the staff to promote wellness in the workplace. She cofounded the Art of Experience, Connecticut’s only senior juried art show, which is now approaching its sixth year of showcasing the work of more than 140 senior artists.

Prior to Becky’s Community Life position, she was the administrator of a dance school and community theater company in Connecticut. She managed both businesses and also created a teen theater summer program for Main Street Theater Company.

Event planning, art exhibits, budgets, public relations, conflict resolutions, promotion and marketing, employee management, desktop publishing, senior services, and most importantly, the ability to think creatively are the skills that Becky has acquired from her previous experiences.

Becky received her BFA in Communications Art and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has always worked in the nonprofit world and believes people can make a difference. She prides herself in being one of those people. Becky lives in Southbury with her husband, Paul, and she is the Accounting Director for Paul’s business, GlobalEdg as well.

Paul Butler

Paul works with senior executives in organizations to increase capabilities of individuals, teams, and organizations. With more than 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors, he is well positioned to support organizations going through large-scale change efforts. Paul’s facilitation methodology is proven to produce sustainable results with executive teams and boards. He uses his broad management experience in sales, marketing, operations, and organizational development to help organizations achieve leadership and functional excellence.

Paul’s corporate experience includes senior-level sales, marketing, and human resources positions with Wyeth Labs and Procter & Gamble (Gillette), where he was a member of the Human Resource Operating Committee. Paul was Gillette’s Director of Global Organizational Learning and Development, serving in a role as the company’s chief learning officer.

Areas of Expertise
• Strategic Thinking and Change Management
• Executive Board Retreats / Facilitation
• Organizational Design
• Leadership and Executive Team Development

Paul holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development from the George Washington University. He is a member of the American Society of Training and Development, and was a board member of the Professional Society of Sales and Marketing Training. Paul and his wife, Becky, are now “empty nesters” and reside in Southbury, Connecticut. They are the parents of three children. He is an avid runner and golfer.

Janet Walker

Janet is a Certified Public Accountant and a partner at Diversified Financial Solutions, PC located in Southbury, Connecticut. Janet joined the firm of Diversified Financial Solutions, PC in 1998. Janet specializes in trust, gift and estate administration and planning and serves as executor and trustee for a number of Diversified Financial Solutions, PC clients. She also prepares individual and business income tax returns. Her certifications include the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants, Fellow Life Management Institute and State of Connecticut Life, Accident, Health and Insurance License.

Janet has many professional activities including serving on the Connecticut Society of CPA’s Estate and Gift Taxation Committee. She is currently Treasurer of the Southbury Business Association. She has served on the Pomperaug Woods Board since 2008 and currently serves as Vice President and Director of Finance. Janet also serves on the Southbury & Middlebury Scholarship Board. She has served on the Pomperaug High School Grad Nite Fund Raising Committee of which she was the Fundraising Chairperson from 2002 – 2004.

Janet Walker was born in Evansville, Indiana. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Northern Kentucky University with a B.A. degree in Accounting. Janet’s husband, Chuck is a manager of Global Mobile Services for Boehringer Ingelheim in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Chuck’s job brought the Walkers to Southbury, Connecticut in 1997 where they raised their two daughters and still live today. .

Christopher J. Powderly

Christopher J. Powderly, is a practicing attorney currently employed by Liberty Mutual Insurance as a Senior Worker’s Compensation Attorney. Chris has been practicing in the area of Worker’s Compensation and related law for over 25 years having worked for several of the major Connecticut insurance companies and law firms. Chris has handled both large and small matters, from complex business litigation to simple general law matters during his quarter century in Connecticut practice. Chris brings his analytical mind and legal expertise to our Board of Directors.

Mr. Powderly has a BA degree from The New School, New York, NY and a Juris Doctorate degree from Quinnipiac University. Chris is actively involved in two local non-profit community arts organization; Main Street Ballet Company and Newbury Musical Theater Company, performing various productions annually. During his spare time, Chris is an avid runner, participates annually in triathlons, and other road races. Chris lives in Southbury with his wife, Taffy and their two daughters.

Lindsay Butler

Lindsay received her Bachelor of Music on violin with a concentration in the music industry from James Madison University. In 2008, she attended the Stamford International Music Festival in England where she studied with both Andrew Smith and Víctor Correa-Cruz from the music conservatory at the University of Madrid. She has also worked closely with several talented musicians in the New York City area, doing public relations work for the New York Pops and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, as well as working at the Juilliard School and Quad Recording Studios in Manhattan.

Lindsay is currently a third-year law student at Quinnipiac University School of Law, concentrating in Intellectual Property Law. During the summer of 2012, Lindsay took her legal studies abroad at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. While attending law school, she is also working as a law clerk at the Bernard Law Group, which specializes in regulatory banking compliance for various finance and mortgage institutions. Lindsay still actively participates in the musical community as a member of the New Haven Chamber Orchestra and as a private violin teacher at the Southbury Music Studio.