Our Board

Board of Trustees

Edna Sutton
Secretary & Founding Member

Prior to joining her husband in Vermont to support the development of Brandon Music and the new Compass Music and Arts Center, Edna was Executive Director for Children, Young People and Families Services in South Yorkshire, England. Edna began her professional career as a teacher and shortly thereafter headteacher in Northern England before moving into advisory work as Senior and then Chief Advisor. In this capacity she was responsible for improving standards in schools and leadership development of teaching and support staff. 

In 2006 she moved to South Yorkshire as Director for Education and rescued her new Authority from failure. In 2007 she was selected Local Government Woman of the Year for her services to education. She became Executive Director for the newly configured Children, Young People and Families Services in 2009 where she led the integration of learning services with social care and health. She was also responsible for leading Europe's second largest building project, the complete rebuilding of all high schools in her Authority at a total cost of almost $2 billion. As a professional educator she is really excited by the opportunities that the new Compass Music and Arts Center will provide especially for children and young people to engage in all areas of the arts. At this time (March 2012) Edna is awaiting work authorization to enable her to take up ‘real' employment and an executive position with CMAC.

“I am genuinely excited to be supporting the development of the new Compass Music and Arts Center. Throughout my professional career I have witnessed constantly how the arts enrich our lives. The arts provide amazing pathways for us for unlocking creative talent and potential, enriching the spirit and raising self-esteem in us all.” - Edna Sutton

Stephen Sutton
Founding Member

Originally from South Shields in north-east England, Stephen graduated from The University of Birmingham in 1972 with an honors degree in Law, and practiced as a commercial and property lawyer until 2005, leading his own four-branch firm and also spending several years as a senior banking executive. He also acted as trustee of a number of charitable organizations and bodies such as the North East Chamber of Commerce and South Tyneside Enterprise Trust.

Having had a passion both for music of most kinds and for record collecting since pre-grade school, he took the opportunity in 1992 to arrange a fund-raising recording for a local church, which led to the foundation of Divine Art Records. Managed purely as a hobby for several years, the label grew and grew both by recommendation from musicians and music critics, and also by acquisition of the Metier, Dunelm and Athene companies. The labels quickly acquired a reputation for the highest production values as well as adventurous and inspired repertoire.

In 2005, Stephen left his law firm to run Divine Art full time. In 2009 he opened the company's new headquarters in Brandon, VT, which under the title of Brandon Music has become a magnet for music lovers, housing also the Music Café, Phonograph Room, Art Gallery and Bagatelles gift shop.

Stephen still spends most of his working day in the management of the record labels, everything from writing artist contracts, to booklet and packaging design, maintaining the four related websites, mastering and audio editing, and overseeing the company's UK operations, though he is looking forward immensely to relocating to the new Compass Center which will allow the company to expand its operations further alongside the wide range of community and educational facilities to be provided.

Judith Reilly

Judy grew up on a dairy farm in the small town of Verbank, New York, where the world outside her door was her first and most influential art teacher. Learning to sew at her grandmother's knee, she honed her skills through many years in the 4-H Program, and then as an adult through numerous art classes, half a century of observation and exploration, and miles and miles of fabric and thread. She holds a Liberal Arts Degree but refers to herself as a “life-taught” (rather than “self-taught”) artist.

Judy and her husband moved to Vermont in 2004, not to retire but to “re-fire” their lives. They operate a gallery, housed in their historic home, where she shares and sells her artwork; they're both very active in the Brandon Artists Guild; Judy served on the Executive Board of Brandon's Chamber of Commerce for 6 years; she has chaired or has been deeply involved in Brandon's “Art in the Snow” winter weekend festivals since 2005; is the regional representative for the Vermont Open Studio Weekend; and serves on the Vermont Crafts Council Board. Their goals are to live genuinely and to make a difference in the community that has so warmly embraced them.

Using fabric, paint and thread to express her world, her unique interpretations have been shared with others through exhibitions, books, magazines, newspapers and television. Judy gained recognition as an award-winning Fabric/Quilt Artist prior to moving to Vermont and since has been featured in special exhibits throughout Vermont and across New England.

Alyssa Zollman

Alyssa Zollman is currently the Advertising and General Manager of the award winning Brandon area newspaper, The Reporter . She believes in the importance of a vibrant community life, a strong local economy and a world enriched by art, music, creativity and personal expression.

Prior to moving to Brandon nine years ago, Alyssa was the Director of Operations for Music Learning Centers of The Main Line, a music school she created with her percussionist/drummer husband, Rob. Known for being the “Art Studio for Everything Musical” it offered private instruction and ensembles with many of Philadelphia's best jazz and classical musicians and was accessible to students of all skills and economic levels and at all ages.

Alyssa is a classically trained pastry chef with a degree in Restaurant Management from The Restaurant School in Philadelphia, where she co-created the pastry chef instructors program in 1986.

Alyssa is currently the Chair of the Brandon Economic Development Committee and serves on the Promotion Committee for the Downtown Brandon Alliance.

She has three children, many animals large and small, and a great appreciation for living life on the more human scale found here in Brandon and Vermont.

Laura King

Laura King is a Nationally Certified educator, member of Johnson State College's faculty, and a leader in literacy instruction. In 1995 she was awarded a masters degree from Lesley University in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Arts Integration. Her performance/thesis project focused on the positive impact of puppetry arts in all aspects of elementary curricula. She also became a one of Vermont's first National Writing Project fellows, focusing her classroom demonstration projects on participatory performance poetry. As a 3rd and 4th grade classroom teacher, she incorporated puppetry, theatre, visual arts, music, and poetry experiences throughout the school year; she also became well known regionally as a puppeteer and summer arts camp instructor. 

In 2004, Laura became a literacy coach and teacher leader, first in Addison Central and currently in Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union. In this role, she supports teachers and administrators as they envision and implement quality literacy instruction in public elementary schools. She also has been actively involved in curriculum design at the state level.

Throughout this time, Laura has participated in varied arts experiences in the community, including the Brandon Artist Guild's Birdhouse project of 2004 and Middlebury's 2013 Spring into the Arts celebration.She has created puppets for regional theatre groups and presents solo puppet/storytelling shows and workshops in Vermont schools, parks, and Libraries under the name "Friend-in-Hand." Laura lives in Brandon, Vermont, with her amazingly creative family - her inspiration. 

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