Allentown, PA (June 28, 2021) – Community Music School (CMS) Lehigh Valley & Berks is pleased to announce the election of three new community leaders to its Board of Directors: Safa Ashrafi, associate attorney with Gross McGinley, LLP; Gregory Kuhn, CEO of Omega Protective Services; and Ellen Roberts, volunteer & community activist. All three were elected to a three-year term by a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors at the June 14 annual meeting of CMS.
About Safa Ashrafi: Ashrafi brings legal expertise in business and real estate to the CMS Board. She is an associate attorney in the business services group of Gross McGinley, LLP in Allentown. She graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. Her counsel includes drafting and negotiating real estate and commercial documents, including contracts, real estate purchase and sale agreements, mortgages, promissory notes, residential and commercial leases, and business asset purchase agreements, as well as business formation and governance documents. In addition to her service to CMS, she is a supporter of the Support Center for Child Advocates and the Fishtown Neighbors Association. Beyond work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, running, and learning to play the guitar.
About Gregory Kuhn: Kuhn is President and CEO of Omega Protective Services, LLC in Bethlehem. He attended Northwestern Lehigh schools and Lehigh Carbon Community College. His career has focused on the security industry, and he has been a security officer, corrections officer, PA State Constable, and an EMT. He served on the East Allen Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps Board of Directors from 2011 to 2018 as Lieutenant, Vice President and President/Chairman. He has also served in several other nonprofit organizations. Kuhn says his experience with high school musicals was transformational.
About Ellen Roberts: Now retired, Roberts spent her career as a reporter/editor for the Quakertown Free Press, the Public Information Officer at Lehigh County, and a Media Liaison for (what is now) Lehigh Valley Health Network. She also worked in a variety of nonprofits in media/public relations, marketing, and fundraising. As a West Park neighbor of CMS, she has been a dedicated volunteer since the school moved to Hamilton Street in 2018. She has helped with organizing the music library, serves on the Annual Brunch Committee, and is dedicated to keeping the weeds in the native plant garden at bay. In addition to teaching and chauffeuring her grandchildren, Ellen also serves on the West Park Civic Association Board of Directors and is the neighborhood representative to Allentown’s Historic Architectural Review Board. In her school days, she played piano and flute and continues to be a life-long music lover and supporter.
CMS also welcomed Matthew Tuerk to the Board in November 2020. Read more about Matt here.
Retiring from the CMS Board are three long-time supporters of the school, including Linda Kay Gardner, pianist and arts activist, Steve Markowitz, President of Allen Organ Company, LLC, and Andrea Moore of Univest. Gardner served on the Board for multiple terms and served as the Annual Brunch Chair for many years. Markowitz’s mother, Martha, was a founding Board member of CMS in 1981. The Markowitz family and Allen Organ Company have been great friends to CMS for many years. Markowitz helped guide the school in the move from its original location at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Fifth Street, to Miller Symphony Hall in 2004, and then to 1544 Hamilton Street in 2018. Moore served as the corporate liaison for Univest, a long-time Brunch sponsor and supporter of the school. At the Board’s annual meeting on June 14, CMS Executive Director Jeff Reed thanked Gardner, Markowitz, and Moore for their service and financial support of Community Music School. The mission of CMS is to provide the inspiration and opportunity for anyone in our diverse community to achieve excellence in music education and experience the transformative power of music.
Ashrafi, Kuhn, and Roberts join other dedicated business and community leaders on the CMS Board of Directors, including: President, Carmen Flosdorf, Peoples Security Bank & Trust Company; Vice-President, James Warfel, Ed.D, Retired; Treasurer, Tom Fenstermacher, Retired, Hospital Central Services, Inc.; Secretary, Mark Stein, Ph.D., Muhlenberg College; Mary Hahn, Bell & Evans; David Livert, Ph.D., Penn State Lehigh Valley; Julie Macomb, Esq., Lehigh Valley Health Network; Kathleen Matthews, Retired, PPL; Bill Moyer, St. Luke’s University Health Network; Vance Powers, Long Ridge Energy Terminal; Dail Richie, Retired, Berks Youth Chorus; and Michael Yeager, Community Insurance Company. Joan Miller Moran is an Honorary Board Member.
About CMS: Community Music School (CMS) – Lehigh Valley & Berks is a nonprofit charitable organization that provides the inspiration and opportunity for anyone in our diverse community to achieve excellence in music education and appreciate the transformative power of music. CMS employs over 25 professional musicians who provide high-quality private and group instruction to students of all ages and in nearly every instrument and voice – both in-person and online – as well as extensive, tuition-free outreach programs that bring music to students in under-served public schools. Thanks to support from our philanthropic community, CMS has provided over 25,000 student services in the Lehigh Valley with the life-long benefits of musical education by funding over $100,000 annually in need-based financial aid, merit scholarships, and tuition-free outreach programming. During the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS continues to offer online music lessons and virtual performance opportunities for students of all ages. For more information, to enroll in lessons, or to donate, visit https://cmslv.org/.