2020 Board of Directors

Ethan Scott Baird
Vice President

Ethan is a founding member of the band Pesky J. Nixon. He has appeared at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Connecticut Folk Festival, as an Emerging, Most Wanted, and Main Stage artist at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, and Formal Showcase Artists at NERFA. He also works with his music partner Jake Bush as the co-founder of Tribal Mischief, an organization dedicated to leveraging the tribal nature in all of us to build up good artistic and community works. Ethan is a folk scene junkie who grew up in coffeehouses throughout New England – volunteering his skills in many capacities from booking to running sound. He is a member of the NERFA programming committee dedicated to offering the best educational opportunities possible for the community.

Dan Gottfried
Board Member

Dan is a lifelong music lover and the producer of Voices in the Heights, a monthly concert series in Brooklyn, New York. He is the board treasurer of The Ashokan Center and the former longtime executive director of the Unitarian Universalist camp and conference center, Unirondack. He is passionate about creating listening spaces for musicians where they are paid well to perform for appreciative audiences. He loves to bake and creates gourmet desserts for each concert at Voices in the Heights. He believes music is at the heart of building a more loving world.

Michael Kornfeld

Michael is an award-winning public relations and communications strategist and writer, who counts a number of independent recording artists among his clients. He is also editor & publisher of and a former contributing writer for The New York Times. A past president of two professional associations in his field, Mike is currently president of the NERFA board of directors and the Folk Music Society of Huntington (NY), as well as a board member of Folk Alliance International. He organizes the annual Huntington Folk Festival and hosts showcases and song swaps at conferences and festivals.

Justin Nordell

Justin began at the Philadelphia Folksong Society over a decade ago before taking a job with a recording studio in Texas. Justin became culturally promiscuous upon his return to Philadelphia, working with the Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadelphia Film Festival, FringeArts, etc., with a pit stop as Director of Business Development for a law firm, before returning to PFS as Executive Director in 2015. It didn’t feel as if he was taking a new job – it felt as if he’d come home. Justin hopes to bring his youthful exuberance to the NERFA board with his music industry, nonprofit, and development expertise.

Matthew Ramer
Board Member

Matt is the Principal & CEO of a Wealth Management firm located in Philadelphia & Vero Beach, FL. His lifelong passion has been music, specifically music production. He has worked as a part-time mastering engineer for 22 years and is currently a student at The Berklee School of Music. In his side-career of philanthropy, he serves as an advisor to several non-profits in the realm in financial matters and fund-raising. He commits roughly 250-350 hours annually to charity and volunteerism and has managed finances for both Multi-Grammy winners and Emmy Nominees.

Barbara Shiller
Board Member

Former president of CT Folk, Barbara has long been involved in folk music. She plays guitar and sings, but is not a performer. She has served as a hospice music volunteer for 15 years, bringing her guitar bedside. She has also hosted more than 60 house concerts in her home. Barbara is a retired university professor of special education who now has more time to enjoy gardening, her family, attending live musical performances (in listening rooms, festivals and conferences), and traveling, particularly to Italy.

Dan Whitener

Dan has hit the Billboard Bluegrass charts as a banjo player with both Emmy-nominated bluegrass/hip-hop band Gangstagrass and Philadelphia-based progressive bluegrass band Man About A Horse. The song “We Are Gonna Be Okay” from his solo EP was recently included on the soundtrack for the award-winning Spike Lee movie BlacKkKlansman. In addition to performing, songwriting, and recording, Dan also teaches private lessons and group workshops.

Jerod Rivers, Membership & Technology Manager for Folk Alliance International, addresses attendees at the 2018 NERFA community meeting. Photo by Jake Jacobson
All board photos (except Tamara Kater’s) taken by Neale Eckstein.
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