The Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) is pleased to announce the election of Joel Elliott, Lisa Kaston, and Cheryl Prashker to its esteemed Board of Directors.
With a wealth of experience and passion for folk music, Joel Elliot, Lisa Kaston, and Cheryl Prashker bring valuable insights and expertise to NERFA’s leadership team. Their dedication to the folk music community will undoubtedly contribute to the organization’s ongoing mission to support and promote folk music in the Northeast region and beyond.
Additionally, NERFA would like to address the recent ballot question regarding the membership status of Justin Nordell on the Board of Directors. The result of the ballot question was No, indicating that Justin Nordell will remain a member of the NERFA Board of Directors.
NERFA extends its sincere gratitude to all members who participated in the election process and looks forward to the continued success and growth of the organization under the guidance of its newly elected Board members.
Meet Your 2024 – 2027 Board Members
Joel Elliott is the Operations Manager of Folk Music Ontario (FMO), Canada’s largest provincial organization devoted to the folk, roots, and traditional music community, and organizers of the annual FMO Conference, which attracts upwards of 800 folkies from across Canada and the US each year. Previously, he spent a decade at The Conference Board of Canada, marketing and delivering upwards of 20 conferences and 100 webinars per year.
Joel hails from Ottawa, Ontario where he is active in the local music scene. He is a former community radio (CKCU 93.1) and television (Rogers 22) host, and former board member of the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition. He currently sits on the programming committee for the Capital Music Awards.
As the current secretary of the Board of Directors, my goals are to learn more about the folk community and the people within, build stronger connections between artists and industry across borders, and work to make the NERFA conference as effective and fruitful as possible for each and every participant.
Lisa Kaston has been co-planning and presenting concerts, online showcases, special events and festivals for the past ten years, three of which she served as board president of Connecticut Folk. She also recently served two terms on New Haven’s literacy volunteer board.
While on CT Folk’s board, Lisa’s passion and efforts were directed toward engaging a widening community through collaborative planning and grant-funded programming. The main stage of the 2023 CT Folk Festival was named in Lisa’s honor, in recognition of her work with CT Folk and the community. Her musical interests remain eclectic, having spent her earlier years exploring jazz, rock and folk music in NYC.
I’d like to use my skills and experience to help widen NERFA’s reach to new venues/presenters, to strengthen outreach to a diverse group of artists/other professionals, and for broader participation on NERFA’s board and committees. I also wish to support grant-seeking/sponsorship efforts to enhance outreach, scholarships and other identified goals.
Cheryl Prashker studied classical percussion at McGill University in her hometown of Montreal, where she landed her first international tour. She honed her skills as an accompanist in New York City, earning tour spots with Eric Andersen, Pat Wictor, Tracy Grammer, Jonathan Edwards, Zoe Mulford and more. She is a founding member of Celtic Roots band RUNA. As an administrator, Cheryl spent 15 years working alongside NERFA founder Dianne Tankle, eventually joining the Board of Directors and serving seven years as President. Cheryl now makes her home in Ontario, where she is Artistic Director and General Manager of the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival, College, and Kids Camp.
Since I first attended, NERFA opened up a whole new world for me and became my community. I am proud of the time I spent as an employee and on the Board. I hope to help move the organization forward while honoring its past so we can grow together, not apart.
View our current board members here.