This past month, the Berrien Artist Guild held their elections for the Board of Directors. And the results brought three new names into the leadership mix. Nancy Willey, Marcy Simpson and Caroline Tubbs will all be joining the Board this month. We’re thrilled to add these three local leaders to the Board and cannot wait to see all they can accomplish.

Those leaving the Board are Terry Choate, Jennifer Tomshack and Scott Gane.

As someone who volunteers much of her time to the Box Factory for the Arts and as a member of the Berrien Artist Guild, I wanted to recognize one of the exiting board members, Scott Gane. No slight to Terry and Jennifer, but I never had to call, email or text either of you in a panic on a Friday afternoon. Scott has weathered many panic texts not just from me, but many of the other volunteers helping run the Box Factory for the Arts.

Scott Gane, the one-man security and maintenance team at the Box became a tenant in 2018. Gane, a photographer was seeking studio space in St. Joseph. Shortly after moving in, the then President of the Board asked if he would be interested in serving on the board. Having just recently term-limited out of another board he was serving on, Gane says, he was caught in “a moment of weakness and said yes”. He was appointed 2 days later and “rest they say is history”.

When he was appointed, his goals were rather simple – “get to know Box/BAG and use my business and security skills to make the Box a successful and safe place,” says Gane. His goals were adjusted when financial troubles led to the Board of Directors eliminating a majority of the staff and Gane says, “we shifted into survival mode”.

When I asked Gane what he was most proud of accomplishing he said, “While it took longer than expected and many more ‘volunteer’ hours than I thought the original goals of making the Box a more successful and safer place have been accomplished.” Additionally, he is proud of the feat of turning the unused space on the third floor into 7 additional studios and an extra gallery.

In hindsight, Gane realizes it’s not such a good idea to volunteer to be the Building & Grounds committee chair for a 100+ year old building. The challenges from the plumbing, the roof and more were difficult for sure. But with all the work he has invested into the Box Factory for the Arts it hasn’t deterred Gane’s interest in volunteering. He was appointed to two other Boards earlier is this year, both here in Berrien County.

In closing, I asked Gane if there was anything else he wanted to say. He said, “I want to thank the many volunteers and board members that have helped me with keeping the lights on and building the Box into the success that it is today. Your friendship and fellowship is very much appreciated”.