The Dreamland Foundation is staffed with a dedicated team that is devoted to enriching Nantucket with year-round films and educational programs in the evolving world of digital entertainment and education.
Joe Hale, Executive Director
Joe Hale most recently served as Founder and President of The Global BrightLight Foundation, the largest NGO in America providing solar lanterns to off grid families around the world. Prior to creating The Global BrightLight Foundation, Hale served as vice president & chief communications officer of Cinergy Corp. (now Duke Energy), and as President of Cinergy Foundation. He also served as President of Cincinnati Gas and Electric Company
Hale also worked in commercial real estate development and headed an architectural firm with offices in the Midwest. Prior to entering the private sector, Hale had extensive experience in arts management – with the Indiana Arts Commission, as a high school teacher of theatre in Germany, with Historic New Harmony, Inc. and as executive director of the Metropolitan Arts Council of Indianapolis. He has been a Trustee (and frequently Chairman) of numerous organizations.
Hale graduated from Hanover College, and is a graduate of the Harvard University Institute in Arts Administration. He holds honorary degrees from the Columbus (OH) College of Art and Design and from Hanover College.
Seanda Bartlett, Director of Operations
A long-time island resident of the island, Bartlett moves to the position of Director of Operations after having worked at the Dreamland as a Front of House manager in 2012. Her responsibilities include movie scheduling, front of house staff management, ticketing and reporting, and building management. She lives on Nantucket with her husband Daniel and their three children.
Laura Gallagher Byrne, Director of Education
Laura Gallagher Byrne is an actor, director, and theatre and music teacher. She is graduate of Shenandoah University and Conservatory of Music with a degree in Musical Theater, and holds a masters in Theatre Education from Emerson College. She studied Meisner Technique at The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, and Shakespeare with Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA. Her Nantucket acting creditsinclude: “God of Carnage”, and “Dinner with Friends”. Her directing credits include: “The Drowsy Chaperon”, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, “Brigadoon”, “The King and I”, “The Pajama Game”, “Oliver”, and “Love, Loss, and What I Wore”, among many other titles. Laura is a recipient of The 2011 Advocacy for Children Award. She is member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, the American Alliance for Theatre in Education, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and The Organization of Theatre for Young Audiences.
Alicia Carney, Director of Programs
Alicia Carney joins us from Yale University where she was the Catering, Sales and Events Manager for the University and private clients. While at Yale, Alicia planned and executed high profile events for clients ranging from intimate gatherings to expansive 3000+ guest lists. Her talents include a special emphasis on event ideation and design, in conjunction with strengthening financial and performance relationships with service partners in order to execute event concepts at the highest level. A “Future Leaders of Yale,” member and 2015-2016 “Rising Star” award recipient, Alicia has proven herself to be at the forefront of special events and client relations; she assimilates into close knit communities with passion and care. After more than 15 years in the hospitality and events world, Alicia remains active and regularly attends conferences throughout the country to promote her team and stay on the cutting edge of the ever progressing events industry. Alicia has also held several Senior Management positions with Omni Hotels in NYC and Connecticut. Born in Boston and raised in a coastal town on the South Shore, Alicia has a love for the ocean and Sailing. She studied business at the University of Vermont while simultaneously working as a professional snowboarding coach at Okemo mountain for 11 years. She has been coming to Nantucket with her family for more than 25 years and feels she is accomplishing one of her life dreams by making Nantucket her new home.
Traci Finnerty, Director of Finance and Administration
Traci was born and raised in California, originally coming to Nantucket in the early 1980s to live with family. She graduated from Humboldt State University in Northern California after spending a year abroad at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid. After a stint in the Boston corporate world, where Traci worked as a certified project manager in software development and network services, she returned to Nantucket to live full-time once again. Traci is currently enrolled and working towards her MS in Finance degree. Traci is proud to be a part of the Nantucket Dreamland Foundation and has been with the organization since 2012. Traci is an avid runner. You may spot her and her Jack Russell Terrier running somewhere on the trails or shores of Nantucket.
Josh Gray, Director of Marketing and Communications
Josh Gray has spent more than half his life and almost his entire career on Nantucket. A native of Massachusetts, Josh is an adventure traveler and photographer at heart having spent part of his youth in Mumbai, India, and going on to visit nearly 20 foreign countries including Cuba and Turkey, where he resided in the city of Istanbul for a season. A veteran marketing professional, writer and journalist and an active member of the Nantucket community, Josh devotes some of his time to working with the Nantucket Atheneum, the Nantucket Project, and is honored to have been named the co-chair of the 2017 Nantucket Book Festival. The Dreamland is the theater he saw his first movie in as a child, and he is more than excited to join the team there as the Director of Marketing and Communications.
Leedara Zola, Director of Development
Leedara has deep ties to Nantucket, having summered here as a young child, and having moved here year-round when she was in middle school (although her island credentials do not include attending school at Academy Hill – she missed that by a year!). Leedara remembers her grandparents taking her to the first Star Wars movie at the Dreamland. Now at the Dreamland, she is responsible for Development, including donor and member relations, our business partner and sponsorship programs, and grant writing. If it’s summer, you’ll likely find Leedara out in the harbor; if it’s winter, you’ll see her bundled up running on Milestone Road.
Paul Berard Jr., Technical Director
Paul Berard Jr. is the head projectionist at the Nantucket Dreamland. Originally from Westford, MA he started coming to Nantucket seasonally in 2010 and became a year ’round resident in 2012. First hired by the Dreamland to move a pile of sand, when the Dreamland was just a tent, he has climbed his way up the corporate ladder to the position that he holds today. Paul studied film at Fitchburg State University, and has been passionate about movies since he first saw Evil Dead when he was 14. When not at the Dreamland he can be found working for the Department of Public Works or spending time with the ducks that live in his backyard.