Ava Spece is a passionate executive with 20+ years experience leading both nonprofit and for-profit businesses. Prior to coming to the Workhouse Ava served as President of the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, Executive Director of DC Youth Orchestra, and is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond.
Chief Financial Officer
Alan brings twenty plus years of CFO experience to Workhouse. He is a CPA and has an MBA from St. Joseph’s University. He began his career in public accounting and went on to be a CFO for several for-profit and non-profit organizations. Alan has served as Board Member and advisor for numerous non-profit organizations. Alan grew up in Pennsylvania and has lived in Northern Virginia for the last twelve years.
Director of Development
Ms. Chuma joined the Workhouse Arts Center in March 2017. She has a diverse background in theater arts, visual arts, and development. A proud military spouse, she and her family have been calling Northern Virginia home since 2012. Ms. Chuma holds a degree in Theater with a minor in Dance from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Green Mountain College. She is active in the Naval Officer’s Spouses’ Club of Washington, DC and Naval Services FamilyLine.
Ceramics & Glass Program Director
Dale Marhanka is currently the Ceramics and Glass Director, a faculty member and Resident Artist in the Ceramics Program at the Workhouse Arts Center and shows his work both regionally, nationally and internationally. He received his BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1987 and his MFA from Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas in 1991.
Art of Movement Program Director
Lesley Spalding is fully certified STOTT Pilates Instructor Trainer with certifications in Physical Therapy PLC and Yogafit Level 1 and 2. She teaches Pilates and Yoga.
Director of Performing Arts
Joseph Wallen is a DC native, having graduated from Falls Church High School and then George Mason University. Joseph has twenty-five years experience working professionally in the field of performing arts and has worn every ‘hat’ in the trade: performer, director, designer, producer and more. He has been with the Workhouse Arts Center since August 2007 and looks forward to continuing the growth and development of performing arts opportunities in Lorton.
Director of Education
Debra Balestreri began her career at the Workhouse Arts Center in 2008 as a gallery associate and soon earned her way to Director of Visual Arts Education. Debra is also a returning alumni Professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA where she teaches Sculpture, Ceramics and Design Principles. Debra earned her BA in Studio Art and Virginia State Teaching Licensure from the University of Mary Washington in 2002. In 2007 she earned her MFA in Ceramic Sculpture from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA and her Post-Graduate Teaching License shortly thereafter. Debra also teaches ceramics here at the Workhouse and continues to create sculptural, ceramic figures and busts in her spare time.