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From left: Alan Welch, Margie Forbes, Riezl Baker, Carolyn Fears, Jeffrey Wells, OPAS artistic director.

GREENSBORO — The Oconee Performing Arts Society is pleased to announce the 2019 board inductees as well as the new chair.  On Jan. 22, the OPAS board convened its first meeting of the new season, and the new board chair Carolyn Fears welcomed Riezl Baker, Margie Forbes and Alan Welch. 

“Each of these individuals has already demonstrated a keen interest in serving the community. They possess a proven loyalty to the OPAS mission, and they bring skill sets that will be an asset to OPAS going forward,” Fears noted.

The new chair, xFears, follows Carlton Curtis, whose two-year chairmanship ended in 2018. Fears has an extensive history in the nonprofit sector both locally, regionally, and internationally. She and her husband, Bo, returned to Georgia to reside near their grandchildren. She is eager to work with the entire board to assist Artistic Director Jeffrey Wells and the OPAS staff.  The board will build upon its history to keep OPAS robust in its mission while developing fresh approaches.

Coming on the board is Riezl Baker, a successful realtor. Baker is a long-time resident of the lake area along with her husband Ted and two children, Stu and Remi. Her most recent community involvements are serving as current FoundationBoard Chair for St. Mary's Good Samaritan Hospital along with oversight of the hospital fundraiser for three years. Additionally, she co-founded the annual Lake Oconee Food and Wine Festival in 2010.

Also new to the OPAS board is Margie Forbes, who brings a background in banking. Forbes and her husband Chuck moved to Lake Oconee from southern California. An enthusiastic supporter of many community causes, she is a hospital volunteer and promotes the restoration and upkeep of local historical buildings. A local and district leader in Rotary, Margie has chaired many notable boards in the lake area.

Joining the OPAS board is Alan Welch, who made his home in Greensboro in 2005 along with his wife Pat and their golden retriever, Quincy. Welch spent two years active duty in the U.S. Army and enjoyed a career with Procter and Gamble. Since retirement, he has served as a productive member of his community by active involvement in the property association as well as food and beverage committee.

With the addition of these new members, OPAS will benefit from their experience and enthusiasm. OPAS will continue to strengthen community ties by bringing audiences together for shared experiences and fellowship through the arts. OPAS programs include Broadway-quality concerts for the community and arts education experiences for local school children. As a non-profit cultural arts organization, OPAS is shaped by the community for the community. More information about upcoming events, membership, and volunteer opportunities can be found at www.opas.org.

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