Member Artist Jeff moved to Vero Beach from Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2012. "The perfect small town in the sun." His interest in throwing on the wheel began decades ago in 9th grade art class in Dayton, Ohio. Now, after taking classes from Indian River Clay's best potters since April of 2022, he reports progress has been great. His working background as a P.G.A. golf professional includes owner/operator of two consulting firms for golf club development, state-of-the-art indoor teaching facilities and golf instruction. His involvement in Indian River Clay is simple, "Being part of a great team with so many great artists is a real privilege"
Krista Schuck - Vice Chair
Member Artist My clay journey began in 2009 with hand building, but quickly changed to focus on the wheel. Having been involved with studios in North Carolina (municipally owned), Virginia and northern Florida (both privately owned), I value Indian River Clay for being so special and unique. IRC was the deciding factor on our retirement move to Vero Beach in 2020. My husband Tim and I visited in 2019, meeting Maria and Ginny and touring the studio at the previous location. I fell in love with the concept!
I love that we, the members of IRC, share in the responsibilities of maintaining the studio and keeping it in good condition. Since joining IRC, I’ve learned how to load and program kilns, grind off kiln shelves and apply kiln wash, recycle and pug clay, as well as order and shelve the clay needed for our studio. I’m results-oriented and don’t mind hard work. I serve as Chair of the clay committee and also serve on the kiln committee. Through my experience as a retired mortgage loan officer, eight years on town council, and two years on an HOA board, I have demonstrated that I get along well with others and thrive on finding solutions to issues.
I feel that we are so fortunate as members to be able to grow in our friendships while sharing our diverse knowledge and skill sets relating to clay. I support growth in a controlled manner to maintain the intimacy and warmth of our studio and expansion of our class offerings and community outreach to develop more future potters - but not at the expense of our members, their studio time, or IRC’s fiscal responsibility.
Kim Mayo - Secretary
Member Artist I’ve been a student of clay for about 20 years. Not an expert but an enthusiastic student limited by my job. Recently retired from a career as a nurse I’ve held jobs as a staff nurse charge nurse and the start-up project manager of Cleveland Clinic Scully Endoscopy center. I stepped down from my management roles in nursing because I missed the patient contact and interaction. My management style was based on team building choosing people who shared the goal to put customer first in our mindset. My one “do you get hired” question to everyone I interviewed was, who are your customers and what does customer service mean to you. If they were going to join my unit the response had to be in some form of everyone is my customer -patient, family doctor, coworker. That’s my philosophy - understanding that service in any role means listening to and trying to help others.
Susan Scarola - Treasurer
Co-Founder & Charter Member Susan grew up on Long Island in those idealistic 1950’s, one of six children. After brief stints as a kindergarten teacher, human resources professional and stay-at-home Mom, she obtained her MBA at NYU. Susan joined KPMG and earned her CPA, then joined DCH Auto Group, a small New York City family owned business. After 30 years, she retired as Vice Chairman of DCH which had grown to be one of the retail auto industry’s largest companies encompassing 40+ subsidiaries in multiple states.
Susan’s work fueled her genetic passion to travel and you may have seen her wandering a food market or seeking pottery souvenirs. She does still think of herself as a New Yorker, and her only child, Jenna, lives in southern California, but her mother and other family are here, so Florida became home. Restless and wanting to find community here, Susan began to play in clay in 2016 with Ginny Piech Street as her first instructor. Further encouragement from her neighbor Katie Santomartino led her to classes with Maria Sparsis. She never dreamed that path would lead her to Indian River Clay but here she is, a novice encouraging the right side of her brain amongst new friends. Susan hopes that the welcoming atmosphere at Indian River Clay will open others to this joy.
Founder & Charter Member Indian River Clay Co-Founder, Board Chair and Resident Artist, Maria Sparsis was born on the island of Cyprus to a Cypriot father and a British mother, Maria has also lived and worked in Wales, Scotland, New England and, for the last 18 years, Florida. A Marine Biologist by training and a scientist by inclination, Maria has a deep commitment to nature in all its forms. She is part owner of Tea and Chi, a premium loose-leaf tea company in downtown Vero Beach, a resident artist and former owner at Flametree Gallery and serves as an adjunct biology professor at Indian River State College. Maria has studied ceramics with Sean Clinton, Nancy Blair, Glenda Taylor, Charlie Riggs, Deborah Adornato, Walford Campbell and Nan Jacobson. She provides many essentials to the IRC Board from engineering tasks to marketing to one of IRC’s most frequent instructors, Maria has made the success of IRC her first and foremost passion and this drive comes through in all she does.
I started my journey into clay as a child in Dallas, Texas playing with as much mud as I could get my hands on. Next was high school ceramics in small town Nebraska. About 15 years ago, I found myself in Orlando, Florida with an opportunity to take classes at the City of Orlando Pottery Studio (a studio with a mission and attitude not unlike our own). After moving to St. Lucie County, we searched for anywhere we could get our hands back in the mud. This led me to Indian River Clay and classes with Maria. I am thrilled to have found somewhere I can be both personally creative and part of a community of giving.
Professionally, I have been in supervisory or administrative government positions for over 25 years. My experience includes emergency management, law enforcement, corrections, and college security. With this history, I feel I bring a unique viewpoint to the Indian River Clay Board of Directors. I believe my skills and abilities in communications, negotiation, organizational culture, collaboration, and administration can serve to support the efforts of Indian River Clay to improve and expand while keeping the emphasis on our community and members.
Throughout my career I have developed a strong sense of forward thinking to prioritize, organize, and accomplish tasks in alignment of clear personal and organizational goals. As plans unfold, I am keenly aware goals and focus changes occur without preamble and am quick to jump in to assist where needed. I am willing to learn and am not afraid to seek clarity to understand. Anything I can do to assist in the continued growth and development of this wonderful organization, I am here for it!