Roberta Wilmore, Executive Director
Roberta, our first Director, joins us with decades of experience in nonprofits, commercial and residential real estate, creative entrepreneurship, and the equity and inclusion work that is so fundamental to Make-It’s mission. She has served as a trusted advisor, executive coach, and Board member for dozens of nonprofit organizations and businesses throughout the region, ranging from creative arts organizations, to academic institutions and philanthropic and community organizations. In 2001, Wilmore founded the Children’s Equestrian Center, connecting under-served families and children of color to the world of equestrian sports.
Sheldon Smith, Membership and Operations Coordinator
Sheldon brings his experience as a community leader to every aspect of his work with Make-It’s members, workshop hosts, participants and visitors. He guides hosts through the process of developing and leading workshops and serves as a mentor to our makers. Sheldon formerly worked as Art Coordinator at a local community support center, providing art as an outlet for at-risk teens, disabled persons, and those seeking ways to cope with substance recovery. He has been designing art and clothing since 1994 including personalized T-shirts, graphics, murals and fashion.
Marla Shelasky, Communications Coordinator
Marla’s experience in program development, membership recruitment and communications comes together in her work promoting Make-It’s offerings and organizing its communication tools and social media. Since 2018, Marla has also been working on the initiative, Artists of Springfield MA, raising the visibility of Springfield artists through exhibits and online sharing. As a working artist, herself, Marla sees Make-It as a home to all creatives.
Brittany Dunn, Engagement Coordinator
Brittany’s background includes over a decade’s experience with workshop facilitation, program coordination and community organizing, which she will use to help Make-It build relationships in the community. In the past, at 350VT, she supported climate activists to develop leadership skills; most recently, she led international youth leadership programs. Raised in NH, she now lives in Western Mass where she also has an art practice in print making.
Rusty Polsgrove, Studio Coordinator
Rusty is a making enthusiast who brings all-around, hands-on skill in many areas to Make-It Springfield. As a major in makerspace management at UMass, and with an extensive hands-on background, they are a great resource for purchasing and managing equipment, repairs and teaching others. They enjoy fiber arts, sculpture and learning new things and can often be found quilting or working with the 3d printers at Make-It during open hours.
Maria Canales, Board Member
Maria brings many years of experience in the banking and real estate development sectors and extensive experience working with developers and private investors to fund and implement local community development projects that emphasize affordability and equity. She has worked with nonprofits with a specialty in community renewal, and empowering children and families. She has also spent many years working with Spanish-speaking youth and is a strong advocate for women’s rights and marginalized populations.
Laura Masulis, Co-founder
Laura is currently the Director of Strategic Growth for HUUB, a digital platform that helps cities better support their small business communities. For over five years, Laura served as MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Lead Fellow in Springfield, working closely with community partners to build a downtown district that is a vibrant center for entrepreneurship, arts and dining. Laura previously served as Senior Partnerships Manager at Interise, a national non-profit helping diverse, established small businesses scale in lower-income communities. Early in her career, Laura worked for Public Consulting Group focused on improving state public assistance programs.
Michael DiPasquale, Co-founder
Michael leads outreach activities for UMass Amherst’s Urban Extension program in Springfield. An Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning, Michael’s teaching and research focuses on the revitalization of America’s “Legacy Cities”, the country’s once dominant manufacturing centers. Make-It Springfield began as a creative way to bring life to a vacant downtown storefront. A licensed architect and city planner, Michael held positions at design firms in Detroit, St. Louis and Boston before moving to western Massachusetts.