Maine College of Art & Design Welcomes New Trustees to Board
Kathryn Yates Appointed Chair for the 2022-23 Academic Year
PORTLAND, ME — September 20, 2022 — Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) today announced the election of four new members to its Board of Trustees, including Jordan Carey ’19, Damien Saccani, Kristin Valdmanis, and Brit Vitalius. We are also pleased to announce that Trustee Kathryn Yates was elected to serve as Board Chair, effective July 1, 2022.
“We are so fortunate to have this group of talented new Trustees joining our Board,” said Laura Freid, President at Maine College of Art & Design. “By bringing together a range of perspectives, expertise and experience, our Board has the ability to inspire and support the next generation of artists and designers.. We are grateful for their time and talent as we implement our strategic plans."
As a part of the College’s governing body, the new Trustees will join the existing team members in providing critical insights, guidance, and committee support to help drive the continued health and success of Maine College of Art & Design.
“I am deeply honored to take on this new position with the College,” said Kathryn Yates, incoming Chair of the Board of Trustees at Maine College of Art & Design. “I have been a supporter of the school for many years – as an observer, a community volunteer, and a Board member – and I am continuously impressed by the innovative, creative minds this College attracts to the Portland community. We have, without a doubt, some of the best educators and students in the fields of art and design. It is our job to support the immense potential these thinkers and doers offer our world.”
Full biographies for each new Trustee are included below. Please visit MECA&D’s Board of Trustees website for more information on the full Board.
Jordan Carey ’19
Jordan Carey ’19, a Bermudian designer and artist currently based in Portland, Maine, is a graduate of the Textile and Fashion Design program at Maine College of Art & Design. As a student, Carey's work was predominantly focused on the cultural aesthetics and influences present and changing in the African diaspora and island life.
After graduating the College, Carey continued to develop as assistant designer for the Maine-based fashion company Jill McGowan and freelance work. In January 2020, Carey launched Loquat, an independent fashion and accessories business focused on empowering marginalized people. Loquat’s flagship store and open manufacturing space opened on May 6, 2022, in Portland’s Old Port.
Founder & President, Maiden Cove Capital
Damien Saccani began his career in finance in 2001 as an options equity market maker on the floor of the Chicago Board of Exchange before finding his way to the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. There, he worked in film development and production and held senior executive posts within a number of studios including Universal, The Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros. Pictures.
Saccani returned to wealth management in 2009, as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch, and ultimately joined Morgan Stanley as a financial advisor, where he was selected to be a part of a group of just 125 advisors who worked as Global Sports and Entertainment Directors.
In 2020, Saccani founded Maiden Cove Capital with the goal of providing a better wealth management culture and platform for clients that put their interests first.
A native New Englander, Saccani is a graduate of Middlebury College, where he double majored in Political Science and Psychology, and was a two-sport varsity athlete. Additionally, Saccani studied at Dartmouth College, UCLA Anderson School of Management, and served as a White House intern. Saccani and his wife are raising their two children in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
Principal and Designated Broker, Vitalius Real Estate Group
Brit Vitalius has been a real estate broker in Portland since 2004 and founded Vitalius Real Estate Group in 2011 as a boutique agency of select professional agents. He has served for more than a decade as President of the Rental Housing Alliance of Southern Maine (formerly the Southern Maine Landlord Association), a local non-profit group of rental housing providers from across the industry. He is a founding member of the Quality Housing Coalition, which focuses on opening-up market rate apartments to tenant populations that would otherwise struggle to compete for these units.
Vitalius currently serves as President of the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce, which gives him the opportunity to host "Eggs and Issues," Portland's premier business and networking event. He co-chairs the Greater Portland Board of Realtors LPAC Committee and sits on Maine Listing's Rental Database Task Force.
During the 2021-2022 academic year, Vitalius served as a Community Member on the Facilities Committee of the Maine College of Art & Design Board of Trustees. His wealth of experience in the Portland real estate market made him an extremely valued contributor to the committee.
Vitalius grew up in Yarmouth, Maine, before he graduated from Harvard University in 1995. He worked in technology as a programmer and team manager at BBN, the company that developed the forerunner of the internet. He currently lives in Yarmouth with his wife, Yasmin, and their two children.
Kristin Valdmanis is an educator with more than 15 years of experience as a classroom teacher and as an administrator in both public and independent schools. She graduated from Dartmouth College and received a Master of Arts in curriculum and teaching from Columbia University and a Master of Education in language and literacy from Harvard University. Valdmanis is an active volunteer. She is President of the Board of Directors of the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine and serves on the board of The Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maine.
After five years of living with her family in Asia, Valdmanis now resides in Portland with her four children and husband, Warren.
# # #
ABOUT MAINE COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN
Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D, pronounced "Maine College of Art and Design”) has been activating students of all pursuits to make art, make an impact, and inspire change since its founding as Portland School of Art in 1882. Located in Portland's thriving Arts District, students have access to state-of-the-art facilities, 24-hour-a-day studios, a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and a community-based Artists at Work program—making MECA&D the right-sized school in the right-sized city for every student who wants to make their mark and be seen. MECA&D offers BFA Majors and Minors, Graduate Programs, Continuing Studies, Pre-College, and includes the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and the Institute for Contemporary Art. Follow us at @mecaart.