The Oysterponds Historical Society is led by a Board of Trustees elected by the membership. The Trustees work closely with the professional staff and volunteers who make the Society’s mission possible.


Trustees 2024

Tom Dyja, President

Tina Silvestri, Vice President

PJ Deschenes, Treasurer

Ted Harris, Secretary


Emily Bellos

EJ Camp

Nina Caufield

George Cavagnaro

Catherine Chermayeff

Leslie Cohen

Charles Dean

Mimi Fahs

Suzanne Gluck

Susan Holden

John Holzapfel (Honorary Board Member)

Lydia Irving

Wilfred Joseph

Andrea Meislin

Sarah Olmstead

Lindsay Pollock

Donna Richardsen

Katie Sonnenborn

Jennifer Valentino

Fredrica Wachsberger (Emerita)

Craig Young





Alison Ventura
Executive Director

Alison Ventura is an experienced museum exhibition designer and decorative arts historian. She has a BFA from the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University and a master’s degree in history of design and curatorial studies from the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Parsons School of Design. She began her career at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and has been involved with OHS for over a decade. Alison and her husband Michael bought and lovingly renovated a historic house on Village Lane over a decade ago and are active, passionate members of the local community.



William McNaught

William McNaught has been Curator of OHS since 2012. He was previously Director of the American Museum in Britain, New York Regional Director of the Archives of American Art for the Smithsonian Institution, and Curatorial Assistant and Lecturer at The Frick Collection. He has served on the boards of The American Friends of the Attingham Summer School, The Attingham Trust in London, and The Bath Preservation Trust.



Amy Folk
Collections Manager

Amy Folk has been Collections Manager of OHS since 2003. She is also Archivist and Curator for the Southold Historical Society and Southold Town Historian. Ms. Folk is currently the immediate Past-President for the Long Island Museum Association, as well as the co-author of several award-winning books on Southold history.



Scott A. Robbins
Development Associate

Scott A. Robbins joined OHS in February, 2020. He has worked at numerous media, publishing, and entertainment industry companies during his career, including Random House, Time Inc., Sony Music, Warner Music, and NBCUniversal, among others, specializing in online, offline, and digital direct-to-consumer marketing and promotion. Over the years he has served on the boards of several 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations. Scott graduated from Hamilton College with a B.A. in English Literature. He became a full-time resident of nearby Shelter Island in 2016, where his family has had a house for over 60 years.



Melissa Groeneveld
Office Administrator

Melissa Groeneveld, born and raised on Long Island, decided to stay and earned her degrees at LIU Southampton while also playing collegiate volleyball there.  With a Communications degree and a minor in Marketing, she spent 10+ years working in New York City for USA Today and Sports Business Journal. Melissa fell in love with the North Fork when she met her husband and they have been calling Southold home for over 15 years.



Michael Simon, Chair



Howard Shainker, Chair


Buildings & Grounds

Jennifer Valentino, Chair


Charles Dean, Chair



Suzanne Gluck, Chair


Community Engagement

Leslie Cohen, Chair




Special Events Committees


Heritage Day

Catherine Chaudhuri, Co-Chair

Sarah Olmstead, Co-Chair


Summer Benefit

Jeanne Markel, Co-Chair

Carol Markel, Co-Chair





Contact Us

Mailing address:
Oysterponds Historical Society
PO Box 70
Orient, NY 11957


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