Meet the Founding Board Members of ‘The Church’

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Tommy John Schiavoni, Sally Susman and Nicole Seligman are the founding board members of The Church.

As the Sag Harbor Church (aka The Church) continues to take shape in the old Methodist Church on Madison Street, the arts organization has named its three founding board members — they are Tommy John Schiavoni, Nicole Seligman and Sally Susman.

Schiavoni is a native of Sag Harbor with a lifelong appreciation for history, nature and the legacy of the arts on the East End of Long Island. A former teacher, in 2018 he retired after a 30-year career at Center Moriches Union Free School District where he taught history, economics, and government. He has been active in local government since 2008, having served on the North Haven Village Zoning Board of Appeals and village board, and the Southampton Town ZBA before being elected to the town council in 2017. He also served on the Sag Harbor School Board from 2014 to 2017.

Seligman is a globally recognized corporate leader and lawyer. She currently serves on a number of corporate boards including Viacom, ‎WPP (a UK-based advertising and marketing company), and MeiraGTx Holdings PLC. She recently served as chair of The Doe Fund, a nonprofit organization whose flagship residential program transitions the formerly homeless and incarcerated to independent lives, and remains active with criminal justice reentry initiatives.

Seligman was also president of Sony Entertainment, Inc., and Sony Corporation of America, where she oversaw all corporate functions of the firm’s U.S. headquarters. Prior to joining Sony, Seligman was a partner in the litigation practice at Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, D.C., working on a broad range of complex civil and criminal matters and counseling a wide range of clients, including former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.

Susman is executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer at Pfizer where she directs the company’s communications, public affairs and philanthropic activities around the world.

She also worked in government service where she focused on international trade issues first, as legislative assistant for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and later, as deputy assistant secretary for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S Department of Commerce.

Currently, Susman serves on the board of WPP and as co-chair of the board of directors of the International Rescue Committee. She is also on the board of the New York Botanical Garden and is a frequent commentator in newspapers, magazines and broadcast programs.

Founded by North Haven residents and artists, husband and wife Eric Fischl and April Gornik, the mission of The Church is to foster creativity across the East End and preserve the history of Sag Harbor as a “maker” village. Once completed, it will celebrate old and new technologies as an incubator for future generations through collaboration, education and outreach. For more information, visit sagharborchurch.org.

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