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Tannery Pond hires first executive director

Bernadette Speach, executive director of the Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek

Bernadette Speach, executive director of the Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek Photo by Andy Flynn.

— The Tannery Pond Community Center Association this past week hired its first executive director since opening in 2002.

Bernadette Speach, of Brant Lake, sat down with the News Enterprise in an exclusive interview Monday, June 4 to introduce herself and talk about the new job she’ll be starting on July 1, the day after the Tannery Pond Community Center celebrates its 10th anniversary with a gala event. And she’ll be taking the same message around town in the weeks to come.

Speach may not have worked in North Creek before, but she likes what she sees.

“I’ve really been amazed by the energy and the genuineness of people,” she said. “One amazing quality here is I see this invaluable volunteerism. At this point, besides that gorgeous building, which was a gift, this is the greatest gift to that center, what these people give and continue to give.”

Speach grew up in Syracuse and has lived in most metropolitan areas of New York state. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music education (piano) at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, studied in Italy and Columbia University in New York City, and received a master’s degree and doctorate in music composition from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

There are three components to Speach’s career: composer/pianist, teacher and arts administrator.

“All of them are actually about being a teacher,” she said.

Although much of her work has been centered in New York City, near her other home in Brooklyn, she was most recently the music program director at the Massry Center for the Arts, College of Saint Rose, in Albany (2008-2010). Her career has taken her from Albany to Manhattan, Troy to Montreal, and Brooklyn to Queens.

So why North Creek?

With a second home in Brant Lake, Speach is no stranger to North Creek. This is where she goes out to dinner, meets with friends and prefers to do her laundry. About 10 years ago, she broke her right knee and soon became friends with her physical therapist, Diana Burns of North River.

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