MICHELE RIGGI, President
A native of Broadalbin, NY, Michele studied dance from a young age and dreamed of a career on Broadway. Her passion for the arts has endured. Together with her husband Ron, she is one of the most consequential patrons of the arts in Saratoga Springs and a vital philanthropist for causes such as animal welfare and advocacy. Michele has served as the chairwoman of the Museum’s annual gala and in 2013 spearheaded the successful city-wide fundraiser Saratoga En Pointe which benefitted the Museum and highlighted Saratoga Springs as a cultural destination. In 2014 she established The Mr. and Mrs. Ronald A. Riggi Theater, a forty-five-seat black box theater located in the northwest wing of the Museum. Michele has served on the board of directors for The Actors Fund’s Career Transition for Dancers in New York City and has been President of the board of the National Museum of Dance since 2005.
EILEEN GUARINO, Secretary
Eileen is the President and owner of Greno Industries, Inc., a second-generation, family-owned precision manufacturing company located in Schenectady, NY. With a passion to grow manufacturing throughout the United States and educate young people about the field, she has successfully diversified Greno Industries and created a thriving in-house high school manufacturing internship training program. She is an active member of the Chamber of Commerce and the Women’s Business Enterprise Network Council and is on the board of directors of the Chief Executives Network for Manufacturing of the Capital Region, Inc. and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. Eileen has served on the board of the National Museum of Dance since 2011.
Safwat is the Managing Director and Licensee of ten Arthur Murray Dance Centers in the United States, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. He is also a master examiner, judge, and former organizer of major amateur and professional international dance championships. He performed as a soloist with the Cairo Opera Ballet Company and was a member of Austria’s Folks Opera Ballet Company. Safwat earned a bachelor’s degree from the Academy of Arts’ High Institute of Ballet in Cairo, Egypt and later, a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Business, and Finance. Safwat has served on the board of the National Museum of Dance since 2013.
Carol received a BFA in visual art from Syracuse University. After graduating, she moved to Aspen, CO, to pursue her passion for skiing. She lived there for ten years, working in the industry as a ski instructor, and in clothing and equipment sales. She returned to the Capital Region to spend time with her family after her father’s lung cancer diagnosis. Carol is currently at work on a documentary about her father, Lewis A. Swyer, a founder of the National Museum of Dance. From ballet as a child to ballroom now and everything in between, dance has always been a part of her life. She has served on the Board of the National Museum of Dance since 2002.
John is President of Witt Construction, one of the region’s most renowned luxury homebuilders. In the 1970s and 80s, John was a multiple medal winner as a freestyle competitor on the U.S. Ski Team. Upon his retirement from the sport he founded Witt Construction in 1989. His recognition is widespread and he has won numerous industry and national awards for residential design. His work has been featured in many national publications including Better Homes and Gardens, Professional Builders, and Builder/Architect Magazine. John has served on the board of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation and as President of the Saratoga Builder’s Association. He continues to work closely with volunteer organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Saratoga PLAN, and the Double H Ranch, and has donated several parcels of land as open space to be forever wild. John has served on the board of the National Museum of Dance since 2010.
Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney
Mr. Lewis A. Swyer
Nancy Norman Lassalle