Keeping it close to the heart of the Parsley family, our initial team is comprised of professionals in the field of arts administration and consulting, cyber security and education. If you are interested in serving the needs of our organization, we’d like to talk to you as we consider board expansion.
Founder and Director
Joan Parsley’s friends refer to her as “Joan of Art.” As Founder and Director of Great Lakes Paperweights, she has been in the world of art all her life. For 24 years, Parsley managed the Historical Keyboard Society concert series in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and also founded Ensemble Musical Offering, Milwaukee's Midwest Bande for Early Music, for whom she was Artistic Director and harpsichordist while Artist-in-Residence at The Cathedral of All Saints' Episcopal, Milwaukee. Prior to that time, Parsley worked for Zigman-Joseph-Skeen, a nationally-recognized public relations firm in Milwaukee and New York City where she advised Milwaukee’s major performing arts organizations including the Milwaukee Symphony, Wisconsin Conservatory and Saint Joseph Chapel. Parsley also worked with many of her state’s visual artists and created numerous exhibitions sponsored by The Marine Bank. She has co-curated exhibitions with Marquette University’s Haggerty Art Museum as well as the Milwaukee Art Museum. She also served as interim President for the Midwest Paperweight Collectors. Joan Parsley brings her effervescent personality, passion and arts leadership to a subject and industry that will inspire generations to come.
Dr. Sylvester Kreilein
After completing college with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, followed by theological studies at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, Dr. Sylvester Kreilein acquired a Doctorate in German literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While he taught German for 45 years at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, Dr. Kreilein was involved in nationally-funded lectures and special events for Ensemble Musical Offering, an original instrument chamber orchestra focused on the Baroque and Classical periods. He also established an academic exchange program with the city of Ingolstadt, Germany, and was honored with a National Certificate of Merit Award in 2004 from the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages. In 2011, he received the Wisconsin Distinguished Foreign Language Educator Award. Currently Dr. Kreilein is Vice President of the Goethe House Wisconsin as well as Vice President of the Hessen-Wisconsin Society. His vast board experience bodes well for providing an even keel and keeping a detailed log as our ship sails.
Alex Kreilein is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft. His work focuses on Critical Infrastructure and cybersecurity. At other organizations, he has previously served in executive roles such as Chief Information Security Officer and Chief Technology Officer. Alex holds a Masters in Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder as well as a Masters in National Security from the U.S. Naval War College. He is a collector of contemporary art and an avid traveler and outdoorsman. Alex will focus on technology and organizational strategy initiatives in his work at GLP.
Consultant Paul Berlanga has been the sales manager of the L.H. Selman Gallery of Fine Glass Paperweights in Chicago, IL, since June of 2016. During this time he has occasionally written for various publications, and is a private art advisor. Berlanga has also conducted live, online interviews with the authors of non-fiction works with The Author’s Voice Network. Prior to that he was the director of the Stephen Daiter Gallery for 18 years, where the focus was fine art photography. His background includes two decades in the book trade, his own painting, and a very dark sense of humor. His corporate role is that of Resident Contradictor in keeping GLP on its toes and broadening the organization’s horizons.
Education and Outreach
Zachary Goldsmith comes to GLP with a rich background in education and outreach. Having a passion for paperweights as well, Goldsmith will assist in the development of GLP’s Education and Outreach programs. He is duly up for the job as his background includes working with general audiences and organizing special events and speakers for educational institutions, experience vital to the future of Great Lakes Paperweights.
Currently, Goldsmith is Academic Program Manager in the Department of Political Science at Purdue University in West Lafayette Indiana. He previously served as a Visiting Assistant Professor for Purdue’s Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts program. He has also worked as a research assistant and instructor in the Department of Political Science at Indiana University from January 2013 through December 2018.
Goldsmith has a Ph.D. from Indiana University and a BA from the University of Michigan, all in political science. He was the recipient of a graduate fellowship with the Rumsfeld Foundation and a Fulbright Fellowship from the US government. He is the author of Fanaticism (University Pennsylvania Press, 2022) and his writing has appeared in such venues as NBC News and The Washington Post.
According to Joan Parsley, “GLP is turning a new corner and expanding its role in the field of glass art and education. Zach’s passion for paperweights and what GLP has already accomplished will allow the organization to reach new audiences in the Midwest and beyond.”