Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association is excited to announce it has a new board president, Riverview resident Bernadette Pello. She is also the president and co-founder of Livingstone Academy as well as the marketing manager for KNOW Women Tampa Bay.
“I am originally from upstate New York,” Pello said. “I have been in Florida, specifically the Brandon area, for 28 years. I have 35 years of professional experience, 15 in corporate and 20 years as the co-owner with my husband, Chris, for almost 20 years. Chris and I founded and own Livingstone Schools.”
The couple started Livingstone Academy with 30 students and four staff members.
“We now have 450 students, four locations and 85 employees,” Pello said. “We are starting up our fifth location next school year. It will be a trade academy focusing on preapprenticeship programs for anyone with a high school diploma or GED.
The couple also owns a food truck as a family with their son, Michael, called Pasta Monsta. “I served as the chairman of the board for the Brandon Chamber of Commerce in 2020 and I currently chair GEAC,” Pello said.
Pello has been a part of Center Place’s board for more than a year. When the current executive board president, Ryan Odiorne, stepped down, Pello was unanimously voted in as Center Place’s new executive board president.
“I love the opportunities that Center Place offers not only to students but adults as well,” Pello said. “It is very important to engage our diverse members in the arts, whether it is our young students and adults, our veterans or our vulnerable populations. We partner with other nonprofits in the community to provide quality programs. I love watching the collaboration with other nonprofits and organizations.”
Ryan is still an active board member, as is his brother, Tom Odiorne, who is Center Place’s treasurer.
Pello has many goals for Center Place during her term.
“Some of my goals obviously need to continue our efforts to keep Center Place strong financially,” Pello said. “Without that, we cannot provide the programs needed in the community. I would love to see our monthly events grow, such as Artist Night. I want to see Center Place known for our quality art and community programs and our beautiful event space. We have been a part of the Brandon community for 49 years, and thanks to our committed board and other community members, we are here to stay.”
For more information, visit www.centerplacebrandon.com or call 685-8888.