Staff & Board of Directors

Please feel free to contact any of the museum’s staff members at their respective e-mail address or call our main number at 301-774-0022. For general inquiries, please e-mail us at our general mailbox and someone will get back to you shortly.

Allison Weiss, Executive Director

Allison Weiss, Executive DirectorAllison Weiss joined the Museum in May 2012, having worked in the field of museums since 1995. Incorporating a world view she acquired while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa and obtaining a master’s degree in cultural anthropology, she sees small museums through the lens of a community builder.  Instead of focusing on the traditional model of static exhibits and passive programming, she has created opportunities for the community to become directly involved with museum programs. Recognizing that the most valuable learning experience is one that allows for participation through a sense of personal ownership, she has paved the way for individuals and organizations to co-create with the museum.

Diane Bush, Director of Operations

Diane Bush, Director of OperationsDiane Bush has been at Sandy Spring Museum since 2004. She manages the museum’s accounting and finances as well as overseeing personnel, membership, and the Strawberry Festival, among many other things. Prior to joining the museum staff she held similar positions for several small companies, including a pharmaceutical company and construction/development firm. She is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and received her BA in economics from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and her MBA in Finance from Fordham University.

Phillip Alexander Downie, Director of Special Events & Facility Rentals

Phillip Alexander Downie, Director of Special Events & Facility RentalsA Sandy Spring native, Phillip Alexander Downie joined Sandy Spring Museum in May 2015.  In this role, Phillip is responsible for the logistics and management of all special events, programs, and facility rentals.  Phillip has over 15 years of experience in the special events industry. He is the Managing Partner of One Source Event Group LLC, a Maryland events professional collaborative, and is the the Board of Directors Treasurer for the MoCo Pride Center, a QLGBTIA advocacy and social justice 501c3 non-profit organization.

Lauren Peirce, Director of Marketing

PhotoLauren Peirce joined the staff in August 2018.  Lauren manages the marketing and branding of the museum. Additionally, she works with local businesses to create partnerships that help not only promote the role of Sandy Spring Museum in the community, but create opportunities for those businesses to grow. Lauren brings an extensive background in communications to the Museum, having previously worked in television news, media buying and direct marketing. Outside of the office, you’re likely to see her about town with her family, so be sure to stop and say hello!

Melanie Pinkert , Folklife Specialist

Melanie Pinkert joined the staff in August 2018. She coordinates themed programs and is expanding the Museum’s role to bring local performing arts and artisan traditions to a wider audience. Melanie has an extensive background in arts programming and education, and holds a  Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of Maryland. When she’s not working, you’ll find her playing the Turkish folk lute, or trying out a new recipe in the kitchen.

Sandy Spring Museum Board of Directors

  • David Hickson: President
  • Ralph Portee: Vice President
  • Laurel Chiat: Secretary
  • Dave Havrilla: Treasurer
  • John Austin
  • Amy Cohen
  • Robert Crim
  • Susan Ellis
  • Bruce Evans
  • Andrea Guy McFarland
  • Roy Glixon
  • Mimi Hassanein
  • Kerri Huso
  • Angie MacAlpine
  • Andrea Mohr
  • Jenna Paukstis
  • Donna Sampson Rawlings
  • Jeff Ross
  • Mehmet Saracoglu
  • Jerry Therrien
  • Hemant Virkar
  • Naomi Yadin-Mendick
  • Jenny Zucker