CEO/PresidentAva Spece is a passionate executive with 20+ years experience leading both nonprofit and for-profit businesses. Prior to coming to the Workhouse Ava served as President of the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, Executive Director of DC Youth Orchestra, and is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond.
Chief Financial Officer
Alan brings twenty plus years of CFO experience to Workhouse. He is a CPA and has an MBA from St. Joseph’s University. He began his career in public accounting and went on to be a CFO for several for-profit and non-profit organizations. Alan has served as Board Member and advisor for numerous non-profit organizations. Alan grew up in Pennsylvania and has lived in Northern Virginia for the last twelve years.
Brett John Johnson
Director of Visual Arts
Brett John Johnson joined the Workhouse October, 2012. Prior to the Workhouse, he served as Gallery Director at VisArts at Rockville, Studio Programs Manager at the Delaware Art Museum, Exhibits Specialist at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and Preparator at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, College of Art and Design. Johnson holds a MFA from Temple University, Tyler School of Art and a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, VCU School of the Arts.
Director of Development & Community Relations
Ricki Marion is a native of Louisville, Kentucky, where she has been recognized by the Kentucky Governor’s School and the Kentucky Center for the Arts for her contributions to the arts management field. She has worked in marketing at Parsons Dance Company (NYC) and Dance Place (DC), and in development and special events at the Wolf Trap Foundation. She served as executive director of Bowen McCauley Dance from 2010 – 2014. She is a member of the 2012 Leadership Arlington class, a guest lecturer with George Mason University and Shenandoah University, and has served as a board officer with GRACE and on the fundraising committee of IPAR. Ricki was pleased to join the Workhouse as Director of Development and Community Relations in July of 2014. She received her BFA in Dance and MS in Arts Administration from Shenandoah University. Ricki and her husband Mark live in Reston with their two children, Corbin and Anabeth.
Ceramics & Glass Program Director
Dale Marhanka is currently the Ceramics and Glass Director, a faculty member and Resident Artist in the Ceramics Program at the Workhouse Arts Center and shows his work both regionally, nationally and internationally. He received his BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1987 and his MFA from Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas in 1991.
Calvin Register, Jr.
Education Associate & Camp Director
Calvin Register, Jr. joined the Workhouse Arts Center as a Gallery Associate in 2009, and has since grown a love and appreciation for the rich history and potential rooted to the area. As a natural-born administrator with a passion for the arts, Calvin thrives as a contributor to the growth of the youth arts community. Beyond the Workhouse, Calvin is a professional performer, artist and musician.
Art of Movement Program Director
Lesley Spalding is fully certified STOTT Pilates Instructor Trainer with certifications in Physical Therapy PLC and Yogafit Level 1 and 2. She teaches Pilates and Yoga.
Director of Performing Arts
Joseph Wallen is a DC native, having graduated from Falls Church High School and then George Mason University. Joseph has twenty-five years experience working professionally in the field of performing arts and has worn every ‘hat’ in the trade: performer, director, designer, producer and more. He has been with the Workhouse Arts Center since August 2007 and looks forward to continuing the growth and development of performing arts opportunities in Lorton.
Director of Education
Debra Yarrington has been teaching ceramics through the Workhouse Arts Center since its opening in 2008 and has taught art foundations and sculpture as a returning alumni professor at the University of Mary Washington. In her spare time she continues to create art work and curate exhibitions throughout the Northern VA area in accordance with her LLC Urban Art Syndicate. She earned her BA in Studio Art and Virginia State Teaching Licensure from the University of Mary Washington in 2002. In 2007 she earned her MFA in Ceramic Sculpture from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA and her Post-Graduate Teaching License shortly thereafter.