Foundation & Colony Staff

Lesley Williamson, Director

Lesley began her tenure at Saltonstall in November, 2011. Prior to her move to Ithaca, she lived in Chautauqua County for ten years during which time where she worked as a program coordinator for Chautauqua Institution's signature lecture series and, more recently, as the director of the North Shore Arts Alliance, a grass-roots organization representing professional visual artists in all media. 

Lesley earned her Master of Arts Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University. She brings a wealth of not-for-profit organizational experience in addition to a passion for the arts and a deep understanding of the importance of supporting art at its source. 

Lesley lives in downtown Ithaca with her husband David Coester, a classical guitarist, and she currently serves on the board of the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County. 

David Pealo, Property Manager

Dave Pealo came to us in 2006 when, after many years with the Saltonstall family and 14 with the foundation, Joe Dannelley decided the only grounds he wanted to work on where his own. Like Joe, Dave is a true Renaissance man. When you hold the title Property Manager you have to be.

Denise DeCesare, Colony Chef

It was a happy day when Denise agreed to take on the role of Colony Chef. Her passion for good food, innate culinary talents, and easy-going personality have made her presence in the kitchen a delight to the artists. Denise seems to have the perfect life, spending winters in Florida and returning to Ithaca in the spring.