Board Member Bios

Mikel Cirkus, President
As a designer, photographer, illustrator and writer, Mikel has a unique perspective on the rapidly changing world of trends, content creation, and execution. His role, as Global Creative Director, Foresight & Trenz, at dsm-firmenich for the past 24 years, is to evoke inspiration for innovation. Both a generous knowledge sharer and collaborator, Mikel identifies and presents the imminent and massive changes that will have an impact on the food and beverage industry. With foresight expertise, he brings a cultural depth to brand authenticity by examining beyond the obvious to conclude which factors will shape the future of consumer goods. Mikel is a graduate of The Art Center College of Design, and makes his home in West Windsor.

Sashi Sreekanth, Vice President
Sashi Sreekanth moved to Princeton Junction from Greenwich, CT in 2017. As a Talent Acquisition professional for the past 15 years, she has a passion for people, with a primary focus on women’s empowerment. Sashi runs the Social Women of Greater Princeton group (established in 2018) that is successful in empowering women to form interest based clubs, and giving back to the community through fun and exciting events. She is also the editor of the “What Matters To You?” series of children’s books written by her son, Chakra Sreekanth. One of the books, All Shapes Matter, topped the Amazon Bestseller list under New Releases. It has since been incorporated into the state of Washington’s Elementary school curriculum for its emphasis on the power of kindness and inclusion. The books are also available at all West Windsor-Plainsboro Elementary school libraries. Sashi has a keen interest in all forms of art and sees it as a great binder in connecting people from different walks of life. She is an avid supporter of the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Sashi has a Bachelor’s degree in e-commerce from Brunel University in London where she was raised, and a Double Masters from the University of Westminster and Hochschule Bremen in Germany respectively.

Aarti Nathan, Secretary
Aarti Nathan considers herself a “creative technologist” as she is passionate about both technology and the arts. She has a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and has spent more than 2 decades in the IT industry. Aarti currently handles strategic accounts for Persistent Systems, a leading software services provider. On the art side, she especially enjoys acrylic painting and zentangle drawing. Aarti recently worked as the chief operating officer of an India-based not-for-profit, Katalyst. She continues to mentor students from the program and support the not-for-profit on their technology systems. Born in India and having lived on 3 continents, she enjoys traveling and meeting new people across different cultures. She is committed to women’s empowerment, education and mentoring youth.

Ann Zawartkay, Treasurer
Ann Zawartkay holds a B.S. in accounting and a B.A. in classical civilization from Lehigh University, where she was a high honors graduate and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the State of New Jersey, a Chartered Global Management Accountant, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Ann formed Nonprofit Accounting Solutions, LLC (NPAS) in 2014, where she specializes in accounting services for non-profit and tax-exempt organizations, including bookkeeping, financial reporting, budgeting, outsourced accounting department, and outsourced Controller/CFO services. Prior to forming NPAS, Ann spent ten years at Mercadien, P.C., Certified Public Accountants. She currently resides in Robbinsville, New Jersey.

Alisa Algava strives to understand how child- and community-centered schooling contests structural inequity and creates moments and spaces of radical possibility. A former student, teacher, principal and board member in progressive elementary schools, Alisa connects a developmental approach with a social and educational justice stance in her work with both children and adults. She graduated from and teaches in Bank Street’s leadership programs and is currently a doctoral student in Urban Education at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. Alisa’s greatest accomplishment and joy, though, is being the eldest daughter of artist and art teacher Priscilla Snow Algava, or as Priscilla used to call Alisa and her younger sister Carin: “My two greatest works of art.” Alisa learned from her mama to see beauty everywhere. Priscilla was a beloved teacher at West Windsor Arts until she was tragically diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and then died in 2019. WWA created a scholarship fund in her honor. Priscilla is deeply missed and her creative joyful spirit lives on right here with her daughters, family and friends, the regional arts community and all of us, every day.

Jyotika Bahree is a former West Windsor councilwoman and Zoning Board member. As such, she worked tirelessly on issues that are important to the community and is passionate about bringing the community together. She believes that the Arts can serve as a vital instrument to tie the diverse threads of our community together. Jyotika has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Delhi University and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. Her professional experience has been in the areas of Sales and Marketing. Jyotika grew up in New Delhi and moved to the US close to twenty years ago. She has been a resident of West Windsor since 2007. She has three lovely boys and loves to travel and spend time with her family.

Padmaja Ganapathy is a writer, philosopher, biologist, artist and “artrepreneur” who holds a PhD in Oncology and MBA in Finance. As the founder of Artsee, a free online portfolio platform for artists, she aims to democratize the art world by providing visibility to artists of diverse genres, countries, and domains. She is also the co-founder and co-director of Artists4Peace, a curated platform dedicated to empowering artists and promoting peace through art. Prior to that she ran the US operations for Godavari Biorefineries, an intensely philanthropic and environmentally conscious bio-refinery based in India. She has previously worked in major pharmaceuticals in areas of benchmarking and clinical trials management. Padmaja is currently writing a multimedia book based on her philosophical blog, “The Naked Soul.”

Elane Gutterman is a founding board member, a previous board President, and currently serves as Chair of the Governance Committee. A published poet who honed her skills through classes at West Windsor Arts, she has served as literary arts committee chair since the opening of the art center. She is a health researcher with a PhD in public health from Columbia University, currently working as a volunteer adjunct assistant professor in Rutgers Global Health Institute.  For several years, she was president and principal epidemiologist for a small global health company based in West Windsor. She and her husband live in West Windsor. In addition, her two adult daughters grew up in West Windsor and attended West Windsor-Plainsboro schools.

Tyler Marcocci is a supervisor with Mercadien P.C., Certified Public Accountants’ Nonprofit and Human Services Group. He holds a B.S. in Accounting from the Sigmund Weis School of Business at Susquehanna University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and served on the university’s audit committee. He is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the State of New Jersey. He is also a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants. He resides in Ewing, New Jersey. In his free time, Tyler enjoys attending concerts and spending time with his retired racing greyhound.

Kristen Oberlin was born and raised in Georgia and relocated to New Jersey in 2019. Oberlin is the the Human Resources Director for The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, NJ. A member of the School’s senior staff, Oberlin is responsible for the overall strategic direction and operations of the Human Resources Department, designing and carrying out human resources programs across the School, and working with key partners in the administration to assess, develop, and implement policies. Prior to moving from Georgia to New Jersey, Kristen was the Human Resources Director for Atlanta International School, a K-12, multi-linguistic International Baccalaureate school. She and her husband live in Princeton and actively volunteer in their community.