Meet the 2010 Organizers








The good news about this year’s OctoTea Planning Committee is the number of new folks who wanted to be part of the event’s success.  Armed with fresh ideas and loads of energy, they volunteered by e-mail, Facebook, and were dragged in by friends.  Of course, there are plenty of returning players, because OctoTea planning is – well, it’s FUN!


Event Chairperson

Mark Erwin: No one seems to know exactly how many years Mark has tried to herd this flock of turkeys.  Some say this is the 6th year, others think that it has to be year 7.  No matter.  Mark has laid down a master plan that is a true guide to success, yet remains flexible enough to accommodate innovation and surprises.  Although he is exerting a slightly lighter hand this year than in the past, his imprint is everywhere in both the process and the completion of the event.  He also heads the entertainment committee and personally sets up the sound system.  Mark is a former Head Octopus.


Co-Chair for Event Planning

Mary English Morrison is the Co-chairperson tasked with coordinating the subcommittees that plan most aspects of OctoTea up to the day of the event.  Her fourth year to be involved with OctoTea, she treasures every opportunity to work in any capacity on the event.  At age 67, Mary proves that there’s a place for everyone in the Octopus Club, and she personally manages the print marketing, and assists with social networking. Mary is assisted by Eric Lewis. She is a current Head Octopus.


Co-Chair for Event Direction

Mark Fisette enthusiastically jumped at the opportunity to direct all the activities that must happen on the day of the event, almost as soon as the call went out for a volunteer.  A veteran of other OctoTea Dances and Art Erotica, Mark brings loads of good humor and recruitment skills to the party as well as a high level of commitment.  Mark is a current Head Octopus.



Bruce Weatherford and Rick Holmberg have not only kept up with all our requests, virtual ineptitude and updates, they have taken that and built a completely new, beautiful and highly interactive website!  Their levels of dedication are astounding, working for this great cause, even with heavy individual workloads, and in the case of Bruce, an expanding family.  So if you like this new website – thank Bruce and Rick!


Corporate Committee:

Lew Aldridge once again heads this committee that has dual tasks:  Soliciting cash corporate contributions and obtaining in-kind contributions. Members are busy calling, e-mailing and visiting the corporate sponsors who have donated cash, products and services in former years, as well as new leads. Lew is the founder of the Octopus Club, and is generally thought of as the Perpetual Head Octopus (which he would deny).  He is assisted by Lee Manford, Stephen Rice and Brian Thompson.


Hosts Committee:

Marty Bender is the reigning dean of host efforts.   Year after year, he and his co-chairs have recruited the hosts whose contributions make OctoTea and other Octopus Club events happen.  Nobody does it better.  This year, Marty’s co-chair is none other than Tim Grondin – yes, none other than DJ “Timmy G,” so you know this committee will Rock!  Marty is a former Head Octopus.


Marketing & PR

Rob Giardinelli has stepped up this year to chair this extremely important committee that is tasked with getting the word out in a myriad of different media.  Marketing starts meeting months before other committees, nailing down venues for pre-Tea events, obtaining media opportunities, figuring out how to fit in yet another happy hour and mapping out the now all-important social networking schedule.  Rob has worked on the OctoTea Dance for at least 4 years.   He is assisted by:

·        Eric Lewis is in charge of planning and scheduling the pre-Tea events, as well as assisting Mary Morrison with general planning responsibilities.  This is Eric’s second year to work on OctoTea.

·        Tim Bailey comes fully equipped with great ideas and the drive to carry them out.  He is in charge of organizing and assigning the social networking tweets and posts that will keep everyone informed and current and excited about the fast-moving OctoTea season.

·        Michelle Patterson, Jette Momant and Kim Selinger are in charge of reaching out to new demographic groups who may not be familiar with the fun that is OctoTea.  Jette and Rob will also be the public faces of OctoTea in media appearances. Michelle is a former Head Octopus.


Artistic and Creative

Marcus Sanchez and Billy Brown, both professional graphic artists have worked tirelessly to keep us with the card, poster, t-shirt and ad designs that get the word out.  Taking a logo designed by John Patterson, they’ve tweaked and enhanced it into the many forms needed for this event.  The unique and dynamic art work helps to keep OctoTea distinctive before the doors ever open.


Silent Auction

Layne Box and Scot Maitland are searching, scouring and snooping for the great treasures that will tempt everyone who browses through the Silent Auction tables.  Everything from art to services will be represented in the sale.  This is the duo’s first year to work on OctoTea, and we are delighted to have their great wit and fresh ideas.  Get ready for envelopes to be pushed!



Jason Marth and David Reidel have taken on the responsibility of finding a fabulous prize that will tempt us all to buy ‘way too many raffle tickets, but every penny does go to this great cause.  Watch for them in pre-tea events coming to a venue near you. Look for a big round bowl and maybe some boas.



Ted Stanfield is tasked with distributing and accounting for the OctoTea tickets.  He will oversee the set up for ticket check-in.  Ted’s a real CPA, so don’t try telling him that the dog ate your ticket!  This is his first year to work on OctoTea, and those of us who are numerically challenged are delighted to have his expertise. 



Arthur Landin and Michael Hulse  will be recruiting and organizing the many volunteers needed to make the Tea a success.  There is a variety of various volunteer roles that need to be filled – a spot to suit everyone.  Arthur has pioneered in the online recruiting that was so successful for OctoTea last year, and for this year’s Art Erotica.  Michael has volunteered in the past for Octopus Club events, and Arthur is a former Head Octopus.


Food and Beverage

Tim Young has again volunteered to exert his considerable expertise in acquiring the food, alcohol and other beverages that make OctoTea so popular.  He will be assisted by Ryan Hollowell. Very few events can offer a full afternoon and evening of entertainment that also includes a complete meal and complimentary drinks.  In the past few years, that has been largely because of Tim’s efforts.  An attorney, Tim also oversees all the contractual processes required to keep us on the straight and narrow – ok, maybe mostly narrow. He will be an integral part of the logistics team, as usual.  Tim is the Chair of Art Erotica, and he is a former Head Octopus. 



Mark Fisette heads up the big crew of volunteers who will put all the puzzle pieces together that make up OctoTea 15.  Assisted by Mark Guerrero, Tim Young, Brian McElligott and numerous others from design to clean up, Mark will snap his fingers, wiggle his nose, and OctoTea will suddenly appear!  No, from exactly where to put the fence, to creating an inviting dance floor, Mark and his team will literally put the entire event physically in place starting early in the morning on the day of the event, then remove our entire footprint before midnight.  Mark is a current Head Octopus.


The Octopus Club is a 100% Volunteer Organization.  If you love OctoTea, be sure to thank the huge number of people who contribute a large portion of their lives to making it a success!