Faces of Downtown Bellefonte Inc.

Downtown Bellefonte Inc. Board of Directors

Ellen Matis

Ellen is the President of Downtown Bellefonte Inc.'s board, and owner of local marketing agency Hello Social Co. In both her professional work and through volunteering, she uses social media to connect more people to their communities and neighbors. 

Ellen sits on the Marketing committee for Downtown Bellefonte Inc., and you can usually find her at the DBI table during community events.

When she's not coworking at SpringBoard, you can usually find Ellen hiking or camping around the region.

Mike Scott

Mike Scott is a Downtown Bellefonte Inc. board member, and a the chair of the Economic Vitality Committee.

Liz Volpe

Virginia DiRienzo

Virginia DiRienzo is the secretary of Downtown Bellefonte Inc. She is currently a manager at KPMG in the Resource Management Support Team. She has spent the bulk of her career working with professional services firms in the areas of scheduling, reporting and compliance.

She and her husband are in the process of renovating one of the homes in the historic district and are looking to find ways to make a positive impact on their adopted community.

Rod Beard

Rod Beard is a Downtown Bellefonte Inc. board member, chair of the Organization Committee and owner of Beard Law Co. in downtown Bellefonte.

In his practice, Rodney Beard emphasizes business and commercial work, with a focus on technology, intellectual property, software and computer applications, start-up enterprises (including for-profit and non-profit corporations, limited and general partnerships, limited liability companies, and sole proprietorships), business planning and opportunities (including financing and expansion), contracts (including government contracting), employment issues, and technology-related ventures. He works with several software and data distribution companies, and has assisted many clients with procuring and protecting trademarks, copyrights, and other forms of intellectual property. He also has been involved in licensing and technology transfer ventures. Many of Mr. Beard's clients are companies involved in production and distribution of specialized products or information to larger entities on a commercial basis, or to the general consuming public.

Melissa Hombosky

Melissa first joined DBI as a representative of Bellefonte Borough Council, but quickly realized what a great booster DBI was for the larger revitalization of Bellefonte. She is involved in several committees, but feels like she makes the most impact on the Events committee, which is committed to developing events that highlight our downtown businesses and natural assets, while working to change the perception of what's possible in our beloved community.

Outside of DBI, Melissa co-owns 3twenty9 Design, a web and graphic design business with her husband, Troy Weston. She loves getting her hands dirty with new projects or learning new skills. She and Troy love their camping adventures in yurts and biking to the next brewery. She also loves cooking for and sharing with the people who make her laugh the most.

Steve Brawley

The primary office for Ben Franklin Technology Partners is housed in Innovation Park near the campus of Penn State University. When I accepted the position of President/CEO more than fifteen years ago, I knew I wanted to relocate somewhere in Centre County.  When my wife and I began house-hunting, we were immediately drawn to the Victorian charm of the Bellefonte area.  Often referred to as Centre County’s “other downtown, we quickly realized that Bellefonte is a very walkable small town with beautifully preserved neighborhoods.  Affordable housing, outstanding schools, and an annual calendar of family-friendly, inexpensive and easily accessed events, made our home buying decision an easy one.  We’ve lived in Bellefonte since 2006, and I’m proud to serve on the Board of Directors for Downtown Bellefonte. 

Brandy McAulay

Born and raised in Centre County, Brandy McAulay is the owner of Universal Settlement Services of PA, LLC., a title settlement company. With over 19 years of professional real estate industry experience, Brandy leads a team of dedicated professionals, committed to building client trust and bringing peace of mind to homeowners. Universal is headquartered in State College, PA., and has additional offices in Altoona, Lewistown, and Muncy.

As a woman-owned business, Brandy is a certified member of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the U.S., and a leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs. She currently serves on the board at Centre 1st Bank and is actively involved in the community and supports several non-profit organizations, including Team Ream, The Jared Box Project, Pink Zone, and The Children’s Miracle Network. Additionally, Brandy is a member of the Bellefonte Chamber of Commerce and has sponsored many events led by DBI, including Bellefonte Under the Lights, the Outdoor Adventure Expo, and more recently Shop Small Crawl which showcases local merchants.

When she’s not working, Brandy enjoys spending time at Raystown Lake with her husband, two daughters and extended family.

Ryan Lowe

Ryan was born and raised in Bellefonte and knew at a young age that he wanted to work with his family in real estate. After graduating from Penn State University in 2003 with a Marketing degree he began working on the Lowe Team. As an Associate Broker Ryan's desire is to serve his clients with unparalleled professionalism & personal service. Committed to making his clients top priority, he provides an incomparable level of service by fully incorporating his client’s needs into every transaction. Ryan is well known for great customer service, strong attention to detail and takes pride in personally working with his buyer and seller clients from the initial meeting through closing. Ryan brings a lifetime’s worth of knowledge and insights about Centre County to the table when working with his clients.

Amy Debach

Amy joined the DBI board in November 2019. As a member of the Bellefonte community since 2007,
Amy has been active in Non-profit groups such as Altrusa of Centre County, The Childbirth Education
Association, and now the DBI Board, including serving on the Design Committee. Amy holds an
Associate’s degree in Photography and Visual Arts, has taken courses in Wilderness Emergency
Medicine, Beekeeping, and a variety of independent artistic, herbal, and drumming workshops.

Amy has been employed with The Arc of Centre County since 2012 as an Employment Specialist, facilitator of
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation services, and a facilitator of Discovery services. Amy holds an ACRES
(The Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators) certification obtained through the Arc and is a
member of the CBICC.

Amy is active in community activities and efforts and volunteers at St. John’s
Catholic School. Her favorite activities include traveling, art, gardening, concerts, live theatre, and
spending time with her family, daughter Laurel and partner Anthony. Amy has an artistic vision for
Bellefonte that she would like to relay through serving on the board of DBI.

Jennilyn Schuster

Jennilyn is the main street manager for Downtown Bellefonte Inc. She is a licensed interior designer by way of DC to CLT and is now lucky enough to call Bellefonte her home. She is a creative and passionate leader who has spent the past 15 years working at Gensler, a global Design and Architecture firm. While at Gensler she was a Studio Director who fostered an innovative culture of creatives and created a platform for teams, individuals and clients to excel. She has traveled the globe sharing her workplace expertise and designing state of the art spaces that enhance the employee experience while driving business performance.

Embracing the culture of her community has always been a passion of hers and she has led many community outreach events. The Main Street Manager role is a perfect alignment of her passions and experience. She truly cares about people and strives to empower both businesses and individuals to create a vibrant community while protecting the historic charm of Bellefonte.

Outside of work, you will likely see her enjoying the great outdoors while chasing after her two kiddos. She loves traveling and is always on the search for the best latte, vino and gardening tip!

Kathryn Spielvogel

Kathryn is the chair of the Economic Vitality Committee and co-founder of Fairmount Collective LLC and Laughlin Estates LLC, real estate development companies dedicated to preserving Bellefonte’s historic buildings. In the past three years they have acquired and renovated (or are in the process of renovating) six properties, have assisted three new businesses in opening in 2022 and are partnering with entrepreneurs to develop new businesses to open in 2023 and 2024. Her academic background is in histories of economics, urban planning and consumerism with degrees in history and architectural history. She has served as chair of the Economic Vitality Committee since 2021 and enjoys spending her time working on revitalization and economic development initiatives for downtown Bellefonte. 

When not in an old building in Bellefonte, you can find her in a park, at a coffee shop, at a bookstore or traveling with her son and husband.

Downtown Bellefonte Inc. Committees


Ellen Matis, Chair
Melissa Hombosky
Emma Stone
Lexi Gresh
Meg Massey
Josh Thorwart

Economic Vitality:

Kathryn Spielvogel, Chair
John Peterson
Adam Caimi


Nancy Perkins, Chair
Joanne Tosti-Vasey
Taylor Decker
Maria Day
Amy Debach
Andrea Skirpan
Christina Berger


Rod Beard, Chair
Taylor Decker


Melissa Hombosky, Chair
Virginia DiRienzo
Sarah Moyer
Liz Volpe
Troy Weston
Lori Fisher
Lesley Kistner
Amy Debach
Morgan Huey
Dan Trew

Redesignation Task Force:

Kathryn Speilvogel
Nancy Perkins
Mike Scott
Virginia DiRienzo
Ellen Matis