10 people to watch

By Lisa leigh Connors • Photography by dan Cutrona
Angela Rose

Angela Rose has brought low-tech materials into a high-tech world. After spotting an image of a group of students seated in front of a painting at a museum, heads looking down into their cellphones, Rose remembers thinking, How can I communicate the concepts of drawing and sculpture into a format that ends up inside that smartphone? Enter #redlineselfie, an interactive art installation on display this past fall in front of the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis. Participants were encouraged to take a selfie in this tubular canvas and post it on Instagram with the hashtag redlineselfie. “I really wanted it to be this line drawing in the air, like I had taken a red pen and made an abstract drawing across the museum,” says Rose, who, interestingly, had never taken a selfie prior to this installation. Rose built the sculptures out of electrical conduit nearby at the Cape Cod Fireplace Shop. Although it’s been dismantled, Rose hopes to install the metal sculpture at a new site this year and re-create a new version of it. “I try to offer a sense of delight to the viewer,” says Rose. “It’s important to me to be doing something that is uplifting, but to also get people to think about themselves in a different way.”

Sean Corcoran

At a time when newsrooms across the country are slashing budgets, trimming staff and relying more on national news stories, WCAI news director Sean Corcoran has recently expanded the station’s local news coverage by adding a reporter/producer position and revamping the teams for Morning Edition and All Things Considered. “We see a thirst for local news and we want to provide it,” says Corcoran, who is married to Cape Cod Times managing editor Linda Corcoran. Although WCAI, based in Woods Hole, celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2015, Corcoran says he still encounters people who don’t know there is a local public radio station. One of the most popular shows, says Corcoran, is a weekly news roundup he hosts on The Point, which airs 9-10 a.m. every Friday. Corcoran takes pride in the fact that WCAI airs in-depth conversations with local officials that are not simplified into a sound bite. “We want stories that get people thinking, not just things that flash by in 45 seconds,” he says. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Corcoran’s series, “Two Cape Cods: Hidden Poverty on the Cape and Islands,” which won the prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award in 2007, the highest award in journalism. To celebrate the 10-year anniversary, Corcoran plans to work on a follow-up series this year by tracking down some of the same people and see where they are today. “We will also continue to find people trying to make things better.” Tune into WCAI on 90.1 and 94.3, and 91.1 on Nantucket.

Adam in Chatham

“I want to cultivate great dancing on the Cape,” says Adam Spencer. “I want to form a coalition between Cape dance schools and work with one another so we can have an influx of dancers. My goal is to make the Cape the epicenter of dance.” Spencer, originally from a small town outside of London, had intentions of becoming a doctor early on, but he made a decision 10 years ago that changed his life. He entered a contest and won a spot on the British television show “Strictly Dance Fever,” where he was awarded a scholarship to the London Studio Centre. “I spent the next few years training in London and the rest is history, really,” says Spencer, known as Adam in Chatham. After traveling around Europe, South America, Canada and the U.S., representing London in dance competitions, he set up shop in Chatham last year at Studio 878. How did he end up on the Cape? “Love,” he says, with a smile. Spencer’s husband, Michael Zeppieri, owns The Anchor Inn Beach House in Provincetown, and Spencer commutes every day to Studio 878, where he teaches ballroom and sass classes, which focus on poise and posture. He also trains dancers for regional competitions. “The dance studio provides a place for people to escape from their everyday lives,” says Spencer. “I call it happy making.”

Matt Belson

Matt Belson and Mike Segerson turned their dream into a reality by opening Devil’s Purse Brewing Company in South Dennis last May, and it’s been a whirlwind ever since. “The summer was wonderfully insane,” says Belson. “You can hope for success, anticipate some, but you can’t plan for astronomical. Really, very quickly, we had to put a cap on adding any more restaurants. We had a waiting list and we still do.” Their beer is on tap in 25 restaurants from Hyannis to Provincetown, and this winter, they are rolling out their first packaged beer, Skywave Provisional Saison. The names of their beers pay homage to Cape Cod, “without hitting people over the head,” says Belson: Skywave is a nod to wireless radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi and the IPAs are named after light vessels—Pollock Rip and Cross Rip. “The fact that Mike and I started in the kitchen making beer five years ago and are making beer that people really seem to enjoy is humbling and awesome at the same time,” says Belson. He and Segerson, who both have two children under the age of 10, are quick to acknowledge their wives in their success. Segerson’s wife, Jen, is the company’s bookkeeper. Between juggling family obligations and working 90-hour workweeks, “we could not have done this without their love and support,” says Belson. Visit the craft brewery for tastings, growlers and merchandise.

Justin Torrellas

Even at a young age, Justin Torrellas liked doing a little bit of everything, especially when it came to music. He played the bassoon, cello, trumpet, clarinet, flute, saxophone and recorder. He also picked up the piano and guitar later in life. He ended up majoring in music at Indiana University and played the bassoon in an orchestra that performed Broadway tunes and opera. But he knew a career in music wasn’t for him because it did not fuel his adventurous spirit. So how did he end up training as a pentathlete for the 2016 Olympics? “My M.O. has always been to try new things,” says the 5-foot-11, 167-pound Torrellas. “I am not afraid of failing.” The modern pentathlon involves five sports: fencing, swimming, riding on an unfamiliar horse, and a combined event involving running and shooting targets with laser pistols. The scoring and competition take place over one day. Torrellas, 33, who didn’t start competing in sports seriously until his mid-20s, says running and shooting are his strongest suits. To improve his horse-riding skills, the Harwich resident is training at True North Farm in Harwich with equestrian coach Kay Slater, the farm’s owner. He also travels to Boston once a week to work on fencing and strength training. This winter, Torrellas is competing in a series of qualifying events in order to make the U.S. team and advance to the nationals.

Mike Sherman

Even though Mike Sherman has been on the frontlines of football at the highest level, the former head coach of the Green Bay Packers says high school football is “totally different” from anything he has ever done. “It’s hard,” admits Sherman, during a recent after-school practice. “We have one kid who is at a dentist appointment today, another kid getting extra help after school and another one doing Driver’s Ed. I never had to deal with Driver’s Ed in the National Football League,” he says, with a chuckle. Sherman wasn’t exactly looking for a high school coaching position when he was offered the job last year. He initially reached out to Nauset’s then-head football coach and athletic director Keith Kenyon to discuss running a football camp for kids on the Cape. Instead, he was offered the head coach job because Kenyon accepted the assistant principal position. Despite the team’s losing season, Sherman is teaching his players to hang in there when the going gets tough. “Even though we are not winning football games right now, everything we do out here matters,” says Sherman. “The attention to detail, the discipline, the teamwork. Every lesson they learn out here, whether win or lose, will carry over into their life.” Sherman has a close connection to the Cape and enjoys watching the sailboats and ocean waves in the morning. He has summered in Brewster, Dennis and Chatham for quite some time. “We moved around about 11 times in my coaching career,” he says, “and we would always come back to the Cape in the summer. Our kids consider Green Bay and Cape Cod their homes.”

David Kuehn

In one recent YouTube video, David Kuehn sports a hard hat as he walks through the Black Box Theater. As Kuehn speaks directly to the camera, he details expansion plans and upcoming events at Cotuit Center for the Arts. It’s one of many videos that he emails weekly to 13,000 people who “opt in” to receive it. “My primary goal is to let folks know what is coming up over the course of the next seven days and convince them to come,” says Kuehn. “I use humor—maybe that’s debatable—keep them as short as possible and have not missed a week in two years.” Since Kuehn took over as executive director nearly six years ago, his biggest challenge has been managing the theater’s growth. “We have more than tripled our programming over the last few years without tripling our infrastructure,” says Kuehn, who adds that the center also offers arts education classes for kids and teenagers. This year, he is most excited to present the world premiere of “Unsafe: Life After 9/11” by Jim Dalglish, a play that will head to Boston as a co-production with Boston Public Works. “I’m also excited that we will develop another original musical revue in collaboration with Brave Horse Music,” says Kuehn. “And we are offering our first artist-in-residence program this year. I could go on and on….”

Judy Scarafile

After 45 years with the Cape Cod Baseball League—24 years as president—Judy Scarafile decided to call it quits last year. “A few of my friends said to me, ‘You are going to know when it’s the right time,’ ” says Scarafile. “It’s a good time for the league to move on, with a new person and new ideas.” Scarafile started as an official scorekeeper in 1970 and worked in public relations, then moved on to become secretary, vice president, deputy commissioner and, finally, president. What’s next? Retiring to Florida? “Oh my goodness, no,” says the Barnstable Village resident. “I love snow. My husband and I love the four seasons. We aren’t going anywhere.” Scarafile plans to ramp up her commitment to volunteerism on the Cape, including work with Nutrition Mission (a local feeding program through the council of churches), the American Red Cross, Community Action’s Thanksgiving Baskets, the Cape Cod Times Needy Fund and the Yawkey Foundations. She is also involved in two initiatives in the area of opiate abuse prevention in Barnstable County. “I have a few irons in the fire,” says Scarafile, who had a long career as a pharmacist. “Some may sizzle and some may fizzle. I have to be patient, which is not my greatest suit.” She won’t let go of baseball completely, though. She will remain on the board of the Massachusetts Baseball Coaches Association, where she will help with marketing and fundraising. “I’ll always be a fan,” says Scarafile. “Baseball will always be in my blood.”

PAtrick Clarke

When Patrick Clarke’s business advanced to the finalist stage in the Martha Stewart American Made Program last year, it was the ultimate stamp of approval. “I have been working hard to build awareness around the brand, connecting with other makers and influencers in the American Made space,” says Clarke, who uses the shape of the Cape as a natural hook for his bracelets. “It is awesome to see the momentum that can build though hard work.” Indeed, Clarke puts his heart and soul into his company, which he started two years ago. He designs and hand ties each one of his rope bracelets and includes a handwritten note with each order. Besides the Cape, his clasp shapes include an anchor, a whale, a great white shark, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. He recently added a shark tool that serves as a bottle opener, flathead screwdriver and hex wrench. To give back to the community, he donates 15 percent of his profits to the Cape Cod National Seashore, the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, the Cape Cod Times Needy Fund and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation. Although Clarke’s main job is writing financial commentary for a fixed-income firm in Boston, he says Cape Clasp is his primary focus. Clarke recently purchased a piece of property in Woods Hole that will serve as Cape Clasp Headquarters, and he plans to open a pop-up shop this summer to stay more connected to the community. “My goal is to build a sustainable, charitable business that sells high-quality goods,” says Clarke. “I want to show people how a small brand from Cape Cod can make waves.”

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