Who We Are


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Catherine Oberg
Executive Director - obergc@plazamac.org

As the Co-founder and Executive Director of The Plaza Cinema & Media Arts Center, Catherine Oberg is in charge of the development, implementation, and evaluation of programs and services offered to the community. Under Ms. Oberg’s leadership, The Plaza brings cultural and educational programming under one mission-driven roof and is fiscally supported by a combination of admission and tuition, philanthropic funding, grants, business sponsorships, and community contributions. To date Catherine has developed and directed three successful capital campaigns and various contribution platforms raising over $470,000 to transform a bare bones 1,200 sq. ft. storefront space into a 68-seat single screen cinema with a state-of-the-art digital film and sound system. She programs an average of 95 films annually and developed eight recurring curated film series. To date, the community has enjoyed 45 guest speakers including notable filmmakers such as Isabella Rossellini, Richard Guay, Nancy Savoca, Claire Riley, and James Solomon. One of her most fulfilling moments is when she greets bus loads of children and teens arriving from local schools to enjoy a day at The Plaza.

Ms. Oberg received a B.F.A in Film and Television Production from the Kanbar Institute, Tisch School Of the Arts, NYU, NYC. She earned two Advanced Certificates from Molloy College, LI, NY, in Fundraising and Development and Not-for-Profit Management in 2013.

Prior to founding The Plaza, Catherine worked in the television industry. She has produced, directed, written, filmed, and edited for documentaries, news-magazine series, live-to-tape talk shows, and narrative dramas that have been broadcast on HBO, PBS, CNN, FOX, UK's Channel Four, Discovery Channel, Hallmark Channel, and LI Fios1. Catherine received an Emmy Award Honor for her contribution as an assistant editor on the HBO documentary "Lenny Bruce: Swear To Tell The Truth" narrated by Robert De Niro. The film received an Emmy Award and an Academy Award Nomination in 1999. She has taught editing at the School Of Visual Arts and at NYU’s School Of Continuing Education, both in NYC.


Mary Lou Cohalan
Volunteer Coordinator - mcohalan123@gmail.com

Raised in Norfolk, Va., Mary Lou has lived in Bayport and Sayville for many years. She received her BA from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania and her MA in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University. Until she recently retired, she was the director of the Islip Art Museum and the founder of the international Carriage House Workspace, both well-known exhibition spaces for contemporary art. She is now on the docent staff at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton. Through her avatar, The Trashmanian Devil, she maintains a blog about art and ecology. Mary Lou is the Volunteer Coordinator for The Plaza cinema, and through her tireless efforts we have been able to develop a thriving volunteer staff. If you are interested in volunteering at the concession stand or doing other tasks for The Plaza, she is the person to talk to.


John Devlin
Operations Manager - johnd@plazamac.org

As our operations manager, John is the person who makes The Plaza run smoothly every day. Without him, we wouldn’t have posters, trailers, or the beautiful Blue Velvet Lounge. He is an integral part of our staff, and at the beginning of every show he livens up the crowd when telling the audience about our weekly programming. John is a Vietnam era US Navy Veteran, and from a young age he has always been fascinated with how things work. As a child he would tinker with wires and electricity, growing up to eventually work hands-on with a variety of technologies in sound and screen. His favorite part about The Plaza is the amount of variety in our films and how there is something new each week.


Jennifer Gagliardi
Film and Media Education Coordinator - jgagliardi@plazamac.org

Jennifer Gagliardi is our Film and Media Education Coordinator. She is responsible for coordinating many of our media arts programs for children and teens, as well as curating our Cineaste films and Book to Screen series. Jennifer obtained her BA in English Literature from St. Joseph’s College, and her MA in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University. When she’s not working at The Plaza, Jennifer teaches at St. Joseph’s College, and sometimes she takes flying lessons to obtain her private pilot’s license. Her favorite part of working at The Plaza is acting as a guest speaker for our special films, she says it's a great chance to interact with the community and share a love of cinema with the public.


Anthony Pampinella
Animation Class Instructor - antpampinella@gmail.com

Anthony Pampinella instructs all of the animation classes and workshops at The Plaza. He studied at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, where he obtained a BFA in Animation and Visual Effects. When he isn’t animating at work or drawing for fun, Anthony loves to travel. His most exciting adventure was a three week cross country road trip with three friends. For Anthony, The Plaza’s mission to bring people together in a welcoming environment to enjoy entertainment, culture, and art is his favorite part of working here.


Martin McMillan
Technical Support - martinmcmillan@plazamac.org

Martin McMillan is our go to for technical support. He obtained a BSSE in Electrical Engineering from Duke University and holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Yale. Martin helps The Plaza stay up to date in technology by doing things like installing raspberry pi machines to help our outdoor screens run, or setting up internet connections so that we could have a summer documentary class at Isabella Rossellini’s farm. Most people in New York are surprised to learn that Martin grew up in Mobile, Alabama. Since then he has moved around for school and work as a physical chemist at places such as Kodak and pharmaceutical companies. Martin loves the intellectual curiosity of The Plaza’s patrons, and enjoys seeing them talk about films and think critically about what they’re watching on the screen.


Matthew Myers
Graphic Designer - matthewmyers@plazamac.org

Matthew Myers is the resident graphic designer at The Plaza. He creates all of the wonderful flyers and posters you see around the lobby, and he maintains our website for all of your movie needs. Matt graduated from Farmingdale State College with a BA in Visual Communications. He is a movie lover and a dad of two. Since his girls were born Matt hasn’t seen a movie in theaters other than “Trolls” so he enjoys getting to hear about the new films at The Plaza. When asked about his favorite part of working at The Plaza, Matt explained “I love how generous and supportive our members and volunteers are. Everything they do really shows how much they love The Plaza and want to see it succeed. It's really great to see the passion first hand in this community.”


Media Arts Education Committee:
Members - Jennifer Gagliardi and Regina Casale
If you are an educator interested in joining this committee please contact jgagliardi@plazamac.org