Mary London Szpara, Author,playwright,Rock DJ, Band Manager, Entertainment Consultant, Voice Actor,

Mary London Szpara



Casey Couch



Bill Scullin

CBS Board Members at Large

Dick Gilland


We call Dick Mr. Congeniality.  You can see his positive presence at every CBS Blues Sunday, and our Taste of Charlotte Beer/Wine Tent would not happen without his devoted energy every year.  We cherish and salute our CBS Bluesman, who has more "get up and do it" than those 1/2 his age. 

Rick Kite


One of the newer members to the board, Rick has tackled many of our chairs, and also donated the 2018 Fender Squier we are raffled off to raise funds for CBS.  
In his spare time(and he will say "what is that?") you can find him at nearly every single Blues show in town.
Rick has also managed to capture some pretty impressive autographs on our guitar.

Betsy Norton-Stowe


Our Queen of Hospitality, no one can keep things running as smoothly as Betsy.  
She is also the longest running member at the IBC every year, with 14 years under her belt.  
Always wearing a smile, a great attitude and the life of the party, Betsy is a valuable At Large member we absolutely love.

She is found at many outside events volunteering to work our merch & membership table.  

Nick Polyzos


We call him "The Keeper of the Big Bang"  Nick makes sure our Drum & Cymbals are available for every Blues Sunday event, helps to work the door on our Blues Sundays, and is one of the first to volunteer for outside events, whether it is Taste of Charlotte, or our merch/membership table at Blues shows around town.
He is also our official time-keeper for our Blues Challenge every year.

Flynn Wolfe


For the past 3 years, Flynn has handled the organizing and staffing of one of our biggest fundraising efforts: the Taste of Charlotte Beer/Wine tent.   It is no easy task and he has managed to keep all the balls in the air, with the help of two of our pros Dick & Betsy, and the fabulous volunteers of our membership.
He is also pivotal in ensuring our out-of-town talent is taken care of.
Flynn is found at shows enjoying the music and volunteering for the CBS Merch area...and if we need an autograph, Flynn will hang out next to the bus all night to make it happen.

Ray Otstott


Musician and music lover, Ray joined our board in 2017.  He was our Membership AND Merchandise Chairman,
His Photos from events are found on this site as he is never without a camera and a way to capture the moment.  
He also wrotes some great music reviews, so check those out elsewhere on our site.
We lost Ray to pancreatic cancer in April 2019.  We honor Ray for his dedication, great attitude, love of music and his wonderful wit.

We also thank him for donating the 2019 raffle guitar.  The Candy Apple Red Fender Squier Strat is a beauty, and it was from his personal collection.  Feel free to purchase a raffle ticket from our online store: you could win it for yourself.  It is collecting autographs from blues artists all year long.

Randi Salvatore


Randi is one of our newest members this year, and has been on the move ever since...seriously!  She has been traveling the world and has managed to help work on marketing  pieces for CBS while on the road and has been found at events volunteering when back in NC.  She will be back to stay for a while, and has been invaluable as she manages the 2019 Solo/Duo Challenge on September 1 and the Band Challenge October 6 again this year.  

 Her background in Events, Marketing & PR are huge assets to the new board. 

  Updated rules and regulations, along with application forms will be available by May 15 for those who wish to participate.

We highly encourage all to consider being a part of this great effort, which yielded us the  winner of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis with Delta Moon in 2003.  

Cameron Farquhar


Cam has been working in the music industry for one of the most respected artist agencies "Intrepid Artists International" and agreed to join us in 2018 and we have already felt his vibe infiltrating the group..
His positive influence, boundless energy and absolute devotion to the blues has made him a welcome and fun addition to our board.

He is also great at marketing and PR and has presented some fabulous ideas we have already begun to  implement.

 Cam is also on the Blues in the Schools committee.  Feel free to talk to him if your school is interested in hosting a program. 

Marty Gunther


Now based out of Charlotte NC, Marty Gunther is one of our new members to CBS in 2018.  He is NOT new to the area, or to the Blues.  Marty  has lived a blessed life as far as the blues goes. A Rhode Island native, his first exposure to the music came at Newport in 1960 with Muddy Waters on stage. He was fortunate to see many of the first generation stars in subsequent years. And his life changed forever in'66 when he was seated eight rows away from Howlin' Wolf, who was crawling across stage singing Moaning At Midnight. For the better part of two decades, he lived as a member of the Chicago blues community, surrounded by many top musicians who were close friends. A Chicago trained harmonica player, he's co-founder of the Nucklebusters, one of the hardest working and longest lasting bands in South Florida. 

Marty contributes to our board with his vast experience as a musician and  knowledge of the genre.  He contributes to our monthly newsletter with great articles and blues album reviews.
He has been a contributor for years to Blues Blast Magazine, and you often find their cover artist is his interview subject.  Always a great informative read.
Welcome Marty!



We are lucky to have several really strong past presidents who are still actively involved in CBS.
Rick Ballew is one of those.
After having served for many years in various capacities, then as Vice President, and then finally President, Rick has continued to be at nearly every single meeting since leaving the office in 2017.  
You can find him at our events as the supreme Emcee and his monthly donations from his vast collection of Blues CD's collected over the years, and aired on his "Smokin' Bluz" radio show, has generated an unbelievable addition to our coffers, which has allowed us to bring in some really outstanding talent.  We are grateful to have his guidance and  wisdom as we continue forward.  

He is also on the committee to help inplement ouf "Blues in the Schools" program. 



Jeri Thompson served as President of CBS for several years, and continues to be a valuable resource for information .

Her busy life has caused her to attend less frequently, and we miss that amazing smile that lit up the room.

First President :Beth Pollhammer


Beth was instrumental in the formation of Charlotte Blues Society in 1993.  We will always be grateful for the leadership she has shown, and are never afraid to call and ask her for advice.