Debbie Komanski has been Executive Director of the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens since January, 2004. She received her degree from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. As a native of Winter Park and graduate of Winter Park High School, she brings a deep knowledge of the cultural arts and history of the area to the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens and the City of Winter Park.
Over the past 30+ years, Komanski has served as president of a number of organizations including the UCF Alumni Association, Volunteer Center of Central Florida, Town and Gown Council as well as held other key leadership positions on multiple Boards of Directors for non-profit organizations and schools in the community.
• President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Winter Park
• Leadership Winter Park, Alumni Council representing Class XVII
• University of Central Florida Foundation, Board of Directors
• Florida Executive Women, Board of Directors
• Town and Gown Council of the University of Central Florida, Board of Directors
• International Committee for the Woodrow Wilson Monument in Prague, Czech Republic
• Chairman of the Board of YingExpo: Dr. Nelson Ying Science and Engineering Expo (aka Orange County Science and Engineering Fair)
• The Winter Park Cultural Collaboration.
Among her honors and awards Ms. Komanski received the highest honor presented by the University of Central Florida Alumni Association, the 1987 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award. Additionally, she was the recipient of the esteemed University of Central Florida 1998 President’s Award bestowed by President John Hitt in recognition of a lifetime of service to the University; 2008 Jefferson Award for Lifetime Excellence of Public Service and the Orlando Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Community Service of the Year Award.
Please contact Ms. Frisby if you have an inquiry regarding Polasek works or collections management questions. She will also be happy to assist you with information regarding class offerings and exhibits.
Ms. Frisby serves as the Polasek’s Curator and Director of Exhibitions/Programming. Ms. Frisby received her Bachelor’s in Art History from the University of Wisconsin Superior, and earned her Master’s degree in Museum Studies from the University of Kansas. Before joining the Polasek’s staff, she worked as the Lead Teacher for the historic Whatsoever Community Center in the heart of Kansas City, MO. In addition, she worked as the Collections Specialist for the University of Kansas’s Archive of Recorded Sound and has been trained as a Laboratory Technician for books and works on paper for at the Stannard Conservation Laboratory in Lawrence, Kansas. Her curatorial experience ranges from coordinating university-based student art shows, to creating exhibitions for historical institutions, such as the Mt. Hood Museum in Oregon. Since joining the Polasek she has curated the following exhibitions: Artful Strings: Four Centuries of Harp Making, A Parisian Affair: The Art of Andre Renoux, Life in the Fast Lane: The Art of David DeLong, From Start to Finish: The Florida Sculptors Guild Exhibition, Awakening: The Art of Ursula Schwartz, The Holy Art of Imperial Russia: Icons from the 17th C. –Early 20th C, Behind the Curtain: MicheLee Puppets and the Art of Puppetry, Nature’s Design: The Art of Carolyn Cohen and Redenta Soprano. As Exhibition/Programming Director, Ms. Frisby strives to develop collaborative partnerships and opportunities for artists and organizations, and acts as the representative for the Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios Program. She has also had the honor to serve as judge/jour for numerous art exhibits and fairs across Central Florida and is an active member of the local arts community. As an artist and educator, Ms. Frisby’s goal is to promote collections accessibility/conservation, and to offer exciting educational programming and visual arts experiences for all visitors.
Executive Assistant to the Executive Director
Carynn Jackson received her B.A. in Anthropology and History from the University of Central Florida. She also holds a certificate in Entrepreneurial Studies from Florida Atlantic University. Her professional experience includes working as Manager of Operations for two small businesses as well as field work in Historic Preservation.
Volunteer and Membership Coordinator/Research
Ms. Benson graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.A. in History, and she is currently completing the university’s M.A. History program. She coordinates and trains Museum volunteers, staff, and docents. She also provides docent-led tours of Albin Polasek’s historic residence, coordinates group tours, and serves as the Museum’s researcher and membership coordinator.
For more infomation on booking a group tour or becoming a Museum volunteer or member, please contact Ms. Benson via e-mail or call the Museum at (407) 647‑6294.
Noel received her B.S. in Accounting in 1982 and her M.A. in School Counseling in 2004, both from the University of Central Florida. She maintains the accounting records for the museum on a part time basis while serving as full time grandmother/caregiver to her granddaughter. Noel is currently on the board of Ten Thousand Villages of Orlando, Inc. and is active with several fundraising events for non-profit organizations each year.
Petra Hays graduated with a B.A. in German and French from the University of Central Florida and with an M.A. in German Literature from the University of Florida. She is the museum’s in-house editor, docent trainer and lead docent, regularly conducting tours of the property in English, German and French.