Meet Our Staff
L. Dalton Potter, President & Founder
Over the past 30 years, Mr. Potter has built a reputation for expertise in tonal and playing adjustments to some of the most historically important string instruments in the world. His long experience in fine restorations contributes significantly to the instruments he creates from scratch, as well as the high-quality workshop instruments produced in his shop.
Jim Kelly, VP of Sales and Operations & Co-Owner
Jim Kelly joined Potter Violins in 2004 as the company General Manager. In 2009, he was promoted to Vice-President of Operations and Sales, then became a business partner, co-owner in 2012. Jim’s passion for instruments started in 1992 when he was admitted into a special program at The Hartt School Community Division, which allowed Jim the opportunity to apprentice with Edward Bontempo, a Luthier native to Naugatuck, CT. In 1994, Jim made the decision to pursue his performance degrees in Violin and Viola performance at The Hartt School, leaving his interest in violin making for a time. His principal teachers were Mitch Stern and Katherine Murdock. Currently, Jim performs with many of the best ensembles in the Washington DC area, such as National Philharmonic, The American Pops Orchestra, Concert Artists of Baltimore and The Wolf Trap Orchestra. In addition to his many responsibilities at Potter Violins, he takes great pride in searching the world for the best instruments and matching them to players of all levels.
Sales and Rental Staff:
Simon Rundlett, Operations & Sales Manager
Simon studied at the Royal Northern College of Music. After leaving the Halle Orchestra, he came to the US with his wife Jennifer, where he was Concertmaster of the Maryland Symphony and Millbrook Orchestras. He is an active violinist and freelancer in the D.C. area, having performed at the Kennedy Center, Washington National Opera, Wolf Trap and numerous other venues. Simon joined Potters in 2002.
Louis Roberts, Cello Sales
After earning two degrees in music at Rice University in Houston, Texas, Louis became a member of the Houston Symphony Orchestra. His career continued with positions in orchestras in Spain, Canada, and elsewhere in the United States. Upon moving to the Washington, DC area, to pursue doctoral work at the University of Maryland, he worked freelancing with various area orchestras, including the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra and the Washington Chamber Symphony. He has taught the cello at all levels for many years and has been a member of the staff at Potter’s since 2000.
George Ohlson, Violin & Viola Sales
B.A., Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri). George is a highly sought-after violist and teacher and has performed at every major venue in Washington, D.C.
Derek Goad, Rentals & Violin/Viola Sales
B.M., Cleveland Institute of Music; M.M. Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Derek is a freelance violist in the D.C. area and joined Potters in 2016.
Melanie Nichols, Rentals & John Kendall Recital Hall Coordinator
Christopher Jacoby, Workshop Manager
Christopher Jacoby studied at the Violin Making School of America from 2003-2007. After attending VMSA, Christopher moved next door to study repair and restoration under Peter Prier. There he was lucky to begin handling and studying instruments of the great Italian Masters. Christopher has spent the last decade building instruments for discerning professionals around the world. In addition to violin making, Christopher serves as Editor for the Violin Society of America’s membership magazine, The Scroll, and is a regular contributor to industry publications.
Mathew Nicholson, Bow Restoration
Matthew Nicholson was born and raised in Omaha, NE, where he graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO), with a Bachelor of Arts in double bass performance. Shortly after college, he joined a local shop and in 2008, started attending violin and bow restoration workshops. In 2010, he moved to Raleigh, NC where he apprenticed under Jerry Pasewicz, world-renowned restorer and instructor at the Oberlin workshops. Matt most recently worked in Williamsport, PA, before joining the Potter’s team in August of 2015.
Jeremy Yoder, Luthier in Residence
Jeremy Yoder is a graduate of the North Bennet Street School, where he studied violin making and repair with David Polstein and Thomas Hummel. After graduating in 2004, he joined Potter Violins, focusing on violin and viola repair and set-up. Jeremy also makes new instruments, drawing inspiration from classical Italian instruments of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Igor Gersh, Instrument Repair
Isaac Tabone, Instrument Repair
Lisa He, Instrument Repair
John Nickels, Instrument Repair
Richard Wang, Instrument Repair
Robert Wood, Instrument Repair
Jerry Skiscim, Bow Repair
Lauren Bennett, Bookkeeper
Jane Andrews, Administrative Assistant
Derek Goad, Marketing Coordinator
Melanie Nichols, Event Coordinator