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Introducing The People Behind The Paint
Meet the Owners

  
Mike Lesczinski - Co-Owner, President of Business Operations


Mike graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. He was a member of Cornell’s Sphinx Head honorary society and his expertise lies in finance and marketing. Fresh out of college in 1977, Mike and his brother John purchased Rochester Art Supply, Inc, their family business that specialized in fine art supplies. Although Mike does not have a formal art background, he comes from a family of artists.  Through networking with customers, connecting with galleries, and attending art conferences, Mike developed a thorough appreciation of the visual arts. While introducing new brands to the store, Mike discovered a lesser known line of encaustic paints created by Ann Huffman.  Intrigued by encaustic, Mike and John decided to purchase the encaustic paint line from her in 1996.  They began manufacturing under the name Enkaustikos and Mike developed his knowledge of paint production while improving the quality of the encaustic colors. Dabbling in both paint manufacturing and the separate retail business, Mike learned to wear many hats. For Enkaustikos, Mike handles all financial operations including sales, purchasing,and manufacturing decisions. Monitoring all departments, he ensures that Enkaustikos is running efficiently.
 
 

John Lesczinski - Co-Owner, Executive of Shipping Dept, Illustrator

John graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Arts degree in graphics and illustration. He has nearly 40 years of experience as a graphics illustrator. He first started his career as an illustrator for Rochester General Hospital. There, he collaborated with building contractors, architects, and hospital department heads to design and provide proper signs throughout the hospital facilities. John has also been commissioned by such companies as Kodak, Xerox, George Eastman House, Bausch & Lomb , NASA, and even Major League Baseball.  John and his brother, Mike, took over the family retail business, Rochester Art  Supply Inc in 1977.  As co-owner, John has been the executive of the shipping department for Rochester Art Supply.  When they decided to start Enkaustikos, John began overseeing both shipping departments.  He ensures that all Enkaustikos products are shipped efficiently to both domestic and international destinations and follows through with the proper processing.  Going back to his design roots, John also utilized his talents as a illustrator to create the labels for our display racks.  Today, you will see these displays in over 450 retail stores.

Meet Our Staff
Jeannette McDunnah - Enkaustikos Manager

Jeannette is our Product and Customer Service Manager, overseeing all of our orders, handling inquiries, and making sure our product maintains their excellence in production. She has been working with us since 2014. She received her BFA from Maine College of Art in 2004. She is an artist herself of many talents. Her current work is encaustic based, with the use of image transfers and shellac based inks. Jeannette has been instrumental as our demo artist at NAMTA and the NAEA conference. She has been involved in presenting the encaustic process to Rochester Institute of Technology and at the New York State Art Teachers Assoc. conferences, as well as being our representative at the Artisan Expo in Santa Fe. Her main job is to make sure things are running smoothly here at Enkaustikos.

Kathryn Bevier - Color Development, Educator, Social Media

Kathryn earned her BFA at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts where she was classically trained. For Enkaustikos, she serves as both an encaustic educator and a product manager.  She travels extensively throughout the US and Canada providing learning opportunities in a variety of arenas.  Most notably, she's demonstrated at RIT, Savannah College of Art and Design, NAMTA conventions,  and international encaustic conferences. She is active in the local Rochester arts community and is frequently called upon as a resource for educational enrichment. In fact, Kathryn is the artist you see featured in our YouTube videos and our consumer DVD. Kathryn is also involved in the manufacturing of our paints and as product manager, she supervises paint production maintaining the highest quality control standards. Kathryn is  also responsible for testing and evaluating new pigments to determine their compatibility for encaustic painting.  Currently, Kathryn is spearheading our Encaustic Specialist program where she formally educates and trains a full time staff member for any retailer that would like to have a specialist on staff. 

 

Lisa Lesczinski - Master Tool Maker

Lisa attended Buffalo State College where she  majored in arts.  When she joined Enkaustikos, she originally served as a marketing administrator and later, became a shipping manager.  It wasn't too long before she took on a new position as our master tool maker.  In fact, when Enkaustikos decided to start producing encaustic brass tools and brushes, Lisa did not hesitate to take on the job. Despite her experience in the business realm, she hoped to get back to her inner artisan. Since 1996, Lisa has been our one and only tool maker.  She makes our entire line of brass pen points and brass bristle brushes by hand.  Since each one takes so much time and precision to make, Lisa makes tools and brushes only custom to order.  They are very popular among encaustic artists and offer another great way to work with wax paints.  These encaustic tools are made to withstand the heated encaustic process and thanks to Lisa, Enkaustikos has been able to develop an extensive line of encaustic tools. 

David Hoffend - Photographer

David graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Rochester Institute of Technology receiving a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Illustration & Printmaking and an Associates in Literature & Liberal Arts. He has received the RIT Dean of Fine Arts Illustration Award and the Memorial Art Gallery Finger Lakes Exhibition's Peter Berg Memorial Award for Excellence in Representational Art/Portraiture.  David being an encaustic painter, he focuses on detailed encaustic portraits and has studied under renown figure and portrait painters, Peter Berg and Lynn Feldman.  During college, David studied extensively in color as well as black and white photography, photoshop, and computerized photo manipulation. David is now responsible for all photographic imagery used at Enkaustikos whether for website or advertising purposes.   Since he has been with the company since its start in 1996, David also has experience in educating the public about encaustic and has performed several demonstrations at national art conferences and colleges. You will see he is featured in our YouTube videos as well.
 


Daniel Sywalski - Paint Maker

Daniel has forteen years of paint-making experience through Enkaustikos. In fact, Daniel has been making our encaustic paints since 1996 when the company first started.   Daniel is a high school graduate who has truly learned to adapt to the constantly changing technology used in paint production.  Since our start in '96, plenty of paint making innovations have occurred and Daniel has embraced these new technologies to effectively produce our encaustic paints.  In the early 90's, Dan utilized a large traditional 3 roll mill used in the manufacture of oil, water and acrylic paints to meet the manufacturing demands of encaustic.  But in 2009, Dan replaced the 3 roll mill with our new advanced milling system that includes modern pigment shearing technology. Working closely with Kathryn, Daniel also has been involved with the testing and evaluation of new pigments.




Robert LaDuca - Paint Maker

Robert has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brockport College. He is a Vietnam Veteran, formally an eagle scout, and even a certified master electrician. His involvement with Enkaustikos started with an interesting beginning.  In fact, being an electrician, we originally hired Robert to come into our facilities and set up our state-of-the-art milling system. After installing the system, he was intrigued enough by the paint making process that he decided to stay and watch our paint makers create a batch. Fascinated, Robert  decided to make a spontaneous career change…to paint making! He joined the Enkaustikos team the following week and now plays an important role in our manufacturing department. Robert is responsible for making all of our wax medium products and manages our encaustic colors. His enthusiasm for encaustic is evident and we truly appreciate having him on staff.




Doug Waite - Shipping Department Staff

Doug is currently working towards his Bachelors of Arts in English.  He is a pre-law student studying through a combined program with Monroe Community College and SUNY Brockport. Throughout his academic career, Doug has received honor list status.  When not focusing on his studies, Doug works at Enkaustikos as a valuable member of our shipping department.  Doug has previously worked in both internet shipping and retail operations so working within our shipping department was a natural fit for him.  Currently, Doug is responsible for preparing any orders placed through Enkaustikos by retail stores.  After verifying the products needed for each order, he then prepares and securely packs all the items for shipment. Doug ensures that our products are shipped properly to our Hot Cakes dealers in a timely basis. 


   
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