Featured Speakers

Devon PS.jpgDEVON BERKSHIRE leads the conference producing team at TCG, and has an expansive background in event management, non-profit administration, business development, and theatre. With TCG she has produced and helped to curate the programming for six national conferences, including the record-breaking 2016 Theatre Nation in Washington, DC; she has also been on the producing team of every Fall Forum on Governance since 2012, and TCG’s two Audience (R)Evolution Convenings. She holds a B.A. from Vassar College and received her M.F.A. in acting from the American Repertory Theater’s (ART) Institute at Harvard University and Moscow Art Theatre, after which she founded an arts-centric events production company, attended NYU’s summer intensive on events marketing, and did a stint planning business development events in the corporate sphere. Devon was a co-founder, former Producing Director and President of Studio 42, a NYC-based company dedicated to producing the most adventurous work of emerging playwrights from 2000-2015. She has performed off Broadway in New York, regionally, and internationally. Read more about her and her thoughts on theatre, producing, and parenthood on her blog: fempresario.wordpress.com

7CO1WQQZTaaPmvDOJaNd_Michael Bobbitt Aug2017[685]-T.jpgMICHAEL J. BOBBITT joined New Repertory Theatre as an arts leader, director, choreographer, and playwright in 2019. He served as Artistic Director for Adventure Theatre-MTC in Maryland since 2007, where he led the organization to be a respected theatre/training company in the DC region, as well as a nationally influential professional Theatre for Young Audiences. He led a merger with Musical Theater Center, increased the organizational budget and audience, commissioned new works by noted playwrights, transferred two shows to Off-Broadway, built an academy, and earned dozens of Helen Hayes Award Nominations including eight wins. Bobbitt has directed/choreographed at Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Olney Theatre Center, Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Center Stage, Roundhouse Theatre, The Kennedy Center, and the Washington National Opera. His national and international credits include the NY Musical Theatre Festival, Mel Tillis 2001, La Jolla Playhouse, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Jefferson Performing Arts Center, and the Olympics. As a writer, his work was chosen for the NYC International Fringe Festival and The New York and Musical Theatre Festival. He has two plays published by Rogers and Hammerstein Theatricals. He trained at Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management, The National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, and other top leadership programs. He earned the Excel Leadership Award (Center for Nonprofit Advancement) the Emerging Leader Award (County Executive’s Excellence in the Arts and Humanities), and Person of the Year Award (Maryland Theatre Guide), among others.

t8xTMjhEQ6K8HxJBuGVJ_deborah-borda-230x300-T.jpgThroughout her career, DEBORAH BORDA has extended the artistic, commercial, and technological boundaries of American symphony orchestras. She became President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Philharmonic in September 2017. Prior posts include President and CEO, David C. Bohnett Presidential Chair, of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic; General Manager of the San Francisco Symphony; President and Managing Director of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; and Executive Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In 2015 she became the first arts executive to join Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership as a Hauser Leader-in-Residence. In 2018 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and named Chair of the Avery Fisher Artist Program.

Deborah Borda became the first woman in recent history to manage a major American symphony orchestra when she was appointed Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic in 1991, and subsequently guided the Orchestra through a period of artistic and fiscal growth. Within her first three months after returning to the New York Philharmonic in 2017, Ms. Borda completed a $50 million launch fund to usher in a new era of fiscal stability and assembled a new leadership team to support her and Music Director Jaap van Zweden’s vision for the Orchestra. The 2018–19 season, van Zweden’s first as Music Director, introduced this vision: engagement with timely social issues, connections with New York City, and a redoubling of the Philharmonic’s commitment to innovation, collaboration, new music, and educational initiatives, such as the Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers program.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s success during Deborah Borda’s 17-year tenure was chosen for case studies by Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School. During her first decade in Los Angeles, Ms. Borda designed an acclaimed business, education, and curatorial plan credited with restoring the orchestra to robust artistic and financial health. She reinvigorated plans to build and launch Walt Disney Concert Hall, oversaw the addition of a new shell for the Hollywood Bowl, and reimagined and diversified programming at both venues. She also spearheaded the appointment of music director Gustavo Dudamel. Committed to the orchestra’s social imperative, Ms. Borda and Mr. Dudamel invested in groundbreaking educational initiatives, including the founding of YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), a flagship program that provides free after-school instruction to children in underserved communities, and the national Take a Stand initiative, which promotes the El Sistema philosophy of social change through music.

A former professional violist, Deborah Borda graduated from Bennington College and continued her studies at London’s Royal College of Music. She received an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music. She is in demand internationally as a consultant and lecturer, and her accomplishments in the field of orchestral music have been cited in numerous reviews and articles, both nationally and internationally.

tcg16_Adrian_Budhu_web.jpgADRIAN BUDHU is the Deputy Director & Chief Operating Officer, Theatre Communications Group. Adrian comes to TCG after five years at The Theater Offensive (TTO), an LGBTQ not-for-profit arts organization in Boston, MA. The strategies he implemented there have strengthened The Theater Offensive’s brand on a national scale, increased its profile in the community, broadened its support base, and built capacity and resources for its sustainability – retiring the organization’s debt, growing revenue from $0.5 million in 2011 to $1.3+ million in 2016, and building cash reserves. Other professional experience includes: GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project, XAMOnline.com, Metro Boston Newspaper, and John Hancock Financial. Adrian lives in New York City with his fiancé Chris, a surgical resident at Mt. Sinai Hospital, and Boston terrier named Jack. He’s an avid runner and completed numerous marathons fundraising over $200K to benefit LGBTQ youth, people with disabilities, people living with HIV/AIDS, homeless people, survivors of Hurricane Katrina, and victims of domestic abuse. Adrian has won numerous awards for his leadership and activism. His prior affiliations include: the Boston Cultural Change Network (committed to collective action for social justice through Arts & Culture), the Boston Creates Leadership Council, where he advised and helped shepherd Boston's cultural plan into implementation; TCG’s Board of Directors (from which he has since resigned); and Point Foundation’s National Board of Directors.

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EDGAR DOBIE joined Arena Stage in 2009. As Executive Producer, Edgar is responsible for leading administration/producing programming, including budgeting, revenue delivery (both contributed and earned), operations, community relations, industry relations (public and commercial) and serves on the Board of Trustees. Born in Vernon, British Columbia, he is one of five brothers raised by Edgar (Senior), a mechanic and small businessman, and Connie, a telephone operator and union organizer. Selecting drama as an elective in school at the tender age of 12, he hung up his hockey skates and joined the Powerhouse Community Theater after school. By the time he graduated, volunteers had built a 200 seat fully equipped theater on its own land in the center of town which played to packed houses.  Edgar credits that experience for teaching many lessons about the power of theater to foster collaboration and share meaningful stories, as well as the public values that attach themselves to building a safe place where everyone is welcome. Edgar has served as executive director of Trinity Repertory Company, founding managing director of Toronto’s Canadian Stage Company, and managing director at National Arts Centre in Ottawa and Vancouver’s New Play Centre.  He was president of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Company and the North American executive producer of Riverdream as well as managing producer of the Tony Awards. Edgar is a member of the Board of Directors for theatreWashington and the Southwest Business Improvement District.  Edgar and his family are proud residents of Southwest Washington, DC.

1eyring.jpgTERESA EYRING joined TCG in March 2007. Prior to arriving at TCG, Eyring spent more than twenty years as an executive in theatres around the U.S. Positions included: managing director of the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minneapolis from 1999-2007; managing director of the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia from 1994-1999; and assistant executive director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis from 1989-1993. She began her theatre career as director of development for the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., in 1983. She holds a B.A. in international relations from Stanford University and an M.F.A. in theatre administration from Yale School of Drama. Eyring is currently active as an executive committee member of the Performing Arts Alliance, chair of the follow-up process for the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention, board member of The Actors Fund and was previously a member of the Tony Awards nominating committee.

hO9LR4rRSESI8t8SpsSg_Falk-T.jpgYASMINE FALK is a Partner and Senior Consultant at Advance NYC, and has worked to build capacity at non-profits across New York for over a decade. She began her career in fundraising at the acclaimed Public Theater and later served as the Director of Development for The Film Society of Lincoln Center, a constituent organization of one of the world’s foremost performing arts institutions, where she led the public portion of a $40 million capital campaign. Since co-founding Advance NYC in 2011, Yasmine has provided strategic vision and fundraising support for a variety of non-profit organizations including The American Museum of Natural History, Prospect Park Alliance, Roundabout Theater Company, ArtsConnection, and The New York Academy of Art, among many others. Prior to discovering her passion for nonprofit management, she studied classical voice at New York University.  
QszRocvTH6O1cN6kbuyY_Nataki Garrett, Artistic Director_Photo by Bill Geenen-T.jpgNATAKI GARRETT is Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s sixth artistic director. As the former associate artistic director of CalArts Center for New Performance, Garrett has been hailed as a champion of new work as well as an experienced, savvy arts administrator. 2019 is Garrett’s first season at OSF. At CalArts, Garrett oversaw all operations of conservatory training and produced mainstage, black box, developmental projects, plays, co-productions and touring productions. She is currently on the nominating committee for The Kilroys, and she recently served on the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust Distinguished Playwright Award nominating committee and the Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship panel. Garrett’s forté and passion are fostering and developing new work. She is responsible for producing the world premieres of The Book of Will by Lauren Gunderson, Two Degrees by Tira Palmquist, Zoey’s Perfect Wedding by Matthew Lopez, The Great Leap by Lauren Yee, and American Mariachi by José Cruz González. She also directed the world premieres of BLKS by Aziza Barnes and Pussy Valley by Katori Hall, and the U.S. premiere of Jefferson’s Garden by Timberlake Wertenbaker. She is well-known for her work with MacArthur Fellow-winning playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, having directed the regional premieres of several of his plays, including Everybody at California Shakespeare Theater and An Octoroon at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Garrett also directed the first professional production of Jacobs-Jenkins’ acclaimed play Neighbors at the Matrix Theatre Company in Los Angeles. Garrett’s production received five Ovation Award nominations—including Best Production. Garrett most recently served as acting artistic director for Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) during the organization’s 18-month leadership transition, working in partnership with the chief executive officer, managing director and board of directors to oversee all artistic operations for the theatre company’s $27 million annual budget. During her tenure, she produced Macbeth, which was the most successful production in the company’s 40-year history. She also initiated and negotiated the first co-world premieres in 10 years for two DCPA-commissioned plays—The Great Leap with Seattle Repertory Theatre and American Mariachi with The Old Globe. 

Garrett is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts and Theatre Communications Group Career Development Fellowship for Theatre Directors and a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Garrett is also a member of the board of directors for Theatre Communications Group, a company member at Woolly Mammoth and an advisory board member for Mixed Blood Theatre. Garrett is a graduate of California Institute of the Arts with an MFA in directing.


rhsbod2SIrlm9pczBDTQ_TanviPhoto-T.jpgTANVI GIROTRA got introduced to Public Narrative as a student of Marshall Ganz at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2015. She spent the next two years as a part of his teaching team and has coached over 25 workshops for social, business and policy leaders since then. Prior to Harvard, Tanvi founded an internationally recognized organization - Becoming I Foundation - which works towards revolutionizing education systems in India to transform marginalized communities from within. She currently works as the Deputy Chief Innovation Officer at The Future Project - a Non-Profit that helps high schools across the US ignite the full potential of young people and sits on the board of Girls20 - a non-profit working on cultivating young female leaders globally. She has served as an International Fellow for the Global Fund for Children and was awarded the William J. Clinton Fellowship for Service in India through which she helped build programs targeted at women and children in high risk communities. Tanvi is a Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award recipient and has also been awarded the Karamveer Puraskar for Justice and Citizen Action. Her work has also been recognized at the UN where she has been awarded for ‘Contribution to Humanitarian Development’. She has been invited to speak at the UN ECOSOC, UN WOMEN at the EU Development Days, the Clinton Global Initiative and at various TEDx conferences, alongside heads of state, social and business leaders from across the globe. Tanvi holds a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University and calls New York City and New Delhi home.

bJb7MHqDTgyMYoTnF2sI_Gladden_headshot 2019-T.jpgDEAN R. GLADDEN (Managing Director) is in his fourteenth season with the Alley Theatre where he is responsible for the administrative, financial, marketing, facilities and development aspects of the Theatre. His career in the performing arts spans over 40 years. Prior to joining the Alley, he was Managing Director at The Cleveland Play House for 19 years. During his career, he has overseen the production of over 300 plays, including more than 80 world and American premieres and established international exchanges with the Czech National Theatre in Prague, the Hungarian National Theatre in Miskolc, the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava, and The New Experimental Theatre in Volgograd, Russia. Mr. Gladden holds a BA in Music from Miami University and a MA in Urban Arts Administration from Drexel University. He also graduated from the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program in Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management. He is currently a board member and immediate past Chairman of the Board for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Treasurer of the Board of the Theater District Houston, serves on the Houston First Operations Committee, and is an American Leadership Forum Fellow. He was past president of The Rotary Club of Cleveland and the Cleveland Rotary Foundation and is a past board member of the Rotary Club of Houston. He has served on the Executive Committee of the League of Resident Theatres, Greater Houston Partnership, and was Vice President of the National Corporate Theatre Fund. Gladden has served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, Wisconsin Arts Council, Kentucky Arts Council Texas Commission on the Arts and the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. He has taught Arts Management classes at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Bowling Green State University, University of Houston and University of Akron, where he was director of the graduate program in Arts Management. He has lectured nationally for Theatre Communications Group, American Council for the Arts, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, National Association of State Legislators and the American Dance Festival. He has presented at the Santiago a Mil Festival in Chile and also conducted Arts Management workshops in Budapest, Hungary, under the sponsorship of The United States Information Agency.

davidgrant.jpegDAVID GRANT is the former president and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in Morristown, New Jersey. During his twelve years at the Dodge Foundation, David delivered over a hundred keynote addresses on a range of topics, led workshops titled Measuring What Matters for over two hundred nonprofit organizations, and launched the Dodge Board Leadership series. Now based in Vermont, he consults with mission-driven organizations, specializing in board development and strategic planning. He is a member of the Leap Ambassadors Community, a national group of experts and leader practitioners dedicated to high performance in the social sector.

David’s career has centered on innovative teaching and learning. In 1983, he and his wife, Nancy Boyd Grant, cofounded The Mountain School of Milton Academy, a highly regarded, semester-long, interdisciplinary environmental studies program in Vermont for high school juniors from throughout the country. Previously, David was a national consultant to schools and leader of workshops on topics of curriculum and program design, professional development, assessment practices, and school climate. He turned an academic/teaching interest in Mark Twain into a one-man stage show which he has performed around the world.

David has served on the boards of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers (chair); the Surdna Foundation; Putney School; Newark Academy; The Center for Whole Communities; The Children’s Initiative; Institute for Sustainable Communities; and Northern Stage (chair).

Caitlin_Green_square.jpgCAITLIN GREEN joined TRG Arts as a consulting analyst in 2017. Prior to TRG, she was the marketing and development director for THEATREWORKS, and the director of the Galleries of Contemporary Art, both in Colorado Springs. At THEATREWORKS, she led efforts that resulted in a doubling of contributed revenue, and increased earned revenue by more than 50%. She holds an MA in Art History, an MPA in Non-Profit Management, and has over 15 years of experience working to build audiences for arts and culture in Colorado. 

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A respected theatre producer in both Canada and the USA, TIM JENNINGS is a passionate social advocate known for his creativity, financial acumen and boundless energy.

Following a 15-year career in production management and as an independent producer, he then served as Managing Director of Toronto’s Roseneath Theatre (2000-2008), Seattle Children’s Theatre (2008-2012) and the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis (CTC) (2011-2015). During his time at each, Tim helped to increase revenues, build endowments, create new business opportunities, improve artist and artisan working conditions and support the visionary work of his artistic partners.

Tim joined the Shaw Festival as its Executive Director/CEO alongside incoming AD Tim Carroll in the fall of 2015 and together have led the total elimination of $10 Million in historic combined operating debt and capital deficiencies, while increasing total operating revenues (both earned and contributed) by 25% (to $34 Million/annum) over the last 4 years.

In addition to his other accomplishments, Tim has taught Theatre and Production Management and has sat on more than a dozen industry boards, including Theatre Communications Group (TCG) – where he has served as Treasurer until 2018. He was a founding cohort member of TCG’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Institute.

MARSHALL JONES, III is the Producing Artistic Director of Crossroads Theatre Company. Since 2007, Marshall has led the Tony Award® winning Crossroads, navigating a wide variety of challenges as the reputable theater company arrives on the dawn of a new era as a resident company member of the new state-of-the-art theater complex, the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. Marshall recently directed the inaugural show at NBPAC – a critically acclaimed production of PAUL ROBESON starring Nathaniel Stampley.

Moreover, Marshall has over 30 years of experience in a wide variety of key executive positions at some of NYC’s most reputable institutions including Harlem’s world famous Apollo Theater, Madison Square Garden – the world’s most famous arena, Radio City Music Hall, and Disney’s The Lion King. As a director (his first love), Marshall has helmed several plays at Crossroads including world premiere of Walter Mosley’s Lift, which later played Off Broadway at 59E59 Theater. He directed Nikkole Salter’s Repairing a Nation, which also was recorded for TV broadcast on WNET. He directed the world premiere of Beyond the Oak Trees about Harriet Tubman as well as the world premiere of the comedy Back to the Real by Pia Wilson. In spring of 2018, Marshall was the Creative Consultant (replacement director) for the Off Broadway production of LITTLE ROCK, which received NY Times Critic Pick. Since 2002, Marshall has been on faculty at his alma mater as professor of Theater Arts at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. For 8 years, Marshall proudly served on the Board of Directors of Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and now currently serves on the Board of the NJ Theater Alliance.


76AsAO8EQ0yKY7s1WSrQ_Cathy (2)-T.jpgCATHERINE CARR KELLY, Executive Director of Central Square Theater, was managing director of Underground Railway Theater for eleven years and served as campaign manager for the Central Square Theater Capital Campaign, two years prior to becoming the CST executive director. Ms. Carr Kelly also served as the building construction project manager for the new theater. As the founding managing director of the Women on Top Theater Festival of New Works, running from 2000 to 2007, she oversaw the creation of scores of world premieres and seven commissioned plays. She is a founding director of the I Was There Project, an interdisciplinary, arts-based, oral history residency for elementary schools created in partnership with the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities at Brown University, which received the Rhode Island Council on the Humanities Innovation in Education award in 2018. Ms. Carr Kelly has served on the boards of the Central Square Business Association, The Somerville Arts Council, StageSource, the advisory board of Arts/Boston and and was a co-director of the Central Square Cultural District Committee. She currently serves on the board of The Providence Children’s Film Festival, one of the top film festivals in North America. Ms. Carr Kelly has consulted for theaters and statewide arts councils in fundraising, marketing and project management. She speaks often on the power of collaboration for non-profits at conferences and public forums. Ms. Carr Kelly has stage managed, assistant directed, and produced original theater in Prague, Czech Republic.

2zQIBoW6QcOMukwOZ3A5_Champ Knecht Photo-T.jpgCHAMP KNECHT has been working in non-profit finance for two decades, currently as Director of Operations & Finance for Grantmakers in the Arts, a philanthropy-serving organization that provides valuable professional development to arts funders. Prior to taking on this role, he was Deputy Director for Administration at The Drawing Center. His career also includes time at MoMA PS1, and in Pittsburgh PA at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Early in his career, Champ worked at New York Foundation for the Arts in its artist sponsorship program, and it was there that he realized arts management was to be his chosen career path. At The Drawing Center, he guided the institution through a major renovation and capital campaign, and while he was Deputy Director, The Drawing Center became one of the first non-profits to successfully close out a major grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Champ is active on the Human Rights Campaign’s national Board of Governors and has been the Greater NY Steering Committee Co-Chair.
usinN6ASVSvWBSNKLweI_BJL Headshot 2015-T.jpgBRYAN JOSEPH LEE  is a creative producer and arts marketer with over a decade of experience building audience development and community engagement initiatives. He has worked at a variety of arts organizations, including Round House Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and SOURCE Festival in Washington, D.C. Bryan is currently the leader of Public Forum, an artistic program of The Public Theater that harnesses the power of conversation to unlock the world on our stages and the world at large. As an arts marketer, Bryan has focused on maximizing revenue through institutional marketing, with a specific interest in cultivating diverse audiences through authentic and targeted relationship building. He has guided numerous audience engagement initiatives locally, nationally, and internationally, including recent projects in Salem, Oregon; Alexandria, Egypt; and Perth, Australia. Bryan is a 2018 graduate of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland, led by Michael Kaiser and Brett Egan. in 2016, Bryan was also named a Rising Leader of Color by Theatre Communications Group (TCG). He has served on the Board of Governors for theatreWashington, a service organization dedicated to representing the theatre community in the nation’s capital. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds a degree in Latin American Studies and Theater.

xJJz6emoS8OcRLj05TiI_KL headshot suit-T.jpgKATIE LIBERMAN is the Managing Director of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.  In the past five seasons, in partnership with Artistic Director, Davis McCallum she has led the company’s significant growth from a $2M to a $3.5M operation, expanding artistic quality, organizational capacity, and overseeing the creation of HVSF’s first strategic planning process. Previously, she served as General Manager at The Laguna Playhouse, where she helped to manage a fiscal turnaround and major capital improvements. Prior to The Playhouse, she served as Associate Managing Director at Yale Repertory Theatre, Managing Director of Yale Summer Cabaret, and Managing Director Fellow at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Kate was Associate Manager of Development at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC where she executed a successful $10M campaign for the 2008 festival, Arabesque: Arts of The Arab World. She holds an MFA in theater management from Yale School of Drama and an MBA from Yale School of Management, and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, summa cum laude. At Yale, she was the recipient of the Morris J. Kaplan Prize for recognition in theater management. She is a recipient of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship and served as President of the Truman Scholars Association. She currently serves on as a Board Member of the Cold Spring Area Chamber of Commerce. Originally from the Boston area, Kate lives in Peekskill, NY with her husband, Eric, and her son, Toby.    

A6nafAeERpua3XP5mIkl_LightwalaOwais_Environmental (1) copy-T.jpgOWAIS LIGHTWALA is a theatre producer, and currently the Managing Director of Why Not Theatre. Over the last 6 years working for Why Not, he has produced sold-out runs of award-winning new works, national and international tours, presentations from around the world, and co-helmed the creation of innovative new producing models like the RISER Project. He advises many arts organizations (including theatre and dance companies, music presenters, film festivals and more) as a strategic consultant, particularly on finding better ways of doing things, changing who’s on stage and in the audience, and anything to do with numbers. He also dabbles in theatre making as an artist, and is a prolific web and graphic designer. A lifelong learner, he was selected for the Impact Program for Arts Leaders (Stanford Graduate School of Business), has completed the CORe program (Harvard Business School), was a 2018 DiverseCity Fellow (CivicAction), a fellow in the 2018 Leaders Lab (Toronto Arts Council/Banff Centre), and a graduate of York University’s Theatre program.

BzsrVNpSoOblExUx7hwf_LivNilssen-T.jpgLIV NILSSEN is a Sector Strategy Lead at Spektrix. Liv brings 15 years’ experience in performing arts management and fundraising in both the U.S. and the U.K. into her work helping organizations grow. At Spektrix, her role is to ensure the global team has the biggest impact on the arts and cultural sector as possible. She is the co-author of the 2019 Spektrix Insights Report and is always looking to further understand the world from different organizations’ perspectives, share resources and make connections that help realize their ambitions. Prior to joining Spektrix, Liv worked at The Royal Court Theatre in London, American Conservatory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, and Center Theatre Group. She holds a master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama in Theatre Management.

gI4qFPhTRIKCaiRFQt0q_Brian Isaac Phillips Headshot.jpgBRIAN ISAAC PHILLIPS has just celebrated his 16th season of artistic leadership of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. He was named Producing Artistic Director in 2010 after being Artistic Director since 2003. Prior to these responsibilities, he served with the organization as Associate Artistic Director for one season as well. Mr. Phillips, originally from Pittsburgh, PA, is a graduate of Morehead State University and has been a resident of Cincinnati for two decades. In that time he has worked with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, The Children’s Theatre, Know Theatre of Cincinnati, New Stage Collective, Diogenes Theatre Company, as well as over 100 productions with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company  He is pleased to have led CSC in becoming one of the few theatres in the United States to have produced Shakespeare’s complete 38 play canon and to have personally completed the canon as well. Mr. Phillips was nominated for the 2016 SDCF Zelda Fichandler Award. He recently served on the Executive Committee of the Shakespeare Theatre Association, an international organization comprised of theatres dedicated to the production of Shakespeare’s works around the globe.  He was also selected for the 2014 Class of Forty Under Forty and a finalist for the Ohio Governors’ Arts Awards. In 2016, Mr. Phillips graduated from Cincinnati USA Chamber’s 39th Class of Leadership Cincinnati and is now happy to serve on one of the steering committees.  Also in 2016, Mr. Phillips was selected as a finalist for the Business Courier’s 2016 C-Suite Awards for Chief Executive Officer.  And finally, in 2017 Mr. Phillips was thrilled to have helped the company realize a long term dream of operating a world-class facility with the opening of the $17.5MM Otto M. Budig Theater.

ANNA RAGINSKAYA is a Financial Advisor with the Blue Rider Group at Morgan Stanley, a boutique advisory that works with non-profit organizations, foundations and families, with a special focus on the cultural community. The Blue Rider Group constructs customized investment portfolios for its clients, and is committed to sustainable and impact investing: actively incorporating strategies that utilize environmental, social and governance criteria to make investment decisions, helping create positive change and drive investment returns. Anna focuses on the Blue Rider Group’s engagement with the art and impact investing communities and strategic planning for the group’s non-profit and foundation clients.  Anna earned her BA in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard College and MBA from Harvard Business School. She is a co-chair of the Municipal Art Society Urbanists, a member of the Programming Committee of the National Academy of Design, and a partner of the VIA Art Fund.

SwUOvdTQfmtUG6rRa20a_Rosener-T.jpgROBERT ROSENER is a Vice President and member of the US Economics Research team at Morgan Stanley, based in New York. He contributes to the team's in-depth analysis of US macroeconomic trends, financial markets, and Federal Reserve policy, and develops medium-term economic forecasts for the US and Canada. In 2018, the US Economics team received the Lawrence R. Klein Award for the most accurate economic forecasts from 2014 to 2017.Robert joined Morgan Stanley in June 2014 from Credit Agricole CIB, where he served as a US economist in Global Markets Research. He serves as a vice president on the board of the New York Association for Business Economics. Robert holds a BA in Economics from The New School and an MA in Economics from New York University.


JILL ROBINSON as President and CEO of TRG Arts sets the strategic vision for the international management consulting firm who works with arts and cultural organizations seeking sustainable revenue models and transformative operational practices.

Under Jill’s leadership, the firm has doubled in size, expanded to a second office based in the United Kingdom, and has now served more than 1,200 clients in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and Europe.

As an entrepreneur and leadership expert, Jill inspires arts and cultural chief executives from around the world who attend TRG’s Executive Summits, subscribe to the firm’s publication Arts Leadership Review, and who participate in TRG’s Arts Leadership Book ClubJill has presented at countless industry conferences and given keynotes at the Broadway League Spring Road Conference in New York City, the Dance/USA International Dance Manager’s convening in London, and the annual Conference on Marketing in the Arts in Madrid and Barcelona.  She serves on the faculty at Southern Methodist University for the Master of Arts Administration/Master of Business Administration program, and she recently joined the inaugural faculty for the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Cultural Leadership Program.

Jill is a true believer in the power of arts and culture to transform individuals and communities and is driven to help make sustainable change happen in the international arts and cultural sector.

y1FDS6Q3RQIthInIDtmA_Sayet Headshot-2-T.jpgMADELINE SAYET is a theater maker who believes the stories we pass down inform our collective possible futures. She is a member of the Mohegan nation and is the Executive Director of the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program (YIPAP). For her work as a director she has been honored as a 2019 Drama League Director-In-Residence, 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 in Hollywood & Entertainment, TED Fellow, MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, National Directing Fellow, Native American 40 Under 40, and a recipient of The White House Champion of Change Award from President Obama. She premiered her solo performance piece Where We Belong at Shakespeare's Globe and RichMix in London this June to critical acclaim. Recent directing work includes: Midsummer Night's Dream (South Dakota Shakespeare), Henry IV (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), Whale Song (Perseverance Theatre), She Kills Monsters (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), As You Like It (Delaware Shakespeare), The Winter’s Tale (Amerinda/HERE Arts), Poppea (Krannert Center, Illinois), The Magic Flute (Glimmerglass), Macbeth (NYC Parks), Miss Lead (59e59). Upcoming: The Great Leap by Lauren Yee at Long Wharf. www.madelinesayet.com
z63DjA9PSqSrfw5NEjaA_Roche Headshot-T.jpgROCHE EDWARD SCHULFER, Goodman Theatre Executive Director, started working in the Goodman Theatre box office and ultimately became Executive Director in 1980. On May 18, 2015, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the League of Chicago Theatres. In 2014, he received the Visionary Leadership Award from Theatre Communications Group. To honor his 40th anniversary with the theater, Mr. Schulfer was honored with a star on the Goodman’s “Walkway of Stars.” During his tenure he has overseen more than 335 productions, including close to 130 world premieres. He launched the Goodman’s annual production of A Christmas Carol, which celebrates 41 years as Chicago’s leading holiday arts tradition this season. In partnership with Artistic Director Robert Falls, Mr. Schulfer led the establishment of quality, diversity and community engagement as the core values of Goodman Theatre. Under their tenure, the Goodman has received numerous awards for excellence, including the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater, recognition by Time magazine as the “Best Regional Theatre” in the US, the Pulitzer Prize for Lynn Nottage’s Ruined and many Jeff Awards for outstanding achievement in Chicago area theater. Mr. Schulfer has negotiated the presentation of numerous Goodman Theatre productions to many national and international venues. From 1988 to 2000, he coordinated the relocation of the Goodman to Chicago’s Theatre District. He is a founder and two-time chair of the League of Chicago Theatres, the trade association of more than 200 Chicago area theater companies and producers. Mr. Schulfer has been privileged to serve in leadership roles with Arts Alliance Illinois (the statewide advocacy coalition); Theatre Communications Group (the national service organization for more than 450 not-for-profit theaters); the Performing Arts Alliance (the national advocacy consortium of more than 18,000 organizations and individuals); the League of Resident Theatres (the management association of 65 leading US theater companies); and the Arts & Business Council. Mr. Schulfer is a member of the adjunct faculty of the Theatre School at DePaul University and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he managed the cultural arts commission.


ygOcyjZvRfSO4Q5iNK4d_TFS Headshot_Oct 2019-T.jpgTONY F. SIAS is the President and CEO of Karamu House, Inc., America’s oldest African American producing theatre. Under the direction and leadership of Sias since 2015, Karamu has been widely accredited for producing professional theatre, arts education, and programming for all communities while honoring the African American experience. Prior to his tenure at Karamu, Sias served in several progressive roles for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) including Director of Arts Education and Artistic Director of Cleveland School of the Arts. As a creative Sias has produced, performed in, and directed more than 100 productions.
Additionally, Sias has received the Ohio House of Representatives Tribute for Excellent Leadership in CMSD’s All-City Arts Program and the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for Contributions in Education and Cultural Arts. His work has been highlighted nationally in The New York Times, American Theatre Magazine, on NBC’s Today Show with Al Roker, and more. Sias served as a delegate from the U.S. Department of State in Istanbul, Turkey, representing the Council of International Programs in the Youth Arts for Peace Project. In 2018, he was inducted into The HistoryMakers, the largest African American oral history archive collection in the U.S. In 2019, Sias was named the Cleveland Arts Prize Barbara S. Robinson award winner, was
selected as a fellow in the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program in partnership with Harvard Business School, and continues his service as a National Board member for the League of Historic American Theaters. Sias earned a Bachelor of Science degree in dramatic art from Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi and a Master of Fine Arts in acting from The
Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
Le6IB3mwRc6urFp15T61_Thaddeus Squire Web-T.jpgTHADDEUS SQUIRE is Chief Commons Officer for Social Impact Commons. Thaddeus' creative practice is systems design, and he works in the emerging field of nonprofit resource sharing, focusing on the arts and heritage ecosystem. A former musician and curator, Thaddeus has found the greatest happiness as a social worker for arts and heritage practitioners—a gate opener. Sharing or “commoning” is at the core of his work under the premise that sharing lowers barriers to accessing resources, increases equity, and ultimately fosters flourishing and proliferation, which is the purpose of cultural practice. His work is grounded in the ideas of American Pragmatism, Common Pool Resource Economics, the Rochdale Principles, New Localism and the Applied Behavioral Sciences. Active projects that Thaddeus has initiated include the emerging national network of management commons organized under Social Impact Commons (formerly CultureWorks Commons Management), which includes CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia [cultureworksphila.org] as its founding member. Other projects include Hidden City Philadelphia [hiddencityphila.org] and the CultureWorks Equitable Realty Trust. Retired projects to date include Peregrine Arts, the John Grass Maker Community, and Philadelphia Independent Media Commons. Thaddeus serves as a volunteer governor for American Nonprofits, the National Network of Fiscal Sponsors, Nonprofit Centers Network, and the Overbrook Farms Club, the oldest civic association in the country. Thaddeus and his husband live in Philadelphia’s historic Overbrook Farms neighborhood, where they are happy stewards of the Ernest Tustin house, built in 1913 by one of the city’s great advocates for public education, parks, and commonweal.


CHANDRA STEPHENS-ALBRIGHT has been the Managing Director at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company since 2017. Her priorities are establishing shared accountability across board and staff, and partnering with Artistic Director Jamil Jude on a successful leadership transition. Prior to joining True Colors, she served as Executive Director at C5 Georgia, a youth development program, from 2014 - 2017.

 Previously, Stephens-Albright led customer marketing and innovation efforts at The Coca-Cola Company. During her 22-year career there, she successfully directed productive teams and surpassed revenue and profitability goals. From 2005 – 2010, she guided the development of the Coca-Cola Freestyle® brand name, user interface design and visual identity. Coca-Cola Freestyle® was named a World-Changing Brand by Interbrand Consulting in 2011. Ms. Stephens-Albright’s career began at Bristol-Myers Squibb in New York City, where she held roles as a Product Manager at Clairol and as a International Business Associate in the Bristol Myers International Group.

Chandra currently serves on the boards of The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership and The Alliance Theatre. Past board experience includes stints as Development Committee Chair of the Emory Alumni Board, National Chair of the Emory Annual Giving Board and Board Chair of Girls Inc. of Greater Atlanta. She is a 2005 alumna of Leadership Atlanta, and a member of the 2019-20 cohort of National Arts Strategies’ Chief Executive Program. She holds a BA in Chemistry from Emory University and an MBA from the Olin School at Washington University in St. Louis.

h7dXNl1T423DBNDyvP9g_Timms-T.jpgHENRY TIMMS is the co-author of the international bestselling book New Power, described by David Brooks in the New York Times as “the best window I’ve seen into this new world” and shortlisted for the FT/McKinsey Business Book of the Year. Henry currently serves as the President and CEO of Lincoln Center, the world’s leading performing arts center. Previously he was the President and CEO of 92nd Street Y, a cultural and community center that creates programs and movements that foster learning and civic engagement. Under his leadership, the 144-year-old institution was named to Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies” list. He is the co-founder of #GivingTuesday, a global philanthropic movement that engages people in close to 100 countries that has generated over a billion dollars for good causes. Henry is a Hauser Visiting Leader at Harvard Kennedy School and Visiting Fellow at Stanford University.


ahz28H9tSBVHNWNh2jpT_Ting-T.jpgObie Award-winning director ERIC TING has been deeply committed throughout his career to the development of new and diverse voices for the theater. Ting has directed works (many of them world premieres) by the 1491s, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Sam Hunter, Marcus Gardley, Toshi Reagon, Aditi Kapil, Kimber Lee, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, Kenneth Lin, Kristofer Diaz, Lauren Yee, Anna Deavere Smith, and others. Ting’s work has been seen across the United States, as well as internationally, including Singapore, France, UAE, Holland, Canada, Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Bali. Named Artistic Director of California Shakespeare Theater in 2016, Ting’s work lives at the vanguard of art, social consciousness, and community practice. Ting is a multiple-grant recipient, including a TCG New Generations Future Leaders fellowship, a Jerome & Roslyn Milstein Meyer Career Development Prize, a NEFA National Theater Project grant, a MAP Fund Award, and most recently he was named one of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ 2019 YBCA100. He has served on numerous grant and fellowship panels including the Mellon Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Trust, the Jerome and McKnight Foundations, the NEA, TCG, PONY and the Alpert Awards. Ting is a proud member of the SDC Board.

IfuFDTn4QzKP1VV71vc4_Tokach-T.jpgGABRIELLE TOKACH joined the Contemporary American Theater Festival as the Public Relations Manager in 2017, after serving as the festival's Box Office Manager. She graduated from George Mason University with her Master’s degree in Arts Management. While attending George Mason, she served on the executive committee of the Graduate Arts Management Society was presented with the GMU’s Erin Isabelle Edwards Gaffney Memorial Award. Gaby directs for Shepherd University's Department of Contemporary Art & Theater as well as community organizations. She's also worked with Arvold Casting, Scrappy Cat Productions, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC.   
PulflTbSaKNHTSxNaTAA_MarkValdez Headshot 19-T.jpgMARK VALDEZ is an artist, cultural organizer, and consultant who partners with communities, organizations, civic institutions, and others to address community needs and to lift up community voices and stories. He does this by creating performances, as a writer and director. Mark began his practice as the Associate Artistic Director for Cornerstone Theater Company, a Los Angeles-based ensemble creating play in/with/for communities in Los Angeles and across the nation. With Cornerstone, Mark directed the first-ever approved adaptation of the Kaufman and Hart comedy classic, You Can't Take It With You (adapted to the American-Muslim community in the wake of 9/11), among others. From 2007-2014 Valdez was the Executive Director of the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET), a national community of artists and organizations committed to collaborative creation. With NET, Mark launched the MicroFest USA initiative, exploring the impact of the arts and artists to communities. These large-scale, community specific events took place in Detroit, Appalachia (Knoxville, TN/Harlan County, KY), New Orleans, and Honolulu. This method of organizing regionally for nation impact has been widely lauded and featured in publications ranging from Huffington Post to the Grantmakers in the Arts' Reader magazine. Current projects include Chato’s Kitchen at Childsplay Theater (writer and director), an adaptation of Gary Soto’s book about a lowrider cat from East LA. Mark is also working on Exiled in America, a four-city project, bringing together advocates, activists, government officials, and developers, through theater, to impact housing policies in Los Angeles, St. Paul, Syracuse, and Washington, DC.
aaf660df-448f-4fc5-90f2-8b370ef5f322.jpg DR. ZANNIE VOSS is Director of SMU DataArts | National Center for Arts Research and Professor of Arts Management in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and the Cox School of Business. Previously she was Chair of Arts Management at SMU, a Professor at Duke University and Producing Director of Theater Previews at Duke, a professional theater company dedicated to the co-production of new works, two of which transferred to Broadway. She served as managing director of PlayMakers Repertory Company and associate manager of the Alley Theatre. She has co-authored Theatre Facts for Theatre Communications Group since 1998. Her published research on the strategic factors that influence organizational performance appears in over a dozen academic and practitioner journals. She serves on the boards of the International Association of Arts and Cultural Management, TRG Arts, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and TACA. She is also honored to serve on the American Academy of Arts and Science’s Commission on the Arts, and she is co-author of the book Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play.

pGbzUnwtTzybN6MZqDbw_Trella headshot-T.jpgTRELLA WALKER is an Associate Director in Advisory Services with Nonprofit Finance Fund in the Los Angeles office. Her work includes leading workshops and engagements across the country with a focus on arts and social services organizations. She is dedicated to providing clients with strategic analysis that frames information in a comprehensive, useful manner, while keeping the client at the heart of the information being examined. Prior to NFF, Trella spent the majority of her professional career in the nonprofit sector working with impact driven organizations such as the US Military College, Debbie Allen Dance Academy, United States Veterans Initiative, Pierian Springs School, and Health Net. She holds a B.A. in English and secondary education from James Madison University as well as a Juris Doctor degree.
Yyiia6C7SiefvkUDrwVV_melissa-T.jpgMELISSA COWLEY WOLF is the founder of MCW Projects LLC -  www.mcw-project.com - a consulting firm dedicated to expanding the next generation of cultural philanthropists, collectors and audiences. MCW Projects advises cultural organizations on advancement strategies, the financial and philanthropic industries on creating enduring legacy and impact in the arts and forges partnerships across sectors to advocate for increased philanthropic support of the arts. Melissa is also the Director of the Arts Funders Forum - www.artsfundersforum.com - a new platform designed to increase private support for arts and culture in the United States. Melissa has over 15 years of experience in philanthropy and programming for cultural institutions across the United States, including: Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Noguchi Museum, Parsons the New School for Design, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA) and University of Colorado Art Museum. Collaborators include museums, corporations, universities, foundations, financial institutions, nonprofits, galleries, artists, design firms, performers, art fairs, auction houses and cultural proponents throughout the world.

V0TEEFdRRIqZsoTISwo9_Lisa Yancey Bio Image-T.jpg

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, LISA YANCEY is the president Yancey Consulting (YC) and co-founder of SorsaMED and The We’s Match. With 18 years of practice, YC has served over 100 nonprofit organizations, grantmakers, and individuals. Advising across arts and culture, public space, and justice-based sectors, YC specializes in strategic organizational development, economic modeling, evaluation and assessments, board development, leadership coaching, and executive transition support. SorsaMED is a biotechnology company engineering cannabinoids infused with nutrient-enriched microalgae for therapeutic pain management, with a specific concern for sickle cell anemia sufferers, especially youth. The We’s Match is a social impact enterprise committed to helping Black women entrepreneurs in scalable industries reach or sustain a minimum of $1 million in operating net revenues while prioritizing their well-being. Lisa’s dedication to supporting equitable outcomes for systemically disenfranchised people is the seamless thread that binds these companies. Three essential philosophies drive Lisa’s work. One, we must disrupt patterns that either sustain or are complicit to inequities that challenge any person’s or group’s ability to be their full selves. Two, we will never accomplish sustainable goals looking solely in the short-term. She touts, “It is imperative to assess and set generational impact goals (20-25 years from now) that connect to present-day efforts.” The third is best captured in Lilla Watson’s declaration, “If you have come here to help me you are wasting your time, but if you are here because your liberation is bound with mine, then let us work together.” Lisa believes, “I am one of WE.” Lisa matriculated from Boston College Law School and Emory University. She is a former dancer and choreographer. She is also a member of the New York State Bar Association. Lisa currently lives in Mount Vernon, New York, and serves on the board of Fractured Atlas. 

SToWABsqRemm1t2RmGLv_blanka-T.jpgFrom 1981 to 2010, BLANKA ZIZKA shared co-Artistic Directorship of the Wilma Theater with the late Jiri Zizka. Since 2010, she has acted as the sole Artistic Director of the Wilma.  In 2016, Blanka founded the Wilma HotHouse Company -  a resident ensemble of 14 theater artists - to serve as an incubator for artistic investigation and experimentation. Blanka has directed over 70 plays and musicals for the Wilma Theater; most recently, she directed and co-created a production of an existential poem by Lebanese/American/French writer and visual artist Etel Adnan called THERE: In the Light and the Darkness of the Self and of the Other. Blanka is the recipient of the 2016 Vilcek Prize in Excellence, which is awarded annually to an immigrant who has made lasting contributions through science or arts to American society. In 2011, she received the Zelda Fichandler Award from the SDC Foundation, given to the extraordinary directors and choreographers who are transforming the national arts landscape with their unique, creative work and deep investment in a community outside of the New York City arena.  In 2017, she was selected onto the Innovators Walk of Fame by the Science Center in Philadelphia.