Click on Staff members' photos to view their bio's and contact information.

Linda Beard

Linda Beard

Education Programs Manager

Linda Beard began working at SOPAC as a volunteer in 2011 and has worked in almost all departments within the organization.

Linda graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Education from Montclair State University.  After teaching in a private school, she turned to the private sector running her own successful business before moving to Florida to manage a top regional sales team, and subsequently earned a PHR (Professional in Human Resources) certification.

During her tenure, Linda has organized community events such as Playin’ Around South Orange, and arts education programs such as the School Performance Series, Poetry Out Loud, the music and Ailey Dance residencies for local students, and more. Linda also manages the Herb + Milly Iris Gallery to bring rotating exhibitions and the INSPIRED MINDS: Young Artist Exhibition to the Gallery.

Every day Linda is impassioned by her desire to offer arts programs and opportunities that enhance the cultural life of our community and encourage young people to make arts an active part of their everyday lives.

Stephen Beaudoin

Stephen Beaudoin

Executive Director

Stephen Beaudoin, MBA, joined the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) as the organization’s Executive Director in September 2022.

Recognized by Musical America magazine as one of the music industry’s “Top Movers and Shapers” and by the Portland Business Journal as a “noted nonprofit leader,” Beaudoin is a performing arts chief executive and creative working to democratize art and foster revolutionary creativity, with over twenty years of leadership experience spanning the nonprofit, public, and private sectors, including work as a nonprofit CEO, publicly elected school board chair, family foundation board member, consultant, and former professional singer, actor, and stage director.

In his role as Executive Director, Beaudoin is charged with growing SOPAC to become one of North Jersey’s top destination venues for creativity, community, and connection. A number of programs and initiatives have taken root under his leadership, including the creation of a new community-driven program design model, the Creative Community Brain Trust; the expansion of Mainstage and Loft programs to encompass more diverse representation, artistic disciplines, and forms, including the “New Voices, New Visions” series highlighting performing artists at the vanguard, and the “What Matters Now?” series, convening the community for conversation around timely, important issues; addressing campus-wide capital improvement opportunities and needs to preserve SOPAC’s lauded architecture and public gathering spaces for generations to come; and strengthening community partnerships so that SOPAC is more deeply connected to its regional community and truly experienced as a home for everyone.

Recent artists that have made SOPAC debuts under his leadership include Grammy nominee Emily King, who opened her national “Special Occasion” tour at SOPAC; fast-rising singer-songwriter Eleri Ward; classical crossover ensemble Sons of Serendip; pathbreaking vocalist Jimmie Herrod; and the creation of a new musicals in development arm through the SOMA backStage Reading Series at SOPAC, which has helped to workshop and showcase important new works from songwriting team Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen, and playwright Lia Romeo.

Prior to SOPAC, Beaudoin served as Executive Director of The Washington Chorus (TWC), the D.C. metro community’s only two-time Grammy award-winning choral ensemble, where he worked closely with Artistic Directors Christopher Bell and Dr. Eugene Rogers to lead the chorus in producing its highly regarded subscription series at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and in collaborations with the National Symphony Orchestra under conductors including Teddy Abrams, Gianandrea Noseda, and Sir Andrew Davis, and in premiering new works by major composers including Damien Geter and Lera Auerbach. Highlights include creating a personalized music video marketplace, producing an acclaimed short music film by that earned accolades at national film festivals, introducing dynamic pricing models to maximize live concert revenues, and championing artists and creators of color through new works commissions.

Other career landmarks include chief executive roles with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, a highly regarded regional orchestra just north of Washington, D.C., and PHAME, an innovative Portland, Oregon nonprofit working at the intersection of creativity and disability justice. At both organizations, Beaudoin led significant realignment and drove financial and programmatic growth, including leading the Orchestra through its first-ever commercial recording project with composer Chris Brubeck and guitarist Sharon Isbin, recorded at the Music Center at Strathmore, and supporting PHAME in growing inclusive education and performance programs that championed creative employment opportunities for people experiencing disabilities.

Beaudoin also served as publicly elected board member and Chair of Multnomah Education Service District, an $80 million public education agency serving more than 100,000 Multnomah County students, and on the boards of TEDxPortland, the Nonprofit Association of Oregon, and Oregon Humanities, where he was appointed by Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber.

For his leadership and service, Beaudoin has been recognized with recognitions from civic, community, and media organizations, including the prestigious Spirit of Portland Award by Portland, Oregon City Council and late Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish, the Skidmore Prize for excellence in nonprofit leadership from Willamette Week newspaper, the Rob Delf Award for positive contributions to community health from the Medical Society of Metropolitan Portland, the FACT Community Partner Award for leadership on community inclusion for people with disabilities, and the C. Stewart Sheppard Distinguished Service Award from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

Beaudoin regularly speaks on creative and nonprofit matters, and has served as a guest lecturer at Wagner College, University of Virginia, and Willamette University. As a classically trained tenor with “a plaintive, attractive tone” (Boston Globe), Beaudoin has performed as a vocalist with Pink Martini on tour and in recordings, as well as with the Portland Cello Project, Trinity Consort, Fear No Music, Opera Boston, and many more ensembles. He serves as a strategic advisor and board member of the HMF Beaudoin Family Foundation, is an honors alum of Boston’s New England Conservatory, where he earned an undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance with Distinction in Performance Honors and holds an MBA (Master of Business Administration) from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, where he was named as one of the Poets & Quants publication’s “Best and Brightest Executive MBAs of 2022.”

Brianna Blanco is new to the SOPAC family joining in the hospitality department as a Bartender. Brianna started bartending in 2018 and has branched out to different locations to perfect her skills. From Newark Airport to South Orange’s very own Papillion25, Brianna Blanco is a very talented mixologist who is able to mix more than just drinks!

Even when there is another box office window available, SOPAC patrons have been known to stand in line just to talk to Sheila Corbin Daniels. She has a well-earned loyal following from her 16 years as SOPAC Box Office Manager. Sheila remembers filling ticket orders by hand while the building was still under construction.

These days, however, she enjoys telling people, “I’m sorry, but that show is sold out! You need to think ahead and call earlier.”

When asked about her way with people, Sheila responds, “Now, I’m not all that and a bag of chips, but from the time that I was knee high to a grasshopper, I was taught to take pride in what you’re doing. The folks that you think aren’t paying attention will pay attention—at some point.”

Before coming to SOPAC, Sheila spent 32 years as a paralegal serving both the court system and private practice.

Rob Cruz

Rob Cruz

Director of Production & Operations

Rob Cruz is SOPAC’s Director of Production and Operations. Rob is a current Union County resident who has been working at SOPAC for 7 years! Aside from SOPAC, Rob has toured internationally with multiple musical acts and has also worked in music production. He plays several instruments including the guitar, drums, and the trumpet (which was his first instrument!) Rob is also proud to be a father to his beautiful daughter.

Rob is extremely passionate about the arts, especially expanding arts education programs throughout the community.  He is excited for all of the opportunities that are ahead, and especially loves all of the capabilities that there are to present at SOPAC.

Jessie Dromsky-Reed

Jessie Dromsky-Reed

Membership & Marketing Associate

Born and raised in Kinnelon, New Jersey, Jessie has been immersed in New Jersey’s performing arts her whole life. She grew up studying dance in the New Jersey School of Ballet’s Intensive Program and had the privilege of dancing with the New Jersey Ballet Company’s Junior Company at NJPAC and MPAC.  Also, she played her French horn in the New Jersey School Music Association’s (NJSMA) Region Bands throughout high school and has studied piano her whole life.

Jessie brought her love of the arts with her to Hamilton College, where she was principle French horn in the Hamilton College Orchestra, captain of the Hamilton College Dance Team, and co-founder and co-president of the Hamilton College Wind Ensemble. She graduated from Hamilton with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Russian Studies. Her senior thesis in Russian Studies analyzed the way in which ballet can and has been used as a tool for international diplomacy between the United States and Russia and can foster communication and connections between people.

After college, Jessie took some time to study musical theater performance in New York City before joining the communications team at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts.  When she is not working, you can find Jessie on stage in community theater productions around northern New Jersey.

Now at SOPAC as the Membership and Marketing Associate, Jessie is excited to be sharing SOPAC’s mission and programing with its members. She oversees member communications, maintains SOPAC’s website, and plans receptions and special events at SOPAC.  She is thrilled to be part of such a hard-working team devoted to celebrating and promoting the arts in New Jersey!

Jake Esformes

Jake Esformes

Manager of Special Events and Rentals

Jake Esformes is the Manager of Special Events and Rentals at SOPAC. He is eager to work with members of the community looking to partner with SOPAC and bring their events to life. He carries with him over a decade’s worth of experience in production, event management, and customer service to this role.

As a South Orange native, Jake is intimately familiar with SOMA. He is grateful to come home and serve his community alongside a team of people committed to making SOPAC a beacon of culture and education.

Theater is one of Jake’s passions, starting out at South Orange Middle School and eventually graduating to the stages of Columbia High School, NJPAC, Seton Hall University and Rutgers University, to name a few.

He is an enthusiastic athlete, a life-long hockey player, and a passionate surfer who wants to hear from you!

If you are interested in booking our space, please contact him at

Beth Fylstra

Beth Fylstra

Chief Financial Officer

Beth Fylstra, PhD, has held the role of SOPAC’s Chief Financial Officer since January 2015.

Before coming to SOPAC, Beth worked alongside her husband in his accounting firm auditing nonprofit arts organizations in New Jersey. She holds a B.S. degree in Commercial Tourism & Recreation, a M.A.S. degree in Human Resource Management & Nonprofit Organizational Development, a Ph.D. in Public Administration: Not for Profit Leadership and Management and is qualified to sit for the CPA exam.

As an adjunct management professor, Beth teaches both Organizational Behavior and Sport & Event Management at Ramapo College of NJ. Beth believes in giving back to her community and is an EMT and active volunteer riding member in her town’s Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

Beth and her husband, Ralph, have six children and a growing number of grandchildren—they love to explore unfamiliar places and expand their horizons.

Michael Guarnaccio

Michael Guarnaccio

Head House Manager

Mike came to SOPAC in 2008 after serving in positions in the Human Resources field for thirty years. His positions included Employment Officer and Labor Relations Specialist. Mike also served as an “Advocate” in arbitration hearings for the Northern NJ District of the United States Postal Service (employment, discipline and dismissal). While in his position as Employment Officer, he received the John Fogerty award from the State of NJ for his efforts in hiring disabled workers.

Mike presently volunteers at two senior centers in Union, holding weekly computer and music classes. Mike is a musician and composer and loves the diverse musical performances presented at SOPAC.

Jonathan Kitt

Jonathan Kitt

Director of Development

Jonathan Kitt joins South Orange Performing Arts Center as their new Director of Development in April 2023, bringing with him over a decade of experience fundraising for cultural organizations.

Jonathan most recently served as Development Director for Firelight Media, a Harlem-based artist support organization that benefits an international roster of BIPOC documentary filmmakers. In this role, he led the organization’s fundraising activity during a period of tremendous organizational and programmatic growth, including the launch of the NEH-funded SPARK Fund.

Prior to his time at Firelight Media, Jonathan worked as a fundraiser at The WNET Group — the public television provider for NYC, Long Island, and New Jersey. Before that, he held Development positions at several NYC-based arts organizations including Creative Capital, MAPP International Productions, and The Public Theater.

Raised in Bloomfield, Connecticut, Jonathan’s connection to the arts developed early in life. He sang in the First Cathedral Youth Mass Choir as a child and continued singing in choral ensembles throughout high school and college, including with Essence of Joy – a touring Penn State-based ensemble that performs and promotes Afro-diasporan choral music under the direction of Dr. Anthony Leach. He has also sung with the Arch Street Presbyterian Church Choir under the direction of Dr. J. Donald Dumpson. Jonathan’s love of the arts also extends to musical theatre. Prior to moving into cultural administration, Jonathan worked as a professional actor, including appearing in productions of RENT, Aida, and Baby, and he has served as a vocalist on Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ Carols for a Cure.

Jonathan is an active member of the Arts Administrators of Color Network (AAC) and has served on the Board of the Upper Room AIDS Ministry (URAM) at Harlem United, and the Gala Committee of the Shaker Museum – Mount Lebanon.

Jonathan holds a B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University and an M.S. from Drexel University and believes in the power of the arts to connect communities and spark important conversations. He is an avid alpine skier and lives in Harlem with his partner and their dog.

Madaline Krawchuk

Madaline Krawchuk

Administrative Assistant & Front of House Associate

Madaline is in her third year of undergrad at South Orange’s own Seton Hall University, getting her B.A. in Theatre. She moved to South Orange from Jacksonville, Florida, in August of 2020 for school and has been loving the SOMA lifestyle ever since! At Seton Hall, Madaline is president of the Seton Hall Theatre Council and a sister of Alpha Omicron Pi. As president of the Theatre Council, she facilitates the programming of student-run productions, helps to organize workshops covering several facets of theatre, and oversees the hub of student-led theatre on campus. In Alpha Omicron Pi, she participates in philanthropic outreach through the Arthritis Foundation, the Epilepsy Foundation, Sisters for Soldiers, and the Associated Humane Society of Newark; in addition to philanthropy, she enjoys being a part of such a supportive and ambitious group of women.

Madaline’s journey at SOPAC began in March of 2022 as a front of house associate, working box office and house managing. Then, in July, she also took on the responsibility of administrative assistant.

In her free time, she enjoys attending live shows of all sorts (especially concerts!), visiting museums, thrifting, and frequenting local coffee shops with friends.

Matt Luminello

Matt Luminello

Audience Services Manager

Born and raised in Northern New Jersey, with New York City just over the Hudson, Matt’s passion for the performing arts began at an early age when his parents took him to see his first Broadway show, Beauty and the Beast.

As Audience Services Manager, Matt brings a wide breadth of experience, empathy, warmth, and creativity to his role.

Prior to SOPAC, Matt was a Broadway usher having had the pleasure of helping audiences from all over the world participate in the transformative experience that is attending live theater. This experience, combined with obtaining his Master’s degree in Theatre Arts Administration from Rowan University during the Covid-19 pandemic, drew him to this role at SOPAC. As Audience Services Manager, Matt proudly oversees the SOPAC volunteer program, and assists in front of house operations.

Bringing his passion for Broadway to the SOPAC team, Matt is currently the curator for SOPAC’s new series Cabaret in the Loft, which gives audiences the opportunity to experience local SOMA Broadway talent in an intimate, personal setting.

Lauren Neuman

Lauren Neuman

Director of Marketing & Audience Experience

Lauren joined SOPAC in January 2022 as the Director of Marketing & Audience Experience.  Prior to joining SOPAC, Lauren spent 15+ years as an award winning cross-channel marketing professional leading full funnel marketing efforts for some of the world’s largest brands across CPG, non-profit, and pharma.  Most recently, Lauren led a variety of accounts for DDB, based out of NYC.  Over the course of her 12 years at the agency, Lauren managed the business for clients, including Henkel, Mars, Johnson & Johnson, New York City Ballet, Ad Council, and Merck.  Lauren led teams in developing groundbreaking and effective marketing plans to help brands respond to their respective business challenges. Prior to DDB, Lauren began her advertising career working for Saatchi & Saatchi, supporting some of the biggest brands within General Mills and Procter & Gamble.

A highlight of her career thus far, Lauren led the DDB team working with New York City Ballet, which created and launched the inaugural NYCB Art Series. This initiative won multiple industry awards, including Cannes Lions, Clios, Effies, and a Jay Chiat Award.  Additionally, NYCB Art Series has continued as part of the NYCB performance calendar annually since 2012.

Lauren has been involved in theater and the performing arts throughout her life.  As a child, living in Briarcliff Manor, NY, Lauren took the train into New York City every Saturday with her mother to participate in a youth theater company.  Bit by the theater bug, Lauren continued to fuel her passion with a degree in Theatre from Northwestern University.  After graduating and moving back to New York City, Lauren pursued acting professionally before pivoting to advertising. Now a resident of the area, Lauren is thrilled to take her marketing experience and love for the performing arts to SOPAC.

Bill Perlman

Bill Perlman

House Manager

Bill Perlman is a long time resident of South Orange. Together with his wife Janet (a CHS graduate), he has raised two daughters, and helped raise twin grandchildren, all graduates of SOMA schools! After watching the process of SOPAC finally getting built, he started volunteering during its first year. Soon SOPAC asked Bill to also be a House Manager, and he has been doing both for many years.

A graduate engineer (without an arts backround), Bill volunteered because he enjoys the theater and helping others. Before retiring he owned a manufacturing representative company supplying emergency power equipment. For many years he was involved with the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) as NY Chapter Chairman and then as NY Section Chairman, and is now a Life Senior Member.

Bill is an avid softball player and has played, managed teams and medaled in the Senior Olympics since 2001 at various venues around the country. He also plays and manages a local team and a team for the Cape Cod Classic Tournament. Bill did scuba diving at a number of different sites mostly in the Caribbean and believes that it is the quietest and most zen of sports. He is now playing pickleball as well, which is neither quiet nor zen.

Larousse Pierre

Larousse Pierre

House Manager

Larousse Pierre started at SOPAC in 2012 volunteering as an Usher, and became a House Manager in 2018. Outside of SOPAC, Larousse worked in the Electronic field as a Technician for the Avionics and tested equipment for the Military and commercial. He is now employed as an Incoming Quality Control Inspector for General Reliance Corporation in the field of Fiber Optic Cable and Electro-Mechanical Assembly for Military Aerospace and defense markets.

Robin Sherer

Robin Sherer

Merchandise Seller

Robin Sherer began working at SOPAC as a volunteer Usher in October of 2013. In 2016, she was awarded as Volunteer of the Year.

As an accountant with almost 50 years’ experience, Robin has had extensive experience with non-profit organizations and understands the complexities of their administration and admires their social value. She loves Rock and Roll, like everyone else of her vintage. Robin has also learned to admire and enjoy Classical music. Her son is a Classical clarinetist and a middle school math teacher, which is why her true passion is to encourage young minds in school to enjoy and learn art, music, theater and develop their own potential to the max. Robin loves that SOPAC has so much to offer in Kids + Family programming and supports SOPAC’s Arts Education programs. Robin feels honored and privileged to be a volunteer, employee and member of SOPAC.

Patryk Sikorski

Patryk Sikorski

Stage Manager

Patryk Sikorski is a Stage Manager at SOPAC. Patryk is a talented music producer and performer with a passion for the arts. He graduated from Bloomfield College with a B.A. in Music Production and has since established himself as a successful producer, working with artists across a range of genres.

In addition to his music career, Patryk is also an avid fan of the performing arts. He enjoys attending concerts, plays, and musicals, and is always on the lookout for new and exciting performances to experience. With his talent, creativity, and dedication to the arts, Patryk is excited to contribute to the continued success and growth of SOPAC’s mission to provide exceptional arts experiences to the community.

Rich Spector

Rich Spector

Facilities & Production Manager

Rich Spector was born to work in a theater. His first performance in front of an audience was in 6th grade when he was tasked by his teacher to put together a magic show for the younger grades. Theater has been in his blood ever since.

He earned a B.A. from Glassboro State College, now Rowan University, with a concentration in Radio/TV/Film Production and a minor in puppetry arts. After graduating, he spent the next 8 years working as a Production Assistant, Locations Scout, and Assistant Director on feature films and television shows shot on the streets and in the studios of NYC, while also pursuing any opportunity to perform.

Subsequently, while running the Nutley Chamber of Commerce, where he organized annual events for the township, he and his wife raised two daughters who also fell in love with the stage.

In 2022, Rich celebrated his 6th SOPAC employment anniversary as the Manager of Special Events and Rentals and has since been promoted to Facilities & Production Manager. Every day is a challenge and full of rewards.

Dan Stankus

Dan Stankus

Senior Programming Manager

Dan Stankus is the Senior Programming Manager at SOPAC, where he oversees the programming and production of various events and performances. He brings with him over a decade of experience in the music and entertainment industry, including his work as a music booker for Jimmy Kimmel Live! and various music festivals.

Throughout his career, Dan has been responsible for booking top-tier talent, working closely with agents, managers, and artists to curate performances that appeal to a wide variety of audiences while ensuring a cohesive and compelling musical narrative. In addition to his work as a music booker, Dan has produced events for the Grammy Awards, the Kennedy Center Honors, the CMA’s, and other late-night and daytime shows. He has also worked as a touring musician and stage manager for various groups.

Dan’s experience as a music booker, coupled with his passion for the arts and entertainment, make him a valuable asset to SOPAC. He is dedicated to bringing exciting and diverse programming to the organization, while also maintaining the high standards of excellence that SOPAC is known for.

Benjamin Weill

Benjamin Weill

Lighting Director

Benjamin Weill is SOPAC’s Lighting Director and has been working at the institution for 6 years. He regularly designs shows and concerts for the venue, while also maintaining and upgrading the venue’s lighting system.

When not at SOPAC, Benjamin is a freelance lighting designer, regularly touring around the country as the lighting designer for the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players. He is extremely proud of the work that he’s been able to do at SOPAC and strives to make each show a unique and memorable experience.

Alicia Whavers

Alicia Whavers

Director of Audience Services

Alicia Whavers is SOPAC’s Director of Audience Services. She graduated from Drew University in 2014 with a double degree in Theatre Arts and Honors English. After college, she worked as a producer and assistant to an artistic director of an off-Broadway theatre company before joining the SOPAC family in 2016. Since her start at SOPAC, she has implemented digital tickets, touchless scanning, created a trivia night series during the pandemic, and helped kickstart virtual programming. She truly loves the intimate feel of SOPAC and the passion the SOMA community has for the arts.

When she is not at SOPAC, she is active in the NY/NJ theatre community as an actress, playwright, artistic director, and Dramatist Guild Community Volunteer (formerly named Ambassador).

Kyus Wright

Kyus Wright

Front of House Associate

Kyus Wright is a Front of House Associate, working as a Box Office representative and House Manager. He began working at SOPAC in October of 2022 and has loved his time here since.

Kyus moved to South Orange from Mukilteo, Washington, and is in his second year at Seton Hall University, pursuing his B.A. in Theatre. At Seton Hall, Kyus is the Vice President of the Seton Hall Theatre Council, where he works closely with other students and the head of the department behind the scenes to make the program as great as it can be. When not working at SOPAC, he is more than likely acting in film or on stage in all of Seton Hall Theatre’s numerous productions year-round.

One of the greatest assets of the South Orange Performing Arts Center is its Board of Governors, whose members serve as ambassadors for SOPAC and lend the organization their expertise, guidance, and support. These dedicated volunteers contribute their time, talents, and generosity to guide and lead SOPAC. They collectively strive to realize SOPAC’s mission by fostering a culture of offering audiences exhilarating and diverse arts experiences of the highest quality and contribute to the economic and social vibrancy of SOPAC’s highly diverse community.


Click on Board members' photos to view their bio's.

Christopher Aurilio

Christopher Aurilio

Seton Hall University Liason

Chris Aurilio is the Director of Production/Facilities for the College of Human Development, Culture, and Media at Seton Hall University. Chris works as the University’s liaison with the exciting partnership between SOPAC and the SHU Arts Council. In his position, Chris manages operations of the Theatre, WSOU 89.5, the Television Studio, and other on-campus production spaces. Previously, Chris worked with The Peoples Improv Theater (The PIT) in NYC, where he began as Managing Assistant and went onto hold concurrent roles as Director of Classes and General Manager while also teaching, performing and directing at the venue. Chris directs and produces short films and independent TV pilots, which travel to festivals.

Claudine Baptiste is a Relationship Manager -Business Development Officer, Commercial Lending Officer and CRB/MRB Specialist at BCB Bank and is responsible for the Essex County Market.  Earlier in her banking career, she was the Assistant Vice President/Assistant BSA Officer for over 5 years for Allegiance Community Bank, before BCB and Allegiance merged in 2012. Claudine Baptiste was named the Branch Manager/Business Development Officer shortly after the merger and began working directly with the community that she has come to know so well.

Claudine Baptiste is a long-time resident of Maplewood for over 29 years. She graduated from Montclair State University in Upper Montclair NJ with her B.S Degree in Business Administration, concentration in both Business Management and International Studies.  Claudine is the recipient of the Maplewood Chamber of Commerce 2019 Distinguished Service Award and 2018 Small Business Support of the Year Award of the Essex County Latino-American Chamber of Commerce. When Claudine isn’t diligently working in her office, she is out in the Community directly involved with a variety of local non-profit organizations and groups. These include SOMA Chambers of Commerce where she serves as a Board of Director, serving as the Senior Advisory Committee for Maplewood Township, The Maplewood Rotary Club serving as past President, The South Orange Downtown Board and with the South Orange Lions Club as their Vice President.

Claudine enjoys working at BCB Community Bank and takes great pride in serving her customers.  BCB is truly a Community Bank that Claudine has been a part of for over 18 years by helping businesses grow and helping people achieve their dreams of homeownership and financial security.  In her spare time, Claudine enjoys reading, cooking, spending time with family and traveling.

Paul Bartick

Paul Bartick

Development Committee Vice-Chair

Paul Bartick joined the SOPAC Board of Governors in 2011 and served as its Chair from 2016 -2022. SOPAC is his happy place. Professionally, Paul is a film and television producer and author. He has produced and written dozens of television series including Sesame Street, The Magic School Bus, and the current PBS hit Cyberchase. Paul has developed and produced programs for dozens of clients including Viacom, Disney, and Nike. He is also the co-author of the 52-week Amazon best seller “Silver Bullet Selling”.

Mr. Bartick is currently president of BL2 Media which creates and produces STEM-infused IMAX films and TV shows that are intended to inspire the next generation. Paul is a former member of the U.S. National Field Hockey Team. He holds a BA from the University of California at Berkeley and an MA from Columbia University.

Lawrence “Larry” Brodey is the owner of JACLO Industries, a manufacturer and distributor of high-end luxury bathroom faucets, showers and accessories and DURST Corp, specializing in plumbing and heating replacement supplies based in Cranford, New Jersey.

Larry and his wife, Carol, have lived in South Orange for 17 years. They moved to West Orange in 1984 when their daughter Morgan was born. Morgan is VP of the business and is Director of Hospitality and Special Projects. Larry and his wife have been members of SOPAC since 2010. They have attended many concerts and other functions in the last several years. Larry graduated from Farleigh Dickinson University, has served on many non-profit boards, and currently serves on the Board of JVS of MetroWest.

In addition to his love of music, Larry also enjoys opera, TV, theater, sailing, and developing and designing products for his business as well as just being alive, growing his business, taking care of his employees and their families, and laughing a lot.

He has been on the SOPAC Board of Governors since 2014. Larry chose to follow the Grateful Dead over the time needed as a pre-med undergraduate in a very competitive environment in PA. He has no regrets. Larry loves the world of business and enjoys the SOPAC experience knowing he can make a difference.

Marc Chalom

Marc Chalom

Board Vice-Chair

Chalom is a veteran cable, broadcast, and internet media executive responsible for development and creation of hundreds of hours of original and award-winning television content. He is one of the founding executives of various networks, including A&E Networks, The Lifetime Cable Network, Food Court Entertainment Network, and iNEXTV. As head of Production at A&E, he was the creator and Executive Producer of the celebrated Biography Series.

In his capacity as Director of Production and Program Operations at Children’s Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop), he oversaw production of the Emmy-winning series 3-2-1-Contact! and the world-acclaimed Sesame Street.

In the early 2000s, he was responsible for the creation of multiple internet video networks and websites with studio facilities in New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and Munich, Germany. This venture, known as, owned and operated a wide array of interactive video websites that featured information and entertainment content.

Marc also serves on the boards of Wroxton College in the U.K., The School of the Arts at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Jewish Vocational Services (JVS). He has lectured at The Annenberg School of Communications, New York University and The New School. He holds an M.A. from NYU.

Keesha Chavis

Keesha Chavis

Board & Staff Resources Committee Chair

Keesha Chavis is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Widener University in Chester, PA. She has experience leading a wide range of human resources functional areas including learning, development & performance, talent acquisition, classification & compensation, HR system operations and benefits.

Her experience fostering inclusive working relationships and establishing partnerships to develop strategies that address issues related to diversity, equity and inclusivity all aid in enhancing employee experiences and creating a collaborative working environment. Keesha has a collaborative, compassionate and transformational leadership style and has served on the SOPAC Board of Governors since 2020. Keesha holds a Master of Arts in Administration/Supervision and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

Sheena Collum

Sheena Collum

South Orange Village President

The Honorable Sheena C. Collum serves as the 49th Village President of the Township of South Orange Village and is the first female to hold this role in a municipality of 18,500 residents which is also the proud home to the Seton Hall University Pirates. She has concentrated her priorities around smart growth and economic development, infrastructure and capital planning, citizen engagement and volunteerism, and streamlining municipal operations through consolidations, shared services, and the expansion of technology.

Professionally, Sheena is the Executive Director of the American Planning Association – New Jersey Chapter, a statewide planning organization whose mission is to help build stronger communities and provide more choices for how people work and live while meeting the challenges of both growth and change. In her role, Sheena works regularly with local and state officials, professional and nonprofit organizations, and state and federal agencies on a range of public policy issues affecting New Jersey’s municipalities including smart growth, state and regional planning, transportation, public health, sustainability, economic development, redevelopment, and affordable housing.

Sheena is a proud alumna of Seton Hall University, where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in public policy.

James Davis, III, Esq.

James Davis, III, Esq.

Arts Experience Committee Vice-Chair

James Davis, III, Esq. is a financial services attorney who also spends his free time as a working film composer. Originally from California, James moved to South Orange with his wife and four children in 2007. He joined the SOPAC Board of Governors in 2022 and one of his goals is to bring more community members into the SOPAC family and make SOPAC the musical, dance, art and civic capital of the region. James is a graduate of University of California, at Santa Barbara and University of Arizona College of Law.

Jeremy Dobrish

Jeremy Dobrish

Arts Experiences Committee Chair

Jeremy is an award-winning theatre director and seven-time published playwright. He has directed Off-Broadway and regionally, including at some of the country’s most prestigious theatres including The Old Globe in San Diego, Goodspeed in Connecticut, and Second Stage in NYC. He taught directing at NYU and has a great fondness for children’s theatre. Several of his children’s musicals including Clifford the Big Red Dog and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood continue to tour the country.

Jeremy co-founded Midtown Direct Rep in SOMA to bring the wealth of Broadway performers who live out here to the SOPAC stage. In 2014, he transitioned his career from “straight theatre” to “corporate theatre” where, as the Senior Creative Director for Proscenium, he writes and directs large-scale corporate shows for some of the world’s biggest brands including Heineken, Johnson & Johnson, Harley-Davidson, and Charles Schwab.

Matt Epstein

Matt Epstein

Board Secretary & Board & Staff Resources Committee Vice-Chair

Matt Epstein joined the SOPAC Board of Governors in 2019 and serves as the Board Secretary. In his professional career, Matt works on the Walmart+ team, leading Value Prop and End to End Member Experience for this growth area of Walmart. In this role, Matt’s team creates the strategy, launch plan, and implementation for new Walmart+ benefits and improves the full customer journey with the goal of acquiring, engaging, and retaining more members across both in-store and digital platforms.

Previously, Matt spent four years at SiriusXM, leading acquisition, engagement, and retention for the standalone streaming business, building out the branding, positioning, marketing, pricing, and engagement for the service. Prior to SiriusXM, Matt worked at Amazon for over six years with roles in strategy, growth, and business development on the Amazon Music team, the Global Amazon Prime team, and the Prime Now/Amazon Fresh team. Prior to Amazon, Matt received his MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and his BS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Outside of work, Matt loves seeing live music, hiking and spending time outdoors, and traveling as much as possible, though many of those hobbies have taken a second place to spending time with his two young sons, Maxwell and Gabriel. Matt, his sons, and his wife, Bari, have lived in South Orange since 2017, a town they instantly loved.

Maureen Gammon

Maureen Gammon

Development Committee Chair & Facilities & Operations Committee Vice-Chair

Maureen Gammon has resided in South Orange for over 30 years. She is currently President of Montrose Park Historic District Association in South Orange.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland she moved to London to complete her graduate degree in Microbiology. Cell biology research required specialized lab design. She became a recognized expert in the design of these labs at Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London; Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston and at Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) in Rahway, NJ. She carried out research at these facilities and has authored or coauthored 22 scientific publications.

Subsequently she transitioned into Business Operation which supported research departments in MRL covering all aspects of management for Research Science (Expense and Capital budgets, Space Planning, Infrastructure, Grants, Manpower). She was the Management interface for the coordination and installation of a $16.8M automated Management System for the Sample Repository Building, Rahway.

Maureen has served on several Boards, including Shandelee Music Festival, supporting young pianists pursuing a concert career, Mental Health Association of Essex County and serving on the Citizens’ Budget Advisory Committee in South Orange.

She enjoys all aspects of structural renovation, and her hobbies include home renovations, gardening, and travel since her retirement from Merck.

Carol Gardner, a graduate of Columbia High School and Skidmore College, lives in Summit with her husband, Gerry, a retired litigation attorney. She blends her passions— the arts, women’s issues and education—into her personal and professional lives. Her professional experience includes over 25 years in education, including Kent Place School in Summit, NYU Law School as executive assistant to the Dean, founder of the University’s Women’s Initiative, and as a member of the original leadership team for the creation and implementation of NYU Abu Dhabi.

Since retiring from NYU, Carol focuses on the arts, her volunteer work, and her family, including her two grandsons. She served on the board of a local museum, ushered at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, counseled at Dress for Success and the NYC Volunteer Referral Center, and is the Curator of Cultural Events at the Institute of International Education, working with Fulbright Scholars and Students in NYC. Carol joined the South Orange Performing Arts Center’s Board in 2018.

Randall Haase

Randall Haase

Board Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair

Randall Haase joined the SOPAC Board of Governors in 2017 and currently serves as the Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee. Randy has over 30 years of investment experience having worked or served in the mutual fund, hedge fund, family office and endowment channels. Randy currently serves on the Advisory Board and was the founding Chief Investment Officer of Seeds. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Finance at the Ramapo College of New Jersey where he teaches Securities and Investments. Previously, he was a Portfolio Manager with Alliance Bernstein, Duquesne Capital Management, Baron Capital Management and Loeb Partners.

Randy currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Zoological Society of New Jersey (Essex County Turtle Back Zoo) where he Chairs the Nominating Committee and serves on the Finance Committee. Randy also serves on the Advisory Board for the Michael Price Student Investment Fund and is a guest lecturer at the New York University Stern Graduate School of Business, Lehigh University’s Wall Street Council, and the Financial Aid Committee of The Shefa School in NYC.

Besides being an admirer of the arts and a huge fan of live music, Randy is an avid runner and has completed six New York City Marathons. He holds a B.S. in Finance from Lehigh University and an MBA in Finance from New York University. Randy and his wife Judy have three sons and are 30-year residents of Maplewood, NJ.

Melissa Hodge

Melissa Hodge

South Orange Downtown Liaison

Melissa Hodge joined South Orange Downtown in 2014 as the Events and Operations Coordinator and was named Executive Director in June 2021. Melissa has a long-standing passion for working with small businesses. Her goal is to help small businesses and the downtown thrive through strategic, tactical and creative placemaking initiatives. Prior to joining South Orange Downtown, Melissa worked with the Jamaica Center BID for 2 years and MetroTech BID for 8 years. Melissa holds a BS in Public Affairs and is a Coro Neighborhood Leadership alumna.

Aida Jones and her husband Steve (a singer/songwriter, and musical performer) moved from Hoboken to Maplewood in 2006. Aida lived with her parents in South Orange when she was a kid, so returning to the picturesque SOMA area was an easy choice.

Jones is currently the VP of Global Enablement at Lucid Software. In her 20+ years in tech, she has held strategic go to market, marketing, and enablement roles with companies like ServiceNow, Adobe, Amobee and Verizon.

In addition to her business experience in tech, Jones has worked in the arts. From 2002 to 2008 she was the Marketing and Artistic Director of the Monroe Center for the Arts in Hoboken – a 180,000 square foot mixed-use arts complex with 150+ artist studios, performance spaces and a 4000 square foot gallery. In this role, she was responsible for marketing, programming, and gallery curation as well as management and promotion of “First Sundays” – a monthly artist studio tour. Upon moving to Maplewood, Jones became active in the arts community, participating in exhibits, studio tours, and serving on the board of the 1978 Arts Center. She has acted as judge, juror and curator for fine arts exhibits and artist tours in SOMA and across NJ.

Jones is also an abstract painter who’s work has been on exhibit in a variety of NY and NJ galleries, art shows and events and currently has a commissioned installation at Restaurant Lorena’s in Maplewood and a continual rotation of paintings available at Maker + Muse in Maplewood. View Jones’ work at


Summer Jones

Summer Jones

South Orange Board of Trustees Liaison

Summer Jones is an esteemed Township of South Orange Village Trustee member, serving her second term as a City Council member after her reelection in May 2023. Her extensive understanding of the objectives and requirements of the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) makes her an ideal liaison between the town and the organization. Summer is a dedicated advocate for community engagement, as evidenced by her position as the chair of South Orange’s Strategic Partnership and Citizen Engagement standing committee and her membership in the Recreation and Cultural Affairs and the Health and Public Safety standing committees. Additionally, she serves as a liaison to the Community Relations Committee, Arts and Cultural Events, and the Historic Preservation Committee.

Summer exhibits exceptional leadership skills as the Associate Vice President for Technical Support Services at Montclair State University. She skillfully manages a team of 30 technicians, contributing to the university’s technological achievements. As a proud resident of South Orange, Summer is deeply committed to encouraging active participation within her community. Having attended Seton Hall University in the 90s, Summer has witnessed firsthand the incredible transformation that has taken place within the community over the years. She has developed many close friendships through her involvement in the SOMA Book Club and as a softball player with the SOMA Sports and Social group founded by one of the residents. She is also a valued member of the NAACP of Oranges and Maplewood.  In her free time, she loves to explore new places and travel extensively. She also has a green thumb and enjoys growing her vegetables in her garden.

Dean Kameros

Dean Kameros

Facilities & Operations Committee Chair

Dean Kameros has nearly 30 years of experience in the Pharmaceutical industry, with expertise in business insights, analytics, and commercial operations. Since 2008, Dean has worked for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation where he currently serves as the Executive Director of Sales Planning / Field Reporting. Dean has extensive board leadership experience for non-profits including the Garden Academy, the South Orange Board of Health, the Seton Hall Market Research Advisory Board, Congregation Beth El in South Orange, and the Intellus association for health care insights / analytics. A 15-year patron and South Orange resident, Dean joined the SOPAC Board of Governors in 2022. Currently, Dean also serves as a Director on the South Orange Maplewood Baseball Committee.

Dean enjoys live music, sporting events, and travel with wife Emily and sons, Gabriel and Joshua. He is an avid reader and rebooted his collection of baseball cards and memorabilia during the COVID era. You may also find Dean walking rescued terrier / super mutt June throughout the nearby South Mountain Reservation. Dean holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Politics from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA and a Masters in Business from Columbia University in NYC.

Josianne Manasse, OD was elected to South Orange Performance Arts Center’s Board of Governors in December 2020. Josianne is an optometrist and an adjunct faculty at Raritan Valley Community College. She is very passionate about the fine and performing arts and advocates for its importance in the greater community. In the past Josianne volunteered with the NJ Symphony Youth Orchestra promoting diversity among young talent. Josianne also participates in many international health missions providing eye care to those who are in need. She is happily married and enjoys music, hiking, reading all genres and spending time with her family.

Douglas Newman

Douglas Newman

Board Chair

Douglas Newman has over 40 years of diversified management experience in consulting, information, insurance, private banking and investments, electronic and retail banking, payment cards, and non-profit organizations.

Newman founded Cleareyed Insights, a management consulting firm. He previously served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Global Credit Services, LLC a leading provider of risk management solutions. He worked as Vice President of Market & Business Development for Innovis Data Solutions, a consumer data provider to financial institutions. Newman was the Chief Operating Officer for all digital properties of Americana Financial Services (now Amwins Group, Inc.), an insurance wholesale and retail brokerage. Previously, he was Global Director of Marketing for Citigroup’s Private Bank.  In addition, he held senior marketing and product development positions with Citicorp’s Insurance Services, Development, and Credit Card Divisions, Bank of America, and MasterCard Worldwide.

Newman holds a BA, cum laude, with distinction in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  He serves on ECPI University’s Board of Trustees and chairs the South Orange Performing Arts Center’s Board of Governors, on which he’s served for 11 years. Since 1989, he has been a South Orange, NJ resident with his wife Carole Anzalone-Newman and formerly served as its Village President (mayor).

Taylor Margis-Noguera is an accomplished chief operating officer and serial entrepreneur with expertise in business and product strategy, customer acquisition, revenue generation, people ops, legal affairs, and FP&A. He currently serving as the Chief Operating Officer of Encantos an award-winning EdTech company.

Taylor was previously co-founder of Vaudeville Ventures where he spent 10 years leading strategic initiatives to launch new products as an outside consultant to companies including Comcast, Univision, MGM, CBS, Sotheby’s, and Endeavor. While at Vaudeville Taylor also co-founded or served as an acting chief operating officer of several start-ups including Adverator, Brightly, Casual Fans, and Selfie.

Prior to Vaudeville Taylor was Chief Marketing Officer at Special Ops Media where he diversified the agency’s client base, helped grow the staff to nearly 100 people, and led digital marketing campaigns for clients including Simon & Schuster, Dell, Nickelodeon, Spike TV, William Grant & Sons, and Random House. Special Ops was acquired by LBi for whom Taylor worked as a Client Partner & US Head of Business Development until departing to co-found Vaudeville Ventures.

Taylor is a recovering investment banker having spent his early career at JP Morgan and Citigroup. He received his BA from Brown University and MBA from Harvard Business School.

If you ask, he can talk for hours about starting companies, Broadway, how Latinos are the new mainstream, lifting while you climb, the importance of Jazz music, and why you really should own a Tilley hat.

Rev. Dr. Terry Richardson has served as the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church, South Orange, NJ with his wife, Lady NaDeen Richardson since 1997.

Richardson earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from New Brunswick Theological Seminary (NBTS), New Brunswick, NJ with a concentration in Metro-Urban Ministry. He is an Adjunct Professor at Essex County College where he teaches Comparative World Religion, Social Problems, and Introduction to Sociology. Richardson is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions for his relentless leadership and community engagement from prestigious organizations like Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., NAACP, Talk Radio, the Essex County Prosecutor Office, and the Township of South Orange, to name a few. Richardson holds a Certificate in Executive Leadership Development and Training and is an Amazon Best-Selling Author for his contribution in an anthology. He has sat on numerous community Boards and currently serves as a Board member at the South Orange Performing Arts Center. Together, he and his wife are the proud parents of four children Shannon, Deven, Kayla and Jeremiah, Tayla, their daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren, Lathan, Lark, and Arie Sky.

Steve Schnall

Steve Schnall

Community & Audience Engagement Committee Chair

Steve is the founder and producer of “South by South Orange,” now called SouthNEXT. This annual event focuses on “Creative Collisions,” which brings the arts to the South Orange/Maplewood communities. He completed eight years (two terms) as an elected official in South Orange and worked on citizen engagement as well as an array of policies. He also spent eight years on the executive board of the local Special Improvement District (SID) to promote downtown businesses and help them recover from the results of the pandemic.

In the summer of 2022, Stephen was a Co-Producer for “The Last Supper,” a political satire musical with several Tony nominated and winning creatives. Running for two weeks at SOPAC with hopes of bringing it to Broadway, this production had over 2,000 attendees.

Steve is a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional and the winner of several prestigious business awards. He has spoken at many conferences sharing the message of using innovation to achieve business goals, with his current interest being in how humanity will interact with Technology and Artificial Intelligence to create a more meaningful life.

Schnall is the Vice President for American Theater Group and a Director for “Big Apple Greeter” and is on the Essex County College Foundation Board, where he raises money for student financial support. Steve’s current project is developing a system to provide and track peer to peer advocacy/support for organizations and institutions.

Steve is in the early stages of writing a book titled “Solving For…” which focuses on how to better understand what is at the essence and top importance in our lives. At the moment, the top of that list is heartful emotions and Love.

Leo Sender

Leo Sender

Audit Committee Chair

Leo Sender joined the South Orange Performing Arts Center’s Board of Governors in 2006 and has since served on the Finance Committee.

Leo is a CPA, and after eight years in public accounting, spent 24 years in the private sector, most of that time with a publicly held company. When the latter went LBO, he returned to private practice, mainly doing financial consulting.

Leo and his wife Barbara live in East Hanover, having moved there fourteen years ago from Short Hills. They have a long -time connection with South Orange as active members of Oheb Shalom Congregation. They have three children and three grandchildren.

Katherine Tooley

Katherine Tooley

Community & Audience Engagement Committee Vice-Chair

Katherine (“Kat”) Tooley, current Vice President of Marketing at HubSpot overseeing the Global Experiential & Events department, previously held executive leadership positions at Vice Media Group and Superfly—the company known for creating some of the world’s most iconic festivals, including Bonnaroo, Outside Lands and Clusterfest.

Miriam Vales

Miriam Vales

Finance & Audit Committees Vice-Chair

Miriam has over 26 years of professional experience within various industries. She began her career in finance and accounting with Elf Lubricants North America (now Total SA), and has subsequently held positions at LP music group, Kirker Enterprises, and Michael Kors, Inc. During her tenure at these organizations, she’s worked in every area of accounting, financial reporting, and financial planning and analysis. She has also assisted with the implementation/upgrade of 3 ERP software packages and has supported IT in a financial role. Miriam believes that the most important asset of any company are its employees, that is why throughout her career she has been able to streamline operations through leadership and collaboration with a strong team of professionals.

Miriam currently sits on the Board of Governors of the South Orange Performing Arts Center, because she feels strongly about being involved in the community where she resides and because she believes in the arts. To quote her “Art is the aspirin to your everyday headaches.” As a board member she can lend her expertise to facilitate the operational side of the art center because the arts are a vital tool that helps us express what it means to live and enjoy the beauty of this world and SOPAC provides a vehicle for that expression in the community.

The SOPAC volunteer program offers a variety of opportunities for you to get involved, whether you prefer office work, ushering or contributing your professional expertise. As a SOPAC volunteer, you will be a valued member of a team of like-minded people who also enjoy giving back to their community.

If you are interested in becoming a SOPAC volunteer, please complete and submit the form below. Volunteers are an integral part of SOPAC’s success!

Why Volunteer

Cultural experiences. Learn about the live performing arts events that SOPAC presents. The program provides an unparalleled opportunity to participate in many aspects of a non-profit arts organization.

Flexible hours. During the presenting season, there are a wide variety of evening and weekend events at which you can work. There are occasional opportunities in the administrative offices.

Complimentary tickets. The hours you volunteer will accumulate into points that can be redeemed for complimentary tickets to a SOPAC-presented event of your choosing.

Community and fellowship. Throughout the year, SOPAC hosts various volunteer community and appreciation events including catered parties, movie nights and Bingo tournaments.

Available Opportunities

Front-of-House: Ushers and front-of-house volunteers are the public face of SOPAC and there are many positions to fill. In this position, you will gain experience in customer relations and help to create a warm, welcoming environment for SOPAC patrons. Duties may include ticket taking, handing out programs, or assisting patrons to their seats.

Administrative: An administrative volunteer can gain an understanding of many areas of theatre management. Activities vary based on the time of year. General tasks include database management, mail merges, filing and reception responsibilities.


If you have questions, please contact Audience Services Manager Matt Luminello at (973) 382-1026 or by email at

Sign up to Volunteer

South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) is a multidisciplinary arts center that presents innovative artistic and educational cultural experiences through music, theater, dance, comedy and family performances. The mission of SOPAC is to enrich individual lives, and to engage and serve those in our community and beyond, through arts experiences that inspire and transform.

SOPAC is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EEO). SOPAC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other basis covered by law. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leave of absence, compensation, and training.

Current Employment Opportunities

Development Manager:

REPORTS TO: Development Director

MANAGES: Development Associate

SCHEDULE: This is a salaried, exempt position.   Hybrid schedule, minimum 40 hours per week, Monday – Friday with select night and weekend obligations.


The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) is a growing cultural institution that presents world-class artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences from its campus in South Orange, New Jersey. SOPAC’s Development Department plays a critical role in fostering positive relationships with patrons, donors, and other stakeholders, stewarding them to a greater connection with the organization.

The Development Manager’s primary focus will be to help grow SOPAC’s revenue through increased institutional and individual contributions, through the lens of SOPAC’s Mission. They will oversee SOPAC’s portfolio of institutional supporters, ensuring the timely delivery of funder proposals and reports and the administration of funder obligations, researching prospective funders, and maintaining relationships with points of contact at foundations and corporations. They will also support SOPAC’s membership program, assisting with donor communications and stewardship, and supporting all fundraising events. The Development Manager provides a high level of donor-centric service to SOPAC’s stakeholders. This position requires constant computer usage in a mostly stationary position, occasionally using filing cabinets and moving supplies, as necessary. SOPAC currently operates in a hybrid work environment, with three days in the office per week. The Development Manager reports to the Director of Development and manages a Development Associate.


Institutional Giving (40%)

  • Manage and grow SOPAC’s portfolio of foundation and corporate supporters, including the drafting and timely submission of proposals, reports, updates, and other relevant communications.
  • Maintain and update calendar and tracking methods; input all annual deadlines for proposals, reports, and meetings.
  • Ensure the timely and complete delivery of funder and sponsor acknowledgement and benefits.
  • Research new funding opportunities and identify grant and sponsor prospects.
  • Manage, evaluate and expand the Local Business Network.

Individual Giving (30%)

  • Support member stewardship and cultivation through excellent customer service, further engaging with them and deepening their commitment; support retention and renewal of current members.
  • Act as primary contact for Member Services, providing members with a concierge service, including assistance with renewals, ticket purchases, and benefit redemption such as utilizing their member portal login, receiving member discounts, accessing presales, etc.
  • Ensure membership materials and communications are accurate and up to date.
  • Assist with membership events, including invitations, RSVPs, event details, etc.
  • Provide support for donor events, including planning, reporting, ticketing, digital fundraising, etc.

General/Administration/Operations (30%)

  • Establish, manage, and evaluate routine procedures including data entry and maintenance, file management, electronic forms, gift processing, matching-gift fulfillment, donor and prospect research, data reports, list segmentation, scheduling, and stewardship activities.
  • Implement best practices for fundraising and database management; explore new fundraising tools and trends.
  • Generate reports from SOPAC database to facilitate targeted mailings; coordinate segmentation and targeting of direct mail.
  • Help develop, manage, and implement strategies for fundraising activities to sustain continued growth and achieve SOPAC’s Mission.
  • Sustain effective working relationships with volunteers, staff members, board of governors, and community liaisons.
  • Work collaboratively with Audience Services, Community Engagement, Marketing, Production, and Finance departments to understand funding needs and coordinate meetings as necessary.
  • Assist with direct mail and e-mail communications, focusing on annual appeals, membership renewals, member newsletters, donation acknowledgements, and annual report.
  • Provide leadership for internal and community activities and initiatives; engage with the community to bring more awareness to SOPAC and its mission/programs; attend community events/meetings as needed.
  • Attend select performances as SOPAC ambassador; meet with funders and members attending performances.
  • Provide administrative support for the Director of Development; supervise Development Associate.
  • Provide general administrative support, including taking minutes at meetings, file management, inventory, and presentations as needed.
  • Other duties, as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 3+ Years of fundraising or related experience
  • Exceptional grammar, editing, and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent communication, project management and organizational skills
  • Detail oriented and deadline driven.
  • Experience with Salesforce or similar data management systems preferred.
  • An interest in and passion for arts and culture are desirable.


The target salary for this position is $55,000 – $65,000, to be determined based upon experience and qualifications. Competitive benefits package. Candidates must currently reside or be willing to relocate within commuting distance of SOPAC to be considered for this role. SOPAC provides a competitive benefits package that includes medical and dental coverage, PTO, and other time off, and a 403b retirement plan with employer matching contribution.

SOPAC does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status under federal, state, or local law. We encourage individuals of all identities and abilities to apply.

A review of prospective candidates commences immediately, continuing until the position is filled. Interested and qualified individuals, and recommendations of same, are to submit their credentials exactly as described below for full consideration:

Please submit the following documents in the order shown as one PDF file, saved as:

Candidate First Name_Candidate Last Name_SOPAC Development.pdf

  • Cover letter (maximum one page) describing your interest and alignment with this opportunity.
  • Résumé or CV (maximum three pages).
  • Three professional references, including name, email, phone, and one sentence that describes the nature of the relationship (these will only be utilized for candidates that advance to the finalist round)

Anticipated start date: Mutually agreeable date, no later than October 1, 2023. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential. Applications or recommendations for qualified candidates will be accepted via email only to:

Jonathan Kitt
Development Director


Marketing Manager Position

Reports to: Director of Marketing & Audience Experience

Manages: Marketing Associate, Membership & Marketing Associate, contractors (EG graphic designers, videographers, photographers, social strategist, etc.)


South Orange Performing Arts Center, recognized time and again as one of New Jersey’s favorite performing arts centers, seeks a Marketing Manager to join a growing team committed to presenting richly diverse transformational arts experiences in the creatively kinetic South Orange-Maplewood community in Northern New Jersey.

The Marketing Manager (MM) is a critical member for the marketing engine that promotes SOPAC’s robust roster of dynamic events.  As the center of the marketing and communication functions, the MM is driving success across all earned revenue and external communications. This position is charged with the effective promotion and communication of SOPAC’s core mission and artistic programming, including development of messaging, advertising, digital strategies, social media, collateral materials, and public relations strategies and campaigns for all SOPAC performances and programs.

Three of the organization’s top articulated goals that intersect with the MM’s work, and that it is expected the Marketing Manager will drive performance toward, are:

  • Rebuild, diversify, and grow our audience base.
  • Inspire strong community confidence and support.
  • Innovate and differentiate customer experience and product/program offerings.

Additional top priorities for the SOPAC Marketing Manager include:

  • Manage team in the strategy and execution of marketing plans to drive ticket sales across events.
  • Make significant and meaningful impact in social / digital marketing – i.e. organic and boosted social across all core platforms (FB, IG, TikTok, LinkedIn), email database.
  • Gain a depth of understanding about SOPAC’s current and prospective audience, in service of creating relevant and impactful marketing plans to drive ticket sales and shift brand perceptions.
  • Make significant and meaningful progress in the marketing department’s utilization of data – including the review and analysis of KPIs across social, digital, email database and audience – in the spirit of continuous improvement.
  • Champion novel and innovative campaigns and concepts, prioritizing creative risk-taking on digital channels and platforms to drive engagement and acquisition.


The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) is an award-winning regional arts center that presents innovative artistic and educational cultural experiences through music, theater, dance, comedy, and family performances in an intimate and welcoming environment.

SOPAC’s mission is to offer audiences exhilarating and diverse arts entertainment in its intimate venue, serving as the cultural heartbeat of the greater South Orange / Maplewood region and contributing to the economic and social vibrancy of its highly diverse community.

The SOPAC campus includes The Jennifer & Tony Leitner Performance Hall, which is a 439-seat mainstage theatre with superb acoustics, sight lines and seating. Audiences remark that performances in this space is like having their favorite artists right in their own living room. Artists acknowledge that the atmosphere encourages conversations with audiences. The Loft at SOPAC is a 2,170 square-foot multi-purpose space used for performances, rehearsals, classes, and special events. SOPAC’s Herb + Milly Iris Gallery is home to multiple exhibitions a year. Additionally, SOPAC co-produces local events such as South Orange Summer Nights and serves students and schools through several education programs.

SOPAC is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EEO). SOPAC is proud to be an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. We have a deep commitment to our nonprofit mission and positively impacting our culturally diverse community. We are an organization that embraces differences and strongly encourages individuals from underrepresented backgrounds to join our dynamic and inclusive team.


The successful candidate for this position will be a keen marketer adept in the digital / social space to drive brand engagement and ticket sales through powerful campaigns.  An understanding of how to work across departments to attract, retain, and grow customer relationships is essential, as is a strong foundation in the core principles of 21st century marketing and audience development.

  • Support the team to meet/exceed single ticket and subscription goals.
  • Oversee the execution of all social and digital advertising, including social content calendar, social collaborations, boosted social campaigns, digital website, and email partners. Look to grow followers and engagement on FB & IG, while leveling up SOPAC’s presence on TikTok.
  • Manage email database communication, including segment optimization, assessing performance metrics, deployment of communications.
  • Provide creative direction for all marketing collateral and advertising campaigns, both digital and printed materials.
  • Collaborate with Director of Marketing & Audience Experience and the Audience Services team on audience analysis. The MM would be integrally involved in upcoming research and contribute heavily to analysis of current and prospective audiences, as well as implications based on the learnings.
  • Contribute to ideation and implementation of influencer program, including crafting partner opportunities to drive visibility for the brand, excitement for events and ticket sales directly.
  • Contribute to public relations strategy and campaigns, focused on meaningful media opportunities to promote SOPAC’s artistic vision and direction, as well as specific media opportunities to drive programming and events.
  • Manage marketing department budget with support from associates and partnership with Director of Marketing & Audience Experience.
  • Manage marketing department dashboard, with oversight and input from Director of Marketing & Audience Experience, to track department performance against established KPIs, with an eye toward ongoing learning & optimizations.
  • Manage team of Marketing Associates with an eye toward mentorship and strengths-based feedback. Create a strong teamwork environment and bring a desire and ability to work collaboratively with other departments and stakeholders.
  • Steward and participate in select board & staff committees to generate impact and contribution from board and staff.

The position supervises a total staff of 1.5 direct reports, including the Marketing Associate (1) and Membership and Marketing Associate (.5).  There are additional contractors, indirect reports, and key working relationships for this position.


  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • 3+ years of marketing or related experience, preferably in the performing arts
  • Detail oriented and deadline driven.
  • Excellent communication, project management and organizational skills.
  • Experience managing and mentoring staff in a team-oriented environment.
  • Experience working in the development, execution, and management of creative marketing campaigns.
  • Depth of knowledge and continued pursuit of social media trends and best practices.
  • Experience in design and implementation of effective creatively driven digital marketing strategies and tactics.
  • Experience in database and market research projects, including analysis and interpretation of qual and quant learnings for ongoing improvement of marketing plans.
  • Demonstrated skill in managing balanced budgets.
  • Knowledge of market dynamics, pricing, media buying, market segmentation, target marketing strategies, and brand equity development.


  • Depth of knowledge with ticketing software (Patron Manager), email database platform (Emma), and website platform (Canva).
  • Excellent computer skills, as well as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as understanding of graphic design.
  • A strong innovative and creative vision with a genuine interest in trying new methods and approaches.
  • Flexibility and agility, with the ability to effectively prioritize.
  • A true passion for the performing and fine arts.

COMPENSATION & BENEFITS: The target salary for this position is $55,000 – $65,000, to be determined based upon experience and qualifications. SOPAC provides a competitive benefits package that includes medical and dental coverage, PTO, and other time off, and a 403b retirement plan with employer matching contribution.

Candidates must currently reside or be willing to relocate within commuting distance of SOPAC to be considered for this role.

SOPAC does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status under federal, state, or local law. We encourage individuals of all identities and abilities to apply.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: A review of prospective candidates commences immediately, until the position is filled. Interested and qualified individuals, and recommendations of same, are encouraged to submit their credentials as described below for full consideration:

Please submit the following documents in the order shown as one PDF file, saved as:

Candidate First Name_Candidate Last Name_SOPAC-Marketing-Manager.pdf

  • Cover letter (maximum one page) describing your interest and alignment with this opportunity
  • Résumé or CV (maximum three pages)
  • Three professional references, including name, email, phone, and one sentence that describes the nature of the relationship (these will only be utilized for candidates that advance to the finalist round)

ANTICIPATED START DATE: Mutually agreeable date, no later than October 1, 2023. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential. Applications or recommendations for qualified candidates will be accepted via email only to:

Lauren Neuman
Director of Marketing & Audience Experience