Click on Staff members' photos to view their bio's and contact information.
Director of Community EngagementEmail
Linda Beard began working at SOPAC as a volunteer in 2011 and has worked in almost all departments within the organization. She has served as SOPAC’s Director of Community Engagement since 2014.
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 AileyDance residencies for local students, and more. Linda also manages the Herb + Milly Iris Gallery, along with curator Jeremy Moss, 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 joined the South Orange Performing Arts Center 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 an acclaimed performing arts executive that works to build a vibrant and inclusive creative world, with nearly twenty years of leadership experience spanning the nonprofit, public, and private sectors, including work as a nonprofit CEO, publicly elected school board chair, professional singer and actor, family foundation board member, and consultant.
Beaudoin most recently 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 led the chorus in producing its highly regarded subscription series at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. With TWC, Beaudoin collaborated closely with Artistic Director Eugene Rogers, the TWC Board, staff, Chorus, and community partners to ensure the Chorus vibrantly and sustainably fulfills its mission through performance, community, and education programs, with inclusive excellence and innovation always at the forefront. Highlights include creating a personalized music video marketplace, producing an acclaimed short music film by composer Damien Geter and filmmaker Bob Berg 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.
Prior to his role with TWC, Beaudoin served as Executive Director of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra. There, Beaudoin collaborated with the Board and staff to lead a significant financial turnaround and realignment; developed and launched new artistic initiatives, including commissions from composers Michael Daugherty and Kimo Williams, and audience development programs, and led the Orchestra through its first-ever recording project, a world premiere work by composer Chris Brubeck in collaboration with multiple Grammy award winning guitarist Sharon Isbin, recorded at The Music Center at Strathmore. This recording was released to critical acclaim in spring of 2020.
Before that, Beaudoin served seven years as Executive Director of PHAME, an innovative Oregon nonprofit serving artists and musicians with intellectual or developmental disabilities and working to build a more inclusive creative world. Through his leadership, PHAME experienced extraordinary financial, programmatic, and social impact growth, leading to marquee artistic collaborations, a robust sustainable business model, and leadership in arts equity and inclusion recognized across the state and the country. Beaudoin has since presented keynote talks on the arts and social impact for Adidas, Sustainable Business Oregon, the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network national conference, and at many professional and civic organizations across the country.
Beaudoin’s additional professional experience includes serving as Vice Chair and then Chair as a publicly elected member of the Board for Multnomah Education Service District, an $80 million public education agency serving more than 100,000 Multnomah County students, and as Assistant Director of The Fenway Alliance, a regional collective of arts, education, and human service not-for-profit organizations expanding cultural access and community engagement in Boston’s Fenway Cultural District.
Beaudoin has served on the boards of TEDxPortland, the Nonprofit Association of Oregon, and Oregon Humanities, where he was appointed by Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, as well as on the Executive Council of the national Composer Diversity Project, which works to increase representation of historically oppressed and under-represented peoples in classical music.
For his leadership and service, Beaudoin has been recognized with multiple 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 (2014), the Skidmore Prize for excellence in nonprofit leadership (2011) from Willamette Week newspaper, the Rob Delf Award (2014) for positive contributions to community health from the Medical Society of Metropolitan Portland, the FACT Community Partner Award (2016) for leadership on community inclusion for people with disabilities, and the C. Stewart Sheppard Distinguished Service Award (2022) from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.
Beaudoin’s entrepreneurial approach was featured in the book “Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music” by Angela Myles Beeching (Oxford Press). He has written on arts and not-for-profit matters for The Oregonian, the Portland Business Journal, and the National Endowment for the Arts blog, and regularly speaks on creative and nonprofit matters as a guest on podcasts, YouTube series, and livestream events. 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 to the Poets & Quants publication’s “Best and Brightest Executive MBAs of 2022” list.
The youngest of four kids raised by Ross and Renata Beaudoin in Independence, Missouri, Beaudoin looks forward to calling the South Orange/Maplewood region his new home.
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!
Audio Engineer & Stage Manager
Nick Caburis is an Audio Engineer and Stage Manager for SOPAC. Born and raised in New Providence, he has been a New Jersey native his whole life. Getting involved with New Providence High School’s theater productions at the age of 13, Nick has a life-long love of the arts and live entertainment. He is a graduate of Montclair State University with a B.F.A. in Theater with a concentration in Design, Technology, and Management. Covering a wide range of specialties from lighting design to audio engineering to computer science, Nick brings a diverse skillset to the SOPAC team.
Box Office ManagerEmail
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 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.
Membership & Marketing AssociateEmail
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!
Acting Director of DevelopmentEmail
Katelyn Fatzler has worked with SOPAC for seven years and has been a part of the SOMA community for more than 10 years.
Katelyn thrives on music and attending live performances. She was flutist in a youth band for eight years and a radio DJ for four years. Katelyn is a Seton Hall University graduate with a B.A. in Journalism and applies her communications background to her work at SOPAC.
Since her start at SOPAC in 2016, Katelyn has worked in several departments, including Audiences Services and Community Engagement, before finding her home in Development in 2018. She is currently pursuing a Certificate in Fundraising through New York University’s School of Professional Studies.
Katelyn believes in arts accessibility, understanding the benefits of creativity and mental health, and values SOPAC’s work toward providing more inclusive arts opportunities. She enjoys connecting with patrons, artists, local businesses and learning about their own SOPAC story.
Chief Financial OfficerEmail
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.
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.
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.
Audience Services ManagerEmail
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.
Box Office Representative
Katherine Matos has been working with SOPAC since the Spring of 2022 as a Box Office Associate.
Katherine is in her fourth year of undergrad, ready to graduate in May with a B.A. in Theatre, classical studies, and creative writing. At Seton Hall University she participates in many extracurricular activities, such as Lambda Pi Eta, Mythos, and English Club. She further participates in the executive side of clubs and organizations as Classman Representative of Theatre Council and Grammateus of Eta Sigma Phi. As the Classman Representative for Theatre Council, she helps to settle disputes between members and oversee student-run productions. In her role as Grammateus for Eta Sigma Phi, she helps oversee the inductions of new members into the Theta Delta Chapter of the honors society.
When she isn’t working, she enjoys reading a good book, listening to thunderstorms, sketching out tattoo ideas, and writing the occasional bit of poetry.
Development Associate & Event Manager
Ally McHugh began working at SOPAC as a Development Associate throughout the majority of 2021 until leaving to pursue her career as a horse trainer and riding instructor. She returned to her old position part-time in October 2022 during her extra time not spent traveling to horse shows throughout the winter. You can also find her at SOPAC In the Loft shows as an Event Manager!
Ally earned her B.A. in English with minors in Political Science and Art History from The College of New Jersey, where she was president of the English Honor Society and a 4-year member of the College Choir and Chorale. Now a professional, she has been a competitive equestrian for 15 years and has two reserve world titles. Ally is building a fulfilling career in which she has pursued both of her biggest passions: horses and the arts! She is so grateful to the SOPAC family for welcoming her back to be part of such a special and essential organization to the community.
Curator of the Herb + Milly Iris Gallery
Jeremy Moss has been working in the arts and non-profit sphere for the last 20 years and has been the curator at SOPAC’s Herb + Milly Iris Gallery since 2016. Jeremy has also been the curator of the Orbital Gallery, the Firehouse Gallery and the Community Gallery at ValleyArts.
As a successful artist himself, Jeremy is always pushing the boundaries of the immersive creative experience. He is proud to have co-founded the Maplewood Art Walk, Open Orange, the Clinton School Theatre, Inspiring Minds and the WAE Open at the Heidi Gallery, where he also sits on the Art Advisory Board.
Director of Marketing & Audience ExperienceEmail
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 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 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.
Katherine is a New Jersey native who grew up loving the performing arts. Having performed from a young age, Katherine wanted to continue surrounding herself with the arts later in life. This led her to Wagner College where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Arts Administration. Here, Katherine was able to continue pursuing and learning about the arts while also taking an array of business courses that would better prepare her to work at an arts organization.
As the Marketing Associate at SOPAC, Katherine is excited to be expanding SOPAC in ways it never has been before! Currently, Katherine oversees the advertising, email campaigns, and has expanded SOPAC’s social media presence. She is excited to continue to grow SOPAC’s outreach into the community and beyond!
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 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.
Special Events & Rentals ManagerEmail
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. Every day is a challenge and full of rewards. He finds joy in helping renters bring their vision to life in the Loft and on the Main Stage.
Senior Programming & Production ManagerEmail
Dan Stankus is the Senior Programming & Production 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 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.
Director of Audience ServicesEmail
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).
Box Office Representative & House Manager
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.
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.
David Stone resides in Short Hills and along with his wife Nancy of 40+ years, has three adult children and currently three grandchildren. David and his wife run the luxury independent jewelry shop, Nancy And David Fine Jewels in downtown Millburn featuring many of their own jewelry designs and creations. They were pioneers of designer jewelry in the 1980’s and have sold their jewelry to other retail jewelers and upscale department stores and exhibited at premier jewelry trade shows worldwide. David infuses his love of music into beautiful melodic symphonies of colored stones, diamonds, and custom created jewelry.
David also represents Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Richie Furay as his Business Manager. Furay is a founding member of the legendary and influential groups Buffalo Springfield and country-rock band Poco. David is executive producer on the documentary film in production, THROUGH IT ALL – THE LIFE AND INFLUENCE OF RICHIE FURAY. Hollywood director & screenwriter Cameron Crowe is working with David’s production team on the film. Furay has performed sold out concerts several times at SOPAC, with the shows produced by Stone. He also produced the 2021 CD & DVD release of “Richie Furay – 50th Anniversary Return To The Troubadour,” a live concert event that took place in 2018.
David has participated on the SOPAC board for several years, with a brief hiatus between his current and prior board participation.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Facilities & Operations Committee Chair
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.
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.
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 iNEXTV.com, 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.
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.
Development Committee 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.
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.
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.
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.
Board & Staff Resources Committee Chair
Dr. Desjardins is a dentist and clinical pharmacologist with 40 years of leadership experience in academic institutions and in the pharmaceutical industry having worked at Wyeth and Pfizer. He received his BS with honors from the University of Rhode Island, his DMD from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Georgetown University. He is an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine and at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. He has published over 200 publications, abstracts and book chapters on human models of acute pain and the effectiveness of new pain-relieving drugs. He has Chaired the Tufts Dental School Board of Advisors, is a former member of the Coverys (Medical Liability) Board of Directors and has been an active member of the South Orange Performing Arts Center Board of Governors since 2016.
He and his wife Cathy have two children (Philip and Corinne) and five charming grandchildren. They love live music and have discovered many new artists at SOPAC.
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.
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.
South Orange Village Liaison, 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.
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.
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!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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