ASN Annual Conference | Oct 22-25, 2019 | Jacksonville, FL

schedule  |  speakers  |  jacksonville  |  hotel & logistics  | host  |  partners  |  support us  | register  




President, Jacksonville University
Tim Cost became President of his undergraduate alma mater, Jacksonville University, on February 1, 2013.  Prior to his election, he was Executive Vice President for PepsiCo, the food and beverage world leader with revenues of $60 billion and 300,000 employees.  He has 32 years of senior executive experience at many of the world’s top companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Kodak, ARAMARK, Pharmacia, Wyeth/Pfizer and Centocor/Johnson & Johnson.  He was also Chairman of Global Health Care for Washington-based consulting firm, APCO Worldwide.  Mr. Cost’s executive leadership experience at multiple FORTUNE 500 companies focused on several worldwide industries:  consumer goods, health care and managed services. 
President Cost is committed to substantial improvements in student success, faculty excellence, campus upgrades and community connections.  Since 2013, the University has added more than 40 new programs in engineering, information technology, cyber security, kinesiology, data analytics, robotics, artificial intelligence, computer sciences and health informatics.  The endowment has increased more than 20%, as has the University’s campus footprint.  JU is consistently ranked as a premier institution (top 10%) for students’ return on investment, and has been selected one of “America’s Best Colleges” by U. S. News & World Report for more than 10 years.  CEO Magazine recently ranked the University’s Davis College of Business #14 in the world for value/return on investment.  He has led the investment of more than $50 million into the University’s campus, successfully concluded an ambitious $120 million ASPIRE development campaign, and has launched the Florida EPIC program to support STEM education, regional economic investment and job creation.
President Cost, a 1981 Magna Cum Laude Jacksonville University graduate, received his MBA in Finance and Economics from the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester, and is a graduate of Harvard University’s Presidential Seminar.  As a collegiate athlete and four-year letterman on its baseball team, he is one of the top 10 winningest pitchers in JU Baseball history, and as a freshman in his first NCAA appearance, pitched the only 9-inning no-hitter in Jacksonville University history.  He received the Jacksonville University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006 and was selected a “Distinguished Dolphin” in recognition of Jacksonville University’s 75th Anniversary. He has been inducted into the Florida Council on Economic Education’s Business Hall of Fame, and also serves as Chairman of the Jacksonville Civic Council, past Chairman of JAXUSA Partnership, past Chairman of the Education Advisory Board of the Northeast Florida STEM – Hub Initiative, past Chair of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Strategic Initiative on Community Outreach and former member of the NCAA Division 1 Board of Directors, the NCAA Presidential Forum, Board of Directors, and the Boards of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, WJCT Public Broadcasting and JaxSports.
President Cost is a member of many civic, cultural, and business Boards:  The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Florida Council of 100, Guidewell Mutual Holding Corp., Brooks Rehabilitation, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Stein Mart, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMRT), Atlantic Sun Presidents Council, and THE PLAYERS Council.  He and his wife of 37 years, Stephanie, are the parents of two children, Melanie and Drew.




Co-Founder, Doghead Simulations; Co-Founder of the VR collaboration app rumii and Call of Duty

Chance had his start in the game industry by working on Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. After a successful first game, he left to become a co-founder of Infinity Ward, the original studio behind the Call of Duty franchise. Other credits include Call of Duty 2, the entire Modern Warfare series and Ghosts. Chance is no co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Doghead Simulations. Their software rumii is fundamentally changing education and training through virtual reality.  In addition to working with art and animation in games, Chance has a background in international media relations and has been featured as a guest speaker around the world.   



Founder & Director, Yellow House; Adjunct Professor, Jacksonville University

Hope McMath is a cultural leader, educator, artist, curator, and activist whose knowledge of, and passion for, the arts is matched by a strong commitment to social justice and effecting positive change in organizations and communities. She is dedicated to connecting the arts to education, accessibility, the environment, wellness, and inclusion and diversity. She is founder of Yellow House, an organization with a mission to connect art and community to build understanding, inspire empathy, and spark civic engagement. In addition, she curates exhibitions at the Holocaust Memorial Gallery at Jewish Family & Community Services and the Gallery at the 5 & Dime Theater. Hope is also an adjunct Professor at UNF, teaching Museum Studies and Art History. A Jacksonville native, Hope served at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens for 22 years, the last eight as its Executive Director. She led the Museum’s efforts for children and adults with different abilities and opened the institution to new audiences. Her work as an educator, a museum leader, a curator, and a humanitarian have been recognized on the state and national level Her commitment to using the arts to lift up conversations around education, race, equity, and universal human rights has been widely recognized. Hope gives her time to a variety of organizations and causes including the State of Florida Council on Arts and Culture, TEDx Jacksonville, the Mayo Clinic Humanities in Medicine Program, Take ‘Em Down Jax, and hurricane recovery efforts in the Northside of Jacksonville. Hope consults with cultural organizations looking to deepen their work in communities and with social service entities seeking ways to integrate the arts as a strategy for increased impact. Along with her art educator husband, Hope aims to create an artful life for herself and others. She maintains an active studio practice as a printmaker, linking her own art with the issues she is passionate about. 


Drummer. Creative Entrepreneur. Educator
Heralded as a “powerhouse of a showman” (Glide Magazine), a “legitimate jazz triple threat” (Critical Jazz) and a drummer who “take[s] a back seat to no one” (The New York Times), performer, producer and educator Ulysses Owens Jr. goes the limit in the jazz world and beyond. Owens has been named a Rising Star by DownBeat’s Critics Poll for five years straight, 3rd Runner-Up in “Classic Drum” category by Modern Drummer Magazine “Readers Poll.” He is a recipient of the 2013 ASCAP Plus Award, the 2014 Global Music Award and the 2015 Jazz at Lincoln Center Swing! Award.
Claiming four successful albums of his own (It’s Time for U, Unanimous, Onward and Upward, and Falling Forward.) Owens has also gained special attention for his performances on the GRAMMY award-winning albums Dedicated to You (Kurt Elling) The Good Feeling (Christian McBride Big Band.) GRAMMY award-nominated albums; Giant Steps,” and Countdown (Joey Alexander) Out Here, Live at The Village Vanguard (Christian McBride Trio) and most recently, Nat King Cole, and Me (Gregory Porter.)
Requested by Wynton Marsalis, and Dr. Aaron Flagg to become an active faculty member of the Jazz Studies Program at his alma mater, The Juilliard School in 2016. A Visiting Artist in Residence at Utah State University (Caine College of Arts), and Faculty Artist in Residence at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida where he teaches the Music Business course. Ulysses also oversees artistic and community programming for hundreds of children and teens as Artistic Director for Don’t Miss a Beat, Inc., a youth-empowerment non-profit founded by his family in 2008 in his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. Education is incredibly important to Ulysses, in addition to shaping the minds of the next generation of musicians, and those that appreciate the Performing Arts.
Owens’ most recent album, “Songs of Freedom,” features the music of Abbey Lincoln, Joni Mitchell, and Nina Simone; released on the Resilience Music Alliance record label. This album has been selected by JAZZIZ Magazine of one of 10 Jazz albums to listen to in March 2019. The album features Rene Marie, Alicia Olatuja, and Theo Bleckmann as the featured vocalists, and David Rosenthal, Allyn Johnson and Reuben Rogers in the band. 
Director, Center for the Arts in Medicine, University of Florida
Assistant Director, UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine
Jill Sonke is director of the Center for the Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida (UF) and Assistant Director of UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine. She serves on the faculty of the UF Center for Arts in Medicine, and is an affiliated faculty member in the School of Theatre & Dance, the Center for African Studies, the STEM Translational Communication Center, the One Health Center, and the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration.  Jill is an Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow in the UF Warrington College of Business, serves on the editorial board for Arts & Health journal, and directs the national initiative, Creating Health Communities: Arts + Public Health in America.
With 25+ years of experience and leadership in arts in health, Jill is active in research, teaching, and international cultural exchange.  Her current research focuses on the arts and health communication, the arts in public health, and the effects of music on cost and quality of care in emergency and trauma medicine. Jill is the recipient of numerous arts, public health and entrepreneurship awards and over 200 grants for her programs and research at the University of Florida.




Senior Founding Partner
Loring, Sternberg & Associates


Chuck V. Loring, MBA, CFRE is the senior partner of the Fort Lauderdale and Indianapolis -based firm of Loring, Sternberg, & Associates, which provides fundraising and governance consulting services to nonprofits.  Chuck is also a Senior Governance Associate for BoardSource (formerly the National Center for Nonprofit Boards) in Washington, DC, offering expertise in board development and other governance issues to nonprofit boards across the country.

Chuck is a past president of the Indiana Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, is a Certified Fund Raising Executive, and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and an MBA from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.  He is a former President of the University of California Alumni Association and a former Trustee of the UCSB Foundation.

Chuck has helped hundreds of local and regional nonprofits across the country improve their governance and such prominent national charities as Special Olympics, The First Tee, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Girl Scouts USA, The Alzheimer’s Association, Easter Seals, Planned Parenthood, Feeding America, Make A Wish America, The League of American Orchestras and the Professional Golfers Association.

Each year Chuck conducts dozens of training programs for funders, Community Foundations and Nonprofit Centers interested in good governance.  His repeat clients include The Hartford Community Foundation for Public Giving, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, The Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, The Waco Community Foundation, The Community Foundation of Broward County, The Philanthropy Center at Rollins College, The Silicon Valley Community Foundation, The Fairfield County Community Foundation, the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits,  and the Virginia C. Piper Trust,  to name only a few.





Executive Chairman, Acosta Inc.

Gary Chartrand is the Executive Chairman of Acosta Sales and Marketing.  Acosta is a leading full-service sales and marketing agency, providing outsourced sales, merchandising, marketing and promotional services to manufacturers in the consumer-packaged goods (CPG) industry.   The Company employs over 30,000 associates and operates 100 offices in the U.S., Canada and the UK. He has been the pivotal force behind quadrupling the company's geographic coverage, transforming Acosta into a leading full-service sales and marketing company.

Gary received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the State of Florida in May 2001 and has been an extraordinary leader in his industry and his community.  From 2003 to 2009 Mr. Chartrand was recognized as one of the 50 most powerful leaders in the grocery industry by Supermarket News

Mr. Chartrand also has a passion for educating the children of Duval County.  In April 2007, he led a community effort to bring Teach for America to Jacksonville.  Without Mr. Chartrand’s leadership, coordination with the Superintendent of schools, and his gift of a million dollars, this program would not be a reality for Jacksonville. In June of 2009 Gary and Nancy made a pledge gift of $1Million dollars to KIPP schools of Jacksonville. The first KIPP School in Florida opened in August of 2010. Because of his passion for education coupled with his business experience and leadership Governor Rick Scott appointed Mr. Chartrand to the State Board of Education in 2011. Gary served an eight-year term including a two-year stint as Chair. In 2015 Gary lead the initiative to form the Stem2Hub of Northeast Florida with the goal of insuring our students are equipped with 21st century skills.

Gary currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation; Northeast Florida Stem Hub, and a director on the board of the KIPP schools in Jacksonville, FL.  Gary is actively engaged with Catholic Charities, Guardian of Dreams, Catholic schools and the Diocese of St. Augustine.

Gary is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire.  He resides in Ponte Vedra Beach with his wife, Nancy.  They have two children, Jeffrey and Meredith. 


President & CEO
Cox Financial Corporation
Phillip R. Cox is a native of Cincinnati. He holds a Doctorate of Letters Degree from the College of Mount St. Joseph and Cincinnati Technical College. For over forty-two years, he has been the President and CEO of Cox Financial Corporation. During that span, he has received virtually every industry award. Most recently, he was named the 2003 Man of the Year by the Ohio Cancer Research Associates.
Mr. Cox is a frequent speaker for companies, universities, and c1v1c organizations throughout the country and has been the keynote speaker for scores of national and local organizations. Additionally, Mr. Cox and his company take an active role in youth programs in greater Cincinnati. For the last 42 years Cox Financial has been philanthropically involved with the community, including assisting in every phase of downtown development and enhancement of Cincinnati Public Schools.
He has also served on a number of boards in the Cincinnati area, including Duke Energy for 15 years, BDM International, PNC Bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, for 11 years where he was Audit Committee Chair, Chairman of the Board for the University of Cincinnati, where in 2009 he was awarded the Doctorate of Letters Degree and Chairman of the Board for the United Way of Cincinnati. He currently serves on the following boards:
Cincinnati Bell (Chairman of the Board)
Bethesda Hospital (Chairman of the Investment Committee)
Touchstone Mutual Funds (Chairman of the Board)
Timken Steel (Director, Member of Audit Committee & Compensation Committee) Diebold, Inc. (Director and Chairman of Compensation Committee)
Mr. Cox is the Co-Chairman of the Ohio Business Roundtable. Mr. Cox is also Chairman of the prestigious Cincinnati Business Committee (CBC), which is comprised of the twenty-five most influential companies in the Cincinnati area. Mr. Cox is also a member of the prestigious Commercial Club and the Management Executive Society.



Barbara Drake has over 40 years’ experience in the recycling industry. She started her career with Container Corporation of America’s paper mill division as a controller.  She requested to be transferred to the recycling division and soon became the regional controller for the Recycling Division in Philadelphia.  She was transferred to Jacksonville in 1981 as the southeastern regional recycling manager.  

As Regional Manager she supplied the company mills in Fernandina Beach, Venezuela, and Colombia with recyclable paper, their raw material for making new paper products.  Additionally, she managed a large processing plant, and brokered paper internationally. 

In 1988, Drake founded a commercial recycling business, Covenant Paper Stock.  She expanded the services offered by the company to include all types of confidential document shredding and brand product destruction.  She merged Covenant with Southland Waste Services, owned by Andy Crawford, in 1991, and the entire company was sold to Republic Services in 1996.

In 1998, Drake consulted with Main Recycling and became a principal in 2000.  She was responsible for finance, administration, and buying and selling scrap metal.  She set up the scrap metal brokerage business, computerized the accounting system, designed and implemented the first inventory system, and established business relationships in Puerto Rico and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  She sold her interest in 2006.

From 2006 until 2018, Drake brokered scrap paper and metals from several Caribbean islands and Florida to mills in Asia and the United States. 

Prior to her recycling career, Drake served in the United States Air Force with a broad range of responsibilities including Regional Comptroller for 52 communications bases, Budget Officer, Squadron Commander, and Management Analyst.  As a Captain in the Reserves, she was the Air Force Academy Liaison Officer and Director of Administration for an Air National Guard base.

She earned her Bachelor and MBA degrees from the University of West Florida.

Drake was the interim Executive Director for Leadership Jacksonville in 1998, and later that same year served as interim Executive Director for the Mental Health Association.


Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Regency Centers

Hap has served as CEO since the company’s initial public offering in 1993 and as Chairman since 1999.  He served as President of Regency's predecessor real estate division beginning in 1981, and as a Vice President from 1976 to 1981.  Under Hap’s leadership, Regency Centers has become the preeminent national shopping center REIT. The company is distinguished by its high-quality portfolio of grocery-anchored retail centers, industry-leading development capabilities, strong balance sheet, and talented team guided by a special culture.

A recognized authority in the commercial real estate industry, Hap served as 2008 chairman of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT).  He holds or has held leadership positions with NAREIT, the Urban Land Institute and the Real Estate Roundtable, as well as board positions with FRP Holdings and his alma mater, Washington and Lee University. 

Hap volunteers and financially supports numerous charitable organizations, including Teach for America.  He serves on the Jacksonville Civic Council and has chaired United Way fundraising.  

Hap holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee University and a Master of Business Administration from Dartmouth College.  

Hap and his wife of 45 years, Brooke, enjoy spending time with their three daughters, three sons-in-law, and seven grandchildren; collecting contemporary art; and hiking, snow-shoeing, and skiing in the Colorado mountains.

Market President, North Florida Region
Florida Blue

Darnell Smith is Florida Blue’s market president for the North Florida Region. In his role, Smith is responsible for Florida Blue’s business market growth, as well as customer and community engagement across 36 North Florida counties covering cities from St. Augustine to Pensacola. Prior to his current role, Smith was group vice president, Service Organization and Business Process Management Organization (BPMO). He was responsible for leading a team of approximately 2,000 people who provided service to more than 3 million customers and helped Florida Blue achieve market-leading customer satisfaction. He oversaw the company’s business process management strategy and execution through the deployment of Continuous Improvement and Six Sigma methodologies. Throughout his career, Smith has been very active in serving the community through numerous organization boards and councils, including United Way of Northeast Florida, First Coast YMCA, Sulzbacher Center, Communities in Schools Florida, Cathedral Arts Project and Feeding Northeast Florida. Smith has demonstrated leadership in developing the community through numerous board appointments including Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Council of Tallahassee, JAXUSA Policy Council and Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce.  Smith also served as 2017 Chair of the JAX Chamber Board of Directors. Smith holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Florida State University. He is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School, the Advanced HR Executive Program at the University of Michigan and is an active member of Leadership Jacksonville and Leadership Florida.







Philanthropist & Managing Partner, John Gorrie Investment Group

Delores Barr Weaver, a native of Columbus, Georgia, is a woman possessed by the opportunity to make a difference in her adopted hometown of Jacksonville.  An original co-owner of the NFL franchise Jacksonville Jaguars, she led the Jaguars Foundation, and together with all Jaguars’ partners, granted more than $15 million from the Foundation’s inception in 1994 until the team was sold in 2012.  Following the sale, she established the Delores Barr Weaver Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, followed by the Delores Barr Weaver Forever Event Fund, and most recently, the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund. Between the 33 organizational endowments funded by her & her husband, the twenty nonprofits who benefit from the Delores Barr Weaver Forever Event Fund, the millions of dollars granted annually from her Delores Barr Weaver Advised Fund, and the establishment of her Legacy Fund, she has directed more than $100 million worth of philanthropy, nearly all of which has stayed in Northeast Florida.

Delores Barr Weaver’s charitable focus crosses many dimensions.

  • She is passionate about helping young people, and invests substantially in initiatives that support their success, such as quality education, behavioral health and prevention of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. 
  • She supports young girls and women on every level, from her founding grant to establish the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, to co-founding the Women’s Giving Alliance, to her staunch backing of local shelters for victims of domestic violence.
  • There is a special place in her heart that guides her to the prospect of safe and decent housing for all people.  Her support of Habijax is a prime example.
  • Delores Barr Weaver is also sensitive to the plight of the fragile elderly, and established the Senior to Senior Fund at The Community Foundation. This fund, which was inspired by her desire to donate her Social Security checks that those who were struggling, now provides short term, emergency financial assistance to those elders in need.
  • She has been a consistent funder of the arts and cultural efforts, and her grantmaking has allowed greater access to the arts for all area citizens.  At the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, she underwrites Weaver Free Saturdays; she’s also a consistent funder of Ritz Chamber Players, the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus, and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts.  Further, she demonstrates her belief in the healing aspects of the arts through support of Hope at Hand, Nemours Music Therapy program, as well as Connecting thru Music which brings music therapy to public school students who are differently-abled. Most recently, she has made challenge grants to assist with capital projects at The Florida Ballet and the Jacksonville Historical Society.
  • Delores Barr Weaver is also a champion of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD’s), and has not only donated millions to IDD-serving agencies, she initiated a campaign—Connectable—to highlight the unique and innate abilities in all individuals.
  • Recently, she’s expanded her focus to military veterans, mental health awareness, gun violence, and rape and sexual assault in the military.

Currently, she spends her time on philanthropic interests and celebrating the completion of her developer responsibilities at The John Gorrie a condominium.  She led the renovation, restoration and transformation of the historic Riverside 1923 John Gorrie Junior High School to 68 condominiums.  As always, she believes the best is yet to come for all things good!


Founder, The Haskell Company
Preston Haskell is founder and past chairman of The Haskell Company, an innovative and leading force in the design and construction of industrial, commercial and institutional buildings throughout the United States.  He graduated with honors from Princeton University in 1960 with a degree in civil engineering, received a Master of Business Administration with distinction from Harvard University in 1962, and attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology for graduate study in Building Engineering and Construction.
Haskell has served as chairman of the board of trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, and chaired its capital campaign to support its move to the new downtown location.  He is former chairman of The Cummer Museum of Art, honorary director and former chairman of the Jacksonville Symphony Association, a national trustee of the Birmingham Museum of Art, former chairman of the Advisory Council of the Princeton University Art Museum; and a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts (Great Britain).  In recent years he has also been a trustee of Princeton, vice chairman of the American Symphony Orchestra League, a director of the Arts Assembly of Jacksonville, and director of the Jacksonville Council of the Arts.  He is a noted collector of abstract expressionism paintings and contemporary sculpture, and a frequent lender to museums and exhibitions regionally and nationally.



Co-Founder & CEO, Brightway Insurance

Michael Miller is Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Brightway Insurance, a national property/casualty insurance retailer selling through a network of over 200 franchised independent agencies in 23 states. The company is one of largest personal lines independent agency in the U.S. with $620 million in annual sales.  Brightway’s Home Office is located in Jacksonville, FL, where over 250 employees support the company’s franchisees and service more than 300,000 customers across the US.


Miller is on the board of the Jewish Community Alliance and is a past board member of JASMYN. He has been a Life Coach for Operation New Hope’s Ready for Work Program and a Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary International. Miller is also an active participant in various other North Florida not-for-profit community organizations. He has an active family life where he and his husband, Glenn, are raising three young children.



Vice President of the Florida Blue Foundation and Executive Director of Corporate Social Responsibility

Susan B. Towler is vice president of the Florida Blue Foundation, established in 2001 as the philanthropic affiliate of Florida Blue. She is also executive director of corporate social responsibility for Florida Blue and has responsibility for the company’s philanthropic strategy.

Prior to joining Florida Blue, Towler held previous public relations roles at Robin Shepherd Public Relations, Gulf Life Insurance Company, BancBoston Mortgage Corporation and was president of SEB Communications. She is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America. 

Towler is actively involved in the philanthropic and social responsibility sector. Towler serves on the board of directors for several nonprofits including the Florida Chamber Foundation, Children’s Movement of Florida, Volunteer Florida and the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, where she is vice-chair.  She is active with the Florida Philanthropic Network where she served as chair in 2016. She is also a graduate of Leadership Florida and served as its 2012-13 chair.  Towler served as the 2013-14 chair of Volunteer Florida, the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service and is past chair of the University of Florida Public Relations Advisory Council.  Towler is also an honorary member of Leadership Jacksonville and the Florida Blue Key. 

Towler was named a “Woman with Heart” by Volunteers in Medicine Jacksonville in 2017 and a “Woman of Influence” by the Jacksonville Business Journal in 2004.  The Girl Scouts of Gateway Council honored her with the “Women of Distinction” award in 2006.  Towler was an EVE Awards finalist in 2013. She was chosen in 2018 as a Miami Herald “Influencer.”  In 2019, Florida Trend recognized Towler in the Florida 500 list of the state’s most influential business leaders.

Towler holds a Bachelor of Science in public relations from the University of Florida.  She is married to Jim Towler and they have one daughter Emma, and a French bulldog, Mr. Pickles.

 General Session Presenters

Tom Askey
Assistant Principal for Academics, Baltimore School for the Arts
Baltimore, MD
Tom Askey joined BSA in 2010 after spending 3 ¬Ω years teaching social studies in other Baltimore City Schools. He was a full-time classroom teacher at BSA through the 2014-15 school year when he transitioned into the role of academic assistant principal. He graduated with honors from the Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor's degree in history and earned his M.Ed. in educational administration and leadership from Loyola University Maryland in 2013. At Penn State, he earned membership in Phi Alpha Theta, the international honor society for history. He was selected as BSA's district-approved "Teacher of the Year" for the 2011-2012 school year. A recipient of the Mark Joseph Professional Development Grant at BSA in 2012, Askey spent time in Moscow and St. Petersburg studying Russian art and culture in an effort to support the school's year-long project on Russia in 2013-14 titled A Russian Serenade. Askey was selected by a former student as a class of 2016 Sarah D. Barder Fellow by Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth for excellence in teaching. He also helped organize and lead a student trip to Ghana in West Africa in 2017 in support of the school's year-long examination of contemporary art and culture on the African continent titled "Africa Now." Prior to teaching, Askey was a classically trained chef who received his culinary degree (A.O.S) from the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, VT.
Glenna Avila
Artistic Director - Community Arts Partnership, California Institute of the Arts
Valencia, CA
Glenna Avila is an artist, educator, and arts administrator, dedicated to the arts, young people, and communities.  She is currently the Artistic Director of the California Institute of the Arts Community Arts Partnership (CAP) program, having served as the Founding Director since 1991.  The CAP program is a co-curricular program of the college and encompasses 50 distinct youth arts education programs located in 60 diverse neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County in partnership with 50 public schools, school districts, community-based arts and youth organizations and social service agencies.
Glenna Avila earned a BA in Art from UCLA and an MA in Art from the University of New Mexico.  Before coming to CalArts, she worked for the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs for 14 years, directing several community arts centers.  She currently serves on the Board of Casa 0101, the National Advisory Committee of the Teaching Artists Guild, and on the Leadership Council of the LA County Arts Commission’s Arts Education Collective.


Ellie Potts Barrett    
Choreographer/Dance Educator, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts
Jacksonville, FL
Ellie is an accomplished dance educator, performer and internationally recognized choreographer. Ellie Potts Barrett attended Boston Conservatory and received her BA in Dance from the University of South Florida. Out of her many accomplishments, she has composed the Modern Dance Syllabus for the Florida Dance Masters Organization, a study tool for the testing of future Modern dance teachers in Florida. Ellie danced with the Ina Hahn Modern Dance Company, Boston Dance Company and Mary Anthony in New York. She has been an associate at the Atlantic Center for the Arts to Master Artists Merce Cunningham, Meg Harper and Elizabeth Streb, as well as with Florida's prolific author, Carl Hiaasen. She is the recipient of the Central Florida Lifetime Achievement Dance Award, given by the University of Central Florida. Included in her well over 100 choreographed musicals, are Orlando Philharmonic/Mad Cow Theatres' production of Guys and Dolls, which starred Broadway actor Davis Gaines, Carousel, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, La Traviata, Mad Cow Theatres' production of HAIR, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts productions, CURTAINS, AIDA, Urinetown, The Musical, and MY FAIR LADY; coming this October, 2019 - Guys and Dolls. Ellie is a member of the Dance Faculty at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, in Jacksonville, Florida, where she teaches Modern Dance, Musical Theatre Dance, Dance Composition and Dance Aesthetics. 


Karen Bell
Education Manager, Circus Arts Conservatory
Sarasota, FL
Karen Bell has a 27-year career as a Professional Circus Clown and is the only female clown with a solo-ring gag at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. As a ‘Producing’ Clown for Ringling, she created material to perform and other clowns on the show. Karen toured the world clowning with Ringing and the Department of Defense. Since 2005, she has worked with The Circus Arts Conservatory. She has helped the Outreach programs to excel by developing original and creative group programs. She has been involved in the development of Humor Therapy Clown programs in local Nursing Homes and hospitals. Currently, she is instrumental in creating a curriculum-based education program for The Circus Arts Conservatory, teaching area students; theater, language arts, and physical science. Karen was presented with the Nancy Roucher Arts Education Award at the 2016 Arts & Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County’s annual “Celebration of the Art”. Karen was also featured on ABC7’s “Amazing Women of the Suncoast” by Linda Carson.
Ashley Brown
Arts Education Director, SC Arts Commission
Columbia, SC
Ashley Brown is the Arts Education Director at the South Carolina Arts Commission where she works to ensure all students in South Carolina have access to comprehensive arts education experiences. She has worked as a presenter, teacher, director, and administrator in schools, universities, and non-profits throughout the Southeast. A native of Greenville SC, she received her BA in Theatre from Winthrop University and her MFA in Theatre Management from Florida State University.
Baldwin Brown
Principal, I.M. Terrell Academy of STEM & Visual and Performing Arts
Fort Worth, TX
Mr. Baldwin R. Brown is a nineteen-year employee of Fort Worth I.S.D. in Fort Worth, Texas. He has served as teacher, Assistant Principal and is now currently the Principal of I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and Visual and Performing Arts located in downtown Fort Worth. Mr. Brown received his Master of Education degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, in Arlington, Texas. He completed his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Maine.
Mr. Brown has worked closely with the alumni of I.M. Terrell High School, which was one of the first high schools for African American students in the north Texas area. In addition, Mr. Brown works with the Fort Worth business community to provide internships and enrichment opportunities for the students of I.M. Terrell Academy.


Elizabeth Brown Eagle
Upper School Photography; Shen Gallery Coordinator

Elizabeth Brown Eagle is a mixed media artist and photographer.  For the past twenty-one years, she has been an art educator teaching middle school visual art and high school photography at The Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn New York. Brown Eagle is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of e2 education & environment (, an education-based non-profit that uses photography, illustration, oral history, writing and poetry to teach literacy internationally in Kenya, Guyana, Cambodia and multiple locations in the United States. She is a Master Practitioner with Narrative 4 (, an international organization that fosters empathy by breaking down barriers and shattering stereotypes through the exchange of stories.

Brown Eagle received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University, NY and received a Master of Fine Arts fellowship in photography and painting from Bennington College, VT. She received a Master of Science and Art and Design Education, from Pratt Institute, NY.

Rebecca Bullen
Studio Arts Chair, Perpich Center for Arts Education
Golden Valley, MN    
Currently overseeing both media and visual arts departments as Studio Arts Chair, Rebecca Bullen has worked with the Perpich Center for Arts Education since 2009.
  • Bullen has presented at local and national conferences including Arts Educators of Minnesota, TIES, ASN, the Religious Educators Association and the National Arts Educators Conference. Her students have received multiple Scholastic awards, regionally as well as nationally, and their work has screened across the US.
  • Prior to joining the Perpich faculty, Bullen worked with the non-profit organization TVbyGIRLS as associate director, youth program co-director, producer and instructor. Her job included writing media arts curriculum, teaching and designing workshops for a diverse community of youth.
  • Bullen has a BFA in media arts and interactive design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, education certification from Concordia University and more than 15 years of experience in film and media production. 
Annie Calhoun
Theatre Department Head, The Chicago High School for the Arts
Chicago, IL
Annie Calhoun is the Theatre Department Head at the Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts). She holds an MFA in Acting from DePaul's Theatre School and has been on founding staffs of two public arts school (ChiArts and Kipp Scholar Academy in Los Angeles). She also holds a teaching license in English and Theatre. Annie has been performing in LA and Chicago theatres and playing on improv teams as well as teaching these skills to students across the country for over ten years. She has studied improv at iO, Second City, The Annoyance, UCB and The Groundlings and also performed regularly at iO. In the classroom, on the stage, and in life, Annie has found the teachings of Viola Spolin's improvisation exercises to provide play, risk, vulnerability and empowerment for students and for herself.
Kevin Covert
Director of Musical Theatre, Shenandoah University
Winchester, VA         
Covert has performed in the original casts of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals Monty Python’s “Spamalot” and “Memphis,” as well as the Broadway revival of “How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” where he performed alongside Daniel Radcliffe, John Larroquette, Beau Bridges, Darren Criss and Nick Jonas. Covert has also performed on the national tours of “South Pacific,” “Cats” and “Oklahoma!” Regional theatre appearances include performances at La Jolla Playhouse, Kansas City Starlight, Goodspeed, Houston TUTS, Sacramento Music Circus, North Shore Music Theater, and many others. Covert has directed and choreographed for a number of theatres, academic institutions and other performing arts organizations in New York, Florida and more. He has served as a director at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center in western Pennsylvania, DeSoto Family Theatre, Theatre Jacksonville, and Florida State University. He has served as associate director for “Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter” at Goodspeed Musicals, the pre-Broadway run of “In Your Arms” at NY Stage and Film, and the off-Broadway production of “Pageant.” Covert also worked as associate choreographer for the Tony Award-winning revival of “South Pacific” at Lincoln Center starring Kelli O’Hara and Matthew Morrison. In addition to his extensive performing credits, Covert has also been an active educator serving as a guest instructor at Florida State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Memphis, Flagler College, St. John’s River State College, Northwest Florida State College, Jacksonville University, and many others. Since 2013, Covert has served as Theatre Department Chair at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, Florida.
Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton
Director, Florida Center for Partnerships for Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT),
University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee
Sarasota, FL
Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton is the author of Losing My Mind over Education (Finding My Way Back to Me). She serves as the Director of the Florida Center of Art- Integrated Teaching at USFSM. She is on the Florida Alliance of Arts Educators (FAAE) Board of Governors‚ and is the Chair of the Manatee Arts Education Council (MAEC). Dr. Cotton is a Milken Foundation internationally-recognized educator, a Michiganian of the Year, and a Congressional Record Recognition recipient. As the Founder and First Principal of Detroit School of Arts (DSA), she also received the Alan Locke National Award from the Friends of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Kennedy Center Creative School, and two Keys to the City of Montgomery, Alabama. She is recognized as a Distinguished Alumni - Alabama State University and Educator of the Year - Wayne State University. Dr. Cotton is a National Past President of Arts Schools Network and a Jeffrey Lawrence Awardee.
Patricia Decker
Director of Recruitment, Tisch School of the Arts – NYU
New York, NY
Patricia Decker is the director of recruitment at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She started her career at Tisch in the department of undergraduate drama, first as the internship coordinator, then as the coordinator of the summer high school drama program. After that, she served as the manager of admissions and applicant services for ten years.Decker is also a writer, performer, and producer who has worked in both Philadelphia and New York at venues including the Wilma Theatre, The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Big Mess Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet, the Manhattan Theatre Club, Theatre Communications Group, Teleotheater, and SPF. She has performed her own work at Dixon Place, CB’s Gallery, and Cornelia Street Café and is on the board of directors of Rabbit Hole Ensemble. Decker, who is also an accomplished tarot card reader, earned her BA in theatre from Temple University.
Caitlín Doherty
Director, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
Jacksonville, FL
Caitlín Doherty has engaged with artists, students, and communities around the world. From January 2015 to February 2017, Doherty was chief curator and deputy director of curatorial affairs at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. During her tenure at Broad MSU, Doherty provided leadership and artistic vision, defining the interdisciplinary scope and direction of the institution's exhibitions, collections, education, and public programs, and ensuring that they reflected a commitment to artistic experimentation, excellence, and public access. From 2012 to 2015, she served as exhibitions and speaker curator at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar-a branch campus of VCU School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia-where she organized major exhibitions of international contemporary art and design. Born on South Uist, a small island in the Outer Hebrides in Northwest Scotland, Doherty holds master's degrees in art history from the University of Edinburgh and in museum and gallery studies from the University of St. Andrews, both in Scotland.
Jennifer Dragotta
4th Grade Math Teacher, Howe Hall AIMS 
Goose Creek, SC
Jennifer Dragotta has been teaching for 12 years in grades 3-5 in South Carolina. She implements technology in all that she teaches in ways that enhance the lesson and bring better understanding for her students. She currently teaches at Howe Hall AIMS (Arts Infused Magnet School) and has been infusing art into her lessons for the past 3 years. She has worked for both Horry County and Berkeley County developing and implementing professional development sessions as well as for the state department.


Robin Eurich
Teacher, Circus Arts Conservatory
Sarasota, FL
Robin Eurich works for The Circus Arts Conservatory’s Sarasota’s Education Department teaching Physics and Language Arts. As part of the Sailors Circus team of coaches, Robin’s specialty is Clowns and Characters. Past experience includes appearing on WGN-TV’s “The Bozo Super Sunday Show” for seven years performing as Rusty the Handyman. He was an instructor for The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College for four years, and also performed improve at The Comedy Store for four years. Robin was presented with the Nancy Roucher Arts Education Award at the 2016 Arts & Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County’s annual “Celebration of the Art.”
Kate Fioravanti
School District Administrator, New London Public Schools
New London, CT
Kate Fioravanti has spent over two decades in education, primarily in arts school design. Kate studied Music Education, earning a Bachelor of Music at the University of Hartford Hartt School of Music. She first taught elementary music at the Regional Multicultural Magnet School before becoming founding teacher at the Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication, a state charter School, teaching music, visual arts, dance and opera to grades 6-8. She went on to study Arts Administration at Columbia University Teachers College and received an M.A. and Ed.M. in Education Leadership. She was recruited to be the District Arts Supervisor for New London Public Schools, leading the design and implementation of a K-12 Arts Magnet Schools pathway, as well as supervising the development of all the arts throughout the district in multiple magnet school themes.
Joanna Fox     
Creative Writing Teacher and Dragonfly Cafe Director, Booker Middle School
Sarasota, FL
Joanna received her BA degree in English Education in 1999 from the University of South Florida. She designed and developed the Creative Writing VPA program at Booker Middle School incorporating community as curriculum. She has received numerous awards including the International River of Words Teacher of the Year Award, Florida Teacher of Excellence Award, University of South Florida College of Education Lifetime Achievement Award, and The Penguin Random House Maya Angelou Teacher of Poetry Award. She is a frequent presenter for arts integration and writing at national and regional conferences.   Her work has been published in professional journals and assorted collections.
Scott Frauenheim
Chief Executive Officer, Distinctive Schools and Co-Founder, Art in Motion
Chicago, IL
Scott Frauenheim has dedicated his career to building positive learning environments for students and educators. As a member of the founding team of Distinctive Schools, he has fostered the development and growth of the network from its inception in 2011. His tenure with Distinctive Schools began in the classroom, and through thoughtful leadership, incredible initiative and endless creativity, Scott advanced from Teacher to Dean, Dean to Director, Director to President, and President to Chief Executive Officer. Scott is recognized as a leader and pioneer of transformational work throughout the education community, operating intentionally to harvest a diverse, healthy and positive working environment. Scott leverages the strength of Distinctive Schools’ vigorous culture and harnesses the strengths of his team to move the work. Scott’s commitment to thriving culture, strategic vision, meticulous operations, inspirational leadership, and nimble adaptability have earned him a national reputation for leadership, innovation and personalized learning.
Louise Freshman Brown
Professor of Art, Department of Art and Design, Professor of Art, University of North Florida
Jacksonville, FL
Louise Freshman Brown is a painter and mixed medium artist whose works have been featured in exhibitions in museums and galleries in the United States and Europe. Solo exhibits include; Piirto Gallery, Helsinki, Finland, Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL, The Deland Museum of Art, DeLand, FL, Monique Goldstrom Gallery, NYC, City Center Theatre, NYC, Albertson-Peterson Gallery, Winter Park, FL, Lufrano Intercultural Gallery, Jacksonville, FL, Hector Gallery, Gainesville, FL, Jacksonville International Airport, Jacksonville, FL.
Group exhibitions include Galleria Retro & Arte, Venice, Italy, Advice Konsthall, Sollentuna, Sweden, Jane Haslem Gallery, Washington, DC, Women’s Art Cooperative, Van Nuys, CA, The William Whipple Art Gallery, Marshall, MN, New York Academy of Art, NYC, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL, Montgomery College, Rockville, MD, The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Jacksonville, FL, Barbara Gillman Gallery, Miami, FL, Park Plaza Castle, Boston, MA, Childs Gallery, NYC, Linda Hayman Gallery, Boca Raton, FL, Polk Museum, Lakeland, FL, Arts on Douglas, New Smyrna Beach, FL, St. Johns Performing Arts Center, Orange Park, FL, Barbara Gillman Gallery, Miami, FL.
Her works are in over 500 private, public and corporate collections including the Voorhees Museum, NJ, Queensborough Museum, NY, Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, AL, Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, FL, Rochester Memorial Art Gallery, NY, Montgomery College, MD, Syracuse University, NY, The Federal Reserve, The Cleveland Clinic, Vistakon, Bank of America, Florida East Coast Railway,  Prudential Securities, The Haskell Collection, City of Orlando, SuperStock Inc., Pan Am, Orlando International Airport, Tupperware International Headquarters, Southern Bell, John Schreiber Group of New York, Southwest State University, MN, Bankers Trust of New York and Cleveland Clinic. She completed major commissions for Mayo Clinic, Merck and Co., IBM, Holland and Knight, Orlando, FL, North Carolina National Bank, Tampa, FL, Embassy Suites Hotel, Memphis, TN, Arvida Corp., Ponte Vedra, FL, The Marriott, Jacksonville, FL, Shell Oil Co., WTOC-TV, Savannah, GA, Lenox Hotel, Atlanta, GA, Crane Ramen, Gainesville, FL and Jacksonville, FL.
Freshman Brown is from Oneida, NY and received her B.F.A. in Painting and M.F.A. in Painting/Printmaking from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY. She is a Professor of Art at The University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL where she has been regularly awarded for excellence in teaching, service and scholarship. In 2005 she received the Outstanding Scholarship Award and in 2007 the Distinguished Professor Award. In 2018 she received the Ann McDonald Baker Art Ventures Award. For the past 40 years, she has conducted workshops and lectures nationally and internationally.
Chelaine Froesne
Kindergarten Teacher/Visual Arts Specialist, Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts North Poplar
Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
Chelaine Froese is a Kindergarten teacher/Visual Arts teacher at Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts, North Poplar in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Froese enjoys collaborating with colleagues and integrating all subject matters in an engaging and exploratory way. She is a practicing visual artist who explores figure and line through abstraction. 


Brian Frus
Associate Professor of Glass Art Program, Jacksonville University
Jacksonville, FL
Brian Frus, Associate Professor, directs the Glass Art program at Jacksonville University.  He formerly served as Director of Education at UrbanGlass in New York City, and the Assistant Facilities Manager and Hot Shop Coordinator at the Pittsburgh Glass Center.  Professor Frus earned the BFA from Jacksonville University and the MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology; both degrees in Studio Arts with concentrations in Glass.  He is an active member of the Glass Art Society.
Allison Galloway-Gonzalez
Executive Director, Any Given Child Jacksonville
Jacksonville, FL
Allison serves the Cathedral Arts Project as the Chief Program Officer and Executive Director of Any Given Child Jacksonville. After earning her M.A. from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, in 2003, she began her career at the University of Central Florida's Department of Education. During her tenure, she facilitated a K-12 literacy integration course and a training course for online teaching. Allison then became the Associate Director at the Austin Museum of Art - The Art School where her duties were to create and manage art programs for more than 5,500 students of all ages annually.
Allison joined CAP after serving as the Director of Education for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville where she contributed to the improvement of the museum's educational services for all ages and abilities. Allison is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of North Florida specializing in arts integration for elementary school curriculum. In 2018, Allison was honored as one of Jacksonville Business Journal's Top 40 Under 40 and received the Friend of Art Education Award from the Florida Art Education Association.
Marvin Garduno
Director of Orchestras, Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy
Grand Prairie, TX
Marvin Garduno, a Dallas native, attended Texas Tech University where he received his Bachelors in Music Education and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Music Education. He is currently the middle school orchestra director at the Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy in Grand Prairie, Texas. Working alongside Richard Galvan, their orchestras consistently achieve superior rating at UIL contest and have also been invited to compete at the ASTA National Orchestra Festival at the high school and middle school level. In an effort to teach beyond the classroom, Mr. Garduno practices the flipped classroom approach by creating accessible content music educators and aspiring musicians can use as a tool to aid them in their musical adventure. Examples of this content range from videos, pictures, articles and the sharing of resources from other music educators, all of which can be found using his social media tag, @ThatFlippingOrchestraDirector.
Dr. Diana Greene
Superintendent of Schools, Duval County Public Schools
Jacksonville, FL
Dr. Diana Greene became the Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools on July 1, 2018. Prior to her work in Duval, she was the Superintendent of the School District of Manatee County, where she made significant strides forward academically, financially and in terms of its public perception.
Known for her positive nature and engaging personality, Dr. Greene initiated her time as Superintendent in Manatee County by putting forward a leadership plan that consisted of what she named the Five C’s: Calmness, Consistency, Civility, Confidence and Community. Leading by example, Dr. Greene has overseen a district that has improved academically to the point that it received a B grade from the state two of the last three years (2015, 2017), after receiving a C grade the previous three years, even in the face of more rigorous standards. In addition, the Manatee District’s graduation rate rose 5.6% during the 2015-2016 school year, and was 2.8% higher than the statewide graduation rate.
On the financial front, the Manatee District’s fund balance (reserve fund) increased from $17.3 million to more than $25.5 million in the last three years, causing global credit ratings leader Fitch Ratings to raise its financial rating of the District two times in the last three years. Those accomplishments led directly to the passage of two separate countywide tax referendums in a span of 16 months. The first came on November 8, 2016, when Manatee County voters approved the renewal of a 15-year half-cent sales tax to help fund school district capital needs. The second came on March 20, 2018, when voters approved a four-year, one-mill property tax increase to help fund more competitive teacher and staff pay, and to add a half-hour of instruction for students each day. Combined, the referendums are expected to add more than $60 million annually to the District’s budget.
Prior to becoming Superintendent, Dr. Greene served as Deputy Superintendent of Instructional Services in Manatee County. During her 33-year career as an educator, she has spent time as a teacher, assistant principal, principal as well as in curriculum development, staff development and in senior executive leadership. On a personal note, Dr. Greene is the daughter of a father who served in the Air Force, and she grew up living in locations all over the United States and abroad. She is married to James Greene, an independent financial advisor, and they have two sons, Aldon and Joshua.
Bonnie Harrison
Teacher, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts
Jacksonville, FL
Bonnie Harrison has a MFA in Performance from the University of Florida.  She worked for 12 years as the Director of Education and Artistic Associate at the Hippodrome State Theatre.  This position afforded her the opportunity to work as an Equity actor, while developing an outreach program called The Hippodrome Improvisational Teen Theatre. Under her leadership this program won Best Service Learning Program in the nation, and became internationally recognized through her volunteer work with FAVA/CA where she brought issue based theatre programs to 6 Caribbean countries.   Since coming to DA in 2004 she has created a new class called Issue Based Theatre that allows students to use the powerful vehicle of theatre to explore the challenging issues facing young people.   In 2007 she was given the Arts Innovation Award for that class, from the International Network of Schools for the Advancement of Arts Education.
Travis Haas
Instructor of Integrated Sciences, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA)
New Orleans, LA
Dr. Travis Haas (Integrated Sciences) earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University in 2014. His dissertation research examined the evolutionary implications of dam construction on the fishes of the Southeastern United States. He holds a B.A. in Biology and Music (Piano) from Lawrence University (2007), where his piano studies culminated in an interdisciplinary lecture-recital entitled, “The influence of birdsong in the literature of the piano.” He also holds an M.S. in Biology (Ecology and Evolution) from Tulane University (2010). Before joining the Academic Studio faculty at NOCCA, Travis was a Visiting Professor of Urban Studies at Bard Early College New Orleans, where he taught an interdisciplinary science course about biodiversity and human well-being. In recent summers, he has taught a field biology course for gifted and talented rising high school freshmen as part of the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. Travis’ research examines the evolutionary and ecological implications of dam construction in the Southeastern United States, with the majority of his fieldwork conducted in the rivers and reservoirs of Alabama. In addition to his work as a scientist, Travis continues to maintain a private piano studio and performs on a limited basis.
Michael Higgins
Theater Faculty, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts
Jacksonville, FL          
Michael J. Higgins has taught high school theatre for almost thirty years in both independent and public high schools.  He received his BA with a double major in Theatre and English Education from the University of Northern Colorado and continued his education at the Professional Directing program at Boston University.  From Boston University, Michael went on to complete his MFA at Pennsylvania State University in Playwrighting.  Michael then made the move to Florida to teach at the Bolles School.  At Bolles, Michael placed four full-length productions at the Florida State Thespian Conference and three full-length plays at the highly selective International Thespian Festival.  In 1993, Michael moved to Douglas Anderson School of the Arts as a drama instructor. Also, in 1993, Michael was elected by drama teachers throughout the state of Florida to the position of State Director of Florida State Thespians.  As State Director for 18 years, Michael organized and managed the largest high school theatre conference in the world (over 5,000 students attending).  For DASOTA, Mr. Higgins has directed such notable productions as The Orphans, Red, Black and Ignorant, A Flea in Her Ear, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, The Imaginary Invalid, Le Dindon, Metamorphosis, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Terra Nova, Hotel Paradise, Adding Machine, Boeing, Boeing, Patient A, and Almost, Maine, Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Shadow Box, Ladies Man and a devised version of East of the Sun and West of the Moon.
Hillary Hogue
Studio Art Faculty, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts
Jacksonville, FL
Hillary Hogue has a BFA in Drawing from the University of Florida in drawing and an MFA is Studio Art from Maryland Institute of Art. She currently teaches studio art at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. She teaches AP Art and Design and also is an AP reader for the College Board.
Savannah Holds
Arts Coordinator, Booker Middle School
Sarasota, FL
Savannah Holds is an arts, education, and business professional from Sarasota, FL.  She is a second-generation actor performing in leading roles on Broadway, television, and film.  After retiring from her performing career, she spent several years as a director and business coach at a financial firm in New York City.  Now she resides with her husband and daughter in Sarasota Florida and works as the Arts Coordinator at Booker Middle School’s Visual and Performing Arts Magnet Program.  On top of her roles and responsibilities there she continues her coaching practice, choreographs regionally, and is a photographer.  This year she also has the honor of being president of Designing Daughters of Sarasota, a local women’s organization dedicated to supporting the community and nonprofits locally.  Savannah is dedicated to holistic problem solving and is passionate about creative strategy in education and the arts.
Marie Hoffman
Co-Chair Dance Department, Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts
Huntington Beach, CA
Marie Hoffman, Co-Artistic Director of Akomi Dance, has been a driving force in the Southern California dance community since her arrival 17 years ago. She has spent a lifetime studying classical and contemporary ballet along with multiple methods of modern dance.  Her pedigree spans 30+ years of educational training and professional performance experience.  Her work has been showcased, adjudicated, and honored domestically and abroad. Ms. Hoffman has been recognized by the Huntington Beach Allied Arts Board and by the Orange County Music and Arts Administrators for her outstanding contributions to dance education.  Her career in the dance profession brings her constant fulfillment and her work with her dancers is what defines her as an individual.
Marie Hoffman received her BA in Dance from Radford University and her MFA in Choreography and Performance from the University of North Carolina. While working in North Carolina as a teacher and performer, Marie choreographed for numerous community theater organizations. Some of her credits include: “West Side Story,” “Crazy For You,” and “My Fair Lady.” Marie relocated to Southern California in 2000 and founded the Accidental Dance Company. Her work with this group of dancers was awarded the Virginia Waring Grand Prize at the Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in 2001. Ms. Hoffman’s work has been showcased in the SOLA Festival, in the New Perspectives High School Invitational, in the Youth America Grand Prix, in the Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival, at the American College Dance Festival, and in numerous faculty concerts at Cypress College, Irvine Valley College, Moorpark College and Huntington Beach High School. She has accompanied her dancers to Cape Town, South Africa, where they performed in three separate venues to sold out audiences. In November 2008, Marie’s work was again awarded the Grand Prize at the Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in Palm Desert, CA. In Summer 2008, she traveled to Edinburgh with her dancers to participate in the renowned Festival Fringe.  Ms. Hoffman and her dancers have participated in the New Prague Dance Festival four times, taking the Grishko International Award, two Contemporary Dance Commendations, and ultimately the Festival Grand Prize.  In addition, Marie was awarded the Pedagogy of Dance Award for her contributions to dance education."
Kimberly Hyatt
President & CEO, Cathedral Arts Project
Jacksonville, FL
Reverend Hyatt brought a diverse background to the Cathedral Arts Project when she became President & CEO in 2002. Her 25-year career is notable for developing new initiatives, growing programs, formalizing structures and processes and executing to achieve goals.
Following divinity studies at Princeton Seminary where she earned her Master's degree, she moved to Jacksonville in 1996 and served pastorates at South Jacksonville Presbyterian and Peace Presbyterian churches. During this time, she also served on the boards of directors for Hubbard House and Community Connections.
Prior to divinity school, Kimberly was a business lobbyist in Washington, D.C., from 1987 until 1993. Employed by the Food Marketing Institute, she represented the interests of the nation's food retailers and wholesalers before Congress and ran the political action committee FoodPAC.
During a short stint after college as a reporter for a local newspaper, Kimberly won the South Carolina Press Association's award for Best Feature Story for her coverage of Ku Klux Klan activities in Horry County, SC. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1987 from Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, where she was voted Outstanding Senior.
She was one of 20 Jacksonville citizens chosen for the Inaugural Class of the Jessie Ball duPont Community Building Fund's Community Coaches. The Community Coaches program was designed to build a cadre of community experts who can assist local nonprofits in improving their operations and increasing their knowledge of what constitutes good youth development programs. The coaches spent a year being trained by a team of national experts and then provide at least 10 days of pro bono service to local nonprofits.
Reverend Hyatt serves as President of the Trustees for the Presbytery of St. Augustine as well as on its Permanent Judicial Commission. She also serves on the Board of Governors for the JAX Chamber. She is an active member of Downtown Rotary, the Jacksonville Women's Network, and the Chamber's Downtown Development Committee, and a past board member of The Cathedral School, Heritage Singers of Jacksonville, Hubbard House and Community Connections. She was named a Woman of Influence by the Jacksonville Business Journal in 2015, was a finalist for the EVE Award in 2014, received the Woman of Vision Award by Girls Inc. in 2011, the Boundless: 40 Years, 40 Icons Award from the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville in 2016, and was a Jacksonville Business Journal Ultimate CEO honoree in 2017.


Holly Johnson
Admissions Counselor, Shenandoah University
A Binghamton, NY native, Holly holds a Bachelor of Music Education with a concentration in piano and percussion, and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, from Shenandoah University. As a member of the Admissions team at Shenandoah University, Holly works intensively with prospective music, theatre, and dance students, and coordinates all on-campus recruitment events including Conservatory auditions.  As Shenandoah’s Musical Theatre program continues to build its national profile (ranking in the top 10 programs in the country last year), Holly has become a specialist in the application, prescreen and audition process for prospective Musical Theatre students.   She looks forward to sharing her experience with the Arts Schools Network Conference. 


Dr. Giti Javidi
Dr. Giti Javidi worked to develop new curricula and programs for computer science education with the goal of engaging a wider audience and bridging the gender gap in STEM fields.  Her primary research is grounded in methods found in the field of Human Computer Interaction and its intersection with data visualization with many dimensions over a wide variety of data types. Drs. Sheybani and Javidi conduct seminars in STEAM education to engage students and teachers to interactive experiences in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.
Susan Knill
Executive Director, Denver School of the Arts Friends Foundation 
Denver, CO
Susan Knill has spent the past 18 years in the field of fundraising and development, leading successful events, campaigns, and initiatives in California and Colorado. She currently serves as the Director of Development for the Denver School of the Arts Friends Foundation, overseeing all aspects of foundation operations and working with a 16-member board. During the past six years, Ms. Knill has worked to increase the presence and financial position of the DSA Friends Foundation through a robust monthly giving campaign, numerous community partnerships, expanded arts outreach programming, and successful events that have increased foundation revenue by more than tenfold. Ms. Knill holds a BA from Santa Clara University and a California Bilingual Teaching Credential for Elementary Education from San Francisco State University. She enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.
William Kohut
Former Principal, Denver School of the Arts
Denver, CO
Mr. Kohut was appointed Principal of the Denver School of the Arts in May of 2009. Denver School of the Arts is a 6 -12th grade Magnet school for the Arts in the Denver Public Schools. Denver School of the Arts has been recognized as one of the top high schools in America by US News and World Report having been granted the distinction of being a “Gold Medal” winner for four straight years. Denver School of the Arts was also named a Distinguished “Blue” School in Denver Public Schools and was designated an “Exemplary Arts School” by the Arts Schools Network in October 2014. Mr. Kohut served as the principal of South High School, a National AVID Demonstration School for 8 years. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, and an MA degree in School Administration from the University of Phoenix. Bill has taught in and served as an administrator in many diverse environments. The schools he has served range from rural schools to a magnet school for English Language Learners.
In addition to his service in the public schools, Mr. Kohut served as an adjunct instructor of Music Education at Metropolitan State University for eight years. His musical background includes serving as the Music Director of the Denver Community Concert Band and as Assistant Conductor of the Colorado Youth Pops Orchestra (he conducted this orchestra as the opening act for the Boston Pops Orchestra, led by Keith Lockhart in a National Holiday Tour in 1996). His arts leadership experience includes serving on the Colorado Department of Education Fine Arts Advisory Council and serving on the task force that authored the first version of the Colorado Model Content Standards for Music. He continues to be an active member of the Board of Directors for the Colorado Music Educators Association and the Arts Schools Network.
Mr. Kohut has presented numerous sessions focused on music education and school leadership at state and national conferences. Since 2005 Mr. Kohut has served on the Colorado High School Activities Association State Music Committee and served in the role of chair from 2002‐2004. In addition to his art experience, Bill also has a broad base of leadership experience as an administrator having actively worked as a partner with the College Board to implement a strong college readiness system at South High School and bringing South High School to national recognition as a national “AVID Demonstration” school.
Through his leadership in the arts, he has been recognized as the Colorado State Thespian’s “School Administrator of the Year”. He received the Colorado Music Educators Association Honored Administrator Award in 2012. The National Federation of High Schools awarded him the Outstanding Music Educator Award as recognition for his leadership in the Arts in 2012.
Andrew Laue
Associate Director of Fine Arts Admissions, Webster University   
St. Louis, MO
Mr. Laue oversees recruitment coordination for the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts, which includes marketing outreach, strategic planning, summer programs, and facilitation of the audition and portfolio review process. His college admissions career spans nearly 30 years and includes work in the areas of accessibility, student persistence, and curriculum offerings.  Andrew is a regular presenter at the local, state, and national level on the topic of best practices in the college search process for students interested in the fine and performing arts. This includes organizations such as The College Board, IECA, NACAC, and various state and regional ACAC affiliates. In addition, he is the City Representative for the NACAC St. Louis Performing and Visual Arts College Fair, held at Webster each fall.
John Lawler
Principal, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts
Los Angeles, CA
John Lawler has had a lengthy career in the arts. He is an award-winning director and writer with projects in New York, Los Angeles, London, Munich, and elsewhere. He was the founder of the award-winning Annex Theatre in Seattle, has been a Guest Artist at Sundance, the O’Neill Center, and Williamstown, and received several awards at the Austin Film Festival.
Mr. Lawler is the principal of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), and prior to this, he was a founder of ArTES Magnet, a California Gold Ribbon School award, and an Arts Schools Network Exemplary Arts School. Partnering with California Institute of the Arts and the Huntington Library, he worked to facilitate deep partnerships between arts institutions and schools. In 2016, Mr. Lawler was honored as the Administrator of the Year for Los Angeles USD and serves on the Boards of the Arts Schools Network and the Arts High Foundation."
Adam Levine  
Director, Cummer Museum of Arts & Gardens
Jacksonville, FL
Adam Levine, Ph.D. is the Cummer Museum of Art & Garden’s inaugural George W. and Kathleen I. Gibbs Director & Chief Executive Officer. He began his new role with the Museum in January 2019. Levine’s more than 10 years of management and curatorial experience in leading arts institutions and museums in America includes times spent at the Toledo Museum of Art as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow before being appointed Assistant Director. He was promoted to Associate Director and then Deputy Director, all the while acting as the curator of the Museum’s important collection of ancient art. From 2011 to 2013, he was a collections management assistant in the Greek and Roman Art Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. In 2009, he cofounded Art Research Technologies in New York City and served as CEO until 2012. He has also consulted extensively for national and international museums, universities, and think tanks.
Anne Maschler
Principal, ArTES Magnet
San Fernando, CA
Anne Maschler was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, where she earned a degree in Education and Linguistics. She moved to Los Angeles in 2003 and received an MA in Educational Administration after attending the Principal Residency Network through the Center for Collaborative Education.
After teaching English in Middle and High School, she joined a team of educators to write the plan for a small, innovative, arts-themed high school. Since the opening of ArTES Magnet in 2011, Ms. Maschler served the school as an English teacher, coordinator, and Assistant Principal before taking the role of principal in 2018.
She enjoys working in the personalized, supportive and creative setting that ArTES as a pilot and magnet school provides to students and staff and is currently working on further deepening arts pathways alongside the school’s rigorous academic program.
Anne Maschler is the recipient of the 2018 Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton Emerging Leader Award.
Diane Makas
Artistic Director, Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts
Huntington Beach, CA
Diane has earned a reputation as one of the finest arts administrators in Orange County. Diane was recognized by the Orange County Music and Arts Administrators as Administrator of the Year in 2012. Previously recognized as a Distinguished Arts Administrator by the Allied Arts Board, Diane is now in her 21st year at the helm of the Academy for the Performing Arts, having built a struggling arts school of eighty students into a magnet academy of more than six hundred students. HB APA currently offers majors in Acting, Musical Theatre, Music Media and Entertainment Arts, Technical Theatre, Costume Design, Playwriting and Directing, Dance, and Orchestral Music. The quality of HB APA's program can be found in the hundreds of HB APA alumni studying and working professionally around the globe and in the annual awards earned in all departments. Most recently, HB APA was recognized by the Orange County Department of Education for Outstanding Contributions to Education and was designated as an Arts Schools Network Exemplary School. Diane holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Science in Biology/Chemistry, as well as a Masters in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University. She has been honored by her alma mater with recognition of excellence in Dance Education and Choreography and is also listed in “Who's Who in Education.”
Kara Bickhem May    
Founding Director, Art In Motion Creative Arts School
Chicago, IL
Kara Bickhem May is an educator with over twenty years of experience and a deep passion for the hearts and development of young people. She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in French and a dual minor in Music and English, as well as a Masters of Arts in Education with an English and French concentration at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. May earned a second Masters in Educational Leadership from Governors State University in University Park, IL. May is passionate about teaching the whole child, and encouraging and empowering all children to recognize their potential and achieve it.
Murray McKay          
Associate Vice President, Undergraduate Admission & Enrollment Marketing
Maryland Institute College of Art
Baltimore, MD
Murray has twenty-five years of experience in multi-arts education, with 18 years of experience in admission recruitment, retention, and marketing and communications for NASAD accredited schools‚ public, private and study-abroad.
His commitment to diversity is demonstrated by his personal outreach to young people in more than 40 U.S. states and 40 foreign countries. As a NAFSA Leader, in the world's largest international education association, he is Co-chair of the Creative Industries Members Interest Group. In November 2018, he presented research on Creative Entrepreneurship at the Council of International Schools Global Forum in Vienna, Austria.
He has exhibited, performed and screened his work at Terra Museum of American Art, The Field Museum, Koehnline Museum of Art, Royal College of Art, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Blue Man Group, The Goodman Theatre, Cleveland Performance Art Festival, and others. Murray earned an M.F.A. at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Carrie Mills
Drama Director and VPA Curriculum Leader, Booker Middle School
Sarasota, FL
Carrie originally hails from Allentown, PA and earned her B.A. in Theatre from Penn State and her M.F.A. in Theatre for Young Audiences from Arizona State University. She has worked onstage and in the education departments of regional theatres across the country including The Utah Shakespearean Festival, Missoula Children's Theatre, People's Light & Theatre Company, and Asolo Repertory Theatre. She made the leap from the professional theatre world to the classroom in 2007 and currently teaches the Drama and Musical Theatre classes at Booker Middle while also serving as the VPA Curriculum Leader. In addition to teaching fulltime, she's worked locally in Sarasota with Musicians Out of the Box, The Players Theatre, The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, and Venice Theatre.
Michael Owens
Principal, The School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA)
Cincinnati, OH
Michael Owens joined the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) as principal in July 2015, coming home to Cincinnati after a professional career with Columbus (Ohio) Public Schools. Owens is a 1988 graduate of SCPA, where he focused on vocal and instrumental music.
Owens served as a teacher, assistant principal and principal within Columbus City Schools. Most recently, he was the founding principal of Columbus’ Preparatory School for Boys, where he developed the single-gender middle school from its inception. Previously, he was assistant principal at Columbus’ Arts Impact Middle School, and he taught in elementary and middle schools, including at Columbus Africentric School — where he created the school song. Between teaching and starting his career in administration, Owens worked as Columbus’ Peer Assistance and Review Consultant and in the Columbus’ Leadership Intern Program.
He earned a Master’s degree in Education Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Early and Middle Childhood Education, both from The Ohio State University.


Brian Palmer
Associate Professor of Dance and Chair of Theater and Dance, Jacksonville University
Jacksonville, FL

Brian Palmer, Associate Professor of Dance and Chair of Theater and Dance, has been a professor at Jacksonville University since 2002. His current professional organization accomplishments include serving as an evaluator for National Association of Schools in Dance, a dance review panelist for Florida’s Division of Cultural Affairs and Board of Directors member with the Florida Dance Association. In 2014-15 he was named the Jacksonville University Professor of the Year.


Marly Parker
Drama Teacher/Arts Integration Specialist, Rotella Interdistrict Magnet School
Waterbury, CT
Marly Parker is the Drama Teacher/Arts Integration Specialist at Rotella Interdistrict Magnet School in Waterbury, CT. She has been teaching for 23 years. As a classroom teacher for 15 years, arts integration was a key approach used to reach her students. She continues to use arts integration in her drama lessons and assists teachers with creating lessons. Marly is an advocate for arts in schools.
Evan Plummer
Senior Director of Education, National YoungArts Foundation
Miami, FL
Evan Plummer is Senior Director of Education at the National YoungArts Foundation based in Miami, FL. Plummer directs strategies for increasing access to the YoungArts annual national competition in the visual, literary, design and performing arts. Plummer views educator professional development as a key lever for high-quality arts education outcomes.


Jeff M. Poulin
Managing Director
Creative Generation

Jeff M. Poulin is an American scholar, non-profit administrator, and social entrepreneur whose work is grounded in social justice and seeks transformative solutions to society’s most challenging problems. In 2019, Jeff founded Creative Generation, which works to inspire, connect, and amplify the work of organizations and individuals committed to cultivating the creative capacities of young people. With over a decade of experience as a performer, teaching artist, education researcher, and arts administrator, he previously led a national program, where he works to advance local, state, and federal policies supportive of equitable access to arts education throughout the United States. Jeff is widely published, serves as a reviewer for grant and research panels, and speaks to audiences across the country and around the globe. Jeff hails from Portland, Maine and holds degrees in arts management, cultural policy, and education from Oklahoma City University, University College Dublin, and the University of Glasgow. 


Michelle Power
3rd Grade ELA Teacher, Howe Hall AIMS    
Goose Creek, SC
Michelle Power teaches third grade and beginning strings at Howe Hall AIMS in Goose Creek, South Carolina.  She has her Masters of Education in Teaching Literacy from the Citadel and is a certified Literacy Coach.  She was the 2018 Teacher of the Year at Howe Hall AIMS.  This is her twelfth year teaching and has taught grades 2-5 in Colleton and Berkeley County Schools. 
Mark Rivard
Founder, Rivard Art Education/Stage Culinary
Minneapolis, MN
Mark Rivard is the founder of Rivard Art Education and Stage Culinary. Two Experiential Learning platforms based in Visual Arts (Via Skateboards), and Culinary Arts respectively, with an emphasis on business & entrepreneurship. Mr. Rivard is a professional fine artist, writer, educator, and entrepreneur.  Working out of Minneapolis, MN, Rivard runs the highly regarded arts educational platform Rivard Art Education, as well as his managing his own brand of products and creative services.  He has shown his work globally and been involved in internationally recognized projects.  
Scott Rudes, PhD
Principal, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts
Dallas, TX
Dr. Rudes is currently the principal of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX.  BTWHSPVA has been ranked one of the top eight magnet schools in the country and has a record 23 US Presidential Scholars in the Arts since its inception in 1976.  As one of the top arts high schools in the country, students are well prepared for the top universities and conservatories throughout the world.  Some of the notable alumni from BTW include Nora Jones, Erikah Badu, Roy Hargrove, and Edie Brickell.  Rudes also serves as a board member of Arts Schools Network, an organization which supports specialized arts programs, educators, and leaders. Prior to his appointment at BTWHSPVA, Dr. Rudes served as the principal at Orange Grove Middle Magnet School of the Arts in Tampa, Florida.  During his tenure, Orange Grove was recognized by the state of Florida as an Arts Achieve! Model School, and received the Exemplary Schools designation from the Arts Schools Network.  Dr. Rudes was also recognized by the Florida Alliance for Arts Education (FAAE) as the Arts Administrator of the Year for 2012 and received the Denise Davis-Cotton Emerging Leader Award from the Arts Schools Network as well.  In 2013, he was recognized by the Broadway Educator League with the League Educator Apple Award, which acknowledged his work in bringing together arts organizations in the Tampa area to improve arts education experiences in the K-12 spectrum.  Rudes has served as the President of the Florida Orchestra Association (FOA) as well as President of the Florida Network of Arts Administrators (FNAA).
Dr. Kathy Scherler
Associate Principal of Visual & Performing Arts
I.M. Terrell Academy of STEM & Visual and Performing Arts         
Fort Worth, TX
Dr. Kathy Scherler is Associate Principal of Visual and Performing Arts at I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM & VPA located in Fort Worth, Texas. Prior to this appointment, she was Assistant Professor of Music for ten years at universities in Texas and Oklahoma. Dr. Scherler has taught K-12 public school music for over 20 years. Currently, Dr. Scherler leads the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts team which includes Dance, Art, Theatre, Vocal and Instrumental Music. A published author, Dr. Scherler's research regarding educational equity and access has been presented all over the United States as well as Bologna, Italy and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Dr. Scherler was recently nominated as a quarter finalist for the 2018 Grammy Music Educator Award. In addition, her work was nominated by the Executive Director and CEO of the Music Teacher's National Association, Dr. Gary Ingle, for the International Music Council's Music Rights Award.


Dr. Ehsan Sheybani
Professor, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee
Sarasota, FL
Dr. Ehsan Sheybani has earned three degrees in Electrical Engineering: a BS from University of Florida, an MS from Florida State University, and a PhD from University of South Florida. His main research area has been applications of communication, signal processing, and data analysis. He has been involved in teaching, practicing, researching and consulting applications of DSP in technology, system analysis and data sciences for the past 20 years. His long list of publications and research grants include projects with NASA, NSF, NIH, DoD, DEd and industry partners.
Ted Shistle
Director of Bands, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts
Jacksonville, FL
Ted Shistle is beginning his fourth year as Director of Bands at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and his 15th year as a music educator. Ensembles under his direction have performed at the CBDNA/NBA Southern Division Conference (twice), at International Music Festival in Carnegie Hall, and have consistently earned superior ratings at all FBA District and State level events. Mr. Shistle is active as an adjudicator and clinician including conducting the 3rd annual Nine-Star Honor Band for the Florida Bandmaster's Association. In addition to his duties as a band director, Mr. Shistle is active as a bassoonist making frequent appearances with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and performing chamber music. Additionally, Mr. Shistle serves as the chair of the Concert Music Committee for the Florida Bandmasters Association. He is a proud member of FBA, FMEA, NAfME, Phi Beta Mu, and an honorary member for Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He earned his bachelor's degree in Bassoon Performance from the Conservatory of Music at UMKC, and a Master's in Music Education from Florida State University.
Paul Solomon
Associate Professor, Frostic School of Art, Western Michigan University 
Kalamazoo, MI
Paul R. Solomon is an award-winning educator, a widely published photographer, and a writer. He is Associate Professor at the Frostic School of Art, Western Michigan University and director of the interdisciplinary program Direct Encounter with the Arts. Solomon is founder of The Skilled Observer in Art and Science course of study. He is Adjunct Community Associate Professor, Program in Medical Ethics, Humanities, and Law, at the Homer Stryker MD, School of Medicine, where he teaches about art and medicine. He holds a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, and an MFA from The Ohio State University. Solomon’s photography has been commissioned and published by clientele including: Adobe Corp; Alitalia Airlines; The American Express Company; Christie’s Auctions; European Travel and Life; and Smithsonian Magazine. Solomon’s photographic body of work, “Boundaries of Eden,” was shown in a one-person exhibit in Chicago, in 2013, seen in group exhibitions in Manhattan and on Governors Island, New York, in 2014 and 2015.
Rhonda Stampalia
Ballet Director and Choreographer, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts
Jacksonville, FL

Rhonda Stampalia is in her thirtieth year with Douglas Anderson School of the Arts where she serves as Ballet Director and choreographer for many works that have received distinction and acclaim.  She has been the director/choreographer for the First Coast Nutcracker since 1998 to the present as well as a choreographer to multiple dance performances with the Jacksonville Symphony.  In 2019 she was a finalist in the Duval County Public Schools Teacher of the Year.


Paul Sznewajs
Executive Director, Ingenuity, Inc.
Chicago, IL
Paul Sznewajs is the founding Executive Director of Ingenuity, which received the 2013 Chicago Innovation Award as one of the city’s most innovative companies. Paul has forged working partnerships and alliances with numerous city departments, the school district, and almost every major cultural institution in Chicago.
With nearly two decades of senior leadership experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector, he has a track record of building, launching and evaluating complex social sector initiatives.
His professional experience spans across all aspects of nonprofit and philanthropic work, including: executive leadership; public-sector planning and capacity-building; grant-making and impact investment program design; designing and implementing large scale public/private initiatives; board and staff recruitment; program development; as well as metric-based outcomes & program analysis.
Mr. Sznewajs and Ingenuity received Boeing’s 2013 Game Changer Award, given to those affecting the greatest change in their sector each year. Previously, Mr. Sznewajs was the founder of Snow City Arts, an award-winning organization he founded in 1998. As a chief fundraiser, nonprofit strategist, creative director, and arts advocate, he has been honored by the White House, and is a leader in Chicago’s arts and culture sector.
M. Scott Tatum
Dean of Arts Conservatories
Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA)
Dallas, TX
Theatre Practitioner. Arts Schools Administrator. Professional Question Asker.
Previously Head of Theatre at McCallum Fine Arts Academy in Austin and now Dean of Arts Conservatories at Booker T Washington HSPVA in Dallas, Scott's experience ranges from private to public, urban to suburban, comprehensive to magnet, formal and informal, and K-12. The common thread, Scott works to help mission-centric organizations to develop education for the whole child, with a specific focus on those with gifts and talents in the arts."
Leiland Theriot
Executive Director, Florida Alliance for Arts Education       
Sarasota, FL
Leiland Theriot taught music in the Sarasota County Schools system for seventeen years, both at the elementary and secondary levels.  She is a graduate of the Sarasota County Leadership Academy and was the program leader for a STEAM magnet school program, where she created their speaker bureau, coordinated professional development, and collaborated in educational leadership teams.  She has written and reviewed lesson plans, teacher resources and assessments at both the local and state levels and has secured numerous grants for herself and her instructional teams, particularly in the area of arts integration.   Mrs. Theriot earned her Bachelor degree in Music Education from Florida State University, her Master degree in Counselor Education and post-graduate certificate in Educational Leadership from the University of South Florida.
Shannon Thiesen
5th Grade Teacher/Visual Arts Specialist, Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts, North Poplar
Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
Shannon Thiesen is a 5th grade teacher and Visual Arts Specialist at Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts, North Poplar in beautiful British Columbia. An award-winning artist, Thiesen is the 2017 UFV Young Distinguished Alumni Award winner, the 2016 Abbotsford Arty Award winner and has represented her province in three consecutive years in Toronto at the Art Battle National live art competition. Thiesen's work is showcased in several galleries in Canada. In the classroom, she is a strong supporter of experimentation, play and integrating curricular concepts into various art forms.


James  Wells
Innovative Teaching and Learning Manager, Crayola
Memphis, TN
James brings his creativity and high energy to every creatED training session, engaging participants to think differently. James has been dedicated to supporting arts in schools, working closely with students, teachers and administrators in Tennessee and across the US. Prior to Crayola, James was the Fine Art Instructional Advisor for Shelby County School District in Memphis, Tennessee and the Director of Arts Access/Art Education Coordinator for the Tennessee Arts Commission in Nashville, Tennessee. He has participated in leading numerous initiatives that kept art at the forefront of education including revising art standards for the state of Tennessee. As the Education Programs Manager for Culture & Heritage Museums in Rock Hill, South Carolina, he also designed educational programs for both school groups and families. In addition to his work at Crayola, James continues to be involved in art education as a leader within the National Art Educators Association and a member of this Professional Organization's Art Leaders Program.
Chris Wineman
Board Chair, Denver School of the Arts Friends Foundation
Denver, CO    
Chris Wineman is the parent of a DSA graduate (Creative Writing) and has served on the DSAFF board since 2012. He is a principal at Semple Brown Design, a Denver architecture firm, and remembers fondly working on the design of DSA’s current facility. His other notable projects include the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and the Parker Arts, Culture & Events Center. He is a past member of the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs and the board of the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts. Chris was trained as an actor and director and has worked previously with Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Denver Center Theatre Company.
Joseph Wise
Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board, Distinctive Schools
Chicago, IL
Joseph Wise has a longstanding record of helping school districts, school boards, and school leaders make rapid improvements to support student achievement. He has successfully led major public and private sector organizations throughout North America to set ambitious goals and achieve impressive results. Dr. Wise has successfully bridged academic, business, and governmental interests to build—and sustain—decisive organizational reforms. His passion for all students, particularly those who are underserved and disadvantaged, drives a sense of urgency about the reforms needed to help America regain its competitive edge through the academic preparation of our nation’s children. His focus on great governance, great leadership, and great student and parent engagement has been the keystone of his accomplishments. Dr. Wise formerly served as Superintendent of Schools for the nation’s 15th largest public school district (Duval County Public Schools, Jacksonville, Florida) and the State of Delaware’s largest public school district (Christina School District, Wilmington, Delaware), earning a reputation as a visionary leader who brought about measurable improvements in both student achievement and operational management. Dr. Wise currently serves as Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Distinctive Schools, which is responsible for the management of high-performing urban public non-profit charter schools in Chicago and Detroit.
Russell Wolfe
Instructor of Integrated Sciences, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA)
New Orleans, LA        
Dr. Russell Wolfe moved to New Orleans in 2007 from Nebraska, where he studied Physics, Biology, and Mathematics. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University for research focused on understanding how stem cells respond to the physical forces that occur during large-scale bioprocessing. While at Tulane, he also taught hands-on undergraduate engineering courses in robotics, electronic circuits, and medical device design, in addition to mentoring undergraduate students in research practices, public presentation, and professional career development. Dr. Wolfe's artistic endeavors include ceramics and digital photography.
Kuniko Yamamoto
Owner, Origami Air Art Studio
Sarasota, FL
A native of Japan, Kuniko Yamamoto received her Bachelor of Psychology from Otani University of Kyoto, Japan. She performed professionally in her hometown of Osaka, studying traditional dance, music, and theater. She received national exposure performing Japanese Storytelling at the Silk Road International Exposition and on Kansai National TV. Kuniko traveled to the United States to study with Tony Montanaro, a highly-respected mime and actor. She toured with Leland Faulkner Light Theater, where she helped present lavish stage illusions and brought ancient tales to life with shadows and magic, performing in theaters, schools, colleges, and festivals across the country. She moved to Florida in 1992, and she Jon LeClair, a world-renowned magician whose books appear in magic shops worldwide. Kuniko has performed in numerous venues of note such as: The Kennedy Center, Disney Epcot Japanese Pavilion, Seattle’s International Festival, International Children’s Festival in Canada, and the National Storytelling Festival.