Sheila Grether-Marion (Chairman)
Sheila Grether-Marion is the Chairman of The Pasadena Playhouse Executive Board. She has served on its Board of Director’s since 1999. A former actor and professional fund-raiser for the Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Los Angeles Library Association and the National Repertory Theatre, Sheila has assisted in raising millions of dollars for non-profit organizations. She has received many awards for her work including The President’s Award for Public Sector Initiatives in 1982, citations from Mayor Tom Bradley and the Board of Los Angeles Library Commissions and from the Los Angeles County Library for her work to raise funds to combat illiteracy. Sheila began her second career as a Financial Advisor in 1987 and has been First Vice-President, Investments with Merrill Lynch in its Pasadena office since 2002. She is currently a Portfolio Manager-Personal Investment Advisory program and the senior partner of her team. Sheila and her husband, Mark, live in Sierra Madre. Sheila was born and raised in Pasadena and was an usher at the Pasadena Playhouse while she attended Blair High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from nearby Occidental College in 1976. She and Mark have two children, Marissa Fox, a lawyer and Orion Marion, a professional musician.
David DiCristofaro (Vice-Chairman)
David DiCristofaro is executive vice president and president for the Greater Los Angeles region of Wells Fargo Bank. DiCristofaro oversees 1,800 team members at more than 100 banking stores in the communities of eastern Los Angeles, south Los Angeles, northern Long Beach, Pasadena, and the San Gabriel Valley. DiCristofaro assumed his current role in March 2010. Previously, he was regional president for Wells Fargo’s South Coast Community Bank for four years. He also served as chief financial officer for Wells Fargo’s L.A. Metro region. DiCristofaro joined Wells Fargo through the former Norwest Bank in 1997 as managing director of online banking. In 1999, he was named to head finance and strategy for Wells Fargo’s Northern California region. Before joining Wells Fargo, DiCristofaro worked as a consultant with BDO Seidman, a senior consultant with FinExc Consulting Group LLC, and as vice president of corporate planning for Roosevelt Bank. DiCristofaro received his bachelor’s degree in finance and management from New York University’s Stern School of Business. DiCristofaro currently serves as the vice chairman of the board for both the Pasadena Playhouse and the American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles. In 2011 DiCristofaro was recognized as the Pasadena Playhouse Theatrical Diversity Project Honoree. He previously served on the advisory board for Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach, Calif., and on the board of the Sacramento Ballet Company.
Tony Phillips (Treasurer)
C. Anthony Phillips, CPA is the Treasurer of The Pasadena Playhouse Executive Board. He is a partner at Phillips & Company, a Certified Public Accounting firm located in Pasadena. He is also President of Downstream Exchange Company which acts as an accommodator in tax deferred exchanges. His current civic positions include serving as Treasurer of Rotary Club of Pasadena, Secretary & Treasurer of the Pasadena Wine and Food Society, Treasurer of Stardusters Dance Club and Honorary Director of Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. His past civic positions include serving as President of Pasadena Symphony Association, President of Board of Trustees of the Pasadena Arts Council, President of Rotary Club of Pasadena, Director/Chairman of Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, Treasurer of Pasadena Chapter of California Institute for Cancer Research, Vice President of Pasadena Child Guidance Clinics, Reserve Pasadena Police Officer and President of Eastside Boy’s Club.
Linda Boyd Griffey (Secretary)
Linda Griffey is the Secretary of The Pasadena Playhouse Executive Board. She has served on the Board of Directors since the 1990s. Linda is a retired partner of O’Melveny & Myers, LLP, where she practiced law, specializing in executive compensation and employee benefits, for over 30 years. She is currently doing executive compensation projects as an independent contractor for a national executive compensation consulting firm. During her career, she has been a frequent author and lecturer on the subjects of employee benefits and compensation for USC Tax Institute, Practicing Law Institute, Prentice Hall Law & Business, and others. She is a fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and has been honored by being named an honorary life member of the Western Pension & Benefits Conference; Chambers USA leading lawyer (2006 - 2011), and a Southern California “Super Lawyer” in surveys conducted by Law & Politics Media Inc. (2006 - 2011). Linda also serves on the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles and the Executive Leadership Board of the College of Pharmacy of the University of Iowa. Linda received a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Iowa in 1972 and a J.D. from Duke University in 1980. She and her husband, Jay, live in San Marino.
President, Friends of The Pasadena Playhouse
President, The Pasadena Playhouse Alumni & Associates
Sheri Ball was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of The Pasadena Playhouse. She has previously served on the Board and was the Treasurer of the Stampede Soccer Club. For the past four years, Sheri has been actively involved in serving on committees and fundraising for various clubs at her children’s high schools, including being a founding director for the Ayala High School FBLA. Sheri began her banking career in 1981. She is a Vice President in Corporate Trust at US Bank and holds the designation of Certified Corporate Trust Specialist from the Institute of Certified Banking. Sheri grew up in La Habra, California and attended Pasadena City College. She and her husband Andy have two children currently attending college.
Darrell G. Brooke, a partner in the Pasadena and Monrovia offices of an established law firm with over 80 years of tradition, is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning Probate and Trust Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Darrell’s ties to the Pasadena Playhouse began with the creation of a scholarship fund by one of his clients for the Pasadena Playhouse Alumni and Associates over 20 years ago. Voted as a Southern California Super Lawyer and a Top Attorney by Pasadena Magazine, Darrell has dedicated his practice to estate planning for high net worth individuals and to serve the Pasadena probate court as a probate volunteer panel attorney in disputed elder law matters. Prior to joining the Pasadena Playhouse, Darrell served as President of the Levitt Pavilion Pasadena for 4 consecutive years, President of the Pasadena Quarterbacks for 2 years (including serving as host of the first Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony) and President of the Estate Planning Council of the San Gabriel Valley. He is a licensed Zumba instructor, teaching classes in Zumba Gold throughout the San Gabriel Valley. Darrell is the very proud father of Grayson Brooke, a nationally acclaimed television producer for the Bravo and HGTV networks.
Elizabeth Doran is the Executive Director of The Pasadena Playhouse. For a complete bio, click here.
Peggy Ebright was born and raised in Cincinnati, and received a B.A. in Spanish and Theatre from the College of Wooster. She moved to California in 1965 with her husband Jim, a corporate attorney for Aerojet General, and her two sons, Don and Doug. Peggy has worked extensively with the San Marino Players, Dionysians, Pasadena Arts Council and the Junior League. She came to the Playhouse in 1965 to run the Children’s Theatre, joined the Board of Trustees and has worked with The Playhouse ever since – on stage, building sets, and with outreach, development, The Friends, and the Board of Directors. At present, Peggy is representing the new Playhouse Ambassadors program.
Sheldon Epps is the Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse. For a complete bio, click here.
As vice president of investor relations for Herbalife, Amy Greene has global responsibility for all investment community communications including institutional marketing and interaction. Greene joined Herbalife with a keen understanding of publicly-traded companies in the direct selling industry, having spent over 15 years on Wall Street as a senior equity analyst. She served as a senior analyst at Avondale LLC covering food, restaurants, and the direct selling industries. Greene gained earlier financial experience at Financeware, a financial planning technology company, where she was founder and chief executive officer. She started her career working at Wheat First/First Union covering the food, beverage, and tobacco industries. Greene holds a Bachelor of Science in politics from Randolph Macon Woman's College.
George A. Henning
George A. Henning, the Chairman and President of Pacific Global, is portfolio manager of the Pacific Advisors Small Cap Value Fund, the Pacific Advisors Mid Cap Value Fund and individual client accounts. He also manages Pacific Global’s portion of the Multimanager Small Cap Value portfolio for the AXA Premier VIP Trust. He is also Chairman of the Pacific Advisors Funds. Mr. Henning has been in the financial services industry for over three decades. Prior to forming Pacific Global in 1991 and the Pacific Advisors Funds, he served as Senior Vice President of Transamerica Life Companies and President of its broker/dealer. Before joining Transamerica, Mr. Henning was Senior Vice President at Chubb LifeAmerica and President of its broker/dealer, mutual fund, and separate account mutual fund companies. He received a B.S. degree from Geneva College and a M.S. degree from Indiana University.
Teena Hostovich is Executive Vice President/Executive Committee member for Lockton. Recognized as a leading global authority on professional liability and complex risk. Teena was named one of 50 "Women to Watch" in 2007 by Business Insurance and was an honoree for “Woman Making a Difference” by Los Angeles Business Journal. Named Power Broker/Responsibility Leader in 2011, she also has been recognized by the California State Legislature as "Outstanding Corporate Woman" for her contributions to the community. Recently, she was named one of the Fifty Fabulous Women of Pasadena by Pasadena Magazine (May 2012) and Women of Influence of Pasadena in (April 2012). Her positive leadership, intellectual creativity, integrity and strong work ethic serve as an inspiration to young women she mentors. Actively involved in politics, Teena is Presidential Partner/Advisor to President Obama, a member of the Democratic National Finance Committee, and a member of the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Committee. Deeply committed to organizations that make a difference in the world, her list includes: Board of Trustees - William J. Clinton Foundation; Huntington Hospital Strategic Planning Committee; St. Anne's Board of Directors; Los Angeles Philharmonic Board of Overseers; Hollywood Bowl Opening Night Committee; Pasadena Arts Council Board; Pasadena Playhouse Diversity Committee; Opportunity International Board of Governors, Levitt Pavilions National Board and Flintridge Prep Board of Trustees. She is a CAP Mentor/Advisor, teaching career planning and development to USC Marshall School of Business students. She is honored to be named to Pasadena Playhouse Board of Directors.
Brad is a visionary in the areas of technology and business. He has twenty years of experience as an entrepreneur building early stage companies. He has launched five separate companies and invested in four times as many early stage ventures. He was one of the very first Internet pioneers in 1994, developing some of the earliest Internet-based technologies. In 1998 he sold his company, Net Effect, to Ask Jeeves. He then financed several successful ventures including eHarmony and Baidu. His last venture, iChange, was recently sold to Herbalife. Separately, Brad has enjoyed producing independent films under the banner of Epiphany Entertainment. His last film won the Alfred P. Sloan award and was invited to the Sundance, Cannes and Toronto film festivals. Brad has served as a trustee to Thrive Foundation For Youth, an advisor to Fuller Theological Seminary's School of Psychology, and board member to Pasadena Heritage. Brad lives in Pasadena with his wife, Pamela (a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary), and their three children.
Mr. Mermell earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from California State University-Northridge. He has been a Pasadena city employee since 1989, working his way up the ranks from an administrative analyst at Pasadena Water and Power. In the Finance Department, he served as purchasing administrator, budget administrator and deputy director of finance before achieving his current position of assistant city manager.
Darrell Miller, Managing Partner of the Los Angeles offices of the national law firm Fox Rothschild LLP and chair of its Entertainment Law practice, has been at the forefront of the transformation taking place in the entertainment industry, helping stars capitalize on their brands as a result of the emergence of a myriad of innovative delivery platforms and new media outlets. Darrell came to Hollywood in the late 1980s to actively participate in the development of new content to fuel the digital revolution then known as the “Information Superhighway.” He quickly became a leader in that field, counseling clients on ways to engage their audiences via traditional media (radio, television and film) with a view toward distribution on new media platforms. With a razor-sharp focus on entertainment industry clients, Darrell has cultivated long-standing relationships with numerous studio executives and creative personnel, including artists, writers, directors and producers associated with a variety of television programs and motion pictures. He also serves as special counsel for major corporations and independent production companies relating to the entertainment industry. Consistently named in the Top 50 Showbiz Players by "Black Enterprise Magazine," Darrell has earned a reputation as a “nice guy” and as a dedicated—and when needed, tenacious—advocate for his clients.
Michael A. Persaud
Michael is a successful businessman and entrepreneur who recently joined Ameriprise Financial Services. After spending many years running his own business and working to build others in media and entertainment, Michael is working with Ameriprise focusing his practice in those industry sectors as well as others. Prior to joining Ameriprise, Michael was President of Brand Development at MUSE Communications a Hollywood based advertising agency. He also co-founded his own agency, Persaud Brothers, where he served as President for 8 years. Michael worked in the music industry for a number of years at Qwest/Warner Brothers Records and helped with the start-up of VIBE Magazine before that. In between undergraduate school and Harvard Business School, Michael worked at GE Capital where he was a Risk Analyst for GE Investments, managers of the General Electric Pension Fund. While there he regularly reported the risk position of the funds under management to the GE board of Trustees. In addition to being a Board of the Pasadena Playhouse, Michael serves on the Board of Directors for Harvardwood, whose mission is to provide resources and opportunities for Harvard alumni interested in the arts, media, and entertainment. Michael holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. He completed his undergraduate studies at University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.
Abel R. Ramirez was born in Yucatan, Mexico and came to Pasadena as a young adult. He started his long career in Food Service at The Huntington Hotel (currently The Langham) and The Athenaeum at CalTech. He has been the CEO of Ramirez-Bianchi Corp which includes El Portal Restaurant, Yahaira's Café and Vanessa's Coffee House for over 18 years. He has been involved with and served on the Boards for Hillsides Home for Children, Playhouse District Association, Foothill Vocational Services, Latino Heritage and L.A. Food Bank. He was also just recently the President of the Board at Pasadena Senior Center. Abel has been married to Rosalia for over 40 years and has 3 sons and 6 grandchildren. Abel returns to the Board of the Pasadena Playhouse after a 2.5 year absence willing to continue his service to the organization and to the community.
Bingo Roncelli is a native Southern Californian and long-time community volunteer. She joined The Pasadena Playhouse Board because of her love of theater. Bingo and her husband Gino are world travelers and have visited over 200 countries. They have three marvelous children and four fabulous grand children. Bingo and Gino live in Arcadia.
Lilah Stangeland has been an active board member of The Pasadena Playhouse and has served on many other important community and civic affair organizations. She and her late husband, retired Vons CEO Roger Stangeland, have made important contributions to Arcadia Methodist Hospital Foundation, St. John’s Military Academy and The Pasadena Playhouse. Lilah lives in San Marino and has 3 children and 3 grandchildren.
Corky Hale Stoller
Corky Hale is a world renowned and critically acclaimed jazz pianist, harpist and singer. She has performed with Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Liberace, Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee, Mel Tormé, Judy Collins, George Michael, Boy George and Björk. She has appeared at The White House, in Central Park, and at the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, London’s Royal Albert Hall, RFK Stadium and on “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson”. She is married to legendary songwriter Mike Stoller. To learn more about Corky Hale, please visit, www.corkyhale.com.
Mike Stoller is one half of the legendary songwriting team of Leiber & Stoller. Elvis Presley recorded more than 20 of their songs, including "Hound Dog," and "Jailhouse Rock." Their many other hits include: "Kansas City," "Yakety Yak," "Love Potion #9," "Is That All There Is?" and "Stand By Me." SMOKEY JOE’S CAFÉ: THE SONGS OF LEIBER & STOLLER still holds the record as the longest running revue in Broadway history. Leiber & Stoller have been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In 2009, Simon & Schuster published Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography. Stoller is married to jazz great, Corky Hale. To learn more about Mike Stoller, please visit www.leiberstoller.com.
Martha Williamson is a 25-year veteran of the entertainment industry, writing and producing television drama, sit-com, and variety for all three major networks and cable. She is best known as the Executive Producer and Head Writer of the ground-breaking hit drama, "Touched By An Angel," which received 9 Emmy nominations over its nine-year run on CBS. Martha was also the first woman to solely executive produce two shows simultaneously when she created and executive-produced "Promised Land" also for CBS. Her work has been honored with numerous awards, among them, the Freedom Works Award from Congress, the Anti-Defamation League's Deborah Award, the Edward R. Murrow Responsibility in Television Award, the Williams College Bicentennial Medal, the prestigious Producer's Guild Nova Award, the Templeton Award and several NAACP Awards for best television drama. Martha was appointed by the President to the White House Counsel for Service and Civic Participation, and most recently served as the host of "A Touch of Encouragement," the #1 inspirational video website on Beliefnet.com. Martha has also appeared onstage on both coasts, performing her musical one-woman show "Martha At Risk." Martha is a native of Denver, Colorado and a graduate of Williams College. She is a popular speaker and the author of several books, including Inviting God to Your Wedding, which was recently released in its 10th anniversary edition by Random House. Martha lives in Southern California with her husband, Jon Andersen, and their two daughters. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Pasadena Playhouse since 2002.
David M. Davis,
Board Members Emeriti:
Kathy Arntzen Roat
Betty Ann Koen Brooks
Theodore Fitch Behr