Board of Directors
Jenny Niederhoffer (Chair) graduated from Penn State with a BFA in Musical Theatre. After working as a professional actor for a few years, she moved into the non-profit world helping organizations develop plans to engage lay leadership for long term involvement and successful partnerships with the executive staff. She has worked for UJA-Federation of NY, Foundation for Jewish Camps and Jewish Theological Seminary. She has been involved with UJA-Federation's young leadership board, the York Theatre, Harmony Program and Penn State Musical Theatre Program.
Nancy Friedman (Vice Chair) spent nearly two decades as a freelance television writer and producer, creating marketing, promotional and branding material for clients as diverse as Nickelodeon, HBO, Lifetime Television, WCBS, The Points of Light Foundation, and The Disney Channel. A veteran blogger, her essays have appeared online in The Miami Herald, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Sacramento Bee as well as in numerous magazines and anthologies. She is a founder and co-host of Error! Hyperlink reference not valid., a popular weekly podcast for women about harnessing the power of social-media, and a social media consultant for clients as diverse as Microsoft Windows and Omni Hotels. Her own humor blog, From Hip to Housewife.com, is where she writes about momming, aging and her twenty-year quest to lose the same ten pounds. Nancy is the Queen Bee and co-founder of KidzVuz: video reviews by kids, for kids.
Benjamin D. Goldberg (Legal Advisor) is is a Vice President and counsel at D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P., a global investment and technology development firm, where he focuses on technology, intellectual property, outsourcing, professional services and other related contracts. Prior to joining D. E. Shaw, he worked in house at Barclays Bank PLC and as an associate at Robinson & Cole LLP. Ben received his B.A., cum laude, from New York University (Journalism, Political Science) and his J.D., cum laude, from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Ben is also the Vice President of the Board of Directors of The Performing Arts Project and is active in the theater community.
Yael Jekogian (Secretary) is Managing Director of WINGS WorldQuest, a not-for-profit organization that supports and recognizes women in scientific exploration. She is a hands-on advocate and leader in the women's rights movement, has over 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, and is an accomplished environmental engineer. Yael has served as a Board Member, Director of Development, consultant and volunteer for many nonprofits including Women's Campaign Fund, Women's Way, and New York Women's Foundation.
Sarah Ackerman attended Vassar College where she received a BA in Drama with a minor in Art History. She received her Masters Degree in Elementary Education from New York University in 2003. She is currently employed by The Children's Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) where she teaches Early Childhood classes, focusing on helping children and families learn together in a unique environment of interactive exhibitions and programs.
Anne L. Bernstein is a Broadway and film producer whose credits include Marlene and the award-winning documentary, Broadway’s The Golden Age.
Hilary A. Blumenreich is a former development and marketing associate for several theatrical companies including the Indiana Repertory Theatre and Donmar Warehouse where she assisted in developing corporate strategics and seasonal underwriting. She formerly served as president of Claremont Children’s School parent board as well as Austin Crews, a non profit created to promote environmental education through urban development. She is actively involved with NY Special Olympics. She received a BA from Butler University and studied European Cultural Policy at the University of London.
Paul Carey is a senior program manager at IBM, working on strategic healthcare initiatives within IBM’s Watson Health program. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP)®, working with worldwide teams on project planning and building effective organizations, and has organized and led leadership conferences for employee development. Paul has been involved in several LGBT and AIDS services organizations, including serving as a board member of a locally based pediatric AIDS foundation, developing IT programs for LGBT youth, and other volunteer engagements. He currently lives in Manhattan with his husband, Juan Carlos Fernández. When in town, they are avid theatre goers and support non-profit theatre organizations in New York. They enjoy traveling the world (35 countries and counting), enjoying the food and arts of many cultures, and documenting their experiences through photography.
Irene Carney is an educator in Richmond, Virginia where she heads The Sabot School – a progressive program of Early Childhood Education. She has also served as a Trustee of The Richmond Montessori School and as Founding Chair of the Board of Directors of Orchard House School – an innovative middle school for girls.
Jack Cummings III (Artistic Director) is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Transport Group Theatre Company. Favorite TG credits include Queen of the Mist by Michael John LaChuisa (world premiere), See Rocky City & Other Destinations by Brad Alexander and Adam Mathias (New York premiere), The Audience (conceiver, world premiere), cul-de-sac by John Cariani (world premiere), Normal by Yvonne Adrian, Tom Kochan, and Cheryl Stern (world premiere), Marcy in the Galaxy by Nancy Shayne (world premiere), Three Days To See (author/conceiver, word premiere), as well as revivals of I Remember Mama, Hello Again, First Lady Suite, Once Upon A Mattress, Almost, Maine, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, The Boys in the Band, All The Way Home, and Our Town. Other New York credits include the world premiere of Terrence McNally’s And Away We Go for The Pearl Theatre Company, 1,000 Words Come To Mind by Michele Lowe and Scott Richards (Inner Voices, world premiere), and Arlington by Polly Pen and Victor Lodato (Inner Voices, world premiere). Regional credits include I Remember Mama (Two River Theatre Company), A Streetcar Named Desire (Gretna Playhouse, PA), Violet and The Young Man From Atlanta (The Barksdale Theatre, VA), and The Illusion (Nevada Theatre Company). He received his B.A. in International Relations from The College of William and Mary and his M.F.A. in Directing from The University of Virginia. He is married to actress Barbara Walsh.
Lori Fineman (Executive Director) Prior to Transport Group Lori worked in management consulting for Andersen Consulting and Capco, a financial services consulting firm where she was the Global Director of Knowledge Management. As a producer, Lori was a founding member of a New York-based theatre company, Muse of Fire Productions, and the Executive Director of the Philadelphia-based National Women’s Theatre Festival. Lori is the Treasurer on the Board of Directors of the National Alliance of Musical Theatre (NAMT) and is the former Chair and President of the Jewish Community Project (JCP) downtown, where she was honored with the first annual JCP Leadership Award. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Lori holds a BA in English & Theatre Arts and a BSE from the Wharton School in Management. Lori is mom to three sons and lives with her husband, Steve, in Tribeca.
Larry Hirschhorn is a three time Tony Award winning theatre producer with credits on Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tours and the West End of London. He was one of the co-lead producers of the multi-award winning VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE by Christopher Durang. Starring Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierece, it went on to win every major theatre Award for Best Play in the 2013 Season, including the Tony and Drama Desk Awards. Since closing in NY, there have been over 100 productions of it around the country, and was just announced as the most produced American play of 2014. More recently he is a co-producer of THE ELEPHANT MAN, starring Bradley Cooper, and A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER which also won a Tony and Drama Desk Award for Best Musical 2014. Other Broadway credits include: PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (5 Tony Awards); Gore Vidal’s THE BEST MAN (Starring James Earl Jones, John Laroquette, Angela Lansbury, Eric McCormack, and Candice Bergen); DRIVING MISS DAISY (w/ James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave); THE ADDAMS FAMILY (w/ Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth); HAIR (Broadway/London/ National Tour- winner of Tony & Drama Desk Awards for Best Revival); THE SEAGULL (w/ Kristin Scott Thomas); PASSING STRANGE (Drama Desk Award for Best Musical); BUTLEY (w/ Nathan Lane); and WELL. Earlier in his career he was the Founder/Artistic Director of Off-Broadway’s Melting Pot Theatre. Highlights there include COBB which one the Drama Desk for Best Ensemble, and was co-produced with Kevin Spacey); the NY Premiere of Miss Evers’ Boys and Woody Sez. (Still touring all over the world).
Francesca James has five daytime Emmy Awards and was the first person in the history of daytime drama to travel the distance from acting to directing to Executive Producing, receiving several nominations in all three disciplines. She began her professional life acting in the theater.
Joanna Sanders works as a Director of Investor Relations at Paulson & Co. Inc., the $10bn hedge fund managed by renowned investor John Paulson. For the last 9 years in her role at Paulson & Co., Joanna has been responsible for client service; client communications; and the planning and running of the Hedge Fund's global investor conferences, fundraising events, and marketing roadshows. From grade school to high school to college, Joanna has been a passionate avocational performer, dancer, and singer in many theatrical, musical, and dance productions. Alongside her professional responsibilities at Paulson & Co., Joanna has produced and starred in three of her own cabaret productions at the Triad and Laurie Beechman Theaters under the direction of Eric Michael Gillett, a seasoned Broadway performer, musical theater advisor, and singing instructor. Joanna graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a BA in French & Francophone Studies in 2006.
Aimée Steele is on the voice faculty of NYU Tisch (The New Studio on Broadway), The National Music Theater Institute at The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center and The Performing Arts Project. In addition, she teaches from her private voice studio on the Upper West Side and travels regionally to teach Master classes and clinics. Her professional students have been featured on and off Broadway, in National tours and in regional theaters across the country as well as in the recording industry, film and TV. Aimée received her BA in Vocal Performance from Eastman School of Music and a Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy from Teachers College at Columbia University. She is a graduate of the Maggie Flannigan Acting Studio where she studied the Meisner technique and has studied the Linklater and Feldenkrais methods extensively. Aimée is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, VASTA, NYSTA and NATS. Her teaching philosophy centers on vocal coordination and mind, body and breath connection. She ensures that singers are enveloped in a nurturing environment that promotes vocal, physical and emotional confidence. Aimée is especially known for producing her Master classes at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater where students are seen by industry professionals on the iconic stage. She is also the producer of a series of intimate Salon Evenings of Music where audiences can experience artists and performances in an up close and personal way. www.aimeesteele.com.
Kenneth Stein is a partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP and is a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. He counsels clients on all aspects of patent, copyright and trade secret law. Ken is listed in New York Super Lawyers in the area of intellectual property litigation. He is also on the advisory boards of the East Harlem International Film Festival, Ruah Dance Company and General Mischief Dance Theatre and is a Co-Chair of the Benefit Committee of the Legal Action Center.
Artistic Advisory Board
Brian Crawley, lyricist and librettist
Lucille Lortel Award & New York Drama Critics Circle Award winner
The Little Princess
John Dossett, actor
Tony Award nominee
John Clinton Eisner, Producing Director
The Lark Play Development Center
Paulette Haupt, Artistic Director
The Eugene O’Neill Music Theater Conference
David Hirson, playwright
Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk winner
Michael John LaChiusa, composer and lyricist
5-time Tony Award nominee
The Wild Party
Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Donna Murphy, actress
2-time Tony Award winner
The King & I
Gilbert Parker, agent
Represented A.R. Gurney, Terrence McNally & Beth Henley
Michele Pawk, actress
Tony Award winner and 3-time Drama Desk nominee
Crazy For You
Christopher Shinn, playwright
Obie winner, Lucille Lortel Award winner, Drama Desk nominee
Where We Live