The MBT Board of Directors is composed of members representing a range of ethnic, cultural, and educational backgrounds. They each bring a unique perspective to the board in helping promote the MBT mission and maintain MBT’s long-term success.

Executive Committee

ANITA ANDERSON, President: Ms. Anderson holds a B.A. in Dance from Radford University and has taught and choreographed for many dance studios and musical theater companies in the area. In addition, she was the dance coach at Hills Gymnastics for 10 years and taught Olympians Dominique Dawes, Elise Ray and Courtney Kupets. Ms. Anderson spent the bulk of her career (1996-2008) at MBT in many roles: Jazz instructor, Creative Movement instructor, Director of Dance and Drama Camp, Director of Development and Outreach, and Assistant Artistic Director. In 2008, she made the switch to full-time arts administration and served as Development Director at BlackRock Center for the Arts until 2013, when she became Executive Director of the Maryland Leadership Workshops. She has served on grant review committees for both the Maryland State Arts Council and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County and was a panelist for the MetroDC Dance Awards. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce as Vice Chair of the Member Programs Committee, as well as on the Board of Leadership Maryland.

CHERYL HELLER, Vice President: Ms. Heller is currently the CFO, Retail and Direct Bank at Capital One Bank. Ms. Heller has been with Capital One for over 15 years and has held a variety of roles in Bank Operations, Integration and Corporate Development. Prior to Capitol One, Ms. Heller worked at PriceWaterhouse Coopers and Aetna. She received a MS in Taxation from the University of Hartford, a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from the University of Connecticut, and a Professional Masters of Banking Certificate from the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University. She holds the Certified Public Accountant designation from the state of Connecticut. Ms. Heller has held several volunteer roles with the Junior League of Washington (including Board Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair) and the Holton-Arms School (including Spring Gala Silent Auction Chair, Annual Fund Parent Co-Chair, Grade Representative and Parent’s Association Assistant Treasurer).

DAVID WALKER, Secretary:

DEBBIE MCGREGOR, Treasurer: Incorporating two decades of professional and community leadership, Debbie McGregor heads Snyder Cohn’s Outsourced Accounting Division.  An accounting professional with extensive experience in full cycle general accounting, Debbie enjoys working with clients, placing an emphasis on creating sound bookkeeping systems, developing and implementing accounting procedures, preparing financial statements, and business consulting. Debbie is a QuickBooks Pro Advisor and well-versed in other accounting software systems. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan. Debbie is currently on the board of Montgomery Hospice and supports a variety of community service activities including the Susan G. Koman Race, Safe Shores Giving Project – D.C. Children’s Advocacy Center, and Toys for Tots. She is also an active member of the Bethesda Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce and has completed the Leadership Montgomery-Inside Montgomery program.

ELIZABETH CATLETT, Artistic Director (non-voting): Originally from Kentucky, Elizabeth Odell Catlett began dancing with The University of Louisville Dance Academy under Charles Bronson and Cynthia Bronner. In high school Ms. Catlett was accepted into Kentucky’s Governor’s School for the Arts and Regional Dance America’s Craft of Choreography Conference. Her discovered passion for teaching, choreography, and performance lead her to Radford University where she earned a B. S. in Dance Education and her K-12 teaching license. Ms. Catlett has performed classical roles in ballets such as Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Les Corsaires, Raymunda, and has also worked with contemporary artists Danah Bella, Margaret Devaney, Deborah McLaughlin, Micheline Heal, Jana Hicks and Tiffany Haughn. In 2009 Ms. Catlett taught ballet for the Brooklyn Jewish Dance Institute and also earned an internship at Steps On Broadway in New York City. There she studied ballet and contemporary under Elena Kunikova, David Howard, Gelsey Kirkland, Alexander Tressor, Alexandre Proia, Marijke Eliasburg, Jana Hicks, and Max Stone. Ms. Catlett now resides in the Metropolitan D.C. Area where she is currently performing with DancEthos and is a company member with MichMash Productions. Ms. Elizabeth Catlett was MBT’s Outreach/Fundraising Manager for one year prior to being appointed Interim Artistic Director in 2012 and permanent Artistic Director in 2013.

PAULA ROSS, Executive Director (non-voting): Ms. Ross came to Metropolitan Ballet in 2012 as an expert in strategic communications and marketing, with a critical understanding of business planning and years of professional experience. Prior to assuming the Executive Director role, she served as MBT’s Director of Development & Marketing and was responsible for leading MBT’s 2014 relocation project and Capital Campaign. Prior to joining MBT, Ms. Ross built a successful communications consulting practice, serving the diverse strategic communications needs of her clients, which ranged from small retailers to Fortune 50 companies, in subject matters ranging from general sales and fundraising to environmental needs. She is a graduate of the Leadership Montgomery Class of 2014 and a 2014 recipient of a County Executive’s Award for Excellence in the Arts & Humanities. Ms. Ross wholly believes in giving back to the community and is an avid volunteer for other non-profits as well, serving as President of the Board of the PTA at her childrens’ school, and volunteering for other organizations such as the Kentlands Community Foundation and Children’s National Hospital. Ms. Ross also currently is a member of Board of Directors at the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce, for which she chairs the nonprofit sector group, and is a member of the Association for Fundraising Professionals.

Board of Directors

MICHELE KAUFMAN:

GOLI KAVIANI:

LORI O’KEEFE:

JAY REILLY: Mr. Reilly obtained his law degree from the Boston University School of Law, where he was Articles Editor for the Boston University Law Review, and received his B.A. in Economics from Yale University. He started his legal career in the firm of Hale and Dorr LLP in Boston, Massachusetts and later held senior legal positions with Novell and Cambridge Technology Partners. He has been Special Counsel with the law firm of Saul Ewing LLP since September 2013. Mr. Reilly concentrates his practice in strategic transactions, mergers and acquisitions, securities law, private equity, venture capital and private placements. He represents emerging growth companies in all aspects of their business, and pharmaceutical and technology companies in complex business transactions and financings. Prior to joining Saul Ewing, Mr. Reilly was the General Counsel, Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer of Emergent BioSolutions, a biopharmaceutical company based in Rockville, Maryland. Mr. Reilly enjoys hiking, carpentry, and spending time with his family.

VANESSA ROWAN, Past Board Treasurer: Vanessa is an accountant for special projects at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Prior to joining the Kennedy Center, Vanessa was a senior associate in the Development and Exempt Organizations Tax practice at KPMG, LLP, where she assisted nonprofit clients with financial issues and tax compliance. Vanessa received her Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Dance from Muhlenberg College and her Master of Accounting with a Tax Emphasis from the Mason School of Business at the College of William and Mary. Vanessa holds a CPA from the Commonwealth of Virginia and is a member of the AICPA and the GWSCPA. Vanessa is a founding company member of DancEthos, a local modern dance company, and has studied dance since the age of three at the New Jersey School of Ballet and the Washington School of Ballet, before training in modern dance in college. Vanessa worked as assistant to the Head of the Dance Department at Muhlenberg and held leadership positions on the executive board of Muhlenberg College’s Dance Association and Business and Economics Club. Vanessa has volunteered with nonprofit organizations for most of her life and continues to enjoy volunteering with various organizations in the DC area.

DENISE KAYSER, Non-voting Advisor to the Board, Chief of the Arts and Events Division, City of Gaithersburg, Maryland

WE THANK THESE RECENT PAST BOARD MEMBERS FOR THEIR SERVICE AND CONTINUED COMMITTEE INVOLVEMENT:

ERICA HWANG, M.D., Immediate Past President: Dr. Hwang joined the board in 2010 and assumed the presidency of the board in 2011-2014. She previously chaired the Fundraising Committee and Organizational Initiatives Committee. She received her M.D. from the University of Michigan, has been an internist in the D.C. Metropolitan area since 1997 and in Montgomery County since 2002. She is a member of a number of local and national medical societies including the American Medical Association and Montgomery County Medical Society. She brings to MBT her leadership experience as a partner of Bethesda Physicians, PC, her volunteer experiences through her children’s schools and as team manager of an MSI Boys Classic Soccer Team, and her love of the arts.

SANJA MODRIC, Past Board Secretary (FY13-15): Dr. Modric has been an engaged supporter of MBT’s programs and activities since 2005. Dr. Modric is a veterinarian with a Ph.D. in veterinary pharmacology. She currently works at the Food and Drug Administration as a senior scientist for veterinary drugs after previous positions in academia and pharmaceutical industry. She also has been an active PTA member in various Montgomery County Public Schools that her three children have attended.

ROBIN SALOMON III, Past Board Member (FY2015): Robin is president of Skyline, LLC, a property developer offering affordable housing in New York City and in six states. Mr. Salomon has served as executive assistant for U.S. Senator Al D’Amato (R-NY) and worked as a government relations advisor with a focus on affordable housing issues before Congress and the administration. As the first president of the Siena School Foundation, Mr. Salomon volunteered to build support to fund scholarships for families whose children with language-based learning disabilities could benefit from the educational opportunities provided by this private high school in Silver Spring, Md. He also volunteers as a board member and treasurer for Glen Echo Park Partnership for the Arts and Culture and board member of the Pyramid Atlantic, a Maryland-based arts nonprofit that empowers artists and educates youth in the process of papermaking, printmaking, book arts and digital media. Salomon graduated from Kenyon College where he earned a B.A. in history.

YVES PELLETIER, Past Board Member (FY14-15): Originally from Nice, France, where he obtained a Baccalaureate Degree in Hospitality from College Hotelier, Mr. Pelletier retired from the University of Maryland Food Services Division in 2009 having served as the Administrator of Dining Services for the University of Maryland Golf Course. Before moving to Montgomery County, MD in 2000, he was the Vice-President and General Manager of the Beverly Hills Country Club in Beverly Hills, CA. Prior to his appointment in Beverly Hills, he served for 11 years as the Director of Food and Beverage Services for the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, home to the Emmy Awards, the NAACP Image Awards, the People’s Choice Awards as well as numerous dance and theater productions. While living in Los Angeles, Mr. Pelletier was a member of the Board of Directors of the Huntington Terrace Homeowners Association. His love for the arts was instilled early on in life, as his mother was the owner, producer and director of a regional theater company in Cannes, France until the early 1990’s and his sister danced as a company member of the Royal Monte Carlo Ballet.

JEFFREY KATZ, Past Board Member (FY14-15): Mr. Katz received his undergraduate degree from the American University, law degree from the Chicago-Kent College of Law, and Masters of Taxation from the University of Miami. As a tax and business attorney, Mr. Katz began his career with the accounting firm KPMG, providing Corporate, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Asset Protection advice to Fortune 500 clientele including MCI/Worldcom and Sodexho/Marriott, local businesses such as First Maryland Bancorp (now M&T Bank), and international clients. Since entering private law practice, he has continued to provide high-value representation to corporate and individual clients alike. Mr. Katz is a member of the Maryland bar and is admitted to practice before the Maryland District and Circuit Courts, the Maryland Federal District Court, and the United States Tax Court. He is a frequent contributor to publications and periodicals.

DIANA LUDET, Past Board Member (FY14): Ms. Ludet brings her legal experience and enthusiasm for ballet to MBT and its Board of Directors. She runs her own law practice as corporate counsel helping businesses with contracts, governance, and compliance. She received a B.S. in Accounting from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and a law degree from the American University. She previously advised large corporations on state and international tax issues at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ms. Ludet is an active member of the Bar Association of Montgomery County and speaks French and Romanian. In her free time, Ms. Ludet enjoys spending time with her family, painting, and ballet.

SHARON THARKUR, M.S., Past Board Secretary: Ms. Tharkur received her Master’s in public accounting from the University of Maryland and currently works as Financial Coordinator for Office of Undergraduate Studies, University of Maryland, College Park. She previously worked as the Budget Analyst for the Universities at Shady Grove and as a staff accountant for Rose Financial Services. She brings a wide variety of leadership, accounting, and childhood education experiences to the MBT board through her volunteer activities. She has been a team leader for the Action Learning Project working with the Reginald S. Lourie Center for infants and young children in Rockville, MD. She served as a substitute teacher for Pre-K through 3rd grade and the Barrie School in Silver Spring, M.D. as well as volunteering as a parent class representative.

CHRISTOPHER ROMMEL, Past Board Member:

LESLIE WALLACE, C.P.A., Past Board Treasurer: Ms. Wallace was previously the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Oliver Carr Company in Washington, D.C. and has been a member of the AICPA and the Maryland Institute of CPAs. In addition to her background in finance, Ms. Wallace brings experience in leadership and fundraising through her volunteer activities with her children’s schools. While living in Texas, she served as Vice President of the Parents’ Association of the Preston Hollow Presbyterian School in Dallas. With the Norwood School in Bethesda, MD, she is a member of the Board of Trustees and the Parents Association Executive Committee and has served as the President and Treasurer of the Parents Association as well as a Class Captain for the Annual Fund. Ms. Wallace has had family ties to the American Ballet Theater, the Boston Ballet, and the Washington Ballet.

DENISE GOTTRON SINAY,B.S.N, J.D., Past Board Member: Ms. Sinay received her law degree from Ohio Northern University and had 13 years experience as an attorney before getting her real estate license. She brings her extensive experience in real estate transactions and contracts to the MBT board where she chairs the Relocation Committee. Ms. Sinay is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association and the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors. Denise is currently a practicing attorney for Antezana and Antezana, LLC. In addition to her professional activities, Ms. Sinay brings her energy and volunteerism to the MBT board, as a former member of the St. Elizabeth School Board and an active runner, having participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for 10 years straight.

GRETCHEN FITZPATRICK, Past Vice President: Ms. Fitzpatrick joined the MBT board in 2008 and previously chaired the Organizational Initiatives Committee and Fundraising Committee. She received her degree in Health Record Administration from The Ohio State University and has worked for several area hospitals and SoftMed Systems, Inc which specializes in health management software. Currently, Ms. Fitzpatrick is a paralegal at the law office of Gimmel, Weiman, Ersek, Blomberg & Lewis. She has previously worked with St. Elizabeth Catholic School in fundraising for the annual Gala and Dinner Nights Out.

KALLY PANAGOS, Past Board President:

SUZANNE ERLON, Founder: Ms. Erlon began her career in 1960 as a ballerina, choreographer, and teacher. As a 10-year member of the New York City Ballet, from 1964-1973, Ms. Erlon worked with George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Anthony Tudor, and others in more than 100 ballets, including many premiers such as Balanchine’s Stravinsky Festival. After one season with Eliot Feld, Ms. Erlon joined Ballet West as a principal dancer in 1974, working with William F. Christensen, Bruce Marks, Toni Lander and Bill Evans. Ms. Erlon also performed as a guest artist with several western ballet companies in Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Idaho. In 1982, Ms. Erlon co-founded the Christensen Ballet Academy in Salt Lake City. After moving to the D.C. area in 1985, Ms. Erlon taught for four years at the Washington School of Ballet and in 1989 formed Metropolitan Ballet Theatre. Her interest in choreography began while she was in Salt Lake City, creating works for Ballet West and the University of Utah. Ms. Erlon choreographed over twenty ballets for MBT.