Encore Stage & Studio Board of Directors
Since our founding in 1967, dedicated volunteers have served on Encore’s Board of Directors. The Board governs Encore and sets it policies and strategic direction in addition to overseeing its financial health. Simultaneously, we actively promote Encore’s mission to build life-long appreciation for live theater by involving young people in all aspects of theater arts—onstage, backstage, in the classroom, and in the audience.
We are reaching out to our patrons and participants to identify good candidates for the Board of
Directors. Potential board members would participate in Encore’s activities and bring enthusiasm and new expertise to our organization. Currently, we are seeking individuals with experience in these areas:
-participation or contributions to children’s or other arts organizations
If you have a recommendation for us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and place “Board of Directors Search” in the subject line. Thank you for your support!
2014/2015 Encore Stage & Studio Board of Directors
Jerry Gidner is a Senior Executive in the Department of the Interior, focusing Tribal issues and leadership development programs.
Mr. Gidner has previously served as the Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the BIA Deputy Director for Indian Services, the Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs, the Director of the Indian Affairs Office of Planning and Policy Analysis, and the Chief of the BIA Division of Environmental and Cultural Resources Management. In addition, Mr. Gidner has been an enforcement attorney for the Environmental Protection Agency, a private sector attorney, a freelance journalist, and has worked at the County government level in the Parks and Recreation field.
Mr. Gidner has a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from Michigan State University (1982), a law degree and a Master’s degree in Natural Resources Policy and Management from the University of Michigan (1990), and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from American University (2007).
Mr. Gidner is a Native American and a member of Sault Ste Marie Chippewa Tribe. He is on the Board of Directors of Encore Stage & Studio, a non-profit children’s theater in Arlington, Virginia. He is also the author of If You Were an Aardvark: An ABC Book Starring Mammals, and was an extra in the HBO movie Game Change, about Sarah Palin and the 2008 election. Mr. Gidner has Tourette’s Syndrome. It is not contagious.
Gina Lodato-Pelusi, Secretary
Gina Lodato-Pelusi is now serving as the Secretary of the Board after joining the board in September 2011. She joined the Board as the first Board member who is also a former participant of the organization. As a child, Gina performed in Encore camps, shows and worked backstage on the technical crew. She is thrilled to be serving on the Board and enjoys giving back to an organization that gave her so much as a young adult. When not helping out with Encore, Gina works in the Online Advertising department at Remedy Health Media in Arlington, Va. She lives in Alexandria with her husband, Christian, and their dog, Stanley.
Ashby Rushing, Vice-President
Ashby Reid Rushing is a public school teacher in the Arlington Public Schools. She has taught middle school English in Arlington for the last fifteen years. Ashby holds both masters and doctorate degrees from The George Washington University as well as an undergraduate degree from The College of William and Mary. In addition, Ashby is a teacher consultant for the National Writing Project. Ashby is married to Colin Rushing, a music lawyer, and they have one daughter, Rachel, who is in elementary school. When she isn’t teaching or spending time with family, she is practicing Bikram yoga, reading, writing, shopping, or traveling. Ashby is thrilled to support the work of Encore. She has had the privilege of having many students come through her classroom who have been involved in Encore’s productions. In working with these students Ashby has seen how powerful these experiences have been in shaping these students in all aspects of their lives.
Jason Tate, Treasurer
Mike Thornsbury is a native of Northern Virginia, Mike grew up in Burke and attended Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax. Mike received a BA in Mass Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University. Also, as part of the Interactive Marketing Institute at VCU, Mike received professional certification in Direct Marketing. He returned as part of the adjunct faculty teaching print and direct mail in the Mass Communications School as well as the Interactive Marketing Institute.
In 1997, Mike began his career in Direct Marketing and fundraising. In those 16 years he has become a well respected and accomplished professional within the industry. He has held positions in all most all facets of the industry from manufacturing, agency experience and work for a large Museum in the DC area. In his current position as an Account Executive at the firm of Steven Winchell & Associates he works with non-profit organization ranging from the Smithsonian Institute to the American Police Hall of Fame.
Mike currently resides in Alexandria, can normally be found on a golf course on weekends and is a diehard Washington sports fan.
Group photo taken by Larry McClemons
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