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, 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 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 (Treasurer)

Yael is a social impact leader in progressive politics and gender equity, 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.

Joanna Sanders (Secretary)

For 10 years, Joanna worked as a Director in the Investor Relations department of Paulson & Co. Inc., the hedge fund managed by renowned investor John Paulson. In her role there, Joanna was responsible for client service; client communications; and the planning and running of the Hedge Fund’s global investor conferences, fundraising events, and marketing roadshows. Throughout her life, 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 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.

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.


Tara Ashmore 

is a commercial team member for S&P Global Ratings speaking with middle-market and public companies, regional banks and non-bank financial institutions in the Southeast. Tara has held various roles, including Strategic Planning at The New York Botanical Garden and Chief Financial Officer to start-ups in NY and the tri-state area including a retail electricity supplier, taking the company through three levels of financing. Her finance experience derives from roles at Avis Budget Group and Saks Fifth Avenue. She completed nearly $10 billion in financings and built a shared services treasury function that consolidated $20 billion in annual cashflow. Tara holds a BBA from Baruch and an MBA from Columbia.


Margot Astrachan

is a Tony Award winning Commercial Theatrical Producer. Broadway:   A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards), The Realistic JonesesNice Work If You Can Get It , On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Tours: the National & Australian tours of Ghost the Musical,  Concert: the only staged version of the James Goldman / Stephen Sondheim Evening Primrose. She was the American Artistic Director of the Jermyn Street Theatre in London, and The Kings Head Theatre in London, and has had over 30 years’ experience producing special events for Arts Organizations. Particular interest in new work and has produced Developmental Labs of two new musicals within this past year. She is Vice-Chair of The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), Director of: League of Professional Theatre Women, Episcopal Actors Guild, Theatre Board of the Kaufman Cultural Center, Alumni & Friends of La Guardia High School, and American Friends of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Ms. Astrachan is a member of APAP, NAMT, The Broadway League, The Dramatists Guild,  British American Business, and BAFTA. She is a graduate of CTI (The Commercial Theatre Institute).

Anne L. Bernstein

is a Broadway and film producer whose credits include Marlene and the award-winning documentary, Broadway’s The Golden Age.  Anne is also a major contributor to 2018’s Renascence and the sponsor of the Anne L. Bernstein Concert Series.


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.


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 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 MamaHello AgainFirst Lady SuiteOnce Upon A Mattress, Almost, MaineThe Dark at the Top of the StairsThe Boys in the BandAll 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

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).


Sara Lind

is currently a candidate for City Council on the UWS, where she lives with her husband and two young children. Sara has a JD from University of Chicago and a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia | SIPA. She worked for five years at Skadden Arps where she practiced corporate law and did pro bono asylum and immigration work. She has managed several political campaigns and most recently served as the Executive Director of 21 in ’21, a non-profit dedicated to electing women to office.  Sara is very active in the community, volunteering with West Side Campaign Against Hunger, DOROT, the Westside Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, and Goddard Riverside to help our neighbors in need. She also previously volunteered on the Programs Committee at the Center for Arts Education. In 2019, Sara worked with community leaders and Common Cause to pass Ranked Choice Voting in New York City, giving residents the opportunity to vote for a more diverse array of candidates. In 2020, Sara was active with the Census to get all New Yorkers counted and ensure we get the federal funding we deserve.


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. 

Rhonda Rosen

has extensive finance and accounting experience and has helped launch several companies in the financial services, medical device and pharmaceutical sectors.  Ms. Rosen joined Early Growth Financial Services in January 2019 and serves as a Consulting CFO to early stage companies in a variety of industries.  Since March 2018, Ms. Rosen has also served as a Consulting CFO to MediQuire, Inc., a venture capital backed healthcare technology company.  From May 2016 to the present, Ms. Rosen has served as the Chief Financial Officer of TheGiftBox.com.  Ms. Rosen also was a Managing Director of Investment Banking – Insurance and Asset Management at Putnam Lovell NBF and a Managing Director of Insurance Investment Banking at CIBC World Markets (formerly Oppenheimer & Co.).  Ms. Rosen earned her MBA in Finance & Accounting and her BS in Economics from The Wharton School of Business, where she graduated summa cum laude, and her MS in Taxation from the Fox School of Business. Ms. Rosen started her career with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and is a Certified Public Accountant.


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/Librettist

Lucille Lortel Award & New York Drama Critics Circle Award winner, Violet, The Little Princess


John Dossett, Actor

Gypsy (Tony Award nomination), Giant, War Paint


John Clinton Eisner, Producing Director

The Lark Play Development Center


Michael John LaChiusa, Composer and Lyricist

5-time Tony Award nominee
The Wild Party, Marie Christine, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Hello Again, Little Fish, Giant, Queen of the Mist, First Daughter Suite


Donna Murphy, Actress

2-time Tony Award winner
Passion, The King & I, Hello Dolly

Michele Pawk, Actress

Tony Award winner and 3-time Drama Desk nominee, Hollywood Arms, Crazy For You, Cabaret


Christopher Shinn, Playwright

Obie winner, Lucille Lortel Award winner, Drama Desk nominee, Dying City, Four, Where We Live