Florida Grand Opera Restructures Board & Welcomes New Board Members

MIAMI – November 7, 2012 – In order to create a more streamlined and effective composition, Florida Grand Opera has restructured its Board of Directors. Changes were voted into effect during a board meeting on Sept. 18, 2012, which also hosted the scheduled elections, welcoming new members.

The Board previously included both a Board President and Chairperson. The new structure eliminates the position of Board President.  The Board will now be headed by a Chairperson with assistance from an Executive Committee that will also include the Immediate Past Chairperson, Jane Robinson, and Immediate Past President, Victor Mendelson.

Former FGO Vice President, William K. Hill, was elected to the post of Chairperson, and said:  "These changes were implemented in connection with Board's hiring its new General Director and CEO, Susan Danis. We believe this structure reflects trends across the non-profit sector, and will create a more streamlined and effective organization. The Board is energized and excited for our new season, and to move forward as a top opera company in the coming years."

Additional changes include the creation of new committees including an Education Committee, and the appointment of heads of those committees, who will also serve on the Executive Committee. Additionally, the Board will now have a Chairperson Elect, and former Treasurer Charles Porter will serve in that position.  The new officers will serve through the end of the 2014-2015 season.

At its September 18th meeting, the Board also welcomed new Board Members for a three-year term ending May 31, 2015:

Tony Cardinali’s passion for classical music came at a young age through his parent’s ownership of an Arthur Murray Ballroom Dance Studio, a company where he also spent the early years of his career. An avid fan of Italian operas, Cardinali is currently the vice president of the Bridge Group, which specializes in insurance, investments and estate planning. He currently resides in Coral Gables with his wife, Shirely, and five-year-old son, Antonio. 

Kay Hancock-Apfel, Chairman and CEO of Consumer Asset Management, Inc. (CAM), has been a community activist and strong supporter of the cultural community since the 1960s. Hancock-Apfel is currently serving as Chair on the Board of Arts Learning and a Member of the Tocqueville Society at United Way. She previously served on MiMo, Upper Eastside Historical District, Urban

Environment League, the City if Miami Homeland Defense Bond OVersight Board, and City of Miami Bond Audit Committee.

Louise Moore, longtime FGO supporter and advocate, is a recent past president of the Opera Guild and Young Artist sponsor. A musical theatre major, she has committed her efforts to advancing young talent through education; first as a teacher and then as principal of Filer Middle School, G. Holmes Braddock Senior High, and North Twin Lakes Elementary Schools. For her dedication to education, Moore has been awarded many honors, among them the Outstanding Educational Leadership Achievement Award by Nova Southeastern University and the Miracle-Maker Award, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Miami

The board of directors also welcomes the following representatives from four of Florida Grand Opera’s supporting organizations: the Young Patronesses of the Opera President Kristin Podack and Vice President Patricia Mederos; the Florida Grand Opera Guild President Clara Toro; the Opera Society of Ft. Lauderdale returning President Kim Naimoli; and returning Crescendo Circle Chair Armando Olmedo, Esq.

Directors Peggy Czyzak-Dannenbaum, Nancy Jean Davis, Robert C. Gang Esq., James M. Herron, Nancy Herstand, Arlene Mendelson, Manny Perez, Jane A. Robinson and Dr. Morton J. Robinson were re-elected to three year terms ending May 31, 2015.

James M. Herron, Esq., was reelected as the Florida Grand Opera representative to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County Trust. Newly elected to the Finance Committee is Director Peggy Czyzak-Dannenbaum.

Florida Grand Opera Board of Directors


William K. Hill, Esq. - Chairperson  
Arlene H. Mendelson - Vice Chairperson     
Jane A. Robinson - Immediate Past Chairperson     
Charles E. Porter - Chairperson Elect
Victor H. Mendelson - Immediate Past President    
Per Loof - Treasurer
Robert C. Gang, Esq. - Assistant Treasurer
Eva U. Gordon - Secretary
Victoria F. Garrigó - Assistant Secretary

Board of Directors

Lesleen E. Bolt
Andrew H. Boros, Esq.
Dr. Siavosh Bozorgi
Anne Camner, Esq.
Tony Cardinali
Peggy Czyzak-Dannenbaum
Nancy Jean Davis
Charlene Esserman
Robert C. Gang, Esq.
Victoria F. Garrigó
Robert B. Glick
Kay Hancock-Apfel
James M. Herron, Esq.
Nancy Herstand
William K. Hill, Esq.
Carlos C. Lopez-Cantera
Patricia Mederos
David Melin
A. Louise Moore
Kim Naimoli
KayeLynne Northcutt
Armando A. Olmedo, Esq.
Manny Perez
Kristin Podack          
Dr. Morton J. Robinson
Clara Toro
Juan Luis Toro
Jeff Weiner
Tibor Hollo
Per Loof

Chairmen Emeriti

Roger R. Hinkley
Robert H. Traurig, Esq.

Directors Emeriti

Dr. Horacio Aguirre
Dr. Richard A. Elias
Theodore K. Friedt
Joyce T. Gardner
Tina Hills
Ronald J. Korn
Graham C. Miller
Marion Montanari
Aaron Podhurst, Esq.
Leonard Robbins, Esq.
José Valdés-Fauli

Treasurer Emeritus

Theodore Spak

Executive Committee

Anne Camner, Esq.
Robert C. Gang, Esq.
Victoria F. Garrigó
Eva U. Gordon
James M. Herron, Esq.
William K. Hill, Esq.
Per-Olof Loof
Victor H. Mendelson
Charles E. Porter
Jane A. Robinson
Juan Luis Toro          

Representative for Adrienne Arsht Center  for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade CountyPerforming Arts Center Trust

James M. Herron, Esq

Representative for Adrienne Arsht Center  for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County  Resident Companies Alliance

Susan T. Danis
Arlene H. Mendelson
Jane A. Robinson

About Florida Grand Opera

Florida Grand Opera (FGO), the oldest performing arts organizations in Florida, celebrates its 72nd year of continuously producing  grand opera during the 2012-2013 season, which features: Puccini’s La bohème, Nov. 17 through Dec. 8; Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Jan. 29 through Feb. 23; Bellini’s La sonnambula, Feb. 9 through Feb. 17; and Verdi’s La traviata, Apr. 20 through May 5. Subscriptions for all four operas of the season start at $36 and single tickets start as low as $11. Tickets may be purchased by phone at (800) 741-1010 or online at www.FGO.org.

Founded in 1941 as Greater Miami Opera and later merging with The Opera Guild Inc. in 1994, FGO presents a mixture of standard repertoire and contemporary works as well as commissions new productions – all featuring projected translations in English and Spanish. FGO, recognized for funding by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding is also provided, in part, by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor and the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners and the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council. Program support is provided by the City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council. Florida Grand Opera is a Resident Company of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and a member company of OPERA America. American Airlines is the Official Airline, Intercontinental Miami is the Official Hotel and Steinway & Sons is the Official Piano of Florida Grand Opera.

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