Actors Theatre of Louisville Announces 2013-2014 Board of Directors

by Jacob Coakley


Actors Theatre of Louisville recently completed a year-long process of creating a new mission.
Actors Theatre of Louisville recently completed a year-long process of creating a new mission.

Actors Theatre of Louisville has finished a year-long process to create a new mission and vision for the theatre with the announcement of their 2013-2014 Board and Executive committee members. The board officers are: Todd P. Lowe, president; Elizabeth W. Davis, vice president; Elizabeth Rounsavall, director of research and analytics; Philip C. Eschels, secretary. New appointees to the board are: Phyllis Anderson, John Bajandas, Neville Blakemore III, Gill Holland and Ishmon F. Burks.


Louisville, KY– Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Board President Todd Lowe announces the 2013-2014 Board and Executive Committee member selections for Actors Theatre of Louisville. The appointments coincide with the completion of a year-long strategic planning process that creates a new mission and vision for the theatre. Under the leadership of Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein and Artistic Director Les Waters, the plan ensures that Actors Theatre is well positioned to continue its rich legacy of artistic excellence, financial stability and growth. The five year strategic plan was ratified by the Board in June.

“As Actors Theatre prepares to celebrate its 50th Anniversary, I am pleased to welcome a group of strong individuals to continue a tradition of strong governance,” Todd Lowe said. Actors Theatre is highly valued as a catalyst for creativity, innovation, inspiration and education in our community and field. This board is well placed to support the organization’s strategic vision and organizational growth.”

In addition, new business and community leaders join the Board of Directors. New appointments include:

  • Phyllis Anderson, Vice President of Marketing, Humana
  • John Bajandas, Residential Designer/Developer
  • Neville Blakemore III, Executive Chairman, Great Northern Building Product, LLC
  • Gill Holland, The Green Building Co-Developer
  • Ishmon F. Burks, Assistant Professor, Jefferson Community and Technical College

Bio’s for all the new appointments are listed at the end of the release

Positions were effective June 1, 2013 for fiscal year 2013‐2014.


The following officers were elected:


President: Todd P. Lowe* — President, Parthenon LLC

Vice President: Elizabeth W. Davis* — Community Volunteer

Treasurer: Elizabeth Rounsavall * — Director of Research and Analytics, Chrysalis Ventures

Secretary: Philip C. Eschels* — Member, Bingham, Greenebaum, Doll LLP


Returning Board members for 2013-2014 include:  Robert P. Banks, Senior Vice President, Fifth Third Investment Advisors; Nathan Bayne†, Solutions Marketing, Harrell’s Carwash Systems; Jennifer L. Blum,  Community Volunteer; Christen McDonough Boone*, The Boone Group; Jeffrey P. Callen, M.D., Chief Division of Dermatology, University of Louisville; Carolle Jones Clay*, Vice President, Managing Director of Community Relations, Republic Bank; Laura Douglas*, V.P., Corporate Responsibility & Community Affairs, LG&E and KU Energy; Christopher Tyson Gorman, Partner, Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP; Barbara W. Juckett*, Community Volunteer; Michael J. Keyes*, President, North America Region, Brown-Forman Corporation; Stewart Lussky, Community Volunteer; Debra M. Murphy, Executive Vice President, Trover Solutions; Theodore H. Nixon*, CEO, D. D. Williamson & Co., Inc.; Deb Riall †, Community Volunteer; Theodore S. Rosky*, Community Volunteer; Marsha Beck Roth, Community Volunteer; Bob Saunders †, Chairman, Stonestreet One; Marilyn Schorin, PhD, R.D., Principal, Schorin Strategies, LLC; Matt B. Schwartz, President, Schwartz Insurance Group; Robert N. Shaw*, President, Norton Cancer Institute; Wendy Sirchio, Community Volunteer; Allan Tasman, M.D., Professor & Chair Department Psychiatry, University of Louisville School of Medicine; John L. Tate, Member, Stites & Harbison PLLC; Linda Valentine, Executive Director Presbyterian Church (USA); Roanne H. Victor ‡, Community Volunteer; Deborah Wexler, Manager, Global Communications, PR & Events, GE Appliances, and Jaleigh White, Executive Vice President, Hilliard Lyons.

Denotes Sustaining Director
Denotes Ex-Officio
*Denotes Executive Committee Member

Phyllis Anderson, Vice President of Marketing, Humana

As Humana’s Vice President of Marketing, Phyllis Anderson manages integrated marketing and communications to support business growth through innovative strategies and programs. Prior to joining Humana, Phyllis was Vice President, Strategic Initiatives for Bank of America, served as the Director of Market & Brand Strategy for Duke Energy Corporation and spent almost eight years with Nabisco Brands, Inc.

Phyllis’ professional accomplishments have been featured in Diversity Journal magazine as a “Women Worth Watching 2013 Award Winner.” Fortune Magazine’s “On the Rise” section, and she was also profiled in “The 100 Most Promising Black Women in Corporate America” in Ebony Magazine. Phyllis is a Board Member for the Executive Leadership Council and has served as Chairman of the Board for the Louisville Urban League, and on the Board of Trustees for Presentation Academy. Phyllis holds an M.B.A. in Marketing from Clark Atlanta University’s Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Spelman College.

John Bajandas, Residential Designer/Developer

John Bajandas is a director of the Arthur K. Smith Family Foundation.  The private foundation provides resources for many Louisville organizations across the spectrum of the arts, social services and other diverse non-profits groups.  John is a residential design and construction consultant as well as a member of the owners group at Keller Williams Realty Louisville.  John also serves as a Trustee for the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, and recently served two terms as a board member for the Metropolitan Housing Coalition.  He currently lives in Louisville with his wife Natalie and their three children; Olivia, Francisco & Diego.

Neville Blakemore III, Executive Chairman, Great Northern Building Product, LLC

Mr. Blakemore works at the Executive Chairman of Great Northern Building Products, LLC, a holding company that specialized in products for the commercial and residential construction industry.  Prior, Mr. Blakemore worked with his own his own consulting company companies, was a the Director of Marketing for a 120 attorney law firm, taught high school history, and worked as a political organizer for a Presidential campaign.

Mr. Blakemore is Chair of Belle’s Big Birthday Bash, a centennial celebration for the Belle’s 100th birthday.  He also serves on the Development Committee of the Olmstead Park Conservancy; the Advisory Board for GLI High Impact Program; the Advisory Board for YMCA Safe Place Services; the Board of the Park Hill Business Association and the Speed Museum of Art.

A graduate of Macalester College, with a Major in History, he holds an M.B.A. from Boston University's School of Management. Mr. Blakemore is married to Jessica Bird, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, and they have a daughter.

COLONEL Ishmon F. Burks, USA (Ret.)

Colonel Burks, a Louisville native, is the former Chief of Public Safety and Interim Chief of Police for Metro Louisville.  Previous positions include Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police, Secretary of the Justice Cabinet, Chair of the Parole Board, Executive-in-Residence at Bellarmine University, Vice-President at Spalding University, and Director of Cadet Programs at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Ish received a BS from Lincoln University, MS from Indiana University, Bloomington, and a MA from the City University of New York, and is a graduate of the Army War College.

He has served on the board of directors at Leadership Louisville, Home of the Innocents, African American Heritage Foundation, Louisville Ballet, West Louisville Boys and Girls Choirs,  US Bank, the Kentucky Veterans’ Program Trust Fund, and the Board of Regents at Kentucky State University. He is also the recipient of the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and Mayor Fischer’s Distinguished Citizen Award. Ish and his wife, Terri, have three adult children Angela, Barak, and Wallis.

Gill Holland, The Green Building Co-Developer

Gill Holland and his wife Augusta were instrumental in turning an economically depressed and run-down east downtown Louisville area into NuLu - a thriving arts/design and sustainability district.  Holland coined the term NuLu and serves as President of the NuLu Business Association. 5 years ago, Holland opened NuLu's flagship arts center "The Green Building", the only LEED "Platinum" commercial building in Kentucky. He is now working on developing Louisville’s Portland district.

A Spirit Award nominee for film producer of the year (the Oscars for independent films), Gill has worked on over 90 movies, many award winners and Sundance Film Festival favorites.  Gill is a former lawyer, runs sonaBLAST! Records (Ben Sollee is on the label), has written children’s books and published others. He is involved on many cultural boards (incl. Fund for the Arts, Speed Art Museum, Actors Theatre, Olmsted Parks Conservancy, KY Film Commission, Forecastle Festival) and was named 2009’s Person of the Year by Louisville Magazine.  He has three children, Cora, Owsley and Lilla.

About Actors Theatre of Louisville

Les Waters, Artistic Director

Jennifer Bielstein, Managing Director

Celebrating 50 years of outstanding theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the State Theatre of Kentucky, is the flagship arts organization in the Louisville community.  Under the leadership of Artistic Director Les Waters and Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein, Actors Theatre serves to unlock human potential, build community, and enrich quality of life by engaging people in theatre that reflects the wonder and complexity of our time.

Actors Theatre presents almost 500 performances annually and delivers a broad range of programming, including classics and contemporary work through the Brown-Forman Series, holiday plays, a series of free theatrical events produced by the Apprentice/Intern Company, and the Humana Festival of New American Plays—the premier new play festival in the nation, which has introduced nearly 450 plays into the American theatre repertoire over the past 37 years. In addition, Actors Theatre provides almost 30,000 arts experiences each year to students across the region through its Education Department, and boasts one of the nation’s most prestigious continuing pre-professional resident training companies, now in its 42nd year.

Over the past half-century, Actors Theatre has also emerged as one of America’s most consistently innovative professional theatre companies, with an annual attendance of 150,000. Actors Theatre has been the recipient of some of the most prestigious awards bestowed on a regional theatre, including a Tony® Award for Distinguished Achievement, the James N. Vaughan Memorial Award for Exceptional Achievement and Contribution to the Development of Professional Theatre, and the Margo Jones Award for the Encouragement of New Plays. Actors Theatre has toured to 29 cities and 15 countries worldwide, totaling more than 1,400 appearances internationally. Currently, there are more than 50 published books of plays and criticism from Actors Theatre in circulation—including anthologies of Humana Festival plays, volumes of ten-minute plays and monologues, and essays, scripts and lectures from the Brown-Forman Classics in Context Festival.  Numerous plays first produced at Actors Theatre have also been published as individual acting editions, and have been printed in many other anthologies, magazines and journals—making an enduring contribution to American dramatic literature.