BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ROBIN SOKOLOFF, CHAIRWOMAN
Founder & Executive Director of Town Stages. Robin Sokoloff is a lifelong dancer, theater professional, and activist: Passionate about building platforms for women and minority voices for restorative equity. She serves as Vice President of the Board for The Musical Theater Factory. Robin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from New York University’s College of Arts and Sciences, she is a graduate of NEW (Non-Traditional Employment For Women), and a former member of The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America with Local #157; proud to have built this city she loves.
As Founder and Executive Director of Loft227, Robin created a home for New York City’s best and brightest artists and innovators from March 2012 to March 2017; seeing nearly 70,000 in her doors in under 5 years, while supporting close to 900 innovative works and small business owners. In Town Stages’ inaugural year, Sokoloff and her team have supported over 300 events, created over 1,000 jobs, and subsidized over 2,500 hours of arts programing to the public while supporting a Creative Fellowship Program for 59 recipients through her non-profit Sokoloff Arts (501c3).
CANDICE FORTiN, EXecutive Board
A native of Pensacola, Fl, Candice came to NYC in 2000 to study theater at NYU. After 5 years as a theater & film actor, she decided to shift towards producing and helping develop narratives behind the scenes especially around issues in the black community. Her production work has been featured on Vice, MTV, OkayAfrica, the Palm Springs Film Festival, and Cannes. She has also produced live music events, working for high profile events such as the Women's March Social Justice Concert and The Roots' Annual Pre-Grammy Jam. While simultaneously acting as a producer, Candice entered the world of political organizing as a grassroots volunteer for Bernie Sanders in 2015. She traveled 7 states as a volunteer for the campaign by knocking doors, recruiting volunteers, and hosting events. She went on to work on a wide array of issues as an organizer in both the grassroots field and digital realm. Candice was a field organizer for ballot initiatives in California for both lifting the ban on marijuana dispensaries in Stockton, CA and for PropHHH to build 10,000 free homes for the homeless in Los Angeles by 2020. She has also organized for a several orgs from #VOTEPROCHOICE to Solarize Brownsville. She served as the press liasion for the #Dream7 jail strike in which she acted as a spokesperson for DACA recipients who made national headlines when they went on a week-long jail/hunger strike to fight for a Clean Dream Act. Candice has worked with Color of Change PAC as a Senior Organizer for the successful Wesley Bell for DA race, along with Andrew Gillum and Amendment 4 in Florida. She has worked in a director capacity for several local candidates in NYC including Amanda Farias, councilman Rafael Espinal, and Jovia Radix. Based in Bedstuy, Candice hopes to continue to contribute meaningfully to social change both in the arts and politics.
Dr. Leonard Rosenblum, FOUNDING & Executive board
A long-time New Yorker, leader at the Soka Gakkai International Men's Division, and supporter of local artists, Lenny is a chiropractor and alternative allergist. Dr. Leonard Rosenblum provides therapeutic relief for his patients whose symptoms often go unsolved using conventional medical approaches. Dr. Lenny provides assessment, therapy and supplemental support to dramatically improve patient wellness.
SAMANTHA SLATER, FOUNDING & Executive board
Samantha Slater lives in the world of film, while summering with music. Her areas of expertise lie in producing, fundraising, on set management, editing, screenwriting, script development, and music composition. In 2012, she founded Made with Sass, an independent production company focused on getting women behind the camera. Samantha's latest film “Pete's Valve” teamed her up with director, and founder of the Brooklyn Women's Film Festival, Katy-May Hudson, of which Samantha has been a jury member since its inception. Their ultra kooky short premieres April 2019. Samantha's band, White Coat Motel debuts their first full length album “Hand Me Down Bibles” this summer.
A native Canadian, Samantha collects classic cars and currently resides in Queens.
ISAAC KLEIN, FOUNDING & Executive board
A director and writer of plays and musicals. Isaac is a founding member of SPACE on Ryder Farm, and a company member at Exit, Pursued By A Bear. Proud graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. His first book, The School of Doing: Lessons from Theater Master Gerald Freedman, will be available November 2017. Learn about The School of Doing here.
NANCY TARANTOLA, Executive board
Driven by creativity, organization and a desire to continue contributing to social evolution, Nancy is an accomplished & driven professional with a solid track record in creating memorable experiences for the hairdressing industry as the VP of Shows & Events for Matrix, a L’Oréal brand. Starting out in marketing with the company over a decade ago, she fell in love with the industry, inspired by the passion stylists have for their craft. Since then she has produced numerous programs to both inspire and educate salon professionals, with the goal of helping them achieve their dreams. Nancy continues to be inspired by various art forms and mediums, and cultivates that energy when collaborating with creative, talented artists to express the inclusive Matrix brand culture to tens of thousands of hairdressers across the US both live and on social media.
Nancy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from The Fashion Institute of Technology. She is a native New Yorker that embraces all that the city has to offer and believes passionately in giving back to her community. Getting great satisfaction in mentoring those around her as they navigate their careers forward, she has served on the Young Executives Committee for CEW, Cosmetic Executive Women.
Prior to Matrix, Nancy started out in Gap stores, learning retail management and eventually moving into the corporate buying office. She then joined Bourjois Paris in 2001, responsible for the company’s development and execution of all product promotions, new brand merchandising initiatives and building of new business. Her affection for cosmetics, fashion, and color was a perfect synergy with Bourjois’ core brand values of high quality, colorful products that bring joy to women across the globe.
SCott Sokoloff, FOUNDING & Executive board
Scott Sokoloff transforms mountains of data on consumer’s behavior to actionable data driven insights. Offering a track record of generating billions of dollars in value for diverse companies by encouraging a transition to an analytics-driven enterprise, Scott provides over a decade of leadership experience in the field of data science, analytics, and business intelligence. Scott Sokoloff holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Florida and a BA in Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Destinee Rae, Young Professional board
Destinee Rea is the visionary and co-founder of BOLD, an organization that seeks to build up black women in the performing arts. Her work as an actress (Broadway: Book of Mormon and Amelie) has informed her passion to build up the future leaders of the world and empower them to transform culture by telling their stories. When she’s not changing the world you will find her somewhere, with her favorite girls, dancing to Beyoncé.
Kiera Doyle, Young Professional board
As the Director of Digital Education at L’oreal, Kiera Doyle is a hairdresser, facilitator and Matrix’s digital strategist, who works to inspire beauty professionals to find and grow their personal brand through social media. With a background in PR and yoga, her mixed bag of skills led her to L’Oreal where she saw an opportunity to empower hairdressers to align with their purpose and tap into their business potential via the digital age. Kiera was recognized by Vidal Sassoon’s Beauty Changes Lives Foundation as likely "to change the world through beauty." The world of social media can be intimidating, but Doyle sees it as an opportunity to tell a story— the more authentic the better. From branding, best practices, photo and video workshops, she wants to help you share yours. Doyle is Tedx speaker who resides in New York City. You can find her on Instagram @hairofthegirl.
PREET GILL ESQ., Young Professional board
Attorney Preet Gill is the expert when it comes to immigration, civil litigation, and estate planning. She graduated from Florida Coastal School of Law with a focus on writing and research. Her dedication to graduate from the top 10% of her class propelled her to achieve outstanding recognition. After graduation, she returned to New York City to practice law. Attorney Preet Gill also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Albany which she graduated with honors. She also earned her M.S. in Taxation with honors from the same university.
EDWARD RICE, Young Professional board
Edward Rice has performed professionally since 2007 (Brian Brooks Moving Company, Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects, Laura Peterson Choreography, Stone Depot Dance Lab, Elephant Jane Dance, Alexandra Beller/Dances, Punchdrunk's Sleep No More, NYC, among others). Starting in 2012 he joined Third Rail Projects and has worked on a number of pieces including Then She Fell (performer), The Grand Paradise (performer, directing team), Learning Curve (directing team), Ghost Light (performer), and Behind The City (producer), and Oasis (performer). He has taught dance & performance both nationally and internationally. He currently offers workshops through Third Rail Projects. He holds a B.S. and an M.F.A in Dance Performance from Illinois State University and the University of Iowa, respectively. In addition to his performing, Edward has worked extensively in Arts Administration. In his five years at Dance New Amsterdam, he held several positions including Technical Director, Operations Manager, and Programs Manager. He was one of the producers of the summer dance series, ROVE. Currently, he is the Business Manager for Third Rail Projects.
MICHAEL KUSHNER, Young Professional board
Michael Kushner is leading the multi-hyphenate charge as an artist with multiple proficiencies cross pollinating to help flourish professional capabilities. Current projects include Indoor Boys, a web series created by Wes Taylor and Alex Wise, which won Best Comedy (among others after being nominated 13 times) at The Indie Series Awards in LA and XaveMePlease (a separate project also directed by Mr. Taylor and starring Isaac Cole Powell) which is about to hit festivals across the US. Michael is the creator of the photographic series The Dressing Room Project (IG: @thedressingroomproject) and is also a founding member of Musical Theatre Factory. As an actor, Michael has worked at Barrington Stage Company (On The Town, Much Ado About Nothing), ArsNova (Toxic if Swallowed), GableStage (Sons of the Prophet), Caldwell Theatre Company (The Lomas Family Picnic), and more. Active participant with Covenant House and the Advisory Board of Wingspan Arts. BFA Musical Theatre from Ithaca College. Proud member of AEA. For more on the multi-hyphenate journey, follow @themichaelkushner on IG.