Interested in joining out Board? Please contact Rebecca Skupin Marcontell, Development Director at email@example.com
Adam Nelson Walker, President, started his career twenty years ago as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa. Following Peace Corps he has been on humanitarian assignments to Haiti as an Electoral Observer and Bosnia-Herzegovina as a Financial Officer. After receiving his MBA he joined ExxonMobil as a Financial Advisor and has been expatriated to Chad, U.K. and has recently finished a three year assignment in Kazakhstan as Director of Finance. Adam has served as board president of a contemporary modern dance company, Suchu Inc., and an advisory board member of Spacetaker Inc. Adam has been a Houston Met board member since June 2010.
Cecilia Winters-Morris, Secretary/Treasurer, has been a member of the board for approximately four years. Cecilia is an independent management consultant with seventeen years of internal audit experience, which includes over six years in public accounting serving clients in the energy and service industries. She is a Certified Internal Auditor and a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors. Cecilia studied dance for many years in New York and Massachusetts. She was privileged to study with Frank Hatchett, co-founder of Broadway Dance in New York and Stephen Boyd in Massachusetts. Cecilia is the wife of Lawrence Morris and the mother of Nathia, Demarcus and Darius. In her spare time, she enjoys serving on the PTO board at the boy’s elementary school and volunteering with the Preschool Ministry at Fallbrook Church.
Rebecca Skupin Marcontell, Development Director began her career in arts management nearly 20 years ago by spending four years as the Production Coordinator at the Pollard Theatre in Guthrie, Oklahoma, where she also acted, choreographed, designed sound and directed. Since moving to Houston, Rebecca spent time on the stage management staffs at the Alley Theatre, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, Theatre Under the Stars, Stages Repertory Theatre, Houston Shakespeare Festival and the Houston Met where she is also the Associate Production Manager. In 2002 she volunteered to act as a negotiator between the Houston Met board and dancers, which led to her being invited to join the board as President. Rebecca is married to Matt Marcontell who works with ExxonMobil and they have a daughter, Rachel.
Michelle Smith, Executive Director, has a background of over 24 years of ballet training including the New York City Ballet and San Francisco Ballet and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Texas Christian University. After college she joined the Delia Stewart Dance Company working first as principal dancer and then as Manager of the company and Director of the school where she established a children’s program and diversified the adult’s program that became the base for the Houston Metropolitan Dance Center. She has been involved in the Houston arts and dance community now for over 30 years. In the business world, Michelle was office manager of several real estate firms for her first 10 years in Houston.
Marlana Doyle, Artistic Director, is originally from Massachusetts and graduated from Point Park University in 2001 with a BA in Dance. She has performed many roles in the Point Park Dance Company as well as dancing at the American College Dance Festival. Marlana has been dancing with Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, for the past twelve years and was a major part of it’s reorganization in 2003. She is a member of Dance USA and attends the Annual Conference as an Emerging Leader every year. She has also served on many grant and organizational panels for the Houston Arts Alliance. While directing the Professional company is her main focus, Marlana also fills in her time choreographing, teaching and judging in Houston and throughout the United States.
Hamid Dean Refai is a healthcare professional with 7 years of leadership experience combining business operations and entrepreneurship. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, but work and school have allowed him the opportunity to live in multiple cities and countries over the past 12 years. After completing his dual masters of business administration and health administration at Saint Louis University, he accepted a fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He then transitioned into his current role overseeing the business operations of a 100+ employee outpatient center. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, learning new languages, and exploring Houston.
Professionally, Marcela Arroyave has over 7 years experience in banking. As an officer of the The Bank of River Oaks, she specializes in relationship building, commercial lending and loan portfolio/compliance management. She graduated from the University of Houston with a BA in Corporate Communication / Finance. As a dancer, Marcela has performed at many events, cultural showcases and benefits in Houston, Los Angeles and New York City. She is founder and director of Candela Dance Company, whom have been invited annually since 2006 to perform at the Texas Salsa Congress. As an instructor she had the honor to introduce and successfully incorporate a salsa program at Danse Des Enfants whom have provided dance/gymnastics instruction to children locally in Houston Texas for over 15 years. She has also taught adult private and group salsa classes at Vibe Dance and Fitness. In her spare time, Marcela enjoys volunteering with The Linda Lorelle Scholarship Foundation and “Your Life Coaching”
Janis Hansen Mecklenburg, Vice President, is an attorney practicing in the areas of corporate and business law. She is a senior advisor for APQC, a firm specializing in benchmarking and best practice business research. Her prior executive positions include vice president of organizational development for American Medical International, a global hospital management company, and senior manager at Accenture in their global consulting practice in the USA and Argentina. Janis has been a dance aficionado since childhood and studied dance in New York, London, and Texas with instructors including Romana Kryzanowska, Lez Damaroff and Glen Hunsucker. She taught ballet in Oxford, Ohio. She has two sons who served in different branches of the military – Allen in the Marines and Geoffrey in the Navy.
Patrick Stuart Stanley has been in the construction business for more than 30 years, with experience in building, project managing and estimating. A former Principal of the SpawMaxwell Company prior to the Balfour Beatty acquisition, he takes pride in heading up charity events including an annual Bar B Q Competition and the multi-city Comedy Show now in its 7th year. Patrick also conceived and helped build the company’s award winning Art Car. His other hobbies include antique cars, game room equipment and standup comedy.
Jennifer Gadd Edwards (Not Pictured)has been a senior litigator for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation for four years. Jennifer’s practice at Anadarko has focused primarily on complex commercial and bankruptcy litigation. Prior to working for Anadarko, Jennifer was a litigation association for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. In 2009, Jennifer was named Houston Business Journal’s Best Corporate Counsel “Up and Comer.” Jennifer has also been named a Texas Super Lawyer, “Rising Star” several consecutive years. Jennifer received a B.A. in Journalism and Business from the University of Mississippi in 1999. While at the University of Mississippi, Jennifer served as captain of the women’s basketball team. She later earned a J.D., cum laude, from Tulane Law School in May 2003. During law school, Jennifer was the senior notes and comments editor for the Tulane Maritime Law Journal. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband Kyle, and their two weimaraners, Moose and Gertie.
Kevin Fulton (Not Pictured) is originally from Los Angeles, California and is currently a Partner with Fulton & White PLLC., Attorneys at Law. Kevin has had a strong sense of community and service since serving in the Army where he was awarded four medals for service in the Persian Gulf War and as a humanitarian in Operation Provide Comfort for Kurdish Refugees in Turkey and Iraq. After the Army, Kevin continued his service to community by devoting his time on the Board for a youth counseling organization and dedicating countless hours to helping victims of domestic violence. He currently incorporates free legal services as part of his practice believing that income should not be a barrier to competent legal services. That philosophy is carried over in his support for the Arts where he believes that everyone should be able to enjoy the exhilaration of dance regardless of their income level.
Bryan Dougherty (Not Pictured) Stephen F. Austin State University and then returned to Houston with a fiancée and a degree in Psychology. After four years were spent as a counselor at a local psychiatric hospital he went back to school and got a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management from Houston Baptist University. The next twenty years found him working with small to medium sized businesses as a Human Resources & Training Director. Now he is a Business Coach with his own organization – Your ROI Coach. In addition to being a Coach, he is an HR Consultant. Bryan has a history of developing and implementing HR changes that improve operations, increase morale, and decrease costs.
Diana Hua (Not Pictured) is a native Houstonian and has been with Reliant Energy since 2008 in various product development and marketing roles. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley and is currently pursuing her MBA at the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. Diana has been an extern for Food Network, an intern for Walt Disney World, and briefly lived in Honolulu, Hawaii. In her spare time, Diana enjoys cooking, traveling, and new experiences.
Kristin Ryan ( Not Pictured)has over 5 years of experience within external auditing as a Certified Public Accountant for Pannell Kerr Forster of Texas, P.C., a local CPA firm. She manages teams engaged to audit financial statements as well as 401(k) and Pension Plans. She has served a wide variety of clients, both public and privately held, in an array of different industries. Kristin joined the firm upon graduating with her Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Science in Accountancy from C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. While enrolled, she completed a project with HMDC and had expressed interest in getting more involved with the organization. Her spare time is limited. Aside from a full-time career, she is wife to Wesley Ryan and mother to Sophie, Noah and Olivia Ryan, her two year old triplets! During any remaining spare time, she enjoys wine, reading, watching movies and traveling.