Westport Country Playhouse Elects Six New Board of Trustees Members

Six new members were elected to the board of trustees at Westport Country Playhouse at a June meeting.  They join the current 32 trustees, led by Barbara Streicker of Westport, chair.

Katia Friend of Westport, a current board member and chair of the nominating committee, said, “What a diverse group of people the new members are. They all have strong interests in the arts and have been active with the Playhouse thus far, whether it be on committees, in terms of giving, or participating in our events.”

Stephen Corman resides in North Stamford. He is a graduate of MIT and holds BS and MS degrees from the Sloan School of Management. He is retired from IBM, where he was a Senior Manager. In 1996, he was a founding member of the National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) and served on its Board of Directors for 2 1/2 years.  He has also served on the board of Family-to-Family - Americans for Prostate Cancer Awareness and Support and the Community Advisory and Professional Advisory Boards of the Center for Hope. Corman was co-founder of the Prostate Cancer Action Network and served as its webmaster. In 2004, he was one of the founders of the National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions (NASPCC), has served on its Board of Directors since its founding, and has been on its Executive Committee for 9 years, having held positions as Secretary, Director at Large, Treasurer, and now is its Executive Advisor.


Fiona Garland of Westport earned her MA in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London in 2011, specializing on the art of Venice.  Her passion for art history and the stories it reveals about the artists, their patrons, and society in general has created an avid following for audiences in London and Connecticut. Teaching in a lively and engaging style, she has guided tours of art galleries and churches exploring London, Venice, and Ghent and across North America.  Ms. Garland is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Bellarmine Museum of Art.


Jessie A. Gilbert of Norwalk is a Principal in Cummings & Lockwood's Private Clients Group and is based in the Greenwich office.  She advises high net worth individuals on estate and tax issues, helping them with succession, generation-skipping, and asset protection planning.  She also represents executors and trustees with respect to probate, estate and trust administration matters, as well as with estate and fiduciary income taxes. Ms. Gilbert is a frequent writer and lecturer on estate planning and administration topics, including business succession planning, fiduciary income tax, and the Principal and Income Act.  She has also served as a law clerk with the United States Tax Court in Washington, D.C. In her spare time, Jessie enjoys acting in community theater productions and practicing karate, in which she has a black belt.


Jane Green of Westport is the author of 17 novels, including 16 New York Times Bestsellers, including her latest, Summer Secrets. Previous novels have included The Beach HouseSecond ChanceJemima J, and Tempting Fate. She is published in over 25 languages, and has over ten million books in print worldwide. She joined the ABC News team to write their first enhanced digital book— about the history of Royal marriages, then joined ABC News as a live correspondent covering Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton.  A former journalist in the UK, she has had her own radio show on BBC Radio London, and is a regular contributor on radio and TV, as well as regularly appearing on television shows including “Good Morning America,” “The Martha Stewart Show,” and “The Today Show.” Together with writing books and blogs, she contributes to various publications, both online and print, including anthologies and novellas, and features for The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times, Cosmopolitan and Self. She has taught at writers’ conferences, and does regular keynote speaking, and has a weekly column in The Lady magazine, England’s longest-running weekly magazine. A graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York, Green filled two of her books, Saving Grace and Promises to Keep, with recipes culled from her own collection. She says she only cooks food that is “incredibly easy, but has to look as if you have slaved over a hot stove for hours.” This is because she has five children, and has realized that “when you have five children, nobody ever invites you anywhere.” She lives in Westport, Connecticut with her husband and their blended family. When she is not writing, cooking, gardening, filling her house with friends and herding chickens, she is usually thanking the Lord for caffeine-filled energy drinks. A cancer survivor – she has overcome Malignant Melanoma – she also lives with Chronic Lyme Disease, and believes gratitude and focusing on the good in life is the secret to happiness.


David Tillson of Westport formed Eagle Ridge Investment Management, LLC in August 2008 and serves as its Co-Manager and Co-Chief Investment Officer. Prior to Eagle Ridge, Tillson was a Principal and Senior Vice President of Cramer Rosenthal McGlynn, LLC (CRM) where he was responsible for investments for high net worth individuals and a co-manager for the CRM Large Cap Opportunity Fund. Earlier in his career, Tillson was Managing Director and head of Personal Investments in New York for U. S. Trust Company responsible for the Wealth Management Group and Wealth Advisory.  Tillson received his B.A. from Brown University and his MBA from New York University. A Chartered Financial Analyst, Tillson is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and the CFA Institute.  He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of The Heckscher Foundation for Children. When not at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Nancy, their two daughters, and their three grandchildren, and travels abroad.


Marietta Battaglia White of Wilton graduated from UCLA with a masters in Theatre and Dramatic Criticism in 1978, married in 1980, and formed an L.A. theater production company with her husband called David Marietta. She’s directed professionally since her undergraduate years, with her first full-Equity production in 1967, a production cited in Vera Mowry’s book, The Nature of Theatre. While in California, she taught part-time at California State Northridge and wrote for The Century City News and The L.A. Weekly. She returned to Manhattan (where she grew up) in 1990 to raise her son. She relocated to Wilton in 1993.  Her favorite charities are The International Children’s Fund, The March of Dimes, WNET, and Westport Country Playhouse.


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