Board of Trustees | Algonquin Arts Theatre
Algonquin Arts

Board of Trustees

Ron Gaffney
Board Chair

Ron Gaffney has been a resident of Manasquan for 29 years. He and his wife Denice have two children and two grandchildren. After retiring from law enforcement he held executive positions in the security and warehousing/trucking industries. He is an advocate for volunteerism in the local community. In addition to coaching baseball, softball and soccer at the elementary school levels, he is the past Chairman of Manasquan Recreation Commission on which he served for 20 years. A member of the Manasquan Board of Education for 8 years, he held positions of President and Vice President. Ron is also a group facilitator for the Common Ground Grief Center. An avid motorcyclist, Ron is a member of 3 motorcycle clubs. His interest in the theater began with his involvement in participating in his own elementary and high school plays. Ron has been a long-time supporter of the Algonquin, beginning with its initial renovation. Along with a group of volunteers, armed with screwdrivers and paint brushes, the original seats in the theater were dismantled, the metal support frames were hand painted and the refurbished seats were reinstalled.

Carrie McGowan
Vice Chair

Carrie first became involved with AAT when her youngest daughter began taking part in the wonderful education classes offered here. Her daughter was born a dancer and performer and the AAT was a perfect match for her interests. Through the years her daughter performed in many Algonquin Youth Ensemble and main stage productions and so began Carrie's volunteer efforts in the "front of the house". Through the years Carrie has enjoyed watching and volunteering at many of the shows and events at AAT.

Carrie is very excited to have the opportunity to continue working with the theater as a member of the Board of Trustees as she believes that having a wonderful performing arts venue like AAT is a great gift to the community. Carrie has been a resident of Brick for 18 years where she and her husband raised their two daughters. She works for a consulting firm as an environmental scientist remediating legacy chemical facility sites mainly in New Jersey.

Heidi Wittenberg
Secretary

Heidi grew up on the Manasquan River in Wall Township. From earliest childhood she has enjoyed her favored pastimes of swimming, fishing, boating and long walks on the Manasquan beach. She also has fond memories of visiting area parks and historic sites as well as attending many art shows, craft fairs, musical events and local theatrical productions. Since 1998 Heidi has been associated with the family owned Folk Agency, Realtors in Brielle. As the fourth generation Broker of Record of the firm, she now continues her passion for the joys of living the shore life style by using her enthusiasm and unique leadership style in spreading the word of the value of the natural beauty and cultural treasures of life in this beautiful area of New Jersey. Following in the tradition of her family and her firm, Heidi strongly believes in supporting the local community. She currently serves as a Trustee on the Board of The Algonquin Arts Theater, our truly unique, local performing arts treasure. She serves as the President of The Brielle Chamber of Commerce and as an active member of the Manasquan Elks Lodge. She also enjoys volunteering her time with German Short Hair Pointer Rescue of New Jersey.

Dominick Palumbo
Treasurer

Dominick grew up in Point Pleasant Beach. He is a graduate of Point Pleasant Beach High School and Stockton University. He and his family have been involved with Palumbo's Appliance Center since the business was opened by his grandfather in 1941. Before his career in banking, he worked in New York City in the Financial District. Dominick is currently employed as a Premier Banker at Wells Fargo in Ocean Township, NJ. Both of his daughters have participated in the Algonquin Summer Stage program; his oldest daughter, Katie, performed the lead role in The Sound of Music. Dominick is a member of the Point Pleasant Beach Chamber of Commerce. He volunteers his time teaching financial literacy at Memorial Middle School and participates in the Junior Achiever program. Dominick, and his wife Kimberlee, currently live in Point Pleasant with their daughter, Paige. His older daughter is a middle school teacher in Manassas Park, Virginia.

Dara Brown

A veteran of stage, screen and TV, Dara began her theatrical career at the age of 10, working in NYC's Milliken Show. National tours include "ANNIE" and "GYPSY" with Angela Lansbury, Broadway showcases, two musicals in Japan commercials, voice overs, and TV shows including Guiding Light, and Law and Order: SVU. Her caricature hangs in Sardi's Restaurant. She studied Shakespeare at Oxford University and holds a BS in East Asian Studies and a BA in Broadcast Journalism from NYU. Dara worked at ABC, HBO and INTV before joining NBC in 2000 to pioneer webcasts for msnbc.com. She can be seen hosting MSNBC Live, Early Today, First Look, TODAY, CNBC and spent 5 years on TWC's Wake Up With Al. Dara returned to the Jersey Shore to raise her son and daughter. She is a volunteer for 180 Turning Lives Around, an ambassador for the Samaritan Center at the Jersey Shore, joined Algonquin's Gala Committee in 2012, and the Board of Trustees in 2017.

Larry Durso

Since 1978, Lawrence Durso has been in the Financial Services Industry. He has primarily focused on creating solutions for unique problems typically associated with high net worth clients and their families. Additionally, he holds multiple securities registrations and life and health insurance licenses.

He holds a Bachelor's Degree (summa cum laude) from St. John's University and a Master's Degree from Columbia University. He has appeared in "As Seen In ..." in Bloomberg Businessweek, Fortune and Money magazines. He has been quoted in trade publications such as Registered Representative and was featured in the Prudential Financial National Seasoned Broker ad campaign.

Larry founded ShoreHaven Wealth Partners in 2020 with his son Michael Durso and Michael Lombardi. Most recently he had led the Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley, where he was a Managing Director-Wealth Management.

Away from the office, Larry is active in several charitable organizations, including St. John's University (past President of the SJU Staten Island Alumni Association) and the Daughters of Saint Paul. He is a member of the Algonquin Arts Theatre Board of Trustees and an active Supporter of the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide. Larry resides in Shrewsbury, N.J. with his wife, Patricia.

C. Keith Henderson

Keith was born in Branshott, England and grew up in Upper Montclair, NJ. He attended the Lawrenceville School where he was Vice President of the Periwig Club, which produced plays for the community at a theatre owned and operated by the school. Subsequently, he attended Dartmouth College and Rutgers Law School. After attending Law School, he clerked for Haydn Proctor who was a Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court with chambers in Asbury Park. Keith temporarily relocated to southern Monmouth County for his two years of clerkship, fell in love with the Jersey Shore, and never left. He became active at the Algonquin Theatre, at the time the not-for-profit purchased the building which houses the theatre. Soon thereafter, he became a member of the Board of Trustees, and for a number of years, he has provided legal services to the theatre. Keith lives in Manasquan with his wife, Barbara, and his son, Keith Jr., and maintains a law practice in the Borough with his son, Michael. When Keith is not working, he can be found on the water, either in a kayak, or on his sport fishing boat, Makaira.

Ed O'Malley

Ed was born and raised in Mantoloking. When not working as a realtor, Ed is an avid sailor, skier, and fisherman, vacationing in Florida and New Hampshire. In high school, and later at Kenyon College, he worked as a volunteer on almost every theater production, on the technical side. This was the start of his love of theater. He is also an active member of Mantoloking Yacht Club and Manasquan River Golf Club. In addition, he also gives his time as a volunteer and board member of Save Barnegat Bay (NJ), a volunteer for the Mt. Washington Observatory (NH), and a consultant to the Mantoloking Environmental Commission. Ed is also a member of the Point Pleasant Beach Rotary, and the Bay Head Business Association. Ed and Meagan, his wife, live in Brielle.

Trisha D. Scudder

Trisha D. Scudder is a pioneer in the field of executive coaching and has been called one of the country's "leading executive coaches -- the CEO's secret weapon." Over 30 years ago she began studying organizational transformation and leadership, leading her to found Executive Coaching Group, Inc., in New York in 1987. Today the boutique firm works with senior executives and teams around the world.

Executive Coaching Group specializes in coaching corporate management, entrepreneurs, marketing agencies and Wall Street firms. Trisha's work has proven ECG's motto: When leaders grow, companies grow.

In January 2020 Trisha reduced the number of clients she coaches and turned over ownership and management of ECG to her business partner of 12 years, Herma M. Schmitz.

Trisha has been privileged to coach more than 750 senior executives at BlackRock, JP Morgan Chase, Citi, Dell, FCB, Goldman Sachs, Google, Group M, Merck, PayPal and others.

In October 2018, in recognition of her pioneering work in executive coaching, she was awarded the prestigious Missouri Medal by the University of Missouri Journalism School for excellence in journalism and communications. Trisha's first career was in advertising as a copywriter and creative director on national brands including Revlon. Later she created the marketing strategy, fashion look and brand name that launched Swatch watches. Swatch is cited by strategy guru Gary Hamel in "Competing for the Future" as "imaginative, compelling and foresightful... not just a marketing innovation, Swatch was a reconception of the entire Swiss watch making industry." Swatch was named a "Marketing Milestone of the Decade" by The Wall Street Journal.

Since 1975 Trisha has lived in New York and had two season tickets to the Metropolitan Opera. She's a member of the Met's Opera Guild and ABT's Dancers' Circle. When she married Sea Girt attorney G. Kevin Callahan in 2016 and they moved to Brielle, she was looking for a cultural home at the Shore. Fortunately, she attended the Algonquin Arts Theatre's impressive production of Madama Butterfly in 2017 and has been an avid booster of AAT ever since, attending plays, concerts and musicals and helping to raise funds for ATT's production of La Boheme in 2019 and the postponed 2020 production of La Traviata. Trisha joined the AAT Board of Trustees in 2020. To the other Trustees she says frankly "I can't sing. I don't play an instrument. But I'm good at orchestrating projects and raising money!"

An honors graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Trisha's passions include golf, skiing, Orange Theory Fitness, cycling trips in Europe, collecting original posters of Mistinguett, star of 1920s Paris, and Westie "Scooter" Scudder.

Ann Slavick

Although Ann Slavick's Manasquan Bank business card includes the title of Vice President, Retirement Accounts Administrator and Marketing Compliance, her responsibilities go far beyond that. She also serves on the Bank's Compliance Committee, oversees Deposit Compliance and works with the branch network to review and assist with complicated/unusual transactions and legal issues.

With a career at Manasquan Bank spanning over 40 years, she has also played a major part in Manasquan Bank's long-term commitment to provide meaningful financial instruments to the communities it serves.

Ann was instrumental in bringing Kasasa deposit accounts, now the Banks's suite of Infinity deposit accounts, to the Manasquan Bank product suite. "We wanted to offer high-interest bearing checking accounts to our customers, along with ATM fee rebates," she says. This comprehensive suite of accounts was launched in April of 2014, and the products continue to be one of the Bank's most popular account offerings.

Community banks usually all hang their hats on exceptional service. However, not all of them can deliver, and certainly not to the level that Manasquan Bank does. One thing that distinguishes the Bank from other financial institutions is their proactive approach to monitoring customer accounts. "We look at everything and if we see a problem, we'll call the customer instead of waiting for them to approach us," says Slavick. National and regional banks automate account triggers and very rarely have real people monitoring accounts. "For us, it is standard operating procedure to personally let our customers know," she concludes.

Visitors to Manasquan Bank's Landmark Place branch/administration building will be greeted with a visual timeline spanning the Bank's inception from 1874 to the present day in the entrance hallway. The display consists of historical bank documents, photos, and newspapers among other items. Ann is very proud that she was given the opportunity to curate the items for the display and oversee the installation.

Ann also heads up Manasquan Bank's volunteer efforts at Fulfill, formerly The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. She organizes monthly groups to go to the Fulfill and work in the sort room. The branches also collect donations year round to benefit the Fulfill. In addition, Ann serves on the Board of Trustees for Algonquin Arts Theatre in downtown Manasquan. She is also deeply involved with New Jersey Bankers Association, serving on committees for Compliance, Marketing, and Women in Banking.