Board of Trustees | Algonquin Arts Theatre
Algonquin Arts

Board of Trustees

Eliot Arlo Colon
Board Chair

Eliot has been Board Chair of Algonquin Arts Theatre since 2017. When Eliot is not leading his software license management company, his passions are tennis, supporting local charities and spending time with his family. Eliot's passion for the Algonquin stems from his community relations role with the Brielle Board of Education, where, besides serving its board for 10 years and two-term President, was instrumental in pushing for funding and rebirth of its arts, band and drama programs. To Eliot, the Arts are a critical component of the community and he witnessed first-hand its positive impact in dozens of local youth. Eliot is also an active member of the Manasquan River Yacht Club and co-founder of IFC United, a locally based charitable organization. Eliot and Lorene, his wife, live in Brielle with their two teenage sons.

Janice Blanton
Vice Chair

Born and raised in my native Oklahoma, I was blessed by a family and a community that greatly valued the arts. The town of El Reno supported children and adults in their endeavors. We had lots of scientists in the family, but the quality of our lives was enhanced by music, theater and art. Everyone played an instrument. As an adult living in New Jersey, I taught Art in grades K-8 for many years. Currently, I am the organist and accompanist at Manasquan Presbyterian Church and enjoy the opportunity to play for and with amateur and professional musicians and choirs. I lead The Fellowship, a men's choir at our church. (Gentlemen, please join us!) As the local cultural center of our lives, Algonquin Arts Theatre has a great deal to offer. We have come so far and are succeeding through your loyal support-both by your attendance and your gifts. My goal is to help our organization to continue to grow and to benefit the wonderful people of all ages in our delightful seashore community. AAT is a gift to all of us and a bright star in my life, for sure!

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.

Ron Gaffney
Secretary

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.

Kathie Adams

Senior Vice President of Cash Management and Business Development at Manasquan Bank, Kathie is a 35 year banking veteran. She spent the first two decades of her career with regional and national banks. Kathie is a life-long resident of Spring Lake Heights and is deeply involved in civic activities. She is a member of four area chambers of commerce and is the treasurer for two. She is a member of the Monmouth Ocean Development Council and the Spring Lake/Brielle Rotary. She also serves on the boards of the Meridian Community Alliance and The Academy of Finance for Manasquan High School.

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.

Christine Carlson

Chris Carlson, born and raised in Monmouth County, has been an educator for over forty years. She will be entering her twelfth year as the Superintendent/Principal of Brielle Elementary School in September 2019. Her passion for the arts with respect to the theater, dance, and music have been an integral part of her life and something that she considers to be of major importance for the children in her district. When not working, Chris loves to travel, spend time with family and friends, boating, going to the beach, reading and gardening.

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.

Judith G. Leone

Judi is a clamdigger, born and raised in Toms River. After retiring from a career in education, she began working as a volunteer for various local charities. At present, she serves on the boards of the Garden State Philharmonic, The Shelter, Inc., and Ocean First Foundation where she is an outspoken advocate for the arts. Her belief is the arts are for everyone, they soothe the soul and are the spice of life. She also serves on the Ocean County College Scholarship Committee. Judi plays golf at the Toms River Country Club, sails the Toms River and being a huge fan of live theatre, makes regular trips to Broadway. Judi and her husband, Stephan, live in Toms River.

Michael Lombardi

As a member of Morgan Stanley's 2016 Pacesetters Club, Michael brings over 10 years of financial planning experience to The Durso Wealth Management Group. He is responsible for all financial & estate planning strategy duties for the group's high net worth clients. He spends his days meeting with client's CPAs, Estate Attorneys & Insurance Professionals. Michael earned his B.S. Degree in Finance from The College of New Jersey in 2006. He currently holds the Certified Financial Planner™ designation which is recognized as the standard of excellence for personal financial planning.

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.

Dale Wegener

Mrs. Dale L. Wegener is a former chair of the Board of Trustees of Algonquin Arts. Born and raised at the shore, she has spent most of her life in Brielle where she currently resides. She has been a fan of the arts and supporting the community for a long time. Mrs. Wegener has served on the Ocean Medical Foundation Board and has been very active with the Meridian Foundation fundraising and running successful events for each respectively. In addition to her love of charity she enjoys playing the piano. Mrs. Wegener and her husband Peter H. Wegener enjoy spending time with family (and grandchildren) and entertaining at home with friends. They love to travel and play golf.

Heidi Wittenberg

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.