Benjamin D. Goldberg


Benjamin D. Goldberg is a Vice President and counsel at D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P., a global investment and technology development firm, where he focuses on technology, intellectual property, outsourcing, professional services, and other related contracts. Prior to joining D. E. Shaw, he worked in-house at Barclays Bank PLC and as an associate at Robinson & Cole LLP. Ben received his B.A., cum laude, from New York University (Journalism, Political Science) and his J.D., cum laude, from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Ben also sits on the Board of Directors of the Off-Broadway Transport Group Theater Company and is active in the theater community.

Nikole Vallins


Nikole Vallins is an independent producer, casting director, and artistic consultant. She is also a founding member of the Performing Arts Project and serves on the faculty in addition to the board. Most recently, she was the Artistic Consultant for the Choreography and Equity Departments at McDonald Selznick Agency. She left to start her own company as an audition coach. Producing projects include Indomitable: James Brown at Le Poisson Rouge, National Asian Artist’s Project’s Oklahoma! and Steven Jamail’s Concert at Hudson Terrace. As a casting director, she has worked at Binder Casting and at Dave Clemmons Casting on such projects as A Chorus Line, Finian’s Rainbow, White Christmas, The Lion King, Gypsy, the NY City Center Encores! series and the feature film Hairspray. Nikole is also a co-creator of The Next Step Audition Workshop in NYC. She is on the Artistic Advisory board of Rosie’s Broadway Kids and was a faculty member at The Broadway Theatre Project for seven years.

Lucius M. Dyal, Jr.


Lucius M. Dyal, Jr. (Jake) is an attorney practicing in Tampa, Florida. He has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1966, and is board-certified in international law. Jake is also an honorary member of Bar Associations of Lima, Peru and the Republic of Honduras as well as the past Chair of the International Law Certification Committee of the Florida Bar. He has more than 40 years of experience in international commercial transactions including structuring investments, and forming and monitoring offshore corporations. Other activities and offices held include: Society of International Business Fellows (President); Advisory Board of the University of South Florida College of Engineering (Chairman); Tampa Foreign Trade Zone Board (Chairman); Tampa World Trade Council (Chairman); Museum of Science & Industry Foundation (Chairman); Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce (General Counsel); University of Florida College of Law Board of Trustees. Jake is a proud graduate of Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida. He has been active in The Performing Arts Project since its inception.

S. Margaret Pike


Margaret Pike is an attorney and small business owner based in North Carolina. After working in public relations, advertising, and media relations, Margaret earned her law degree from Wake Forest University. She practiced in the area of litigation before launching Graduate Enterprises LLC, a rental property management venture.  Margaret serves on several governing boards including Salem Academy & College Board of Trustees and Kaleideum, and has previously served as a Director of NC Banker’s Association’s Camp Challenge Board and Friends of Brenner Children’s Hospital Board, among others. She is married with two wonderful children. Margaret is passionate about theater and thrilled to be associated with The Performing Arts Project.

Amy Gutierrez

Amy Gutierrez is a former owner, CFO, and Secretary of CASE Emergency Systems, Inc., a privately owned company providing wireless emergency communications technology and equipment to the public safety community. Prior to that, Amy had a long career in insurance claims as a construction defect technical claims specialist, having worked for Fortune 500 companies such as Aetna, Travelers, and Liberty Mutual. By far, Amy’s most rewarding career has been raising her four children, all who came up through the performing arts. Amy has served on the governing board of the Musical Theatre Academy of Orange County, where her primary focus was on nonprofit grant acquisition, fundraising, and marketing.  She is also a life-long volunteer for both the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts USA, where she served in leadership and fundraising capacities.

Amy is a long-time resident of Southern California, and a graduate of UCLA where she studied History and Creative Writing. She is passionate about both education and musical theater, having been raised in a household where Sunday brunch was served alongside the soundtracks from the latest Broadway hits, and Sunday dinners with robust debate on the topic of the evening. She is excited to be a part of The Performing Arts Project where both art and life experience are celebrated with equal passion.

Currently Amy is retired and pondering the title of her next life chapter.

Kari Lynn Hearn

As president of CoolChic Productions, Kari Lynn has enjoyed a multifaceted career supporting the theater. Recent Broadway involvement includes Spring AwakeningIt’s Only a Play, Rocky, Mothers and Sons, Velocity of Autumn, Macbeth, and the upcoming Somewhere in Time, among others. Kari Lynn has also worked as the lead producer of Clinton the Musical in addition to producing the tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Lisa Stern

Lisa is the Founder and former CEO of Big Communications, a full service communications agency focused on health and wellness. Founded in 1994, Big focused on helping pharmaceutical and biotech organizations promote brand advocacy and reach people in new and sustainable ways. Lisa, with her husband Scott, built Big from 1 to 120 employees, and ultimately sold the company to Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP) in 2008.

Lisa graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in French along with extensive work in theater. After college, Lisa pursued studies at several notable institutions, including theatrical work at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and at UCLA as well as French language and literature studies at L’Alliance Française in Paris. Subsequent to her educational pursuits, Lisa toured the US with the comedy troupe Just Kidding, serving the company as a performer, writer, and director.
After the sale of Big, Lisa and her family moved to Paris. There, the former CEO spent the year studying French, exploring Paris, baking, eating chocolate and travelling throughout Europe with her family.

Currently, Lisa is COO of software start-up, Via TRM, a Boulder-based technology company focused on engaging #everystudent in global opportunities.