2019 Protégé Mentors


Career Development Coordinator and Counselor - Sotheby’s Institute of Art at Claremont Graduate University

Theresa Condito brings fifteen years of experience in performing arts administration to her current role in Career Development at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. She has worked at prestigious, world-class organizations like Boston Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Opera, as well as many smaller arts non-profits in fundraising, marketing, venue management, and ticketing. Originally hailing from Massachusetts, Theresa attended Berklee College of Music in Boston for her undergraduate studies, and moved to Southern California in 2012 to pursue a master's degree in Arts Management at Claremont Graduate University. Theresa has discovered a talent and even a calling as an arts-focused career counselor, and her free time is spent writing bluesy pop/rock tunes on guitar and cooking elaborate meals for friends and family.


Assistant Director, Gift Planning - Occidental College

Kelsey Picken is a fundraising professional with a decade of increasing experience in the field. Currently employed in Institutional Advancement at Occidental College, Kelsey also consults for museums and arts organizations throughout the Greater Los Angeles area, creating new community partnerships for audience engagement. In addition, Kelsey is finishing in a Ph.D. program at Claremont Graduate University, with concentrations in museum studies and philanthropy, balancing a full-time career with self- and educational growth.


Founder - Ladies Who Do Cool Sh!t

Serena Johnson is the Founder of Ladies Who Do Cool Sh!t, a platform for women to gain support and find resources while navigating through their careers. As a career coach, she specializes in career transitions and networking. Previously, Serena worked extensively as a fundraiser for numerous arts organizations. Most recently, she served as the Senior Advancement Officer for Antaeus Theatre Company where she helped double their fundraising efforts. Serena volunteers for the Natural History Museum and sits on the Advisory Board of Emerging Arts Leaders/Los Angeles.


Consultant - Sandy Seufert Consulting

Sandy hails from Los Angeles and has over 18 years of experience in strategic planning, teaching artist training, curriculum development, program management, and professional development for both classroom teachers and teaching artists.  She currently works as a District Coach with the Arts Ed Collective at the Los Angeles County Arts Commission where she helps school districts create strategic plans for the arts. She has also done extensive work in arts integration with particular focus on Common Core Standards in Math and English Language Arts as well as the Next Generation Science Standards.  Sandy has worked for a wide variety of arts education organizations including the Arts + STEM Collaborative, Turnaround Arts: California, The Armory Center for the Arts, The Music Center Performing Arts Center, Los Angeles Opera,PS Arts, Dramatic Results, the Da Camera Society and more. In addition, Sandy has served the field of arts education by serving on the several advisory councils and boards supporting the field of teaching artistry. Just prior to her work in arts administration, she worked as a teaching artist in a middle school with young cellists and violinists. In addition, she worked in special education with Los Angeles Unified School District for over ten years.  Sandy also currently doubles as a professional cellist, specializing in classical and jazz, and as a fiddler playing Scandinavian folk music for local dances and festivals.


Assistant Director, Sales & Customer Engagement - Los Angeles Philharmonic Association

A Philadelphia native, Anwar serves as the Assistant Director of Sales & Customer Engagement for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association; which performs in the state of the art 2,200 seat Walt Disney Concert Hall and iconic nearly 18,000 seat Hollywood Bowl.  He leads the sales and customer engagement operation for the organization which encompasses audience and patron services, group sales, and telemarketing. His previous work has included time with Atlanta Ballet, Philadelphia Workforce Development Corporation, and the Center for Public and Community Service in the fields of audience development and retention, customer service, sales, and marketing.  Prior to his career in arts management, he was a professional dancer and served on the faculty of the Atlanta Ballet Center for Dance Education. He has been named an emerging leader by the League of American Orchestras. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication and Rhetorical Studies from Syracuse University.


Community Engagement Program Director - The Music Center

Gerlie Collado currently serves as the Community Engagement Program Director at The Music Center, the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County. In this role, she is responsible for curating and designing participation-driven programming that serves to enrich the cultural lives of Angelenos.

Gerlie’s current work builds on her past experiences in regional theater and philanthropy. Before joining The Music Center, she served as the project manager and community organizer at The Pasadena Playhouse. At the Playhouse, she led the theatre's sustainability initiative by expanding its audiences focusing on Asian Americans and Pacific Islander communities in the San Gabriel Valley. In philanthropy, Gerlie served as the arts program associate with the James Irvine Foundation, and the communications associate with the California Community Foundation. While at the Irvine Foundation, she helped to manage a multi-million dollar grantmaking portfolio focused on promoting engagement in the arts for all Californians. From 2006 to 2010, Gerlie contributed to the California Community Foundation’s marketing, communications and public relations efforts.

With a passion to ensure that the arts are always a part of public policy and community building efforts, she greatly values civic engagement. She currently serves as a City of Los Angeles Commissioner with El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument Authority, a board member for Visual Communications, and a founding member of Sotheby Institute of the Arts at Claremont Graduate University’s alumni board.

She has a master’s in arts management from Claremont Graduate University, and a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of San Francisco.


CEO - Avenida Productions

Fanny Véliz is an award-winning filmmaker, actor, and director with more than 14 years experience in the business. Véliz has worked in both traditional and digital media for a vast array of brands, including Ford and Nissan. She also produced two seasons of the TV show “Doctor Vet” for National Geographic which aired in the U. S. and all over Latin America.

A two-time Imagen Award nominee, she has received several recognitions for her work both in front and behind the camera One of her latest projects is her award-winning feature film HOMEBOUND which received a theatrical release and numerous awards and traveled the country as well as abroad. Throughout the years, she has learned the ins and outs of creating a project from scratch and using non-traditional methods to fund, produce, and distribute. She's bringing that knowledge to her clients at Avenida Productions.

For three years she was the vice chair of the Non-Profit Nosotros, an organization founded by Ricardo Montalbán, which aims to support Latinos in the entertainment business. Nosotros is the oldest non-profit Latino organization in the arts. The mother of 2 delightful boys, her goal is to inspire her sons and provide them and future generations with role models in the media.


New Frontier Public Programs Manager - Sundance Institute

Rachel May (Ray) Smith is on a mission to change the arts sector from the outside in, making it stronger and more equitable for everyone. She has over 10 years experience in the arts and nonprofits leading administration and programming and creating engaging experiences with the arts for a wide variety of audiences. Ray has published pieces on art education with Art Education: The Journal of the National Art Education Association and Zócalo Public Square. Currently the manager of New Frontier Public Programs at the Sundance Institute in Los Angeles, Ray also previously served on the leadership council of Emerging Arts Leaders/Los Angeles.


Independent Consultant - Kristin Runnels | Grant Consulting

With 10+ years of professional experience spanning private, philanthropic, and nonprofit arenas, Kristin Runnels has cultivated a career with deep roots in California’s arts nonprofit sector.
After exiting an early career as a violinist, Kristin interned at the L.A. Philharmonic in 2007. She subsequently worked at the Colburn Foundation — Southern California’s largest funder of classical music — where she co-managed grants awarded to cultural institutions across the region. Her work’s focus included extensive programmatic evaluation to better understand the needs of her grantees and the communities they served, and developing methods to provide service “beyond the grant,” including managing professional development workshops for nonprofit executives.

In 2015, Kristin moved to the California Institute of the Arts - where she stewarded a $4MM institutional giving portfolio, and in 2017, Kristin opened her own development consulting firm. Her clients largely operate in the arts nonprofit sector and predominantly benefit low-income and underserved communities in Los Angeles, students of all ages engaging in the arts, and emerging artists.

Kristin has participated in local and national philanthropic and cultural networks, including EAL/LA (executive chair); EPIP; Southern California Grantmakers; Americans for the Arts; L.A. Arts Funders; and L.A. County Arts Commission's Arts Ed Collective (steering committee).


Marketing & Development Manager, invertigo dance theatre

Brittany A. Gash has been in Marketing and Development for just over a decade and has a great passion for the arts. She is currently an independent Marketing Consultant and the Development & Marketing Manager for Invertigo Dance Theatre. She has spent the majority of her career within the nonprofit arts and has had the pleasure of working with a variety of arts organizations from theatre and music, to dance, visual art, and film. Some of her most notable clients include LA County Arts Commission, Ford Theatres, Brazilian Nites Productions, The Da Camera Society, Hollywood Fringe Festival, Towne Street Theatre and many more. She specializes in brand management, digital marketing, donor cultivation, social media, public relations, and fundraising. In her free time, she also offers a variety of consultation and coaching services for independent artists and enjoys teaching courses on Public Relations, Social Media, and Branding. Brittany received her MBA from the University of Maryland and Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, with a Public Relations emphasis from California State University, Northridge. She currently serves on the boards of Emerging Arts Leader/Los Angeles, Jane Austen Society of North America/Southwest, and Helix Collective. To learn more about Brittany visit her website at www.BrittanyGash.com.


Senior Development Manager - PF Bresee Foundation

Dervla McDonnell is a nonprofit management professional committed to increasing access to high-quality education and artistic expressive opportunities for disadvantaged youth and adults. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, McDonnell previously lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and a Master of Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University. McDonnell relocated to Los Angeles in 2017 to pursue career opportunities, and also to fulfill a life-long dream of moving to California.

McDonnell currently serves as Senior Development Manager at the PF Bresee Foundation, a community-based organization in Central Los Angeles that provides comprehensive services to low-income youth and families, including after-school youth programs, wrap-around family support services, and gang prevention services. McDonnell is responsible for all institutional fundraising activities, including corporate, foundation, and government grants, and also contributes to broader Development & Communications activities including donor stewardship, fundraising events and strategic marketing. McDonnell also offers expertise in artistic and community programming through work in previous jobs, including visual art exhibitions, performance events, and more.