WaterTower Theatre Names Derek Blount as President of Board of Directors

WaterTower Theatre (WTT) has announced the election of Derek Blount as President of the Board of Directors, serving for a fourth term. WTT also announced the election of a slate of Board Officers including Vice President, Ben Cunningham, Secretary, Katie Myatt, and Treasurer, Jimmy Niemann.

WaterTower Theatre also welcomes the appointment of two new Board members: Michael Canterbury and Debbie Staggs. WaterTower Theatre's Board Resources Committee is Chaired by Board member Elizabeth Fratantuono.

President Blount also announced the appointments of Stan Graner as Development Committee Chair, who will join other Board members in key Chairperson roles including Barbara Daseke as 2014 Spotlight Gala Chair, April Bosworth as WOW! Chair and Jimmy Niemann as Endowment and Planned Giving Chair.

Derek Blount is North Dallas President for Sovereign Bank. He has served on the WaterTower Theatre Board of Directors for seven years and has served as President for the past three years. He is also the Co-Chair of WaterTower Theatre's Corporate Council (with Carolyn Beebe).

Members of WTT's Board of Directors consists of leaders in the fields of business, publishing, education, law, finance, community activism, real estate, and the arts who volunteer their time and expertise on behalf of the organization. Debbie Staggs and Michael Canterbury will join current Board members Maureen Anderson, Roz Benjet, Barbara Bigham, Derek Blount, April Bosworth, Ben Cunningham, Barbara Daseke, Elizabeth Fratantuono, Buddy Frazer, Stan Graner, RoBert Mayer, Jr., Terry Martin, Larry McCallum, Katie Myatt, and Jimmy Niemann.

"We're extremely pleased to announce Derek Blount has agreed to serve as President for a fourth term as well as these three Officer appointments plus our two new board members," said Terry Martin, WaterTower Theatre's Producing Artistic Director. "Derek's fourth term as President is marked by numerous successes, including continuing overseeing new development and fundraising strategies including our Endowment Fund program and Planned Giving. All of our fundraising programs involve members of the Board of Directors: Stan Graner as Chair of the Development Committee; Elizabeth Fratantuono, Board Resources; Derek Blount as Co-Chair of The Corporate Council; April Bosworth, Chair of Women of WaterTower Theatre (WOW!); Jimmy Niemann, Chair Endowment and Planned Giving, and Barbara Daseke, Chair, 2014 Spotlight Gala."

"This past season WaterTower Theatre continued to experience growth in subscription ticket sales and fundraising not to mention the myriad of artistic successes that defines WaterTower Theatre," said Derek Blount. "I'm proud of both the staff and the Board of Directors for their prudent management this past year as well as their willingness to take on new projects. Our new slate of Executive Committee Officers and recently appointed Board members will be important assets to the organization to ensure that our Board continues its work to support the mission of WaterTower Theatre. I'm pleased to welcome Debbie and Michael to our Board and know they will bring important new assets to an already dynamic group of individuals."

About WaterTower Theatre's President of the Board: Derek Blount (President, WaterTower Theatre) joined the WaterTower Theatre Board of Directors in 2006 and has served in the roles of Board Treasurer; Co-Chair of The Corporate Council, Board Vice President, and in September 2010 was elected President of the Board of Directors. He was re-elected as Board President in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Professionally, Derek serves as North Dallas President for Sovereign Bank, a Dallas-based financial institution. In his role with the bank, Derek focuses on corporate banking including commercial real estate lending, mergers & acquisitions, equipment financing and working capital loans.

Founded in 2004, Sovereign Bank has grown to more than a billion dollars in assets and proudly serves the Texas metro-markets of Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and Houston.

Derek's professional experience prior to Sovereign includes corporate lending roles with international banking syndicate Credit Lyonnais (now Credit Agricole) and helping establish the Dallas commercial banking division for Hibernia Bank (now CapitalOne Bank). Derek began his banking career with JPMorgan Chase through completion of their executive training program and later serving as a commercial banking officer.

A Texas native, Derek received both his BBA in Finance and his MS in Marketing from Texas A&M University. Derek is an active member of American MENSA, an enthusiastic traveler, and an avid runner. Derek is married to Bethany Blount, and they are the proud parents of one-year-old Harrison Blount.

About Debbie Staggs: Debbie is the Director of Marketing and Special Events at Million Air Dallas in Addison. She is very involved in the community. She served as past Director of Programs and Membership for The Farmer's Branch Chamber of Commerce, was on the Board member of the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce, and has supported a number of non-profits including the Collin County Children's Advocacy Center, The American Heart Association, CONTACT Crisis Hotline, Genesis Woman's Shelter. She is a member of Women in Aviation International, Metrocrest Chamber, Women of WaterTower Theatre (WOW!), Spotlight Gala 2013 and 2014 Gala Committee, and WaterTower Theatre's Corporate Council. Debbie, and her husband Donnie, have one son.

About Michael Canterbury: Michael Canterbury is the President of The Freedom Foundation. He has been deeply involved in activities supporting The Town of Addison since the early '70's. Michael and his family have been supporters of WaterTower Theatre for many years. He is actively involved in the Boy Scouts of America and is the Co-Coordinator for Shadow Ridge Middle School Band's Annual Music Miles 5k and Fun Run. He is a member of the Council of Southwest Foundations, Dallas Contributors Network, and the Addison Business Association. He attends the First United Methodist Church Coppell. Michael, and his wife Liese, have two children.

About WaterTower Theatre: WaterTower Theatre has become a theatrical force through its consistent excellence and sharp programming. Combining Broadway-quality productions with the beauty of an intimate playing space, WTT provides experiences that are powerful and insightful, intense and uplifting. WTT provides the community with an opportunity to examine man's conditions from all perspectives and promotes growth through humor and drama.

Now in its 17th season, WTT began life in 1996 with 136 brave subscribers. Today, with 2000 subscribers and a budget of $1.3 million, the Company consistently earns rave reviews in The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer, and other local publications. With 104 Dallas Theatre League Leon Rabin Nominations and 28 wins to its credit, as well as 20 Dallas Fort Worth Theatre Critics Forum Awards, WaterTower Theatre is home to the finest local talent.

A committed and intrepid producer of new work, the theatre has presented five world premiere productions and thirteen regional premiere productions to date. WTT's tradition of world premiere programming includes the musicals Song of Motherhood and Blind Lemon: Prince of Country Blues. Dramatic world premieres include Free Fall with Sandy Duncan, Baptized to the Bone by Dave Johnson (which is enjoying healthy post-WaterTower Theatre life), and A Country Life, Producing Artistic Director Terry Martin's southern adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. BothBlind Lemon and A Country Life earned WTT a Dallas Theatre League Leon Rabin Award for Best New Work.

WTT is privileged to make its home at the Addison Theatre Centre, an award-winning flexible theatre space that can be reconfigured to accommodate each new production. WaterTower's expanding artistic vision, deepening service to the community and growing audiences have led to a unique partnership with the Town of Addison, one aimed at the development of an exciting destination for patrons to experience the best in theatrical and performing arts.

WaterTower Theatre is a Constituent of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre and a member of the Dallas Theatre League.

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