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Gulfshore Playhouse Forms Planned Giving Council

The Planned Giving Council is chaired by Ashley Dewji, a private banker with J.P. Morgan and a member of the Board of Directors at Gulfshore Playhouse.

Gulfshore Playhouse Forms Planned Giving Council

Gulfshore Playhouse, Naples' premier professional theater has announced the formation of its Planned Giving Council. Over the last 16 years, Gulfshore Playhouse has expanded immensely, engaging hundreds of thousands of people through world-class professional theater, and impacting tens of thousands of children through innovative education programming and community partnerships. The financial stewardship of Gulfshore Playhouse is a vital component of its future success as it continues to enrich the cultural landscape of Southwest Florida.

The Planned Giving Council, comprised of volunteer, veteran industry professionals, will serve as an advisory group that will offer recommendations on initiatives to cultivate and solicit current and legacy gifts.

The Planned Giving Council is chaired by Ashley Dewji, a private banker with J.P. Morgan and a member of the Board of Directors at Gulfshore Playhouse. Serving as co-chair is Gulfshore Playhouse Board of Director member and Finance Committee Chairman Dave Wilson, a former managing partner at Ernst & Young, a former professor at Harvard Business School, and current board member of Barnes and Noble Education.

Other members of the Planned Giving Council are Erika Aron, devoted philanthropist, longtime supporter of Gulfshore Playhouse and member of the Board of Directors; Mary Beth Crawford, a principal in Cummings & Lockwood's Private Clients Group; Kelly R. Dee, president of Dee & Associates CPAs; Michael J. Mongin, senior vice president - investments at Moran Wealth Management; Susan Nesbet-Sikusa, shareholder at Dentons Cohen & Grigsby P.C. in its Estates and Trusts Practice Group; and Cherry W. Smith, executive vice president/wealth services advisor at the Naples Trust Company.

"The sound leadership and extensive philanthropic and estate planning experience of our Planned Giving Council will be instrumental in increasing financial gifts that will enhance the quality of life and the cultural fabric of our community," said Kristen Coury, founder and producing artistic director at Gulfshore Playhouse. "We are grateful to these local professionals for their assistance in securing our strong future."

The Council will also provide oversight and guidance for the newly formed Standing Ovation Society, which includes generous donors who have named Gulfshore Playhouse as a beneficiary in their estate plans.

"The wide-ranging and diverse program offerings at Gulfshore Playhouse wouldn't be possible without the generous financial support of our patrons and community," Said Coury, also a member of the Standing Ovation Society. "Those who become members of the Standing Ovation Society join an ensemble of thoughtful and imaginative visionaries who are leaving a lasting legacy that will ensure our future ability to create art, engage diverse audiences, and inspire the next generation of theatre lovers."

Members of the Standing Ovation Society receive annual recognition in the Gulfshore Playhouse playbill and invitations to special events at the theater. Donors can make a bequest designating Gulfshore Playhouse as a beneficiary of an asset in their will, make gifts via an IRA charitable rollover, or make contributions via a charitable gift annuity or charitable remainder trust.

Planned gifts may offer donors additional benefits such as tax benefits, additional income, and flexibility to alter plans should individual circumstances change. Prospective donors are encouraged to discuss options with an attorney, financial advisor, or estate-planning expert. To learn more about planned giving opportunities at Gulfshore Playhouse, please contact Chief Advancement Officer Kimberly Dye at 239-261-7529 or

Gulfshore Playhouse is passionately committed to enriching the cultural landscape of our region by producing professional theater to the highest artistic standards and providing unique educational opportunities to diverse groups of people in a spirit of service, adventure, and excitement. The Playhouse's work is inspired by a belief in the magic of theater to expand the imagination, challenge the senses, provoke discussion, and revitalize in its audiences an understanding of our common humanity. This belief drives the care with which Gulfshore Playhouse treats its artists, audiences, students, staff, and members of the greater community. For more information, visit

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