Sheila Grether-Marion Named Chair of Pasadena Playhouse Board of Directors

Sheila Grether-Marion Named Chair of Pasadena Playhouse Board of Directors

The Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director and Charles Dillingham, Interim Executive Director) announced today that Sheila Grether-Marion has been elected as the new Chair of The Pasadena Playhouse's Board of Directors.

Grether-Marion had previously acted as Board Vice-Chair since October, 2008. Outgoing Board Chair, Michele Dedeaux Engemann, was recently honored at The Playhouse's annual gala event on May 19th. David DiCristofaro, who previously served as The Playhouse Board Treasurer, was also elected as the new Vice-Chair. Current board member Stephen Bennett will assume the position of Board Treasurer and Linda Boyd Griffey will continue as Board Secretary. Board member Brad King was also named Chair of the Long-Range Planning Committee. Two new board members were elected at the annual board meeting held Wednesday, June 27th: Tony Phillips and George A. Henning.

"I very much value the partnership that I have shared with Michele over the past several years," said Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of The Playhouse. "It has been an eventful period – a sometimes incredibly difficult, but ultimately rewarding period for the theatre. Through it all, Michele displayed tenacity, determination, and passion for The Playhouse and the art of the theatre. While I will miss working with her in that capacity, I look forward to a continuing and growing relationship with Sheila as the new board chair. Already I can feel that her knowledge of the arts, her zeal, and her long term vision and healthy ambition for our theatre will serve The Playhouse brilliantly and bring us an exciting new phase of growth and accomplishment."

"The Playhouse holds a very special place in my heart, and for over a decade it has been a pleasure to serve on its board," said Sheila Grether-Marion. "I am very honored to carry on the excellent work that Michele has initiated as Board Chair and especially at a time when our theatre is thriving so unbelievably well. I look forward to many more successful seasons such as the one we are just completing this summer and enriching all of our wonderful outreach, education and development programs."

"It is with great enthusiasm and trust that I turn over the Chair's gavel to my friend and colleague, Sheila Grether-Marion," said outgoing Board Chair Michele Dedeaux Engemann. "Sheila has such a passion for the theatre arts and she has a brilliant mind for business and fundraising issues. She is a creative, generous and forward thinking leader and is a driving force in the partnership of The Playhouse and the community. As I reflect over the past 16 years as a board member and nearly four years as Board Chair, I have every confidence that Sheila, my dear friend Sheldon Epps, David DiCristofaro and the entire board and administration will continue to lead our beloved Pasadena Playhouse into a bright and successful future."

Sheila Grether-Marion has served on The Playhouse Board of Director's since 1999. A former actor and professional fund-raiser for the Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, the Los Angeles Library Association and the National Repertory Theatre, Sheila has assisted in raising millions of dollars for non-profit organizations. She has received many awards for her work including The President's Award for Public Sector Initiatives in 1982, citations from Mayor Tom Bradley and the Board of Los Angeles Library Commissions and from the Los Angeles County Library for her work to raise funds to combat illiteracy. Sheila began her second career as a Financial Advisor in 1987 and has been First Vice-President, Investments with Merrill Lynch in its Pasadena office since 2002. She is currently a Portfolio Manager-Personal Investment Advisory program and the senior partner of her team. Sheila and her husband, Mark, live in Sierra Madre. Sheila was born and raised in Pasadena and was an usher at The Pasadena Playhouse while she attended Blair High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from nearby Occidental College in 1976. She and Mark have two children, Marissa Fox, a lawyer and Orion Marion, a professional musician.

David DiCristofaro is senior vice president and president for the Greater Los Angeles region of Wells Fargo Bank. DiCristofaro oversees 1,800 team members at more than 100 banking stores in the communities of eastern Los Angeles, south Los Angeles, northern Long Beach, and the San Gabriel Valley. He assumed his current role in March 2010. Previously, he was regional president for Wells Fargo's South Coast Community Bank for four years. He also served as chief financial officer for Wells Fargo's L.A. Metro region. DiCristofaro joined the former Norwest Bank in 1997 as managing director of online banking. In 1999, he was named to head finance and strategy for Wells Fargo's Northern California region. Before joining Wells Fargo, DiCristofaro worked as a consultant with BDO Seidman, a senior consultant with FinExc Consulting Group LLC, and as vice president of corporate planning for Roosevelt Bank. DiCristofaro received his bachelor's degree in finance and management from New York University's Stern School of Business. DiCristofaro also serves as the vice chairman of the board for the American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles. In 2011 DiCristofaro was recognized as The Pasadena Playhouse Theatrical Diversity Project Honoree. He previously served on the advisory board for Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach, Calif., and on the board of the Sacramento Ballet Company.

In October 2008 when Michele Dedeaux Engemann was elected as its Board Chair, The Playhouse was in a challenging financial state. Over the next three years, her leadership, dedication and love of The Playhouse proved to be the driving factors to support and shepherd the theatre through an "intermission" period that she oversaw with expedient efficiency. In addition to her valuable leadership of the board, Michele and her husband, Roger, have been generous benefactors, donating administrative offices to The Playhouse for most of her tenure. She leaves her post with The Playhouse in a debt-free status for the first time in its current incarnation and more fiscally sound then it has been in many years. Michele also received the 2010 Pasadena Arts Council Gold Crown Award. Engemann will continue to serve as a board member, in a non-executive capacity, for The Playhouse's 2012-2013 season.

Tony Phillips, CPA, is a partner at Phillips & Company, a Certified Public Accounting firm located in Pasadena. He is also President of Downstream Exchange Company which acts as an accommodator in tax deferred exchanges. His current civic positions include serving as Treasurer of Rotary Club of Pasadena, Secretary & Treasurer of the Pasadena Wine and Food Society, Treasurer of Stardusters Dance Club and Honorary Director of Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. His past civic positions include serving as President of Pasadena Symphony Association, President of Board of Trustees of the Pasadena Arts Council, President of Rotary Club of Pasadena, Director/Chairman of Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, Treasurer of Pasadena Chapter of California Institute for Cancer Research, Vice President of Pasadena Child Guidance Clinics, Reserve Pasadena Police Officer and President of Eastside Boy's Club.

George A. Henning, the Chairman and President of Pacific Global, is portfolio manager of the Pacific Advisors Small Cap Value Fund, the Pacific Advisors Mid Cap Value Fund and individual client accounts. He also manages Pacific Global's portion of the Multimanager Small Cap Value portfolio for the AXA Premier VIP Trust. He is also Chairman of the Pacific Advisors Funds. Mr. Henning has been in the financial services industry for over three decades. Prior to forming Pacific Global in 1991 and the Pacific Advisors Funds, he served as Senior Vice President of Transamerica Life Companies and President of its broker/dealer. Before joining Transamerica, Mr. Henning was Senior Vice President at Chubb LifeAmerica and President of its broker/dealer, mutual fund, and separate account mutual fund companies. He received a B.S. degree from Geneva College and a M.S. degree from Indiana University.

The Pasadena Playhouse Board of Directors, as of June 28, 2012 include:

• Sheila Grether-Marion, Chair of the Board
David DiCristofaro, Vice-Chair of the Board
• Stephen Bennett, Treasurer
Linda Boyd Griffey, Secretary
• Brad King, Long-Rang Planning Committee Chair
• Lenore Almanzar
• Valerie Amidon
• Sheri Ball
William Carroll
Michele Dedeaux Engemann
• Peggy Ebright
Sheldon Epps
• George A. Henning
Darrell Miller
• Tony Phillips
• Bingo Roncelli
• Lilah Stangeland
Corky Hale Stoller
Mike Stoller
• Martha Williamson

For more information on The Pasadena Playhouse, visit

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