Grant Panelists

DR. JENNIFER CRUZ

Jennifer is an Associate Professor of Piano and the Program Director of the Music Mentors program at Central State University, a historically black university in Wilberforce, OH. While pursuing her Masters Degree in New York, she worked at the Boys Choir of Harlem School as an accompanist, and as a pedagogue at the Bronx School of Music and Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn. Dr. Cruz received her doctoral degree in Piano Performance at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music under the illustrious team of Elizabeth and Eugene Pridonoff. She has taught at Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati and has performed in recitals and master classes across the United States, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Israel, Guam, and Serbia. She is the past president of the Ohio Music Teachers Association Western District, a member of Dayton Music Club, and a board member of the Bach Society of Dayton.

 

PETE GRATTO

Pete moved to Dayton in August 2008. He was excited about the move based on his research that revealed a rich cultural environment paired with an equally rich bounty of parks, trails, and other recreational resources. He has not been disappointed. He subscribes to the Dayton Opera and Philharmonic and the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, regularly attends ballet and theater, and is a member of the Dayton Art Institute. Pete served as a US Marine officer and as a Foreign Service Officer with the US State Department for 28 years until retirement in 1991. He and the family served overseas in Germany, Spain, and Nigeria. In a 12-year nonprofit career he served as Executive Director of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and as Director of the Frederick County Arts Council in Maryland. He was a Founding Director and first Board President of Maryland Shakespeare, a performing, teaching and training ensemble in Frederick, MD. Pete has extensive experience as a grant writer and grant reviewer at the federal, state, and local levels. He was particularly successful working with grant requests at the government level.

 

DR. STEPHEN DONALD HUFF

Stephen is a research scientist and small technology business owner, as well as an experienced software developer. As a biological research scientist at the U.S.A.F. Research Laboratory, he serves as the principal developer on several bioinformatics projects. In addition to his scientific work, Stephen is a prolific science-fiction writer and an active community volunteer. In 2012, he received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for his work with U.S.A.F/Wright-Patterson outreach programs. He has served as President of The Human Race Theatre Company Board of Trustees, the AFRL Junior Force Council, and the RH Booster Club.

 

JORDAN KNEPPER

Jordan is the Executive Director of the Piqua Arts Council. Having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio, Knepper thought his future was in educating young minds and unraveling the mysteries of mathematics to future generations. But after a brief foray into teaching, he reengaged with his passion for the arts and began applying his analytical background to arts event management and organizational stabilization. Today, when Knepper isn’t working for Piqua Arts Council, he’s volunteering for the Ohio Watercolor Society as their Traveling Show Coordinator, serving as the Treasurer for the Jackson Center Greater Growth Association, which is responsible for community events in the Village of Jackson Center, Ohio, or assisting in the development of Fusion – Spiritual Community, a nonprofit community center.

 

SUZANNE LEY

Suzanne LeySuzanne has a BFA in painting and drawing from Arizona State University and has been working as an artist her entire career. She began as a graphic designer in Houston, Minneapolis, and Chicago, winning several design awards. After moving to Dayton, she focused on painting and drawing and won awards from the Dayton Visual Arts Center, the Middletown Regional Arts Center, and the Miamisburg Art Guild. Her work is in public and private collections, including the Dayton Children’s Hospitals in Dayton and in Springboro, Procter and Gamble, an extensive outdoor installation at Archbishop Alter High School, and the Ohio Governor’s Office in Columbus, Ohio. She is currently working on projects for the new Brookville and Vandalia Libraries through a collaboration between the Dayton Metro Library and the Dayton Art Institute. Suzanne is a member of the Dayton Visual Arts Center and the Cincinnati Art Club.

 

SUE STEVENS

Sue has served as Vice President – Marketing & Communications for Victoria Theatre Association and the Arts Center Foundation for 14 years and has over 30 years of experience in the arts and entertainment industry as both an administrator and educator. Prior to joining Victoria Theatre Association, she held arts marketing management positions with Lexington Center Corporation/Lexington Opera House, Purdue University’s performing arts series, Butler University/Clowes Memorial Hall, Dance Kaleidoscope, and Indiana Repertory Theatre. She has also served as a consultant in arts marketing and audience development. From 2008 – 2013, she taught “Introduction to Arts Management” at Miami University in Oxford, OH. She has a B.A. in English from DePauw University with minors in Theatre and French.

 

ABIGAIL S. TRITTSCHUH

Abigail is a professional artist with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Financial Services, graduating Cum Laude from Wright State University. She is currently a choreographer for West Carrollton High School and a ballet teacher for Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC2). Abbie danced professionally as a guest artist with Dayton Ballet as well as the pre-professional companies of Dayton Ballet II (DBII), Chautauqua Festival Dancers, and Ballet de Jeunesse (now Gem City Ballet). She has taught professionally for Dayton Ballet, Dayton Ballet School, Pontecorvo Ballet Studios, and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and she has also served as the Director of DBII Senior, DBII Junior, and as Ballet Mistress of Ballet de Jeunesse. Her choreographic credits include works for DBII Senior and Junior, Dayton Ballet School, Dayton Opera, and the West Carrollton High School Show Choir. In addition to her involvement in the arts, she is Director of Saint Martin’s Clothing Room at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Dayton, Ohio.

 

DAVID YARBOROUGH

David has more than thirty years of professional experience in commercial banking and senior management. He has held senior management or ownership roles with several small and middle market companies serving the automotive, aerospace, defense, and medical industries, among others. His experiences include nearly a dozen start-ups, acquisitions, and divestitures and the turnaround of more than a half-dozen businesses. He serves on the board of the Troy, Ohio Development Council and was a member of the Leadership Dayton Class of 2016.