Companion Star Board of Directors
Laura Lee Everett
Laura Lee Everett is the Artistic Services Director OPERA America, the National service organization for opera companies in the Americas and artists around the world. Previously, Everett was with the Maryland Opera Studio at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she served as studio manager for 10 years. Everett also has two decades of opera production and stage management experience, having worked at opera companies nationwide, including Anchorage Opera, Aspen Music Festival and School, The Baltimore Opera, Opera Columbus, The Dallas Opera, Eugene Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Michigan Opera Theater and Wolf Trap Opera Company. She has collaborated with some of the most renowned conductors, directors, designers and singers in contemporary opera. In addition to overseeing productions at the nation's leading opera companies, Everett has long been passionate about mentoring young artists, having trained as a singer and pianist at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. She has an extensive and dedicated history of working on new operas and world premieres with many of today's most prolific composers and librettists. Everett began her affiliation with OPERA America on the Technical/Production Committee in 1998 and has been involved with the Singer Training Forum since its inception in 2004.
At OPERA America, Everett leads the Artistic Services department, which provides programming, technical assistance, funding, and professional development to opera singers, composers, librettists, publishers, managers, directors and designers, and technical production and artistic staff at hundreds of North American opera companies, colleges, universities and conservatories. The many offerings of the Artistic Services department include the online resource Career Guide for Opera, Salon Series performances of contemporary American opera, Making Connections professional development sessions, Opera Fund granting programs, annual conference programming and industry forums, such as those for new works, singer training and technical/production staff.
A native Floridian who spent much time living and working in "the greater South", Everett holds a B.F.A. in Music Management & Theater from Appalachian State University. After living in Baltimore, Maryland for 16 years, she has recent relocated to New York.
Christopher Ross, Esquire
Mr. Ross is a founding partner in Mayer, Ross & Hagan where he maintains an active caseload in both the Federal and State Courts covering numerous areas of law including Entertainment and Intellectual Properties. He is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia. Previously Mr. Ross was a Producer for ABC Sports and ESPN.com where he was responsible for program initiatives and development for several online properties, including ABC College Football and The Triple Crown. Prior to arriving at ABC Sports he was Director of Information Services for the Women's Sports Foundation. His primary responsibilities included the physical and electronic dissemination of the organization's educational, research and promotional materials as well as management of the Foundation's internship program. Mr. Ross earned his Bachelor in Sports Studies with a minor in law from Ithaca College in 1996 and his Jurist Doctor from New York Law School in 2002 at night while working at ABC Sports.
Joseph Skelly is VP of Marketing and Communications at CapitalStar Systems, the OTC broking systems provider. Mr. Skelly has contributed to our web site, marketing collateral and production materials since Companion Star's inception. His expertise includes print and online media production, user experience and interface design. Joseph has a bachelor of arts from Rider College and accreditation in financial analysis from the New York Institute of Finance.
Douglas Roddin, CPA
Douglas Roddin is a Certified Public Accountant with over 25 years experience in accounting, taxes and financial matters. A graduate of Hofstra University with a BBA degree, he has held several positions over the years with the Internal Revenue Service, public accounting firms as well as private industries. He was employed eighteen years as a Tax Manager and accounting analyst by Newsday, a major newspaper publishing company located in Melville, NY. He is also a member of the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) and the NY State Society of Accountants. Doug is currently running his own tax and accounting practice with clients located throughout the United States.
Advisory Board Members
Victoria Anne Cassano, MD, MPH, FACPM, CAPT MC USN (RET)
Past Board President
Dr. Cassano is currently the Director of Radiation and Physical Exposures in the Veterans Health Administrations Office of Public Health and Environmental Hazards in Washington, DC. Her career in Occupational and Environmental Medicine spans over twenty years. Dr. Cassano is board certified in both Occupational and Environmental Medicine and Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine. In addition, she has a Master of Philosophy in Human Genetics from Columbia University. She serves on various committees at the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society and the American Medical Association. Dr. Cassano has always had a keen interest in prevention and treatment of occupational injuries and illnesses of performers. She has consulted with stage producers, symphonies and dance and vocal organizations regarding ergonomic issues and has treated numerous artists suffering from overuse syndromes. As an avid choral singer, she has been a member of various choirs throughout her career. She is a member of the Women Diverís Hall of Fame.
Peter L. Kingan, Ph.D.
Past Board President
Dr. Kingan brings a wealth of experience in collaboration and organization of board work to our company. His board work has included president of the Dalmatian Organization of Houston, a board member of the Brookhaven Roe YMCA and chairperson for many community and college faculty/staff committee. He has been practicing as a licensed psychologist in Patchogue, New York for fifteen years and has been in the mental health field for nearly thirty five years. He is a specialist in group therapy and group dynamics, and is a member of the US Masters Swimming Association.
Keith Turnbull is the Executive Director for Le Chien qui chante, a professional performing arts company in Montreal. He is a director, dramaturge and producer committed to contemporary work in both theatre and opera. He was the Artistic Director/Executive Producer of the Banff Centre's Theatre Arts and Song program for 15 years and is Canada's most experienced producer and director of contemporary opera.
Richard Armstrong's unique experience as a pioneer of the extension of the human voice began in the sixties when, as a founding member of the Roy Hart Theatre in France, he helped create one of Europe's most influential schools of voice and body research. From that time on, his work as teacher, director, and performer has taken him to over thirty countries, and inspired a whole generation of performers and their work. Richard is associate arts professor for New York University's Experimental Theater Wing at the Tisch School of the Arts.
Linda Cox has spent thirty-three years in the magazine business at Holiday, House & Garden and as Creative Director of Cosmopolitan Magazine. During her years at Cosmopolitan, the magazine reached 3,000,000 in circulation and launched thirty-five foreign editions. She also created advertising campaigns for Atlantic Records. She was a founding partner in establishing a successful franchise business in Eastern Europe and was able, through her marketing expertise, to launch a previously unknown trademark into new territory. This experience has honed her marketing and design skills and her company, Portfolio, consults with major magazines as well as guiding creative vision for branding and corporate identities.