The 2012-2013 Thalian Association Board of Directors has a few new faces intermingled with some familiar ones!
HANK MILLER (President) serves as a Senior Broker and Director of Business Development for Cape Fear Commercial. A licensed real estate broker, his primary role is to enhance company profitability through business development with new and existing clients. Mr. Miller focuses on ensuring a clear, growth oriented strategic direction, and attaining the highest levels of quality services and customer satisfaction. Since joining the company in 2002, Mr. Miller’s involvement has been multifaceted including development, construction management, landlord and tenant representation, and consulting services. A sample of projects include development and construction of headquarters for two regional banks; development, leasing and construction for a Fortune 100 manufacturing company, tenant representation for a regional law firm; and real estate consulting services in a bankruptcy case involving the successful disposition of prime residential resort property. A native of Wilmington, Mr. Miller received a B.S. in Business Management from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He is very active in civic and community organizations in Wilmington and throughout the State. He has served as a member of the Southeastern North Carolina Economic Development Commission, member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Wilmington Chamber of Commerce and member of the Board of Directors of the Charlotte Partnership and North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry. Mr. Miller is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Cape Fear Council of Boy Scouts, former member of the Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts Board of Trustees, the Leadership Team of the Partners for Economic Inclusion, a Board Member of The Foundation of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and is a Past-President of the North Carolina Azalea Festival. He lives in Wrightsville Beach with his wife Maggie.
DON BETZ (Past President) originally from Rochester, New York, has been in Wilmington for the past 30 years working in Manufacturing, Financial Services and Local Government while raising four children with his wife Valerie. Don is a Vietnam Veteran having served three tours with the U.S. Army and was awarded a Bronze Star for his service. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a degree in Business Administration. Don and his family were relocated to Wilmington from New York with Federal Paper Board Company. Later he joined A.G. Edwards & Sons as an Investment Broker. He returned to the manufacturing sector with M. J. B. Manufacturing Company in textiles and later purchased and published Wilmington Magazine. Concurrently he served as a member of the Wilmington City Council for a period of sixteen years with five consecutive two-year terms as Mayor of the City of Wilmington. During this period, Don was a member of the Greater Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, the Wilmington Industrial Committee of 100 and President of the Kiwanis Club of Wilmington. Prior to his current appointment as Executive Director for the Lower Cape Fear Water & Sewer Authority, he served as Town Manager in Holly Ridge and in North Topsail Beach. He joined the Thalian Association, Inc. board in 2005. Don’s only contribution to the performing arts was his best actor’s role as Mr. Wilson in Harvey, forty years ago!
DANNY BROCK, ABR,CRB,CRS,SRES (Treasurer) serves as President of CENTURY 21 Brock & Associates. He is in charge of business development and has served in many capacities including The Past President of NC Association of Realtors, Treasurer of NC Association of Realtors, President of Wilmington East Rotary, and also Wilmington Association of Realtors. Presently he serves as President of Wedgefield HOA, Director on Brunswick Association of Realtors, and Treasurer of Homeowners Alliance for the State Realtors Association. After 30 years in the real estate business, he brings in survival skills to help preserve, grow, and build The Thalian Association’s Community Theater and Children’s Theater. Danny said, “It is an honor to serve on the board for a theater company founded in 1788.”
VIVIAN PARLIER-BURNETT served as President of The Thalian Association from 2002-2005 . Parlier-Burnett is a current member of the Wilmington Executives Club, The Lower Cape Fear Historical Society and Residents of Old Wilmington. She has served as past chairperson for the Celebrate Wilmington! Executive Committee and is past executive officer for Sales and Marketing Executives of Greater Wilmington. She has served as fund-raising captain for the Louise Wells Cameron Museum and served on the grassroots grant committee for the Arts Council of the Lower Cape Fear. Parlier-Crouse is a founding member and served as president of The Foothills Theatre, Foothills Arts Council in Elkin, NC, Friends of the Theatre in Lexington, NC, and is a founding member of The Triad Theatre League in High Point, NC.
DEBBIE ELLIOT is President and Creative Director of Talk, a public relations agency that helps companies grow and mitigate threats. Debbie’s particular areas of expertise include issues management, crisis management and branding. Elliott is a 1985 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism. She began her career in a PR agency in Boston, MA and launched Talk in 1990. In 1997, she returned to eastern North Carolina. Throughout her 27-year career, Elliott has promoted clients ranging from marine biologists and buffalo ranchers to inventors and turkey processors. Under her leadership, Talk has devised award-winning marketing and publicity campaigns for clients up and down the east coast. She is a frequent speaker at local and regional business events and conferences and has hosted webinars on a wide variety of communication topics that attract attendees locally and across the country. Elliott is a board member of the Greater Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, Cape Fear Community College Foundation and Phoenix Employment Ministry. She is a past board member of Wilmington Downtown, Inc., Historic Wilmington Foundation and Cameron Museum of Art. Elliott lives in Kure Beach with her husband John and their dogs Camden and Keeper.
DONNA FLAKE is the director of the SEAHEC Medical Library (formerly named Coastal AHEC Medical Library). She has worked in medical libraries all her life, and has a special interest in international medical librarianship. She organized and continues to direct a partnership with her library and a medical library in Latvia, and a second partnership in Moldova. She has two masters degrees- one in Library Science, and another in Health Administration. She loves theatre and enjoys working on the Thalian Association Board. She served on the Executive Board of Leadership Wilmington, and was the first recipient of the Leadership Wilmington Alumni Award. She is married to Jerry Flake, also a member of the Thalian Association Board. They attend All Saints Anglican Church. They have one daughter, Catherine who is married and living in Norway.
JERRY FLAKE is the owner of Cape Fear Title Agency, Inc. an issuing agency for Southern Title Insurance Corporation. He has worked as a volunteer for The Thalian Association for nine years with four of those years as a member of the Board. He has served as Treasurer of the Association and as Chairman of the Thalian Association's Southern Coastal Bluegrass Festival. He is a member Wilmington East Rotary and has served as the clubs Sergeant of Arms and President. He was a past member of the Greenville (NC) Jaycees. He has served the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina as a youth leader, vestry member, convention delegate, and member of the diocesan Executive Council. Mr. Flake is married to Donna Flake, also a member of the Thalian Association board, and they have one daughter, Catherine, married and residing in Norway.
SARAH HOWE was welcomed to Wilmington with her four children in 2007. An active participant in theatre and music throughout her life, Sarah has enjoyed amazing performance opportunities across the country. In addition, she has worked with various theatre companies in all technical aspects, to include: costume and make-up design, as well as set and prop design/construction. An avid supporter of the community, Sarah serves on the Board of Directors for The Wilmington Symphony Orchestra, as well as Ocean Forest Lakes (Architectural Control Committee Chair). She, also, volunteers for many local organizations including: WHQR, The North Carolina Coastal Conservation, Habitat for Humanity, and The Wilmington Harbor Enhancement. A photojournalist for the USAR in the eighties, Sarah is an internationally-published, award-winning photographer. She holds a B.A. in Theatre Performance and a minor in Classical Vocal Performance. Presently, she is attending UNCW, with hopes of acceptance into their Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program.
TORI JONES has worked in marketing and operations for PepsiCo, Telemarketing Concepts and Atlantic Coast Advertising. In 1999 she founded Clove Marketing, a full service marketing agency, and has since assisted hundreds of retail, service, manufacturing and institutional organizations with a variety of successful profit-building efforts. She holds an MBA from the University of Georgia and a BS in Marketing from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. In addition to her agency work, she serves as an instructor at UNC Wilmington’s Cameron School of Business, where she teaches Promotions Management, and Principles of Marketing. Tori has served on numerous local boards and committees for organizations including Communities In Schools, Wilmington Industrial Development, Coastal Entrepreneurial Council, Cucalorus, Cape Fear Blues Festival, Celebrate Wilmington!, Cameron Museum of Art, Wilmington Downtown Inc., Downtown Business Alliance, and DREAMS of Wilmington. She is currently president of Wilmington West Rotary.
TINA LEAK has been involved in the arts for all of her life. Her first musical production was West Side Story with the Thalian Association 30 years ago and 2 years later, she became the youngest Radio City Music Hall Rockette in New York City. Tinaʼs career ranges from plays to musicals, Las Vegas reviews, television award shows, international tours, and commercials. She has performed all over the United States and 14 countries, working with such artists as: the late Gregory Hines and his brother Maurice, PINK, Mercedes Ellington, Gregg Burge, Tony Orlando, Ben Verreen, Jackie Mason, Obba Babatunde, Carleton Carpenter, Mohammad Ali, Gloria Estephan, Jennifer Holiday, Joaquin Ayala and one of her best friends Ray Kennedy. Tina has over 15 years teaching experience, is listed in Whoʼs Who in Dance and has been awarded The Rockette Showmanship & American Dance Achievement Awards.
While owning a dance studio for 10 years she regularly brought in guest teachers such as Savion Glover (“The Tap Dance Kid” ,“Bring in daʼ Noise” & “Jellyʼs Last Jam”), John Davis (“Beauty and the Beast” & Las Vegasʼ Siegfried & Roy Show), Alan Onickel, (“A Chorus Line”) as well as planned educational trips and private classes for her students to NYC, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Some of her former students have gone on to perform in music videos, toured as back-up dancers with music artists, and on Broadway.
After retiring from the stage and the “show” aspect of show business, Tina went into the business side of show business. Her last position was Director of VIP Marketing and Sales for Nightclubs and Entertainment for MGM-Mirage Corporation. Tina is a native Wilmingtonian and returned home 6 years ago after marrying Charles Leak in an ancient castle just outside of Florence, Italy. She has been on committees for Opera House Theatre Company, the Cameron Arts Museum and served on the Board of Trustees for Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts for the past 4 years. She is excited to give back to her hometown community and is thrilled to take on the role as Thalian Associationʼs board chair for TACT and TACT Academy.
FRANK MCNEILL is a Wilmington, NC native. He served as a Captain (Signal Corp) in the NC Army National Guard. He is founder (1954) and CEO of Communication Specialists Company, LLC, engaged in mobile radio communications, radio paging and Internet Service Provision, with offices in Wilmington, Raleigh and Jacksonville, NC. He has served as president of the Wilmington Exchange Club and the North Carolina Exchange Clubs. He is a past-president of The Arts Council of the Lower Cape Fear, Friends of Public Radio (WHQR) and The Thalian Association, Inc. as well as a past member of the Board of Trustees of The Thalian Hall Commission and Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. He is a recipient of The Thalian Association's "Tina Award" for technical service and the "Lifetime Achievement Award". He provided the first theater sound-reinforcement systems and wireless body-microphones for the Association in Thalian Hall.
MELYNDA MCNEIL has lived in Wilmington since 1990. She has been very involved in the community volunteering her time with local non-profits. She served as guild president for the Cameron Art Museum, as a board member for Cape Fear Academy and co-chaired the Heart Ball for five years. Melynda is the owner of MGM Interiors and a sales associate with Portraits, Inc. She enjoys working with flowers and is a member of the Harbour Island Garden Club. She loves spending time with her three children and one grandchild.
JIM PRIDEMORE has served on the Board of Directors of Thalian Association, Inc. for 40 years and has been President five times. He was a founding member of The Arts Council of the Lower Cape Fear and worked with the City to convert the USO building into the Community Arts Center. While President of the Arts Council he started the Piney Woods Arts Festival. Eleven years ago he created the Orange Street ArtsFest. Over the years Jim has been active in the Chamber of Commerce, Azalea Festival and United Way. He is owner/President of Sound and Telephone Systems in Wilmington, and WDRL-TV in Ronanoke, Virginia. He began his business career on the television staff of the United Nations in 1954. He was associated with WWAY-TV for seven years and was Vice-President and General Manager of WGNI and WWAV Radio for many years.
CURT H. STILES, Ph.D. is a professor of strategic management in the Cameron School of Business of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he teaches in the fields of strategic management, corporate governance, and international business. Prior to joining UNCW in 2003, he taught at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. In the New York City area, his activities ranged from lecturing in United Nations programs to developing student programs for Wall Street’s investment community. He is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and was a founder of the national student research competition co-sponsored by NYSSA and selected Wall Street investment firms. Dr. Stiles is the editor of two scholarly books, the author of dozens of research papers published in academic journals, and a reviewer of research papers for elite academic journals. Before moving to the East Coast, he was a professor and department chair at California State University and the University of Southern California. While living in Orange County, California he served on the finance committee of Ballet Pacifica in Laguna Beach. He joined the Thalian Association, Inc. board in 2004 and has served a term as Vice President. Curt has begun, and continues, to research the history of the Association and is the author of the Resolution by the NC General Assembly, naming the Association as “The Official Community Theater of North Carolina”.
FRED WINE relocated to Wilmington in 2009 and serves as the Director of Human Resources for VPS Convenience Store Group. Throughout his professional career, Mr. Wine has served in a leadership role for several Fortune 500 companies. Additionally, he sits on several human resource advisor boards helping companies design hiring, training and development systems. Originally from Northport New York, he graduated from The University of Charleston, WV with a B.A. in Public Administration. Mr. Wine is the father of four children.