|Executive Director, NAO TSURUMAKI – x202
Nao has been fascinated by the arts ever since his mother took him to theatrical performances as a young boy growing up in Japan. This fascination and curiosity with how things work “behind the scenes” ultimately led him to attain a bachelor’s degree in Theater at the University of Central Florida. From there, he earned valuable experience as a stage manager at Seaside Music Theater in Daytona Beach, followed by national tour management and marketing with Disney Theatrical Group in New York City. Soon after, he was appointed Orlando Repertory Theatre company manager, which evolved into a general manager role. In 2011, Nao made the move to Washington D.C. to become executive director at Children’s Chorus of Washington, delivering national-level music performances and creating partnerships with local and international collaborators, including the embassies of Finland, Sweden and People’s Republic of China. He is thrilled to be a part of the Garden Theatre family in what he considers his dream job.
|Artistic Director, ROB WINN ANDERSON – x220
Rob is a noted playwright, director and choreographer who, after working with the Garden Theatre on many projects over the years, joined the staff as Consulting Artistic Director during the 2015-2016 Season. As a playwright, Rob has been a winner and finalist for some of theater’s most prestigious awards and development programs, and several of his works have been produced around the country. His stage show for Viking Cruises, La Peregrina, was ranked as one of the five best new stage shows on cruise ships in 2015. His musical, Christmas by Committee, and drama, Alice Lost in Wonderland, had their world premieres on the Garden Theatre stage. With an extensive list of directorial works, Rob continues to direct certain Garden Theatre productions and others throughout the Central Florida area.
|Development Director, LINN LEBLANC – x204
With a strong love for the theater and a solid background in securing major gifts, Linn joined the Garden Theatre in October 2017 following her service at several high-profile nonprofit organizations over the last twenty years, including the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) and Buzz Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation. She has executed more than 300 events worldwide with American heroes and celebrities. Linn holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Public Relations from the University of Central Florida, and a Nonprofit Fundraising, Development, Management and Leadership Practice Certificate from the Rollins College Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership.
|Marketing Director, MELISSA BRAILLARD – x203
Getting her start in arts marketing and nonprofit administration at the Village Theater in Issaquah, WA, Melissa most recently served as the Director of Marketing at Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF for more than six seasons. An accomplished public speaker and advocate for the arts, Melissa regularly leads workshops at regional and national arts marketing events, including the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership and the Brevard Cultural Summit. Melissa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre from Washington State University, a Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre from the University of Central Florida, and Leadership Practice Certificate from Rollins College Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership.
|Operations Manager, JOEL FRITZINGER – x209
Joel is excited to return to the Garden Theatre after falling in love with it in 2011 while working at News 13. Joel had previously been a technical assistant on several shows including The Sound of Music, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Music Man. He received his B.A. in Broadcasting from Mansfield University of PA and moved to Orlando for audio engineering certification. After exploring career opportunities in sports broadcasting in Kansas City, Missouri, he then returned to Central Florida to pursue a career in theatre. Joel has recently moved to Winter Garden with his wife Melissa, whom he met and married on the Garden Theatre’s stage. When not at the theatre, Joel can be found building R2-D2 and other robots. Joel would like to thank his amazing wife Melissa for her love and support during this wonderful adventure together.
|Event Manager, BRIAN FALLON – x206
Brian was born and raised in Central Florida. He graduated from UCF in 1989 with a BA in Political Science but while at UCF he worked in the UCF Theatre Department as a House Manager and Box Office assistant. He also took classes in Technical Theatre which led him to a career in event design and production in the Convention and Meeting industry. After spending several years working in the Orlando area he began freelancing as a Meeting and Event Planner. Brian’s career has taken him all over the world, from Casablanca to Hong Kong, with extended work in Switzerland, Ireland, and Italy. Brian has also managed sponsor hospitality for Fortune 100 companies, the Olympic Games of 1998 in Japan, 2000 in Australia, and 2002 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He moved to Winter Garden in 2001 with his wife and in 2003 their daughter was born. They are happy to be raising their daughter in Winter Garden’s family-friendly environment.
|Front of House and Company Manager, DEBBIE SANSING – x207
Debbie believes she is living the dream being part of such an amazing team. Joining the theatre in multiple capacities keeps her days active and interesting. She retired from a career in therapeutic counseling before relocating to Winter Garden. She earned a Master’s degree in School Counseling and a Doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology. Her love for people makes her Front of House Management position a perfect fit; while her professional experience helps to support the Production department in streamlining procedures and process organization.
|Marketing Manager, JANET HADDOCK – x210
The arts have always been Janet’s passion, and after a long career in banking where her involvement in the arts was limited to being a hobby, she happily embraced her creative side after joining the staff of the Garden Theatre. Janet serves on the marketing team and especially enjoys graphic design. Her hobbies still involve the arts, and she can often be found painting or performing in community theater productions. Janet considers herself blessed to work with such a tremendously talented team.
|Group Sales Manager, JANA GOUPIL – x208
With over 25 years of experience in group tour and travel sales Jana has worked for attractions, convention and visitors bureaus, group travel planners and theatrical productions. Originally from Grove City, Ohio, Jana moved to Florida in 1986 to work in the group sales department at Wet ‘n Wild. From the tourism industry Jana moved into group sales for Menopause The Musical where she spent 8 years representing the show as it has toured across the country. When not on the phone talking to all of the wonderful group leaders and group travel planners, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons where they reside in Lake Mary. Jana is thrilled to be a part of the Garden Theatre family and looks forward to the many new friends she will make in her role representing the theatre to the group market.
|Accountant, CRYSTAL GROSS – x205
Crystal has been a part of the Winter Garden community since 1992 by way of New York. She graduated from Bishop Moore high school and then attended Valencia Community College-West Campus where she received her AA degree. After graduating from Valencia, she then took off from Chicago for three years. She happily returned to the warm weather she so missed and then went to Everest University where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Accounting. She loves animals, reading, and anything to do with numbers.
|Technical Coordinator, JOSHUA SEYNA – x214
Since graduating from a A.R.T.I. in 2008, Josh has worked on a number of shows in Orlando including but not limited to Evil Dead: The Musical at Theatre Downtown (RIP), The Buddy Holly Story at IceHouse and Sweeney Todd right here at the Garden. He loves working in theater as every show presents a different set of challenges.
Board of Directors
The Garden Theatre relies heavily on the dedication of its volunteer Board of Directors and attributes much of its success to countless hours of commitment from this handful of individuals.
Paul Oppedisano, President
The Walt Disney Company
Ray Fournier, Vice President
Walt Disney World Resort®
Julie Kleffel, Treasurer
Seacoast National Bank
Susan Haugen, Secretary
William A. Beckett
Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A.
Disney Cruise Line
House of Blues Entertainment
Reginald B. Riley, Ph. D.
David J. Romano, Ph. D.
Keith Smith, Immediate Past President
The Walt Disney Company
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Wheeler Projects, Inc.
Becky Roper, Emeritus Trustee
Founding Board President
Barbara Roper, Emeritus Trustee