Garden Theatre Staff

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, JOSEPH C. WALSH – x220

Joseph C. Walsh is an award-winning theatre director and educator who has served the Artistic Director of Arlington Children’s Theatre in Arlington, MA and Wild Oats Productions in the UK. He was the Interim Director of Education at the White Plains Performing Arts Center where he also directed Ghost (starring Natalie Weiss and Steven Grant Douglas) and West Side Story. Joseph directed critically acclaimed productions of Hairspray and Singin’ In the Rain for the Cork Opera House in Ireland. In 2013 Joseph collaborated with West End star Linzi Hateley to devise and direct Linzi Hateley: True Colors – Life Since Carrie at Saint James Theatre in London and 54 Below in New York as well as the London revival of Love Story: The Musical, which was nominated for an Off-West End Award for Best Musical. Joseph directed the Off-Broadway premiere of Sonder at The Player’s Theatre and in London’s West End he served as Assistant Director on Coyote on A Fence and Resident Director on When Harry Met Sally (starring Molly Ringwald and Michael Landes). Joseph spent three seasons as the Touring Director for White Horse Theatre, the world’s largest touring educational theatre company, where his work was seen across Europe and Japan.

Director of Patron Development, 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.

Production Manager, JASON GOLINSKY – x209

Jason joined the Garden Theatre staff as Production Manager in December 2017 after a long and successful career with Theatre Passe Muraille and many years associated with the Fringe Festival in Toronto, Canada. He made the move to the Central Florida area with the goal of being closer to family, and to further his career with another nonprofit arts organization. His experiences all over North America and Japan, in association with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Technical Theatre and Stage Management, have developed Jason’s skills in all phases of production management, lighting design and beyond. He is excited to contribute these skills to the Garden and to be part of this innovative and dedicated team.

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.

Manager of Design and Advertising, 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.

Manager of Integrated Communications, CANDICE BAILEY – x204

Candice joined the Garden Theatre team in July 2018. She has been active in the arts since she attended community theatre and art classes in her childhood, and has been playing oboe and saxophone in band ensembles and pit orchestras since sixth grade. Before moving to Winter Garden, Candice worked as the Outreach Coordinator for Allied Arts in Milledgville, Georgia. Candice is a 2017 graduate of Reinhardt University, and received a B.S. in Business Marketing, a B.A. in English Literature, and a Minor in Music Performance. For her, working at a theatre and helping spread the joy of live performances is the perfect job, and she is thrilled to be at the Garden!

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 Director, JIM ZERVAS – x214

Jim joined the team at the Garden Theatre in January 2018. He hails from North Carolina, but is not a total stranger to Florida – his last stint was as the Technical Director at the freeFall Theatre Company in St. Pete. He received his M.F.A. in Theatre with a concentration in Technical Production from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015.

Box Office Lead, MARY JONES – x211

Mary relocated from Northern Virginia to Central Florida 25 years ago, and has loved it ever since! Mary first joined the Garden Theatre family as a volunteer 4 years ago, following a career in the reservations department at US Airways. After a year of volunteering, she joined the staff as Box Office Associate. She loves supporting other local arts organizations, including her favorite: Orlando Ballet. 

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.

Ray Fournier, President
Walt Disney World Resort®

Wes Catlett-Miller, Vice President

Julie Kleffel, Treasurer
Seacoast National Bank

Susan Haugen, Secretary
Stetson University

JoAnn Ankoviak
AdventHealth Apopka/Winter Garden

Allie Braswell
The Braswell Group

Keith Davenport
Production Executive, Public & Private Sector Events

Wendy Givoglu
Valencia College

Andrew Hardy
Disney Cruise Line

Bill Hayden
Universal Orlando

Matthew E. Jassak
Foley & Lardner LLP

James Mallonee
House of Blues Entertainment

Christina McGuirk
Health Central Hospital

Paul Oppedisano, Immediate Past President
The Walt Disney Company

David J. Romano, Ph. D.
Barry University

Keith Smith
The Walt Disney Company

Wayne Weinberg
Rollins College

Todd Wheeler
Wheeler Projects, Inc.

Becky Roper, Emeritus Trustee
Founding Board President
Pilars Martini

Barbara Roper, Emeritus Trustee
Contour Groves

Junior Board Members

Aiden Bjortvedt
Caitriona Fallon
Valarie Kutemeier