Leadership

Jeanne Kelly, Founder & Artistic Director

Jeanne Kelly InformalJeanne Kelly's career of over forty years has produced a unique blend of experience as a vocal performer, teacher, conductor and music administrator that has prepared her well to serve as the Founder and Artistic Director of Encore Creativity for Older Adults.

As a performer, Ms. Kelly made her professional operatic debut with the Washington Opera at the Kennedy Center.  She has also performed major roles with the Baltimore Opera, Opera Delaware, Central City Opera, Tulsa Opera, Annapolis Opera, and the New York City Opera Education Department.  She appeared in the world premiere of Rappaccini's Daughter with the Pennsylvania Opera Theater.

In addition to having maintained a private voice studio in Maryland and Virginia, Ms. Kelly served on the faculties of the Levine School of Music, Washington, DC; Hood College, Frederick, Maryland; and the Baltimore School for the Arts.

Ms. Kelly served as conductor of the Women's Glee Club at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, and the Georgetown University Concert Choir.

She was Executive Director of the Houston Conservatory of Music and, from 1997 until 2007, was Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Campus of the Levine School of Music.

Ms. Kelly earned an undergraduate degree in voice performance and piano from the University of Findlay, Ohio, and a master's degree in voice performance from the Peabody Conservatory, Baltimore.

Debra Bird, President

BirdDebra Bird has been a resident of Annapolis since 1989 and an Encore singer since 2008, bringing and historical perspective and passion for Encore to her service on the Encore Board. Debra has over 25 years of experience as a Human Resource Manager with the Department of the Interior in Denver, Colorado, and Washington, DC including assignments with the US Geological Survey, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of the Secretary of Interior, National Biological Survey and the National Park Service.

 

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Dan Martin, Vice President

Dan Martin, a member of Glen Echo Encore since 2011, has had a career in the public sector, primarily focused on information dissemination and public outreach to help build coalitions of supporters for economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Dan worked in the Office of External Relations of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington D.C. for 27 years. The IDB is a multilateral development bank that finances public and private sector development projects in the region. As Chief of the Public Information and Publishing Section of the IDB, he managed outreach programs aimed at key constituencies, including the U.S. government, the private sector, foundations, NGOs, academia and labor organizations. He also managed the institution's website and publications programs; and managed, wrote, edited and produced the IDB's Annual Report for many years

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Larry Kelly, Treasurer

Larry DAR 1Larry Kelly has over forty-seven years of management experience with large and small businesses in the private sector, federal government and the U.S. Navy, where he was the program director for a $200M/year revenue generating business.

Larry is a Consultant for Whitney, Bradley and Brown, Inc. He provides information technology capital planning and portfolio management consulting support to a component of the Department of Homeland Security. Previously, he worked as a Program Manager and Principal Consultant for SAIC and Total Systems Technologies Corp.

 

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Sylvia Crowder, Secretary

Dr. Sylvia W. Crowder retired from 15 years of federal service on June 30, 2013. Immediately prior to retirement, she served as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary and Senior Director of International and Foreign Language Education (IFEL), Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education. In this capacity, she oversaw and managed national and international grant programs and contracts under Title VI and Title VII legislation of the U.S. Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) and the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961. The programs and contracts that she administered were designed to strengthen U.S. capacity in international education, international and area studies, and foreign language learning; the programs involved collaborative programs with numerous countries around the world as well as outreach activities to assist students, faculty, K-12 teachers, and other educators throughout the U.S.

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Jane Casey, Associate Treasurer

Copy of Casey webJane Casey joined Annapolis ROCKS in 2018 after retiring from a career in Finance, Organizational Development and Human Resources.  Most recently, Jane served as Chief Financial Officer for Excelligence Learning Corporation, a leader in the childhood education industry.  She is the former Chief Financial Officer of Blyth, Inc., a then publicly-held direct-to-consumer manufacturer and marketer of candles and home accessories, health, wellness and beauty products, personalized gifts and household convenience items through the party plan direct selling, catalog and eCommerce channels.   Prior to her appointment as CFO, Jane served as Blyth’s Treasurer and served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Corporate Treasurers.  She left Blyth after its sale to a leading private equity firm and, prior to joining Excelligence, was the Chief Financial Officer for Best Health Goods, a start up in direct-to-consumer healthy products.

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David Bernstein, Immediate Past President

David BernsteinAs a two-term board member, David Bernstein brings a wealth of experience to the Encore Board of Directors in the area strategic planning, business, and information technology. Having retired as Captain from the United States Coast Guard after 35 years of distinguished reserve and active duty service, including serving as the Coast Guard CIO, David continued his career as an Enterprise & IT Governance Consultant-Strategist and Senior Consultant for the world's largest information systems outsourcing organization, EDS.

 

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Janie Powers, Board Member

Janie Powers

Janie Powers joined Encore in 2010. She currently sings with Annapolis ROCKS and with the Chorale at AACC, where she is Co-Chorale Master. Janie served on the Board of Queen Anne School, an independent school in Upper Marlboro, where, for several years, she chaired the school’s annual fundraising auctions. Janie also served as both Board Member and Treasurer of The Roedown Races and The Marlborough Hunt Club.

At age 50, Janie chose to begin a career as a Mediator. Janie is a Harvard Law School trained Mediator and holds a Certification by the Maryland Council for Dispute Resolution. To augment her mediation skills, Janie earned a Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling from Johns Hopkins University. For the last 22 years, Janie has maintained a private Mediation practice focusing primarily on property, financial, and domestic disputes and serves on the Circuit Court Panel of Mediators.  

Janie brings a sincere love for Encore and the desire to maximize and enhance each singer's Encore experience through the process of lifelong learning. Janie places a high value on the opportunity to contribute to the Board and, more importantly, serve each Encore singer.

Rick Ritter, Board Member

Rick Ritter 1Rick Ritter, a graduate of Denison University and Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, has spent most of his career in business of direct marketing of books.  He began his career working for Doubleday Book Clubs on Literary Guild, and Military Book Club. He then joined Macmillan Book Clubs to become Director of Media, where he directed the purchase the space ads and the mailing lists for Macmillan’s professional clubs. When Macmillan purchased Gryphon Editions in Birmingham, AL, Rick relocated to direct the business. Gryphon publishes deluxe leather-bound, facsimiles of classic books in Law and Medicine. Rick returned to New York and briefly worked in mergers and acquisitions with the book club division.  National Geographic’s book division hired Rick to work on its continuity and annuals program. When the Gryphon Editions business was later put up for sale, Rick made the winning offer. He’s run Gryphon from his home office in Potomac, Maryland. Rick joined Encore Chorale about six years ago, and has enjoyed every moment of it.  His wife of 41 years, Clare, joined Encore a few years after Rick did, and has developed into a fine singer in her own right.

Michael Tanner, Board Member

TannerMichael Tanner came to Washington, D.C., in 2011 to serve as Vice President for Academic Affairs at the APLU, the national association of the public research universities, after a 41-year career as a university faculty member, researcher and inventor, and administrator.  He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford in Electrical Engineering.  At UC Santa Cruz he started as a faculty member in Information and Computer Science, becoming Department Chair, Dean, and eventually Executive Vice Chancellor of that campus. His special expertise is in coding systems that correct errors in digital transmissions.  Thereafter he was recruited to be Provost at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he served from 2002 to 2011, holding principal responsibility for the academic enterprise and the campus budget. He has sung tenor with the Capital Encore Chorale since 2016.