Executive Leadership | Wolf Trap
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Executive Leadership

Arvind Manocha

Arvind Manocha, President and CEO

Driven by a lifelong passion for music in all its varied forms, Arvind is President and CEO of Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a position he has held since January 2013. An expert in both artistic programming and operations management, Arvind continues to define and expand the Foundation’s vision of what it means to be Wolf Trap.

From major pop acts to children’s shows to opera and more, Arvind directs the Foundation’s year-round performing arts programming – among the most wide-ranging and diverse in the music business. Additionally, he oversees the full scope of the Foundation’s educational activities, including its nationally recognized arts education programs, which are implemented at 23 affiliate sites nationwide, including one international site, and Wolf Trap Opera, one of the nation’s premier rising artist training programs. Wolf Trap enjoys a unique public-private partnership with the National Park Service, a relationship that Arvind stewards, working across the Foundation and with NPS to fulfill Wolf Trap’s exclusive responsibilities as the first and only national park for the performing arts. In all of Wolf Trap’s work, Arvind and the Foundation strive for excellence and diversity across a broad spectrum of programming, as well as accessible, affordable performing arts experiences for all patrons.

Upon joining the Foundation, Arvind pledged to honor Wolf Trap’s history as a beloved urban oasis for arts and culture, while introducing fresh artists and updated programming relevant to a diversity of arts lovers. Under his leadership, major popular acts never before seen at Wolf Trap – 5 Seconds of Summer, Kacey Musgraves, Jennifer Hudson, Lenny Kravitz, and The Avett Brothers – are attracting new and younger audiences, while favorites like Sting, Paul Simon, Ringo Starr, and Dolly Parton continue to draw longtime Wolf Trap fans. With a renewed emphasis on the fine arts, Arvind has overseen highly lauded engagements by Yo-Yo Ma, National Symphony Orchestra music director Gianandrea Noseda, The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, and American Ballet Theatre. Committed to innovation in all aspects of the Foundation’s work, he is spearheading digital streaming of Wolf Trap Opera productions and the national expansion of Wolf Trap’s acclaimed early childhood arts education model.

Arvind’s goals of strengthening Wolf Trap are borne out in increased philanthropic support and exceptional audience turnout across all its venues – the Filene Center, The Barns at Wolf Trap, and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods. Since the start of Arvind’s tenure, Wolf Trap has expanded its community of supporters with record-breaking increases in new membership as well as record-breaking sales and paid capacities for performance seasons across all venues.

Prior to joining Wolf Trap, Arvind worked at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, which under his leadership was named “Best Major Outdoor Venue in America” by Pollstar magazine eight years in a row. As Chief Operating Officer of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, he oversaw a wide range of artistic and operational functions at both the historic Hollywood amphitheater and the Association’s primary home, the landmark Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. Arvind’s tenure at the Hollywood Bowl was marked by record-high attendance, increased diversity in concert offerings, and his management of a multi-year capital improvement plan, which included both the rehabilitation of historic structures and the construction of new buildings.

Arvind grew up in Ohio, where he listened to everything from Indian ragas to Beethoven to Queen. He graduated with honors from Cornell University and earned his master’s degree as a Marshall Scholar from the University of Cambridge. Upon graduation, he joined McKinsey and Co. as a strategy consultant, serving clients in Los Angeles and London. A recipient of the Washington Business Journal’s Minority Business Leader Award in 2016 and Leadership Fairfax's 2021 Trustee Leadership Award, Arvind has served on several nonprofit boards, and currently serves on the boards of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and The Public Lands Alliance (PLA). Arvind and his husband, Gideon Malone, make their home in Great Falls, Virginia.

Senior Staff

Beth Brummel, Chief Operating Officer
Beth directs the full scope of Wolf Trap’s development, marketing, patron services, education, human resources, and government relations teams and programs. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2005 as vice president, external affairs, Beth served as director of external programs at St. Albans Episcopal School for Boys. As project director of the Survivors’ Fund for The Community Foundation of Greater Washington, she managed a $20 million fund in support of individuals affected by the September 11 attack. Beth’s early career included work on Capitol Hill and with People for the American Way, as well as holding senior fundraising positions at Children’s National Hospital, culminating in her direction of the Medical Center’s $250 million Giant Steps campaign. A graduate of Yale University, Beth is a frequent speaker on philanthropy, fundraising, and nonprofit leadership.

Sara Beesley, Vice President, Program and Production
Sara is responsible for programming and performance operations at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts and The Barns at Wolf Trap. Prior to joining Wolf Trap Foundation in 2014, Sara was the Associate Director of Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, where she programmed more than 800 performances a year at the 187-seat nonprofit venue. In 2009, she was selected to participate in the Association of Performing Arts Presenter’s Emerging Leaders Institute, a professional development program for some of the music industry’s most accomplished and promising young professionals. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Management from Manhattanville College.

Bernard S. Berry III, Senior Director, Ticket Services
Bernie joined Wolf Trap as the Director of Ticket Services in February 2001 and is responsible for all aspects of ticket distribution — including managing the box office staff, customer service, web, phone, and in-person operations, and handling of hundreds of thousands of orders — for the Filene Center, The Barns at Wolf Trap and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods. He previously served as the Tickets Services Coordinator for Feld Entertainment (Ringling Brothers) for four years. Bernie has also worked for Ticketmaster, Ticketron and Ticket Center. In 1994, he served as Box Office Manager for Washington, DC for the World Cup and was responsible for all ticketing-related concerns at RFK Stadium. Bernie also worked the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia and the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah as Main Ticket Operations Manager and Venue Manager, respectively. Venues Today awarded Bernie the 2011 Box Office Star of the Year Award and in 2022 Bernie was awarded INTIX's Patricia G. Spira Lifetime Achievement Award.

Christopher J. Eckert, Vice President, Operations
Chris joined Wolf Trap in 1986, and currently leads operations, information technology services, facilities, real estate management and risk management for the Foundation. In this role, he helps enable Wolf Trap’s vision, strategy and innovation by managing prioritization, decision ownership, effective resource alignment, measurement and accountability across his teams. Chris is the Foundation’s Liaison with our partner at Wolf Trap National Park for day-to-day operational issues and long-term strategies. He has over 20 years of experience in senior level operational and project management, and was a key member of the management team that implemented the Foundation’s major capital investment in the Center for Education. Chris earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration - Finance from Frostburg State University.

John Giambalvo, Vice President, Finance
John joined Wolf Trap as Vice President, Finance in October 2020 to provide strategic guidance and direction to the Finance Department, overseeing a $40+ million (pre-Covid) annual budget. John brings a broad range of leadership and organizational skills, having worked for both non-profit and for-profit organizations. He has worked with executives and boards in all aspects of strategic planning, budgeting, corporate structure, strategic partnerships, and potential investment and funding sources. His comprehensive experience and professional expertise – from both business and legal perspectives – also includes structuring and consummating corporate financial transactions, ranging from straightforward domestic transactions to complex international transactions. He currently serves as Chair of the Arlington Public Schools (APS) Advisory Council on School Facilities and Capital Programs (FAC). With a B.S. in Business Administration (Finance) from the University at Albany, John also holds a Master of Public Policy and J.D. degree from Duke University.

Sara Jaffe, Vice President, Development
Sara joined Wolf Trap in 2012 to lead and grow the Foundation’s philanthropy program. During this time, support for Wolf Trap’s arts and education programs has doubled, and more than $120 million has been raised. Sara has dedicated 20+ years to advancing culture in the Washington, D.C. region, leading nonprofit advancement teams at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, and the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, where she most recently served as Vice President. Sara received a B.A. with high honors in Theatre and Dance from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of A-SPAN, and is a member of the Board of Visitors of The Hockaday School (Dallas, TX), the Board of Directors of The Inkwell, and is a lifetime member of Leadership Arlington. In 2012, WJLA-TV honored Sara as one of seven recipients of the Tribute to Working Women Award, and in 2015, Leadership Arlington recognized Sara as one of the 40 Under 40 leaders who demonstrate impact through their exceptional leadership in the DC region.

Akua Femi Kouyate-Tate, Vice President, Education
Akua joined Wolf Trap in 2001 where she oversees all of Wolf Trap’s education programs including the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts and Wolf Trap Internship Program. She has led program development and implementation for major education initiatives since 2001, including Wolf Trap Early Childhood STEM Learning Through the Arts, the 2010-2014, $1.15 million grant project funded by the U.S. Department of Education Arts In Education Model Development and Dissemination Grant Program (AEMDD). As an administrator, university lecturer and professional artist, Akua has served as a grants review panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and other arts agencies, and regularly presents at national and international conferences on arts education. She holds an M.A. in Art Management and B.A in Dance from American University, and is a recipient of a Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Award. She has conducted post-graduate studies and research on African Cultural Studies at Howard University and in West Africa.

Jo LaBrecque-French, Vice President, Communications and Marketing
Jo joined Wolf Trap as Senior Director of Communications and Marketing in January 2014. She previously served executive-level marketing positions at The Washington Ballet; Washington National Opera; and Houston Grand Opera. She began her arts administration career working in public relations for the Los Angeles Opera and Davidson & Choy Publicity. Her client list has included The Wallace Foundation, Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Joffrey Ballet, CalArts and more. Current and past service to the field includes the OPERA America Strategic Planning Committee, NEA Opera Honors, American Arts Alliance, The Orange Show for Visionary Arts, Robinson Crew, the Laura Recovery Center for Missing Children. Winner of a regional Emmy and two American Marketing Association Crystal awards, Jo studied at Rice University and the University of Houston.

Lee Anne Myslewski, Vice President, Opera and Classical Programming
Lee Anne joined Wolf Trap Opera in 2006 and has cultivated new partnerships and programs to uphold the company’s widespread acclaim as the country’s most venerated summer training program for emerging artists. She conceived of the UNTRAPPED series of programming in 2016 which has featured artistic partnerships with the Shakespeare Theatre, Taffety Punk, Halcyon, AMP at Strathmore, Children’s National Medical Center as well as ongoing partnerships with The Phillips Collection, the Library of Congress and the National Orchestral Institute. As the Director of Artistic Administration for Opera and Classical Programming, she created the Artistic Advisor position for Chamber Music at the Barns, has participated in the casting and programming of operatic productions for over a decade, and has heard over 7,500 live auditions. Now the Vice President of Opera and Classical Programming, Lee Anne oversees all aspects of Wolf Trap Opera, an artist-centric program whose alumni are not only singing in every opera house in the nation, but also in the most prestigious houses in the world – including The Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Vienna Staatsoper, Komische Oper Berlin, Sydney Opera House and Deutsche Opera Berlin. In addition, she also serves as the executive producer and co-host of Center Stage from Wolf Trap, a nationally-syndicated radio program aired on public radio stations across the country. Lee Anne holds degrees in opera performance from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Maryland, and has been selected for several elite leadership programs, including Opera America’s Leadership Intensive and Leadership Fairfax.

Elizabeth Schill Hughes, PHR, SHRM-CP, Senior Director, Human Resources
Elizabeth joined Wolf Trap as Director, Human Resources in November 2012 to provide direction and management of the Human Resources and benefits functions for staff comprised of 93 full-time and 500+ seasonal individuals. Elizabeth has more than 15 years of experience in the Human Resources field, working for both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Previously, she was a Human Resources Manager and member of the senior management team with LCG, a government contractor, and a Senior Human Resources Generalist at the American Council of Life Insurers, a trade association in Washington, DC. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Salisbury University and earned her certifications as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from the Human Resources Certification Institute, and as a SHRM-CP from the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). Elizabeth is an active member of SHRM and NOVA SHRM and was a member of the 2011-2012 NOVA SHRM/Dulles SHRM Mentoring & Leadership Development Program.

Damon Effingham, Senior Director, Government Affairs
Damon joined Wolf Trap in 2023 and is responsible for maintaining and strengthening relationships with public officials, agencies, and partner organizations to advance the Foundation’s position as a leading nonprofit arts and arts education organization. Prior to joining the Foundation, Damon served as the Director of Strategic Partnerships at RepresentUs, where he led the organization’s federal campaigns on democracy reform and served as a liaison to elected officials, business partners, and the reform community. Previously, Damon was the Senior Legislative Counsel to Congressman Dean Phillips, where he managed a portfolio of multiple issues and was the staff lead on the bipartisan legislation, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act. A long-time democracy policy expert, Damon also served as Executive Director of Common Cause Maryland, where he led successful local and state level campaigns to expand access to voting in Maryland through policies like election day registration. In 2022, Damon was cited by Washingtonian Magazine as one of Washington DC’s 500 most influential people. Damon holds a bachelor’s degree from NYU in Music Business and a J.D. degree from Emory University School of Law.