Mary M. Briggs has been with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra for eight years, first as Executive Director, and for the past five years as President and CEO. Under her guidance, the Orchestra has grown to be one of the area's leading cultural organizations.
Nationally recognized, this past year Briggs was named Vice-President of the Level Five Orchestras in the National League of American Orchestras, was selected to attend the Sphinx Medals of Excellence event at the United States Supreme Court, and invited to attend Carnegie Hall Youth Program training.
Locally, Briggs serves as Chairman of the Advisory Board of Women in Philanthropy, is a member of the Hilton Head Rotary, the Greater Island Council, the Community Visions Board of Directors, the Arts and Cultural Council of Hilton Head, and the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra Chorus, often serving as chairman and co-chairs of various committees.
Steve and his wife Sandy West moved to Hilton Head full time six years ago from Columbus Ohio. However, like many people they had been coming to the island for many years.
In Columbus, Steve led the Columbus office of Lee Hecht Harrison, an international career management firm. He spent over 25 years with LHH in Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Columbus.
Presently, Steve is a senior consultant with Lighthouse Consulting, LLC, a Human Resources consulting firm, specializing in executive coaching and organizational/team/leadership development, which Sandy and he started in 2007.
Steve received a BA from Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, and a Masters of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Organizational Behavior from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He is a retired ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, USA.
His love of the performing arts began at Muskingum and continues today. He is excited about helping the Lean Ensemble Theatre become a well-known regional (and beyond) theatre company.
Myla Lerner is a Tony Award winning Broadway Producer- (Pippin- Best Musical Revival 2013).
Other notable productions in the past decade include: The Heidi Chronicles, If/Then, Lady Day, Glengarry Glen Ross, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, End of the Rainbow, Lombardi and HAIR.
For the past forty years she has actively supported the Arts and Philanthropic causes in New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Since moving to Hilton Head she has continued to do so.
She is married to Larry Kramer, former President and Publisher of USA Today.
Joe is President & CEO of Wolverine Development Corporation in East Lansing, Michigan and past board president of Michigan State University's Wharton Center for Performing Arts.
A graduate of Northwestern and Columbia Universities, he has closely followed and engaged the Chicago and New York theater scenes for decades.
Joe and Jeanne Maguire reside in Palmetto Dunes.
As a writer and theater habitué, Carolyn finds that going to a fine play is like reading a good book. When the curtain rises, we escape into a new world; after the curtain falls, we leave thinking about the world we live in in a new way.
Carolyn writes about the arts, travel, recreation, personalities, business and social issues for print (articles and books) and online publications. Her past work includes TV video production, scriptwriting, editorial and photo editing, public relations, grant writing, and organizational development.
Today as a development editor, Carolyn assists authors with characterization, narrative flow, plot, style, and marketing.
Michael Nairne is a full time retired resident of Hilton Head. He and wife, Cathy, moved to Hilton Head in 2008 after living and working in Boston for 20 years.
Mike worked for several large and medium size companies in the chemicals and plastics fields in senior level sales, marketing, and general P&L management positions. Most recently for 15 years, he was founder and President of Polymer Enterprises, a North American broker and distributor of plastic raw materials.
He has a BA degree in economics from Ohio Wesleyan University and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Prior affiliations include the Board of Dunwoody Country Club in Atlanta, President of Seminary Condominium Association in Chicago, Chair of Ellis Neighborhood Association in Boston, mayoral appointee to Boston Groundwater Trust, and the Boards of Bear Creek Golf Club and Hilton Head Plantation Yacht Club on HHI. He maintains active participation in Bear Creek Golf Club, Palmetto Rowing Club and HHP Yacht Club.
Having long enjoyed the theater scene in Boston at the Lyric Stage, Mike is excited to be a part of the Lean Ensemble Theater and help fulfill its mission, "... and bring an innovative form of theater to the Low country ... to lean in and engage, hungry for something with a bit more bite."
Almost all of Lisa’s professional life was finance oriented. With an undergraduate degree in international business she joined Continental Bank in Chicago in their international auditing department. After getting an MBA from Northwestern University she moved to multinational lending for the remainder of her time with Continental. She was a senior research analyst with Wagner Investment Management in Denver.
During this time she also served in many capacities with the non-profits, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado (investment chair and board chair), Judi’s House, Project Pave and numerous school and church organizations.
Most recently, Lisa served on the Arts and Cultural Strategic Planning Committee for the Town of Hilton Head. She continues to be involved in the implementation of the recommendations that were approved by the Town Council.
The culmination of these experiences led to being the Executive Director of Colorado Ballet for close to four years during a time of numerous challenges. It made all the difference in understanding a performing arts organization’s finances and options and cementing her support for the arts in the community and schools.
Lisa and her husband, Bill, split their time between Denver and Hilton Head with the tilt in time to Hilton Head.
Ed and Susan Parrish moved to Hilton Head Island from Princeton, NJ in 2000. The Arts and Cultural activities in Hilton Head were a major factor in selecting Hilton Head as their retirement home.
Prior to retiring from Johnson & Johnson, Ed was the Corporate Vice President for Information Management. His working career involved executive positions in the Petroleum, Banking, and Healthcare Industries.
In Hilton Head, Ed has been a Board member of the HH Symphony Orchestra serving as Board Chair for 3 years. He is still active with the Orchestra as a member of the Advisory Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee and the International Piano Competition. In Cape May, NJ where they have a summer home he has been involved in community activities as President of the Taxpayers Association and President of the Cottagers Association, an organization dedicated to preserving the historic environment of Cape May.
Ed is a graduate of the University of Illinois and has an advanced degree from Carnegie Mellon University. Ed and Susan reside in Hilton Head Plantation.
Bo is a full time resident of Hilton Head, to where he and his wife Penny moved in 2001, after vacationing here almost every year since 1971.
The quality of the music and theater arts in Hilton Head was a significant motivator in this move. They were thrilled with the founding of LEAN Ensemble, and became immediate subscribers and supporters.
Bo is a Native of Louisville, KY, with a BA degree in Economics from Washington & Lee University. He and Penny were longtime patrons and supporters of Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Louisville Orchestra
He spent 35 years in the thrift and consumer banking industry as an executive officer and board member, and concluded his career as a commercial call and loan officer for Fifth Third Bank. He was active in residential and commercial real estate financing and development. He was involved with various partnerships with city, county, and Kentucky Housing Corporation in development of affordable housing and properties qualifying for low income housing tax credits as part of the regeneration and renewal of inner-city areas. He served on the board of several non-profit corporations active in these areas.
Bo and Penny live in Moss Creek. They have been regular patrons and supporters of the theater and orchestra, and of the Hilton Head Choral Society, where Bo has served as board member and president.
Founding Artistic & Executive Director
Blake White founded Lean Ensemble Theater in the winter of 2015 as a celebration of theatre-- the artists that create it as well the patrons who support it. Directing credits for LET include Good People, The Clean House, Tribes, Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, The Glass Menagerie, and God of Carnage. On stage, Blake has appeared in The Importance of Being Earnest, The Underpants and The Waverly Gallery.
Elsewhere as a director, Blake has staged productions of Shear Madness (Southeastern Summer Theatre Institute), All My Sons (The Warehouse Theatre), The Lonesome West (Brown County Playhouse), The Glass Menagerie, Boeing Boeing (The Shuler Theater), Matt and Ben, The Pavilion, The Savannah Disputation, The Lady With All the Answers and Venus in Fur (South Carolina Repertory Company).
As an actor, he has been seen on the stages of Actors Theatre of Louisville, Actors Workshop of Boston, The Shuler Theater, Brown County Playhouse, South Carolina Repertory Company, Cider Mill Playhouse, among others, as well as several off- and off-off broadway companies. Blake has also provided spoken word narration in concerts with the Hilton Head Choral Society and the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra.
Blake is a member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society as well as the boards of the South Carolina Theatre Association, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra and Lean Ensemble Theater.
2018/19 season: If You Forget Me, Barefoot in the Park.