Board of Directors
Alexis Agliano Sanborn is an independent researcher, community organizer, and artist. Her research interests include food education, environmentalism, and sustainability. She received her Bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies and Japanese from UC Santa Barbara in 2008. In 2013, she received her A.M. from Harvard University in Regional Studies of East Asia. Currently, she is Program Coordinator at New York University's U.S.-Asia Law Institute while also working towards her Masters of Public Administration through the Wagner School of Public Service. Additionally, she is producing Nourishing Japan, a documentary short which explores those who support the food education and Japanese school lunch system.
Stuart Diamond’s career covers a wide range of activities—entrepreneur, educator, writer/journalist, producer/videoartist, and composer/musician. Diamond was a recipient of the Criterion Foundation Award that supported him for more than 5 years for the sole purpose of composing contemporary music. As co-founder of Empowered Media, he was at the forefront of the digital media and online marketing revolution. His work included consulting with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on counter-terrorism strategies, as well as developing educational programs for Wall Street on the nature of trust and the financial system. As a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, Diamond visits colleges throughout the United States in support of the value of the liberal arts. For 9 years, he was a Trustee for The California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.
Gail Wein is a journalist and publicist in classical music. As a freelance radio reporter, she creates classical music features for NPR, Voice of America and KUSC in Los Angeles. Her writing credits include The Washington Post, Musical America, Playbill, Symphony Magazine, New Music Box, Classical Source and other publications. Ms. Wein was awarded an NEA Fellowship in Arts Journalism in Classical Music and Opera and was selected to participate in the League of American Orchestra’s Essentials of Orchestra Management. She has served on the jury for Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition and Washington International Piano Artists Amateur Competition.
LaVonne Riemer, a former lawyer and ethics professor, began working life at San Jose Symphony in California where she managed operations and the children's concert series. Her work with Bay Area Lawyers for the Arts during that period turned into legal studies and then to her practice focus on corporate and commercial litigation. LaVonne took her experience as a lawyer and former orchestra manager to board positions at Chamber Music Northwest and Young Audiences of Oregon. More recently, she founded the first EdTech company to offer branded, accredited degrees online, partnering with graduate schools such as NYU Stern School, London School of Economics, and UT Austin. Today, LaVonne is applying her experience studying music theory and orchestration to digital platforms that require an intricate understanding of data flows.
Chris Whittaker is a composer, conductor, and pianist who’s musical language of classical, jazz, and gospel music melds genres and brings people together. Chris is the co-founder and Music Director of the Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra, a non-profit performing arts organization committed to engaging the community through free concerts and educational programming. He serves as Music Director for Fort Washington Collegiate Church in Upper Manhattan and is also the founding Music Director of Marble Collegiate Church’s “Jazz Revelation” worship service. Chris studied orchestral conducting with Kenneth Kiesler and Stuart Malina. His composition teachers include Philip Lasser, Christopher Theofanidis, and Nicholas Maw. Chris lives in New York City.
Violinist Mark Chien made his debut at the age of 13 with the Greenwich Symphony. He has served in principle positions with the Colorado College Music Festival Orchestra, Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra and Sarasota Music Festival Orchestra. Mark has collaborated in recital alongside Adele Anthony, James Dunham, Gil Shaham, Kathleen Winkler, David Ying and Scott Yoo among others. He has performed in some of America’s most renowned concert halls including Alice Tully Hall, David Geffen Hall, David Koch Theatre, Symphony Space, and Carnegie Hall. In 2016, Mark made his Kennedy Center debut representing Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music through the Kennedy Center’s “Conservatory Project” series. He has participated in the Aspen Music Festival and School, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Colorado College Music Festival, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, New York String Orchestra Seminar, Sarasota Music Festival, and University of Mozarteum Summer International Academy. Mark was on the faculty at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp as a member of their fellowship string quartet. His chamber music studies were under artists Steven Copes, Desmond Hoebig, Frank Huang, Ani Kavafian, Robert Levin, Stephen Rose, and members of the Cleveland, Concord, Juilliard, Orion and Ying Quartets. Previous principle teachers have been Spring Berv, Lewis Kaplan, and Kathleen Winkler. Mark has a Bachelor’s degree from Rice University and is currently a graduate student at The Juilliard School studying with Catherine Cho and Sylvia Rosenberg.