Meet YMTC’s Board of Directors

boardGraham Chisholm (President) works as a consultant advising a range of clients on strategic planning, capacity building, fundraising, as well as specializing on conservation issues in California and Nevada. He was a lead architect of the Tejon Ranch Conservation and Land-Use Agreement protecting over 240,000 acres in 2008 and has worked with agencies and tribes pioneering water right acquisitions for in-stream and wetland benefits. Chisholm co-founded Great Basin Bird Observatory and coordinated the Nevada Breeding Bird Atlas. In 1996 he also co-founded and remains on the board of Great Basin Land and Water, a nonprofit organization that has assisted the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and local governments in their implementation of a groundbreaking water quality settlement agreement. Chisholm also served as a natural resources assistant to U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey (Nebraska) in Washington D.C. for four years.

Sheryl Gorchow Stuart (Vice President) is a development consultant and former administrator of the Weston Havens Foundation with over 15 years experience in non-profit and development work. An experienced fundraiser, Sheryl was a member of Caltech’s senior development team during the Institute’s successful $1.4 billion campaign. She has worked at a range of institutions, including the Claremont colleges, the Academy of Natural Sciences and The University of Pennsylvania’s Museum. Sheryl taught fundraising as an Instructor in UCLA’s Professional Certification Program and served on numerous non-profit boards, including Chabot Space and Science Center and the Claremont Educational Foundation. She earned an M.J. in Journalism from University of Missouri-Columbia and studied choreography while an undergraduate at Haverford College. She has two children, one of whom performs with YMTC.

Nancy Ostrow (Treasurer), the founder of Ostrow Design Services, is an interior designer and a project manager who designs and updates spaces of all sizes. She has worked from coast to coast, directing fine art and framing production in New York City to project managing national large-scale themed sporting events, such as the annual NBA and MLB All-Star events, and commercial and residential interiors in California. Her speciality is where logistics and aesthetics come together to create a beautiful end result, on budget and on time. For YMTC Nancy managed the design and implementation of the graphics on our new campus in Aquatic Park. She is also the parent of a YMTC alumni.

Bob Kliger holds a BS degree in Music from the Westchester Conservatory of Music and an MBA from the University of Illinois. He was the founder and president of Workgroup Management Inc., a computer consulting firm that specialized in Document Management Systems. Since selling the company, he has performed as a jazz pianist, composed musical shows and currently works part time as a strategic marketing consultant. He helped start Youth Music Records, a non-profit record company run by teens in Oakland and served as the board president for 4 years. He has a daughter and 2 step sons that both perform with YMTC.

Wendy Ponder (Secretary) has been a YMTC parent since the 2012 season. Her family has volunteered and supported YMTC behind the scenes in many roles from leading as ushers and house managers to set building, loading and striking sets for many shows, and now is serving as a board member. Wendy is an educator in the Bay Area supporting students with diverse learning challenges and life circumstances. She has been a Spanish bilingual teacher, principal, and district administrator. Her current passion is working with students with special needs and their families.

Laura Soble (Past President) has served on the YMTC board since 2010, and has played a variety of roles within the organization, recently finishing a three-year term as president. She is particularly proud of the community effort that resulted in the creation of the YMTC campus at Aquatic Park. Professionally, Laura is a psychotherapist with a private practice in Oakland, and presents nationally and internationally on the connection between the arts and therapy. Her roots are in music and theater, including professional work as a director, teacher, arts administrator and musician. She holds a BA in Dramatic Art (Directing) from UC Santa Barbara and an MA in Clinical Psychology from JFK University, and is currently an advanced analytical candidate at the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. She is the parent of a YMTC alumni who is pursuing a theater career.

Alexa Wilkie is Program Manager of the Environmental Health Tracking Program for the California Department of Public Health. She has worked for 25 years in management of health care programs with a focus on increasing access to care for marginalized communities. She worked for over a decade in management of blindness prevention programs at the Berkeley-based international non-profit Seva Foundation, with a focus on building eye care capacity in Tibet and western Nepal, and has substantial experience in non-profit fundraising, grants management, and strategic planning. Alexa has been a fan of YMTC since the first show she saw in 2010. Coming from a family rooted in theater, she is delighted that both her sons have had the chance to experience the amazing training that YMTC offers. Volunteering as Box Officer Manager gives her a really good excuse to see most performances of every show.