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Planning for Future Needs in Our Entertainment Community

March 28, 2013


Annette Bening and Actors Fund Work Program Director Kathy Schrier in a session on Human Services led by BC/EFA’s Tom Viola.

Throughout our 131-year history, The Actors Fund has grown and adapted to the always-changing landscape in which everyone working in performing arts and entertainment lives. In order to continue serving our clients in the best possible ways, and to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to new trends, our management and Board leaders periodically take time out every few years to craft a new Strategic Plan.

On March 18, a dedicated group of Actors Fund Trustees and industry leaders gathered at New York City’s Time Warner Center, hosted by Trustee and Time Inc. Edit0r-in-Chief Martha Nelson, to spend the day exploring how best to serve our community in the next five years. It was a productive day, and we would like to thank everyone who took time out from there busy schedules to participate (all photos by Jay Brady Photography). Visit our website for a full listing of our generous Actors Fund Boards and Committees.


Front row (l-r):  Four-time Oscar Nominated actor Annette Bening; GRAMMY Foundation Sr. Vice President Kristen Madsen; Cartoon Network VP of Casting and Talent Development Sharon Lieblein; Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Executive Director Tom Viola; former Deloitte Financial Advisory Services partner George Zuber; Stage Manager’s Committee Co-Chairs Peter Wolf and Sherry Cohen; former ATPAM President Merle Debuskey; New Jersey real estate developer David Steiner; former SAG New York Division President Joyce Gordon; ASCAP Director of Musical Theatre Michael Kerker; Lodestone Banking Consultancy Advisory Board Chairman Robert O. Lehrman.

Middle row (l-r): Neuberger Berman Managing Director Jeffrey Bolton; New Jersey Pictures LLC Chairman Steve Kalafer; Local 1-IATSE President James Claffey, Jr.; Shubert Organization Chairman Philip J. Smith; IATSE President Matthew Loeb; music producer Abby Schroeder; producer/philanthropist Kate Edelman Johnson, actor Jomarie Ward; Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Executive Director Olga Garay; Director/founder of the Research Center for the Arts & Culture at the National Center for Creative Aging Joan Jeffri.

Back row (l-r): Fund CEO Joseph P. Benincasa; Local 1 – IATSE Secretary Bobby Score; Fund Chief Advancement Officer Thomas Exton; BioReference Laboratories, Inc. CEO Marc Grodman, M.D.; Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation CEO Scott Weiner; Cassidy Turly Senior Managing Director David Lebenstein; American Theatre Wing Executive Director Heather Hitchens; Newpol Foundation’s Stanley Newman; Broadway League Executive Director Charlotte St. Martin; Actors’ Equity President Nick Wyman; Shubert Organization President Robert Wankel; Greater New York Hospital Association Ventures, Inc. President Lee Perlman; Fund Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell; United Hospital Fund Aging In Place Initiative Director Fredda Vladeck; Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker; SAG-AFTRA Executive Director David White; philanthropist Honey Waldman; SAG-AFTRA Co-President Roberta Reardon; Time Inc. Editor-in-Chief Martha Nelson; Chadick Ellig Co-CEO Janice Reals Ellig; Cannon Heyman & Weiss, LLP founding partner Steve Weiss; TV writer and Co-Executive Producer of NBC’s Revolution David Rambo.

(Also in attendance were AERIN Communications Director Ebs Burnough, actor Judy Frank, Jujamcyn Theatres Vice President Paul Libin.)

Dr. Marc Grodman led an exploration of issues around the Affordable Care Act and accessing health insurance.

Additionally, special thanks to our four break-out session facilitators, each of whom guided enlightening discussions in partnership with key staff: GRAMMY Foundation Sr. Vice President Kristen Madsen led talks around affordable housing with Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation CEO Scott Weiner; Bio-Reference Laboratories CEO Dr. Marc Grodman explored the future of healthcare with Artists Health Insurance Resource Center Director Jim Brown; Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Executive Director Tom Viola looked at our human services with National Director of Social Services Tamar Shapiro; and Trustee Joyce Gordon explored serving seniors in our industry along with Fund COO Barbara Davis and Lillian Booth Actors Home Administrator Jordan Strohl.

Finally, we’d like to thank Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell for his continued leadership, as well as Trustee Janice Reals Ellig (and her husband, Bruce) for hosting a wonderful social for our leaders on Sunday evening. And last, but certainly not least, Trustee Martha Nelson, who hosted The Fund at the Time Warner Center. Thank you, all!

Ellig Reception

At the Ellig Reception (l-r): Brian Stokes Mitchell, Annette Bening, Martha Nelson, Janice Reals Ellig and Bebe Neuwirth.

We’re preparing a special report, and we look forward to continuing a dialogue which will enable The Fund to advance its good work for every member of the creative community.  In the meantime, learn more about what we can do for you (and what you can do for us!) and stay up-to-date on the latest Actors Fund news by visiting our website, following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell opened the Strategic Planning retreat at TimeWarner Center.

Stokes opened the Strategic Planning retreat at the Time Warner Center.

Joyce Gordon leads a session on Seniors.

Kristen Madsen led a session on affordable and senior housing.

 Actors’ Equity President Nick Wyman, Playwright, TV writer and Co-Executive Producer of NBC’s Revolution David Rambo, SAG-AFTRA Co-President Roberta Reardon, vp casting and talent development at Cartoon Network Sharon Lieblein and IATSE President Matthew Loeb attend a session on Human Services.

Nick Wyman, David Rambo, Roberta Reardon, Sharon Lieblein and Matthew Loeb attend a session on Human Services.


Trustee Joyce Gordon leads a session on Seniors.

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