Jimmie Byrd


Paul Brunner


Officer Position Statements:

Attending my first Board retreat I was introduced to the Institute’s newly minted Diversity Initiative and Gateway Program. I realized that there were several members of the Diversity Committee who could begin to fulfill that organizational goal and maintain the standards for excellence in Board service that is a prerequisite. I encouraged many to submit their names to the Nominations committee. The Committee embraced the charge towards diversity and several strong persons of color were placed on the ballot and two were elected. In this past year I have continued the charge to diversity and expanded it to encourage other atypical candidates: free-lancers, early-career and persons of color to stand for nomination. I attempt to visit as many sessions with particular constituencies as possible to encourage a broad spectrum of candidates.

Additionally the Secretary leads the Bylaws committee in reviewing the Bylaws and Policies and Procedures Compendium, affectionately known as the ‘PPC’. One might think this task would be rather dull, it is anything but. There is a strong committee who has been doing most of the heavy lifting during my term and I am grateful for their service. These two documents establish how we will govern ourselves and we are held to this by the State of New York where the Institute is incorporated. The email discussions of the minutiae are fascinating most of the time though sometimes mind numbingly overwhelming. I am honored to work with Members of the Institute willing to take on this challenging task. I look forward to continuing in my leadership role if the membership is so inclined.

I appreciate the confidence shown in me and hope I have met your expectations.


Officer Position Statements:

I have the good fortune to know many people in all corners of USITT, and some might say I ‘grew up’ in the Institute.  Early in my career I forced myself to attend receptions at the National Conference and mingle with established professionals and the great leaders of my field.  Today I enjoy a very broad network of dear friends and respected colleagues through these connections, and I want to help others do the same.  USITT reaches beyond the boundaries of professional and academics to create a place where these two realms converge to foster our future. The Institute has experienced tremendous growth in recent years.  Increases in education and training opportunities, new awards, expansion of the Stage Expo, the vibrant and industry-leading Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and strategic hires in our staff all demonstrate how USITT continues to respond to the needs of our membership in the very best way possible. 

As a candidate for Secretary, bring new perspectives to solve problems and foster a proactive and respectful atmosphere for all.  I have a knack for quickly finding the root cause of problems and I respond to sensitive situations with patience, professionalism, and an unassuming temperament. I want to continue developing USITT’s example in Sustainability for performing arts through more extensive partnerships and increased awareness.  Finally, USITT should become the leader in granting funds to support innovation at our corporations and universities.

I look forward to the opportunity to serve the institute as Secretary on the Board of Directors.