President’s Recap of the August USITT Board Meeting

August 12, 2022

As the Institute has begun its new fiscal year, the Board of Directors has transitioned to a full governance model. One of the things that this means is that all operational committees, including Commissions, are now under the oversight of the Executive Director.

Joining the Board for their first meeting were new Board members Margaret Mitchell, Tara Houston, Anita Tripathi, and Trish Hausmann. Also, the two new Sherry Wagner Henry Board Fellowship members Sarah Penland and Brian Rangell began their tenures.

Director of Finance Fran Taylor has aligned certain accounting processes to ensure both a clearer understanding and enhanced reporting to the Board. Financially, the Institute is recovering from the pandemic at a steady, cautious pace.

It was reported that USITT Weekly News has an “open rate” of between 30 percent and 50 percent, depending on the time of year. This is well above the national average for association newsletters. Institute membership is at 2,915 as of August 1, 2022. On Dec. 1, general registration will open for the 63rd USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo to be held in St. Louis, March 15-18, 2023. Members Only Pre-Sale will open a few weeks prior.

The BACKstage Exam, a joint venture of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) and USITT launches in early fall. Geared to the high school student, it will test their theatrical technical knowledge. For further information, click here.

An update on the status of the Executive Director Search was given. At the next Leadership Listening webinar, Aug. 24 at 3:00 p.m. EDT, former USITT President and Search Committee Chair Carl Lefko and I will be addressing an update and taking questions from our members in attendance. All questions and comments are welcome.

Board approval was given to these appointed members of the Committee of the Board. The Bylaws require that these committees be populated by Board members only, except when special information/reports are needed.  Governance Committee: Paul Bruner, chair, Nicole Queenan, Dana Taylor, Kimb Williamson; Finance Committee: Kim Scott, chair, Deanna Fitzgerald, Cary Gillett, Margaret Mitchell; Audit Committee: Deb Sherrer, chair, Autum Casey, Kimberly Corbett Oates; and Compensation Committee: Carolyn Satter, chair, Tony Hardin, Yolanda Williams, Kim Scott.

The Board approved the chairs of the Committees of the Corporation. These committees are operational, and the membership of these committees will include both USITT members and staff. The chairs are:  Awards Committee: Todd Proffitt; Commission Committee: Ashley Bellet; Conference Committee: Kasey Allee-Foreman, IDEAS Committee: Cary Gillett; International Committee: Patrick Rizzotti; Membership Committee: Annemarie Duggan; Nominations Committee: Paul Brunner; Publications Committee: Rafael Jaen; and Research Activities Committee: Nicole Queenan. Specific to these appointments in keeping with the revised Bylaws, but acknowledging the associated period of the transition, each committee shall have an opportunity to approach the Governance Committee with a recommendation for a different Committee member to serve as chair during FY2023.

Commissioners for FY2023 were approved as follows: Architecture: David Viera; Costume Design and Technology: La Beene; Digital Media: Megan Reilly; Education: Matthew Allar; Engineering: Justin Bennett; Lighting Design and Technology: Jesse Portillo; Management: Laura Lee Everett; Safety and Health: Greg Petruska, Anna Glover; Scene Design and Technology: Charlie Calvert; Sound Design and Technology: Davin Huston; Technical Production: Rich Dionne.

Thank you for your interest in the Board ‘happenings.’ Feel free to address any comments, or questions to me at

Carolyn Satter, President