board of directors

The Rosin Box Project is always seeking voices to add to our team. If you are a passionate arts advocate with legal, accounting, administrative, or event planning expertise, please email Thom Dancy at Thom@therosinboxproject.com to discuss joining our Board of Directors.

2020 Inaugural Board of Directors

Rebekah Brown

Secretary

Rebekah Brown is a dance professional and the director of H2O Dance Company, a contemporary modern dance company founded in 2015 (h2odance.com). She received her BFA in Dance from SUNY Buffalo and her MFA in Choreography from Mills College. She has taught and choreographed for 15 years, drawing inspiration from her training in ballet, modern, and jazz. She is the Operations Manager and a Teaching Artist for San Diego Dance Theater. In addition, she is the co-curator for Fresh Dances with colleague Emily Miller and works with Ian Isles to curate ArtMOVES, the dance stage at ArtWalk San Diego. In her free time, Rebekah enjoys painting, going country line dancing, and taking naps.

Catherine Cheng

After earning her Bachelor of Science Degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Catherine Cheng obtained her osteopathic medical degree at Midwestern University in Glendale, AZ. She completed her Family Medicine Residency at UCSD and has been working as a primary care physician at Kaiser Permanente since 2009.

After a brief dalliance in dance as a child, she only seriously stumbled into the world of ballet 8 years ago after attending a friend’s adult summer intensive performance. Not long afterward, she became a ballet student herself and has been passionate about the art form ever since. She credits her teachers at City Ballet of San Diego and the Lynch Dance Institute by providing her instruction and experiences that have contributed to her personal growth well beyond the dance studio. She is continuously inspired by the commitment and work required of professional dancers in that elusive pursuit of artistic perfection. As such, she is extremely excited to be in a position to support the unique choreographic voices within San Diego through The Rosin Box and strongly believes in the additional community outreach mission of this nonprofit organization.

Ryan Field

Ryan Field is Microbiologist and has spent the past 15 years working in a diverse range of science industry settings—settings ranging from education, research, and the private sector. He is currently performing Quality Control Microbiology here in San Diego, CA for biotech companies under regulatory guidelines or standards such as: FDA, ISO, EPA, USP, and CLIA. 

Ryan’s previous non-profit experience ties heavily with Education Outreach. He has spent time with facilities such as the Museum of Arts and Science and Saturday-at-the-Sea program in Tallahassee, FL. He is a patron of the arts and enjoys looking through the lens where art and science intersect.

Ted McCombs

Board Chair

Theodore McCombs has been an enthusiastic supporter of the San Diego arts community since seeing his first opera as an undergraduate at U.C. San Diego. After law school at U.C. Berkeley, he practiced commercial litigation at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York City. In New York, he served on the Board of Directors of the Anti-Violence Project, a nonprofit empowering LGBTQ+ communities to end all forms of violence. And with the help of that city's incredible ballet scene, he developed his passion for dance as an artistic and expressive medium. From 2014-2018, he served the State of Colorado as an Assistant Attorney General, protecting vulnerable children, defending social services programs, and advising the State Board of Human Services as its general counsel. Returning to San Diego in 2018, he joined the California Attorney General's office as an environmental lawyer. He is a published writer as well, with his fiction appearing in national magazines and anthologies. 

 

As a storyteller himself, Ted is fascinated by dance's power to connect emotionally to audiences without language--or rather, with a physical language that each dancer creates anew. He was thrilled to play host and emcee for the Rosin Box Project's 2019 season and is excited to share future seasons with San Diego as the Rosin Box Project's Founding Board Chair. He lives in Hillcrest with his partner, dancer Rony Lenis, and their beloved cat, Kamala.

Ashley McQueen

Ashley McQueen, Founder/Artistic Director of Smashworks Dance, is a New York City-based performer, choreographer, and teaching artist. She holds a BFA in Dance from Webster University and an MFA in Dance from Hollins University. She currently directs and choreographs for Smashworks Dance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dance company focused on women's empowerment through performance and leads the Smashworks Dance/Girl Scouts of Greater New York Education Outreach Partnership. She performs as a company member with Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre, and teaches for Notes In Motion Education Outreach. She is a proud Founding Board member of The Rosin Box Project, a nonprofit dance company based in San Diego. Hailed as “a dancer with the grace of a ballerina, the groundedness of an Isadora acolyte, and the impetuous musicality of someone who dances because she must” (Oberon’s Grove), McQueen has worked with choreographers such as Shawn T. Bible, Maurya Kerr, Jennifer Medina, Christine Knoblauch-O'Neal, Jennifer Huffman-Olivas, Omar Olivas, James Robey, Uri Sands, Amanda Selwyn, Michael Uthoff and Paris Wilcox; and performed as a company member with ShawnBibleDanceCo (NYC), Common Thread Contemporary Dance (STL), and Arova Contemporary Ballet (AL).

Her choreography has been commissioned by organizations such as Peridance Youth Ensemble, Hamilton College, Minnesota Ballet, Big Muddy Dance Company, Arova Contemporary Ballet, Alabama Dance Theatre, Lake Arts Project, and Southern Danceworks; and presented at festivals such as Dance St. Louis Spring to Dance, Midwest RADFest, NYC Transit Museum (PLATFORM), Westfest Dance, St. Louis National Dance Week, RDA Serba Festivals, and American College Dance Festival. She was twice invited by ANNONYArts to independently choreograph and direct two evening-length concerts and was named a Kranzberg Exhibition Series Guest Artist, where she choreographed Laune, a site-specific dance performance on rideable lawn mowers for Laumeier Sculpture Park. The work culminated in a film installation, Harmony in 3, by Zlatko Cosic that remained on exhibition through February 2016. For four years, she and co-collaborator Thom Dancy have choreographed/performed with Lake Arts Project Milwaukee, including War Words Dance - in partnership with Feast of Crispian and Bright Hill Press (with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts).

Caitlin Sullivan

Treasurer

Former professional dancer, Caitlin Sullivan, began studying dance intensively under Alyce Keaggy-Brinkmann and Victoria Vargas in her hometown of Spring Grove, Illinois. There she enjoyed many performing opportunities through Illinois Youth Dance Theatre and was able to perform with talented guest artists from the Joffrey and Milwaukee Ballet Companies. As a student, she performed with fusion dance company, Chicago Dance Crash. She also studied nationally and internationally with San Francisco Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and in Berlin at ArtOf, an offshoot of Dresden Semperoper and the Forsyth Company. After graduating from high school early, Caitlin joined the trainee program of the Joffrey Ballet where she performed locally in Chicago and toured with the main company, performing in Ashton’s Cinderella in Los Angeles and Chicago.

Caitlin later joined Milwaukee Ballet II under the direction of Rolando Yanes. In Milwaukee, Caitlin met TRBP’s, now, Managing Director, Thomas Dancy. After a season with MBII, Caitlin joined the San Diego Ballet but returned to Milwaukee frequently, eventually joining Dancy’s NomadicLIMBS, A Dance Collective. Caitlin filled several roles with NomadicLIMBS including dancer, marketing assistant, and member of the development committee. 

Returning to San Diego Ballet after a season with Columbia Classical Ballet in South Carolina, Caitlin took the reigns of their dancer-produced show, Dance Gallery, for two seasons. Caitlin served as coordinator, director, choreographer, and producer for the show, also introducing Thomas Dancy as a choreographer to the San Diego dance community.

After retiring from dance in 2017, Caitlin graduated from Southern New Hampshire University and became a Pilates instructor, completing a 500-hour training program and mentorship under a second-generation teacher, Jennie Rathke. She now teaches at Studio Flo Pilates and at her own studio, Graceflow Pilates. She is passionate about sharing Pilates with the underserved dance community and helping anyone heal through the power of Pilates. 

Samuel Topazio

Vice-Chair

Samuel Topazio is an Applications Analyst for Scripps Health who has been a lifetime advocate of both local arts and local entrepreneurs. He has worked diligently in the non-profit healthcare industry for the last seven years. In that time, he has worked in both the information technology and financial analysis departments. His goal has been to advise senior management on strategic initiatives by providing up-to-date data and industry trends. Samuel spent time in Guatemala working with non-governmental organizations (NGO) and local non-profits to improve both the local culture and economy. There he was called upon in order to help local entrepreneurs sort out their businesses and devise plans for marketing, budgeting, and supply chain management.

He is a project management and analytics enthusiast with academic training from the business schools of both the University of Connecticut and Boston University. He holds a Bachelor’s in Business Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from the University of Connecticut as well as a Master’s in Business with a concentration in Strategy & Innovation from Boston University. While attending Boston University he was a co-founder of the Strategy & Innovation Graduate Association to help students identify their future paths. Samuel also holds several certifications which include a Green Belt Certification in Lean Six Sigma and the following Epic Electronic Medical Records Software Certifications: Customer Relationship Management Certification, Eligibility & Enrollment Certification, and Claims & Contracts certification.

2020 Inaugural Advisory Board of Directors

Ryan Beck

Mr. Beck began his training in San Diego under the instruction of Teresa Wells. Later he studied on full scholarship at Pacific Northwest Ballet School in Seattle. He holds a degree in Ballet from the North Carolina School of the Arts where he studied under the instruction of Melissa Hayden, Warren Conover, Susan McCullough, and Duncan Noble. 

He has choreographed works for professional ballet companies nationwide in Seattle, Washington DC, New York City, North Carolina, Chicago, Charlotteville, and Phoenix. 

Mr. Beck has been a featured guest artist with San Diego Ballet, Harbor Ballet, Spindle City Ballet, Island Moving Company, and Ballet Rox. 

Mr. Beck has had works created on him by many contemporary choreographers including Steve Rooks and Lynn Taylor Corrbett. 

He is a sought after partner and has partnered members of ABT, Boston Ballet, and New York City Ballet. His Favorite roles include Jose Limons "Unsung", and Balanchine works including "Stars and Stripes", "Allegro Brilliante", and "Scottish Symphony."

Pointe Magazine gave him the Viewer’s Choice award for his dance film “Red Plot” in 2013. Movies by Movers dance festival featured that same film the following year. 

In New York, he is a founding Director of FARMdance, 5 years later with Kevin Jenkins we founded Garage Contemporary Ballet Company in San Diego.  As an advocate for dance in San Diego, he was a member of the San Diego Area Dance Alliance and the Community Arts Advisory Council. 

Judy Berman Silbert

Judy has had the fortune to work with non-profit organizations in every art discipline, including youth theatre, Nations International Dance Festival, Coronado School of the Arts and more. In 2007, in response to budget cuts that devastated arts education in San Diego, Judy co-founded ArtReach, a visual arts education program, and served as Executive Director until 2017. Under her stewardship, the program grew to link artists from the community to over 30,000 student contacts, each an opportunity to help students meet and work with a professional artist, create original art, learn art skills and gain creative confidence. After her tenure at ArtReach, Judy has worked in a consultant capacity. She most recently helped bring the VAPA Foundation to life -- an organization created to enhance visual and performing arts in the San Diego Unified School District. She has extensive experience in all facets of non-profit management. Judy passionately believes that young people need the arts to grow into well-rounded, creative, and engaged citizens.

Khamla Somphanh

Khamla Somphanh is most passionate about teaching and working as a freelance choreographer.  She is currently faculty at Carlsbad Performing Arts Academy, Canyon Crest Academy High School, Malashock Dance and the Artistic Dance Lead for San Dieguito Academy Dance Ensemble. Khamla has performed professionally with ODC/San Francisco Dance Company, Wyliiams/Henry Dance Ensemble, Na-Ni Chen Dance Company, East/West Repertory Ensemble, New World Dance Company, Soundance Dance Company, Malashock Dance Company, San Diego Opera and on Broadway and the first national tour of “The King and I”.  Her choreographic works have been commissioned by LITVAKdance, The PGK Project, San Diego Dance Theater’s Trolley Dances, Visionary Dance Theater, Canyon Crest Academy and Malashock Dance School. Khamla attended Duke Ellington High School of the Arts and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Mary’s College of California and Horton Pedagogy Certification from The Alvin Ailey School in NYC.

Polly Toledo

Polly Toledo is a San Diego native with a background in nonprofit arts administration. She received her M.A. in Art Galleries and Museum Studies from the University of Leeds, UK and her B.A. in Art History from the Dominican University of California. Polly currently works at the New Americans Museum as the Executive Assistant to the Director and Grants Coordinator. She has worked previously at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Royal Armouries Museum and the Oakland Museum of California. In addition to her work at the New Americans Museum, Polly serves as a Steering Committee member for the San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition and as a community advisor for Arts+Culture San Diego.