Count Basie Center welcomes three new community leaders to its Board of Trustees

(RED BANK – June 2, 2021) The Count Basie Center for the Arts, the state’s leading nonprofit performing arts center, is excited to announce the appointment of three new members to its Board of Trustees.

Joining the Basie Board are Jerry W. Conaty, CPA, CFE, RMA of Lanoka Harbor, a partner of the Holman Frenia Allison firm of Toms River; SoVonna Day-Goins of Atlantic Highlands, Global Head of Social Sustainability for Credit Suisse; and Joe Wajda of Farmingdale, Executive Manager and Managing Partner, World Subaru and World Jeep Chrysler Dodge Ram in Shrewsbury.

“As a community-focused nonprofit organization, we could not be more pleased to welcome SoVonna, Jerry and Joe to the Basie Center board,” said Jeremy Grunin, Chairman, Count Basie Center Board of Trustees. “These individuals are true leaders in every sense of the word: professionals who recognize the importance of the arts in their everyday lives, and in the health and well-being of our communities.”

The addition of three new Trustees comes as the Basie Center rebounds following the COVID-19 pandemic. Though its education programs and entertainment offerings continued throughout the shutdown, the recent loosening of restrictions in New Jersey and elsewhere will allow the Basie Center’s spaces – the historic Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, The Vogel, the Grunin Arts Education Building and the Basie’s Monmouth Conservatory of Music – to resume normal operations.

“Our Board of Trustees is an active body of leaders and thinkers who help us fulfill our mission, take on challenges and initiatives and pivot when necessary,” said Adam Philipson, President / CEO, Count Basie Center for the Arts. “The addition of Joe, SoVonna and Jerry will bring strength and unique insight to our nonprofit as we navigate the post-pandemic worlds of arts education and entertainment.”

In addition to three new Trustees, the Basie Center also announced additions to its Advisory Board: longtime trustees Harry Agnostak of Fair Haven, Beth Giannotto of Rumson, Monmouth County Commissioner Lillian Burry and James Marhold of Freehold, Founder / CEO of Declarations, Inc., a not-for-profit organization which provides homes and support services for individuals diagnosed with co-occuring mental illness and developmental disabilities.

As the Basie Center prepares for the full capacity opening of its venues, the organization is busy with its Concerts On The Green series at Suneagles Golf Club in Eatontown. Judy Collins, George Thorogood & The Destroyers, The Indigo Girls, Max Weinberg of the E Street Band and others are scheduled to perform. For info, visit