(JULY 28, 2016 – RED BANK) Amidst its $20 million dollar expansion and improvement plan, the Count Basie Theatre has announced the merging of its Board of Trustees and Directors and the hiring of a new Vice President of Development to join the newly appointed executive leadership team.

As a recognized 501(c)(3) organization, the Count Basie Theatre once operated under the guidance of two governing boards – one overseeing theater operations and the other the non-profit’s fundraising efforts. With a single Executive Committee under the leadership of Chairman Tom Widener and Count Basie Theatre president and CEO Adam Philipson, the work to merge the boards into one, diverse and powerful force behind the theatre’s ambitious plans for the future have come to fruition.

“This is an auspicious, exciting moment for us at the Count Basie Theatre, said Board Chairman Tom Widener. “Merging the boards creates cohesion, clarity and focus at an important time in our history.”

The Basie has also announced the appointment of Maria D. Sorensen of Freehold as its new Vice President of Development. Mrs. Sorensen will be charged with spearheading the theatre’s efforts to develop and execute a robust multi-faceted, multi-year development strategy to meet the current and future resource challenges, including the Basie’s capital campaign. Sorensen comes to the Basie with more than 15 years of development, communications and strategic planning experience, most recently as the Director of Foundation Relations at Rutgers University Foundation.

Sorensen’s development career also includes work with The Jewish Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City.

“The Count Basie Theatre is an organization that I’ve long admired,” said Sorensen. “Its diverse performances and educational programs contribute to our cultural fabric and enrich the lives of all in our region. I’m thrilled to join its leadership team and I’m so excited to be part of its evolution into a dynamic, regional campus that celebrates the performing arts.”

Sorensen will be part of the Basie’s leadership team under the direction of CEO Philipson. The Basie has also appointed three new departmental vice presidents to join Izzy Sackowitz, VP of Operations, to round out its leadership team: Karen Franklin of Matawan as Vice President of Finance, Yvonne Lamb-Scudiery of Red Bank as Vice President of Education and Jonathan Vena of Wall as Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations.

“The feeling right now is that we are firing on all cylinders, said Philipson. “With a team of passionate leaders and their committed staff and a unified Board of Trustees we are focused on our mission and poised to become a regional center for arts and education.”


Count Basie Theatre, Inc. Executive Board

Tom Widener, Chairman
Michael Parent, Vice Chairman of Operations
Stephen Cutler, Vice Chairman of Development
Charles Woolston, Treasurer
Stuart Alderoty, Co-Secretary
Mark Hogan, Co-Secretary
Harry Agnostak, Human Resources Chair
Adam Philipson, President & Chief Executive Officer, Ex Officio

Count Basie Theatre, Inc. Board of Trustees

Mitch Ansell
Peter Ardolino
Tom Bernard
Steve Bidgood
Sarah Bradley
Nick Brown
Robert Chandler
Craig Cummings
John E. Ekdahl
Mollie Giamanco
Beth Giannotto
Jeremy Grunin
Marshall Knopf
Judi Marrus
Mario Monello
Nancy Mulheren
Maggie Riker
Peter T. Roselle
Matthew J. Saker
Steven M. Schultz
Pat Scire
Peter B. Seligman
Karen Siciliano
Richard Spengler
Carol Stillwell
Maureen Van Zandt
Steven Van Zandt
Darrell Lawrence Willis
Kaye Wise
Edward J. Zipprich