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Board of Directors | Quest Visual Theatre | Changing the Arts, Changing Lives, Changing the World

Board of Directors

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Meet Quest’s Board of Directors:

Patricia Barrick

Charlotte Coffield

Charlotte CoffieldRetired from the Federal Department of Education in 1994 after 43 years of service with the Vocational Rehabilitation Program, Office of Deafness and Communicative Disorders

  • Received numerous Outstanding Service Awards
  • Was the first and only sign language interpreter for deaf people in the Dept of HEW for many years and laid groundwork for hiring future interpreters.
  • Managed the Federally Funded Interpreter Training Programs that made it possible for deaf people to receive quality interpreting services nationally
  • Received Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from Gallaudet University, 1995

Community Activities:

  • Served on Board of Head Start Project that focused on working with underprivileged and disadvantaged children
  • Served two three -year terms on the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board, representing the communities of Lyttonsville and Rosemary Hills. The Board advises the County Executive when a variety of issues, concerns and viewpoints are presented, such as overseeing the redevelopment of Silver Spring.
  • Serves on Board of Directors of Quest, Performing Arts for Everyone
  • Member of the Rosemary Hills Community School Council, which partners with the YMCA-Bethesda Youth Services (Benchmarks) to meet the community need to provide site-based leadership and programming for at risk youth during after-school hours.
  • Member of the Gwendolyn Coffield Community Center Seniors Advisory Committee
  • Member of the Lyttonsville Civic Association, which addresses issues that impact on the community such as the Purple Line

Sheryl Cooper

Sheryl Cooper is the Coordinator of the Deaf Studies Program at Towson University in MD which she established in 2000. She earned her Ph.D. in Administration and Supervision from Gallaudet University, her Master’s degree in Deafness Rehabilitation Counseling from New York University, and her Bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania.  She has been a certified interpreter working in the community since 1980, and taught in the Interpreter Preparation Program at the Community College of Baltimore County – Catonsville from 1982-2002.

She is a member of RID, PCRID, NAD, the Maryland Association of the Deaf (MdAD), the American Association of the Deafblind (AADB), and the Metro Washington Association of the Deafblind. She chaired the 2006 AADB Conference at Towson University, and hosted the first Jewish Deafblind Shabbaton Weekend in Baltimore in 2010.  She serves on advisory councils for the Interpreter Preparation Program at the Community College of Baltimore County – Catonsville, the ASL program at Frederick Community College, and Connections Beyond Sight and Sound (Maryland’s program for children who are deafblind).  She has published research on the administrative aspects of sign language programs across the United States over the past 20 years.

Dr. Cooper’s passion for theater and the arts may be genetic; her mother was a career actress and drama teacher, and her sister is a Broadway and regional performer, choreographer, and director.

Nancy Downey

Kevin Dyels]

Kevin Dyels

Kevin Dyels (CI, CT) is a certified sign language interpreter in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.  A native of Northern California, Kevin has lived in Maryland for 30 years. He attended St. Johns College High School before going on to graduate from the University of Maryland with a degree in Theater. After graduation he worked as a professional stage manager, a theater director and a substitute teacher at The Model Secondary School for the Deaf (DC).Kevin joined Sign Language Associates, a national interpreting agency in 1993 as a staff interpreter and a Director of the Cultural Access Program. Under his tenure SLA grew its performing arts interpreting client roster to over 20 local venues averaging over 150 interpreted productions each year.

He has traveled to India, Romania, Mexico, Vienna, and South Africa with Road Signs, a theatrical group that presents workshops and performances to deaf and hearing audiences all over the world.  Kevin also served as Production Manager for Deaf Way II overseeing over 50 performances offered as part of the International Arts Festival, featuring the world’s best deaf performing arts groups.

Currently, Kevin works as a freelance interpreter, mentor for new interpreters and a coordinator of interpreting services for festivals and conferences in the DC Metropolitan area.

When not interpreting, Kevin works as a professional sound designer and disc jockey in the area. He presents interpreting related workshops in Affect, Theatrical Interpreting, Team Building, and Self Confidence.  In his spare time he enjoys international travel.

Susan Flanigan

[custom_frame_right][/custom_frame_right] Susan, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, has been the marketing and public relations for the Clerc Center at Gallaudet University since 1991. She supports the promotion of the Model Secondary School for the Deaf Performing Arts Program productions. She received her BA from Goucher College in Communications, and her MA from the University of Baltimore in Publications Design, and is currently enrolled in a four year Education for Ministry course through the University of the South.

Susan is an avid potter, flower arranger, and supporter of the visual arts. She joined the Quest Board of Directors in 2009. She resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband and teenage son.

Alan Hermesch

Alan heads a public relations firm headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area. It provides strategic communications, marketing communications, issues management, crisis communications and fund-raising services to a variety of clients.

Founded in 2000, the firm focuses on strategic communications that deliver successful solutions to communications, marketing and public affairs issues, goals and objectives.

Its capabilities include media relations, issues and crisis management, publications, marketing communications, speechwriting, and meetings planning and promotion.

Alan Hermesch, president of the firm, has worked for the last 30 years in public relations, fund raising, marketing, advertising and journalism. Prior to starting the firm, he served for three years as vice president at Meharry Medical College, where he managed the college’s institutional advancement and marketing communications strategies as well as its $125-million capital campaign. Previously, he worked at Howard University, where for 18 years he played a leading role in the communications of that university, serving as spokesman for the institution and as director of university communications. Additionally, he has served as an adjunct professor of communications on the faculties of Howard University, Marymount University and Mount Vernon College.

Before coming to Washington, he headed a public relations agency in St. Louis, where clients included political candidates, a major architectural firm, a national association of beer wholesalers, a prestigious college preparatory school, one of the city’s leading real estate developers, an industrial products wholesaler, a suburban municipality, the local public housing authority, the archdiocesan commission on human rights and an auto racetrack.

Alan Hermesch earned the master of arts degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and the bachelor of science degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.

Bob Leonard

[custom_frame_right]Bob Leonard[/custom_frame_right] Bob teaches in Theatre and Cinema at Virginia Tech, where he is program director of the MFA in Theatre Arts.  He heads the Stage Management, and Directing and Public Dialogue programs. Bob’s recent directing includes: FAR AWAY, ROMEO AND JULIET, ABINGDON SQUARE, THE TRESTLE AT POPE LICK CREEK, and LIVING DARWIN.  Community projects include: “Leadership Through the Arts” in Southside Virginia, a new production of Women of the Web in the New River Valley, and the CultureWorks Project in Baltimore, MD.  He chairs the board of The Christiansburg Institute.  He also serves on the board of Quest: Arts for Everyone.   He is a co-director of the Community Arts Network (CAN).  He is a founder of the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET) and Alternate ROOTS, and a trainer with Resources for Social Change.

Tim McCarty

[custom_frame_right]Tim McCarty[/custom_frame_right] Mr. McCarty is the Founder and Artistic Director of Quest: arts for everyone (Quest Visual Theatre). For 21 years, Mr. McCarty worked in a variety of positions at Gallaudet University’s Model Secondary School for the Deaf.  For the last eight years, he served as the Artistic Director for the school’s internationally acclaimed Performing Arts Program.  In 1993, Mr. McCarty was honored as a White House Presidential Scholar Outstanding Teacher.  His students have won national acting and playwriting competitions.  Mr. McCarty’s work has carried him to schools, theatres, festivals, and conventions across the United States and throughout the world.  He has produced, directed, and participated in tours to Japan, Russia, India, The United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Belgium, Argentina, Austria, Puerto Rico, the Czech Republic, and Romania.  He is the author of nine plays and has regularly written articles and columns about arts and arts education for nationally and internationally distributed publications.

The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education has appointed Mr. McCarty to the National Advisory Group for Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.  Mr. McCarty provides consultation to schools, arts organizations, television studios, and motion picture studios on issues relating to the education and integration of deaf and disabled individuals.  Gallaudet University has honored Mr. McCarty with its Cultural Enrichment Award. The Czech Republic Association of the Deaf has honored Mr. McCarty with the J. G. Deburau Award recognizing his contributions to deaf theatre and for his support of the work of deaf artists. Mr. McCarty has a Bachelor’s degree in English from Washington and Jefferson College and a Master’s Degree in Theatre from American University.

Janice Rosen

Janice Rosen joined the board of Quest 4 Arts in 2009. As a Board Member she has served on the QuestFest 2010 committee assisting with publicity and outreach for the QuestFest, an international visual theatre festival.

Ms. Rosen has worked as Librarian for the Deaf Community in the Adaptive Services Division of the DC Public Library since 1993. Before becoming a librarian, she worked as coordinator of the Literacy for the Deaf Project at the DC Public Library (1990-1993) and English Tutor at the Reading Center, George Washington University (1988-1990). She taught English at Gallaudet University from 1980 to 1988.

Ms. Rosen graduated from Gallaudet University in 1975 with a BA in Psychology. She holds 3 Masters Degrees – 1) Education from Western Maryland (now McDaniel) College, Westminster (1977); 2) English Literature from George Washington University (1988); and 3) Library Science from Catholic University (1992).

Ms. Rosen is a founding member of the Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss (2001) and has served as Treasurer since 2003. From 2001 to 2004, she served on the board of directors of Community Help in Music Education (CHIME). Among her duties as a member of the board of CHIME were to co-author a grant application for CHIME’s library programs, write and direct press releases on CHIME programs, and create an evaluation form to obtain participant feedback at programs. Ms. Rosen is founder of the Washington National Wagner Society and has been president since its establishment in 2004. She is active with and holds a number of board positions in not only music but the disability and library communities.

Ms. Rosen’s professional library activities include American Library Association membership since 2002. She has served a number of leadership positions within the Association, including Vice Chair, and Chair, Library Services to Hard of Hearing/Deaf Forum since 2004, board member of the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Roundtable 2005-2007.

Her other leadership positions and activities in the disability community include serving on the board of directors of Deaf-REACH (National Health Care Foundation for the Deaf) from 1999 to 2005. While on the board she served on the Organizational Affairs Committee, which was responsible for reviewing Bylaws and Strategic Plan and was asked from time to time to perform research on organizational rules, structure, and law. She also served on the Fundraising Committee and helped organize and raise funds for the Deaf Reach 30th Anniversary Gala and Silent Auction, November 2002, and the Program committee, evaluating and making recommendations for improvement of housing and employment programs for DC residents who have developmental disabilities. She is also on the board of the Washington Society of Jewish Deaf (WSJD) and has been Secretary since 2003.

Ms. Rosen is also actively studying and performing music as a hobbyist. She is a member of the
Adult Music Student Forum, engaging in active piano study and informal recitals. She is studying piano and clarinet at the International School of Music, Bethesda, Maryland, and she sings regularly with the Universalist National Memorial Church Choir. She is studying voice with Darryl Winston, Music Director, and Universalist National Memorial Church and with Brian Lee, Vocalability, Rockville, Maryland.

Lisa Weems

Evelyn Weidig

[custom_frame_right]Evelyn Wiedig[/custom_frame_right] Evelyn Weidig’s involvement with Quest was sparked by attending a workshop on tactile interpreting for the show ‘Mosaic’ several years ago.  Her interest in the deaf and the theater began at about age 7 when she became friends with a deaf neighbor, and also wrote and directed a short puppet show for her first grade class. She remained connected to the theater as she attended several Broadway plays, and performed small roles, was costume/makeup/props master, and played piano for her high school drama club.  She and husband Hans Weidig have three sons, two of whom are profoundly Deaf.  Evelyn holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, a Master’s in Behavioral Sciences, and a Master’s in Special Education.  She currently works full-time as a teacher in the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program for Baltimore City Schools, and works part-time as a free-lance interpreter.  She is active in the Catholic Daughters of the Americas and the Accokeek Foundation National Colonial Farm Textile club.  Her other interests and hobbies include textile crafts (knitting, crocheting, spinning, and needle felting), reading mysteries, family activities, reading science fiction, genealogy, reading historical fiction, and attending as many renaissance festivals as possible!  Um, did I mention READING?

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