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Board of Directors

Creative Leaps International is a program division of
Associated Solo Artists, Inc. (ASA) - a non profit company incorporated in New York State.

Susan Alexander is a past board member of ASA, and is a current Advisor to ASA President John Cimino.

Richard Albagli is founding Vice President and Treasurer of Associated Solo Artists (ASA), Inc (1972). He is also a physicist, a percussionist, and a Principal Artist of Creative Leaps International; and his dual background in physics and music has been the cornerstone of dozens of projects linking the arts, sciences and humanities. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has also completed advanced studies at the Eastman School of Music, and has performed with the Berkshire Symphony and the Albany Symphony, where he is principal percussionist. Albagli is Musical Director of the Empire State Youth Percussion Ensemble, which has performed under his direction since 1984 to national acclaim (including performances at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference in 1998 and on the nationally syndicated radio show, “From the Top”). He has composed, arranged, and performed more than forty works for ensemble and solo percussion performance throughout his career, including collaborations with other ASA/Creative Leaps artists. He currently holds teaching posts at SUNY-Albany and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Victor Albagli is the newest member of the ASA board.

Paul Audley was President of The Discovery Museum, Inc. (Bridgeport, CT), known for its inter-district programming and exhibitions and also for its affiliate public broadcasting system, Soundview Community Media. Paul has been an international speaker on strategic planning, reengineering, change management, and performance measurement, most recently as a consultant with JMC Industries. He was District Director, then Chief of Staff, for U.S. Representative Christopher Shays; he also served as deputy to the Secretary of the State of Connecticut in 1990. He has served two terms as the chief executive and chief operating officer of the town of Fairfield, CT, administering a budget of more than $120 million. Paul is the recipient of the Toll Fellowship, as well as numerous awards and honors for his contributions to nonprofit organizations. He has served on the boards of the Weston Community Center/ Boys & Girls Club, Weston Education Foundation, Regional Youth/Adult Substance Abuse Project, Darien Police Association (president and secretary), National League of Cities, United States Conference of Mayors, and many other regional organizations. Paul holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science and English from the University of Bridgeport and a Juris Doctorate from Quinnipiac College School of Law. He is Co-Chair of the ASA board Development Committee and is also a member of the Executive Committee.

Frank P. Bordonaro is a recognized leader in the field of corporate learning. Named Chief Learning Officer of Prudential in 1997, he managed learning and development functions for the company and established their well-known Center for Learning and Innovation in Norwalk, CT. Before Prudential, he was Chief Learning Officer of McDonnell Douglas Corporation, where he headed up all development and education activities. He oversaw creation and construction of the Boeing Corporate Learning Center; and during the McDonnell Douglas merger with Boeing he worked with top management to support the merger through a broad range of learning activities. Prior to McDonnell Douglas/Boeing, he was Director of the Johnson Management Institute for S.C. Johnson and Sons (Racine, WI), where he harnessed strategic learning initiatives and handled the company’s performance management and worldwide succession planning. Bordonaro’s work has appeared in The Economist, Information Week, and the book Learning Architectures. He holds a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, and is currently writing a book on corporate learning for Wiley and Sons publishing. He is an Advisor to ASA President John Cimino.

Robert Burnside has extensive experience in corporate learning, e-learning, adult development, leadership development, creativity and innovation and has applied this learning in a variety of roles including consulting, professional services, and executive management. He is currently the chief learning officer for Ketchum, a public relations agency. His career includes working at the Center for Creative Leadership, Corporate University Xchange, and Wrangler Brand Apparel. He holds a BA in Political Science from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Duke University, and served in the United States Peace Corps in Haryana, India. Robert is a new Advisor to ASA President John Cimino.

John Cimino is Director of Creative Leaps International (1992) and founding President and CEO of its parent company, Associated Solo Artists (ASA), Inc. (1972). Educated at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (biology & physics), the State University of New York at Albany (learning theory), and the Manhattan and Juilliard Schools of Music (music & voice), Cimino holds a uniquely interdisciplinary perspective and works across a host of disciplines dedicated to learning and human development. He is an award-winning operatic and concert artist and has performed to acclaim throughout Europe and the continental United States in productions including LA BOHEME (Academy of Music, Philadelphia, opposite tenor Luciano Pavarotti), and LUISA MILLER (International Verdi Festival of Busetto, Italy, opposite tenor Carlo Bergonzi). As a champion of the arts in education and professional life, Cimino has brought his "Concerts of Ideas" and other innovative arts programming into projects of the White House, the Center for Creative Leadership, WDC's Center for Excellence in Municipal Management, and the leadership training programs of dozens of Fortune 500 companies, universities, and professional organizations. Recent projects include keynote presentations for: the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development; the Association for Managers of Innovation; the "Crossing Paths" Conference on interdisciplinary approaches to artist development; and the national conferences of the Academy of Management. He is a consultant to the national Arts & Business Council and other organizations on the development of arts-based learning in executive education, working to bring the arts perspective to his and others’ work in creativity, innovation, and lifelong learning.

Janet de Merode’s first career was as an economist and manager at the World Bank. During her twenty years there, assisting the economic development of poor countries, she worked extensively in Africa, Asia and Europe. Janet subsequently founded GlobalMed, a company providing procurement services for buyers and suppliers of basic medicines in developing countries. Janet is also a piano accompanist and cellist, and lives in Washington, D.C. Janet is a member of the ASA board.

James H. Fallon, Ph.D., is Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Fallon is a Sloan and NIH RCDA Research Scholar, a Senior Research Fulbright Fellow (Africa), and holds Doctoris Honoris and Research Excellence and Teaching Awards from multiple institutions. He was the first to discover a characterized growth factor in the mammalian brain (1984) and the first to demonstrate how to mobilize significant numbers of adult stem cells and progenitors in the injured brain (1997, 2000) – a unique finding highlighted in the NIH Stem Cell report to Congress. Dr. Fallon’s lab localized EGF, TGFa, and bFGF in the brain, and Dr. Fallon is a pioneer in the study of the distribution of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. He has written broadly on schizophrenia, addiction, and the basal ganglia, limbic system, and cortex. He is also interested in the neural basis of creativity and intelligence, and in the nexus between art and science. Dr. Fallon received his training at St. Michael’s College (Vermont) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (New York). He carried out his doctoral training at the University of California, San Diego. At UC Irvine, Dr. Fallon has served as President of the Faculty and Chair of the Medical School faculty. He is an Advisor to ASA President John Cimino.

Charlotte Foy is past Chair of the ASA board. She is currently a member of the Executive Committee.

Stanley S. Gryskiewicz, Ph.D., is an international authority in creativity, leadership, and innovation with over thirty years of experience. He is currently the Vice President of Global Initiatives and Senior Fellow of Creativity and Innovation at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) in Greensboro, North Carolina. He has been with CCL since its inception in 1970, and was given the honor of Senior Fellow in 1993 for his distinguished service and national recognition in the field. In 1997 he was named Vice President with responsibility for coordinating CCL’s global initiatives. In this role, Dr. Gryskiewicz advises the Center on global strategy and policy, trends and best practices in global leadership development, and gathers Center-wide learning from its global activities. Dr. Gryskiewicz holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the University of London. His recent book on organizational renewal and proactive change management, Positive Turbulence, was published in July of 1999 by Jossey-Bass and is now in its second printing. Dr. Gryskiewicz is Chair of the ASA board Nominating Committee.

Dr. Mark C. Johnson is the Director of National Executive Initiatives for the YMCA of the USA. Most recently, he served as the executive director of the Silver Bay Association, the YMCA’s oldest continuing conference and training facility. His accomplishments there included a successful $11.2 million campaign for the 100th anniversary, award-winning architectural work, and a multi-faceted year-round rural community development program with a service area of more than 100 square miles. In his 34 years with the YMCA, Mark has served in Beirut, New York City, and at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. Outside of the YMCA, Mark served eight years as the President of the Lake George Land Conservancy and has been a Trustee of the Adirondack Nature Conservancy. Mark holds a B.A. from the College of Wooster, a Masters Degree and Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University, and has studied at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. He is a frequent contributor to Perspective magazine, and edits their column, “We Have To Talk,” on the nature of conversation. Mark is Co-Chair of the ASA board Development Committee.

Dianne Legro is a vocalist and Principal Artist of Creative Leaps International, and serves as Artist Council representative on the ASA board. A graduate of the New England Conservatory and The Juilliard School, Dianne Legro has starred in countless musical theater productions including the Broadway revival of My Fair Lady. She is also an accomplished recitalist, cabaret artist and opera singer who performs to critical acclaim coast to coast. Paralleling her work on stage, Legro completed advanced studies in Bioenergetics, Alexander Technique and Yoga applying these competencies to peak performance training, stress management, and leadership development in the business sector. Her dual background in theater and wellness sciences can be felt in the highly imaginative and engaging approach she brings to her corporate sector workshop Inner Balance. Learn more about Dianne at www.diannelegro.com.

Robert Nalewajek spent 22 years with Pfizer, Inc., where he was responsible for HR strategic business support in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Russia, Australia, and for Pfizer International Headquarters and Pharmaceutical Quality Control and Assurance. He has also headed Pfizer International’s Management Development, Executive Development, Succession Planning, Manpower Planning, Compensation and Human Resource Management Information Systems departments. Bob has served on the boards of the Greenwich Library, Catholic Charities of Fairfield County, the Global Leadership Institute, the YMCA’s Silver Bay Association, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport Annual Appeal and the Greenwich Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He is a Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem for Connecticut’s Superior Juvenile Court, and is leading the effort to introduce Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice, Inc. (a Vatican-based foundation of business, professional, and educational leaders) to the United States. Bob served five years with the US Army; he holds a B.A. from Niagara University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California. Bob is Chair of the ASA board Business Committee and is also a member of the Executive Committee.

James E. Rice is a principal of Brody, Wilkinson and Ober, P.C. in Southport, Connecticut, and is a member of the American, Connecticut, and Greater Bridgeport Bar Associations. He has served as a director of the Greater Bridgeport Bar Association and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Public Utility Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association, on which he has also served as Chairman. In the greater Bridgeport area, Mr. Rice served as an Assistant Town Attorney for the Town of Fairfield from 1993 to 1997 and as a member of its Historic District Commission until 1993. He also served as president of Catholic Charities of Fairfield County, and is a founding member of the board of directors of Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice, Inc., the U.S. affiliate of a Vatican-based foundation of business, professional and educational leaders. He has served on the Advisory Board of the Gallery of Contemporary Art at Sacred Heart University and on the Board of Directors of the Fairfield County Children’s Choir, and is currently a member of the Clinical Ethics Committee of St. Vincent’s Medical Center. Mr. Rice received a B.S. degree from Fordham University and is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. Mr. Rice is Current Chairman of the ASA board.

Richard W. Smith has been working with individuals and organizations as a ‘depth educator’ for over 35 years. He serves others by helping them have the conversations that they need to have, and by coaching and cultivating from individuals, teams, and organizations the best that they have to offer. He is committed to wholistic development (physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual), and to providing support to individuals, relationships and organizations as they strive to live into their calling and purpose. For more than 28 years, Richard has been personally and professionally committed to the Servant as Leader concept; and he has introduced this concept to thousands of others. He has spent more than 40,000 hours responding to others' needs and has served in seven countries and most of the 50 states. Richard has helped develop seven leadership centers around the world and is currently working with the Ministry of Education in Singapore to bring his teacher renewal work to all of the teachers in Singapore. Richard is also an adjunct faculty member of the University of St. Thomas (Minneapolis) Physician Leadership College. Richard is a longtime friend and Advisor to ASA President John Cimino.

William W. Waite is Executive Vice President of EquiPro International. Bill consults extensively on an international basis; he specializes in leadership coaching and development as well as in global team development. Before joining EquiPro, Bill was Director of Corporate Management Development and Training for the CIGNA Corporation. He has a Masters degree in Human Resource Development and a BA degree in Business Administration. Bill is Executive Advisor to ASA President John Cimino.

Donna Wissinger is a flutist and Principal Artist of Creative Leaps International, and is Chair of its Artist Council. She serves as Artist Council representative on the ASA board. A graduate of SUNY-Stonybrook and the Graz Mozarteum, Ms. Wissinger has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Glinka Capella in Leningrad, and in many cities across the USA and Europe. Paralleling her work on stage, Ms. Wissinger is a top performance athlete: a tennis pro, cyclist and long distance runner. Her athletic training is complemented by advanced studies of massage therapy and Alexander Technique. The cross-disciplinary transfer of habits of excellence from one performance domain to another is a keynote of her thesis and her personal life path. Learn more about Donna at www.donnawissinger.com

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