Haruko Smith (Founder and Chairman)
In addition to running The September Concert Foundation, Haruko is a full-time COO of Felissimo Universal Corporation of America. She directs DESIGN 21: Social Design Network, a joint venture started with UNESCO in 1995, which promotes Design for the Greater Good (www.design21sdn.com). Under her leadership, Felissimo's landmark townhouse has also long been a home to many creative ideas, products and exhibitions, as well as a venue for socially and culturally significant events. Smith also serves as Executive Director of the UNESCO/Tribute 21 Fund, overseeing the launch of DREAM (Dance, Read, Express Art, Music) Centers for children in post-conflict regions of the world. Since 2002, DREAM Center has opened in Kabul (Afghanistan), Port-au-Prince (Haiti), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Monrovia (Liberia) and East Jerusalem, new centers being built in the Sichuan Province of China and in the Philippines.
Jacques is a world renowned American ballet dancer and choreographer. He was a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, where many ballets were especially created for him by George Balanchine. Additionally he choreographed ballets for the New York City Ballet. Jacques founded the National Dance Institute, which teaches school children how to dance. A documentary film about Jacques d'Amboise and the National Dance Institute won an Academy Award, and his programs have been introduced many times over on PBS. He has received numerous honors and awards, including the Kennedy Center Honors Award, MacArthur Fellowship Award, National Medal of the Arts, The Heinz Award, and New York Governor's Award, Mayor’s Award for Arts & Culture, and Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from more than a dozen universities.
Robert Benezra, Ph. D.
Dr. Benezra is a prominent member at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer(MSKCC) in the Department of Cell Biology and a Professor of Biologyat Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in New York City. Before he joined MSKCC, Benezra worked at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle where he identified the Id proteins as dominantnegative regulators of the helix-loop-helix protein family, and has since gone on to identify these proteins as key regulators of tumor growth, angiogenesis and metastasis. Dr. Benezra has been involved with the (Jacques's) National Dance Institute over the past decade, both as a parent of three children who danced for 5 years in NDI and as a volunteer helping with productions and singing in the chorus. He has a strong belief in the importance of the intersection of the arts and sciences for the progression of both and has served as an advisor to the Sloan Foundation whose mission is to make science approachable to all through the arts.
Milagros del Corral, Ph.D.
Milagros joined the Board as a representative of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) while she headed the Department of Culture at its headquarters in Paris. She has since been appointed to the position of Director-General of the National Library of Spain and Chairperson of the National Commission for Digitization of Cultural Contents, Ministry of Culture, Spain. Milagros has had a long and successful career in information science, publishing, and arts & cultural industries, holding many key public positions. She speaks 6 languages and is an accomplished classical pianist. She lives in Conductor & Music Director for New York Choral Society
Darryl Pottorf has been creating complex, inspiring works for more than 30 years, continuously pushing the boundaries of his medium and subject matter. He has traveled extensively, and his work reflects his love of classical and architectural forms. (He is a practicing architect. He has designed Robert Rauschenberg's home and studio as well as his own, and continues to design both residential and commercial spaces.) He had often collaborated with Robert Rauschenberg, but his solo work has been exhibited at major galleries and museums throughout the world. He serves on the board of The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and lives and works in Captiva, Florida.
Rebecca is an attorney with a practice specializing in Charitable Gift Annuity Licensing. She is the former Assistant District Attorney in Kings County and former Executive Director of the Texas Women's Political Caucus. She was recently honored by The Feminist Press at its 40th Anniversary Gala Benefit.
Taro Patrick Smith, Ph.D. (Treasurer)
A University of Colorado graduate, Taro has over 15 years combined experience in business management, market development, and biomedical research. His specialty is in translational science (bench to bedside research) bridging the gap between scientific ideas and the market. He has participated in the formation, development, and funding of several start-ups within the medical industry. He has served as the Chief Operating Officer of a medical provider network, as well as the Chief Technology Officer for Crystal Diagnostics. He is a competitive bicycle racer and ski product tester, and co-owner of Boulder Cycle Sport which was voted a 2010 top 100 Bike Shop in the U.S. for the 3rd time in just 5 years of business.
Sundaram is a New York-, LA-, and Hong Kong-based art historian and gallerist. A descendant of the influential poet and Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore, he promotes East-West dialogues through exhibitions and multicultural and multidisciplinary events. A candidate for a Doctorate of Philosophy from Oxford University, Sundaram writes for numerous art publications. He was previously a director at Pace Wildenstein in New York. He has advised and worked with such organizations as The Peggy Guggenheim Foundation, Venice, Italy; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the United Nations. In 1999, Avenue magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential Asian Americans in the U.S. Recently, he was profiled on CNN International's Talk Asia.
Randy Wayne White
As "one of the hottest writers in America" (Booklist), Randy has been a NY Times best-selling mystery writer best known for the “Doc Ford” series. His novels draw heavily on his 13-year experience as a light-tackle fishing guide. He was also monthly columnist for Outside Magazine, and traveled the world, writing about natural history, archaeology, anthropology, travel and politics. He is also active in civic affairs and charities. In 2010, he was instrumental in officially reuniting the Freemasons of Cuba and the US in a formal ceremony in Havana attended by representatives from 27 nations. He served four years on the Florida Judicial Nominating Commission, and four years on the Florida Bar Association Grievance Committee – a rare honor for a layperson. He was co-founder of Big Brothers/Sisters in South Florida, and he helps support a number charities. Randy is married to singer/song writer Wendy Webb.
Robert Rauschenberg (1925 - 2008)
Artist and a founding member of the Board
He taught me that art does not belong to the elite, that it's in all of us, in our everyday life, and he thought the idea of everyone participating in filling the skies with music was so wonderful. Bob Rauschenberg was a founding member of this Board, a precious friend and great source of inspiration. We are very proud to have had him on the Board and miss him very much. – Haruko Smith