Board of Directors
All board members serve as volunteers; their interest in serving the theatrical community through SSPA is founded in years of support for and involvement in the craft of the art. Board members may be contacted through SSPA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President - Whitney Hovenic
Whitney Hovenic has loved the theater since she was a young child and was involved in theater growing up in California. She was introduced to SSPA as an audience member at the summer productions and now as a parent with a daughter who has been in several productions with SSPA. She is a dermatologist in Reno and an advocate for the arts in the Reno community. She is honored to be involved in helping SSPA to continue to foster their amazing productions and education programs.
Vice President - Jon Marshall
Jon is a musician, mathematician, and educator. He and his family have made Reno their home since 2013. As chair of the Education Committee, he is focused on extending the reach of SSPA's programs to historically underserved communities. He loves performing and was honored to be cast in the 2021's Annie and All Together Now productions, as well as 2022's Into the Woods.
Treasurer - Joe Costanza
Partner, DiPietro & Thornton Certified Public Accountants
Secretary - Kim Carpenter
Past President - Joe Linscott
Joe is a local business owner and real estate professional. He was born and raised in Reno Nevada, and graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in Business Management. Joe is a supporter of local arts and has participated in and enjoyed performing arts in the area from a young age—including appearing in past SSPA performances as a young adult. Joe appreciates the life benefits he has experienced from developing performance skills, and he is excited to be part of the team directing Sierra School of Performing Arts toward a bright future.
Advisor - Sam Coleman
After a tour in the Air Force, Sam graduated from Colorado University with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, followed by a career at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Sam has volunteered most of his adult life, starting in Colorado and California. Retiring to Reno, he volunteered with the Reno Little Theater, on stage crews and light boards, as a bit actor and director, web designer, and on the board of directors and chairman of the board during the construction of RLT's new theater. He timed the Reno Air Races for twenty-three years, and has been a Standardized Patient at the UNR School of Medicine almost as long. He has also volunteered with Proscenium Players, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, the Community Emergency Response Team, the National Security Forum, and other organizations. He is excited to join the volunteers at Sierra School of Performing Arts.
Advisor - Bob Gabrielli
Bob Gabrielli is a Reno native and a University of Nevada alum. Before retiring in 2018, Bob worked in communications and fundraising/grant writing for several non-profits including the University of Nevada, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada, the Nevada Museum of Art and The National Judicial College. Bob has been acting, directing and/or writing for the stage for more than 40 years. He is pleased to be joining the SSPA board.
Advisor - Kelsey Gundersen
Kelsey was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. Her mother, Lisa Gunderson, was a founding member of Sierra School of Performing Arts. As a child, Kelsey was involved in the early days of SSPA and is now happy to return as an adult. Kelsey is currently an attorney at Sutton Hague Law Corporation. She graduated from the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law in 2019, and Rollins College in 2015. Kelsey is excited to bring her love of theater, as well as her legal knowledge and experience to the SSPA Board of Directors.
Advisor - Beth Honebein
Beth has found a niche writing grants and keeping an eye on the website for Sierra School of Performing Arts. With a professional background in advertising and marketing, she spent 10 years at advertising agencies in San Francisco and Indiana. In 1994, she moved to Reno and started her own manufacturing business, AuntieA's. As an entrepreneur, she is involved in every aspect of business, from making products and ordering inventory, to sales, marketing, and accounting, even sweeping the warehouse floor. Beth has put this ability to do whatever needs to be done to work in a variety of volunteer endeavors. She is proud to lend these talents to the amazingly creative people of SSPA.
Advisor - Nancy Podewils-Baba
Nancy began her life-long appreciation of theater when, at the age of six, her parents took her to see live performances on Broadway and in New Jersey. While pursing an undergraduate degree in English at Cornell, she performed in Man & Superman and As You Like It. Nancy has worked as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for over 50 years, and continues to offer clinical services, but she has always made sure that the artistic community has been part of her life. Since 2004, she has been seen on stage in plays produced by Reno Little Theater, Theatreworks of Northern Nevada, and Brüka Theatre. She is also a watercolorist and serves on the Board of Sierra Watercolor Society, coordinating their Art Angels Program, as well as doing Community Outreach and Publicity. Additionally, she serves on the Leadership Council for KUNR Public Radio.
Nancy contributes to SSPA as a member of their Development and Grants Committee. She is proud to serve on the board to further their mission of providing high-quality productions and theater education programs to the Northern Nevada community.
Advisor - Kristen Remington
Kristen Remington is a three-time Emmy award-winning Evening Anchor at 2 News. The USC grad has also earned an Edward R. Murrow Award, a Gracie Award and Associated Press Awards for her work. While she has spent more than two decades on camera – with a front row seat to our community – there’s no place she’d rather be than in the front row of a theater watching her kids perform. She is grateful for the impact SSPA has made on her family and looks forward to giving back.
Advisor - Alison Westfall
Alison joined the board of directors at SSPA as an advisor in 2021. She is a long time Reno resident, a local OB/GYN physician, and an enthusiastic supporter of the performing arts. She was introduced to SSPA when her daughter joined the musical theatre world and had the privilege of learning and performing with this great school and production company. She looks forward to helping SSPA grow and reach their goals!