Board of Directors 2017-2018

The wonderful people that support and guide us

Ashley Rusher Co-Chair

Ashley is an attorney at the law firm of Blanco Tackabery & Matamoros, P.A. She practices in the areas of business bankruptcy, creditors’ rights, and commercial litigation. Ashley chairs the Business Bankruptcy and Insolvency Practice Group at Blanco Tackabery and serves as a member of the firm’s Management Committee. Outside the firm, Ashley serves on the board of directors of a number of local and regional professional and nonprofit organizations including the Triad Chapter of Risk Management Association, the Carolinas Chapter of International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation, Middle District Bankruptcy Seminars, Inc., Financial Pathways of the Piedmont and the Winston-Salem Youth Chorus. Ashley is married and has three children, the youngest of which is a member of the Young Women’s Ensemble of the Chorus.

Darren Chiott Co-Chair

Darren is employed as the Assistant director of Financial Aid at UNC School of the Arts. He is happily married with 3 children, one of which sings with the WSYC. He holds a BA degree from Johnson State College and a MA from UNC-Greensboro. Outside of work and family, Darren is an avid bicyclist and motorcyclist.

Kay Bolick Vice Chair

Kay also serves on their Signature Event committee. She also serves on the board and as In-House Manager for volunteers for 40+ Stage. She was a board member and Allocations Committee member with Smart Start of Forsyth County for five years. Kay’s career was with US Airways, where she was a Performance Analyst. Her most cherished opportunity was selection as member of a core team for ASTRO (Advancing Service Through Re-Organization), the number two corporate project. She served on the Emergency Response Team, attending monthly drills. She organized fundraisers for The Salvation Army, Joy Ranch and Second Harvest. She was a “BIG” with Big Brothers Big Sisters and volunteer with the WSFCS Wings reading program. These volunteer events inspired her to leave the for-profit airline world for non-profit, where she worked as a Relationship Director with United Way of Forsyth County for seven years. Kay and her husband enjoy traveling and attending events with the Winston-Salem Symphony, Salem Band, WSYC and 40+ Stage.

Bill Gibson Secretary

Bill Gibson is a retired lawyer who has lived in Winston-Salem since 1978. He is a graduate of Baylor School, Dartmouth College, Stanford Graduate Business School and UNC-Chapel Hill Law School. He was also a court-certified mediator for several years.
Bill has been a member of several local non-profit boards.  He served with the West End Association, Group Homes of Forsyth, Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods, six years with the Winston-Salem Symphony. He is currently a member of the Youth Orchestras Advisory Council, the Youth Chorus Advisory Council, and the board of Horizons Residential Care Center; he also serves on the board of BarCARES, a statewide program administered by the NC Bar Association.

Miaohua Jiang Treasurer

Miaohua Jiang was born in China. He joined the faculty of Wake Forest University in 1998 after graduating from Penn State with a PhD in mathematics in 1995. He also held postdoctoral positions at Georgia Tech and University of Minnesota and a visiting position at CNRS, France. He is married to Ying Xiong with two children, a daughter studying environmental health at UNC Chapel Hill and a son who has been a member of WSYC for two years. He enjoys music, reading, gardening, and walking on Muddy Creek Greenway.

Athena Karahalios

Athena started her home based business, Accounting Solutions, in 1997 after working in the accounting field for 10 years. Services provided to clients include small business payroll, bookkeeping, and management financial statement preparation, QuickBooks installation and support and small business and individual income tax preparation. She earned her BS degree from UNC-Greensboro. Athena has previously served on the WSYC Board of Directors as Treasurer and as Treasurer of the Parent Association. She currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Hellenic Dance Troupes of The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church and Annunciation Greek Orthodox Foundation of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She also volunteers as Co-Coordinator of the Sunday School Program for her church and Co-Chair of the Agora Committee for the W-S Greek Festival as well as volunteer QuickBooks and bookkeeping consultant at the church. Athena is married with two children, the youngest of which is a member of the WSYC Young Women’s Ensemble.

Michelle Speas

Michelle brings over 25 years’ nonprofit/NGO experience in Japan, Africa and the United States to her current executive leadership role as Chief Development and Public Relations Officer of Family Services in Winston-Salem. She earned her BA degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and MA degree in from the University of Mississippi at Oxford – both in US History.  She is also a graduate of Duke University’s Certificate in Nonprofit Management program and Leadership Winston-Salem. Michelle and Christian live in Advance, NC with their two sons, Davis and John.  Her youngest son joined the WSYC in 2015.  They attend Center Grove Baptist Church and are also “parents” to two cats, two dogs and one horse – all rescue animals.

Mark Vogler

Originally from Atlanta, Mark Vogler is a web designer for the Winston-Salem Journal, and president and owner of Great Smoky Designs and Great Smoky Hosting. Mark has a passion for design and detail, and has shared that passion with students at the Sawtooth School for Visual Art and in private classes, teaching WordPress for small businesses and local artists. Mark has also worked with many local nonprofits including WS Youth Chorus, NC Lions, SECCA, providing web design, support and hosting services.

Mark was a member of the Air Force from 1981 to 1985 and attended the Community College of the Air Force while enlisted. He and his wife, Niki, have been married for 27 years and have two grown children, Shea and Charlie. The Voglers love spending time in the N.C. mountains every chance they get, and hope to move there in the next few years. In his spare time Mark enjoys cars, especially MINI Coopers, and in 2005 he founded the Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club, which now boasts more than 3,000 members across the state and the Southeast.

Drew Felts

Drew Felts is an attorney at Blanco Tackabery & Matamoros, P.A. and focuses his practice on renewable energy and commercial real estate transactions. He represents solar developers in the acquisition, construction, and financing of utility scale solar energy projects throughout the Southeast and other parts of the country. Drew is a member of the North Carolina and Forsyth County Bar Associations, as well as an active supporter of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, the South Carolina Solar Business Alliance, and the South Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance.

Drew, his wife, Katy (both born and raised in Winston-Salem), and son, Henry, are active members of Mt. Tabor United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, and enjoy spending time outdoors fly fishing, golfing and mountain biking in their free time.

John Sanders

John is an associate in Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton’s Mergers & Acquisitions, Securities, and Corporate Law practice group.  John primarily represents public and private investment funds, investment advisers, and operating companies seeking capital through public and private offerings.  Often, his work involves providing counsel to corporate boards regarding their obligations under the law and the corporation’s governing documents.  Prior to beginning his legal career, John was a manager for the Vanguard Group, overseeing its institutional brokerage unit, and earned his MBA.

John and his wife, Jessica, are art enthusiasts who frequent art museums and theatres while traveling to Italy, where John maintains an office as part of the EuroLegalNet network of international corporate lawyers.  On recent trips, John and Jessica have enjoyed an opera at La Scala in Milan and a private tour of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Steve Lacosse

Steve is the Managing Director for the A.J. Fletcher OperaSchool of Music with UNC School of the Arts. With a repertory that spans Le nozze di Figaro to The Fantasticks, Steven LaCosse has directed over 60 productions. He directed the southeastern premier of Ned Rorem’s Our Town, as well as the American premiere of Pergolesi’s Lo frate ‘nnamorato. He believes in giving each student artist that passes through his classroom the tools to become a success in their chosen field. They are allowed to try, succeed or fail in the process. This allows them to grow and learn about the art form of opera.

He received the University of North Carolina Board of Governor’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011. Steve is also a member of the College Music Society and Opera America. He has the following educational degrees: D.M. VoiceIndiana University – Bloomington, M.S. Opera Stage DirectionIndiana University – Bloomington, M.M. VoiceUniversity of North Texas and B.M. VoiceIndiana University – South Bend.