Kahtra Kayton, Board Chair
Kahtra Kayton, originally from Northern Virginia, grew up studying dance pre-professionally. She attended the College of William & Mary and then taught high school biology and chemistry in the Richmond area. She and her husband Jack moved to Charlottesville in 1995, where they raised three children, including one professional dancer who received her training at Charlottesville Ballet Academy. Kahtra is passionate about helping others identify and bolster their strengths, and she now works as an independent coach in team development and executive coaching. Kahtra is also an active member of the Charlottesville community and is involved with her church, Community Bible Study, the local William & Mary Alumni Chapter and the Junior League. Kahtra is delighted to contribute her focus on excellence and development to the Charlottesville Ballet.
Dr. Heather Snyder, Treasurer, Board President Emeritus, and Medical Director for Charlottesville Ballet
Dr. Heather Snyder, originally from New Bedford, Massachusetts, moved to Charlottesville in 1999 with her husband, Dr. Bryan Snyder, to establish their own podiatric medical practice – Albemarle Family Foot & Ankle (a CB Diamond Sponsor). Heather graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Biology from Stonehill College and received her doctorate in podiatric medicine from the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine. She completed a two-year podiatric medical residency at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Snyder is Board Certified in Podiatric Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine. She is an active member of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) as well as the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. Since 2007, Dr. Snyder has served on the board of directors and as the Medical Director for Charlottesville Ballet, working with dancers in the professional company and students at Charlottesville Ballet Academy to promote the organization’s mission of health and wellness.
Carol Krohn, Secretary
Carol Krohn moved to Charlottesville in 2000 with her husband, Steve, and their two sons, Joseph and Peter. She volunteered for a number of years in various capacities—from room mother to school representative on the countywide Parent Council—when her boys were students in Albemarle County public schools. She is a long-time volunteer for the Shelter for Help in Emergency, where she served on the board of directors as fundraising chair and board president. Carol is a member of Church of Our Saviour Episcopal, where she serves as register of the vestry and sings in the adult choir. She also sings in the Festival Chorus of the Virginia Consort. In her life before children, Carol worked in journalism and public relations, earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in British literature from the University of Southern Mississippi. Carol believes deeply in the life-changing value of arts education and in the essential fairness of extending that opportunity to every child. She enjoys volunteering weekly to walk children from Woodbrook Elementary School to their Chance To Dance classes, getting a front-row view of the Charlottesville Ballet’s commitment to making ballet accessible throughout our community.
Originally from Rochester, New York, Virginia resided in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years. When she retired from a career in real estate in Menlo Park, California, she and her husband relocated to Charlottesville, where she has resided for the past 20 years. She holds a BA from Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY and an MA from San Jose State University in San Jose, CA. Since retiring Virginia has served on the Board of several arts organizations, including the Charlottesville Symphony Society, the National Society of Arts and Letters, the Wednesday Music Club, and Charlottesville Opera. Dance has been an avocation since childhood and she continues to take adult classes at Charlottesville Ballet Academy. She is a strong supporter of the mission of Charlottesville Ballet and is pleased to become a small part of the company.
Janis S. Chevalier grew up in the Chicago area where she was exposed to inspiring cultural institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony, as well as a memorable performance by the Bolshoi Ballet. She received her BA in Russian from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and after she and her husband moved to Charlottesville 40 years ago, she devoted her time to supporting the arts. Janis currently co-chairs the Events Committee of The Fralin Museum of Art Volunteer Board and is a member of the Charlottesville Opera Board of Directors. She has served on the boards of the Tuesday Evening Concert Series and the National Society of Arts and Letters, and was a docent at The Fralin for over 23 years when her daughter was in school. She also co-founded and co-chaired Partners in Enrichment Resources for Kids (PERKs) which held training workshops for volunteers discussing art prints with children in the elementary schools. Janis is now grateful to be able to support and rekindle her love of dance through the quality performances of the Charlottesville Ballet. She hopes to help promote the Ballet and its mission of wellness, inclusion, and quality to more of the Charlottesville and surrounding community.
Sara Jansen Clayborne, Co-Director and CBA Principal, trained at the Ballet School of New York under the direction of Diana Byer and Sallie Wilson. In 2001, she graduated from the Professional Children’s School in New York City and began to dance professionally with New York Theatre Ballet. Sara moved to Virginia in 2004 and has performed with the Richmond Ballet and with Starr Foster Dance Project. In 2007, Sara co-founded the Charlottesville Ballet, putting her myriad of experiences to work while keeping her love of performance alive in her dual role as dancer and director. She retired from the stage in 2013 to devote her time to the growth of Charlottesville Ballet and Charlottesville Ballet Academy. Sara has taught dance for over a decade and is also a NASM-certified personal trainer. She is an American Ballet Theatre Certified Teacher in Primary through Level 7 of the ABT National Training Curriculum and is excited to put the ABT Curriculum into practice, both at CBA and within the professional company. Sara looks forward to nurturing the growth and appreciation for dance among peers and in the community.
Emily Hartka grew up in Roanoke, VA and fell in love with ballet at the age of five. She began dance classes at Roanoke Ballet Theatre and performed in collaborative shows with Opera Roanoke, the Mill Mountain Theatre, and Radford University. Emily spent her senior year of high school at the Virginia School of the Arts in Lynchburg, VA under the late Petrus Bosman. Upon graduation, she joined the Richmond Ballet and also enjoyed working with school children in Richmond Ballet’s Minds In Motion program. In 2008, Emily relocated to Charlottesville to co-found the Charlottesville Ballet and to attend the University of Virginia, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Nonprofit Management & Arts Administration. She serves as Co-Director of the Charlottesville Ballet and recently retired from the stage to focus on the growth and development of the organization. Emily is thankful to all who have made the growth of Charlottesville Ballet possible and she looks forward to the season ahead.
Evan Mayo is a partner at the Charlottesville law firm Tremblay & Smith, PLLC. He represents clients at trial in commercial litigation, land use disputes, defamation and personal injury claims. He also works with business and corporate clients to achieve commercial transactions, structure business units, and ensure compliance with federal and state employment regulations. Evan grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia School of Law. Evan also serves on the Board of Lawyers Helping Lawyers and previously volunteered as a Firefighter for Albemarle County Fire and Rescue. Evan admires the passion and focus of the performers and leaders of Charlottesville Ballet, and looks forward to assisting them with legal challenges as they grow. Evan and his wife, Mackenzie, recently celebrated the birth of their first child – Griffin.
Sherry Whaley is originally from Cedar Bluff, Virginia and attended the University of Tennessee and Grace School of Nursing. She has been at the University of Virginia Medical Center for 30 years working in critical care and has certifications in critical care and neuroscience nursing. Sherry has been an active student, teacher, dancer, and advocate in the dance community in Central Virginia since her move to Charlottesville. Sherry has studied ballet with Finis Jhung, Dawn Hillen, and Michael Vernon and jazz with Frank Hatchett and Josh Bergasse in New York City. Sherry is also a certified Zena Rommett Floor-Barre® technique instructor. She is delighted to be a serve on the board of directors and is thrilled to help with the growth and development of Charlottesville Ballet.
Miki Liszt is Artistic Director of Miki Liszt Dance Company, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization supporting the art of dance in Central Virginia since its founding in 1984. Ms. Liszt graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, where she studied choreography with Bessie Schonberg, for whom the New York “Bessie” awards in Dance and Performance are named. Miss Schonberg was, until her death, Artistic Advisor to Miki Liszt Dance Company. In 2007, Miki Liszt was the recipient of the Piedmont Council of the Arts Individual Artist Award in Virginia. Ms. Liszt has recently developed The Liszt Method ™, to help the broader public find longevity, fluidity, and safety in everyday movement.
Kurt M. Wassenaar
Kurt Wassenaar is an experienced executive and investor in technology start-up businesses. He is a licensed Architect and holds a Master of Architecture  and Bachelors of Science Degree  from the University of Michigan with concentrations in Chemistry, Biology, and Computer Science. Mr. Wasssenaar worked at the University of Virginia and served as the Chief Architect for the UVA Medical Center and as an Associate Professor of Architecture and Director of Research and Technology for the University of Virginia School of Architecture. Prior to this, he was the CEO of Computational Diagnostics Corporation and co-founder and CEO of WSA Architecture Development PC. Kurt is a Co-Manager and Principal of Blue Springs Development, which is engaged in portfolio management and the development of new technology ventures and real estate assets. Mr. Wassenaar was most recently the co-founder and CEO of Medical Automation Systems and was the co-founder and CEO of The Epsilon Group. He is currently a co-founder of the digital media company Vibethink and currently serves as Chairman of its Board. In 2020, Kurt served on the Charlottesville Ballet’s COVID-19 advisory committee and he joined the CB board of directors in 2022.
Signe Girgus Bowling (“Sigi”) is a uniquely talented interior designer who has dedicated nearly 30 years of service, working with both Republicans and Democrats, during five U.S. Presidential Administrations, designing the office interiors at the White House in Washington D.C. In her early career, she worked in commercial and residential interior design at W & J Sloane, Inc. and as Exhibit and Production Assistant at the Smithsonian Institute. Beginning in 1978 as the sole in-house interior designer for the Carter Administration, she introduced “Building Standards” for upholstery, drapery, carpet, and paint to upgrade the offices in the Old Executive Office Building and the West and East Wings, while adhering to strict budget requirements. Signe would go on to become the Associate Director of Facilities Management, Senior Preservation and Facilities Officer, and Interior Design and Preservation Manager for the Executive Office of the President (EOP), before retiring from the White House in 2007. Sigi heads her own design consulting firm: Signe Girgus Bowling Interior Design, specializing in giving a fresh look for clients who are down-sizing and collectors to reimagine living with their art. She has been named as one of the 100 Most Notable Alumni at VCU and she was recently awarded the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for her 50 years of achievements, leadership qualities, and successes she has accrued in her field and in community service.
Kiyomi Chandra (Wells Fargo)
Corey Clayborne (American Institute of Architects)
Loni Conley (Woods & Waters Financial Group)
William Hines (UVa Community Credit Union)
Geoffrey Kershner (Academy Center of the Arts, Lynchburg)
Brent Kitchens (UVa McIntire School of Business)
Christina Kyriakides (Oliver Wyman)
Megan Lively, PT, DPT, PCS (Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital)
Lisa Molinaro (Former Woodbrook Elementary Principal)
Ashley Newton (Former Special Education Teacher)
Elsie Thompson (Attorney)
IDEA Committee Members (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access)
MJ Abbitt-Sushka, Matthew Chin, Tahirah Elliott, Beth Farrell, Trinity Givens, Emily Hartka, Jessica Johnson, Kahtra Kayton, Carol Krohn, Keith Lee, Sharon McCurdy, Filadelfia Soto, Arleen Sugano, Theara Ward
Development Committee Members
Janis Chevalier (Chair), Sigi Bowling, Virginia Cenedella, Julie Montross, Betty Natoli, Shelly Ruggiano, Annie Sartori