Teri Fitch, President
Teri’s belief in the power of story and the role of coaching lead her to Cornish College of Art where she was trained as an Actor, Director and Stage manager, then into a role as a recruiter of engineering talent in Silicon Valley, then to Apple as a Management Trainer and coach, and now to her work as a partner at Fitch Associates, training managers on presentation and interviewing skills. The thread that weaves through her career is the question, “What is the story?” She is a parent with a love for the teen-age years, a “wannabe” neurobiologist who enjoys learning about the brain and a student of improvisation, which she plays with in her life as a management trainer. PlayWrite Inc. is a natural fit for her as it combines psychological wellness with theater arts and youth. She was once told by a group of Brazilian dancers that “her feet were speaking Portuguese”. She says it is her most cherished compliment.
Kyle Podd, Vice President
(Geffen Mesher & Co., LLC)
Kyle Podd is one of more recent PlayWrite board members having joined in mid-2009. In addition to serving on the board, Kyle is also a member of the finance committee. Kyle has a business background having attained a Bachelors degree in both finance and accounting from the University of Arizona. He is a CPA with the local firm of Geffen, Mesher & Company and specializes in taxation. Kyle joined Geffen Mesher in April 2008 after moving to Portland from London, England. Outside of work, Kyle enjoys spending time with his wife and keeping up with their busy one-year-old son. He also enjoys traveling, sports, games and other outdoor activities.
Matthew Robinson, Treasurer
Having recently moved to the NW, Matthew sought out an organization that would allow him to make an impact in the lives of kids. He found that in PlayWrite. After attending a number of PlayWrite events including a performance, he decided to join the Board and is excited to help the organization grow. Matthew was born and raised overseas in Kingston, Jamaica, and has lived in Florida and Texas. He holds a BA from the University of Florida (Go Gators!!) and a JD from UT-Austin, and currently works on the Policy Team for Mayor Charlie Hales.
Gad was born and raised in Israel. At the age of 14, after a move to Los Angeles and finishing High School, he attended Mt. St. Mary’s/UCLA and received a Masters degree in Special Education. In 1976 Gad moved to Portland to start a program for emotionally challenged teens. His work with Youth At Risk led him to become aware of how important the world of art plays in teaching and keeping students interested in returning to school day after day. After spending 30 stimulating and fulfilling years at Clinton School Gad retired and has been working at Portland State University as a supervisor and mentor for teachers attaining their Special Education endorsement.
(School of Business Administration, PSU)
Roger Chope has been a board member for just over a year. He divides his time between teaching accounting and finance here at Portland State and at CIMBA in Asolo, Italy. When in Italy he is a coach in a Neuroleadership program for business students. Roger and his wife Anne enjoy spending time at the Oregon Coast and riding road bikes, both here in Oregon and especially in Italy. They also enjoy cooking and baking together with the long term goal of being able to cook as well as Bruce, but using less duck fat. Roger really values the opportunity to connect with our community by serving on the PlayWrite board.
Leah Gibson (Oglala Lakota/Persian) lives in Portland, Oregon, and is a grant writer at a local youth mentoring agency, Friends of the Children, where she writes for the local FOTC chapter and the national network. Leah has an MA in writing obtained through the book publishing program at Portland State University and is currently developing a grassroots indigenous community press, called INKdigenous. Prior to her current position, Leah worked at the Native American Youth & Family Center.
Leah grew up in the urban Native American community of Portland, but has also lived in the Black Hills of South Dakota and in Washington, DC. Her goals are to continue to move in an upward trajectory as a grant writer, project developer, and program evaluator; transition into the arts industry; establish INKdigenous as a regional nonprofit community press; and write her memoir about being a Native American adoptee.
Michele joined the PlayWrite Board of Directors in 2012. She was born and raised in New York but has lived on the West Coast since 1989. She has a BA from SUNY at Buffalo, a Masters Degree in City Planning from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a JD from Georgetown University. Michele worked in the Bay Area as a real estate attorney for many years, initially in private practice and then as in house counsel at Glenborough Company, a publicly traded company, and at Shorenstein Company before deciding to spend more time with her family. She moved to the Puget Sound in 2006 and now lives in Redmond, WA with her husband and two teenage boys (whom she believes are better negotiators than anyone she encountered in her legal career).
Cara was born in Portland, Oregon, raised in southern Mississippi, and returned to the Pacific Northwest nine years ago. She earned her degree in Social Work at the University of Southern Mississippi and has worked extensively in Mental Health Services for youth and families. Cara was first introduced to PlayWrite as a Supervisor at the Cedar Bough Native American program. At this time she observed firsthand the positive effects that participation in PlayWrite had on the lives of the youth at Cedar Bough. Since then Cara continues her work with youth, as a Program Manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Multnomah County. She is passionate about providing opportunities for culturally diverse youth to have new experiences leading them to growth and healing. In her free time Cara enjoys traveling, the outdoors, attending Powwow and other community events, beadwork, cooking, spending time with family, friends and being a Big Sister!
Carol joined the board in 2012 with a passion to support PlayWrite’s quest to make a difference for at risk youth through the art of play writing. She has been past president of Kindervelt a non-profit organization composed of neighborhoods joined in the largest auxiliary of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Coordinator for a summer Girl Scout Day Camp of 120 girls experiencing the values of scouting and nature. Founder of Why Not Fashions, a junior sleepwear manufacturer, distributing to all major department stores in U.S. Great Britain and speciality stores under the label Why Not, Willie Wear and Hang Ten. Co-founder for the past 30 years Ringor a cleated footwear manufacturer dedicated with the patented designs to improve better foot health. Ringor has received the seal of acceptance from the APMA. Past-president and program chair for the Country Gardens and present board member of the North Shore Neighborhood Association of Lake Oswego. Member and player of the USTA and USGA as well as enthusiastic sports person.
Perry was born and raised in the Pacific NW. She left the NW to attend school and travel throughout the US for about 10 years. Her undergraduate work was focused in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Hawai’i West O’ahu. She moved to Portland, Oregon in 2000 and earned a Master’s of Business Administration in Technology Management in 2006 and Project Management Certification from Portland State University in 2008. Perry currently works in sales at Regence BlueCross BlueShield which has given Perry a balanced perspective and appreciation for the technical challenges and opportunities in the healthcare industry. Perry’s passions include working in the community, traveling, snowshoeing, spending time with her family and dogs…and when there’s time, home improvement projects!
Renée Glasgow, President Emeritus
Renée attended Beloit College and the University of Illinois, where she took a degree in Education. Graduate work at Portland State University led to an M.S. in Counseling. While living in Portland she ran a program for Head Start teachers at Marylhurst, taught counseling classes to graduate students at Lewis and Clark, and served as a Child Development Specialist and Counseling Resource person in the Portland Public School system. Renée has served on numerous boards, most notably PlayWrite, Waverly Children’s Home, Young Audiences, Planned Parenthood, the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, and Trillium Family Services. In her spare time, she enjoys activities at the Portland Art Museum, the Garden Club, Town Club, the Multnomah Athletic Club, and Neskowin. She is passionate about PlayWrite because of its intense work at the intersection of the arts with services to youth.
Clarke Bingham, Emeritus
Although a mechanical engineer by training, Clarke’s life reflects the persistent search for knowledge and insight to help all of us, especially our youth, live fuller lives. Clarke has been an enthusiastic supporter and ally from the earliest conversations leading to the founding of PlayWrite. He has attended the majority of the workshop performances, and is proud of each writer’s venture into uncharted territories. He is grateful to Bruce and the gifted PlayWrite coaches for the amazing work that they have helped bring to fruition from these young creative minds.