Board of Directors

Frona ColkerFrona Colker was born in Baltimore, MD and has a MS in Nursing Administration from University of Maryland. She has worked in a variety of nursing positions for 41 years, and retired in July, 2004 from her last position as School Health Supervisor for Henrico County Public Schools. Frona has always been involved in volunteer activities and has served on a variety of boards in the community over the years. She is presently serving as President of the Jewish Woman’s Club, is a member of the Family Lifelines Board, Hadassah Board and volunteers at Beth Sholom Gardens assisting residents in a weekly ceramics class. She also participates on the School Nurse Institute Partnership Committee that fosters educational opportunities for school nurses. Frona is married to Alan Colker, president of Alco Lighting Sales Inc. and they have one son who is vice-president of Alco Lighting Sales, Inc. Interests include theatre, book groups, knitting, mah jongg, volunteering and spending time with family and friends.

Laura Heymann photo (high resolution)Laura A. Heymann is a professor at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she specializes in copyright law and trademark law. She joined the faculty at W&M in 2005 and is honored to have been the recipient of two teaching awards and an award for faculty excellence in the years since. Prior to her appointment, she was the inaugural Frank H. Marks Visiting Associate Professor of Law and Administrative Fellow in the Intellectual Property Law Program at The George Washington University Law School. She has also served as an assistant general counsel at America Online, Inc., as an associate at WilmerHale in Washington, D.C., and as a law clerk to the Hon. Patricia M. Wald of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Before attending law school, Laura worked as an assistant editor at St. Martin’s Press in New York. She received her B.A. in English from Yale and her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Having left her (very amateur) college acting and producing days behind long ago, Laura is thrilled to be able to support Cadence Theatre Company as it continues its outstanding contributions to the Richmond theatre scene. Laura and her husband, Mark Badger, a Creative Director at CapTech Ventures, Inc., have been very happy to call Richmond home since 2013.

_MG_0259Joe Hoyle is an associate professor of accounting at the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond. He was named the Virginia Professor of the Year in 2007 by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. In 2012, he was named one of nine favorite professors in the United States by Bloomberg Businessweek. This article explained: “Hoyle teaches his accounting courses using the Socratic Method, asking students questions for an hour straight, three times a week. This might explain why—a few years ago at the spring dinner for senior business students—he received two awards: Richmond’s ‘scariest professor’ and the professor who ‘cares the most.’” Professor Hoyle has long been a fan of theater here in Richmond but most especially the wonderful work of Cadence. He awards his students extra points on their final examination each semester for attending theater or other cultural events in Richmond.

anna photoAnna Johnson is founding Artistic and Managing Director of Cadence Theatre Company and is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she holds a B.A. in theatre and dance. She was an original co-founder of Richmond’s award-winning Firehouse Theatre Project, serves as Company Artist for Company of Fools (COF) in Hailey, Idaho, and the founding Artistic Director of St. Thomas Playhouse in Sun Valley, Idaho. Recently she directed Peter Shaffer’s Equus, Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind and the Richmond premieres of Lisa D’Amour’s Detroit (RTCC nomination Best Ensemble Acting and Best Director) and David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People (RTCC Nomination Best Play and Best Director). Favorite Richmond directing credits include Next Fall (Richmond Triangle Players); Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas (Virginia Repertory Theatre); Sons of the Prophet (Cadence Theatre Company in partnership with Virginia Repertory Theatre); Kimberly Akimbo (Cadence Theatre Company in Partnership with Virginia Repertory Theatre); Fool for Love (Cadence Theatre Company); Godspell (Cadence Theatre Company); My Children! My Africa! (Theatre IV) and A Devil Inside (Theatre IV); And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank (Jewish Family Theatre); Tone Clusters (Firehouse Theatre Project). Acting credits include roles in Steel Magnolias, Rabbit Hole, Sight Unseen and Bus Stop (COF). Anna also serves on the board of the Campfire Foundation in Boise, Idaho. Since Cadence’s inception she has also been involved in areas of educational programming, production, marketing, volunteer recruitment and management, publicity management, development and administration. In her spare time Anna enjoys hiking, going to the ballet, watching movies, jogging and spending time with family, friends and her daughter, Caroline.

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Chris Lindsay-Abaire was most recently seen in Cadence Theatre Company’s Detroit.  She has performed at La Mama ETC, Here, Dance Theater Workshop, P.S.122, Fleetwood Stage, The Fulton Opera House among others. Television and film credits include Law & Order (Criminal Intent & SVU), Ghost StoriesStaticThe King of the Magicians, and all the New York soaps except All My Children.  Chris is lucky to have an artistic home as a company member of the Brooklyn-based theater company, Brave New World Repertory Theatre. Work with BNW includes staged readings and productions of The Long Christmas DinnerPrivate LivesA Doll’s HouseHotel Paradiso,  An Ideal HusbandNo ExitWild OatsThe American ClockThe Children’s Hour and Heartbreak House, among others.   She is the co-founder of Brooklyn PPD Support which helps mothers with postpartum depression and other perinatal mood disorders find resources for recovery and provides telephone support.  She is the vice president of the Prospect Park South Association which is dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the Prospect Park South, Brooklyn, NY historic district where she lives with her husband, playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, and their sons Nick and Cooper.

unnamed (1)Katie Sharrar Mattes (Treasurer) is excited to contribute to the Richmond theatre arts as a member of the Cadence Theatre Company Board. Katie’s professional experience includes nonprofit fundraising, including Maymont and Theatre IV; and marketing, corporate volunteerism and philanthropy at Capital One. Currently Katie is vice president of CityParking Inc., Richmond’s largest locally-owned parking operator. As the mother of two, Katie is passionate about access to quality arts programming and education for young people. She also enjoys the outdoors, hiking, knitting and locally produced food and drink.


A native of Richmond, Sylvia O’Brien Buniva fell in love with theater and the energy of a live performance at a young age. Having regularly attended Cadence Theatre Company performances, Sylvia is thrilled to be a member of the Board. Sylvia spent a few years as a tax attorney in private legal practice before joining Capital One’s Procurement Group. She now spends her days at Capital One, her evenings chasing her children around the house, and her Saturday nights enjoying Cadence’s latest production with her husband. Sylvia is an avid runner, enjoys volunteering in her community, and spending time with family and friends. She is delighted to spread her passion for theatre with fellow Richmonders, one Cadence production at a time.

betsyrawlesBetsy Rawles is a graduate of St. Catherine’s School and Sweet Briar College.  She has worked in the field of Information systems for more than 40 years, currently as a Computer Systems Consultant. Betsy works with clients of all sizes from individuals to global businesses.  Over the years, Betsy has served various charities on boards and as a volunteer. Notably, she was instrumental in the creation of the Richmond Animal Welfare Foundation and served as the president of its board for many years eventually aligning it with Richmond Animal Care & Control and transforming it into the current Friends of Richmond Animal Care and Control. She currently serves on the vestry of St. Mary’s Church.

Monica RawlesMonica F. Rawles (President) currently serves as an Associate Broker for Long and Foster and is a graduate of the Leadership Academy of the Richmond Association of Realtors. She was born in Pensacola, Florida and moved to Richmond in 1975. She attended Virginia Commonwealth University and graduated Summa cum Laude. She taught for six years in the Chesterfield County School System and has four children: Caitlin, Trey, Carleton and Cassie. Monica is a member of the Richmond Women’s Club and has served as a Board Member and Event Chair for The Richmond Ballet, Richmond Children’s Museum and Science Museum. She also volunteered extensively at Collegiate School and serves on the Legislative Committee for the Richmond Association of Realtors. Monica loves spending time with family and friends at her Lake Gaston home, hiking, working out, scuba diving, cooking, reading and traveling. While teaching, Monica ran a successful Wellness and Fitness business in the workplace and taught classes in several major area corporations including Dominion Virginia Power, Defense General Supply Company, and Saint Mary’s Hospital.


Lynn Schwartz is Controller in The Richmond Group USA, a 50 year old 3rd generation family owned national executive search and contract staffing  firm based in Richmond, Virginia. She is a dedicated community servant having volunteered her time in many various organizations.   Lynn is heavily engaged as member, board member and fundraiser in a wide range of community organizations including the Weinstein Jewish Community Center, having served as President, St. Mary’s Community Advisory Board, the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, IMPACT 100, Jewish Woman’s Club, Hadassah International and the Richmond Culinary Guild. She is also a member of the Leadership Metro Richmond’s Class of 2013. Lynn was born in Richmond, Virginia and a graduate of the University of Maryland with a BS in Accounting.  She is married to Jay Schwartz and they are busy with their growing family.  She enjoys travel, book groups, cultural arts and volunteering.

Beth SinnenbergElizabeth Sinnenberg has a BS in Psychology from VCU and Certificate in Cytotechnology from VCU Medical Center. Past volunteer experience includes having worked with SPARC, Nuckols Farm Elementary School and Godwin High School’s Drama Boosters. She also served on the Board of Richmond’s highly-acclaimed Stage1 Theatre Company (Chase Kniffen–Founding Artistic Director). Beth is an avid photographer and served as a photo intern with Style Weekly in 2000. She has three children: Maura, Caron and Sam.

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