Board of Trustees
Florida Studio Theatre is a contemporary theatre that is actively involved in the creation of new plays. As such, it requires a governing structure that can respond quickly to change. FST’s closely connected Board of Trustees is flexible, responsible and committed to building real relationships between Board members and the FST staff. This directly supports the mercurial nature of new play development and production. FST’s Board of Trustees is composed of ten members who are highly active, committed and critically involved. The primary function of the Board is the fiduciary responsibility of the theatre. The Board supports the Artistic Director, who supports the staff in bringing FST’s mission to fruition.
President | Dennis McGillicuddy
Vice-President | Richard Hopkins
Secretary/Treasurer | Jennifer Michell
Trustee | Gaele Barthold
Trustee | Carol Poteat Buchanan
Trustee | Georgia Court
Trustee | Patricia Courtois
Trustee | Jeff Hotchkiss
Trustee | Barbara J. Lupoff
Trustee | Judge Charles E. Williams
DENNIS MCGILLICUDDY – PRESIDENT | Dennis McGillicuddy retired from the cable television business in 1999. He currently serves on the board of Franklin Street Properties, a publicly traded REIT. His charitable activities include serving as a Co-Chair of Embracing Our Differences, an annual 2 month long Art Exhibit promoting the values of diversity and inclusion. He also serves on the board of The National Anti-Bullying Project, a premiere concert-based program dedicated to empowering students, teachers and other school personnel to eliminate physical and emotional bullying. Mr. McGillicuddy also sits on the advisory board of The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare & Society.
RICHARD HOPKINS – VICE PRESIDENT | Artistic Director of Florida Studio Theatre. Founder and Producing Director of Palisades Theatre Company, renamed American Stage in St. Petersburg, Florida. Past President of the Florida Professional Theatre Association. Past Board Member of Florida Cultural Action Alliance. Has served on the theatre panel for the Florida Arts Council.
Jennifer Michell – SECRETARY / TREASURER | Retired Certified Financial Planner. Board of Trustees State College of Florida (1999-2012) .Board of Directors State College of Florida Foundation (2012-current). Past President Board of Directors, Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center, Inc. of Sarasota; Past Member of Board of Directors, Girls Incorporated of Sarasota County; Past Vice President, International Racquet Sports Association. Past President, Chicagoland Racquetball Association.
GAELE BARTHOLD - TRUSTEE | Gaele Barthold is a retired attorney whose practice specialization was appellate argument and appellate litigation. As the Philadelphia Deputy District Attorney for Law, a Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney and a member of Cozen O’Connor, she argued and litigated many cases before the United States Supreme Court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and numerous federal and state appellate courts. Her law related activities included, chairing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Appellate Courts Procedural Rules Committee, serving on various other Supreme and Superior Court Advisory Committees, sitting on the Philadelphia Bar Association Board of Governors, and serving as a Pennsylvania Deputy Insurance Commissioner. Mrs. Barthold was the recipient of the National District Attorney’s award for outstanding legislative work during the 101st Congress. Currently she is Chair and a longtime member of the Longboat Key Zoning Board of Adjustment. She has also served as a board member and co-chair of the former Longboat Key Public Interest Committee and as President of the Longboat Key Estates Homeowners’ Association.
CAROL BUCHANAN – TRUSTEE | Retired Educational Administrator, NYC Public Schools; Co-Chair, Embracing Our Differences and Women Ambassadors for Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County; Vice President and Business Manager, Gulf Coast Community Choir; Board Member, Florida Studio Theatre; Past Vice President and Board Member, Planned Parenthood of SW and Central Florida; Advisory Board, West Coast Black Theatre; Life Member National Council of Negro Women, NAACP and Florida Suncoast Chapter of the Society, Inc.; Past President and member, Sarasota Women’s Forum, the US National Committee for UNWomen and the Gulf Coast Chapter of the International Women’s Forum; Member, Manasota Chapter, Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Friendship Force and Retired Peace Corps Volunteers of Gulf Coast Florida.
GEORGIA COURT – TRUSTEE | Georgia Court, Owner of Bookstore1Sarasota. General partner, Court Investment Company LTD. Retired instructor of English Composition at the University of Cincinnati. In 1990’s wrote regular columns on healthcare for the daily Cincinnati Post and published a weekly newspaper for healthcare professionals. In 1980’s ran a small public relations firm that specialized in production and satellite distribution of corporate events. In 1970’s worked for IBM as a systems engineer. Past member of advisory board, Children’s Hospital of Cincinnati. Former board member and president of Chautauqua Institution’s (New York) Writers’ Center and its advisory group. Founder of PoetryLife annual festival in Sarasota.
PATRICIA COURTOIS – TRUSTEE | President, CEO & Principal/ C-Suite Communications, a brand communications firm located in Sarasota, FL. Patricia’s experience includes brand strategy and development, media relations, special events, community relations and corporate philanthropy for companies and brands including Beatrice Foods, ClosetMaid, Remington, Sara Lee, Tropicana, Sweet ’N Low, Butter Buds, Sugar in the Raw, and Mary Kay. She serves on the boards of the EDC of Sarasota County, Senior Friendship Centers, Doctors Hospital and Florida Studio Theatre. She also chairs the Sarasota Development Council of Southeastern Guide Dogs and sits on the Marketing Committee of All Faiths Food Bank. Her past board and leadership positions include: board member of the Community Foundation of Sarasota, member of the Sarasota County Tourism and Economic Development Board, past chair of the Leadership Council of the United Way Women’s Initiative, former board member of the Sarasota County Arts Council, the Literacy Council of Sarasota and past president of the Sarasota Sunrise Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association.
JEFF HOTCHKISS - TRUSTEE | Retired President of Teradyne Inc., a Boston based manufacturer of systems for the testing of electronic products. During his career at Teradyne, Jeff has held roles in various sales, marketing, and division management positions, including Chief Financial Officer from 1997-1999. Retired from Teradyne in July of 2012. Currently on the Board of Overseers for the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and serves on the Research Oversight Committee. He is also on the board of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) New England Chapter and the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota. He has previously served on the board of numerous high tech start-ups in the Boston area including, Empirix, Goldwire Technology, Hammer Technology, and RSW Software
BARBARA J. LUPOFF – TRUSTEE | Retired public school librarian in New York, former bookmobile librarian at Selby Library in Sarasota, past member of the Sarasota Arts Council's Grants Panel, past member of Board of Directors at Asolo Theater, past President of the Board of Directors of the Women's Resource Center of Sarasota County, former member of the Board of Directors of the Family Law Connection; also currently serves on the Education Task Force of the Sarasota County Arts Council and is Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Family & Children's Service of Sarasota-Manatee.
JUDGE CHARLES E. WILLIAMS - TRUSTEE | Judge Charles E. Williams was born in North Carolina, raised in St. Petersburg, Florida and graduated from Howard University in Washington D.C.; He earned his law degree from the University of Florida. He is the Chief Judge of the 12th Judicial Circuit which includes Sarasota, Manatee and Desoto Counties, Florida. His past awards include the Community Service Award from the Manatee County Bar Association, and the Manatee County NAACP Public Service Award. He is a recipient of the Sarasota County NAACP 2014 Public Service Award and also the recipient of the Sarasota County Branch NAACP’s 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the recipient of the C.L. McKaig Award, presented by the Sarasota County Bar Association in recognition and appreciation of his tireless dedication to promoting the ideals of equality, justice, and professionalism. Judge Williams has been elected by his fellow judges to serve as Chief Judge for the 12th Judicial Circuit. In 2017 he joined the board of Embracing Our Differences.