Board

Violette Jacobson (Chair) resides in the Washington, DC, area and originally became involved with No Rules Theatre Company (NRTC) as a member of the former Advisory Council. Violette, and her husband Peter, provided strategic and marketing support prior to her accepting the Board Chair position in July 2013. She is excited to lead the theatre company through its next phase of growth in Winston-Salem, NC, and Washington. During her 25-year Postal Service career, Violette has held various marketing leadership roles collaborating to achieve significant business growth results. In 2006, Violette earned her doctorate degree at The George Washington University in Human and Organizational Studies. Violette also serves as Communications Co-Chair for Executive Women in Government (EWG). Violette Jacobson
Anne S. Kohn currently serves as the Associate Managing Director for Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC. She received her MFA in Performing Arts Management from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) where she, Joshua Morgan, and Brian Sutow founded No Rules Theatre Company. She increased the company’s operating budget by over 100% in her three years as Producing Director while establishing NRTC as one of the countries few dual city theatre companies. In addition to her time in Washington, DC and Winston-Salem, NC, Anne has held positions with Cleveland Opera, Great Lakes Theater Festival, and Ingenuity: Cleveland’s Festival of Art and Technology. Anne-Kohn
Arts and entertainment management professional Brannon Wiles spent several years of his career providing business affairs consulting to for profit and non-profit theater ventures. He earned his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, where he studied as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He obtained an M.F.A. in Theatre Management and Producing from the Columbia University School of the Arts, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Columbia-V.L.A. Journal of Law & the Arts and President of the Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Society. His professional resume includes work with MBW Entertainment, the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Snug Harbor Productions, the New York Stage & Film Company, Robert Cole Productions, the Kathryn Bache Miller Theatre and the Dramatists Guild of America. Wiles recently licensed regional productions of Woody Sez, a new theatrical work celebrating the life and music of Woody Guthrie. He has producing credit on the Broadway revivals of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever starring Harry Connick, Jr. (2011-2012) and That Championship Season starring Kiefer Sutherland, Chris Noth, Jason Patric, Brian Cox and Jim Gaffigan (2010-2011) and several other Broadway and Off-Broadway general management credits, including the Tony Award-winning Elaine Stritch at Liberty and Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash. Wiles has overseen programming for six venues, ranging in size from 170 to 2,100 seats, with a focus on booking and negotiating agreements for concerts, comedy and dance, and has managed rentals departments and maintained relationships with several resident arts organizations as well as local co-promoters. His areas of specialty include producing for commercial theatre, law and the arts, contract negotiation, labor relations, budgeting and company management. branon
Brian Sutow is a professional actor and writer, as well as the former Producing Artistic Director of NRTC. During his time as part of the leadership of No Rules he helped to produce over a dozen mainstage shows and also appeared in Some Girl(s), Duets, Assembly Required, Suicide Incorporated, and Black Comedy. Outside of No Rules, Brian has been seen onstage and on tour with The Kennedy Center as well as with many wonderful companies in his hometown of Chicago. An award winning writer, he served as the 2011-2012 Kennedy Center Playwright in Residence, was a 2012 O'Neill Visiting Playwright Fellow, and has seen his original works read and developed across the US. He currently lives in the Chicago-land area with his wife and his dog. Brian is a very proud graduate of UNCSA. Brian Sutow
Howard N. Menaker worked for 18 years designing and implementing media relations, government affairs, and community outreach programs as a senior public affairs manager with Bechtel, the world’s largest construction and engineering company. His work included USAID projects in Central and Eastern Europe, South America and Iraq, and public and private projects in dozens of US communities. Howard also served as Bechtel’s liaison to the U.S. Conference of Mayors and National Governors’ Association for over 10 years. Before joining Bechtel, Menaker was General Counsel and lobbyist for numerous national trade associations, Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee's Business Council, and an attorney in private practice. Howard now divides his time between Washington, DC and Rehoboth Beach, DE, working as a public affairs consultant for non-profit organizations and serving as a wedding officiant for Delaware couples. Howard Menaker 7
Upon retiring in January 2004 as the Editorial Page Editor of the Winston-Salem Journal, John Gates inadvertently began a second career as a community volunteer. He majored in arts support with a minor in Social services. His first love was and remains the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), where he and his wife, Susie, are Co-Chairs of the Giannini Society and Members of the school’s Board of Visitors and is the Chairman of the Nominating Committee. Recently he joined the Advisory Council of the Winston-Salem Youth Chorus and is on the Board of Directors for No Rules Theater Co. Having spent all but five years of his life above the Mason-Dixon line, he and his family moved to Winston-Salem in June of 1977 and became “damn Yankees,” northerners who came south and never looked back. John Gates
Mike Britt is Executive Director of The Centers for Exceptional Children. Mike has been extensively involved in community activities, including Leadership Winston-Salem and Leadership Triad, the United Way, Smart Start of Forsyth County, The Arts Council, The Mental Health Association, Carolina Chamber Symphony, and Planned Parenthood of the Triad. He is a long-time supporter and patron of UNCSA and has been involved with No Rules Theatre since its early days. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of IMPRINTS for Children. He is Past-President of the Board of Directors of AIDS Care Services, of Carolina Chamber Symphony, and of Planned Parenthood. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Winston-Salem. Mike is the father of two sons Matthew (age 35 and married to the former Joana Pubantz) and Andrew (age 26 and married to the former Meredith Frasier). Matt and Joanna are the parents of Mike’s granddaughters Nora 5 and Noelle 2. Mike Britt
Myles C. Thompson is the publisher of Columbia Business School Publishing having founded the imprint in 2007 at Columbia University Press in collaboration with Columbia Business School. Prior to joining CUP, he founded and was CEO of Texere LLC and Texere Publishing Ltd., a global non-fiction publisher in finance, business and technology and was previously the publisher of the finance and investment program at John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Some of the authors he has had the honor of publishing are Peter L. Bernstein, Michael R. Bloomberg, Howard Marks, George Soros, Joseph E. Stiglitz and Nassim N. Taleb. Myles has holds a MA in Anglo-Irish Literature from the National University of Ireland, Dublin Ireland. He serves on the board of directors for both RiverRun International Film Festival and the No Rules Theatre Company, and the Board of Visitors of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He is married to Liana (Lee) Thompson. They divide their time between Winston Salem, North Carolina, Washington, D.C. and New York City. Naturally caffeinated, he loves to read, learn, travel and laugh. Myles C Thompson
Sandra Romanacretired from Abbot Downing, a Wells Fargo Company, after more than thirteen years in client administration. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Arts Management from Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC, has served on the Salem College Alumnae Board and volunteered with the University of North Carolina School of the Arts as well as several other arts organizations. Sandy makes her home in Winston-Salem, NC. Sandra Romanac
Siobhan O’Brien Olson,principal of Feisty PR, has more than 20 years of experience in developing award-winning integrated marketing communications campaigns for worldwide consumer and business-to-business brands. Her expertise covers the health care, pharmaceutical, consumer products, packaged goods, financial, transportation, association, non-profit and sporting industries. She is nationally known for her ability to transform tired brands, catapult the launch of new products, motivate action and inspire loyalty for companies and products through the use of non-traditional marketing techniques in the areas of public relations, social media, events, publishing, online and experiential marketing. Her deep business knowledge and strategic capabilities have allowed her to help companies recover from crises such as airline hijackings, packaging failures, and urban myths to regain positive public perceptions. She pioneered communications research and measurement programs that have been used as best-of-industry examples in the marketing communications field. A winner of numerous awards, including Effies, Anvils, Quills, Mercuries, Clarions, CIPRAs, and Bulldogs, she is a frequent speaker at national conferences and universities. She has lent her expertise to many national and local boards of directors and currently serves with No Rules Theatre Company and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. She was the recipient of the 2010 Volunteer of the Year Award from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County for co-chairing the opening of the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts and for the rebranding of the City of Winston-Salem as the “City of Arts & Innovation.” Siobhan Olson