Board of Directors
Robert Mayer, Jr.
Derek Blount, president
Derek Blount joined the WaterTower Theatre Board of Directors in 2006 and has served in the roles of Board Treasurer, Co-Chair of The Corporate Council, Board Vice President and in September 2010, was elected President of the Board of Directors. He was re-elected as Board President in 2011 and 2012.
Professionally, Derek serves as Area President for Sovereign Bank, a Dallas-based financial institution and past corporate sponsor of WaterTower Theatre’s annual fundraising gala. In his role with the bank, Derek focuses on corporate banking, including commercial real estate lending, mergers and acquisitions, equipment financing and working capital loans.
Founded in 2004, Sovereign Bank has grown to nearly a billion dollars in assets with banking operations throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Austin and Houston.
Derek’s professional experience prior to Sovereign Bank includes corporate lending roles with international banking syndicate Credit Lyonnais (now Credit Agricole) and helping establish the Dallas commercial banking division for Hibernia Bank (now CapitalOne Bank). Derek began his banking career with JPMorganChase through completion of their executive training program and later serving as a commercial banking officer.
A Texas native, Derek received both his B.B.A. in Finance and his M.S. in Marketing from Texas A&M University. Derek is an active member of American MENSA, an enthusiastic traveler and an avid runner.
Derek was married in June 2011 to Bethany Harrison. They have a four-month-old son named Harrison Neil.
Terry Martin, producing artistic director
Multi-award winning Director Terry Martin is starting his 13th season as Producing Artistic Director of WaterTower Theatre where he has overseen over 65 productions. Some of his 33 directing credits at WTT include Our Town, The Full Monty, As You Like It, Almost, Maine, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Man of La Mancha, Humble Boy, The Crucible, Take Me Out, A Country Life (which he adapted from Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya and which won the 2005 Rabin Award – Best New Play), Cabaret, It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues, Company, An Inspector Calls, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Laramie Project, You Can't Take It With You, Book of Days, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (2002 Rabin Award – Director of a Play), Sweeney Todd (2002 Rabin Award Nomination – Director of a Musical), Desire Under the Elms, Ravenscroft, Rockin’ Christmas Party (2000, 2001), Enter the Guardsman (2001 Rabin Award Nomination – Director of a Musical), Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill and Little Shop of Horrors (2000 Rabin Award Nomination – Director of a Musical) among others. For Plano Repertory Theatre, he has directed Journey’s End (2000 Rabin Award – Director of a Play), Dracula, La Bête, Little Shop of Horrors and Pump Boys and Dinettes. Terry was named "Best Theater Director" in the Dallas Observer's "Best of Dallas 2002." He has appeared on stage at WTT in Blackbird, Woman in Black, Dinner with Friends, The Guys, Bash: Latterday Plays (2002 Rabin Award Nomination - Actor in a Play) and at PRT in The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me… (1998 Rabin Award – Actor in a Play, 1998 Dallas Theater Critics Forum Award), The Woman in Black (2000 Rabin Award Nomination – Actor in a Play), and Lonely Planet. Other area local stage credits include Sight Unseen for New Theatre Company and Lost in Yonkers and Lips Together, Teeth Apart (1997 Dallas Observer Best Actor) for Stage West. After growing up in south Alabama, Terry spent 12 years in New York City working in theatre, television and film. While there, he directed and acted at The Village Theatre Company, Carnegie Hall Studios and Theatre at St. Marks as well as television appearances on ABC’s One Life to Live and NBC’s To Serve and Protect. He holds a BFA from the University of Alabama and has trained professionally with Sanford Meisner, Fred Kareman, Wynn Handman, Sally Johnson and Lehmann Byck. Terry presently teaches on-going acting classes in the Sanford Meisner Technique at WTT, as well as having served as Adjunct Professor of Acting at the University of Texas at Dallas.
John Ackley, vice president
John Ackley (Vice President, WaterTower Theatre) joined WaterTower Theatre's Board of Directors last year and in 2010 was appointed Vice President of the Board. His firm, Ackley Financial Group/Armor Wealth Management is a member of WaterTower Theatre's Corporate Council.
John has been in the insurance business for more than 30 years. He is the 25-time recipient of the National Management Award. He is also the past president of the Dallas General Agents and Managers Association, and has served on committees of the Dallas Association of Life Underwriters, and the Dallas CLU Chapter.
Ackley Financial Group Inc., was founded in 1980. John is its Chief Executive Officer and owner. The company changed its name to Ackley Financial Group/Armor Wealth Management in 2011.
Community service is an important part of John's life. He spearheads fund-raising for the Boy Scouts of America -- Circle Ten Council. John's leadership positions have included Past President of Bent Tree Country Club, a member of the Bishop Lynch High School Advisory Board, Sovereign Bank Advisory Board member, and WaterTower Theatre Board member.
Buddy Frazer, secretary
Buddy Frazer (Secretary, WaterTower Theatre) was born in Dallas and has lived all of his life in Texas. Most of his school years were spent in Lubbock where he graduated from Texas Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He returned to the Dallas area in 1969 to work for Texas Instruments as an electrical engineer, project manager, and international marketing representative. During his 27-years there he traveled extensively in Europe, Scandinavia, Asia and the Middle East. After leaving Texas Instruments he spent three years as Director of Programs for the Dallas office of the Camber Corporation. There he oversaw the development of software for aircraft flight simulators.
He left Camber in 2001 to start his own video production company. He produces videos for corporate clients covering marketing, product promotion, training, award ceremonies, and conventions. He videotapes theatrical productions, memorial services, reunions and oral histories. He has also spoken to groups on documenting their history, and has produced historical videos for the Dallas Historical Society and other organizations. He has been honored with several awards for outstanding corporate and historical videos by the Dallas-Fort Worth Professional Videographers Association.
After moving to the Dallas suburb of Addison in 1980, he became involved in civic activities. He has served as president of his homeowners association, started a neighborhood crime watch program, and was a member of a committee charged with issuing industrial revenue bonds for development at Addison Airport. He served on the Addison Planning & Zoning Commission from 1983-1984 and again from 1998-2002. The last two of those years he served as Chairman. In 2001 he served as a member of the Addison Thoroughfare Plan committee.
He became a member of the Board of Directors of WaterTower Theatre in 1997, where he served as Vice President from 1998-2000 and President from 2000-2003. He currently is a member of the Theatre’s Board of Directors. He was appointed to the Dallas County Historical Commission in 1999, and served as its Chairman from 2003 to January 2007. The Historical Commission grants the first approval for State of Texas Historical Markers, and its members are appointed by the County Commissioners Court. During his term he published the Commission’s quarterly newsletter and maintained its website. As a part of his duties as Chairman, he served on the Board of Directors of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.
Katie Myatt, Treasurer
Katie Myatt (Treasurer, WaterTower Theatre) is a Private Wealth Advisor at Goldman Sachs. In this role, she provides investment advisory services to wealthy individuals, families and foundations. Katie joined Goldman Sachs in 2010 after spending six years in the industry at J.P. Morgan. While at J.P. Morgan, Katie was one of seven individuals to participate in the firm’s Scholar Program, where she spent time working in several areas throughout the firm, including FX Trading, Commercial Real Estate, Business Banking and Private Wealth Management. She graduated magna cum laude with a BBA from the University of Notre Dame and received her MBA from Northwestern University, where she attended the Kellogg School of Management.
Maureen Anderson is a prominent Addison resident and has served on a number of civic and volunteer organizations locally including the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce. She has been in the real estate industry for more than 20 years, many of them associated with Ebby Halliday Realtors, and has achieved top accreditations as a real estate and marketing professional including her CRS, ABS and SRES certifications. Born in India, she lived in London and studied in Heidelberg, Germany, obtaining her Bachelor of Arts degree, before coming to the United States. Maureen brings extensive sales and marketing experience to the Board as well as public relations and event planning. Maureen is a charter member of Women of WaterTower Theatre (WOW!) and serves on both the WOW! and Spotlight Gala Steering Committees.
Barbara Bigham joined the WaterTower Theatre Board in 2008. She has established a distinguished record of high achievement working with a significant number of leading non-profit organizations both nationally and locally. Her leadership skills and fundraising acumen have been successfully applied to such organizations at The National Kidney Foundation of Texas, Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, the American Heart Association, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Opera, the Holocaust Museum, TACA, University of Texas at Dallas, U.S.A. Film Festival, the SPCA, Dallas Theater Center, andLesFemmesduMonde.
Barbara currently serves on the Board of Directors for TACA. She has served on the Boards of the University of Texas at Dallas, The 500 Inc., and the Dallas Council on World Affairs and recently asPresident of the Dallas Museum of Art League.
She has made an indelible impression on the Dallas scene as one of the City’s fiercest fundraising volunteers, having successfully led such renowned events as Women of The Year honoring First Lady Laura Bush (Chair), the U.S.A. Film Festival (Chair) honoring the late Audrey Hepburn, the Dallas Opera Sweetheart Ball, SPCA Gala at The Mansion, American Heart Association (Chair) Style Show & Luncheon, Humanity Gala (Honorary Chair) for the Holocaust Museum, and Concours D’Elegance benefitting the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (Chair).
April Bosworth graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in Theatrical Costume Design. After graduation, April started and ran a successful commercial and new construction cleaning company for six years. April also opened and managed a stationary store and printing company for 14 years, which led to the creation of numerous product lines sold nationally. April later sold that company and opened a remodeling and decorating business, which planned and executed a wide range of events from weddings to large corporate functions. She is a well-known fundraising professional, having managed successful gala events for such organizations as Catholic Charities, Dallas Summer Musicals and WaterTower Theatre.
Anita Braun joined the WaterTower Theatre Board of Directors in 2006 and is serving as Co-Chair of the annual Spotlight Gala for the third time. Her commitment to the WaterTower Theatre began as a volunteer, and she was soon approached to accept a seat on the board, to which she happily agreed. She is also a member of WOW (Women of WaterTower).
As a long-time resident of Addison, Anita and her husband Tom have been very active in their local community. She is a graduate of the Town of Addison Citizen’s Academy, and is a contributor to the Addison Arbor Foundation. Her interests in general construction, green building initiatives and concern for sustainable, environmentally responsible planning and construction practices led her to study and pass the accreditation exam to achieve LEED AP (Accredited Professional). She is a member of the USGBC (US Green Building Council) and a member of WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council).
Anita currently owns and operates an interior decor business, Ambiance Art and Interiors. She held the position of Vice President with Artful Corporate Interiors for the past six years. Other corporate experience includes Director of Design Development with an award-winning garment manufacturer for over 10 years, and Operation Management with a temporary personnel and employment agency. Her background also includes Merchandise Analysis and Group Sales Management for a large flagship retail store.
In addition to supporting the performing arts in North Texas, Anita has served in various volunteer leadership positions for the March of Dimes and The United Way. She has also raised funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the North Texas Food Bank, in addition to various educational and church organizations.
She graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Clothing and Textiles, Fashion Design.
Ben Cunningham is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Capital Bank in Addison. Ben started organizing the bank in September 2007 and received the charter approval in June 2008. The bank opened its doors on September 15, 2008. Liberty Capital Bank is located in Addison and serves the needs of small business owners and individuals who desire a high-level of relationship banking. Ben’s connection to the Watertower Theatre dates back to the late 70’s when it was the Addison Community Theatre and he even served as their Treasurer.
Ben has his undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Texas at Dallas and is a graduate of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at SMU in Dallas. He started his banking career in Dallas in 1973. Prior to starting Liberty Capital Bank in 2008 he spent 18-years with Compass Bank as a Line of Business Manager in the Corporate Banking division. He was one of only 2 managers in the Dallas corporate bank to participate in Compass’ leadership development program at their home office. Ben became very involved in the north Dallas / Addison area and is past Chairman of the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce and the past president of the Addison Business Association. He’s also a 21-year member of the Carrollton / Farmers Branch Rotary Club where he currently serves as Secretary. In addition to his involvement in the business community, he is also well connected with Trinity Christian Academy where his 3 children attended and his wife and daughter now teach.
Ben has been married to Patty Cunningham since 1974. He is active in his church where he’s attended for 34 years and has served on the elder board, chairman of the Finance Committee and is presently chairman of the church’s defined benefit plan’s Board of Trustees. He serves as a mentor to young men in the church and currently works in the Special Needs ministry for kids with a disability. He also helps with the annual deacon development program for new deacons. Ben and his wife are actively involved with the Joni and Friends organization and volunteer their time each summer to serve at JAF’s family camp for the disabled. Ben also serves on the local board. Ben is the recipient of the Golden Eagle Award from the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce, an award rarely given to individuals who exhibit the highest level of integrity and standing in the community. Ben is also a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow. Ben joined the WaterTower Theatre Board of Directors in 2010.
Barbara Daseke is the owner of Barbara Elliott Interiors and, with her husband Don, has been a long-time resident of Addison. She is one of the most dynamic non-profit fundraisers in North Texas, having served most recently as the Chair of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s AT&T Gala and has worked on many other fundraising events for organizations such as the Dallas Museum of Art, Southern Methodist University and TACA. Last year, she served as Co-Chair, with Anita Braun, of WaterTower Theatre’s 2011 Spotlight Gala and is the Chair of the 2012 Spotlight Gala. Barbara currently serves on the Boards of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, TACA and SMU Meadows School of the Arts. Barbara is a charter member of WOW! and also serves on its Steering Committee.
Elizabeth Fratantuono (Chair, WaterTower Theatre Strategic Planning Committee) is an IT executive who most recently was a client service partner with Clarkson Consulting. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of WaterTower Theatre for the past two years. This year she served as Chair of the Board’s Strategic Planning Committee.
Stan Graner graduated from Texas Wesleyan University with a Bachelor degree in Music and immediately began work as a professional actor. In addition to working as an actor, Stan has had several of his children’s musicals published and has had his musical arrangements performed by The Turtle Creek Chorale in the Meyerson Symphony Center. He is a six-time winner of the Column Awards and was named one of the Best Male Performers in 2010 by arts critic Alexandra Bonifield. He served as Vice President of the Turtle Creek Chorale from 1992-1994. Stan has performed in a number of plays at WaterTower Theatre, most recently in The Diary of Anne of Frank and August: Osage County. This year, Stan was awarded a Dallas-Fort Worth Critics Forum Award for August: Osage County.
Jeanne Hooker is Manager, Public Affairs for Atmos Energy. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M Commerce. Jeanne is a past Board member of the CFBISD Education Foundation, a current Board member of MetroCrest Medical Foundation, the Addison Business Association, the Richardson Symphony Orchestra, Neighborhood Youth and Family Services and New Beginnings. She is currently the Chairman of the Board of the Richardson Chamber. Jeanne is also actively serves on the chamber boards of Lewisville, Farmers Branch and Garland. Jeanne joined the WaterTower Theatre Board of Directors in 2010.
Alan Hunn is General Counsel for Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation and Director and Assistant General Counsel for Nissan North America, Inc. Alan is also the Corporate Secretary for Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation and holds various officer and board positions for Nissan affiliates in the United States. Alan, a sixth-generation Texan, holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas and a Jurisdoctorate from the Texas Tech University School of law. He and his wife Linda have been longtime subscribers to WaterTower Theatre and underwriters for our Spotlight Gala.
Robert Mayer, Jr.
Robert Mayer, Jr., is a native of Dallas, attended public schools here and graduated from Harvard College. He served in World War II as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He returned to Texas and worked as a geophysicist before starting his company, Well Reconnaissance. Later that company became part of Gearhart Industries, where Bob was Vice President, Technology. He had leadership roles in political activity and in a number of scientific and technical organizations. He has been active in Addison since moving his company there in 1974. He joined the Addison Business Association shortly after its formation and served for many years on its Board. Bob’s late wife of 47 years, Elli, was an actress and appeared in many plays in Dallas. Upon retirement, Bob has served on the Boards of the WaterTower Theatre, the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and Dedman College, SMU.
Robert L. (Larry) McCallum
Robert L. (Larry) McCallum was born in Dallas County. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas in 1966 and his Doctorate from Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1969. A member of the Dallas Bar and Texas Bar Associations, Larry has served as Prosecutor in the Addison Municipal Court since 1974 and also served as the Attorney for the City of Addison from 1974-1991.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of WaterTower Theatre where he was honored with the CJ Webster Award. He has always been very active in the community where he helped establish the Addison Police & Firefighters Relief Committee, the Addison Community Theatre, the Women’s Charity Organization of the Metrocrest, the Lone Star Rodeo Association, and the North Texas Basset Hound Rescue.
Jimmy Niemann, a licensed attorney, started as a computer programmer for EDS and then moved into IT Leadership. Jimmy started a market research company, helped start e-Rewards, and an online advertising channel, e-Miles. Jimmy has served on Addison’s planning and zoning committee as well as on the Town of Addison City Council as a Council Member for six years.
Karol Omlor (Co-Founding Co-Chair, Women of WaterTower Theatre) has been actively involved in the Dallas community as an arts leader and advocate for more than 24 years. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of WaterTower Theatre since 2005 and currently is Co-Chair of WTT’s Women of WaterTower (WOW!). She has held leadership positions on the Boards of Directors for such organizations as TACA (board member for 14 years), Dallas Summer Musicals and Dallas Theater Center. She served as President of Dallas Theater Center’s Guild in 1994-1995. She currently serves as Vice-President – Programs for TACA. In 2005, Karol’s distinguished service to the arts and to her community was recognized with the Dallas Theater Center Lifetime Achievement Volunteer Award. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Masters of Educational Leadership, and for many years taught English and Spanish in the Dallas area.
at the Addison Theatre Centre
15650 Addison Road
Addison, Texas 75001