SARASOTA, FL – The Circus Arts Conservatory (CAC) is proud to name its 2022-2023 Board of Directors. Shari Ashman, who has served on the Board since 2020, is the new chair of the board – the first woman to serve in this role in the CAC’s 25-year history. Board members are: Barton Lowther (immediate past chair), Michael Salmon (vice chair), Jack Brown (treasurer), Deborah Walk (organizational secretary), Julie A. Harris, Donald Malawsky, Barb Tye, Pedro Reis (founder/CEO), and Dolly Jacobs-Reis (ex-officio member).
Ashman worked in the administration of the University of Miami and also taught “Starting Your Own Business” and “Direct Mail Marketing” as non-credit courses at both the University of Miami and Florida International University. She started, ran and sold several direct mail marketing businesses from 1978 through 1998 in Miami and Washington, D.C. She and her husband, Stephen, moved to Sarasota in 2014 and became supporters of – and believers in – the CAC shortly thereafter.
The board comprises individuals with diverse areas of expertise and passions, including marketing, education, fundraising, entrepreneurship, legal, and philanthropy. Their range of knowledge and experience will be crucial in the coming year, as the CAC focuses on: the continued expansion and funding for CAC’s first-of-its-kind in the nation Circus Magnet Programs, which provide a unique circus arts educational curriculum and training to Booker Middle School and Sarasota High School students; the official development of Circus Arts Youth Post-Secondary Education, in collaboration with institutions of higher learning, with the goal of establishing the CAC as a premier international pre-professional and professional training center; planning for an enhanced entrance and plaza on Bahia Vista Street for the recently-renovated Sailor Circus Arena, as a lead-up to the future buildout of the CAC’s entire two-acre campus; and the enlistment of additional board leadership and community support focusing on the CAC’s continued efforts on behalf of inclusion, diversity, equity and access to the circus arts.
Additionally this season, the CAC will celebrate its milestone 25th anniversary year.
“I have been proud to support this fine organization for many years now, particularly due to its commitment to preserving the history and prestige of this special art form through professional performances, youth education and training, and legacy activities,” said Ashman. “I am honored to have been entrusted as a leader of the Circus Arts Conservatory and look forward to supporting its mission in the year to come.”
To learn more about the CAC, visit circusarts.org.
About The Circus Arts Conservatory
The Circus Arts Conservatory, located in Sarasota, Fla., is home to world-class performances, excellence in training the circus arts, and community-based outreach programs. The organization was born from decades of circus history and today serves as a legacy to those that have set the standards for international circus artistry and education. The Circus Arts Conservatory is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Visit CircusArts.org for more information.