Atlanta Theatre-To-Go Board of Directors
Ann Akerman Beard
Ann’s passion for helping others began as a little girl always involved in organizations that worked to make a difference including raising money for UNICEF and serving as a Brownie in her local Girl Scouts Troop. The desire to serve others grew even stronger when given the opportunity to lead a nonprofit organization as the Executive Director at the age of 25.
Ann holds an undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina (Go Gamecocks!) and Certificates in Nonprofit Management from the University of Southern California and Winthrop University. For the past 32 years, Ann has led numerous nonprofit organizations on both the east and west coasts including Ronald McDonald House of Columbia, SC and the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind Foundation.
After recently moving to Atlanta, Ann began to explore opportunities to use her years of knowledge and experience to the benefit of her new community and looks forward to being of service to the Atlanta Theatre-To-Go and supporting the mission and vision.
Ann is married to Mike Beard. She has 2 adult sons and 4 grandchildren. Ann loves the outdoors, cycling, dancing and being a member of the Silver Classix Crew (Atlanta’s original 50+ dance team).
Kara was born and raised on Long Island, New York, Kara started dancing at the age of three. She has worked with Martha Graham, American Ballet Theatre, Paul Taylor, Debbie Allen, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Broadway Dance Center to name a few.
Kara received her Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Dance and Communications from the University of Ohio, Akron. After college she went to Los Angeles where she performed as a backup dancer for upcoming artists. Kara got her big break in 2010 when she began to travel the world as the lead performer and Choreographer for Club Med; a 5 Star International Resort.
Kara has a wide range of experience performing, creating, and directing live productions as the Artistic Director overseeing the choreography, stage management, sound cabin, costume, and prop design. She has produced and performed shows in the United States, Caribbean, Bali, and China.
Kara is the Activities Director with The Holbrook of Decatur and enjoys seeking talented performers to entertainers to perform for the residents in her community.
Kara collaborated with Atlanta Theatre-To-Go to test the new “Open Air Theatre-To-Go” concept which is now an option at senior venues.
Kara is married and is a certified scuba diver.
Mary Claire Klooster
Mary Claire Klooster grew up in New Jersey and attended Rutgers University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts, with a double major of Economics & Accounting and a minor in Computer Information Systems. She also earned a Varsity Letter in Track & Field.
Mary Claire has recently earned her certification as a Strengths Strategy Coach (Clifton StrengthsFinder). www.soar.com/mcklooster which feeds her passion to empower people to reach their full potential in life.
Early in her career she worked as a Systems Analyst before moving to Atlanta with her husband. In Atlanta Mary Claire continued working as a Systems Analyst for an engineering firm until shortly after her boys were born when she realized teaching was calling. Mary Claire has taught pre-school, middle school technology and drama and continues to teach after school drama in a few schools in Cumming. When her children were young Mary Claire began to explore acting, beginning in community theater and in 2002 signed with Houghton Talent to pursue film/television/commercial and industrial gigs. https://800casting.com/Profile/78885
All these years later, Mary Claire’s passion for acting, (and her husband) haven’t faded. Thirty years married and semi-retired from teaching, Mary Claire enjoys the opportunity to act with Atlanta Theatre-To-Go and bring great joy to seniors. Inspired by her mother’s great joy and love for singing, and constant “high hopes”, Mary Claire is thrilled to be a part of the board and share in the privilege of enriching the lives of seniors.
With over 20 years’ experience in the senior living industry, Jenny has channeled her passion for the industry through leadership of teams in her communities that take ownership for delivery of an exceptional quality of life for residents, endearing relationships with families, and highly energized and enlightened staff.
While Jenny has spent many years in Georgia, she has also served as an operations leader in senior living communities in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. Jenny was certified as an Assisted Living Manager in the State of Maryland in 2010 and completed dementia care training through the Copper Ridge Institute, an affiliate of John Hopkins University.
In addition to her management experience in the senior living industry, Jenny has served on civic and cultural boards in the planning and executing of major fund-raising events and facilitation of strategic alliances within the business community. Jenny strongly feels that senior living communities need to perpetuate these alliances to provide more opportunities in which residents can engage. As a Board Member for ATTG, Jenny reaches out to decision makers in senior living companies to introduce ATTG to senior management and encourages their participation in ATTG’s programs and workshops because the arts have a direct impact on the quality of life of senior participants.
Jenny has a husband of 48 years and I has two married children, one family in Atlanta and one in Baltimore. She is a proud grandmother of four, and enjoys the times she can make meaningful memories with each of them.
Scott Ward recently retired from a retail business he owned for 27 years. During that time, he mentored five employees who went on to open their own successful businesses.
Scott’s love for theatre began in middle school and continued into high school where he acted and did stage production.
During college he had the opportunity to write, produce and be an on-air talent for National Public Radio and also did television production. After college, Scott worked in film production and then as writer/producer for radio/TV ad agencies in Atlanta and Milwaukee continuing his experience in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis working in casting and film post production.
A current member of Toastmasters, Scott won a number of contests in humorous, improv and evaluation events.
Scott served on the Board of the Chattahoochee Nature Center, is the President of his home owners association, served as Treasurer and International Director of Rotary Club, elected and served seven years on the National Franchise Advisory Council including President for the franchise I owned. Scott also served at the unit, district and council level for Boy Scouts of America.
Scott most recently worked with Atlanta Theatre-To-Go as a volunteer production assistant for Restless In Resthaven, coordinating and communicating with Alpharetta businesses to partner with ATTG and the City of Alpharetta to successfully promote their businesses and the event.
Scott lives with his beautiful bride, Carolyn, and has two adult children. He is once again pursuing his dream of acting and screenwriting in theatre and film in and around the Atlanta area.
Scott believes in the mission of ATTG and likes to make a difference in the organizations he serves.
Jeanette's passion for seniors began when she was 16 years old as a wait staff person in a local senior living facility. Fast forward 30+ years later when she found herself helping her parents navigate their decisions of moving into assisted living facilities. Spending many years and hundreds of meals sitting at the community tables with her parents and their resident friends, Jeannette noted the smiles and excitement she saw when they were treated with respect and dignity even when they were limited in their movement and activity.
Jeanette holds both her MBA and bachelor of arts degree in communication and organizational development from the University of Georgia. She had a very successful career in sales and training and has received numerous awards for excellence.
Jeanette is married and has two adult children. Jeanette is a certified Pilates and Yoga instructor and is the owner of CORE Strength.
Jeffrey Van Detta Legal Advisor
Attorney Jeffrey Van Detta is the John E. Ryan professor of international business and workplace law at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, as well as serving as the school’s associate dean. In recognition of his distinguished service to the law school, his excellence as a teacher, and the breadth and depth of his scholarship, the board of directors conferred upon him the named Chair in Law.
Jeff entered the legal field after numerous academic achievements and honors, which included election to Phi Beta Kappa at Union College of Union University. He was selected as Editor-In-Chief of the Albany Law Review at Albany Law School of Union University and was elected to the Justinian Academic Honor Society at law school.
After law school, Jeff first served as law clerk to Judge Roger J. Miner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit before entering private practice. He practiced for 12 years at the international law firm of Kilpatrick Stockton LLP in Atlanta where he was elected to the partnership and concentrated his practice in the areas of domestic and trans-national employment discrimination law, domestic and European labor law, and international business issues, representing major international corporations.
His wide experience includes serving on the faculty of numerous legal institutes in New York, Washington, D.C., and Montreal. Since 2005, he has served as a member of the Formal Advisory Opinion Board of the State Bar of Georgia.
For recreation, Jeff is an avid birder and the owner of the Wild Bird Unlimited shop on Cobb Parkway in Vinings.