Board of Directors
Cynthia Word, Artistic Director Cynthia Word is the Founder and Artistic Director of Word Dance Theater. Born and raised in Abilene, Texas, Ms. Word began her Modern Dance training at the University of Illinois with choreographers Beverly Blossom, Chester Wolenski, Mary Anthony, and Sarah Rudner. She later received her Master in Fine Arts from The George Washington University, where she served on the teaching faculty. She serves as a Dance Education Consultant with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Based in Washington, DC, Ms. Word has created six major dance/theater productions. In 2005, Dance/MetroDC nominated her for “Best Emerging Choreographer” award for States of Mind. In addition to her dance/theater productions, Word has performed in Austria, England, Scotland and Iran. Most recently she toured Greece with the Isadora Duncan International Institute. Cynthia is the proud recipient of the Maria Theresa Duncan Award for achievement in the field of Dance.
Ingrid Zimmer, Associate Director
Rhonda Anderson-Speight, Past-President
Margaret Johnson, President Margaret Johnson is an Emmy-nominated picture researcher and illustrations editor for documentaries, books, and exhibitions. Prior to starting mmj research in 1990 she worked in secondary and higher education. She has an M.A. in Education and Human Development from George Washington University and a B.S. from the University of Texas, Austin.
In the early 1970s Margaret dabbled in modern dance but gave up dance for other pursuits. Through a serendipitous suggestion of a friend in 2006, Margaret took her first Duncan technique class. Since then she has studied with Cynthia Word, Ingrid Zimmer, Valerie Durham and Jeanne Bresciani.
Stacy Yu, Vice President & Director of Communications Stacy Yu is the Chief Marketing Strategist at Hearthstone Planners, LLC – a marketing consulting company serving small businesses and non-profits in the Washington, DC area. Prior to her work at Hearthstone Planners, she worked at Hewlett-Packard and it’s spin-off, Agilent Technologies in San Jose, California. There, she served as a worldwide product marketing manager for Fiber Optic technologies, developing business plans, new product launch strategies, marketing communication strategies, and sales training & development strategies for multiple product lines. Stacy holds a B.S in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, and an Associate Degree in Hospitality and Restaurant Management from Le Cordon Bleu North America. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for MCCPTA-EPI, a non-profit organization that offers high-quality and affordable science and foreign language afterschool programs for children and youth in Mongomery County, Maryland.
Debrah Shaver, Treasurer Debrah Shaver owns Lifestyle Solutions®, LLC, a life management company dedicated to organizing people, money, places and things. Prior to starting her company 18 years ago, Debrah was a corporate communications manager for Verizon and an events planner for a medical association. Debrah graduated from West Virginia University with a degree in journalism and public relations. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and the American Association of Daily Money Managers. She has served as president of Word Dance Theatre, and treasurer of the Bradley House Condominium Association. She has also served on the boards of NAPO and the West Virginia University Alumni Association.
Heidi Sung, Secretary Heidi is a project manager with Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia Research Center. Her previous work is wide ranging, from project management at a high-tech start up to community relations for the National Institutes of Health. The common thread is her ability to manage large projects and her above average writing skills. She has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and a Masters Degree in Urban Planning. She also volunteers with Lab Rescue and “Pets on Wheels”, an organization that brings pets to nursing homes.
Roshanak Ameli-Tehrani, Director of Fundraising Roshanak Ameli-Tehrani is a business consultant specializing in economic development and environmental non-profit organizations. Her consulting work focuses on helping organizations plan and implement growth strategies as well as assisting organizations through mission crisis. Her clients have included UNICEF, the World Bank, IFC, and Helen Keller International. Prior to consulting, Roshanak launched and operated numerous startups in both the public and private sector, including an NGO incubator supporting women-run non-profit organizations, a real estate development company an a chain of coffee-shops. Roshanak has also been executive producer on two award-winning documentary films. She is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and presently resides in Washington, DC.
Word Dance Theater Advisory Committee
Carl E. Anderson