Dr. Robert Braun
Dr. Robert Braun President
Dr. Robert Braun has been on the LBO Board of Directors for five years prior to becoming President of the Board in 2016. During that time, he has served as chair of the development committee and on the executive committee. Dr. Braun is also president of the board of directors at MOLAA (Museum of Latin American Art) and president of S.M. Morgan, Inc., a real estate management company. He received his BA from USC in 1970, his MD from UAG (Autonomous University of Guadalajara, Mexico) in 1975, and his specialty in psychiatry from LAC-USC Medical Center in 1979. Dr. Braun worked as the medical director of Los Angeles PSRO from 1981 to 1983 and as medical director for US Administrators from 1983 to 1985. In 1985, he became the president of S.M. Morgan, Inc. Dr. Braun is a member of the Heifitz International Music Institute at Mary Baldwin College. In addition, he serves on the advisory council of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University and is also a member of the board of directors of Diamond Bank and Bainum Bancorp in Arkansas. He has served as a board member and treasurer of the Los Angeles Committee for Philanthropic Arts, the Los Angeles Opera League, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Business and Professional Committee.
Allan Dinkoff Vice-President
Allan Dinkoff moved five years ago from New York City to the Los Angeles area with his wife of 37 years, Roseanna DeMaria. Mr. Dinkoff is an attorney who has spent his long legal career in both private practice and a variety of in-house positions. He currently is Associate General Counsel of Amgen Inc., the world’s largest biotech company, where he heads the firm’s Employment Law Group. His prior experience includes Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., where he was a Managing Director and head of the Employment Law Group, and Of Counsel at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. He has published and lectured widely on a variety of legal topics, including legal ethics, class actions, whistleblowing, bankruptcy, corporate governance, arbitration, and employment issues. Mr. Dinkoff and his wife were active with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where they were Patrons and members of the Metropolitan Opera Club. They are avid folk art collectors.
Mark Taylor Secretary
Mark W. Taylor serves as the Chief of Staff to Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. As Chief of Staff, Mark has helped make significant accomplishments in the Mayor’s first term including the Passage of Measures A & MA – the first two municipal sales tax increases adopted by Long Beach voters in a generation; Creation of a $1 billion Public-Private-Partnership (P3) to rebuild the Civic Center with a new City Hall, Main Library, Port Headquarters, and Lincoln Park in Downtown Long Beach; and Securing a $3 million investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies for an Innovation Team to support economic development & public safety.
Prior to his role in the Mayor’s Office, Mark served Long Beach City College as the
Director of College Advancement, Public Affairs, and Governmental Relations. He represented the college in Sacramento and Washington DC, and worked to support the success of LBCC students through innovative policies at the local and state levels. Mark led the effort to pass three pieces of legislation at LBCC, all of which were signed into law, including one to allow a pilot for community colleges to offer extension courses for the first time in state history. He also helped lead the development of the Long Beach College Promise partnership and the Promise Pathways initiative which have significantly increased college access and success for local students. Mark is a southern California native who graduated from Whitney High School, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Economics at Whittier College and a Master’s Degree in the History of American Civilization at Brandeis University. He and his family live in downtown Long Beach.
Sue Bienkowski Treasurer
Sue Bienkowski retired as senior program director for implantable devices at the Cardiac Rhythm Management Division of St. Jude Medical. She has both an MA in mathematics and an MBA in International Business from USC, and served in the Peace Corps, 1973-75. She is a member of the National Trustee Forum of Opera America, past vice president of the Ojai Music Festival Board of Directors and treasurer of Jacaranda Music in Santa Monica. Sue is also currently treasurer of Beth Morrison Projects. Sue and her husband Wang Lee have commissioned several chamber music pieces from Asian composers. She is an avid supporter of opera and contemporary music and has a special interest in Southeast Asian tribal art and adornment. Sue has been a board member at Long Beach Opera for 15 years, with 10 years as president. In 2015 she was the recipient of Opera America’s Opera Trustee Recognition Award for her work in transforming LBO from a small, local organization to a robust and nationally recognized company.
Barbara Boies has been an opera lover and patron since she fell in love with the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts during her time in college at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. After graduating with an M.A. in English and Philosophy, Barbara taught English to junior high and high school students in Tustin, CA for 27 years.
Barbara spent 7 years as a volunteer and patron at Opera Pacific and has been LBO’s official volunteer archivist for the past 10 years, coming into the office every Wednesday. An avid lover of classical music, Barbara is a regular presence on the Los Angeles and Orange County cultural scene with subscriptions to L.A. Opera, L.A. Philharmonic, Orange County Philharmonic Society and the Segerstrom Chamber Music Series in addition to LBO.
Barbara takes several opera trips per season to New York City, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and occasionally to Europe. She currently lives in Orange County with her husband of 40 years, Bob Boies, who graduated from Lakewood High School and Claremont Men’s College. After a lengthy teaching career, Bob became a high school principal in Tustin and Newport Beach.
Todd is currently an entertainment attorney with Viacom Media Networks in Los Angeles. His responsibilities there include negotiating agreements for the development and production of live-action scripted, unscripted and digital-media programs. He also advises his network partners regarding intellectual property, labor/employment, guild and contract matters.
Todd previously worked at the San Francisco Opera for several seasons, where he ran the rehearsal department for the main house, handled visa and immigration issues for the Merola program, managed the supernumeraries and participated in labor negotiations with AGMA and AFM. He subsequently worked at the Walt Disney Company as an attorney with the television animation team.
Todd joined the board of Long Beach Opera in 2016. He serves on the development committee and chairs the 20+20 campaign. Todd was recently appointed to the executive committee and board of directors of the Opera League of the Los Angeles Opera. In the summer of 2017, he was chosen for Opera Europa’s opera management program. In 2014, Todd was selected for Opera America’s Leadership Intensive program, which identifies the most promising emerging leaders in the field of opera administration. In 2016, Todd earned a certificate from the Lily Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University in the areas of planned giving and fundraising.
Sylvia Hartman is a volunteer in the arts community, currently serving on the boards of the Long Beach Museum of Art (as well as Phoenix, their primary support group), the University Art Museum at CSULB, Arts Council for the City of Long Beach and of course Long Beach Opera, where she has been involved since the inception of the company. In the past Hartman was an Early Childhood teaching specialist and a real estate broker (still licensed) as well as president of many community and CSULB organizations. She and her husband Ronnie, an Ophthalmologist, love to travel all over the world and spend time in Sun Valley, Idaho where they ski and fly-fish. They are avid collectors of contemporary art. The Hartmans have four sons and nine grandchildren.
Benjamin Hildner is a private wealth advisor in the Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs & Co. He advises high net worth entrepreneurs, executives, families and foundations on all aspects of wealth management. Prior to joining the firm, Benjamin was a cellist at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and maintained a performing career across several continents. Additionally, he founded and directed the chamber ensemble “Les Alchimistes Berlin”, as well as Bachwoche Berlin, at which the ensemble was in residence. He holds an MBA and a B.M. in Violoncello Performance from the University of Southern California. Benjamin is a passionate supporter of local arts organizations and serves on the board of Salastina Music Society and the American Friends of Philharmonia Orchestra.
Diana Hobson was educated at the Connecticut College for Women and Trinity University. Native to New York, she started her art career before moving to Los Angeles and establishing herself as a bi-coastal artist. She settled in Venice, and in order to finance her life as a single parent and artist, she worked in real estate. That sense of determination pulled her through, for she continued painting while raising her children. She plugged into the art community in Venice and became one of the major participants in the early days of the Venice Art Walk. She continued painting regularly in her studio, establishing herself on the renowned Abbot Kinney Boulevard, in the heart of Venice. Her work was represented by the Space Gallery and she has shown at the Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park repeatedly. She has also had her work shown in New York venues like the Mercantile Exchange and in international exhibits, such as being one of the artists representing the city of Los Angeles at our sister city’s Nagoya City Museum in Nagoya, Japan.
Sally Kurnick, with her late husband Dr. Nathaniel Kurnick, has been a subscriber and supporter of Long Beach Opera for many years. A longtime arts advocate, she joined the LBO Board in 2018. She holds a B.A. from UCLA with a major in Sociology and a focus in Elementary Education, and an M.A. in Art History from CSUN. During her career she has served as an elementary school teacher, and later as Director of Education at the University Art Museum, CSULB. At the UAM she utilized both her elementary education and art history background to share the museum’s innovative exhibitions with university and education communities. As a consultant in Arts and Museum Education, in collaboration with the Orange County Department of Education, she developed and implemented an annual conference for K-12 educators, Art Brings Cultures Together, demonstrating how the arts strengthen both curriculum and cultural understanding. She further collaborated with the OCDE in the professional development series, Voice of the Artist, connecting educators with community arts providers through firsthand arts encounters.
Sally is fortunate to have travelled extensively and continues her interest in the arts, through her own firsthand arts encounters. LBO provides many adventurous firsthand encounters!
Raulee Marcus is a new music enthusiast and classical music supporter. She serves on the Board of Directors, Long Beach Opera, Bang On A Can and LAPQ (Los Angeles Percussion Quartet. She serves on the Board of Governors of the Ojai Music Festival and the Board of Overseers of LAPhil where she has co-commissioned pieces by Missy Mazzoli, John Luther Adams, Tom Ades and Dylan Mattingly. She was a co-commissioner of The Industry’s Invisible Cities at Union Station, written and composed by Chris Cerrone. This piece was runner up for the 2014 Pulitizer. She has also commissioned pieces by David Lang, Andrew McIntosh, Ted Hearne and Julia Wolfe.
She is a ceramics enthusiast and a member of the executive committee of the board of directors of The American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA) in Pomona, CA.
Raulee is an executive with 25+ years of P&L responsibility in consumer products and services companies. While Ms. Marcus has worked in senior operating positions in Fortune 100 companies for most of her career, she has consulting and small company experience as well.
She is a specialist in driving companies to significant growth in revenue and profit in highly competitive industries. For example, in her capacity as a Corporate Officer for Neutrogena, she and her departments are credited with increasing revenue more than 4-fold and profit more than 8-fold in 6 years. At Colgate-Palmolive, she led global turnaround and launch initiatives. One of these initiatives helped regain worldwide leadership in 30 countries and another unleashed a new $100MM global brand in a 2-year rollout.
Raulee is the president of Pinnacle Management, a consulting firm specialized in go-to market strategies and tactics. She and her team often parachute into companies to help them capitalize on opportunities. For example, she served as part-time Chief Marketing Officer of Green Dot Corp.
As a member of Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel investing network, Raulee co-led the Series A round for Green Dot (GDOT) and serve on its board of directors. GDOT’s 2010 IPO yielded TCA’s most lucrative exit at 110 times return on series A.
She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and holds an MBA from the American Graduate School. She represented Neutrogena at the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. She has traveled widely, including consulting for the governments of India and China.
Carol H. Richards
Carol H. Richards
Carol H. Richards is a second-generation resident of Los Angeles. She lived in Long Beach with her late husband John A. Richards for forty years. She attended Scripps College and became a Founding Trustee of Pitzer College in 1966. In addition to real estate interests, and fundraising with Dorothy Chandler for the Hollywood Bowl Association and the LA Music Center, she enjoyed rewarding involvement serving on the boards of The Hollywood Bowl Association, Los Angeles Master Chorale, University Art Museum of CSULB, Banning Resident Museum in Wilmington, Long Beach Memorial Hospital Foundation, and Long Beach Opera since 1980. Richards received the Long Beach Philanthropic Award of the year in 1994.
Keith Simmons was born in Long Beach at historic Harriman Jones Clinic and currently resides in College Park Estates. A graduate of CSULB with a degree in Political Science, Simmons owns and operates his own computer consulting company (R.D. Simmons & Associates., Inc.) in Los Alamitos. Along with his interest in music and the arts, Simmons likes to stay fit through hiking, tennis, swimming, and golf. He is active in the preparation for disasters with the Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) in Long Beach. He has been a member of the Long Beach Opera Board of Directors for over 20 years.
Vina Spiehler, Ph.D
Vina Spiehler, Ph.D
Vina Spiehler is President and owner of Spiehler & Associates, a forensic pharmacology consulting business. Dr. Spiehler received her Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from the medical school at the University of California, Irvine, and currently teaches forensic toxicology at CSUF. She has published over one hundred papers, book chapters, and Internet courses. Throughout her life Dr. Spiehler has been involved in many organizations. She is currently the United States Regional Representative to the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists, and is a past President of the California Association of Toxicologists, and the Society of Forensic toxicologists. She is also involved with many music organizations including Treasurer of Baroque Music Festival of Corona del Mar and a member of the Metropolitan Opera Guild. Dr. Spiehler is passionate about opera and classical music, and travels to experience opera around the world.
This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at cac.ca.gov
Supported in part by a grant from the Arts Council for Long Beach and the City of Long Beach.
Long Beach Opera events are supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission