People

SpeakeasyDC is run by a team of talented staff, board members, teachers, artists, and volunteers. 

  • Amy Saidman

    Artistic Executive Director

    Amy Saidman, Artistic Executive Director of SpeakeasyDC, has been the driving force behind the growth of storytelling as a performance genre in Washington, DC and regionally. Called DC's "matriarch of storytelling", she's been running SpeakeasyDC's programs, telling stories, hosting, inventing new ways to present storytelling, building relationships with other local arts groups, and spreading the gospel since 2001. She began coaching and teaching storytelling in 2006 and, along with the SEDC teaching staff, has developed a curriculum and pedagogy for teaching the art of storytelling  that includes more than five different classes at different levels and customized trainings for corporate, government, and nonprofit clients. 

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  • Ben Thomas

    Program & Communications Coordinator

    Ben is a communications and marketing professional, with extensive experience leading engagement strategies for a diverse range of political groups, non-profit organizations and private companies.  When he is not at SpeakeasyDC, he is probably outside or concocting a culinary adventure. Feel free to ask him about the time he got a live cheetah into the U.S. Capitol Building, why he walked 500 miles in borrowed underwear, or the night he spent on Stonewall Jackson's grave.

  • Stephanie Garibaldi

    Education Director

    Stephanie Garibaldi designs and teaches storytelling classes, leads trainings for businesses and organizations, runs SpeakeasyDC's youth programs, and coaches all the performers on SpeakeasyDC's monthly 2nd Tuesday Series. Since 2006, Stephanie has coached well over a thousand individuals in the art of contemporary storytelling for professional as well as artistic settings. 

  • Kian McKellar

    Vidoegrapher

    Kian is a full time videographer, photographer and editor and has been capturing SpeakeasyDC's live shows on film since 2008. Find out more at http://www.kianmckellar.com

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  • Alexander Morozov

    Photographer

    When Alexander Morozov was growing up in Russia, he remembers watching his father take black and white photographs. That is where his passion for photography took hold. PhotographyByAlexander is the sum total of a lifetime spent behind the camera, a devotion to creativity and craft of photography. He has been taking photos for SpeakeasyDC since 2007. 

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  • Dave Peterson

    Artist

    If you live in DC, you've seen Dave's art all around the city on t-shirts, dog parks, and arts fairs. Since 2010, Dave has been using his imaginative and slighlty twisted mind to create graphic interprations of SpeakeasyDC's monthly themes. 

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SpeakeasyDC's Board of Directors

Mike Boyd (President) is Principal of Mike Boyd Marketing & Creative. He is the former Senior Vice President of Marketing at Home & Garden Television (HGTV) and is a member of the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM).

Beth Flores is a professional coach and leadership consultant who helps individuals and organizations create transformational change.. She is the former Director of Leadership & Organizational Development at the Office of the Secretary of Defense. From 2004 to 2013, Beth served as a member of the Secretary of Defense’s policy staff. Most recently, she started up a new office in the Pentagon dedicated to leadership development, organizational health, and innovation.  Prior to her government service, Beth held positions in the private and non-profit sectors. She was a Coro Fellow in San Francisco, led social marketing efforts at two Silicon Valley start-ups, gained an appreciation for the “long view” at the non-profit Institute for the Future, and guided multi-day bicycle trips in the U.S. and Mexico. She earned a Master of Science in Foreign Service and a Master of Business Administration from Georgetown University and received a B.A. in American Studies from Yale University. Her most recent accomplishment was creating an online community of over 5,500 federal workers worldwide to share stories and survival tips during the 2013 government shutdown.

Chris Kingsley (Treasurer) is Associate Director of Local Policy & Advocacy at the Data Quality Campaign (DQC). Chris and the DQC help state policymakers improve the availability and use of high-quality education data among local leaders working both inside and outside of schools to improve student success. Prior to joining DQC, Chris served as the Principal Associate for Data Initiatives with the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, where he provided primary program leadership, research, and technical assistance to cities seeking to use data in new and more collaborative ways. Chris has authored reports on performance management, municipal social media strategies, citywide information systems design, and economic development. As a Watson Fellow, Chris studied telecommunications policy in Africa, India, and China. He is a graduate of Haverford College and the University of Pennsylvania.

JR Russ is a member of the Gay Men's Choir and on staff at the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. He has a Masters in Arts Administration.

Jenny Splitter (Secretary) is a storyteller, playwright and blogger. She has told stories with SpeakeasyDC, the Risk! podcast and Story League. She blogs at GroundedParents.com, a sister site to Skepchick.org. Her play H Street Housewives enjoyed a successful run at the 2013 Capital Fringe summer and fall festivals. Birth Goddess was accepted for development as part of the New Works program at Spooky Action Theater. Prior to that, she worked as a trademark attorney in Washington, DC and Palo Alto, California. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and George Washington University Law School.

Rachael Wilcox is Trainer / Consultant at Training Resources Group, Inc. She is also a member of the American Society for Training and Development. Rachael is a trainer and facilitator with 15 years of experience in the field of international development. She has worked in more than 20 countries across Africa, Europe, and Asia in training, curriculum development, and organizational development. Outside of work, in addition to being involved with SpeakeasyDC, Rachael coaches the Majority Whips, a DC-based roller derby team.