The Board of Trustees is responsible for the sound management and promotion of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra and all of its components. Members Anyone interested in serving as a trustee is encouraged to click here for more information or contact Executive Director Susan Stensland at 770-429-2390.
Bob Bonstein, Chair of the GSO Board of Directors, has had a long career in health care strategic planning, information technology and operations consulting, from which he recently retired. He previously served as Vice President with Cotiviti, and as a consulting partner with KPMG Peat Marwick, First Consulting group and RGB Associates, LLC. Bob has a BS in Accounting and an MBA from Rutgers University. He lives in Marietta with his wife of many years, Linda. They have three grown children and five grandchildren. Bob and Linda now spend considerable time as community volunteers, and they both enthusiastically sing in the Georgia Symphony Orchestra Chorus..
Frank Harris,Vice-Chair of the GSO Board, is the senior partner at Harris & Bunch, LLC, located on the Marietta Square. His practice there focuses on personal injury and general civil litigation. His wife Abby is a health care coordinator and movement disorders coach specializing in Parkinson’s patients. Daughter Madeleine is a recent graduate of Kennesaw State University.
An avid and active supporter of the arts, Frank sings with the GSO Chorus and the choir at North Avenue Presbyterian Church, and acts with various local theater companies. He has previously served on the Boards of the Georgia Metropolitan Dance Theatre and the Atlanta Chinese Dance Company.
Ronna Ruppelt, GSO Board Secretary,is Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary and Chief Claims Officer for Good2Go Auto Insurance. In the insurance industry for almost four decades, she has held executive Claims positions at AIG, National General Insurance and Progressive. Early in her career, she was an insurance defense litigator. Ms. Ruppelt is a licensed attorney in Ohio and Georgia. She is a nominated member of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel and also belongs to several other industry associations. Ms. Ruppelt had extensive community involvement in Ohio, including as a co-chairman of a school levy campaign and a long-time member of that school district’s strategic planning committee. She was also a founding board member of a thriving arts organization. Ms. Ruppelt received her BS from Kent State University and her JD from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
Greg Mishkin, GSO Board Treasurer, is Vice President of research and consulting at Escalent, a global human behavior and market research company. Prior to Escalent, Greg has been a Vice President of Telecom and wireless at comScore, Inc. and a key member of AT&T's internal market research division. He holds seven patents for his data-focused market research methodologies. Greg previously served on the board of Georgia Connections Academy. In 2005, he was appointed by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to be a commissioner of the newly created city of Milton. He was awarded the Key to the City of Milton in recognition of his efforts. Greg earned a master's degree in business administration from Kennesaw State University; a master's degree in clinical psychology from the University of Hartford in Hartford, CT and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Union College in Schenectady, NY. He lives in Cumming with his wife and two college-aged children (both of which are studying performing arts in college).
Amber Connor is a business woman who resides in Atlanta. She is the owner of Hesedh For Life Landscape Company and Commandment Properties. She is the founder of Concerned Citizens United, a non-profit organization which focuses on maintaining a safe environment for our citizenry. Amber serves as the Security Chair for The Buckhead Council of Neighbors, and is also involved in helping to beautify communities through her hands-on volunteer services as a Georgia Master Gardener for over 10 years. Her passion for the arts has found her a home within the Georgia Symphony Orchestra and Chorus for over 10 years as a 1st Soprano. Amber and her Husband have been together for 20 years and are the parents of two active and vibrant children.
Dr. Marcus Crawford, Crawford Plastic Surgery: Marcus H. Crawford, M.D., is originally from Aiken, S.C., and currently practices medicine as a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. He attended Morehouse College and Baylor College of Medicine before relocating to Atlanta. He resides in West Cobb County with his wife and two children and has loved music and the arts since childhood. He is excited about the opportunity to serve on the board of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, and participates in its various community outreach programs.
Joe Ferst: Based in Atlanta, Joe founded and co-leads Deloitte’s TARDI national service line serving clients and investors in debt and debt securities. Joe has over 30 years of experience serving banks, insurance companies, REMICs, REITs, and real estate and investment partnerships. Joe also founded and co-led the firm’s Partnership Solutions Group. Prior to that Joe was Deloitte’s Southeast Region Real Estate Tax Leader.
Joe has been published in a number of journals and is a contributing author to two editions of The Handbook of Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities and has co-authored three editions of the Real Estate Investment Trusts Handbook. He is a member of the BNA Tax Management Real Estate Advisory Board and Deloitte’s Financial Instruments Tax Competency Group leadership team. Joe is also a member of the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council, an opt-in research community of business professionals.
Joe is a Certified Public Accountant in Georgia and New York. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Joe is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton with a major in Accounting.
Chad Haganis an Atlanta native. He has been involved in his family's foundations and businesses for over two decades and focuses on funding organizations that support fine arts, education and environmental causes. He is married to Emily Wheeler Hagan and they live in Roswell, Georgia and London, England.
Mary Kay Howard is a retired Cobb County educator and retired Shepherd Center Medical Librarian. She has been involved with the Georgia Symphony as a volunteer for nearly 30 years. She has held leadership roles in the former CSO Guild and the current Friends of the GSO. Mary Kay has been a Board member for many terms and most recently served as Secretary. While she “has no musical bone in her body” she has learned to appreciate the music provided by the GSO. Mary Kay lives in Marietta and provides access to “Party Central” for GSO events.
Dr. Nirav Patel, Marietta Plastic Surgery: Nirav B. Patel, M.D., M.S., J.D., F.C.L.M. is a New Yorker who now practices as a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon and continues to play cello with the GSO. He attended Princeton University, Brooklyn Law School, New York University, and the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry before completing general and plastic surgery residency training at the University of California, Davis, breast and aesthetic fellowship at Grotting Plastic Surgery in Birmingham, AL, and oculoplastic and facial aesthetic surgery fellowship with Dr. Mark Codner in Atlanta. He resides in East Cobb with his wife, son (a GYSO violinist), and daughter (cellist).
Rob Pettiford most recently held the position of Vice President of Product Strategy and Mgmt at Altice USA. Rob has been in the telecommunications industry for over two decades, having held senior leadership positions in Product Management, Engineering, Sales and Network Deployment. Prior to working at Altice, Rob led roles with Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Virginia Tech and MBA/MS degrees from Stevens Institute of Technology.
Amy Smith holds an MBA in International Business from Georgia State University and is CEO and Partner of Atlanta Design Solutions, a mechanical engineering design firm. She worked for several years as Director of Communications for award winning LED display manufacturer NanoLumens and previously owned a consulting business specializing in external communications, strategy and finance serving the Athens and Greater Atlanta area.
Wahid Tawfikis Founder and Managing Director of Calensia LLC, a management consulting company. Prior to founding Calensia, he served as the CEO of several global companies most recently he was the CEO of Performance Fibers, a global reinforcement fiber company. Prior to performance fibers, he was the Founder & Managing Director of Calensia BV, a consulting & investment company based in the Netherlands. Prior to Calensia BV, Wahid was the COO & CEO of DuPont SA, the largest integrated Petrochemical company in Europe based in the Netherlands. He earned his MSc & PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his BSc degree from Cairo University. Wahid was inducted to the Academy of the Distinguished Engineering Alumni of Georgia Institute of Technology in 2006.
James G. Wetrich, FACHE is the CEO of The Wetrich Group of Companies. He has been in the health care industry for nearly 40 years and has worked in senior positions at Abbott Laboratories and Molnlycke Health Care. Jim has a B.S. from the University of Southern California, an MHA from Tulane University and an MBA from Emory University. Jim has served on numerous boards and advisory boards in both non-profit as well as for-profit corporations. Jim is an Adjunct Instructor at Texas Wesleyan University where he teaches Principles of Marketing to business students. He received a certificate in Executive Coaching from UT Dallas and now coaches senior executives. Jim and his wife, Nancy, live in Southlake, Texas and Dunwoody, GA and they have two sons.
Marietta Performing Arts Center
1171 Whitlock Avenue Marietta, GA 30064
Georgia Symphony Orchestra
PO Box 791 Marietta, GA 30061