Chief Executive Officer
Steven Haines has more than 25 years of experience in non-profit and performing arts management, working with some of the country’s most notable organizations and artists.
Most recently he joined the iconic San Francisco Zoo as its Vice President of Strategic Growth & Marketing where he was responsible for all areas of earned revenues while developing new areas of growth which align with The Zoo’s strategic and master plan.
From 2006 until his joining San Francisco Zoo in May of 2016, Haines was Executive Director of San Francisco’s Stern Grove Festival, one of the country’s foremost presenters of admission-free concerts and outreach programs. Under Haines’s leadership, The Festival thrived as a model of financial sustainability, increasing its budget by nearly 40% and maintaining a balanced budget, while providing world-class performances to more than 100,000 Bay Area residents and visitors annually. Haines oversaw the development of numerous recording projects for the Festival, including its most recent, Pete Escovedo, Live! from Stern Grove Festival, as well as the yearly Live! from Stern Grove Festival recordings. In 2012, the Festival celebrated its 75th Season, launching a new opening day concert celebration and benefit, “The Big Picnic.” Haines also created “Grove on the Road,” a mobile festival and community engagement program which travelled throughout the City of San Francisco.
Prior to joining the Festival, Haines was the Vice President for POPS of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and President & CEO of Peter Nero and the Philly Pops for nearly eight years prior to that. Haines increased The POPS’ budget over three-fold and created budget surpluses several years in a row. During his tenure, Peter Nero and The Philly Pops presented special performances in New York, Long Island, New Jersey and special engagements for the 40th Anniversary of NASA in Washington D.C., and the Republican National Convention. He also produced ABC’s Nationwide Live TV Fourth of July production, Independence Day 2001, with performances by Blue Man Group and Garth Brooks and featuring readings by Michael Douglas, Whoopie Goldberg, Kevin Spacey and Kathy Bates to name a few. The POPS also recorded its first CD, Holiday POPS!Haines brought many firsts to this venerable organization. Extremely unique to today’s orchestras, Haines negotiated and signed a multi-album, five-year recording contract with DRG records. In addition, Haines led The POPS to their first nationwide, NPR broadcast on July 4, 2002. In 2001, he led the organization to become the first Resident Company of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts to officially sign their tenant agreement. In December 2001, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops moved its home to Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center. In the summer of 2004, Haines negotiated with the City of Philadelphia and the National Parks Service to produce POPS on Independence, returning a full Independence Day concert to The Mall with Independence Hall as the backdrop, which continues to date.
Additionally, Haines produced the musical elements for the Liberty Medal Ceremonies in 2004, 2005 and 2006 with guests and honorees President Hamid Karzi of Afghanistan and Elton John. In 2005, The POPS was the musical host to Rufus Wainwright, Patti LaBelle and Elton John on the Fourth of July for over 1 million spectators.
With Music Director Peter Nero, a musical product second to none, an increased staff and wider exposure throughout the region and country, The POPS’ stats were amazing: during his tenure, audience attendance quadrupled, the organization nearly tripled the number of concerts and the budget increased over 300%.
Haines has had much concert and cultural arts experience. Before moving to the Northeast in 1997, Steven worked with several of the most successful arts organizations in Florida. Haines served as Associate Director of Marketing and then Marketing Manager of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. Working with the FPO from 1995 to 1997, he is proud of his association with this orchestra, which was the largest cultural organization in the State of Florida. Haines successfully marketed sold out performance with nearly 20,000 subscribers, varying from classical Masterworks series, children’s series, POPS and Latin POPS. The Florida Philharmonic was also the producer of Beethoven By The Beach music festival, which was one of the first, and most successful cultural tourism collaborative initiatives in the country. The FPO also recorded the Concert on Miami Beach with Pavarotti, seen nationally on PBS.
Prior to the Florida Philharmonic, he was Marketing and Concert Director for the Palm Beach Pops. During that period, he organized a concert tour to New York City, producing a concert at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center. Haines also served as Director of Marketing and Public Relations from 1991 to 1994 for the Florida Symphonic Pops.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, Haines received cum laude honors with a degree in French and International Communications. A musician by avocation, he considers himself lucky to share his professional expertise with his passion for music.
In San Francisco, Steven was also proud to serve as a member of the board of directors of the San Francisco Travel Association.
Chief Artistic Officer
Bill has established an international following as Artistic Director of The Young Americans. He has toured extensively throughout Europe, Japan, and the U.S. under the auspices of Columbia Artists, with The Music Man, Oklahoma!, Tribute to Richard Rodgers, and The Young Americans in Concert. Bill has also worked on a multitude of television specials with major networks as Director/Choreographer. Some of his favorite memories include working with Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Sammy Davis, Jr., Jerry Lewis, Liberace, and performing for President Ford in Washington, DC. In addition, he produced entertainment at Super Bowl XXX with Diana Ross, World Soccer with Whitney Houston, and was Director of Entertainment at Coca Cola City at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Bill is Co-Founder of the successful Young Americans International Music Outreach Program, which continues to shape music and performance in schools around the world with its Signature Workshops. The program has reached over 800,000 students and families in over 30 countries and on five continents. Two documentary film programs have highlighted the work and success of the Outreach Program and have been viewed by millions all over Europe.
In addition to his busy and successful life, Bill also acts as director of the Tarbell Awards Show and during the years has worked with Brian Stokes Mitchell (Tony Award winner), Susan Egan (Star of Beauty & the Beast and Cabaret), Hugh Panaro (Star of Les Misérables), Laura Bell Bundy (Lead role in Legally Blonde and Tony Award nominee), Miss Shirley Jones (Oscar winner and Theatre Icon), and the Emmy Award winning Musical Director, Mark Watters.
Mr. Brawley is Artistic Director of Summer at the Center, an educational performing arts program which takes place at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in conjunction with the center’s Educational Department, Orange County Department of Education’s ACCESS Division, and Bill’s artistic team of musical directors and choreographers.
One of the highlights of Bill’s year is directing and writing an annual original show for the Summer Dinner Theatre at Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs, Michigan. The theatre is proud to be the 2nd longest running dinner theatre in the U.S.
Bill, his wife Robyn, and daughter Lizzie live in Long Beach, California, right near the beach.
Chief Financial Officer
Cameron was a member of the group from 1975 to 1980. He is a licensed attorney (inactive) and Certified Public Accountant (inactive) in the state of California. He is graduated California State Polytechnic University, Pomona with a BS in Accounting in 1980, worked for Coopers & Lybrand in Newport Beach as an auditor from 1980 to 1983, and became a Certified Public Accountant in California in 1982. Cameron attended Hastings College of Law, graduating in 1986 with a Juris Doctor and admitted to the California State Bar in 1986. Cameron practiced law for over 25 years, specializing in civil trial work. Cameron has been a member of The Young Americans’ Board of Directors since 1992, and now serves full-time as the company’s Chief Financial Officer.
After meeting The Young Americans during a visit to the U.S. with her Australian dance company, Kat moved to the U.S. to join the organization as its first Australian member. Kat spent several years touring with the organization throughout the U.S. in addition to participating in the first international tours to Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.
Chief Advancement Officer
Stuart Haniff, Chief Advancement Officer, is a nationally recognized partnership-maker, fundraiser, event planner, entertainment publicist, and philanthropic consultant.
He has provided leadership within some of the most prestigious nonprofit organizations in the country including most recently; Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino, The United Way and Make-A-Wish Foundation. His passion for bettering the lives of those less fortunate is manifested in promoting health and wellness, anti-poverty, and art initiatives throughout Southern California.
Stuart has 20 years continuous and progressive fundraising, administration, and healthcare management expertise including leadership, resource development, planned giving, and operations. He is a graduate of UCLA, and has a Masters in Healthcare Administration (MHA).
In 2016, Stuart completed Feeding America’s Advocacy Academy, where he lobbied on Capitol Hill on behalf of Child Hunger and food insecurity in the Inland Empire. He has also served as an ambassador for Feeding America’s National Hunger Action Month Committee (HAM)
Stuart’s hobbies include; traveling, baseball and all sports, anything and everything 80’s especially music, surfing, boxing, helicopters, and enjoying all types of food…especially anything spicy! Stuart was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He and his daughter Hilary are natives of and live in Southern California.
Stuart has also served as a consultant for non-profit and healthcare organizations to help grow capacity and strengthen the impact of their mission.
Director & Choreographer
Robyn Brawley is an internationally acclaimed dancer, choreographer, director, and master teacher. She began her career dancing with some of the greats in classical ballet – Nureyv, Antoinette Sibley, Jurgen Schneider (Ballet Master in the movie, Turning Point) and has been directed by Sir Robert Helpmann (star of the movie, Red Shoes) and Vera Volkava (world famous Russian director). Robyn has performed with the Australian Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, International Dance Company – Japan, and the Russian Balalaika Ensemble.
Robyn was born in Australia and following her illustrious dance career, she became Founder and Artistic Director of one of the largest performing arts colleges in Sydney, Australia – Australian College of Entertainment. Beginning in 1997, she joined the master teacher panel of Dance Excellence, a renowned international dance festival in Los Angeles, California, and she continues to be part of their annual conference.
Her choreography has been featured in the Royal Nottingham Theatre, England; The Operetta Theatre of Kiev; “La Plaza de Toros” – a 400 year-old Bull Ring in Marbella, Spain; Minato Mirai Concert Hall in Yokohama, Japan; and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts (one of the largest and most successful regional theatres in the USA); to name a few.
Robyn has also directed and choreographed works and shows with television, film, Broadway, and recording artists including film and television personalities Carol Burnett, Shirley Jones, Mark Walberg, and Marc Cherry (creator of Desperate Housewives); Broadway stars Brian Stokes Mitchell (Tony Award winner for Kiss Me, Kate), Laura Bell Bundy (Tony nominee for Legally Blonde), Susan Egan (original Belle and Tony nominee for Beauty & the Beast), Hugh Panaro (Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera), Carlos Thomas and Khalid Freeman (leads in Stomp and choreographer, Stomp the Yard), and Rick Hilsabeck and Sarah Pfisterer (Phantom of the Opera); Recording Artists Natalie Imbruglia, and Delta Goodrem (top Australian vocalist & recording artist).
In 1997 Robyn relocated to the United States to become the Resident Choreographer and Co-Director for The Young Americans, an international performance group. She is an Artist in Residence at The Young Americans College of the Performing Arts and collaborates with Executive and Artistic Director, Bill Brawley, her husband. Together, Bill and Robyn direct over 400 performances a year, on 5 continents, including National and International Tours to Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Germany, Holland, Luxembourg, Sweden, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, Gibraltar, Ukraine, Russia, South Africa, Japan, Canada, and over 40 states in the U.S.
Robyn is a masterful teacher of dance and life and has positively impacted the lives of thousands of students around the world. She considers all of her students, past and present, a great part of her life and members of her “family”. She is forever grateful for her Australian roots and the many students, family, and dear friends from her home country whom she carries with her in her heart always.
Robyn now resides in Long Beach, California with her husband Bill and their daughter Lizzie.
Tara Smart Stoltz
Director of Production
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in Ontario, Canada, Tara Smart a professionally trained gymnast and dancer with a strong passion for the performing arts. She has taught students of all ages and performed as a dancer in a variety of styles including jazz, ballet, hip hop, and tap. As a gymnast, she has been trained by Olympic medalists, and has competed in all gymnastic events at a national level. Since joining in 2003, Tara has toured the world with The Young Americans as a performer, teacher, associate director, and assistant producer. Her skills as a dancer, gymnast and choreographer are incomparable and her dedication to her chosen profession is unfaltering. She is, by all definitions of the term, a “Team Leader”.
Kala grew up in the dance studio, if she wasn’t dancing she was teaching. After high school she auditioned for numerous colleges and planned to move to Las Vegas and attend the INLV dance department, but her fate with the Young Americans wouldn’t have it. About a month before move in day, Kala decided to audition and to her surprise, considering the lateness of her applications, she got in. She went on seven tours, all of which were international. She business managed, stage directed, and held many other jobs. She stepped away for about two years and did her time in the freelance production world, on tv shows such as Bullseye,and traveling on weekends with the dance convention, Nuvo, only to find her way right back to the Young Americans. She began working in July of 2016 as an Associate Producer and it has already been the most fun rollercoaster she has every been on. She is beyond honored to work for this group as and spend everyday learning the ins and outs of such an inspiring, uplifting organization!
“The Young Americans have changed my life, my dream is to take part in giving the incoming YAs a shot at experiencing what I did on the road and here at our headquarters. It is like nothing else”
Susie Freeman Johnson
Director of Michigan Projects
Susie joined the group at the age of 15 and was one of the group’s first company managers for its tours with Columbia Artists. Since then, Susie has gone on to become a Television Production Coordinator working for Paramount Pictures Television Production for 30 years. Her credits include TV shows such as Cheers, Bob Newhart Shows, Girlfriends; she has worked on over 40 television shows. Since she retired, she’s now a producer for The Young Americans summer program, Boyne Highlands Dinner Theatre and Northern Michigan Concert Series. She helped create all of those programs and has worked with the organization for over 40 years.
Jacob “Fig” Figueroa
I have always surrounded myself with music. Growing up, my dad would always play different instruments around me which inspired me to start playing an instrument my self, and to join band and choir in school. After joining the Young Americans in 2010, I have had the chance to study many different styles of music and dance around the world.
Director of Resident Outreach
Nada Nasserdeen is a performer, music educator, and director who loves all genres of music. She has obtained her BA degree in Vocal Performance from Cal State Long Beach and her Masters Degree in Teacher Education Leadership from National University. Nada has performed all over the world in countries such as Russia, Japan, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Gibraltar, and many more. In addition, she has worked and performed with some of Broadway’s most talented leading actors. However, Nada is not only an accomplished performer but she is an educator and director for the performing arts. She has taught for years working with students of all ages and talents. Nada loves the performing arts in all aspects as it has been a passion of hers since she was a child. Nada is going on 14 years with The Young Americans and is so happy and honored to continue her journey with them as it fulfills every passion.
Booking Manager - North America
Carley grew up surrounded by an extremely influential music and arts culture in the beautiful city of Charleston, South Carolina. She began singing and playing the trumpet at a very young age and ended up attending Charleston County School of the Arts for high school as a trumpet major. At the tender of 17 she began attending Coastal Carolina University as a Biology major, fully intending on pursuing a career in medicine when she was unexpectedly introduced to the Young Americans. After her first year of college, she decided to transfer to The Young Americans College of the Performing Arts and ended up taking part in nine of our Music Outreach Tours, two of our summers at The Young Americans Dinner Theater at Boyne Highlands, and Company Managing four times. She looks forward to bright and fulfilling future while working here in the Young Americans World Headquarters!
Director of Media Operations
Joe Dull is a Filmmaker (22 years), College Professor (17 years), Song-And-Dance Man (12 years), and Daddy (6 years and counting). He’s even won awards in two of those professions, and a “Best Dad Ever” grill apron for a third. Joe’s an editor, writer, director, decent enough audio guy, and can fake his way around a camera. He’s also been paid as a colorist for multiple films, despite being pretty colorblind. The clients knew and hired him anyway. Joe’s that kind of guy.
His award-winning feature length films “Table at Luigi’s” and “Sympathy Pains” have screened at theaters and film festivals around the country. His films starring his kids are big hits with the in-laws. And everything he’s making for the Young Americans is at https://www.youtube.com/TheYoungAmericansINC. You should go check out that stuff.
Michael “Nartan” Heib
International Booking Director, Europe
Director of Development
Being in love with wanting to make the world a better place, Courtney joined the nonprofit sector, in 2011, and has never looked back. Inspired by the stories of children being reunited with their families, a homeless person renting their first apartment after living on the streets for years, first generation and first their household students getting into college, individuals and families finding help and support after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, watching the power of music inspire the world, she has been impacted by each and every one of these stories and so much more. Courtney is not only passionate about each and every one of these nonprofit’s missions, but has been driven to make a difference in each of the communities these nonprofits serve. From reading literature about each cause to studying materials on fundraising, she continues to fall more and more in love with the nonprofit sector. Courtney grew up in a household where giving back and helping those who were in need was at the core of her family, volunteering and donating has been ingrained in her life.
In 2011, Courtney started her first internship in the nonprofit sector at With Hope, the Amber Craig Memorial Foundation. After Courtney drank the quote on quote Kool-Aid, she decided to pursue a career in this field. She has worked for the following nonprofit organizations: Boys Town California, LINC Housing Corporation, SchoolPower aka Laguna Beach Education Foundation, NOVA Academy Children’s Foundation, Alzheimer’s Orange County, and now, The Young Americans. The Young American’s mission sings to Courtney’s heart because she believes music has the power to transform lives.
Her passion and dedication to the nonprofit sector has led her to outside volunteer opportunities. She volunteers her time with the following nonprofit organizations as a board member: Orange County Advisors in the Philanthropy as the Communications Chair and Barks of Love as the GrantWriter. She also volunteers her time with the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Orange County chapter on the Webinar Committee, Young Professionals of Children’s Bureau Orange County chapter on the Fundraising Committee, and Free Chapel on the Special Events Team.
Courtney’s educational background includes a Master in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor in Science in Speech, Language, and Hearing Science and a Bachelor of Art in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Arizona.
When Courtney isn’t trying to make the world a better place, she enjoys spending time with her newlywed husband, Brett, their rescue dog, Ladon along with her family and friends. She also enjoys being outdoors, traveling near and far, pumping iron in the gym, cooking healthy foods, and crafting some new masterpiece.
International Booking Director, Japan
Born in Aichi Prefecture in 1960 and graduated from Keio University, Sano has organized The Young Americans Outreach Tours in Japan for over ten years. Sano spent time offering enterprise business support, business training, and support projects through the college recruiting center and acted as the Research Works chief editor. He left in October 2005 to begin his new venture. Currently, his goal is to create a new place for children to learn who will lead the next generation.
Editor, Media Department
Thien was born in Vietnam and grew up in California. After high school he went to school in Arkansas where he studied digital filmmaking and theatre. There he was able to work on numerous productions and build his skills. Coming into The Young Americans he had little to no knowledge of the organization’s goals and programs. As such, he is constantly blown away by what The Young Americans do. He is thrilled to have an opportunity to be a part of the team and grow alongside the company.
Dean of Students & Associate Director
Travis has always enjoyed the performing arts. In his youth he excelled at musical theatre and instrumental music. He met The Young Americans when he took a National Music Outreach Tour Workshop as a senior in high school. The following fall Travis moved to Southern California to join The Young Americans. By the age of 23, Travis traveled on 12 International Outreach Tours, spent 4 summers performing in the Dinner Theatre in Northern Michigan with The Young Americans, and stage managed the first Outreach Tours to go to Canada, England, Germany, and Ukraine. At the age of 22, Travis became the youngest Associate Director of The Young Americans for the International Outreach Tours. Over the last 18 years with The Young Americans he has toured 16 different countries including Japan, Germany, and the first International Outreach Tour to Russia.
Dean of Administrative Services
Mike grew up in a small northern California town, participating in band, choir, and theatre since the age of 10. After joining The Young Americans in college, Mike had the opportunity to travel on 11 International Music Outreach Tours as a performer, merchandise manager, business manager, and company manager. He was fortunate to travel on the first tours to England, Germany, and Ukraine. While assisting with production operations in The Young Americans business offices, Mike graduated cum laude from California State University, Long Beach with his Bachelor’s degree in International Business and also received his Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Walden University.
After The Young Americans, Mike moved to the Orange County Performing Arts Center for five years where he managed many of the Center’s education programs including the Family Series, the Center’s field trip opportunities, master classes, scholarship programs, and Summer at the Center. He is proud to have overseen events serving over 15,000 students and families annually.
In 2010, Mike returned to The Young Americans as the Dean of Administrative Services for their College of the Performing Arts. He is happy to be back with such an extraordinary organization that has given him so many amazing opportunities, including meeting his wife, Dalisa.
Dr. LeeAnn Stone
Dean of Instruction
Ed.D. Instructional Technology, Pepperdine University.
As a higher-ed consultant, university administrator, and teacher educator, and through her work developing technology-based learning content, Dr. Stone’s career focuses on developing effective teaching materials and curriculum as well as instructor capacity to engage, energize and launch learners.
Andrew brings a breadth of experience in academic administration, deep appreciation for the performing arts and “student first” attitude to The Young Americans Corona campus. He grew up locally, participating in a range of activities including athletics, theatre and music. From leading ROTC in local parades to performances at the Grove with Empire Theatre and competitive martial arts, Andrew is deeply rooted in the performing arts culture of the Inland Empire. Turning toward service and duty, Andrew committed four years with the United States Navy and went on to complete his Bachelors of Psychology. After completing his degree, he has spent the better part of a decade committing to student achievement and empowerment by assisting with career placement, providing student counseling and championing student ambassadors in a variety of academic settings. Andrew prioritizes student welfare and is committed to ensure that students continue to learn in safe, well-balanced environments. He prioritizes equal access to higher education resources and encourages students to be proactive in their educational achievements. His passion for helping the underserved has translated to continued aid for veterans as he assisted in developing veteran advocacy programs on multiple campuses. For his service work with student veterans, he was awarded Congressional Recognition from Representative Norma J. Torres. Andrew continues to apply his service background, passion for the arts and administrative experience to the admissions sector of The Young Americans Campus. His hobbies include traveling, fitness and continued participation in community service events.
Jessica was born and raised in Southern California. She has had a love of singing since she was a very little girl, and her favorite gift she got growing up was a karaoke machine! She went on to perform in many choirs, musicals and plays throughout her life (and still does when has has time). When she went to college she discovered that counseling and helping others in a profound way was something she loved just as much as performing. Jessica studied Psychology and got her Bachelors Degree in Psychology from San Francisco State University. She went on to get 2 Masters Degrees, one in School Counseling from Chapman University and most recently her Masters in Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage Family therapy from Brandman University.
Jessica has worked in the education and social work fields throughout her career. She has worked as a Case Manager with foster youth, a Teachers Aide, as a School Counselor, and worked as the Director of Admissions for a private High School. She has been working in Higher Education for the last 9 years in various roles in Admissions/Recruitment, Career Services,Outreach, and most recently a Counselor at a local Community College. She is thrilled to be here at the Young Americans as the Recruitment Coordinator helping to bring more talented youth to make a change in the world through music and education. When not at work you will find Jessica volunteering at her church, attending various performances, going to museums, finding creative things to do, and spending time with her husband, 7 year old daughter, and her animals.
Brandy T. Davis
Financial Assistant - Accounts Payable
Financial Coordinator – Accounts Receivable
Ceisley is a native of Southern California and a Young American Alumni. She entered the organization as a New Kid in 2009 and was an active member until 2012. Ceisley studied theatre arts at Chapman University and has continued to perform professionally in musical theater around Southern California. She is currently studying Business Management with an emphasis in Accounting and has been working in finance for 7 years. She is thrilled to be working for an organization that means so much to her and hopes to be involved with the Young Americans for years to come.