A former stock broker and partner at Montgomery Securities, Tom has served on the Stagebridge board in various capacities for over ten years.
He is also a former board member of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and is a trustee emeritus of St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. In addition, he's a member of the Canadian Studies Program at U.C. Berkeley.
He has received outstanding reviews for his performances in community theater throughout the Bay Area and has enjoyed studying subjects such as Shakespeare and French Cabaret. Of the senior theatre company, Tom says that he "loves how Stagebridge makes people happier, confident and fulfilled."
Marcia Grossman, Secretary
Marcia Grossman has been an active Stagebridge student since 2009, taking classes such as Acting, Singing with Scrumbly, and Musical Theater, plus attending summer camp four times. A retired Human Resources professional, she formerly served as head of HR for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and The Urban Institute as well as operating her own HR consulting company, which focused on the needs of non-profits in the Washington, D.C. area. Marcia earned an M.S. in Personnel & Industrial Relations from American University and a B.A. in English from Rutgers University. She is a past president of the Human Resources Association of the National Capital Area, serving on their Board of Directors for five years before retiring to the Bay Area in 1998.
Nader Robert Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Nader is cofounder and CEO of AgeSong, next generation communities in northern California that support the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being of elders. He is co-author of Deeper Into the Soul, aimed at de-stigmatizing and broadening understanding of dementia, and is also a licensed psychotherapist, and a frequent lecturer on aging, counseling, and dementia.
Ruksana Azhu Valappil, PhD
Ruksana is a social entrepreneur and a former clinical research neuro-scientist. A commitment to empower underserved communities, especially women and kids, led her in 2013 to found NEEV, a social enterprise working with women artisans in India. She is also very enthusiastic about the arts, having been an active participant of the performing arts into her20s. She has also worked for over a decade in Parkinson’s disease research, and through that experience, Ruksana is well aware of the importance and the positive influence all forms of art have in helping people lead long, active and fulfilling lives. She believes that Stagebridge, through its mission and programs, provides this much needed interaction between the arts, the individual and his/her community, and she is thrilled to be part of the Stagebridge community and hope to be of service in all ways that she can assist.
San Francisco native and East Bay resident Claire Isaaacs Wahrhaftig is on the Stagebridge board, but coming to Stagebridge as a student was just the latest in a series of adventures for Claire, who earned a B.A. in Speech and Drama and an M.A. in Art History from Claremont Graduate University. In addition, she lived in Israel for three years and studied Hebrew as part of her desire to learn more about Jewish history. She has also had a career in arts administration, including working for The Committee for Arts and Lectures at U.C. Berkeley (now Cal Performances), education programming at SF MOMA, and serving as Executive Director at of the San Francisco Arts Commission. She is currently active as a board member of the Treasure Island Museum. Aside from storytelling classes at Stagebridge (where she is in her fourth year), she recently performed at The Marsh's popular "Tell It On Tuesday."
Stagebridge is pleased to welcome Natalie Fay as our newest member to the Board of Directors. Prior to joining Stagebridge, Natalie spent 35 years as a transportation planner working for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the cities of Walnut Creek, Berkeley and Oakland. She has also served as the Associate Director for Technology Transfer for UC Berkeley's Institute of Transportation Studies.
Additionally, her experience includes serving on non-profit boards, including as East Bay Chair for the Jewish Community Relations Council. Natalie’s education includes a B.A. from UC Berkeley and an M.A. from UCLA. Now, as a third-year student at Stagebridge, Natalie says that her time here has brought her great joy and fulfillment, and she is thrilled to be on the Stagebridge board.
Stuart Kandell, Ph.D.
Founder, Emeritus Executive Director & Board member (1978 -2013)