This is a landmark and historic achievement for the 27-year-old organization, that will now employ two full time and four part time staff members/contractors. Its upcoming 30 year anniversary of the annual international conference and festival will take place in Los Angeles, CA. Joan Myers Brown, Founder and Honorary Chair, hosted the first International Conference of Blacks in Dance, 1988 in Philadelphia, PA.
Denise Saunders Thompson
President and CEO
Denise Saunders Thompson has extensive experience in non-profit and for-profit, established or start-up organizations. She has advised organizations on administrative, programmatic and fundraising issues including strategic plans, policy and procedures, communications programs, budgeting and contracts.
Executive Associate to the President and CEO
Carol Foster founded The D.C. Youth Ensemble in 1980. Ms. Foster worked in the D.C. Public School System for thirty-seven years and has recently retired. She has worked as the Arts Coordinator for the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. In addition, she has taught visual arts in DCPS and was on staff as Adjunct Professor of Dance at the University of the District of Columbia.
Special Assistant, Programs
Omar Ingram, originally from Atlanta, Georgia, serves in the capacity of Special Assistant, Programs for the International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD). Most recently, he was the General Management Assistant at the Tony-Award winning Public Theater in New York City.
Gregory A. King
Creative Communications Coordinator
Gregory King received his MFA in Choreographic Practice and Theory from Southern Methodist University. In addition, he is certified in Elementary Labanotation. His dance training began in Washington DC at the Washington Ballet and later at American University.
Aja Roberts strives to be consistent and persistent in everything she does. With a background in hospitality management, musical theatre performance and six years working in event management, Aja is now extending her passion into the arts management arena.
Ashon T. Mask
Ashon Mask is native of Lansing, Michigan and an alumnus of Howard University where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts Administration. His studies focused on stage & event production, marketing/branding, finance/budget planning, and personnel management as they relate to arts organizations.
"The expansion of the IABD team strengthens our ability to meet the needs of the Black dance community," noted Denise Saunders Thompson, President and CEO of IABD. "Each team members unique skills and gifts will greatly benefit IABD, as the organization continues to fulfill it mission for our network of members, and constituency."
Yvonne Walker, Board Chair, states, “We are extremely pleased to have all of these wonderful and committed people on the team, and look forward to a prosperous future with them.”
The IABD offices are open Monday - Friday, 10:00am - 6:00pm, along with some weekends. The staff can be reached at (202) 899-3859 or via email through the website: iabdassociation.org/meet-the-iabd-team.