Our Leadership

Our Leadership2018-11-26T11:52:19+00:00

LONJ Founders

William Corson (Co-Founder, Executive Producer) also serves as the company’s most frequent stage director having produced and/or directed over 60 mini-shows ranging from Gypsy to The Barber of Seville. Additionally Bill has directed over a dozen full length productions such as The Pirates of Penzance and Thoroughly Modern Millie. A former member of the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players (NYGASP), Bill is a significant G&S enthusiast but with a wide musical theater background giving a full range of theater experience. He is a graduate of Colgate University and works full time as Vice President of Group Benefits at AEPG Wealth Strategies in Warren, NJ.

Bill headshot

Lauran Fulton Corson (Co-Founder, Artistic Director) is an accomplished coloratura soprano who has performed a wide variety of well-known roles throughout the USA, including Marie (Daughter of the Regiment), Gilda (Rigoletto), and Lucia (Lucia di Lamamoor). She is a graduate of the Juilliard School and holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan. Lauran operates Corson Studios, dedicated to the development and enhancement of all styles of singing from the amateur to the professional. Additionally, she owns Creative Design by Lauran, an interior design firm.

Bill headshot

William Corson (Co-Founder, Executive Producer) also serves as the company’s most frequent stage director having produced and/or directed over 60 mini-shows ranging from Gypsy to The Barber of Seville. Additionally Bill has directed over a dozen full length productions such as The Pirates of Penzance and Thoroughly Modern Millie. A former member of the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players (NYGASP), Bill is a significant G&S enthusiast but with a wide musical theater background giving a full range of theater experience. He is a graduate of Colgate University and works full time as Vice President of Group Benefits at AEPG Wealth Strategies in Warren, NJ.

Lauran Fulton Corson (Co-Founder, Artistic Director) is an accomplished coloratura soprano who has performed a wide variety of well-known roles throughout the USA, including Marie (Daughter of the Regiment), Gilda (Rigoletto), and Lucia (Lucia di Lamamoor). She is a graduate of the Juilliard School and holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan. Lauran operates Corson Studios, dedicated to the development and enhancement of all styles of singing from the amateur to the professional. Additionally, she owns Creative Design by Lauran, an interior design firm.

LONJ Board of Trustees

LONJ Board of Trustees

0241.Mike Baruffi

Michael Baruffi (Treasurer) has been performing with LONJ for several years and recently joined its Board of Trustees. Michael is retired from the Mars Chocolate Company, where he served 29 years in Cash Management, Budget and Planning and Sales Forecasting roles. He holds a BA in Political Science from Penn State University and an MBA in Finance from Rutgers University. Michael resides in Randolph, NJ with his wife Rebecca.

David L. Clark received his undergraduate degree from North Texas University, Denton, TX, and completed his graduate work at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. Mr. Clark spent the first ten years of his career as a professional opera singer, spending three seasons at the Santa Fe Opera Company, Santa Fe, NM. For the last thirty years, he has been in the insurance industry and is currently a practicing reinsurance intermediary. During Mr. Clark’s business career, he has been active in the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), currently a Hall of Fame member, and the Advanced Association of Life Underwriting (AALU). He has earned both Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter designations. This dual certification places him in the top 1/10 of 1% of insurance professionals in America. Outside of business, Mr. Clark has been active in the Metropolitan Opera Society, the Boy Scouts of America, served as Chair of the New Jersey Multiple Sclerosis Society (10 years), and as a board member of the Marilyn Horne Foundation (15 years). He is currently serving on the Board of Trustees after being instrumental in the founding of LONJ.

Steven M. Fulda recently retired as managing director of Fulda Business Planners, where he specialized in redirecting strategy and operations to enable businesses to succeed. He has fifty years of senior management experience spanning all facets of corporate strategy, business policy, corporate finance, and business planning. Steve combines senior management experience as a business planner with earlier responsibilities in systems engineering and technology development. Utilizing his multidisciplinary background in both management and technology, he has been successful as a change agent, implementing new strategies and tactics that have not only averted problems but increased operational effectiveness and corporate profitability. His planning experiences include mentoring and teaching. Steve was Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he designed MBA curricula and delivered MBA-level courses in corporate planning and business development. Steve is an experienced board-level director, having served on six corporate boards in both the industrial and non-profit sectors. He holds Master’s degrees in Quantitative Business Analytics and Systems Engineering.

Elaine Gennaro (Chair) began her affiliation with LONJ as a soprano performing in nearly all productions from 2000-2009, including September Song, OPERAgious, and Plays in the Park. Some favorite productions include Hansel and Gretel (Sandman), Pirates of Penzance (Isabel), Iolanthe (Leila), Orpheus in the Underworld (Juno), and The True Story of Cinderella (Fairy Godmother). She studied voice with the late Garyth Nair and Lauran Fulton Corson and was employed as the principal cantor and soloist for twelve years at Our Lady of the Lake RC Church in Verona. Elaine earned a BA in Economics from Rutgers University, an MBA in Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business, and a Masters in Teaching from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is a former math teacher and tutor for college and high school entrance examinations. Elaine has served in many volunteer leadership positions in her community of New Providence over the past 30 years, including PTAs, Scouts, the Municipal Alliance to Prevent Substance Abuse, and the Summit Chorale. She currently also serves as an elected party district committee representative and on the advisory board of the Academy at Our Lady of Peace RC Church. She and husband Michael have three children and four grandchildren.

Shari Loe is an attorney who has worked in-house at AT&T for 26 years. She graduated with a BA in Political Science from Yale in 1977 and obtained her law degree from New York University Law School in 1983. She comes from a musical family, sings in her church choir when she can, and has loved storytelling and theater all of her life. In addition to her volunteer support of LONJ, she serves as president-elect of her congregation, the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship. A mother of three and grandmother of one, she lives in Basking Ridge, NJ with her husband, David Matsushima, and their chocolate Lab.

Mary Lynne Nielsen (Secretary) is the global operations and outreach program director at the IEEE Standards Association, helping to create technical standards that establish global interoperability and portability for today’s technology. She manages IEEE’s relationships in North, Central, and South America. Mary Lynne graduated from Indiana University—Bloomington with a BS degree, with high honors, in music (voice performance) and journalism. She also completed executive education at Cornell University. Mary Lynne has performed extensively in the NY/NJ/PA area in situations as diverse as concertizing at Lincoln Center to appearing in local television broadcasts in Philadelphia. She also serves on the board of Friends of Music at St. Paul’s, supporting this growing musical program in Westfield, NJ.

Heath Weisberg (Vice-Chair) is general counsel of CAM Capital, a single family office and investment firm that engages in both trading activities and fundamentally driven investments spanning all parts of the corporate capital structure in both the private and public markets. Heath is also an officer of the Kovner Foundation and is responsible for both firms’ legal, regulatory, and compliance matters. His substantial legal and business experience extends to investment management, private funds, and mergers and acquisitions. As a performer, Heath has most recently appeared with LONJ, Mystic Vision Players, Berkeley Light Opera Company, and Ridgewood Gilbert & Sullivan. He has also served as music director for Berkeley Light Opera Company productions and as a guest conductor with the New Jersey Youth Symphony. Heath earned his JD, cum laude, from New York University School of Law and his BA, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, with distinctions in Music and Philosophy. He joined the Board of Trustees of LONJ in 2016.

LONJ Production Board

LONJ Production Board

Lois Buesser has been with LONJ as pianist and singer since 2004. A graduate of Oklahoma City University, she has performed in NY, NJ, OK, and NC, as well as Europe and Asia. Lois is organist at St. Mark’s in Basking Ridge and Temple Sinai in Summit, and she is an accompanist at William Paterson University. As music director of LONJ productions, Lois is honored to have been a fragment of the success of cabarets (Gershwin, Kern, Rodgers & Hart, and Cole Porter) and productions with songs from operas, operettas, and Broadway—all accomplished alongside the splendid talents of a deeply committed group of singers and leaders.

Lois 03_ver 2

Lois 03_ver 2

Lois Buesser has been with LONJ as pianist and singer since 2004. A graduate of Oklahoma City University, she has performed in NY, NJ, OK, and NC, as well as Europe and Asia. Lois is organist at St. Mark’s in Basking Ridge and Temple Sinai in Summit, and she is an accompanist at William Paterson University. As music director of LONJ productions, Lois is honored to have been a fragment of the success of cabarets (Gershwin, Kern, Rodgers & Hart, and Cole Porter) and productions with songs from operas, operettas, and Broadway—all accomplished alongside the splendid talents of a deeply committed group of singers and leaders.
Tom Donelan is a long-standing member of LONJ, having appeared in The Gondoliers (Antonio), Trial by Jury (Counsel), The True Story of Cinderella (Third Hermit), Footloose (Rev. Shaw Moore), The Mikado (Pish Tush), The Pirates of Penzance (Samuel), Amahl and the Night Visitors (King Melchoir, King Kaspar), and Lovin’ Cole. Tom has also been a member of the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players professional repertory company since 1996, performing nearly the entire G&S canon. Tom served as scenic designer for Thoroughly Modern Millie and also assisted with scenic design for other recent productions (The Barber of Seville, Sweeney Todd). Tom is a proud co-founder of the LONJ outreach ensemble, Savoy Faire, which performs at various venues throughout northern New Jersey. By day, Tom works in IT for New Jersey City University, and resides in Whippany with his wife Donna Lee and daughter Sophia who are also active in LONJ.

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tdheadshot3.edit.web

Tom Donelan is a long-standing member of LONJ, having appeared in The Gondoliers (Antonio), Trial by Jury (Counsel), The True Story of Cinderella (Third Hermit), Footloose (Rev. Shaw Moore), The Mikado (Pish Tush), The Pirates of Penzance (Samuel), Amahl and the Night Visitors (King Melchoir, King Kaspar), and Lovin’ Cole. Tom has also been a member of the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players professional repertory company since 1996, performing nearly the entire G&S canon. Tom served as scenic designer for Thoroughly Modern Millie and also assisted with scenic design for other recent productions (The Barber of Seville, Sweeney Todd). Tom is a proud co-founder of the LONJ outreach ensemble, Savoy Faire, which performs at various venues throughout northern New Jersey. By day, Tom works in IT for New Jersey City University, and resides in Whippany with his wife Donna Lee and daughter Sophia who are also active in LONJ.
John Lamb has been a member of LONJ since its earliest days, having sung in the first and nearly every subsequent production of September Song, every production of OPERAgious!, many productions of Amahl and the Night Visitors, several Plays in the Park, and many Savoy Faire shows. He performs with a number of local ensembles, including Harmonium Choral Society, The Early Music Players, and The Eclectic Consort. He is a soloist and the bass section leader at Christ Church in Short Hills. John holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia and a Masters of Electrical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. A former member of technical staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories and Telcordia Technologies, he is LONJ’s webmaster. John lives in Randolph with his wife Kristine. Together, they operate the family business Boxwood Music Incorporated.

John2crop

John2crop

John Lamb has been a member of LONJ since its earliest days, having sung in the first and nearly every subsequent production of September Song, every production of OPERAgious!, many productions of Amahl and the Night Visitors, several Plays in the Park, and many Savoy Faire shows. He performs with a number of local ensembles, including Harmonium Choral Society, The Early Music Players, and The Eclectic Consort. He is a soloist and the bass section leader at Christ Church in Short Hills. John holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia and a Masters of Electrical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. A former member of technical staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories and Telcordia Technologies, he is LONJ’s webmaster. John lives in Randolph with his wife Kristine. Together, they operate the family business Boxwood Music Incorporated.
Amy Liu spent several years as LONJ’s stage manager. She has worn many hats behind the scenes in box office, crew, house management, sound design, and other roles with theater and concert companies.  Professionally, Amy is an operations leader with Marsh USA, working with the firm’s global risk management clients and colleagues. She is an EMT with the Long Hill First Aid Squad. Amy has a BA in Economics from Cornell University.  She lives in Warren with her husband and son.

Amy Liu spent several years as LONJ’s stage manager. She has worn many hats behind the scenes in box office, crew, house management, sound design, and other roles with theater and concert companies.  Professionally, Amy is an operations leader with Marsh USA, working with the firm’s global risk management clients and colleagues. She is an EMT with the Long Hill First Aid Squad. Amy has a BA in Economics from Cornell University.  She lives in Warren with her husband and son.
Mindy Lynch is a fundraising professional, volunteer, and active supporter of wildlife conservation and the arts. With a fine arts background and 25 years of experience working for New Jersey nonprofits, Mindy is delighted to assist LONJ with their artistic and fundraising goals. Mindy has been a board member of the Harmonium Choral Society, Morris County School of Technology’s Academy for Visual and Performing Arts Education Foundation, and the Randolph Middle School PTO. She was a co-founder of the Ironia Elementary Schoolyard Habitat. Mindy lives in Randolph with her husband Timothy and son Ethan, a theater student who has performed in several LONJ productions.

Mindy Lynch is a fundraising professional, volunteer, and active supporter of wildlife conservation and the arts. With a fine arts background and 25 years of experience working for New Jersey nonprofits, Mindy is delighted to assist LONJ with their artistic and fundraising goals. Mindy has been a board member of the Harmonium Choral Society, Morris County School of Technology’s Academy for Visual and Performing Arts Education Foundation, and the Randolph Middle School PTO. She was a co-founder of the Ironia Elementary Schoolyard Habitat. Mindy lives in Randolph with her husband Timothy and son Ethan, a theater student who has performed in several LONJ productions.
Jamie Baer Peterson, soprano, was educated at the Eastman School of Music and began her career as an apprentice with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has sung leading roles with opera companies throughout the US and France, including L’Opera de Nice, Santa Fe Opera, Minnesota Opera, Central City Opera, and New York City Opera. Critically acclaimed for her “voice of shining brilliance” (Opera Now), Jamie has been a soloist with many oratorio societies and has sung multiple times at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fischer Hall with the New York City Symphony, Little Orchestra Society, and National Choral. Regionally she has been a soloist with the Dallas, Atlanta, Hartford, Omaha, Princeton, Westfield, and Lake Placid Symphonies, and she has appeared in two national broadcasts with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She has performed with LONJ since 2004. She has directed Light Night, Operagious!, Don Pasquale, The Old Maid and the Thief, and Barber of Seville for LONJ.  Jamie teaches at the Wharton Institute of Performing Arts and has been on the faculty of Monmouth University. She lives in New Providence, NJ with her husband and three children.

Jamie Baer Peterson, soprano, was educated at the Eastman School of Music and began her career as an apprentice with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has sung leading roles with opera companies throughout the US and France, including L’Opera de Nice, Santa Fe Opera, Minnesota Opera, Central City Opera, and New York City Opera. Critically acclaimed for her “voice of shining brilliance” (Opera Now), Jamie has been a soloist with many oratorio societies and has sung multiple times at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fischer Hall with the New York City Symphony, Little Orchestra Society, and National Choral. Regionally she has been a soloist with the Dallas, Atlanta, Hartford, Omaha, Princeton, Westfield, and Lake Placid Symphonies, and she has appeared in two national broadcasts with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She has performed with LONJ since 2004. She has directed Light Night, Operagious!, Don Pasquale, The Old Maid and the Thief, and Barber of Seville for LONJ.  Jamie teaches at the Wharton Institute of Performing Arts and has been on the faculty of Monmouth University. She lives in New Providence, NJ with her husband and three children.
Joanna Hoty Russell  (Chair) has performed a range of roles with LONJ, including Thoroughly Modern Millie (Muzzy), The Magic Flute (2nd Lady), and Footloose (Vi Moore), as well as Savoy Faire, LONJ’s travelling troupe. Joanna directed Amahl and the Night Visitors; co-directed “Lovin’ Cole,” an Original Cole Porter Revue; and was assistant director for The Gondoliers. As chair of the Show Choice Committee, she will steer LONJ future season selections. Joanna teaches private voice in Murray Hill and is the music director of The Larks, a volunteer singing group (sponsored by the Junior League of Summit). She serves as music director for Footlights of Martinsville, a children’s theatre program, and is the alto soloist at St. Peter’s Church in Roseland. For twenty years, Joanna has sung with The Early Music Players of NJ, a chamber ensemble devoted to the music of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras. Joanna is a co-founder of The Creative Arts Support Team, a non-profit organization supporting visual/performing arts opportunities in the Berkeley Heights school district.

Joanna Hoty Russell  (Chair) has performed a range of roles with LONJ, including Thoroughly Modern Millie (Muzzy), The Magic Flute (2nd Lady), and Footloose (Vi Moore), as well as Savoy Faire, LONJ’s travelling troupe. Joanna directed Amahl and the Night Visitors; co-directed “Lovin’ Cole,” an Original Cole Porter Revue; and was assistant director for The Gondoliers. As chair of the Show Choice Committee, she will steer LONJ future season selections. Joanna teaches private voice in Murray Hill and is the music director of The Larks, a volunteer singing group (sponsored by the Junior League of Summit). She serves as music director for Footlights of Martinsville, a children’s theatre program, and is the alto soloist at St. Peter’s Church in Roseland. For twenty years, Joanna has sung with The Early Music Players of NJ, a chamber ensemble devoted to the music of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras. Joanna is a co-founder of The Creative Arts Support Team, a non-profit organization supporting visual/performing arts opportunities in the Berkeley Heights school district.
Eileen Cooper Sędek, soprano, joined LONJ in 2016, performing with their outreach troupe Savoy Faire. She has garnered praise for her “winsome stage presence” (Star Ledger) and “spectacular acting and vocal performance” (Stage Magazine) for her musical appearances, ranging from intimate recitals to the concert and operatic stage. Ms. Cooper Sędek earned her Master of Music degree at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where she served as a part-time lecturer for the Music History and Vocal departments and was the recipient of the Olga Marsano Burian Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music. She is on the Board of Directors for the New York Singing Teachers Association, teaches voice and piano privately in New Jersey, and is an adjudicator for Teen Arts Festivals throughout the state. EileenCooper.com

Eileen Cooper Sędek, soprano, joined LONJ in 2016, performing with their outreach troupe Savoy Faire. She has garnered praise for her “winsome stage presence” (Star Ledger) and “spectacular acting and vocal performance” (Stage Magazine) for her musical appearances, ranging from intimate recitals to the concert and operatic stage. Ms. Cooper Sędek earned her Master of Music degree at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where she served as a part-time lecturer for the Music History and Vocal departments and was the recipient of the Olga Marsano Burian Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music. She is on the Board of Directors for the New York Singing Teachers Association, teaches voice and piano privately in New Jersey, and is an adjudicator for Teen Arts Festivals throughout the state. EileenCooper.com
David D. Simon has performed several roles with LONJ, including the Chairman in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Judge in Trial By Jury, and the comic baritone role in the Savoy Faire outreach troupe. David has been performing and directing musical theater and light opera for over 30 years with various groups in New Jersey and New York. David earned his JD from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and his BA from the University of Pennsylvania. By day, David manages attorney professional development at an international law firm. He lives in Berkeley Heights with his wife and 6-year old twins.

David D. Simon has performed several roles with LONJ, including the Chairman in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Judge in Trial By Jury, and the comic baritone role in the Savoy Faire outreach troupe. David has been performing and directing musical theater and light opera for over 30 years with various groups in New Jersey and New York. David earned his JD from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and his BA from the University of Pennsylvania. By day, David manages attorney professional development at an international law firm. He lives in Berkeley Heights with his wife and 6-year old twins.