The National Opera Trustee Recognition Program, now in its 13th year, was established to honor opera company trustees for exemplary leadership, support and audience-building efforts within their communities on behalf of their respective opera companies across the country.

The National Opera Trustee Recognition Program:
  • Highlights the tenets of good governance;
  • Provides models of trustee and volunteer excellence;
  • Amplifies the efforts of distinguished trustees to a national audience; and
  • Strengthens the relationships between trustees and the companies and communities they serve.
Nominations are due to OPERA America by Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 8:00 p.m. EDT.

Every U.S. Professional Company Member in good standing is invited to submit only one nomination. The nominated trustee must currently be serving on your board of directors. Honorees representing Budget 1, Budget 2, Budget 3 and Budget 4/5 companies will be chosen by a selection committee comprising past recipients of National Opera Trustee Recognition Awards.

The committee will evaluate the breadth and depth of each nominee’s involvement with the opera company according to six criteria. Please consult the Trustee Nomination Guidelines for more information about the six criteria.

Nomination Instructions
All nominations must be submitted using this form. You may save your trustee nomination draft in the online form and return to it later. A listing of all required questions can be found at

Considerations When Preparing Your Nomination
  • The selection committee can only consider what they receive in your written nomination. Your nominee likely excels in all six evaluation areas. Make sure your nomination makes that clear and convincing.
  • Be specific. Provide concrete examples to illustrate how your nominee has impacted the company.
  • Help the committee understand the magnitude of your nominee’s impact by qualifying any numerical data.
  • The selection committee will look for evidence that your nominee has played an active role in the advancement of the company. The accomplishments of your company under your nominee’s board tenure are less important than how your nominee helped achieve them.
For questions, contact Melissa Walters, individual giving and membership manager, at 646.699.5248 or

Nomination Form

Past U.S. Honorees
Listed alphabetically by year
Elizabeth Hernandez, Opera Cultura
Charlie Schaffler, Opera Memphis
Stacey Hunt Spier, El Paso Opera
Maryanne Tagney, Seattle Opera
Robert Tancer, Arizona Opera

Henry Fogel, Chicago Opera Theater
Carol F. Henry, Los Angeles Opera
John Serrage, Opera Maine
R. Jamison Williams, Michigan Opera Theatre

Jerry Clack, Pittsburgh Festival Opera
R. Marsh Gibson, Opera Memphis
Carol Lazier, San Diego Opera
Holly Mayer, The Dallas Opera

Michele S. Fabrizi, Pittsburgh Opera
Martha Rivers Ingram, Nashville Opera
Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer, The Metropolitan Opera
Jacqueline Badger Mars, Washington National Opera
Cynthia du Pont Tobias, OperaDelaware

Susan Bienkowski, Long Beach Opera
Frank Kuehn, Opera Southwest
Capt. James H. McCoy, Hawaii Opera Theatre
John Nesholm, Seattle Opera

Michael and Noémi Neidorff, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Ruth W. Orth, M.D., Pensacola Opera
Kenneth G. Pigott, Lyric Opera of Chicago
Robert L. Roschel, M.D., OperaLancaster

Lisa Erdberg, San Francisco Opera
Patricia A. Richards, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera
Cherie Shreck, Des Moines Metro Opera
Timothy J. Wagg, Opera North

Elizabeth Eveillard, The Glimmerglass Festival
Joseph and Judy Liff-Barker, Nashville Opera
Susan F. Morris, The Santa Fe Opera
William C. Morris, The Metropolitan Opera
Dr. George R. White, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh

Eleanor “Ellie” Caulkins, Opera Colorado
Jackie Lockwood, Dayton Opera
John I. (Jack) Riddle, PORTopera
Lynn Wyatt, Houston Grand Opera

Jeffrey A. Evershed, Portland Opera
Benjamin Keaton, Long Leaf Opera Company
Fred and Eve Simon, Opera Omaha
Marc I. Stern, Los Angeles Opera

James T. Cody Jr., The Dallas Opera
Richard Holland, Opera Omaha
Beth Ingram, Lyric Opera of Kansas City
C. Guy Rudisill III, Piedmont Opera

Betty W. Healey, Opera Birmingham
Sally S. Levy, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Jane A. Robinson, Florida Grand Opera
G. Whitney Smith, Fort Worth Opera
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