NTF Announces Four New Board Members


March 15, 2022

The National Theatre Foundation Announces Four New Board Members

Daryn Dodson, Peter Jablow, Jean Komendera and Anthony A. Williams join the historic theatre’s Board of Directors

Washington, DC – Washington DC’s oldest continuously operating theatre, The National Theatre has added four distinguished new members to its Board of Directors. Joining the theatre’s Board are private equity pioneer Daryn Dodson, longtime non-profit and arts leader Peter Jablow, innovative advertising and marketing executive Jean Komendera, and civic leader and two-term Washington DC Mayor, Anthony A. Williams.

The National Theatre Foundation Board Chairman Charles C. (Sandy) Wilkes praised the incoming Board members: “Daryn Dodson, Peter Jablow, Jean Komendera and Anthony Williams bring financial acumen, problem-solving, creativity, innovation and inspiration. We’re very much looking forward to their contributions to our dedicated Board of Directors.”

Founded in 1835, The National Theatre has been a mainstay of the Washington DC cultural scene for nearly two centuries, launching some of the American theatre’s greatest artists and productions. Among the scores of distinguished artists who have appeared at The National Theatre are: Pearl Bailey, the Barrymores (Ethel, John and Lionel), Warren Beatty, Sarah Bernhardt, Fanny Bryce, Carol Channing, George M. Cohan, Katharine Cornell, Julie Harris, Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, James Earl Jones, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, Eartha Kitt, Ian McKellen, Idina Menzel, Rita Moreno, Laurence Olivier, Geraldine Page, Robert Redford, Debbie Reynolds, Chita Rivera, Sting, Lily Tomlin and many more. The theatre was the venue for the pre-Broadway tryouts of such musical theatre classics as West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof, and more recently for such hit Broadway musicals as Mean Girls and Beetlejuice.

Today, The National Theatre Foundation (NTF) operates, sustains and manages the historic building, is custodian of its irreplaceable historic archives, and creates and presents programs for the community, including Saturday Morning Live! NTF is led by Executive Director David Kitto, a long-time arts professional who has had key leadership roles in such organizations as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and The La Jolla Music Society. “The rich history of The National Theatre demands the highest level of stewardship,” said Kitto. “Preserving this historic building while making it suitable for modern-day productions, navigating the complexities of welcoming audiences in a post-pandemic world, and functioning as a living, vital member of the Washington DC performing arts community takes extraordinary leadership. Broadway at the National is about to open its most dynamic season in years, with a slate of nine shows including Six the Musical, Tina, Jagged Little Pill, Aladdin, Beetlejuice, Chicago, Cats and My Fair Lady, along with our own National Theatre Foundation community programming. As we prepare to welcome audiences back to live performances, we’re fortunate to have leaders like Daryn Dodson, Peter Jablow, Jean Komendera and Anthony Williams to help steer the National Theatre’s course into its third century of operation.”

About the New National Theatre Foundation Board Members

Daryn Dodson grew up in Washington, DC, in a family with a long history of entrepreneurship. His great-grandfather started a real estate and insurance business, John R. Pinkett, Inc. in 1932. His great-grandfather prospered in Washington DC, running a business and buying real estate –sowing the seeds of entrepreneurship that would run through generations of the family. Daryn Dodson went to Georgetown Day, got his A.B. in Public Policy Studies at Duke University and his M.B.A. at Stanford Graduate School of Business. He has blazed a career in finance, serving in key leadership roles at Calvert Funds, among others, and is Founder and Managing Director of Illumen Capital, a private equity firm that drives systemic change with respect to racial and gender equity. He also serves as Vice Chair of the board of directors of Ben & Jerry’s.

Name some of the most revered and influential arts organizations in Washington DC and Peter Jablow’s name will come up again and again. From the 1970s, when he was recruited to run the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington, to his long tenure as President and CEO of Levine Music, one of the leading community music schools in the country, to his board service with the Helen Hayes Awards, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, and Round House Theatre, Jablow has provided remarkable leadership to so many Washington area arts organizations. He has been an energetic problem-solver and inclusive leader since the earliest days of his career, gifts that made him a natural choice for leadership roles at NPR, where he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and the entertainment giants Ticketmaster and Ticketron. Peter Jablow has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.S. in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University.

Jean Komendera rose through the ranks of the intensely competitive advertising world, following the advice of legendary adman Ed Meyer, who led Grey Advertising where she landed her first position. “Be like a sponge, and learn something new each and every day,” he told the young adwoman. That philosophy has sustained her, and after 35 years in the business she remains curious and open-minded, committed to taking on any new challenge with a fresh perspective and enthusiasm. She founded her company, Gold Dog Communications, in 1998, and has produced award-winning work for leading corporations and organizations across a broad spectrum of industries, including the Howard Hughes Corporation, Federal Realty Investment Trust, Oracle, National Geographic Magazine, Bausch & Lomb, Jeep/Renault, Kodak and Ralston Purina, as well as leading law firms in DC: Crowell & Moring LLP, Shaw Pittman LLP, and Finnegan Henderson LLP. Jean Komendera has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Anthony A. Williams served as Mayor of the District of Columbia for two terms, from 1999 to 2007, a time of extraordinary change in the aftermath of 9/11. One of eight children raised by parents who were postal workers, Anthony Williams discovered his passion for activism and community at an early age, first in the anti-war movement and later as a counselor for blind children and Vietnam vets. He first ran for office while attending Yale, where he graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science. He later earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Master of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. As Mayor, Anthony Williams restored the financial health of the District, bringing $40 billion of investment to the city, just one of the achievements that prompted MSNBC to hail him as “one of the best and most successful mayors in U.S. history.” Today, Anthony Williams serves as CEO and Executive Director of the Federal City Council of Washington DC, which works to harness the talents of Washington’s business and professional leaders in order to focus on both the problems and opportunities facing the city.

More information about The National Theatre Foundation is at www.nationaltheatre.org.


Jo Manley

PR Advisor to The National Theatre Foundation