Carol Smith Adams
Carol Smith Adams is a non-profit consultant who began her career as Development Director of Austin’s historic Paramount Theatre for the Performing Arts. She subsequently became Executive Director for the internationally acclaimed Sharir Dance Company and Capital Campaign Director and Major Gifts Officer at ZACH Theatre. During her professional career, Carol also served as Treasurer of the National Society of Fundraising Executives, Greater Austin Chapter.
Carol has chaired the boards of Animal Trustees of Austin, the Austin Center for Battered Women and the Austin Children’s Choir and also served on the boards of the Heritage Society of Austin and the Austin Dance Umbrella. She currently chairs the board of Blue Lapis Light Aerial Dance Company and serves on the Director’s Council for the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas at Austin.
In 2010 Carol received the Jordan Award as Volunteer of the Year from the Austin Community Foundation. Carol and Chris are blessed with two children, eight grandchildren and three rescued dogs.
Eric Gould Bear
Eric Gould Bear has served on Blue Lapis Light’s board of directors since 2007, and as board chair from 2009 to 2016.
He is a technology entrepreneur with over 30 years experience crafting and establishing user experience strategies for many well-known corporations. Communication Arts described him as “one of the most thoughtful and provocative interface and interaction designers working in the field.” Eric founded Austin’s award-winning MONKEYmedia, is a mezzanine co-founder of energy monitoring startup, CURB, and a partner at Capital Factory. He is a former university professor and Fortune 500 executive, named on over 100 software and hardware patents and patent applications. Products based on his inventions are in use every day by millions of people and thousands of companies.
Eric is married to Janna Buckmaster Bear and is father of two amazing adults, once upon a time adopted from China. An enthusiastic and inspirational leader, he provides a blend of business intelligence and audience sensibility critical to the durability and growth of the company.
In addition to working with Blue Lapis Light, Eric Behrens is on the boards of directors for Austin Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Austin, and Writer’s League of Texas.
JLL is a Fortune 500 commercial real estate (CRE) firm that focuses on aligning a company’s business objectives with their real estate needs. With over 70,000 employees globally, serving in over 80 countries, JLL is one of the world’s largest CRE firms.
Bre has worked for JLL since 2012 focusing on office tenant representation. As a tenant rep, Bre concentrates on site selection, negotiation, and execution of real estate transactions for her clients in the Austin area. With a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture, Bre has a unique ability to expedite the site selection process for her clients. Bre has successfully negotiated over $10,000,000 worth of real estate transactions through leases, amendments, renewals, and/or extensions. In 2017, Bre won the JLL Culture Award, recognizing her ability as a progressive force within the company.
As the first female in her family to graduate college, the youngest of all brothers, and a woman working in a male dominated industry, Bre has a passion for volunteering to help further women in their careers. As an advocate for the professional development and empowerment of other women, Bre spends majority of her free time volunteering with the Young Women’s Alliance whose mission is to help women lead, educate, network, and serve. She has served as the Higher Education Scholarship Chair for the Giving Committee of the Young Women’s Alliance (YWA), the Nominations Chair for YWA’s Austin Under 40 Awards, and currently serves on the board of YWA as VP of Austin Under 40. In addition to her involvement with YWA, Bre also serves as a mentor for the Seedling Foundation and a volunteer for the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Texas.
Bre has over 14 years of classical training with the Houston Repertoire Ballet and 10 years of training in various other styles of dance, assisting in her role as a board member with Blue Lapis Light. In her free time, she enjoys playing on recreational sports leagues, Krav Maga, spending time with her husband, and working on her upcoming blog, Busy Bre.
Melita Elmore is an environmental scientist who currently works with global clients for British Standards Institute.
Melita has worked as an executive for a Fortune 100 company in external affairs, been a regulatory analyst for a State agency, worked with several national and international engineering firms, and taught science in community colleges and secondary schools. Her undergraduate degree is in biology and chemistry, and she has an MS in Water Pollution Studies. She has also served on several non-profits boards and has worked with the Global Footprint Network the Texas Carbon Capture and Storage Association, Keep America Beautiful among others.
A military brat, Melita has lived in various US states, and in Latin America. She loves to do yoga, hike, and travel, especially visiting her son in Washington DC where he is a technology reporter for the Wall Street Journal. Under the loving guidance of Nicole Whiteside, she has the distinction of being the oldest Blue Lapis Light student!
Sally Jacques, founder of Blue Lapis Light, creates site-specific aerial dance works that speak to social, political and spiritual dilemmas. Recognized for her international efforts against human rights abuse, environmental endangerment, homelessness, and racism, her activist views inform her artistic journey. A native of England, Jacques’ early career included international performances in Munich, Barcelona, Vienna and Costa Rica. She studied dance at The Place and The Contemporary Dance Center in London and attended the Lee Strasberg Drama School in New York to study improvisation and acting. Jacques also studied experimental theatre at the Institut del Teatre de Barcelona and movement at the Oval Theatre in London as a protege of John Trigger. Jacques has been the recipient of numerous grants and accolades, including the Susan B. Anthony Award for Peace, funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the City of Austin/Arts Commission and Art Matters, New York City.
In 2008, Jacques was nominated for a United States Artists Fellowship and in 2007, she was inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame. As part of First Night Austin, 2006, Jacques was awarded the Samsung Signature Peace Award. She was named the 2003 Greater Austin YWCA Woman of the Year for Achievement in the Arts and honored as a lifetime member of the Golden Key National Honor Society. With Jose Luis Bustamante, she was awarded the 1994 New Forms Regional Initiative Grant (NFRIG) funded by the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation.
Jacques is a featured choreographer in the recently published book “Site Dance” (University Press of Florida). She was included in the 2006 “Faces of Austin” installation at the Austin City Hall. Her work has been cited in publications around the globe and her performances have been featured on PBS. Her own book, “64 Beds and other Site Works”, was published in 1996.
For many years, Jacques taught movement to at-risk teenagers, prison inmates, senior citizens, and the differently-abled, making dance accessible for all. Currently, Blue Lapis Light mentors young dancers through the Youth Taking Flight program.
Maxwell Locke & Ritter is one of the largest certified public accounting firms in Austin and has been serving the greater Austin area for over 25 years. The firm has a unique culture and focuses on three things: our clients, our people, and the community. Sarah specializes in high net worth individual and estate planning and a strong foundation in partnership, trust, and gift tax compliance. She is on the Estate Planning Council of Central Texas and a member of the AICPA and TSBPA.
Sarah is an Austin native and a graduate of St. Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Business Administration and Texas State University with a Masters of Accountancy. She also volunteers with the Center for Child Protection.
John Rosato has been a general partner in over 30 real estate partnerships responsible for the management of all activities of the partnerships including acquisition, development, financing and investor relations. He was a general partner and planning consultant for the 230,000-square-foot Penn Field, named the Best Mixed-Use Development of 2004 by the Austin Business Journal. He manages real estate acquisitions and leasing for Austin Travis County MHMR, a public agency with more than 60 commercial and residential buildings. Mr. Rosato coordinated project management for a $9 million joint public works project for the City of Austin and Travis County, and has provided relocation consulting for those displaced by construction of State Highway 130. He was the Managing Partner for Seaholm, a $150M mixed use development in downtown Austin.
Mr. Rosato earned a Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas School of Architecture. A licensed real estate broker, he has furthered his education with courses in the psychology of marketing, real estate contracts and appraisal. He served as President of the Heritage Society of Austin and was the Chair of the Downtown Austin Alliance board of directors.
Stefania Tafuro has been a Blue Lapis Light student since 2008 and has experienced first hand how powerful aerial movement can be in allowing individuals to express their inner beauty.
When not in the air, Stefania is a fundraising consultant. She has twelve years’ experience in capital campaign management, major gifts fundraising, business development, event planning, and public relations. Stefania has served as Senior Advisor at Corcoran & Co, Assistant Director for Development at the UT-Austin Environmental Science Institute, Capital Campaign Manager at ZACH Theatre, and Outreach and Public Relations Manager at Castle Hill Fitness. She is passionate about providing non-profits with creative and enduring fundraising solutions that foster stewardship, growth, and service. She began her professional career in the non-profit sector in Los Angeles, where she worked at the ACLU of Southern California, the California Women’s Law Center, and the Disability Rights Legal Center at Loyola Law School.
Stefania is fluent in English, German, Italian, French, and Spanish. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the Free University of Berlin, Germany and she holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Bologna, Italy, where she is originally from. Stefania currently serves as Secretary of the Blue Lapis Light Board.
Diana G. Zuniga is an Austin based developer, investor , and real estate broker. She was a development partner of the Spring Condominium, a 42-story residential point tower valued at over $120,000,000 located at the west end of the CBD in Austin, Texas. In that capacity, she was responsible for sourcing project financing, construction oversight, and marketing and sales of the project’s 252 units to sell out. She is the President and Owner of Investors Alliance, Inc., a commercial real estate firm she founded in 1996, which specializes in investment property sales and acquisitions.
As an investor, Ms. Zuniga is the managing partner of several real estate investment partnerships, which own and operate various real estate assets including multi-family and office properties in the Austin and San Antonio, Texas area. She has 30 years of experience as an investor, managing partner and real estate broker.
Ms. Zuniga is a CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member of the Commercial-Investment Real Estate Institute) and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. She is past President, Board and Executive Committee Member of the Real Estate Council of Austin, Board Member of the Central Texas Commercial Association of Realtors, associate member of the Austin Area Research Organization, and past President of the Austin Commercial Real Estate Society, as well as a member of the board of the Wilbarger Creek Municipal Utility District #1, and a member of the Advisory Board of IBC Bank, Austin. She is also a member of the Emeritus Board of Zachary Scott Theatre and a board member of Blue Lapis Light, an aerial performance troupe.
Ms. Zuniga has received numerous awards recognizing her abilities. Most recently, Diana was named one of the top commercial real estate practitioners in the country by the National Association of Realtors. She was named Top Woman in Austin Commercial Real Estate for the decade 2002-2012 by CREW Austin, the local chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women. Other recognitions include CoStar’s Top Ten Power Broker for 2003 through 2007, Top Ten Commercial Broker for 2004 and 2005, and Texas Monthly’s 2005 Super Agent Award. She was a finalist for 2004 and 2013 Profiles in Power awarded by the Austin Business Journal.
During her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband, boating and all forms of cultural entertainment.