Leadership

Leadership

Edwaard Liang

Edwaard Liang

Artistic Director

Currently completing his eleventh and final season as Artistic Director of BalletMet (Columbus, Ohio), Liang is credited with reinvigorating the organization through his collegiality, creativity, and authentic commitment to community building. During his tenure, BalletMet nearly doubled in size, successfully launched and completed a major capital campaign, and expanded the size and scope of its ballet school.

As a choreographer, Liang has created 21 world premieres for BalletMet. In his new role as The Washington Ballet’s senior-most artistic leader, Liang will oversee all aspects of the company, including its creative vision; its professional Company and training studio; The Washington School of Ballet, with campuses in Cathedral Heights and at THEARC in Southeast Washington, D.C.; and the organization’s robust community engagement programs.

Liang will step into the position currently held by Acting Artistic Director Trinidad Vives, who will remain with TWB through December 2023 to assist with the transition. He succeeds Julie Kent, who served as TWB’s Artistic Director from 2016 to June 2023; Septime Webre (1999–2016); and Washington Ballet founder Mary Day (1967–1999).

Liang’s appointment concludes a year-long, international search led by a dedicated Search Committee in coordination with David Mallette and his team at Management Consultants for the Arts.

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Karen Shepherd

Karen Shepherd

Interim Managing Director

Karen Shepherd is the Interim Managing Director for The Washington Ballet.  She has over 20 years of experience in arts management and arts education for both non-profit and for-profit sectors of the arts …

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Artistic

Artistic

Sarah M. Schlehlein

Sarah M. Schlehlein

Company Manager

Sarah M Schlehlein joined TWB as Company Manager at the end of the 2022-2023 season. She originally joined The Washington Ballet as a member of the Stage Management team during …

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Rachel Scherer

Rachel Scherer

Stage Manager and Associate Company Manager

Rachel found a love for live theatre in high school after the end of her gymnastics career. Over the years, that love has expanded to include more forms of live …

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Sona Kharatian

Sona Kharatian

Rehearsal Director

Sona Kharatian is celebrating her 24th season with The Washington Ballet. She has danced with Orlando Ballet, Ballet Hawaii, the Trey McIntyre Project, and Copenhagen International Ballet. She was a …

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Tamás Krizsa

Tamás Krizsa

Rehearsal Director

Tamás Krizsa, of Hungary, is in his 13th season with The Washington Ballet. Krizsa graduated from the Hungarian Dance Academy with honors in 2002. During his school years, he was …

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Glenn Sales

Glenn Sales

Music Supervisor

Glenn Sales, Pianist, has been well-known to Washington, DC audiences since his National Symphony Orchestra debut at age 14 and his subsequent invitations as soloist with NSO. Sales attended the …

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Cece Farha

Cece Farha

Summer Faculty, Nutcracker Children's Rehearsal Director

CECE FARHA began teaching on the faculty of The Washington School of Ballet in 1999 under the direction of Mary Day. She works within multiple levels of the school as …

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Donna Glover

Donna Glover

Nutcracker Children's Coordinator and Summer Intensive Manager

Entering her 18th season with The Washington Ballet, Ms. Glover has transitioned from the leadership position of Director of Operations for The Washington School of Ballet to Summer Intensive Manager …

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Edwaard Liang

Edwaard Liang

Artistic Director

Currently completing his eleventh and final season as Artistic Director of BalletMet (Columbus, Ohio), Liang is credited with reinvigorating the organization through his collegiality, creativity, and authentic commitment to community building. During his tenure, BalletMet nearly doubled in size, successfully launched and completed a major capital campaign, and expanded the size and scope of its ballet school.

As a choreographer, Liang has created 21 world premieres for BalletMet. In his new role as The Washington Ballet’s senior-most artistic leader, Liang will oversee all aspects of the company, including its creative vision; its professional Company and training studio; The Washington School of Ballet, with campuses in Cathedral Heights and at THEARC in Southeast Washington, D.C.; and the organization’s robust community engagement programs.

Liang will step into the position currently held by Acting Artistic Director Trinidad Vives, who will remain with TWB through December 2023 to assist with the transition. He succeeds Julie Kent, who served as TWB’s Artistic Director from 2016 to June 2023; Septime Webre (1999–2016); and Washington Ballet founder Mary Day (1967–1999).

Liang’s appointment concludes a year-long, international search led by a dedicated Search Committee in coordination with David Mallette and his team at Management Consultants for the Arts.

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Development

Development

Kristina D. Palmer

Kristina D. Palmer

Chief Development Officer

Kristina is an experienced fundraising professional and strategist with over 20 years of progressive nonprofit leadership experience and a strong passion for ensuring there is access and opportunity for individuals …

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Jess Rampulla

Jess Rampulla

Senior Manager of Individual Giving

Jess is originally from Lancaster, PA. She grew up dancing and performing on stage and earned her bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts Management from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. Jess …

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Leah Mae Aldridge

Leah Mae Aldridge

Major Gifts Officer

Leah Mae Aldridge is an enthusiast, connector, and experienced fundraiser. She obtained her MBA from The University of Alabama, Manderson Graduate School of Business and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from the University of Memphis. Prior to joining TWB, she was a member of the National Symphony Orchestra fundraising team at The Kennedy Center. Her work has expanded across higher education, state government, local nonprofits, and national arts organization. She is an avid reader, casual jogger, and a proud Arkansan. Outside of TWB, you can find her teaching cycle and yoga at local fitness studios.

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Skylar Edwards

Skylar Edwards

Institutional Giving Manager

Skylar Edwards is the Institutional Giving Manager and The Washington Ballet’s designated staff resource for both current, and interested, grantors, foundation partners and corporate sponsors. With over 10 years of …

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Hunter Atherton

Hunter Atherton

Development Operations Specialist

Hunter Atherton is a native of Texas where she studied Art History and Business at Rice University. She completed her Master’s in Arts Management at George Mason University, where she …

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Marketing and Communications

Marketing and Communications

Christopher Anderson

Christopher Anderson

Chief Marketing Officer

Christopher Anderson serves as TWB’s Chief Marketing Officer. Since joining the TWB team in August 2021, Christopher has been instrumental in implementing improved patron services strategies and marketing campaigns for the company.

Stay tuned: Christopher and the TWB staff have been hard at work on our 2022/23 season & beyond!

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Wil Johnson

Wil Johnson

Associate Director of Ticketing and Patron Relations

Courtney Oliver

Courtney Oliver

Marketing Manager

Courtney joins TWB from the Spartanburg Philharmonic in South Carolina. During her tenure there, she connected with classical music enthusiasts, expanded the Philharmonic’s audience, collaborated with arts partners, and provided invaluable support to the organization’s educational initiatives. She brings a lifelong passion for the arts, a dedication to her community, and a diverse background in marketing to the already strong TWB team. 

Her journey in the arts began with ballet and expanded to focus on choir and theater, ultimately leading her to earn a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Ithaca College. Professionally, Courtney has honed her expertise in branding, marketing strategy, and audience development through roles at a national cable television network and various equipment manufacturers before moving into the non-profit space. Her first entrance into the arts was as the Marketing & Sales Coordinator at the Bartlett Performing Arts & Conference Center, located near Memphis, Tennessee. 

As parents, Courtney and her husband, Scot, dedicate much of their family time to instilling a love for the arts in their two children, especially the ballet and symphony, or wherever their interests take them. 

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Kyle Travers

Kyle Travers

Ticket Office Associate

Photo by XMB Photography.

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Community Engagement

Community Engagement

DeMoya Watson Brown

DeMoya Watson Brown

Director of Community Engagement

DeMoya Watson Brown, Arts Manager, Dance Educator, Performing Artist, and Choreographer, is originally from Daytona Beach, FL, where she received dance training at multiple schools in the area prior to …

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Rachael Coad

Rachael Coad

Community Engagement Associate

Rachael Coad grew up dancing in Northern Virginia and went on to train at the prestigious Virginia School of the Arts under Petrus Bosman of The Royal Ballet during her …

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Production

Production

Kaitlyn Anderson

Kaitlyn Anderson

Director of Production

Coming from the world of theatre, Kaitlyn joins TWB after 9 seasons with Milwaukee Repertory Theater. While at Milwaukee Rep she rose through the production management office overseeing numerous productions …

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Delante Gary

Delante Gary

Props Manager

Brian Flory

Brian Flory

Production Electrician

Christopher R.M. Insley

Christopher R.M. Insley

Technical Director

Photo by XMB Photography.

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Suzi Kilbourne

Suzi Kilbourne

Production Stage Manager

Suzi Kilbourne stage managed her first show in 1983. Since then, her path has been winding and her experiences eclectic, with stops along the way for a masters in political …

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Monica Leland

Monica Leland

Wardrobe Supervisor

Photo by XMB Photography.

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Rachel Scherer

Rachel Scherer

Stage Manager and Associate Company Manager

Rachel found a love for live theatre in high school after the end of her gymnastics career. Over the years, that love has expanded to include more forms of live …

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Sarah M. Schlehlein

Sarah M. Schlehlein

Company Manager

Sarah M Schlehlein joined TWB as Company Manager at the end of the 2022-2023 season. She originally joined The Washington Ballet as a member of the Stage Management team during …

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Sasha Zabela

Sasha Zabela

Wardrobe Assistant

Caroline MacDonald

Caroline MacDonald

NW School Costumer

Caroline is a junior at Marymount University in their fashion design B.A. program, with minors in sustainability and studio art. Ballet is close to home for her, as she spent two …

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The Washington School of Ballet

The Washington School of Ballet

Faryn Kelly

Faryn Kelly

Costumer, SE Campus

Faryn Kelly is a multi-disciplinary freelance artist currently based in Washington, DC. Originally from Lexington, KY, Faryn graduated with a BFA in Dance from Wright State University in Dayton, OH. In DC, Faryn previously served as the lighting supervisor at Dance Place, and has worked with DMV companies in lighting design (PrioreDance, haus of bambi, Orange Grove Dance, Flying V, Jane Franklin Dance), costume design (Tariq Darrell O’Meally, American University, Heart Stück Bernie, Jamison Curcio and Shanice Mason, darlingdance, ReVision Dance Company), and stage management (The Kennedy Center, Mosaic Theatre, Studio Theatre, Coalescence, Dumbarton Arts and Education).  Faryn was selected as one of the 2020 New Releases Festival choreographers, was a scholarship student in 2022 for the ATLAS choreography program at Impulstanz in Vienna, Austria, and is an FY2024 DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship Program awardee. Among her favorite things are travel, instant film, haute couture, space, and chocolate covered espresso beans.

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Katie C. Sopoci Drake

Katie C. Sopoci Drake

Managing Director of School

Katie Sopoci Drake is a seasoned administrator and educator with nearly 2 decades of experience in the arts spanning non-profit arts administration, teaching in higher education, and performance. As the …

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Caroline MacDonald

Caroline MacDonald

NW School Costumer

Caroline is a junior at Marymount University in their fashion design B.A. program, with minors in sustainability and studio art. Ballet is close to home for her, as she spent two …

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Trinidad Vives

Trinidad Vives

Incoming School Director

“I am thrilled to be joining TWSB as its new Director and eager to bring my vast  professional experience to lead the faculty and students through this exciting time of change. As both a director and teacher, my goal has always been to offer the highest …

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The Washington School of Ballet - Northwest Campus

The Washington School of Ballet - Northwest Campus

Katie C. Sopoci Drake

Katie C. Sopoci Drake

Managing Director of School

Katie Sopoci Drake is a seasoned administrator and educator with nearly 2 decades of experience in the arts spanning non-profit arts administration, teaching in higher education, and performance. As the …

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Xiomara Reyes

Xiomara Reyes

Professional Training Division Head

Xiomara Reyes, Head of the Professional Training Division at TWSB, had a successful and long international career. Performing with The National Ballet of Cuba, Royal Ballet of Flanders in Belgium …

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Pamela Bjerknes

Pamela Bjerknes

Pre-Ballet & Lower Division Head, NW Campus

Pamela Booth Bjerknes, a former member of American Ballet Theatre (ABT), brings extensive teaching, directing, and performing experience to The Washington School of Ballet. Performing classical and contemporary ballets throughout …

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Miya Hisaka

Miya Hisaka

Adult Program Head

With 40 years of experience as a dancer, teacher, choreographer, founding artistic/executive director, and urban planner, Miya’s life has spanned two continents with a commitment to diversity and excellence in …

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Donna Glover

Donna Glover

Nutcracker Children's Coordinator and Summer Intensive Manager

Entering her 18th season with The Washington Ballet, Ms. Glover has transitioned from the leadership position of Director of Operations for The Washington School of Ballet to Summer Intensive Manager …

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Aliya Siegel

Aliya Siegel

Assistant Manager, NW Campus - Cathedral Commons

Aliya Siegel was born in Tucson, Arizona, and raised in Tampa, Florida, where she began dancing at a young age. From age 7 to 18, she thrived as a competitive …

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Madeline Garland

Madeline Garland

Incoming Artistic Administrator, NW Campus

Madeline Garland (she/her) is an ongoing learner in the arts and dance educator in the DC area. Madeline is receiving her master’s from American University in Arts Management. She is …

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Beatriz Moreira Leite

Beatriz Moreira Leite

Receptionist

Beatriz Moreira Leite is a graduate of the TWSB upper and lower division programs. She continues to be part of the TWSB family by participating in adult classes, working as …

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Tiffany Tu

Tiffany Tu

Head Receptionist, NW Campus Main Building

Tiffany Tu was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, and has worked with The Washington School of Ballet since 2013. After coming to America, Ms. Tiffany has found her second …

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Atticus Scherer

Atticus Scherer

Recepionist

Atticus is a current student at American University and lifelong dancer. They are a student of Journalism and Gender Studies and have stayed an avid dancer throughout their life. Born …

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Baylee Wong

Baylee Wong

Receptionist

Baylee Wong (dancer) is in her first season with Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company. Born and raised in Carmel, New York, Baylee Wong began her dance journey at age …

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Caroline MacDonald

Caroline MacDonald

NW School Costumer

Caroline is a junior at Marymount University in their fashion design B.A. program, with minors in sustainability and studio art. Ballet is close to home for her, as she spent two …

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Kayla DeShields

Kayla DeShields

School Manager, SE Campus and incoming School Manager, NW Campus

Kayla DeShields is a native of Woodbridge, VA where she grew up studying liturgical dance in her church beginning at age four and holding positions of leadership within the dance …

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Trinidad Vives

Trinidad Vives

Incoming School Director

“I am thrilled to be joining TWSB as its new Director and eager to bring my vast  professional experience to lead the faculty and students through this exciting time of change. As both a director and teacher, my goal has always been to offer the highest …

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The Washington School of Ballet - Southeast Campus

The Washington School of Ballet - THEARC Campus

Katie C. Sopoci Drake

Katie C. Sopoci Drake

Managing Director of School

Katie Sopoci Drake is a seasoned administrator and educator with nearly 2 decades of experience in the arts spanning non-profit arts administration, teaching in higher education, and performance. As the …

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Tammy Hurt

Tammy Hurt

School Principal, SE Campus

Tammy Hurt, a native Washingtonian, started her dance training at the Jones-Haywood School of Ballet and later became a member of the Capitol Ballet Company under the direction of Doris …

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Kayla DeShields

Kayla DeShields

School Manager, SE Campus and incoming School Manager, NW Campus

Kayla DeShields is a native of Woodbridge, VA where she grew up studying liturgical dance in her church beginning at age four and holding positions of leadership within the dance …

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Margaret Williamson

Margaret Williamson

Artistic Administrator, SE Campus

Margaret Giragosian Williamson received her early training at The Washington Ballet, the Maryland Youth Ballet, and the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. During this time, she was also privileged to spend …

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Elena Ovchinnikova

Elena Ovchinnikova

Full-time Faculty

Dr. Elena Ovchinnikova graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy obtained her PhD in Pedagogic Science (Theory and Methodology of Professional Education in Choreography) and Master Degree in Ballet Pedagogy. Additionally, …

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Yaa Faulk

Yaa Faulk

Receptionist

Sydney Wiggins

Sydney Wiggins

Receptionist

Sydney B. Wiggins is a native Washingtonian and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) graduate with a BFA in Dance and Choreography. Sydney has been training in dance since the age of …

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Faryn Kelly

Faryn Kelly

Costumer, SE Campus

Faryn Kelly is a multi-disciplinary freelance artist currently based in Washington, DC. Originally from Lexington, KY, Faryn graduated with a BFA in Dance from Wright State University in Dayton, OH. In DC, Faryn previously served as the lighting supervisor at Dance Place, and has worked with DMV companies in lighting design (PrioreDance, haus of bambi, Orange Grove Dance, Flying V, Jane Franklin Dance), costume design (Tariq Darrell O’Meally, American University, Heart Stück Bernie, Jamison Curcio and Shanice Mason, darlingdance, ReVision Dance Company), and stage management (The Kennedy Center, Mosaic Theatre, Studio Theatre, Coalescence, Dumbarton Arts and Education).  Faryn was selected as one of the 2020 New Releases Festival choreographers, was a scholarship student in 2022 for the ATLAS choreography program at Impulstanz in Vienna, Austria, and is an FY2024 DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship Program awardee. Among her favorite things are travel, instant film, haute couture, space, and chocolate covered espresso beans.

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Trinidad Vives

Trinidad Vives

Incoming School Director

“I am thrilled to be joining TWSB as its new Director and eager to bring my vast  professional experience to lead the faculty and students through this exciting time of change. As both a director and teacher, my goal has always been to offer the highest …

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Finance and Administration

Finance and Administration

Kirsten Poole

Kirsten Poole

Chief Financial Officer

Kirsten Poole is the Chief Financial Officer for the Washington Ballet. With 25 years of small business and non-profit finance, operations, and business management experience, Kirsten brings her passion for …

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Mario Da Silva

Mario Da Silva

Senior Human Resources Manager

Mario Da Silva joined The Washington Ballet (TWB) in July 2023. With a strong background in human resources management, he previously served as a key contributor with the American Council …

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Maggie Graves

Maggie Graves

Special Assistant to the Managing Director

Maggie Graves joined The Washington Ballet (TWB) in August 2023. She is originally from Lafayette, California outside San Francisco where she was an active member of the theatre arts community. …

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Bennard Fajardo

Bennard Fajardo

Accounts Receivable Specialist

Bennard Fajardo is a dedicated professional with a strong background in finance, having previously worked for the National Immigration Forum and Politics and Prose Bookstore. With experience as a Finance …

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Claudio Flores

Claudio Flores

Custodial Services

Photo by XMB Photography.

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Angela Aguilar

Angela Aguilar

Custodial Services

Patricia Mendoza

Patricia Mendoza

Custodial Services

Erik Hudock

Erik Hudock

Account Payable Specialist

Erik Hudock graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Economics from James Madison University. His academic achievements in economics reveal a keen analytical mind and a readiness to contribute to the fiscal stewardship at TWB. 

His compassion extends beyond his professional life into his volunteer work with Operation Paws for Homes, an organization he has supported and volunteered for with great dedication. 

When not managing accounts, Erik is an enthusiastic car enthusiast. Raised in the DMV area, his weekends often begins at ‘Cars and Coffee’ gatherings, where he shares his passion for automotive marvels with fellow enthusiasts. 

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Jakelin Mendoza

Jakelin Mendoza

Custodial Services

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