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Nicholas Payton

Nicholas Payton is widely considered one of the greatest artists of our time. Hailed as a virtuoso before he was even out of high school, his unbridled talent has earned him praise and accolades, as well as insured his place in history.

“Payton’s clarion trumpet, as well as his genre-defying solos, stood at the center of the music making... Payton bent notes beyond recognition… No descriptive label or category could be affixed to Payton’s solos, which were as brashly original as they were technically imposing.”
— Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune, Dec. 1, 2012

Carmencita N.M. Whonder

Carmencita Whonder is Policy Director for Government Relations D.C., office of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP providing strategic public policy advice to hedge fund, private equity, investment banking and other financial services clients. Whonder previously served as staff director for the Senate Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development and as principal adviser to Sen. Charles Schumer on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. During the 109th Congress, she worked as minority staff director for the Senate Subcommittee on Economic Policy.

Deborah Veney

Deborah Veney is Vice President for Government Affairs and Communications at The Education Trust.  Prior, she served as Senior Communications Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Before joining the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she served as the vice president of communications for two national nonprofit organizations in the education sector: the Alliance for Public Charter Schools and Communities In Schools.

Sunny Sumter

Sunny Sumter is Executive Director of the DC Jazz Festival, a nonprofit service organization established in 2004 to present jazz-related cultural and educational programs in the nation’s capital. Its’ signature programs are the annual DC Jazz Festival and the year-round Roberta Flack Education Program. Prior to DC Jazz Festival, Sumter held management/director positions with the Aspen Institute, National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.

Roger B. Schagrin

Roger Schagrin, a native of Florida, received his B.A. from Yale University, graduating magna cum laude with special honors in History, and he obtained his J.D. with a concentration in international law in 1981 from the University of Virginia.  Roger practiced with the Washington office of Thompson, Hine and Flory from 1982 through 1984, when he left to start Schagrin Associates.  Roger has become widely recognized in the international trade community, testifying on numerous occasions before committees of Congress.  On April 7, 1995 he was on the faculty of “Changes in the U.S.

Erik A. Moses

Erik A. Moses has directed the operations of Events DC‟s Sports and Entertainment Division since June 2008. Prior, Mr. Moses was the Chief Executive Officer of the DCSEC from June 2008 through September 2009. Mr. Moses oversaw the closeout of the Nationals Park construction project, the development and launch of the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman. In 2009, Mr. Moses was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman. Mr.

David Gorodetski

David Gorodetski is COO of Sage Communications and one most creative branding executive on the East Coast. With more than 18 years’ experience, Gorodetski has worked on a broad range of branding, marketing and interactive projects for many national and international clients. Before founding Sage Communications, he was Vice President and worldwide head of Ogilvy Public Relations Interactive Creative Services. Prior, he worked with Stackig Advertising and Public Relations (now TMP Worldwide), as Interactive Creative Director.

Peter M. Gillon

Peter Gillon has achieved national recognition for his experience in representing major corporate policyholders—from airlines to energy companies—in their dealings with insurance companies, both in claims disputes, and in transactions, such as insurance placement or structuring liability transfers. Mr. Gillon co-leads the law firm’s Insurance Recovery and Advisory practice, which was named one of the top five insurance coverage practices in the U.S. by Insurance Law 360 in 2010, after the publication solicited submissions from more than 300 law firms.

Charles Fishman

Charles Fishman is Founder of the DC Jazz Festival. A Grammy Award-winning producer, he is also the founder and president of Charismic Productions, a Washington, DC-based production, and consulting established in 1986.

Elliott Ferguson

Elliott Ferguson serves as President and CEO of Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC. 
A 27-year veteran of the travel and hospitality industry, Ferguson leads Destination DC’s efforts to generate economic opportunity for the District through meetings and tourism, overseeing the organization’s convention and tourism sales, marketing, finance and business development operations.