Introducing the Young Professionals Board
November 1, 2023
Midori & Friends is thrilled to introduce the Young Professionals Board! This group of dedicated individuals is comprised of young professionals who volunteer their time, energy, and talents to strengthen organizational goals and mission. The Young Professionals Board will work together to advocate for quality and equitable arts education, connect friends, colleagues, and organizations in their network to help raise Midori & Friends’ visibility, and participate in our programming to empower our students by developing their musicianship and instilling core life values. This team of passionate and driven board members will use their resources, talents and perspectives to help Midori & Friends make music of today and build the futures of tomorrow.
Meet the Young Professionals Board!
Justin Bass joined The Wallace Foundation in 2019 as a receptionist and, in 2023, transitioned into the role of the foundation’s operations specialist. With his warm and welcoming demeanor, he ensures the smooth functioning of our workplace, extending a friendly greeting to our guests at reception. His adept management of office functions contributes significantly to our overall work and wellbeing, and he orchestrates successful internal celebrations.
Prior to joining Wallace, Bass honed his teaching and artistic skills at 92nd Street Y, where he served as a teaching artist for elementary after school programs and a dance instructor for adults. His journey in the world of dance began with the pursuit of a B.F.A. in dance from SUNY College at Brockport, during which he interned as a touring and performing artist with Garth Fagan Dance, gracing renowned stages like The Joyce Theater. Following his graduation, he danced professionally for five seasons with the prestigious Repertory Dance Theatre in Salt Lake City, under the direction of Linda C. Smith. In 2022, he further showcased his artistic talents by unveiling his first choreographic work in Brooklyn, supported by a grant to present his work in the Split Bill Series at Triskelion Arts. Beyond dance and choreography, Bass discovered a passion for candle-making during the pandemic and created Are You Lit Candles, adding yet another dimension to his creative pursuits.
Justin is exceedingly excited to embark on this new chapter of his journey by joining the M&F Young Professionals Board, bringing his unique blend of creativity, dedication, and warmth to the organization.
Jacqui is a debt capital markets professional at TD Securities with a passion for music and education. She was a math major at Mount Holyoke College, where she played the violin and viola and was President of the Symphony Orchestra. She continues to play the viola at Alaria Chamber Music in NYC. She is also a member of the New York Junior League and serves as a community captain for the Cooking and Health Education for Families (“CHEF”) committee, where she empowers families to make healthier lifestyle choices.
Leah Dowdy is a bright and energetic New York City based actress, dancer and singer/songwriter. From appearing in television shows such as How To Get Away With Murder, Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens and Girls5Eva, to starring in commercial campaigns for Hilton Hotels and even performing live on the TODAY Show, Leah is a busy artist on the rise.
In addition to her work in front of the camera, Leah is also a full-time Membership Manager for the Recording Academy, home of the prestigious GRAMMY Awards. As part of the Membership & Industry relations team, Leah oversees the Musical Theater and Classical divisions nationwide and is tasked with recruiting the industry’s best and brightest to be considered for Recording Academy membership. She hopes to continue opening doors, breaking glass ceilings and positively impacting the lives of musicians for years to come.
Alex is a Portfolio Credit Analyst covering Depository Financial Institutions at U.S. Bank, where he has worked since 2019. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, listening and playing to music, and running. Alex is excited to be a part of Midori & Friends’ Young Professionals Board as he hopes to spread his passion of music to those still in school, as this is how he originally fell in love with music.
Jeffery S. King is a Lead Business Execution Consultant at Wells Fargo where he manages the bank’s Confidential Supervisory Information Program in addition to developing regulatory strategy, governance, and oversight. Previously, Jeffery was a Staff Sergeant in the United States Air Force having flown over 120 intelligence-oriented combat sorties while deployed to the Middle East. His awards include the Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters, and Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon.
Also a classically trained violinist and pianist, Jeffery studied with the late violinist Jan Mark Sloman Principal Associate Concertmaster Emeritus, Dallas Symphony Orchestra throughout high school and Midori Goto at the Manhattan School of Music. He performed in the Omaha Symphony during the 2011-2014 seasons and regularly performs with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony and Camerata Notturna. Today, he passionately supports the performing arts, emerging artists, and music education.
Outside of music and work, he enjoys table tennis, golf, foosball, and all the cultural treasures found in New York City.
Rickin Mathew is a Delivery & Support Specialist at Genetec. Previously he worked for an IT Consulting firm on Wall Street. At a young age he discovered his passion for music performance and attended the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens as an instrumental (Bb clarinet) studio major. While he did not pursue music as a career, he prides himself on being an avocational musician.
Lifelong music making is an integral part of his everyday life. He is currently the Board Secretary for the Metropolitan Music Community and is an active member of both the Grand Street Community Band as well as Kings County Concert Band. He also performs part-time with the L Train Brass Band and occasionally subs for other community ensembles across the city. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling to new destinations, staying physically active, attending live music events and watching the New York Knicks.
He hopes to bring his passion for music and the arts to students across the city and beyond, as well as show them that they do not need to pursue a career in performance to be involved in music.
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a member of the Midori & Friends Young Professionals Board, reach out to the Development team at firstname.lastname@example.org