Our Team

Meet the People that Pull the Strings

Our team is comprised of executives, historians, educators, marketing professionals, stagehands, artists and more, but one thing unites us all — our love of puppets.

Beth Schiavo
Executive Director
Beth Schiavo
Beth Schiavo currently serves as the Executive Director for the Center for Puppetry Arts. Beth joined the Center in August 2019, having spent more than 25 years in corporate positions, while actively involved in the Atlanta arts, education and philanthropic community. Prior to joining the Center, Beth was an Assurance Partner with EY LLP for 24 years. She then served as Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer for North Highland Consulting for 2 ½ years, prior to launching her own consulting practice in early 2019. Active in the philanthropic community, Beth currently serves as Fund Development Chairperson and member of the Board of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. Beth also serves on the Audit Committee for the Woodruff Arts Center and sits on the Host Committee for the 2020 Arts Education Luncheon. Beth previously served as Board Chair for Young Audiences at the Woodruff Arts Center, and on the Woodruff Arts Center Governing Board and the Finance Committee. She also served on the Boards and as Treasurer for Techbridge and the Fulton Education Foundation and as a member of the Fernbank Artemis Board. In 2010, Beth was honored as a Woman of Excellence by Atlanta Business magazine for both her business leadership and philanthropic activities. Beth is a Certified Public Accountant, a certified executive coach, and holds a certification in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell.
Vincent Anthony
Founder and Strategic Advisor
Vincent Anthony, founder and president of the board, has served as the Center for Puppetry Arts executive director since its inception in 1978. His previous experiences as a puppeteer for Nicolo Marionettes in New York and founder of the Vagabond Marionettes in Atlanta has contributed to the major successes for the Center over the past three decades. Under Anthony’s leadership, the Center has received a record 12 Citations of Excellence from UNIMA-USA, the U.S. division of Union Internationale de la Marionnette, the international organization for the art of puppetry. Anthony has also received a personal Citation of Excellence from UNIMA-USA; this Citation is puppetry’s most prestigious award. Among other awards, Anthony received the Governor’s Award in the Arts from the state of Georgia in 1982, a Distinguished Service Award from Emory University Theatre (1980), the President’s Award from Puppeteers of America, the national puppetry association (1989), the Lexus Leader of the Arts Award (2001) and the Georgia Arts & Entertainment Legacy Award (GAELA Award) (2007). Through his tenure in the arts community, he has served on several review panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, Georgia Council for the Arts and Theatre Communications Group and is a past president of Puppeteers of America. He also served on the Steering Committee for the City of Atlanta Community Cultural Plan and has served as a member of the Delta Airlines Global Diversity Alliance since 2007 and member of the White House Disability Group since 2009. In addition, he has served on the Board of Directors of many arts groups including the Arts Festival of Atlanta, the Arts Advisory Board for Region Four of the General Service Administration and the Advisory Council for the Cultural Olympiad of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG). He has been serving as General Secretary for UNIMA-USA since 1992 and has also served as Executive Committee Member (1996-2004) and Vice President (2000-2004) of UNIMA International, representing puppeteers in over 80 countries.
Therese Aun
Marketing Director
Therese Aun currently serves as the Marketing Director for the Center for Puppetry Arts. Therese came to the Center after a long career at CNN Worldwide. During her time at CNN she worked in various positions including as a producer/writer and Creative Director for the CNN Worldwide Creative Marketing team. She has received numerous awards including a Peabody, an EMMY and a Gold Cine Masters Series Award. Before joining CNN, Therese was a puppeteer at the Center where she performed in the Family Series, the New Direction Series, and various XPT performances. She was also a member of Janie Geiser’s Award-Winning, Jottay Theater Company. She has designed and directed her own work for the puppet theater including an adaptation The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Last year she produced an original work entitled Haunting the Wrong House for XPT. Therese holds a BFA in Theater from the University of South Carolina
Aretta Baumgartner
Education Director
Aretta is a performer/teaching artist specializing in puppetry, mask, and movement. She’s been a professional puppeteer since 1992. Aretta oversees more than 50 distinct types of educational programming and outreach. She is an active performer, teacher and creator of new works for puppetry. As a testament to her leadership in the puppetry community, Aretta was recently elected President of the Puppeteers of America.
Sara Burmenko
Digital Learning Director
Sara started her career at the Center in 2000, after receiving her degree in Education. Her first position was in the Education department, where she was able to combine her passion for the arts, as well as her love for teaching. Throughout her time at the Center, Sara took on many different roles, settling in the Digital Learning Department. In 2016, she became the department’s director and has continued to expand its award-winning programming. Digital Learning is currently in all 50 states and 88 countries.
Sarah Dylla
Museum Director
Through her work and research in the field of public history, Sarah Dylla aims to activate historical records, encourage public interaction with the humanities, and shed light on lesser-known narratives. Most recently, Sarah served as the Curator for a new exhibition about the history and impact of the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games, now on view at the Atlanta History Center. Prior to moving to Atlanta, Sarah held positions in the special collections libraries at Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University, the Savannah Music Festival, and Virgin Islands National Park. Sarah holds degrees from the University of Virginia (B.A., Art and Art History, ’09) and Brown University (M.A., Public Humanities, ’16).
Kristin Haverty
Kristin Haverty was promoted from Associate Producer (a position she held for ten years) to Producer in 2018. From 2003-2008, Haverty served in various other capacities including teaching artist, docent, designer, puppeteer, musician and XPT project director. She has performed in the Center’s The Ghastly Dreadfuls and Anne Frank: Within and Without and created cut-paper animations for Duke Ellington’s Cat, all UNIMA Citation award-winning productions. Prior to her work at the Center she toured the Northwest as a puppeteer for Tears of Joy Theater in Portland, OR. She has published articles for Puppetry International and The Puppetry Journal and has presented workshops at the Puppeteers of America’s National Festival and the Theater for Young Audiences (TYA-USA) conference. In 2017 she served as the Catapult Program Director for the Chicago International Puppetry Theater Festival. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and has attended the School for International Training in Indonesia and the Czech Republic, and Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She is currently a UNIMA-USA councilor and a board member of the Jim Henson Foundation.
Jon Ludwig
Artistic Director / Director / Performer
As the Artistic Director at the Center for Puppetry Arts, Jon Ludwig has overseen the creation of dozens of awe-inspiring puppet shows for all ages. Ludwig’s innovative, immersive, educational, and unique productions have engaged millions of children and adults since he joined the Center’s staff in 1978. He has brought to life beloved characters such as Cinderella, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer™, and Pete the Cat in addition to creating original characters and worlds. Nine of Ludwig’s productions have received Citations of Excellence from UNIMA-USA, and he was one of the first individual artists to be honored with the Charles Loridans Foundation’s Arts Medal in 2007. Ludwig was the recipient of the Puppeteers of America President’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Art of Puppetry in 2013, and Newsweek Magazine said his adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was one of the highlights of the 1996 Olympic Arts Festival. In addition to his work with the Center for Puppetry Arts, Ludwig wrote, designed, and puppeteered the shadow puppet portions of The Jim Henson Company’s Bear in the Big Blue House. He has also received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Children’s Series for his work on Disney Channel’s The Book of Pooh. He has served as a Theatre Artist-in-Residence with Atlanta Public Schools, an Artist-in-Residence at Emory University’s Department of Theatre, and participated in an exhibition of puppets at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Ludwig has co-presented workshops with Georgia State University’s arts and education department to develop concepts, scripts, and designs for mainstage productions by engaging children from pre-school to 3rd grade in the creative process of making a full-length puppet play. Projects have included award-winning books “Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type” and the “Pete the Cat” series.
Lisa Rhodes
Administrative Director
Lisa Rhodes is the Center’s Administrative Director, a position she has held since 1986. She oversees the Center’s financial, personnel, administrative, and facilities operations and consults with the Executive Director on organizational management and programming issues. She graduated from The Ohio State University and joined the Center soon after to become a puppeteer with the touring production of The Wizard of Oz. Following the tour, she became the part-time bookkeeper before being promoted to Administrative Director. Rhodes has participated in numerous Xperimental Puppetry Theater (XPT) pieces, including her version of “The Blotter,” a shadow puppet piece based on a local newspaper’s column. In 1992, Rhodes performed the one-person adult show, By a Length of Rope; the piece was featured as part of the 1992 Southeast Regional Festival of Puppeteers of America. Rhodes has served as business manager for both the 2007 and the 2011 the Puppeteers of America National Festivals. She is also controller of UNIMA-USA, the U.S. branch of the international puppetry organization.
Michelle Schweber
Chief Development Officer
Michelle serves at the Chief Development Officer and has been with the Center since June 2019. Prior to this role, Michelle worked as a Consultant for the Georgia Center for Non-Profits and was the Chief Development Officer for Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta from 2013-2019. She was the Director of Institutional Advancement at Young Audiences, Woodruff Arts Center after moving from Naples, FL in 2008. Michelle is currently responsible for the planning, implementation, management, and oversight of all fundraising and donor relations activities, including raising funds for capital improvements. She is a proud RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer) after spending two years in Tirgu Mures, Romania helping raise critical support for a gypsy village and orphanage. She currently volunteers her time at The Galloway School where she is Co-Class Parent, Co-Chair of Galloway’s Annual School Cookout, and Team Mom of her daughter’s Tsunami Club Volleyball Team. Michelle has an amazing passion for children and has been active in fundraising for more than 30 years.
Carol Van Leer
Ticket Sales Director
Carol Van Leer is the Ticket Sales Director at the Center for Puppetry Arts and a graduate of Washington University in St Louis with a BA in Business Administration. After graduating Carol worked at the Center for Puppetry Arts as the Box Office Manager for a number of years. Then, Carol pursued her career in ticketing and worked with Ticketmaster, as Marketing Manager, providing her with experience across many events and venues in Atlanta, working with ticketing professionals across the city. She has worked with Ticketmaster, Audience View, and Tessitura ticketing systems. Carol returned to the Center in 2009 and managed the ticketing software conversion to the Tessitura ticketing system in 2012 to help the Center have access to the latest ticketing technology. Carol enjoys reading, hiking, and tasting wine with her husband Rob who is Wine Director at Vino Venue.
Gino Zamoscinski
Facilities Director


Laurie Swygert, Director of Membership Services for UNIMA-USA

Alyssa James, Accounting Manager

Randall James, Concessions Lead


Bill Jones, Assistant Building Manager

Building & Facilities Staff

  • William Ellis
  • Michael Francis
  • Antwone Monforte

Digital Learning

Danielle Rudzki Hitchcock, Digital Learning Office Manager

Brian Harrison, Digital Learning Teaching Artist

Jeffery Zwartjes, Digital Learning Creative Lead


Bradley Hartman, Grants Manager

Krystal Collier, Development & Events Manager

Josh Reynolds, Rentals Coordinator


Jeff Domke, Associate Education Director

Elizabeth Fagbile, Education Coordinator

Damon Young, Lead Teaching Artist

Teaching Artists

  • Niko Carleo
  • Angela Forte
  • Greg Hunter
  • Paulette Juieng


Yanique Leonard, Collections Manager

Bill Jones, Museum Preparator

Kenny Oaster, Museum Operations Manager

Museum Services Coordinators

  • Zachary Keepers
  • Alex Morgan
  • Shannon Thrift
  • Elyse Watson

Museum Conservators

  • Russ Vick
  • Vito Leanza


Gregory Montague, Production Manager

Jason Hines, Resident Puppet Builder

Carole D’Agostino, Puppet Shop Manager

Jeremy Villines, Technical Director

Ari Jerome, Stage Manager

Jimmica Collins, Associate Producer

Ticket Sales

Cliff Jackson, Ticket Sales Lead Supervisor

Ticket Sales Assistants

  • Ticket Sales Assistant

Guest Services Coordinators

Stephanie Bowling

Bobby Ogletree

Anh Tong