Our People

Advisors

Every organization needs the wisdom and guidance of an experienced group of advisors to help shape it into all it can be. The CASA Advisory Board provides oversight and direction for our Operational Staff and the organization as a whole.

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Giorgia Renosto

ADVISOR
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Bill Hare

ADVISOR

Bill Hare has been a full-time recording engineer/producer for 35 years, and is recognized as a pioneer in bringing pop/rock production techniques to recorded contemporary a cappella.

Over the decades, Bill has recorded and/or mixed acclaimed albums for some of the best-known Contemporary A Cappella groups around the globe - from The Swingle Singers to The King’s Singers in the UK, Basix to Vocal Line in Denmark, Italy's Cluster, The Ghost Files, Alti & Bassi and Maybe6ix, German supergroups Wise Guys, Amarcord and Maybebop to name just a few, as well as artists from dozens of other countries from Australia to Zimbabwe.

Of course, at the same time he also covered the USA from his home base in California, working with top American acts including The House Jacks, m-pact, Pentatonix, Peter Hollens, Street Corner Symphony, NoTa, +4dB, Duwende, The Backbeats, Brian Wilson/The Beach Boys as well as working on the hit NBC Television show The Sing-Off.

Collegiate A Cappella clients include The Tufts Beelzebubs, University of Oregon On The Rocks and Divisi, The Stanford Harmonics, and scores of others. Bill’s story was also told in the original book version of Pitch Perfect, from which the popular movies were adapted.

Bill is the world’s most awarded individual Contemporary A Cappella producer, including more than 70 appearances on BOCA, over 100 CARA nominations, nearly 40 albums in the RARB "Picks of the Year" lists, and 11 "DeeBee" awards since 1987 in the Vocal Jazz category from Downbeat Magazine. Numerous appearances at the top of Billboard, iTunes, and other major charts. Multiple Gold and Platinum record certifications, as well as multiple Grammy Awards and nominations. Bill's website is http://www.billhare.tv/

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David Thomas

ADVISOR

As a member of Take 6, Dave Thomas has performed with and won praise from such luminaries as Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Ben E. King, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Al Jarreau, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, and Whitney Houston, to name a very few.

Take 6 has admirably and adeptly crossed most musical genres, from straight-ahead Jazz to Pop to adult R&B, doo wop to blues. Like a fine-tuned vocal orchestra, the group continues to push the boundaries of creativity and musical genius with every new release, and with their ever-evolving live performances.

With 10 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards, 2 NAACP Image Awards, a Soul Train Award, and more, Take 6 continues to bring extraordinary vocals to their worldwide audiences. Some of the honors Take 6 has enjoyed over the past few years include being chosen as the first musical group to perform in Cuba at the normalization of relations between our two countries, and their induction into The Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

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Tine Fris-Ronsfeld

ADVISOR

Tine Fris-Ronsfeld is a Danish singer well-known throughout the a cappella scene for her work as a singer, composer and arranger for the experimental vocal group “Postyr” and for her work as a singer, arranger and co-conductor of the renowned pop choir “Vocal Line”, with whom she recently won the 1st. Prize of The Eurovision Choir of the Year 2019. Tine has toured extensively in Europe, Asia, and the Americas and performed with artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Rolling Stones, Lukas Graham, Tina Dico , Mads Langer, and The Real Group.

Furthermore, Tine is the conductor of the Danish pop choir “Lyt”, former conductor of the National Danish Youth Choir “Syng Selected”, author of the books ”Icebreakers – A practical Approach to Group Dynamics” and “Breaking the Ice – a Playful Approach to Social Interaction”, founder of a music and dance school for talented kids in the rural area, where she grew up and project leader and vice chairwoman of Aarhus Vocal Festival.

Tine Fris-Ronsfeld is a graduate of The Royal Academy of Music in Denmark, and a passionate workshop leader and clinician with more than 20 years of teaching experience.

Operational Staff

The CASA Operational Staff spearheads our programs, initiatives, and the daily operations that help us accomplish our mission to inspire unity in the vocal music community.

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Gina Deaton

PRESIDENT

Gina Deaton has a background in vocal performance and has been singing as long as she can remember. Unlike most folks in the a cappella community, Gina didn't sing in a contemporary a cappella group until well after college when she helped form the semi-professional group Breakdown. The group performed primarily in the Atlanta area, with Gina writing original songs, arranging, and acting as co-director. After attending SoJam, Gina fell in love with the community and started volunteering with CASA events and judging ICCAs. She continues to work on original music.

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Meron Mogos

DIRECTOR OF EVENTS

Meron is originally from New York and got her start in a cappella in 2004 with Duke University's Lady Blue. She has been an active member of the a cappella community ever since, working for CASA in various roles, judging at Varsity Vocals events, performing at festivals across the country, and collaborating with some of the best in the business. Meron was a member of NYC CAL group, Empire and after moving to Los Angeles in 2012, she co-founded the award-winning CAL group, Premiere, serving as their President for 3 years. Meron is currently a member of professional vocal group, VXN. She previously served as executive producer of the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival (LAAF) from 2015 to 2017. Since becoming Director of Events in 2017, Meron oversees all of CASA's festivals and events including LAAF, BOSS and SoJam in addition to shepherding new event initiatives like LocalVocal. She lives in Los Angeles and works full-time as a TV/film producer.

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Jessica Chen

DIRECTOR OF AWARDS

As a musician Jessica started at an early age, playing piano and flute throughout her childhood, but she discovered singing and a cappella during high school and was immediately hooked. In college she sang with and directed the Boston University Allegrettos, doing most of the arranging as well as producing an album, and sang with friends in her hometown during the summers in Henry Fonda & the Falsettos. She now works at the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, serves as Executive Producer for the N.E. Voices Festival, and has continued to arrange for various collegiate and high school groups around the country. Some of her other interests include Boston sports, video games, and all dogs, ever.

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Anthony Pulido

CHIEF OF STAFF

Anthony Pulido is based in Boston as an arranger and director for Uproar, while also working with a number of groups in the area as an arranger, director, and producer. He moved from Florida to Boston where he obtained a BS in Biochemistry from Northeastern University. While attending NU, he first joined the a cappella community singing with the Unisons. He has continued contributions to the community, including judging for Varsity Vocals, joining the festival production teams for BOSS and SoJam, and as the third member of the head/voice podcast. He currently works in the podcasting, hospitality, and events spaces full time, and is excited to expand his involvement with CASA as a member of the board. Feel free to reach out to him if you want to talk a cappella, biochemistry, board games, or food places that he needs to go to!

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Shane Ardell

DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY

Shane began arranging music at an early age and ventured into arranging a cappella music at the age of 16. She started her contemporary a cappella career at Georgia Tech as a performer, arranger, and eventual president of the all female group, Nothin' but Treble. While still in college, she also began singing in a rock/gospel semi-professional group, Breakdown, in Atlanta. Shane continues to arrange and coach groups as well as judge for the ICCAs. An engineer at heart, Shane spends her days as a web software developer. @shaneardell

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Jessie L. Mark

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITIES

Jessie joined the CASA Board in 2019 as the Director of Human Resources. Jessie holds a BA in History of Medicine, Science & Technology from Duke University and an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. While a student at Duke, Jessie sang with Duke's award-winning a cappella group, Lady Blue. After graduating, Jessie moved to New York where she sang with Empire A Cappella and co-founded VXN, a five person vocal group, with fellow CASA board member Meron Mogos. Jessie served as the Scholastic Festival Producer for The Betsy's A Cappella Festival in Miami Beach, FL from 2014-2019 and has taught music theory for vocal arranging workshops at SoJam, LAAF and BOSS. Jessie is currently based in San Francisco where she works at Cisco Systems as a People & Communities Business Partner.

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Melinda Ellis

DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION

Melinda first got involved in a cappella in 2011 at UMASS Amherst where she co-founded S#arp Attitude. She was the co-vocal director of the group for four years and vocal percussionist for 6 years while she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Viola Performance and Music Education. In 2015, Melinda went to her first CASA festival and was instantly drawn to the environment and community. She spent the next five years attending, volunteering, presenting, and giving masterclasses at CASA festivals and most recently serving as Education Coordinator for LAAF 2020. Melinda is currently working as a music teacher and freelance musician/conductor in Northern California and is so excited and honored to be joining the CASA board.

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YOUR NAME HERE

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING

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Event Producers

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Brooks Jordan

SOJAM EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, Brooks found a cappella in his freshman year at North Carolina State University; He joined The Grains of Time where he became the Business Manager and Executive Board leader. Brooks has dedicated his time to all forms of a cappella and experiencing it in schools, competitions, and festivals. After college Brooks joined the Sojam Production team as the Showcase Coordinator and has since become the Executive Producer of the festival. When hes not working on a cappella events and education, Brooks works as a bio-pharmaceutical research in Durham, NC at KBI Biopharma.

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Jessie Gottdank

LAAF EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Jessie is a lifelong musician who got her start in a cappella during engineering school of all places! She directed her college group the Olin PowerChords, then founded and directed award-winning CAL group Premiere when she was living in Los Angeles. Now back home in San Diego she works as an engineer in the aerospace industry, but she directs her vocal band Voxy and arranges/produces a cappella on the side. Jessie credits the CASA festivals for opening up the world of a cappella to her and everyone in the community, and was thrilled to join the LAAF production team in 2018.

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Alexander Koutzoukis

BOSS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER