Meet the board
Carla Thomas-McGinnis | BOARD CHAIR
Carla is an artist and a leader, working in and between education, theater and museum spaces. Early in her career she served as the Living History Project Coordinator for The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, producing dramatizations of 20th century historical events.
In the DC area, she worked as a directing fellow and project manager for Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Working with one of DC’s first charter schools, she pioneered an arts integration curriculum and drama program. At the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture she has served in several roles, including fundraising, donor stewardship and council (advisory board) management. Currently, she serves as the Assistant Director of Council Operations and Museum Initiatives.
Cecelia Thomas | VICE CHAIR
Cecelia (CeCe) Thomas is Senior Government Relations Manager at Trust for America’s Health. In this role, Cecelia leads TFAH’s advocacy around infectious disease and other public health issues, including funding for prevention. Most recently, Cecelia served as Manager of Legislative Affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and Planned Parenthood Action Fund. In that capacity, Cecelia advocated to protect federal funding for health centers, implemented PPFA’s legislative strategy and co-led the National Sex Education Coalition. Prior to her time with PPFA, Cecelia was a senior advisor in the U.S House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Associate Director of Oversight at the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of the Secretary. She has also served on the staff of the U.S. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the Office of Senator Bernie Sanders. Cecelia received her J.D. from the Fordham University School of Law and graduated cum laude from University of Michigan with a degree in political science.
Ellys Abrams | TREASURER
Ellys Abrams serves as the Director of Customer Service for Democracy Engine LLC, a donation processing platform, supporting nonprofits, professional fundraisers, and candidates at all levels. Her true passion is theatre and has a decade of experience in nonprofit management, most recently, as the General Manager for Theater Alliance and prior to that, Ringleader for Organizational Advancement for dog & pony dc. Ellys is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Johns Hopkins University and holds a B.A. from Smith College. When she’s not working or studying, you can find her walking her dog, Gherkin, through the streets of Shaw, or learning to crochet and weld.
Rashida Moore | SECRETARY
Rashida is a performing artist, arts administrator and fundraising professional with over 12 years of experience in non-profit development and external relations. She currently serves as the Manager of Annual Giving at the Land Trust Alliance in DC. Rashida has contributed to the success of fundraising campaigns and initiatives at various organizations in her home state of Texas and Washington D.C., including theaters, museums, higher education and conservation institutions.
As a strategist, change-maker and forward-thinking arts leader, Rashida values and respects the arts as powerful and creative pathways to transcend historical and contemporary societal boundaries and advance peacebuilding, justice, empathy, dialogue and intercultural exchange, both locally and globally. Rashida holds a Master of Arts in Arts Leadership from the University of Houston and a Bachelors of Arts
degree in Applied Music from Baylor University.
Carlos Velázquez is the CEO of HMA in Washington DC, a communications firm that specializes in shaping narratives about health inequities. Mr. Velázquez has launched national social marketing campaigns that address mental health, substance use disorders, tobacco control, HIV/AIDS, infant mortality, food insecurity, breast cancer and adult immunization.
He serves as the Chair of the Arlington County Human Rights Commission. Mr. Velázquez also serves on the Arlington County Commission for the Arts for which he chairs the grants committee and the Cultural Equity Task Force.
In Minneapolis he was on the Mayor’s Latino Advisory Committee; American Legacy Foundation Steering Committee for Special Populations; and the West Side Medical Center Board. In Nevada he worked on the boards of Health Insight, Nevada Hispanic Services, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Nevada Museum of Art and he also supported the HIV Commission for the City of Alexandria in Virginia.
His love for theater began as a sophomore in high school when he saw A Chorus Line in San Francisco at the Curran Theater and he pursued an education in theater and communications.. He is award winning author, speaker, and contributes as a guest blogger on issues related to men’s health and social justice.
Michael McIntyre has served on TA’s board for over a year. He is an avid theatre goer and arts patron as well as a voracious reader and music lover. In his professional life, he is a manager and instructor at Delta Air Lines and has been in the travel industry for twenty years. Throughout his career, he has traveled to numerous countries and has had the opportunity to enjoy the arts abroad and at home. He is also involved in community engagement through his work with KaBoom, Habitat for Humanity, Food & Friends, Fisher House, and other non-profit organizations. He is proud of his association with Theater Alliance and its commitment to social justice through art.