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Advisory Board

Kevin Gallagher

Kevin Gallagher is a graduate of The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) and earned a Master of Arts in English and American Literature with a concentration in theatrical literature (especially Shakespeare and Restoration Comedy) from Hunter College of The City University of New York (CUNY). Kevin has taught at Manhattan’s prestigious Dalton School for over a decade now, serving as the Middle School English Department Chair before assuming the role of primary theater instructor and developing a theater curriculum for grades 5 through 8. This transition has brought Kevin back to his first love - the stage.

As a performer, Kevin appeared from London to Las Vegas, where he once spent a lovely 6-month, 120 degree, stretch in the ensemble of 42nd Street at the Sahara Hotel, choreographed by two-time Tony Award Nominee Randy Skinner. Other favorite performances include West Side Story, the title role in Pippin, The Boys From Syracuse and dozens of others.

As a stage-combat director (Certification #2150 from The British Society of Fight Directors) Kevin has worked with “Stuntworks, Inc.” performing and teaching in schools and camps along the Eastern seaboard, and has taught Master Classes at colleges nationwide. He has directed dozens of musicals, plays and one-acts as well, and also served on the Selection Committee for Young Playwright Institute’s “Write a Play NYC!” Contest for middle and high school students in New York City.

Kevin takes his greatest pride in sharing his joy and passion for all things theatrical with his students. His most important work, he believes, is the guidance he provides young thespians through the myriad of theater experiences from the frustrations to the joys. As the proud father of two healthy, happy children, Kevin is thrilled to be associated with The Power of Dance. It’s message is one he fully embraces -- together we can use our gifts to change the world!

Reverend John Graf, Jr.

Reverend John Graf, Jr. is a 1981 graduate of The American University in Washington, D.C.  His 25-year career in public relations and fund-raising has garnered him many awards and recognitions – including the 2002 Somerset County Business Partnership “Citizen of the Year” – while helping to raise more than $45 million for countless non-profit, education, government, and cultural arts organizations. In April of 2005, Reverend Graf was named Chief Executive Officer/President of the Somerset County United Way, where he helped raised nearly $20 million during his two year tenure.  In June of 2007, John stepped down from his position at the United Way to continue his work in the Ministry full-time.

Reverend Graf is the definitive non-profit volunteer, serving on a number of local, county and state boards. His involvement has included work with the Adult Day Center of Somerset County, The Friends of Somerset County Youth, and the NJ Governor's Advisory Council on Volunteerism & Community Service, among many others. He has also been critically acclaimed for his singing of the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden, The Meadowlands Racetrack, and various Veterans of War memorial ceremonies and special events.

With the passing of his Mother (Claire Thornton Graf) in March of 2000, John established the Claire & John Graf Family Foundation in her memory.  With the funds that John earns from his ministerial duties, more than $300,000 has been donated to numerous state-wide charities – some of which included the Somerset County United Way, Somerset Treatment Services, PeopleCare Center, American Red Cross, Children’s Museum of Somerset County, Family Community Services of Somerset County, Raritan Valley Community College Foundation, New Jersey Teen Arts, Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon & Warren Counties, Rutgers University Scarlet R Club, Bridgewater Jewish Community Center, , and many others.

Reverend Graf started his career as Coordinator of Community Relations for the Somerset County Vocational & Technical Schools in 1986, followed by a six-year stint as Director of College & Community Relations at Raritan Valley Community College. In 1995, he went to work for Governor Christie Whitman as a Public Information Officer at the New Jersey Department of Transportation.  John returned “home” to Somerset County Vo-Tech in 1997, where he served as its Foundation Coordinator until February, 2004, followed by a one year stint as Marketing Administrator for the Somerset County Office on Aging (2004-2005). 

John lives by the words his Mother taught him: “It’s nice to be important, but, it’s important to be nice!”

Venus D. Majeski

As Director of Development & Community Relations, Venus Majeski spearheads the advocacy, public relations and funding initiatives of the New Jersey Institute for Disabilities. One of the largest not-for-profit agencies of its kind, NJID serves more than 1,000 infants, children and adults with disabilities throughout New Jersey.  A seasoned executive, Ms. Majeski provides leadership and expertise in government affairs, multi-faceted fund development, community education and volunteer services.

Ms. Majeski is a passionate activist in the area of advocacy for persons with disabilities.   For three years, she has served as a member of the Governor’s Conference for Women Steering Committee, and has participated as a panelist in the Conference’s workshop concerning Women and Disabilities.  Ms. Majeski is a member of the Middlesex County Commission for Persons with Disabilities and she continues to direct and participate in numerous advocacy projects, fundraising initiatives, professional and civic organizations in New Jersey.  Ms. Majeski is the immediate past chair of the Metuchen Diocese Commission for Persons with Disabilities.
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