The CSP Board

Who We Are

Amy Cowden

 Board Member

Amy is a proud parent of a CSP actor since 2014 and joined the board in 2021. During this time, she has enjoyed working with the stage right crew and recently took on being a script supervisor. She also enjoys assisting the fundraising committee by building baskets of goodies for our opportunity drawings. Amy has been an adjunct professor at San Diego State University in the Hospitality & Tourism Management department since 2017. Prior to that, she worked in the Meetings & Events industry for over 25 years. Her other board experience includes VP of Memberships for Professional Convention Management Association, and VP of Education as well as President for the Meeting Professionals International association.

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Melissa Fernandes

Board Member

Melissa is a professional performer and has appeared in over 70 productions all over the San Diego region, including the La Jolla Playhouse, Lamb’s Players Theatre, The Welk, New Village Arts, Cygnet Theatre (Resident Artist), Moxie Theatre and Diversionary Theatre. She is a multiple San Diego Critics Circle nominee and won Actor of the Year in 2016 for her body of work. She received her MFA in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University and her Bachelors in Theatre from UNLV. Some of her most memorable roles are Audrey and Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors,  Dot in Sunday in the Park with George,  Mama Rose in Gypsy, Duchess in Big River, The Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods,  Trina in Falsettos as well as Producer of Cygnet Theatre’s successful cabaret series Musical Mondays. She became involved with Center Stage Productions when her daughter auditioned for Hairspray in 2018. She joined the Board in 2021, leading Hair/ Makeup design for shows as well as participating in the DEIAA and Social Media Committees.

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Rachel Dunford

Executive Board Member

Rachel became involved with CSP when her daughter began performing in shows.  She started with CSP working on the creation of props and working backstage for every show, and has added to that the role of Executive Board member.  She assists in many aspects of running this non-profit and finds it to be such a valuable asset to our community providing such a professional experience to the youth in our area.  Her background is in real estate and business in general, which helps when it comes to understanding the financial side of this organization.   Working with CSP is a priority not just an option and she  will always treasure what this organization has given our family and every family that enters through the doors.

Delnora Janecek

Executive Board Member/Founding Board Member

Delnora is a founding board member and has held many jobs over the years.  Her favorite is props master.  Prior to CSP Delnora was a CPA with Ernst & Young and the Controller for the Union-Tribune Publishing Company.  Her daughter's involvement in theatre is what initially pulled Delnora into helping found CSP in 2004.  Since then, she has watched both her daughter and son "grow up" with CSP.  She loves the many benefits that the musical theatre experience gives to kids which is why she is still a passionate board member. She lives in Escondido with her extremely supportive husband Tom.

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Lisa Harris-Schiewe

Board Member Emeritus 

Lisa is a founding member of the board and currently handles most of the tech, sound and graphic design related tasks for CSP.  Her three boys grew up doing musical theater with CSP and our whole family was enriched by our involvement in this wonderful group.  Lisa is a software engineer for Sony Network Entertainment and enjoys singing with the Encore Vocal Ensemble in her spare time.  She and her wife Sherrie live in La Mesa.​

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Heidi Levin

Executive Board Member

Heidi Levin joined the advisory board in 2007 when her youngest son, Daniel, was able to join his older brother, Matthew, at CSP. She stepped up to the Executive Board a couple of years later and has been heavily involved ever since.  Heidi handles many of the administrative tasks for CSP including being the voice on the other end of the phone.  During the shows, Heidi is the Backstage Manager and vows that “no child will ever miss a cue on her watch.” CSP is truly a family adventure as her husband, Steve, joins in - working up in the Sound Booth during shows.

Lori Paris

Executive Board Member

Lori Paris has over 20 years of experience teaching music and playing piano for children's choirs in religious settings.  She has a degree and professional background in Deaf Education where she has worked as an interpreter for the Deaf and those who need visual language support. She has also worked as an instructor and advocated for students with disabilities in the classroom and theatre settings. She has served on various parent advisory boards for education and has volunteered for a variety of non-profits. 

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Mary Smiljkovich

Board Member

Mary joined CSP as a parent volunteer in 2014 and became an advisory board member in 2021. She currently serves on the Fundraising Subcommittee and helps manage the front-of-house sales. Two of her four children have been CSP performers. Mary has over 25 years of experience in childhood education between her past employment and volunteer work. She advocates for child safety and providing a safe environment for all students. In May, she will be completing her bachelor's degree in Human Development from California State University-San Marcos.

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Stephanee Taylor

Executive Board Member

Stephanee Taylor is an executive board member for CSP, as well as a Vice President for Wells Fargo Bank’s commercial banking department. She has over 10 years of experience in corporate banking, management, and finance. Currently she supports CSP by serving on the Equity Accountability subcommittee, the fundraising subcommittee, and managing the social media content. She also holds a board position with the Palomar College Foundation. 

Tony Wood

Executive Board Member

Tony has been involved with CSP since 2005 and became a board member in 2006.  He is responsible for lighting, set, and stage management for our shows. A tech theater enthusiast since junior high school he has worked with several community theater groups in San Diego.  Now retired, he directed the Academic Computing Services department at UCSD.

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Jill Perez

Executive Board Member

Jill has been a volunteer with CSP since 2016 working Front of House and during rehearsals. She joined the board in 2020 and is currently in charge of the front of house sales. Jill has been a teacher with the Escondido Union School District for 20 years where she has taught the Gifted and Talented Students. For the last 15 years, she has been producing musicals for 1-5 graders at Juniper Elementary. She has also been either President or Treasurer of the Juniper PTA for the last 6 years.  Juniper Elementary Teacher of the Year 2018.