Board of Directors
Thomas Carter serves as Board Secretary and Treasurer of Constellations, and has been a member of the Board of Directors since August 2019. Tom also assists with legal affairs, accounting, video editing, and other technical needs for Constellations.
Tom is currently a Senior Associate in the Antitrust and Competition practice at the international law firm Baker Botts L.L.P., where he handles complex antitrust litigation and merger clearance for clients in diverse industries ranging from software and consumer products to energy, media and entertainment. Prior to joining Baker Botts, Tom served as a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, where he was honored to receive the Assistant Attorney General’s Award of Distinction two years in a row.
Tom received his J.D. from the New York University School of Law in 2013. Prior to law school, he was an aspiring classical violist, having earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Theory, a Master of Music in Chamber Music, and a Specialist in Music in Viola Performance from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Yizhak Schotten. Tom also has fond memories of many summers spent at the Brevard Music Center, Le Domaine Forget music festival, and the Meadowmount School of Music.
Why did you decide to serve on the Board? “As a music lover and aspiring professional-turned-amateur violist, I’m honored to do whatever I can to help this vibrant young organization succeed. It has been such a pleasure meeting so many chamber music enthusiasts and even dusting off my viola on occasion!”
Ann H. Franke is a serious amateur cellist with a special passion for chamber music. She first picked up a cello during fifth grade at Bethesda Elementary School. She has studied with, among other teachers, Glenn Garlick, assistant principal cellist of the National Symphony and member of the Manchester String Quartet. In local musical groups, Ann has been active with the Kindler Cello Society of Washington, the Rock Creek Chamber Players, and the Friday Morning Music Club. For more than three decades she has participated in summer coaching at the Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East.
By profession, Ann is a lawyer specializing in higher education issues. She studied linguistics (BA, MA) and law (JD) at the University of Pennsylvania. Among other adventures, she studied the development of private universities in Australia on a Fulbright senior scholar award.
Why did you decide to serve on the Board? “The founding vision is immensely appealing to me. The programs weave together diverse musical experiences, high levels of artistry, and direct audience engagement. I am excited to advance this vision as a board member.”
As a violinist, Hae-Soon Hahn has performed as a guest soloist with orchestras including the Korean National Symphony, the Eastern Connecticut Symphony and the Washington Chamber Symphony, and served as a concertmaster in many orchestras such as the Washington Chamber Symphony and the Riverside Philharmonic of New York. She was the recipient of the Grand Prize at the Korean Broadcasting Competition and First Prize at the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Competition, among others.
Hae-Soon studied with Syoko Aki Erle at Yale School of Music and under the esteemed Szymon Goldberg at Juilliard where she received both her Bachelor’s and Masters. Hae-Soon was the founding member of Borealis Chamber Concerts in Connecticut and the Levine Piano Trio. As an advocate for young musicians, Hae-Soon is also proud to have served as a board member of Korean Concert Society of Washington, D.C., which represents young extraordinary musicians at the Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center.
Hae-Soon currently teaches privately in Maryland where she lives with her husband, Steve and Maya, a cockapoo. They have two daughters, Elizabeth and Julia.
Why did you decide to serve on the Board? “My decision to join was without hesitation once I experienced the provocative and innovative process of preparing a classical chamber music program. Ellen and the Programming Committee are able to create a truly lasting connection with music to their audience at an entirely new level with tremendous sensitivity. I have never experienced this before as a classical violinist.”
Eliza Jarvinen is the associate director of development at the Education Trust, a national non-profit, based in Washington, D.C. that advances equity in education through research, policy and advocacy.
Prior to joining the Education Trust, Eliza raised funds for some of New York City’s leading education, direct-service, and community arts organizations. She served as director, institutional and major gifts, at Breaking Ground, a supportive housing and homeless outreach provider. Previously, she worked in various front-line fundraising roles at several organizations. In each of these positions, she cultivated enduring funding partnerships with foundation, corporate, and government partners.
Eliza has a master’s degree in fundraising management from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from Bard College, where she majored in history and studied violin and chamber music with the Colorado Quartet.
Why did you decide to serve on the Board? “I come from a long line of string players, and have played violin since I was a child, including playing chamber music with my family. I attended my first Constellations concert at the home of my childhood violin teacher, and immediately wanted to get involved. Constellations brings such a thoughtful and fresh perspective to presenting chamber music. I learn something new during every concert, and walk away feeling inspired, energized, and renewed. I am so glad an organization like this exists, and I am honored to be a part of advancing their vision as a member of the board.”
Karen Kotulis-Carter serves as volunteer Archivist for Constellations and has served on the Board of Directors since August 2019. Currently retired, Karen was Director and Deputy Director of the Bloomfield Township Public Library from 1987 to 2013, where she managed all aspects of the Library’s operations and multimillion-dollar budget. While at BTPL, she served as President and Board member of the MetroNet Library Consortium. She also organized a partnership with the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance to bring a chamber music concert series to the library.
Karen previously served as a Board member of the Bloomfield Historical Society, Bloomfield Community Television Access Management Committee, and the Bloomfield Hills Rotary. Karen holds a Master of Science in Library Science and a Bachelor of Science in Family & Consumer Resources from Wayne State University.
Why did you decide to serve on the Board? “My musical background began growing up with my mother and grandmother playing the piano. I myself picked out tunes by ear when I was four years old. I was later blessed by having an amateur cellist and pianist and professional piano technician for my husband and two sons who played the violin and viola in youth orchestras. I have been an enthusiastic member of the audience my whole life. When Ellen first began to explain her vision of a unique offering of chamber music focusing on musical connections and offering local concerts in DC I was hooked. The enthusiasm became especially contagious because my son, Tom, was equally inspired. I knew that the vision would become an amazing reality if both Tom and Ellen were behind it. Their constant hard work and creativity have taken the idea and allowed it to flourish.”
Alan Michaels, through Merit Hotel Group, has owned and operated Marriott, Hilton, Best Western, Starwood and multiple independent hotels and resorts. Mr. Michaels currently owns and operates the SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Bel Air, Maryland. Mr. Michaels also provides a role as a senior advisor for Global Lodging Advisors which included lender evaluation of a 900-room convention hotel in Washington, D.C. and a ten-hotel, full-service chain in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Further engagements have included oversight of several Washington area full-service hotels such as Sheratons and Hyatts as well as development of a land valuation model for an affiliate of Morgan Stanley Real Estate Services.
Merit Hotel Group has simultaneously managed 514 rooms across five properties. These included Marriott, Starwood, Best Western and independent properties. These included full-service, select- and premium select service hotels. One independent property was a waterfront full-service, new-build hotel with Merit providing pre-construction concepts, coordination, evaluation, pre-opening and ongoing management for the first several years of operations for its third-party owner.
Alan Michaels has significant experience in all aspects of marketing and media having spent the earlier part of his career managing multi-million-dollar media budgets from creation through implementation.
Why did you decide to serve on the Board? "I love being close to the energy of Constellations and their brilliant pool of contributing musicians. This harkens back to the days when my mother took me, regularly, to Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic at his Young People’s Concert series."
Robert Seidel has 35 years’ experience in commercial real estate consulting, commercial real estate brokerage, retail leasing, retail development, construction management, and strategic planning consulting. He serves as co-founder and Executive Vice President of Providence Realty Advisors, LLC, a full-service commercial brokerage, and as President of Providence Capital Partners, LLC, a commercial real estate investment partnership.
Rob is also a guest lecturer on real estate, construction and general business formation at the Lincoln Technical Institute in Columbia, MD, the Art Institute of Washington, DC. He holds a fourth-degree black belt in traditional taekwondo and a second-degree black belt in combat hapkido. Rob co-founded The Movement, Inc., where he teaches martial arts to at-risk youth to transform their lives for the better.
Why did you decide to serve on the Board? “I joined the Board because Constellations is seeking to do great work in bringing chamber music to the masses, and there is great value in that. The mission is pure, simple, clear and concise.”
Carl Tretter, a resident of Montgomery County, Maryland, is Managing Member of Enterprise Properties LLC. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economic from the University of Maryland and a J.D. from the University of Baltimore.
In addition to his professional pursuits, Carl has an extensive background in music. He has studied violin with Jerome Rosenthal, George Steiner, David Salness, and others. He attended the Interlochen Music Camp for eight years and was concertmaster of the Montgomery County Youth Orchestra and Maryland All State Orchestra. More recently, he spent twelve years as a member of the Gallery Quartet and 22 years participating in the Chamber Music Conference at Bennington College, Vermont.
Carl has also performed at numerous commemorations of the Holocaust throughout the D.C. region, including at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, federal agencies, area synagogues and for the Jewish Community Relations Council.
Why did you decide to serve on the Board? “Even though I maintain a busy work schedule, as an enthusiastic amateur, if possible, I try to find time to play chamber music once or twice a week with friends (pre-COVID). In addition to playing, I am an avid listener and attend (pre-COVID) and financially support concerts and programs at Strathmore (National Philharmonic & Baltimore Symphony), The Library of Congress, University of Maryland and JCC Artists of Excellence, among others. Now, I have added Constellations to the mix; the programing, performers and performance venue (pre-COVID) are superior. I anticipate that the opportunity to work with such a dedicated, energetic group will be great!”