Our Audition Judges
Active as classical, world and jazz pianist, composer and festival curator, Stephen Prutsman explores and seeks common ground in music of all cultures and languages. In the 1990’s, Stephen was a medal winner at the Tchaikovsky of Moscow and Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Piano Competitions, and has since performed concertos worldwide with leading orchestras and as a soloist. For several years he was Artistic Partner with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Cartagena International Music Festival. As a composer his music has been performed throughout the world by artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Tom Waits and the Kronos Quartet. Passionate for causes related to the needs of the developmentally disabled, in addition to being on five Bay Area autism boards, Stephen cofounded with his wife the non-profit organization “Autism Fun Bay Area” which creates artistic and recreational environments for people on the autism spectrum and their families. These “Azure” events occur throughout the bay area and are taking place in other cities in North America.
Mr. Zaldivar is a native Californian who was born and raised in the Silicon Valley. He is the Executive Director of San Andreas Regional Center (SARC) and has worked for the past 18 years in various functions, including; Director of Consumer Services South (2011); District Manager for the South Santa Clara and San Benito Counties (2006); District Manager of the Transition Unit (2002). He also served as a service coordinator serving adult individuals (2006). During his tenure, he has had the opportunity to work with every age group, including early start and intake. He has also managed several technical contracts related to state and federal reimbursements. Mr. Zaldivar has also served as a primary manager of the regional center electronic data base as well as coordinator for staff development. He continues to work in his role of Executive Director with many community partners which help the individuals with developmental disabilities lead fulfilling and meaningful lives.
Jody received her Master's and Bachelor's of Music in music therapy from Michigan State University, and is a Board-Certified Music Therapist. Jody currently provides music therapy to children and adults with varying diagnoses including Autism Spectrum Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury, as well as developmental disabilities and cognitive impairments. Experience in clinical music therapy work includes neuro-rehabilitation, emphasizing Neurologic Music Therapy, with which she published her thesis entitled “The effects of Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation [RAS] on gait training for persons with Traumatic Brain Injury.” Jody is also an active presenter of music therapy in-services and workshops nationwide. Her research interests include Psychoneuroimmunology and music imagery, palliative pain care management with music, and the effects of expressive art forms on the body’s immune system.
Lisa Kleinbub is the Executive Director of Regional Center of the East Bay. Prior to assuming this position in July 2017, Lisa was the Director of Health and Behavioral Services and a Clinical Nurse Specialist at RCEB. She also led RCEB’s diversity and equity efforts. Lisa is committed to building partnerships with the people we serve, their families, staff, providers and the larger community so that individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities can have satisfying lives in inclusive communities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Colgate University and a Master’s degree in Nursing from San Francisco State University. Lisa has also worked as an independent living skills instructor, a vocational trainer, and a direct service professional. A native of Flushing, NY, she has considered California and specifically the East Bay, home for over 30 years.
Our Final Competition Judges
Christopher Showerman is an American actor and producer who is best known for his role as George in George of the Jungle 2. Chris was born and raised in Michigan where he started his acting career at Michigan State University as a music major. He has appeared in films like Sea of Fear, Idol, Live Fast, Die Young, Complacent, and Big Game. On television, he has appeared on Jack of All Trades, The OC, CSI Miami, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and held a recurring role on Supergirl. On his acting career, he has said, “I moved to Los Angeles to dive into the deep end of the talent pool. Once in California, I took any and every job to pay the rent, including working at the world famous Gold’s Gym in Venice and parading as a giant pink ball for a supermarket that delivers. I continued to take acting classes and occasionally book small roles in small movies or local plays...Yes, I’m the luckiest kid in the world, but not because of my career or the money I have made and lost. My fulfillment comes from loving what I get to do and loving those that support me in doing what I love.
NANCY BARGMANN was appointed Director of the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) on March 4, 2016, by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. The Department, in conjunction with the 21 private nonprofit regional centers located throughout the State, provides services and supports to over 300,000 Californians with developmental disabilities. Director Bargmann has extensive experience in the developmental services field, both in the private, non-profit and corporate sectors, and the State. From 2012-2015, she served as deputy director of the Community Services Division at DDS where she developed policy and oversaw regional center operations and services. Since 2015, she has served as associate executive director at the San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center. From 2009 to 2012, she held a variety of positions at Home Ownership for Personal Empowerment Inc., including executive director and business consultant, and held several positions at the MENTOR Network from 1998 to 2009, including vice president of operations, vice president of business development and California state director. In addition, she held several positions at the Inland Regional Center from 1985 to 1998, including community services director, resource manager, adult services program manager and consumer services coordinator. Ms. Bargmann started her career working with individuals who have developmental disabilities as a direct service professional with The Arc of Orange County in 1984. A native Californian, she was born and raised in San Bernardino. Director Bargmann earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Pepperdine University School of Business and Management, and a Master of Science degree in social work from San Diego State University.
Kansen Chu was elected to the Berryessa School Board in 2002 and worked to bolster public education materials, strengthen curriculum, and improve public access to school board meetings. Kansen was elected in November 2014, and reelected in 2016, to represent California’s 25th Assembly District, which includes Alameda County and Santa Clara County. He made public health and the environment top priorities, passing legislation to require green building standards, ban the singleuse plastic bags, and promoted the installation of automatic heart defibrillators. He serves on 21 local and regional governing committees and represents San Jose on the League of California Cities and Association of Bay Area Governments.
ANGELA INKYUNG SOHN
Born in Seoul, Korea, Angela Inkyung Sohn was raised and educated in Hong Kong and entered Stanford University at the age of 16. She was the first Korean to receive the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Yale School of Music. Angela Inkyung Sohn is a member of the Soma Trio and the Korea Festival Ensemble. Her performing career as both soloist and chamber musician has taken her to Japan, Singapore, China, Spain, Germany, Scotland, Canada, United States and Russia as well as cities throughout Korea. She has appeared as soloist with the KBS Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and the St. Petersburg State TV and Radio Orchestra and her recordings include KBS FM's "Korean Musicians", "Reminiscence" (Sony/BMG), Soma Trio albums 1~3 and a solo violin Christian Contemporary Music album "With All My Heart." She has taught at Yonsei University and the Korean National University of Arts and is the founder and conductor of the Onnuri Sarang Chamber Orchestra, a full chamber orchestra comprising over forty members with intellectual and developmental disabilities (including Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder).
Jude was born in Derry, Northern Ireland on the 7th of August 1990. Following profound behavioural struggles in his early years, Jude was diagnosed with Autism in 2001 at the age of 11. Despite daily struggles, Jude qualified as a Social Worker in 2012 and became a Dad in 2013. The overwhelming life change of becoming a parent created distance between Jude and his infant son Ethan, to such an extent that Ethan asked "why does Daddy always look so sad?" Following this harrowing question, Jude understood that he needed to come to terms with his Autism and love himself for who he is. Ethans question became the title of Jude's Amazon Best Selling memoir "Why Does Daddy Always Look So Sad?" - Published by Beyond Words, the publisher of The Secret. Jude currently lives with Ethan and he is now six years old. Jude continues to work as a social worker and delivers inspirational and informative talks on all things Autism. Jude is a strong advocate for Autism at all stages of life and that Autism doesnt end at 18 years old. Jude rejoices in the gifts his Autism brings and wishes that Autistic people around the world can make peace with themselves and be proud of their gift. Jude's speaking events have been attended by thousands with regular sell out talks around the world, from small groups to big expos.
Mimi Kwan is ABC7’s (KGO-TV) Vice President of Community Affairs. She oversees community outreach efforts with regard to airtime for non-profit groups, event sponsorships, and other support. She has received three Emmy awards for Community Excellence and community affairs programs, Beyond the Headlines, and Profiles of Excellence. She has been honored by several organizations, including the Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition. She has volunteered with Asian Women’s Shelter, Oakland Asian Students Educational Services, Self-Help for the Elderly, and Asian American Cancer Support Network, among others.
Matt Keller is a familiar face for FCSN. He was the emcee of the very first FCSN Special Needs Got Talent (now known as Special Needs Talent Showcase) in 2015. He has returned every single year since then as emcee with the exception of last year when he was one of the judges. In 2017, Matt also started emceeing for FCSN Gala as well. His wonderful sense of humor and personality won the audience over and kept them thoroughly entertained. Matt is currently the Media and Public Relations Supervisor at Valley Water. Before that, he was an anchor and reporter for more than 20 years. Matt won two Emmy awards and Edward R. Murrow award. He was most recently a reporter and fill-in anchor for ABC7 New here in the Bay Area. During his time off, Matt enjoys running, spending time with his family and supporting his friends at FCSN.