Trinity Repertory Company elected three new members to its Board of Trustees last week for terms beginning July 1: Guillaume Bagal, Lisa Biggs, and Neha Gore Geraghty.
This year’s class of incoming trustees brings a wide range of expertise to the Board as Trinity Rep continues its mission of reinventing the public square. Guillaume Bagal is the vice president of diversity and inclusion at United Natural Foods, Inc. Lisa Biggs is an established theater artist, playwright, scholar, and activist currently serving as an Africana Studies professor at Brown University and its Rites and Reason Theatre. Neha Gore Geraghty is the Senior Manager Source to Pay Global Process Owner at Etsy.
“I am so pleased that Trinity Rep has added these three remarkable individuals to our Board of Trustees,” said Kibbe Reilly, chair of the governance committee responsible for recruiting new trustees. “All are great theater fans and will bring their varied areas of expertise to bolster an organization they already love. I look forward to working alongside them as we move Trinity Rep toward an even brighter future.”
Additionally, Louis Giancola will begin the third year of his three-year term as Board Chair. Vice-Chairs Kibbe Reilly and Ken Sigel and Treasurer John Lombardo were re-elected for one-year terms. Noni Thomas López was elected to a one-year term as Secretary, succeeding Jon Duffy in the role. Trustees re-elected for another three-year term include Judhajit De, Jon Duffy, Sean W. Holley, Esq., James Hurley, Larry La Sala, Sara Shea McConnell, Kibbe Reilly, Julia Anne Slom, and Art Solomon. The full list of trustees can be found at trinityrep.com/board.
Trinity Rep also thanks Kate Sabatini and Brian McGuirk, who completed their terms on the Board.
Guillaume Bagal serves as vice president of diversity and inclusion at United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI), a Fortune 100 company and largest distributor of wholesale bulk food and products in North America. Prior to joining UNFI, he was head of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI), a nationally recognized health insurance company serving over 400,000 members. Guillaume also served on the Governor’s Equity Council in Rhode Island, addressing inequities witnessed through the COVID-19 pandemic, and informing the State’s Reopening Plan. In 2018, Guillaume was asked to lead internal and external DEI efforts, along with decision-making responsibilities in areas including human resources, strategy and operations, and community investment. Guillaume’s well-rounded career path includes global health work, consulting for pharmaceutical companies, leading policy efforts in a healthcare delivery setting, and heading diversity, equity, and inclusion in a health insurance company. He led the BCBSRI LGBTQ Safe Zone Program, a certification initiative that impacts over 30 healthcare delivery settings and thousands of patients in Rhode Island. Guillaume uses his healthcare policy, research background, and coalition building skills to support UNFI’s government affairs team, and to review polices with an equity lens. In 2019, Guillaume was the recipient of the Rhode Island Black Business Association’s Diversity Champion Award. In 2022, Guillaume made the Top 100 Diversity Officers list in the United States.
Previously, Guillaume served for two and a half years at Whitman-Walker Health, as policy associate and later associate director of policy. In those roles, he monitored national and local policy issues impacting the health and wellness of diverse populations, and advocated on a range of LGBTQ and HIV-related policy issues through various avenues including research and presentations, op-eds, and community coalition building.
Guillaume was also director of policy at the Center for Global Health & Diplomacy, and worked with a range of healthcare stakeholders and several pharmaceutical companies while at Avalere Health, a leading consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. Guillaume is deeply committed to community service and serves as board member for Amos House, and the Rhode Island Public Health Institute, where he chairs the community advisory and advocacy group for Open Door Health (RI’s first LGBTQ health center). He previously served on the National Institutes of Health Community Advisory Board, and was elected president of GLAA (Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance), the nation’s oldest continuously active gay and lesbian civil rights organization. Under his leadership, GLAA doubled funds raised, underwent a complete website renovation, and recruited three new leaders. Guillaume led a collaborative project with 10 other DC based organizations that resulted in Building on Victory, GLAA’s 2018 policy brief and election guide.
Bagal, who is fluent in French, English, and two African dialects, holds two Master’s degrees – one in healthcare administration and policy from George Mason University and the second in organization sociology from East Carolina University, both received with high honors. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology and French literature from East Carolina University. Guillaume lives in Providence, Rhode Island with his husband Robert Gondola, Jr.
Lisa Biggs is an actor, playwright, and performance studies scholar. She currently serves as the John Atwater and Diana Nelson Assistant Professor of the Arts and Africana Studies at Brown University. Originally from the Southside of Chicago, Dr. Biggs worked for more than a decade as a professional actress and teaching artist in local and regional theatres after earning a BA in Theatre and Dance at Amherst College (1993). Her stage credits include productions at the Kennedy Center, Lookingglass Theatre, Arena Stage, Woolly Mammoth, DC Arts Center, Baltimore’s Center Stage, the African Continuum Theatre, City Lit, and ETA Creative Arts Foundation. From 1999-2001, Dr. Biggs served as a teaching artist at the Living Stage Theatre Company, the groundbreaking community-engagement initiative of Arena Stage in Washington, DC. Lisa returned to graduate school to study playwriting at NYU’s Gallatin School (MA 2007) and performance studies at Northwestern University (PhD 2013). She worked for five years as an Assistant Professor teaching theatre and performance studies at Michigan State University before moving to Brown University in 2018. At Brown, she offers undergraduate and graduate courses in theatre, performance studies, and African American culture for the Department of Africana Studies/Rites and Reason Theatre.
As an artist and scholar, Lisa is interested in the role of theatre and of performance in movements for social justice. She is the author of several original plays that reflect her passions – Where Spirit Rides (19th century abolitionists), Blackbirds (Black-Irish relations in 1850s NYC), Butterfly Belongings (a children’s play about the 1990s DC housing crises), Vigilante Artist (gender-based violence and street harassment in Black communities) and Memory is a Body of Water (written with Tanisha Christie about the ongoing ramifications on the Trans-Atlantic slave trade). In 2016, she was awarded a Knight Foundation Detroit Arts Challenge grant to develop and present a new stage play about women and girls who lit up and lived through the ’67 Detroit rebellion.
The play, AFTER/LIFE, was developed using archival research and oral histories with lifelong Detroit residents. With a cast of native Detroiters and undergraduate and graduate students from local universities, AFTER/LIFE premiered in Detroit in July 2017 in conjunction with city-wide events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the ’67 uprising. Most recently, Lisa has expanded her reach into directing, staging a reading of The Providence Garden Blues, one of the first shows developed by Rites and Reason’s founder, George Houston Bass.
In addition to her theatre work, Lisa is a performance studies scholar. Her research has been published online and in print journals including The Conversation, Theatre Survey, and Modern Drama. Her essays can also be found in the edited anthologies Solo/Black/Woman: Scripts, Interviews, Essays (2013), Black Acting Methods: Critical Inquiries (2016), and Applied Theatre: Women and the Criminal Justice System (2020).
Her first book, The Healing Stage: Black Women, Incarceration, and the Art of Transformation, is in production with the Ohio State University Press with an anticipated publication date of December 2022. The Healing Stage represents nearly 15 years of Lisa’s ethnographic research investigating the impact of theatre programs for women incarcerated in prisons and jails in the U.S. and in South Africa. For more: https://vivo.brown.edu/display/lbiggs and https://www.lisabiggs.org/afterlife
Neha Gore Geraghty is the Senior Manager, Source to Pay Global Process Owner at Etsy. She is an experienced project manager with expertise in financial systems, regulatory compliance, and supply chain management, and is currently the Global Operations Source to Pay Lead for Etsy, Inc and its House of Brands. As a working professional, Neha has spent over 14 years working in corporate environments in Chicago and New York City, ranging from consulting, financial services, technology, and supply chain. She has earned certifications in Project Management as well as Information Systems. Her ability to adapt quickly and be a change enabler has allowed her a career of broad specialties. She is thrilled to now be based out of her new home in Providence. Growing up in the Chicagoland area and living in New York City has provided Neha with many opportunities to be a keen consumer of theater arts. She looks forward to continuing that interest in Providence. Neha earned her BS in Accountancy at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.