The Next Decade at DCH!

We just wrapped up our first decade of business a few weeks ago. It feels like it truly has been a decade but also a flash in the pan. As we’re finalizing plans for our upcoming 10-Year Birthaversary celebration (January 20-26th), our 10th Annual Dallas Comedy Festival (March 26-30th) and our move to our new location on Elm Street (Spring 2019), we’ve re-organized our staff structure and added new team members.

Here’s a quick rundown of our new staff structure:

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Maggie Rieth Austin, who was previously our Director of Education, has been promoted to our Chief Operations Officer. If you’ve ever had the privilege of working with Maggie, then you know there isn’t much she can’t do. Maggie’s always had a strong desire to move people to action through thoughtful and strategic implementation behind and in front of the scenes here at DCH. It’s the reason she is the perfect fit for this new role. She’ll run the day-to-day operations of Dallas Comedy House and continue to hold the leadership team to the high standards you’ve come to expect from DCH.

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Ashley Bright, previously serving as our part-time marketing coordinator, will now serve as our full-time Director of Talent and Programming. In this newly developed role, Ashley will be charged with implementing the artistic vision for both the training center and theater with a brand new team of Artistic Committee members (see below for the new team members). Those who have worked with, performed with, learned from and taught/coached Ashley know that her brain works in a way unlike any other. She looks at every opportunity and challenge through a variety of different lens that are focused on both the process and the people. I’m excited to see how Ashley will continue to elevate the services and experiences we offer in our programming for both education and performance.

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Beth Yankuner, previously serving as our Bar and Kitchen manager, has been promoted to the Director of Food, Beverage, and Hospitality. In this new role, Beth will use her institutional knowledge of both the bar and kitchen and intern programs to train and develop our hospitality staff in order to elevate the experience for our guests, students, and performers. Beth’s amazing attention to detail and true desire to ensure everyone has the most fun every time they walk through the doors at DCH make her a great fit for this position. Is there anyone more delightful than Beth? I don’t think so. We could all use more Beths in this world.

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Tanasia Newman joins our team from Phoenix/Buckeye, Arizona as our new full-time Marketing Coordinator. Because she is very new to our team, I asked her to write a bio for herself so this is what she says: A creator and competitor at heart, Tanasia believes innovative and creative strategies in marketing are key to a business' success. When she’s not creating marketing campaigns and strategies or staying up to date on the latest social media trends, you can find her trying to fulfill the cliche: "live, love, LAUGH!"  After one week of working with Tanasia, here’s what I’ll say about her. She’s a great listener with great ideas. Tanasia’s already proven a natural ability to strategically think two steps ahead and we’re thrilled to add her as our newest team member and see how she soars.  

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Amy DiCarlo, a true gem of a person if I’ve ever met one, has been serving as our Director of Business Development and one of the Executive Producers of the Dallas Comedy Festival. As we move into the next decade of Dallas Comedy House, she’ll continue to be a rockstar in this role and work alongside me as we grow the DCH brand.

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Renaissance man, Grant Redmond, will stay on board as our Facility Director here at DCH. In addition to keeping our facility operating smoothly, the Grant of all Trades will also provide support to our Director of Food, Beverage and Hospitality as well as our Director of Talent and Programming. Also, look for Grant in commercials on TV. He’s always in commercials on TV! TV commercials love Grant!

Our new Artistic Committee:
Over the past several years, our show programming and class offerings have grown exponentially. In order to ensure high-quality shows and classroom curriculum, we’ve enlisted the help of 19 part-time Artistic Committee members and department heads to make sure shows are seen regularly and curriculum is ever-evolving to showcase the DCH artistic vision.

The new committees and members are:

Improv Department
Chad Haught (Department Head)
Ben Pfeiffer
Christie Wallace
Dane Robertson
Gabriel Vasquez
Jill Nastasia
Scriven Bernard

Sketch and Specialty Department
Cody Hofmockel (Department Head)
Allie Trimboli
Jonda Robinson
Nick Scott

Stand-up and Storytelling Department
Shahyan Jahani (Department Head)
Corey Whaley
Julia Cotton
Katy Evans
Paulos Feerow

Online Content
Jade Smith (Department Head)
Hannah Vaughan
Jason Hackett
Rob Howe

Youth and Teen Department
Lindsay Power (Department Head)

Whew! A lot of change happening around here at DCH. We’ve also had a few team members move on to bigger and better things, and I’d like to say thank you to...

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David Allison. He previously served as our Theater Director for a little over two years. He was the first full-time team member to serve in the theater capacity. During our last move in 2015, we doubled our physical space, as well as our performance space. Wrangling troupes, performers, hosts and casting shows is a thankless job and David did so with a smile on his face. I’m very grateful for David’s contributions to DCH as he helped us grow our theater department and programming in a way that will have an impact on how we program DCH for years to come. You’ll still see David around performing, teaching, and coaching. We wish David the best of luck in his new endeavors!

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Raye (Zeus) Maddox. He previously served as our Intern Coordinator and Training Center Coordinator. Raye helped manage our intern program, as well as all of the data behind our Training Center with an air of casual confidence that could only be pulled off by Raye. His perspective on work and life have always been delightful and curious and hilarious and we already miss his energy around the office. You’ll still see Raye around DCH performing, running tech, and now working in our bar, serving up some tasty comedy cocktails. We’re so glad we had the chance to work with Raye and we can’t wait to see what he does next!

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So where am I headed? Well, nowhere and everywhere. My official title will remain CEO. Over the next few months, I’ll be moving away from the day to day operations. My efforts will be focused on continuing to develop the DCH brand through our corporate programming, strategic partnerships, and community involvement, as well as a few other projects up my sleeve.  I’ll still be around DCH all the time (I’m typing this from the writer’s room while I listen to an improv troupe perform some crazy warm-up drill).

I’m really excited about this next decade for DCH and even more excited to truly implement the advice of many leaders before me to “Hire great people and stay out of their way.”

Cheers to the next decade!

Amanda Austin
Founder/CEO