Board of Directors
President & CEO
Jonelle Procope is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Apollo Theater, a position she has held since 2003. She became a member of the Apollo Board of Trustees in 1999. She leads a staff of over 60 full-time union and non-union employees, and an executive team responsible for all financial, production and strategic functions of the legendary Theater. The Apollo’s 27-member Board of Trustees includes prominent corporate and community leaders dedicated to the continued expansion of the Theater’s influence within the United States and internationally. She has been responsible for the Board’s development and expansion as well as the adherence to best practices for governance consistent with the Apollo’s transformation into a vibrant non- profit institution.
Ms. Procope has implemented a long-range plan for the preservation, restoration, and expansion of the Theater. Under her leadership, the Apollo has dramatically increased its base of financial support, while expanding its education and community programs. In 2018, the Apollo completed a comprehensive strategic plan process, which led to a five to 10 year implementation plan to transform the institution into a 21st century performing arts center.
Prior to assuming her role as President and CEO of the Apollo, Ms. Procope held a variety of senior positions within the fields of entertainment law and media-related corporate affairs and management. She began her legal career as an associate attorney at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
Ms. Procope has been profiled in The New York Times Public Lives column, which recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves through significant contributions to New York City, named as one of Portfolio magazine’s “73 Biggest Brains in Business”, profiled in Ebony Magazine, and honored by The New York Daily News as one of the “100 Women Who Shape Our City”. In April 2014, Ms. Procope was honored by the New York Women in Communications as recipient of its 2014 Matrix award. In addition to the Apollo Theater Board, Ms. Procope is a member of the boards of the 125th Street Business Improvement District, the Gracie Mansion Conservancy, NYC & Company, SiriusXM and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She also serves on the NYC Landmarks50 Advisory Committee.
Ms. Procope was an Executive Producer on the feature length documentary film, The Apollo, which opened the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019 and received the 2019 Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary. She also serves on Mayor Bill De Blasio’s Arts, Culture, and Tourism Advisory Council to help safely reopen city post-pandemic.
Kamilah Forbes is the Executive Producer of the Apollo in addition to her work as an esteemed award-winning director and producer for theater and television. Ms. Forbes is a powerful leader, widely known for her ability and commitment to continue to highlight the ideas, complexities, and work of artists in the hip-hop community and beyond. She has received awards for both directing and producing, including the 2019 NBTF Larry Leon Hamlin Producer Award and an NAACP Image Award.
Ms. Forbes’ directing credits include Between the World and Me; By the Way, Meet ;Vera Stark; Blood Quilt and Sunset Baby. This Howard University alum has also collaborated on The Wiz Live, A Raisin in the Sun, Mountaintop, and Stick Fly on Broadway. She has produced several works for television, most notably the seventh season of the Tony Award and Peabody Award-winning series Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry on HBO.
Ms. Forbes’ most recent directorial work, Between the World and Me, aired as a special event on HBO and HBO Max in November 2020 to critical acclaim. Outside of her work at the Apollo, Ms. Forbes is slated to direct the Broadway premiere of Soul Train, alongside Questlove, Dominique Morrisseau, and Camille A. Brown.
Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Scrofani is a 40 year veteran of the live entertainment business. He began his tenure in the theatre at Jujamcyn Theatres Corporation where he served a 13 year term as the Executive Vice President. In 1990, he joined Columbia Artists Theatricals (CAT). During his 18 years at CAT, Mr. Scrofani served as the Chief Operating Officer. He also held the position of Executive Vice president and COO of Columbia Artists Management, Inc. (CAT’s parent company) and was a senior member of the Board of Directors. In 2009, he founded Theatre Management Associates, Inc. (TMA) and its subsidiary, Moonglow Productions LLC. Mr. Scrofani has produced, co-produced or been associated with over 100 Broadway, National, and/or international productions including Chita Rivera The Dancer’s Life, STOMP, TBring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk, Jelly’s Last Jam, Elaine Stritch At Liberty, Sunset Boulevard, Into the Woods, The Piano Lesson,, Dracula, and more.
He has garnered multiple Tony® Nominations and Tony® Awards as well as Drama Desk, Obie, The Pioneer in the Theatre Award in 2011, and The Elliot Norton Award for outstanding production for Carousel. Mr. Scrofani serves as an Adjunct Professor at New York University’s Stern School Of Business as well as the instructor of the program “Strategic Steps For Growth” sponsored by the Mayor’s Office Of Media & Entertainment in partnership with New York University.
Chief Development Officer
Donna Lieberman is responsible for raising more than $10 million annually to support the Apollo’s artistic, education, and community programs. She also directs the organization’s special campaigns, which have raised tens of millions of dollars for large scale artistic programs, facility enhancements, and cash reserve. As Director of Strategic Gifts at New York for Feeding America, Ms. Lieberman worked with City Harvest and the Food Bank for New York City to raise over $1 million in gifts for the collaborative Campaign for a Hunger-Free America, a multi-year, $500M effort to change the history of hunger in America. Ms. Lieberman has held senior level positions at The New York Botanical Garden, the Museum of the City of New York, and the School of American Ballet, among others. She was Director of the Campaign for New York City Ballet, raising more than $58 million for the Ballet’s first endowment campaign. Ms. Lieberman also served as the founding Managing Director for MAKOR, a center for Jewish life and culture on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and as Managing Director of the WPA Theatre.
Charles E. Phillips
Managing Partner and Co-Founder
Charles Phillips is the Managing Partner and Co-Founder at Recognize, a technology investment and transformation company with over $1 billion in assets. He is the former CEO and Chairman of Infor, the third-largest business software applications company in the world, with operations in 190 countries and 17,000 employees. Prior to Infor, Phillips was a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley in the Technology Group and served on its Board of Directors. He later served as President of Oracle Corporation and a member of its Board of Directors. Phillips served as a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps in the 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines at Camp Lejeune in a line of three generations of military service.
Phillips holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a J.D. from New York Law School, and an MBA from Hampton University and is a member of the Georgia State Bar Association. Phillips serves on the Boards of ViacomCBS Corporation, American Express, the Apollo Theater, and the Council of Foreign Relations. Phillips also served on President Obama’s Economic Recovery Board and the board of the Federal Reserve of New York. He is also the co-founder and Co-Chairman of the Black Economic Alliance, a policy organization focused on economic growth in Black communities, and the co-founder of OneTen, a job training network for Black workers and large employers.
Richard D. Parsons
Providence Equity Partners, LLC
Richard Parsons is a founding member of Imagination Capital, a venture capital firm, and a Senior Advisor at Providence Equity Partners, Inc., a leading private equity investment firm specializing in media, communications, and information companies. Some of his earlier roles included serving as the Chairman and CEO of Dine Bancorp, Inc.; Managing Partner of the New York law firm Patterson, Belknap, Webb and Tyler; and holding various state and federal government positions. He is the former Chairman of the Board of Citigroup, Inc. and served as the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Time Warner Inc. from 2002 to 2008. From May through September, 2014, Mr. Parsons served as the Interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Mr. Parsons received his undergraduate education at the University of Hawaii and his legal training at Albany Law School. In 2008, Mr. Parsons served as a member of then-President-Elect Barack Obama’s Economic Transition Team and later served as a member of President Obama’s President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. His other civic and non-profit commitments include Chairman Emeritus of the Partnership for New York City, Chairman Emeritus of the Apollo Theater Foundation, and Chairman of the Jazz Foundation of America. He also serves on the boards of the Commission on Presidential Debates; the Estee Lauder Companies, Inc.; Lazard Frères and Company; and Madison Square Garden Sports, Inc.