Board Members

Working While Playing benefits from the support of a number of music professionals.

  • John Fisher

    John Fisher
    John Fisher
    Board Member
    John Fisher brings with him 30+ years’ experience in business and just completed 8 years in public service as an elected official. He holds a master’s degree in engineering and business from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. John has launched and helped launch several successful businesses and organizations. For 27 years, his own company, Unidec, has provided technical services to Bose Audio, Mesa Boogie, Sony Records and many electronics manufacturers over the years. John lives music, is a drummer and enjoys volunteering his time and talent.
  • Joe Nicolo

    Joe Nicolo
    Joe Nicolo
    Board Member
    Nine-time Grammy winner Joe Nicolo has been in the music biz for 30 years. He sold 100 million records with his Ruffhouse label in the 90s, and discovered Cypress Hill, Kris Kross, The Fugees, Lauryn Hill, and Wyclef Jean. His success with these artists resulted in Joe becoming staff producer for Columbia Records. Joe won a Grammy for his work on James Taylor’s “Hourglass” in 1999. He was also nominated for three Grammys for his production of Billy Joel’s album “River of Dreams,” and won for Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, twice for the Fugees, and five times for Lauryn Hill.
  • Joan Sanchez

    Joan Sanchez
    Joan Sanchez
    Board Member
    Joan Sanchez grew up with a great appreciation for music and knows its amazing influence.  Her father was a self-taught musician who played jazz and contemporary music in big bands, combos, ensembles, and as a solo performer throughout the Philadelphia region for most of his life. She was taught to sing at a very young age, and performed in musical productions and choral ensembles as a teenager. As the mother of two daughters, Joan was very involved in volunteering and community service. For two years she was vice president in charge of fundraising for the Parent Teacher Organization; she was also involved with The Haverford Choral Association for several years (serving as president in her last year there). She also worked extensively with the Haverford Band and Orchestra Parents Organization.  She spent 15 years as a Girl Scout leader, where she concentrated quite a bit on fundraising and community service. Her eldest daughter is currently a music therapy major at Temple University, and both of her daughters have played and performed music throughout their lives, both casually and professionally.  
  • Jim Hamilton

    Jim Hamilton
    Board Member
    Jim Hamilton has been deeply involved with music for his entire life. His work as a drummer and percussionist has taken him all over the world, including performances at the Grammys, World Music Awards, and the MTV, BET and VH-1 Video Music Awards, as well as appearances on David Letterman and Jay Leno.  During the 1990s, he toured with legendary acts like Boyz II Men and Gerald Alston. After returning home to Philadelphia, he opened his own recording studio, which he operated for over fifteen years. During this time, he toured Japan and Europe extensively with Ursula Rucker. On top of running his studio, he also became heavily involved in Philadelphia’s percussion scene, as a co-founding member of Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra and Alo Brasil. During his career, he has recorded with a wide variety of artists, including John Blake, Odean Pope, Zakir Hussain, Dom Um Romão, Marshall Allen, Lee Smith and Warren Smith. As a live performer, he has shared the stage with Toni Braxton, Paul Winter, Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Calvin Weston, among others.
  • Alaina Mabaso

    Alaina Mabaso
    Alaina Mabaso
    Board Member
    Alaina Mabaso has been covering the greater Philadelphia area's arts and culture scene as a freelance journalist, essayist, and editor for over ten years, contributing to outlets like WHYY's NewsWorks, Flying Kite media, Generocity, and many more. She's also the associate editor of Philly's Broad Street Review. She blogs at alainamabaso.com, where fiction need not apply.
  • Board Member

    Jerry Hand
    Board Member
    Jerry Hand is an attorney with over 20 years’ experience primarily in the areas of civil rights and entertainment.  During that span, he has handled hundreds of federal cases covering a wide range of civil rights issues.  He has also represented major and independent artists, executives, producers, tour managers, music directors, radio stations and many others.   He has participated on panels at numerous entertainment industry conferences and given college lectures on entertainment law. Jerry is also a music fanatic.  A former musician, he was a club and radio DJ in England, where he attended college.Jerry is also a music fanatic.  A former musician, he was a club and radio dj in England, where he attended college.
  • Calvin Johnson

    Calvin Johnson
    Board Member
    Calvin Johnson was born and raised in Philadelphia, and graduated from West Philadelphia High School. A community activist for over 20 years, he has worked for the city of Philadelphia for 17 years as an assistant recreation leader, and worked in the mental health field for eight years. He’s the co-founder of a community group called Weekend of Peace, which has now been operating for over twelve years to address issues of violence in different locations thought the city, especially amongst youth.
  • Chad Butters

    Chad Butters
    Board Member
    Chad is the founder of Eight Oaks Craft Distillers in New Tripoli, PA. He is a retired army aviator with 25 years of military service. Chad has experience in project management, human resource management, leadership, problem-solving, regulatory compliance and system safety development. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle University and recently received his MBA with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from Drexel University.  He and his wife of 26 years, Jodi Butters, have two grown children, Nick and Carly.