Board of Directors
Jason L.S. Raia – Chairman of the Board
Jason L.S. Raia joined the Board of American Historical Theatre in 2012 and became Chair in 2016. He is currently Executive Vice President in charge of operations at Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge which develops and implements educational and leadership programs exploring civic rights and responsibilities, American history, character development, and the free enterprise system for students, teachers, and adults learners of all ages.
After graduating from Boston College in 1993 with a degree in philosophy, Jason returned for graduate studies as a Lonergan Fellow. He spent more than thirteen years as a high school teacher (American history, theology, world history) and served as dean of students at Pope John XXIII High School in Everett, Massachusetts. He was also named an Adams Teacher Fellow by the Massachusetts Historical Society in 2006 in addition to receiving multiple grants for professional development from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and the Foundation for Teaching Economics.
Jason is a trustee of the Abraham Lincoln Foundation at the Union League of Philadelphia, and serves on the Boards of the Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies, and the Joey LoRusso Memorial Fund. Once a month Jason hosts a radio show and podcast called “Veterans Voice” for local AM station WFYL-1180, and occasionally publishes op-ed pieces on civic responsibility. A regular arts and culture enthusiast, he is a season ticket holder at Opera Philadelphia, regularly attends Broadway shows, and prides himself on having experienced some of the great museums around the world while traveling.
Steve Edenbo – Secretary
No description available.
Ted Thorne – Ombudsman
Ted Thorne Jr., was raised in small South Jersey town. In 1967 he came to Philadelphia to attend Temple University to study architecture. As part of a class design studio he participated in a study of the Columbia Subway and how it relates to the street and the University.
The result of this work was presented to the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, Executive Director Ed Bacon. The excitement generated by this event earned Mr. Thorne’s team the ability to obtain federal funds to study the similar connection in other cities. As a direct result he was offered a position with the Philadelphia Planning Commission staff. After six years he then joined the staff of OHCD in the Neighborhood Revitalization Programs that designed, developed, and managed a wide range of housing, economic, and industrial improvement programs across 42 Philadelphia neighborhoods.
Upon leaving public service, he focused upon the non-profit sector, serving as a Consultant/Management expert as well as serving as interim Executive Director for three separate organizations across this region.
As he transitioned into retirement, a friend introduced Ted and his wife Emily to Amway Corporation where they continue to work, “helping people help themselves”.
Ted and Emily Thorne live in the Farimount community of Philadelphia with their son Denis (25,) and their daughter Masha (27).
J. Nathan Bazzel
Raised in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Mr. Bazzel has resided in Philadelphia since 1991. He is the Director of Communications for The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the oldest professional society in the United States, a position he has held since 2008. The College includes the world-renowned Mütter Museum. He is considered a leading expert on Social Media for not-for-profit organizations. At the College, he has developed what is widely considered the most successful Social Media platform for a museum/cultural organization, in the region. Mr. Bazzel is also an expert in film and digital media production.
Prior to joining the College, Mr. Bazzel spent 2 years as the Public Relations for a leading theatre company in Philadelphia. He also spent many years portraying Thomas Jefferson, and occasionally, other characters, for Franklin and Friends. In this capacity he has performed around the world, including performances for US Presidents, world leaders, and a wide range audiences.
Mr. Bazzel is a member of, and editor of the newsletter for the St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia, the oldest Gentlemen’s society in the nation. He is a member of the Scottish National Party, and a supporter of Scottish Independence. He has also been involved in LGBT and HIV/AIDS issues. In 2006, he was featured in Newsweek’s 25th anniversary of AIDS issue.
Anne Elizabeth Specker is currently the Director of Education Initiatives for Arcadia University. Prior to her university posting she was the Director of Civics Education for the National Constitution Center, and was Chief of Staff to the First Lady of Pennsylvania (Governor’s Office of the First Lady, Harrisburg, PA). Specker holds an MA in Nonprofit Management from Eastern University, St. Davids, and has be recognized for excellence through the receipt of the MOWW Patrick Henry Award, the Rotary International Paul Harris Award, and the Pennsylvania Council of Social Studies Civic Education Award.
Darnelle is a playwright and director living in Philadelphia. He has studied Arts Administration at NYU and served on the Board of Directors of the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. He is the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of REPRESENTED, Executive Producer and Host of REP RADIO, IT and Marketing Consultant under the umbrella of RED-FED Solutions and the Co-Founder of Just Learn Something.
Stanley Ellenberg A graduate of the Temple University law program in 1974 with an M.B.A from Villanova University in 1997 Stanley is the senior partner with Stanley Ellenberg and Associates. His practice includes: Bankruptcy; Business Law, Civil Rights, Commercial Law, Immigration, International Law, International Trade, Labor And Employment, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury and Workers Compensation. He is a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Mr. Ellenberg was brought on to the board of AHT in November of 2011