The Carbonell Awards Announces New Officers & Board Members for 2021-2022 Season

The Carbonell Awards Announces New Officers & Board Members for 2021-2022 Season

Four Distinguished New Board Members Include Herman G.  Montero, William Nix, Geoffrey Short & Avery Sommers



Scholarship Fund Link

(South Florida – June 28, 2021) Jeff Kiltie, the newly elected board president of the Carbonell Awards, South Florida’s most highly coveted recognition of theatrical and performance excellence, today announced the nonprofit organization’s officers and board members for the 2021-2022 theater season, including the addition of four distinguished new board members: Herman G. Montero, William Nix, Geoffrey Short and Avery Sommers.



Jeff Kiltie, general manager of Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, stage manager, producer and member of Actors’ Equity Association, and co-chair of this year’s Carbonell Special Committee. With more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of the performing arts industry, he will also serve as chair of the board’s Production & Programming Committee.


Vice President:

Javier Siut, member of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and former director of Prometeo Theatre at Miami-Dade College. He also chairs the board’s Scholarship Committee.



Donald R. Walters, president of Donald R. Walters, P.A., a Coral Springs real estate law firm, is the Immediate Past President of the Carbonell Board of Directors. He will continue to serve on the board’s Executive and Governance committees.



Jody Leshinsky, cultural venues programming manager for the Pompano Beach Cultural Affairs Department with 35 years of arts administration experience in South Florida.


Board Members:

Joanne Benkö, director of programming for the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. She also chairs the board’s Ticketing & Sponsorship Committee for the annual Carbonell Awards.


Linda Birdsey, director of marketing and public relations for the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach.


Ricardo J. Gonzalez III, owner/director of the Beaux Arts Gallery in Miami, and proprietor and worldwide personal representative for the estate of sculptor Manuel Carbonell.


Herman G. Montero, the new director of production at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, who was formerly director of project management for Bombshell Productions in Fort Lauderdale, and earlier the production manager for the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Montero was a member of this year’s Carbonell Special Committee.


William Nix, former vice president of marketing and governmental affairs for the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County who also hosted an award-winning weekly TV show on the arts. He currently is an ex officio member of the Palm Beach County Film and Television Commission and hosts the annual African-American Film Festival at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.


Gary Schweikhart, president of PR-BS, a Boca-based public relations firm, co-founder of the series Culture & Cocktails, and co-chair of this year’s Carbonell Special Committee. He will continue to serve as chair of the board’s PR & Communications Committee.


Geoffrey Short, president of the board of directors of the Pembroke Pines Theater of the Performing Arts, and an experienced theater director, actor, and music producer who has worked with numerous South Florida theater companies. Short was a member of this year’s Carbonell Special Committee.


Avery Sommers, Broadway, movie and TV veteran who continues to sell-out performances in cabarets, night clubs and theaters. Both a Carbonell Award winner and a seven-time nominee, she also is a recipient of a Los Angeles Ovation Award, The Silver Palm Award for Outstanding Contributions to South Florida Theater, and the Best Supporting Actress Award at the 2010 Monaco International Film Festival.


About The Carbonell Awards:

The Carbonell Awards fosters the artistic growth of professional theater in South Florida by celebrating the diversity of our theater artists, providing educational scholarships, and building audience appreciation and civic pride by highlighting achievements of our theater community. More than 20 professional theater companies in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties participate in the awards process every year. The Carbonell Awards also celebrate the accomplishments of local artistic leaders by presenting several Special Awards.


Along with New York’s Drama Desk and Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Awards, the Carbonell Awards are among the nation’s senior regional arts awards and predate others, including Washington, D.C.’s Helen Hayes Awards. The Carbonell Awards are named after Manuel Carbonell, an internationally-renowned sculptor, who designed the original solid bronze and marble award in 1976, the signature trophy that is given annually to Carbonell Award winners. Over the last 45 years, the Carbonell family has donated more than $250,000 in awards. For more information, please visit