Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is pleased to announce that it has added ten new members to its Board of Trustees. The new members are Jesse Biter, president/CEO Biter Enterprises, LLC; Jo Ann Bono, a Tony award-winning producer, Eleanor Merritt Darlington, artist and educator; Jaih Jackson, D.D.S, founder American Family Dental; Bob Johnson, retired; Julie Leach, community volunteer; Marian Moss, commercial real estate developer; Mary Ann Robinson, community volunteer; Magdiel "Mike" Rosario, president RoseBay Real Estate; and Michael Saunders, founder, Michael Saunders & Company.

According to Howard L. Millman, president of WBTT's Board and former producing director of the Asolo Theatre, "The new members represent a cross-section of influential community advocates who believe in the mission and vision of WBBT: to produce plays that promote the African American experience, attract diverse audiences, continue to support African American artists and build the self-esteem of African American youth. With the guidance and efforts of this impressive and dedicated group, WBTT will be able to grow its influence and its audiences now and for many years to come."

In addition to Millman, other returning members of WBTT's Board include Samuel D. Hicks, secretary; Michael Bush, treasurer; and June Gordon.

In its 10th anniversary year, WBTT has an ambitious plan for growth. To that end, an advisory group of community leaders from the business, arts, media, education and government fields has also been formed to promote and support the mission of the Troupe. The list of Advisory Board members includes: Morgan R. Bentley, Esq., Lynne Bernfield, Carol Buchanan, Carroll Buchanan, Ron Carter, Judy Cuppy, Linda DesMarais, E. Keith DuBose, Esq., Michael

Gardiner, David Goldman, Ron Greenbaum, Len Gumley, Charlie Huisking, Michael Karp, Esq., Commissioner Carolyn Mason, Melba Moore, Jim Neal, Dr. Henry L. Porter, Robert Roskamp, Edna Holliman Sherrell, David Simon, Lori Simon, Eva T. Slane, Paul Thatcher, Robbie Tisch, Sally Yanowitz and Barbara A. Zdravecky.

"Michael Shelton and I became involved with WBTT because we wanted to see the Troupe continue to provide wonderfully talented and diverse productions in the community," shared Christine Jennings, co-managing executive director. "We also wanted them to continue offering a venue for aspiring youth. Organizations need missions but without great community support they cannot survive. WBTT is about to have a major growth spurt. The excitement and enthusiasm is thrilling. Everyone on the team is excited to be a part of it."

The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe of Florida, Inc. (WBTT) was founded in December 1999, by local actor, singer, director and playwright Nate Jacobs. It is the first and only professional black theater company on Florida's West Coast. Throughout the past decade, WBTT has produced more than 30 productions locally and around the state of Florida. The company has gained a reputation for high quality, thought-provoking and entertaining performances.

Since its inception, WBTT has mentored and inspired many African-American youth through participation in the company's productions. It has provided a platform for talented individuals who might not otherwise have had an opportunity to cultivate their interests and talents. The company has provided a springboard for many national careers including Apphia Campbell and Teresa Stanley, a featured cast member of The Color Purple and Dream Girls on Broadway.

For more information on WBTT call 941-366-8121 or visit the website at www.wbttroupe.org.