Carolina Pais-Barreto Thor
Chief Executive Officer
Deanna Conte
CPA, Chief Financial Officer
Ross Nugent
Director of Education and Special Programs
Ben McGroarty
Assistant Director of Theater Operations
Caleb Pasquale
Assistant Director of Theater Operations
Karen Ferrick-Roman
Ed.D., Director of Communications
Stephanie Waite
Marketing and Media Advisor


Carolina Pais-Barreto Thor, Chief Executive Officer

Since 2003, when she made Pittsburgh her home, Carolina has been a changemaker in communities and organizations. Her tools are grit and conviction, sharpened by enthusiasm and a mind that runs on all cylinders.

A published writer and practiced speaker, she amassed a broad background in nonprofit and arts management, startup culture, economic and community development, public affairs, media relations and marketing.

Experienced in building consensus across sectors, Carolina is driven to connect collaborators, raise funds and implement initiatives.

As inaugural CEO of the Theater, she has guided the nonprofit through construction and launch. For the past eight years, she has been active, currently as vice chair, on the Board of Neighborhood Allies, Pittsburgh’s fastest-growing economic development nonprofit.

Education, for Carolina, is a cornerstone—first as a teenage exchange student in Louisiana, then at Harding University in Arkansas, where she earned a degree in English and secondary education; and finally, at Duquesne University, where she worked in Public Affairs while completing two degrees—an MBA and Masters in Corporate Communications. In Pittsburgh, she served on the founding Board of Start Uptown, one of the city’s first urban campuses of technology and social innovation; volunteered with the Pittsburgh Promise; and served on the Carnegie Library’s Board of Trustees.

One of the nation’s few Hispanic leaders of a film-driven nonprofit, Carolina also provides a unique voice in Pittsburgh’s nonprofit circles.

Born in Recife, Brazil, Carolina still drinks lots of coffee and is fluent in Portuguese.

An audiobook fanatic, she listens to over 100 titles a year and relaxes with her husband and their dogs outdoors, or mastering downhill skiing, an interest fanned recently that she finds equally terrifying and exhilarating.


Deanna Conte, CPA, Chief Financial Officer

Deanna’s professional career experience includes 25 years in public accounting with approximately 20 of those years focused on and providing accounting, audit, tax and advisory services to the nonprofit sector. Together with Carolina, she ensures accuracy, transparency and accountability in the Theater’s accounting and financial reporting.

Their work consistently yields the highest ratings possible from external audits, with no management findings. In addition, the Theater (listed as Village Theater Company) holds the highest available (4-star) rating on Charity Navigator for accountability and finance.

Their financial activities include timely monthly reporting of financial statements, activities and cash flow forecasts, in accordance with generally accepted U.S. accounting principles, to Theater’s Executive Committee/Finance Committee. The annual budget also is prepared and presented to the Finance Committee and Board for approval. The Board’s Finance Committee Chair, Renato Bacchi, the Global Treasurer for Alcoa Corp., is supported by other experienced committee members well-versed in finance. 


The Lindsay’s Operations Team focuses on every aspect of the facility procedures and staffing, including programming and inventory, health and safety protocols, in-house trailers and graphic design, recruitment and ongoing training of crew members. The intense on-boarding process they have developed focuses on equipping crew members and volunteers to provide outstanding customer service, which is often recognized in patron reviews and comments.

Ross Nugent, Director of Education and Special Programs

An award-winning filmmaker and academic, Ross served as assistant professor at Thiel College, supervising Thiel’s media facilities and overseeing production of student projects, and ending his tenure at Thiel as Department Chair of Media, Communication and Public Relations.

He first joined the Theater in 2022 as director of the Cinema Maker Sessions (CiMS), a youth career readiness program for STEAM disciplines, and now supports all of the Theater’s educational offerings, including the national Science on Screen® film/speaker series, school field trips, group activities and other programming tailored to specific groups and Teen Screen, which enables middle- and high-school suburban and rural students to enjoy the same thought-provoking cinematic opportunities and discussions as their urban peers; sensory friendly events, Emerging Filmmakers Showcase, which fosters creativity beyond the metro core; film festivalsTeen Screen, enabling middle- and high-school suburban and rural students to enjoy the same thought-provoking cinematic opportunities and discussions as their urban counterparts.

These roles draw on Ross’ background in technical instruction and filmmaking, as program manager for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Union Theater and exhibition coordinator for Pittsburgh Filmmakers. He has long supported film festivals in various roles and continues to serve on screening committees and as the technical director for the biennial exhibition of expanded cinema presented by MONO NO AWARE, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit cinema arts organization. Ross’ own experimental documentary work has been recognized with the Jury Award at the Black Maria Film & Video Festival.

Earlier in his career, Ross taught at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, the University of Maryland University College and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He holds a BA in film studies from the University of Pittsburgh and an MFA in film from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 

Ben McGroarty, Assistant Director of Theater Operations

Ben spent years in LA, following his love of film as he gained first-hand experience on movie sets, in casting offices, and as a producer and an actor. His experience spans fundraising, design, social media and photography, plus commercial website design and management, including ticketing systems.

Formerly a regional sales manager for Langdon Shiverick Imports, a national importer and distributor of fine wines, he earned his BFA from the University of Hartford in acting and studied vocal performance at Carnegie Mellon.

He lives in Moon Township with his wife and their three children. 

Caleb Pasquale, Assistant Director of Theater Operations

Caleb brings technical skills, a background in management and a commitment to superior customer service to The Lindsay Theater. A supporter of the Theater since his student days at Robert Morris University, Caleb built upon his degree in communication by completing Animation Mentor’s Character Animation Course in 2020, and works with both Autodesk Maya (to create animations) and Unreal Engine 4 (the game engine for implementing animations).

At home in a high-energy environment, Caleb incorporates team-building and problem-solving skills into his interactions with staff and patrons. He honed his skills in marketing and media at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Beaver County Radio, Ohio Valley Hospital and Moe’s Southwest Grill.

He lives in Harmony, Butler County. 

Karen Ferrick-Roman, Ed.D., Director of Communications

Karen focuses on strategic communications and grant writing for the Theater, working part-time as she heads into retirement. A longtime resident of Beaver County, she has enjoyed a 30-year communications career punctuated with national, state and regional awards for journalism, media relations, PR and writing, including the Public Relations Society of America (Pittsburgh); PA Newspaper Publishers Association, Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Educational Press Association Distinguished Achievement, and PA and American Bar Associations.

Her doctorate project in educational leadership from Duquesne University focused on diminishing educational opportunities in rural and suburban areas. She has served as an adjunct at Penn State Beaver and Robert Morris University and contributed to several books.

Karen’s vast, diverse network of leaders and organizations across Beaver and Allegheny counties has been instrumental in developing programming at the Theater. She volunteers with the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania and the Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation, although a growing cadre of grandchildren consumes much of her energy. Former Board Secretary and social media volunteer with the Merrick Art Gallery, she also served as the student liaison with the International Association of Business Communicators (Pittsburgh). 

Stephanie Waite, Marketing and Media Advisor

Stephanie is an award-winning writer and accomplished PR professional with a long record of communications experience that spans writing, editing, community journalism, media relations and strategic messaging. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with an M.A. degree from Penn State University, her work has been honored by numerous organizations including the Pennsylvania News Media Association, the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Pittsburgh Chapter.

Most recently she served as an integral part of the public relations team at Allegheny Health Network, twice honored by PRSA Pittsburgh as PR Team of the Year for its dynamic work in disseminating reliable health information to the Pittsburgh region. She is a native of Pittsburgh, committed to the future of the region and the well-being of all of its residents.