Sarah oversees the creation and implementation of all programming and fiscal planning which has grown to impact more than 260,000 adults and children annually. She is also responsible for the development of all aspects of Embracing Our Differences' fundraising and community relations campaigns. Sarah oversees the organization's program growth and manages the long-term sustainability goals. Sarah has spent the past nine years working in the local non-profit community. She has served as director of development at The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, development coordinator at Children First and currently serves on the board of directors of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Southwest Florida and Leadership Florida's Calusa Region Council. Sarah was born and raised in Sarasota and is extremely passionate about exposing our community to the concepts of diversity and inclusion and helping create a world where individuality is celebrated. Sarah was recently participated in Leadership Florida Connect Class VIII and was selected by SRQ Magazine as one of Sarasota's "30 Under 30."
Ben creates, develops, evaluates and implements all education programs and activities offered by Embracing Our Differences. He has spent the entirety of his career serving arts non-profits including the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and The St. Louis Muny. Most recently, Ben served as director of education for Sarasota Opera where he oversaw the commissioning of two new works for young voices and expansions in after-school and in-school programming. Ben holds a Bachelor of Music from Butler University in Indianapolis and a Master of Music in vocal performance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He currently serves on several arts education advocacy committees including the Sarasota County Arts Education Partnership, Sarasota Community/School Partnerships for the Arts, and Manatee Arts Education Council, and is a frequent presenter at the Florida Alliance for Arts Education’s annual summit. In his free time, Ben enjoys attending local performing arts events with his husband Eddie and trusty Labradane Jasper (when outdoors).
Brian Hersh is the Program Director for Any Given Child, Sarasota County Schools, a partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he oversees and implements the district’s strategic approach to arts education. Through his leadership, Sarasota County Schools has launched new arts programs, built new relationships with cultural organizations, and created more continuous, sustainable, arts integrated professional development. Previously, he served as Education & Outreach Director of Asolo Repertory Theatre, the largest professional theatre in Florida; he also worked at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts where he oversaw the Meet-the-Artist School Series. Mr. Hersh has a Bachelor of Musical Arts from DePauw University, where he currently serves on the Alumni Board. He also serves as liaison between EOD and Sarasota County Schools, bridging educational and community partnerships.