board of directors
board president (2022-2024)
Trina Searcy is a graduate of Leon High School and a Broker Associate with Keller Williams Town and Country Realty. She has sold residential real estate and protected private property rights for more than 20 years. Searcy is the Past President of the Tallahassee Board of Realtors and Past District 8 Vice President of Florida Realtors. She has served on and chaired numerous committees for Tallahassee Board of Realtors and Florida Realtors, including Florida Realtor Leadership Academy.
Much of her business and personal interest focuses on Florida land, water quality, public policy issues, and marketing all that Tallahassee has to offer and why it is the best place to live! Searcy has also served on In the Carpenters Footsteps, Junior League of Tallahassee, and Killearn Lakes Home Owners Association (President for eight years). She has lived in Tallahassee for 36 years. Searcy is married to Fain, and they have two adult sons, Taylor and Tanner. Kaili is her granddaughter, who very much enjoys The Tallahassee Ballet. She likes to travel, work out, and spend time with friends and family for fun!
Carla Ureña Hutchinson—immediate past president
Carla Hutchinson began dance training in her hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida. She attended prestigious summer programs including The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Boston Ballet, and The Vaganova Festival where she studied with Asaf Mikhailovich Messerer. She spent a year at the North Carolina School of the Arts and by the age of 15 began a pre-professional career as an apprentice of the Bay Ballet Theater in Tampa, and Orlando’s Southern Ballet Theater under the direction of Christopher Fleming.
After high school, Hutchinson moved to Tallahassee to attend Florida State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, a Master of Science degree, and a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Design. Her research focus was skill acquisition in professional ballet dancers. She was mentored by K. Anders Ericsson, and Natalie Sachs-Ericsson and they published a peer-reviewed article together. Hutchinson has worked in both managerial and technical positions in large and small organizations, with clients including the US Navy, the US Army, and the EPA. Hutchinson’s attributes her academic and professional success to early involvement in ballet and exposure to various art forms.
As a wife and mother of two, she is delighted to combine her passion for learning and love of the arts to ignite creativity and fuel success for students in her capacity as Executive Director of Foundation4ARTS, a local 501(c)(3) organization that provides arts enriched after school and seasonal camp programs. Hutchinson is excited to serve on the Board of Directions for Family Network on Disabilities and now The Tallahassee Ballet. She enjoys spending time with co-workers, family vacations, and spending time on their 20-acre homestead with their four horses, and five dogs in Quincy.
Biography to come.
Dr. Nancy S. Fontaine has served on The Tallahassee Ballet (TTB) Board of Directors for two years. In her additional role, Dr. Fontaine acts as the Board Secretary. During her former career, she was a professor of education but retired after 30 years within the Florida State University System. During her tenure at the university, Dr. Fontaine gained recognition in the field of social risk and resiliency research and served on national, regional, and state boards. Dr. Fontaine has acted as an arts education and special needs consultant to organizations throughout the globe including Puerto Rico; the Virgin Islands; Guinea, West Africa; Morocco; and Columbia, South America. She currently is an active member of the Foundation4ARTS, is Past President of the Family Network on Disabilities, and is on the Executive Committee of the Family Network on Special Needs Trust Boards of Directors. Dr. Fontaine is committed to furthering the arts in all schools and has been awarded many national, state, and local grants specific to dance education. She is the proud mother of a TTB Company Corps de Ballet dancer, Carolina Cavano, and four other wonderful adult children. She is married to Dr. Thomas Cavano who offers his passion and experience in theater to the local community.
Shelby Kennerly Augustyniak
Shelby Kennerly Augustyniak is a Tallahassee native, an alumna of The Tallahassee Ballet, and a Florida State University graduate. She greatly values the discipline and lifelong friendships made through her ballet experience. In addition to her full-time employment at the Department of Children and Families as Director of Strategic Initiatives in the Office of Child and Family Well-Being, Shelby is Past-President of The Tallahassee Ballet, Past-President of Big Bend Habitat for Humanity, and an active member of St. John’s Episcopal Church. She and her husband Dan have two daughters, Ella B. and Audrey. In her free time, Shelby enjoys running, baking, reading, and FSU football.
Karen Joiner Barineau
Karen Joiner Barineau has lived in Tallahassee for 35 years. She received her degree from Troy University and retired as a case manager. Barineau has served on the American Cancer Society board, and was involved with the Tallahassee Junior League, The Tallahassee Women’s Club, Springtime Tallahassee, and the Leon County Schools mentor program. She is a member of Thomasville Baptist Church. Barineau previously served on the ballet board for seven years. She is excited to return, and as a dancer of 12 years, she has a great appreciation for ballet. She plays golf with the Lady Links and other various women groups in her free time. She has a son, Thomas, and is married to Roy Barineau, Ph.D.
Lacoadia “Coadi” Burkes
Lacoadia Burkes has dedicated more than 16 years as an Integrated Marketing Communications professional. “Coadi” – as branded by family, friends, and colleagues – was born and raised in the heart of Georgia – Macon. Although never a dancer, she has always been heavily involved with music by way of chorus/choir, band, plays, and church, all of which helped shape and cultivate her interest and appreciation for all segments of the Arts. Tallahassee has been her home since moving here in 1999 to further her education. She is a graduate of Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) with a degree in Public Relations. She also holds a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and Management from Florida State University. Coadi serves as the Director of Marketing and Health Communication Interventions with Florida Health, where she manages the award-winning Tobacco Free Florida statewide public health and educational campaign and directs a team of experts to generate cutting-edge creative production, brand promotion, public relations, and social media platform saturation. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., serving on the Executive Board and Committee. Coadi is very active and involved in her community and devotes her time and attention to causes and organizations she is very passionate about. She is ecstatic to add The Tallahassee Ballet to her repertoire of community involvement and support, and she looks forward to expanding the company through untapped networks and partnerships. Coadi is married to Demetrius Burkes – who, along with her faith, family, fashion, travel, and fur-babies (cats) – adds to the simple joys and adventures of her life!
Betsy Caire Couch
Betsy Caire Couch, APR, serves as Executive Director for KCCI, the Knight Creative Communities Institute. In addition to her enthusiasm for the Arts, she is an avid proponent for improving the lives of children and families and enhancing the Tallahassee community. She received 850 Magazine’s Pinnacle Award in 2014, and she was featured on the cover of Tallahassee Woman Magazine as a “Generation X Community Leader” in August 2013. Couch also serves on the boards of the Foundation for Leon County Schools, Children’s Home Society, and the Gilchrist Elementary PTO. She was also a member of the Cultural Plan Review Committee. Couch was the 2010-2011 President of the Junior League of Tallahassee, and she served as President of the Florida Public Relation’s Association-Capital Chapter. She is also a former President of the Advent Parish Day School PTO. An avid Florida Gator, she is married to her college sweetheart, dentist Cory Couch, and they are the proud parents of a young dancer, Caroline, and sweet little gentleman, Tucker.
Felicia Leborgne Nowels
Felicia Leborgne Nowels is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in International Law and is a Partner at Akerman, LLP, where she practices international trade law and federal regulatory administrative law. Nowels grew up in Miami and danced under the tutelage of Thomas Armour, Robert Pike, and Ruth Weisen. She also danced with the Miami Ballet. Nowels graduated from Davidson College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and a concentration in International Relations. She moved to Tallahassee in 2000, where she graduated from Florida State University Law School. She and her husband, Matthew Nowels, have three children, one of whom is a student at The Tallahassee Ballet. Having danced most of her life and interned as a student at the Louvre in Paris, Nowels is passionate about ballet, the arts, and her local community.