Board of Directors

Travis Howe

Board Chair

Travis Scott Howe is, first and foremost, a long-standing friend and volunteer of the Music School. Travis started working with our children in 2004, spending his time every Saturday at the Music School. Travis is Global Vice President of New Product Solutions for Samsung Electronics. Prior to Samsung, he worked as Global Vice President for Meta leading go-to-market strategies across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp worldwide.  He has held senior leadership positions at The Walt Disney Company as Head of Global Operations & Strategy and Sony Pictures. He started his career at Accenture. Along with serving as Chairman of the Board for the Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School, Travis also serves on the Board of the Parkinson’s Foundation. He attended the University of Colorado at Boulder in addition to Harvard University for Executive Leadership Studies.  

Leslie Jones


Executive Director of the Music School, Leslie holds a DMA from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and an MM from the University of North Texas. She has served on the faculties of Ithaca College and Montana State University. A versatile musician herself, she enjoys playing chamber music and performs as jazz pianist. She has been instrumental in developing an accessible music technology program within the Music School while expanding community outreach and visibility by establishing collaborations and partnerships with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 92NY School of Music and Harkness Dance Center, National Dance Institute, among others. Leslie has served on the New York and Montana State Arts Councils, and has been appointed to the Advisory Board of the Performing Arts Division at Rowan University.

Al Berr

Vice Chair

As a former New York State Council for the Arts Director, Al Berr brings a wealth of experience and affinity for the arts sector in NYC. Introduced to us through our own Lisa Johnson, Al has faithfully attended our concerts and events. Al is providing wise and thoughtful insight to the Music School’s journey.

Christy Bihm


Christy Bihm is a longtime supporter of the Music School. As a Managing Director at Deloitte & Touche LLP with over 25 years of experience, Christy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Colorado, Boulder and is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American institute of Certified Public Accountants. Christy lives in Harwich, Massachusetts with her husband, Charlie and their chocolate Labrador, Betty. 

Dalia Sakas


Director of Music Studies of the Music School, Dalia received her BM from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, MM from the Manhattan School of Music and DMA from the University of South Carolina. She is the founder of our Comprehensive Music Program for young People. Dr. Sakas has served on the faculty of William Paterson University in New Jersey. She also maintains a piano studio of fifteen students.   


Jay Fialkoff

Jay Fialkoff has practiced commercial civil litigation in New York for thirty years and is a Partner at Moses Singer Law Firm. He represents many owners of New York City real property in complex litigation.  He was honored with a listing in New York Super Lawyers® as one of the top attorneys in business litigation and rated AV Preeminent® in his field by Martindale-Hubbell®. Jay is a long-time supporter of the FMDG Music School and its mission. 

Portrait photo of a man in a suit

David Malkin

David Malkin is a longtime benefactor and champion of the Music School through his role as Director of the Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation. The FMDG Music School is fortunate to be the recipient of the Foundation’s support. His stalwart belief in the Music School’s ability to positively affect the lives of those with vision loss has never wavered.

Mario Pinho

Mario Pinho is a finance veteran with more than 20 years of experience in financial experience in financial services, digital marketing and e-commerce. As CFO of Rakuten Americas, he is responsible for developing, implementing, and integrating financial strategies for the US region. Mario has held executive financial positions at Rakuten Marketing, American Express, KPMG and PwC.

Mario earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science degree from the University of Toronto and holds a CPA, CA designation. Mario lives in NYC and in Provincetown, MA with his husband, Matt, and their black lab mix ​Calla.

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