Slow Burn Board of Directors

Founders: Patrick Fitzwater & Matthew Korinko


Mark Traverso


Mark is a local business owner specializing in marketing and data services and resides with his award-winning and multi award-nominated husband Conor Walton in Boca Raton, Florida. Mark has served as Board Chairman for Slow Burn Theatre Company for the past 9 years and is very proud of the many accomplishments Slow Burn has achieved in helping to change the live theatre landscape of South Florida. Mark and Conor are also recipients of the South Florida Theatre League REMY Award.


Ryan Poliakoff

Vice President

Ryan Poliakoff serves as general corporate counsel to condominium associations, homeowner’s associations, cooperatives and country clubs.  He is Board Certified in Condominium and Planned Development Law.  Mr. Poliakoff has extensive experience preparing corporate documents and covenants, drafting and negotiating contracts and running board and shareholder meetings and elections. He is a certified Circuit Civil Court mediator, and a Florida Supreme Court qualified arbitrator.  


In addition to practicing law, Mr. Poliakoff writes a weekly article on condominium and planned development law for the Palm Beach Post, and his articles and editorials have appeared in newspapers and magazines nationwide.  He is the co-author of New Neighborhoods: A Consumer’s Guide to Condo, Co-Op and HOA Living—a nationally-published reference on shared ownership for board members, owners and volunteers. 


In addition to law, Mr. Poliakoff has worked in marketing and public relations, representing large national corporations including Hasbro, Armor Hot Dogs and Revlon.  He has also served as a freelance copywriter.  Mr. Poliakoff has done substantial volunteer work in arts education, particularly with respect to development and marketing.


Michael Mehmet


Michael’s passion and life’s work has centered upon both education and theatre arts.


He began his career in education as a New York City high school teacher in 1984. He advanced rapidly becoming Coordinator of Student Activities and moving into the administrative positions of Assistant Principal and, ultimately, becoming Principal of Repertory High School for the Performing Arts in Manhattan’s famed Theatre District. Michael initiated a partnership with Roundabout Theatre Company and, through his leadership Repertory High School became an A-Rated choice for students within the five boroughs desiring to study theatre arts. Due to his success at Repertory High School, Michael was tapped to serve as mentor and trainer to member principals within his network.


Michael’s passion for live theatre brought him to the CM Performing Arts Center on Long Island’s south shore where he designed and built sets and directed main stage shows which ultimately lead to him being hired as Executive Director upon his retirement from the NYC Department of Education.


As Executive Director Michael was responsible for establishing budgets and monitoring finances, marketing, fundraising activities and staffing. He hired and managed an Artistic Director, Box Office Director and Financial Manager to assist with theatre operations. Some of Michael’s notable accomplishments at CM included managing the master schedule of shows and performances, establishing relationships with production companies and businesses within the theatre’s target market and establishing a procedure for measuring customer satisfaction and client feedback.


Upon relocating to Fort Lauderdale in 2017, Michael immediately began volunteering at the food bank at Sunshine Cathedral, Art Serve and The Broward Center for the Performing Arts. He is now honored to have accepted a position on the Board of Directors of the Slow Burn Theatre Company where he hopes to continue to serve and fulfill his dream of supporting live theatre here in Broward County.


Jim Odza


Picture and bio coming soon!


David Diaz

Picture and bio coming soon!

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Patrick Fitzwater

Patrick is a ten-time Carbonell Nominee (six for Best Director and four for Best Choreography) He won a, 2018 Carbonell for his choreography for Memphis and a 2013 Carbonell Award for his direction of next to normal. He is also a three-time Silver Palm Award winning choreographer/director. Patrick is Artistic Director of Slow Burn Theatre and has directed all 48 of Slow Burn Theatre’s shows, including the 2018 Carbonell Award for Musical for Memphis and the 2019 recommended productions of Jekyll & Hyde, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown and 9 To 5.


Shirley Gross

Picture and bio coming soon!

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Matthew Korinko

Matthew grew up in Wisconsin, attended the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and graduated with a BFA with a performance emphasis. He was most recently seen as Gabriel Utterson in Jekyll & Hyde. He is a four-time Carbonell Award nominee and has been a member of two Carbonell award-winning ensembles (Indecent, Rumors) Other roles: Legally Blonde (Callahan), Indecent (Mendel), Rock of Ages (Hertz), Memphis (Mr. Simmons), The Secret Garden (Dr. Craven), Titanic (Andrews), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Frollo), Romance, Romance (Alfred/Sam), Big Fish (Amos), Parade (Hugh Dorsey), Sweeney Todd (Sweeney), Side Show (Terry), and Urinetown (Officer Lockstock). 

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Mariane DiPierro Pavelic

With a background as a jazz dancer, an art director, a graphic designer, and a fine-art photography gallery owner in Boston (Robert Klein Gallery), Mariane has woven a richness of the visual arts into her everyday life. Visual structure along with the importance of art in our everyday lives is at the forefront of her sensibilities.


Now retired, and enjoying her young adult children, there’s time for hot yoga, painted-furniture art projects, much healthful cooking, and her exciting involvement with Slow Burn Theatre Company. Entering into her fourth year as a Slow Burn Sponsor Level Donor, Mariane continues to bring her energy and enthusiasm into her work ethic and engages those around her to feel her joy.

George Tandy

George Tandy

Pianist, Keyboardist, Songwriter & Producer George Tandy has been entertaining audiences with his unique blend of Jazz, Soul and R&B music.


Originally from Virginia & strongly influenced by his father, George knew music was his thing when at a very young age he taught himself to play Muddy Waters riffs on the guitar, then later joined his fathers, O'tress 'Tops' Tandy, playing drums in his road band at age 14.


George produced music for the vocal contestants of Ed McMahon’s Star Search television show, was the Music Director for several Miami Film Festivals and was named BEST JAZZ ACT by South Florida Magazine’s ‘Best Of” series.



Michele Volpe

Picture and bio coming soon!