Stephanie has many years of experience as a leader of a huge national non-profit organization and the social grace to be a leader in our various outreach efforts. Additionally, she is a true opera lover. Originally from the United Kingdom, Stephanie Schwetz is a resident of Marco Island, and has spent winters in Florida since 2001. She was the Chair of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, the United Kingdom’s largest research charity supporting 200 scientists with a fundraising budget of around 18 million pounds, where she worked in a pro bono capacity for 14 years. After the opportunity to join the charity together with another complementary research organization was completed in 2015, she stepped down. Stephanie has since chosen to give her time and experience in support of her love for opera. When living in the United Kingdom, she visited Covent Garden frequently and has seen opera in venues from Glyndebourne to Verona, from La Scala to the Ring in Bavaria and worked with a small opera company on a hilltop town in Italy, where she lives in the summer. In 2000, she was made a Commander of the British Empire (C.B.E) for her services to the industry with work to help young unemployed and as a Commissioner of the Low Pay Commission.
Elaine Christian, MBA, CPA
Elaine Christian, MBA and CPA, oversees financial operations as treasurer of the board. Ms. Christian’s expertise in not-for-profit organization financial management blends her technical background with a passion for the arts. Her career experience in working with and for Boards of Directors gives her a unique insight.
She has extensive experience in serving as the Treasurer for the Jackson Symphony Orchestra for several years. Locally, she has served on the boards of Pelican Bay Women’s Association and Quail Creek Country Club. Opera is a passion for Elaine and she will forever be a patron and lover of Opera.
With over 30 years of experience in the field of opera, Steffanie Pearce is a producer, director, performer and teacher of the great art form. She moved to Naples in 2000 and founded Southwest Florida’s first opera company, Opera Naples, in March, 2005. She served as General/Artistic Director, budgeting and casting productions, creating outreach programs, teaching, stage directing and fundraising until her separation from Opera Naples in May, 2014. In June of 2014, she re-organized and expanded into Lee and Charlotte County with the creation of Gulfshore Opera.
Carole Fabiano has a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance and performed in community musical theater in New Jersey. An experienced host and event planner, she planned and ran chapter dinner events for the Young President’s Organizations such as a Night at the Opera, Travel to Napa wine tasting dinner, and a backstage tour at the Metropolitan Opera House and Luncheon. As mother of international renowned tenor Michael Fabiano, she stays in tune with the world opera scene. She has volunteered at many organizations including Gulfshore Opera, Salvation Army – Minnesota, and the Hennepin United Methodist Church.
Pete and his wife Lee have been opera-goers for more than 50 years, having attended operas in Washington, D.C.(the Bernstein’s Mass premier at the Kennedy Center), Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney and Aix-en-Provence. They moved to Naples in 2012 and have continued to enjoy opera with Gulfshore Opera. Pete has degrees from Princeton University and Stanford Law School. He practiced law as a corporate counsel with Johnson & Johnson and the Clorox Company. After his retirement he became a board member of two public companies, serving as corporate governance chair on both boards. He has been active with the Order of Malta, a Catholic lay religious group. He led the Order’s Naples Area for six years and spent 3 years on the board of the largest American branch of the Order, where he was Secretary. He was vice-chair of the board and treasurer of Children Now, a children’s advocacy organization in California. He currently serves on the Grey Oaks Design Review Committee and chairs the Miramonte neighborhood Design Review Committee.
Mary McVay is a retired CPA and Chartered Financial Analyst with degrees in Accounting and Finance from Virginia Tech. In her professional career, she was Partner and Chief Financial Officer for Burney Management Co. Inc., a portfolio management firm, for over 20 years. Prior to that her clients included the U.S. Postal Service and National Security Agency (NSA) where she defined software requirements for accounting systems and analyzed automation proposals. She also served as an auditor for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for nine years. As a resident of Pelican Landing in Bonita Springs since 1994, she has been an active volunteer. She has served as Treasurer of Pelican Landing Community Association and President of the Bay Creek neighborhood owners association. She has also remained active with Virginia Tech, serving on the Pamplin Advisory Council of the Business School and on the Foundation Board as well. Mary is an avid performing arts enthusiast and a generous contributor to Gulfshore Opera.
Ryan C. Rupert
Ryan is a founding member of The Peace River Team at Morgan Stanley, who continue to be corporate sponsors of Gulfshore Opera. As a lifelong music lover and relative newcomer to opera he is deeply enjoying supporting the talented artists and organization in Southwest Florida.
Ryan is a native of New Castle, Pennsylvania and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 2003 from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Immediately following his studies, Ryan spent two years working overseas in Tokyo. He then returned to the United States and began his career in financial planning. In 2012, he earned the Certified Financial Planner™ designation and in 2018 became resident manager in the Punta Gorda office of Morgan Stanley.
Since 2006, Ryan and his family have resided in beautiful Punta Gorda, Florida. Outside of work and family time, he is deeply involved in the Charlotte County community where he has served on the executive non-profit board of the following organizations: Virginia B. Andes Volunteer Community Clinic & Pharmacy, Charlotte Estate Planning Council and Harbor-Heights Peace River Rotary.
Beverly has over 30 years of diversified experience in the pharmaceutical industry, in research, sales, marketing and advertising, retiring as President of the largest pharmaceutical advertising agency in Philadelphia. Her clients included many of the major healthcare companies in the United States where her role was to implement communications campaigns that are strategically focused and to lead the way in developing comprehensive marketing plans, especially for new product launches. She was always a female pioneer in her career and an advocate for women. She improved her business expertise by completing the Marketing Management Program of Columbia University and the Advanced Seminar for Pharmaceutical Marketing Executives at the Tuck Business School of Dartmouth.
Beverly and her husband, John, live full-time in Naples after moving from Pennsylvania, and have supported the arts, particularly opera, for most of their married life. Her main volunteer activity in Naples has been to serve on the Board of the Pelican Bay Women’s League for eight years, where she retired as President.
Irena & Keith Hammer
Ellen & Ralph MacNiven
Join Our Team
Of Performers, Volunteers
GO volunteers have an excellent opportunity to share their skills and love for the arts as they connect with people of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you are a high school or college student, a working adult or retiree, we have opportunities for you to enrich your life and the lives of others, meet people with similar interests, and help fulfill our mission while having fun!
Volunteers are a crucial part of the operation of the Gulfshore Opera whether you help onstage, backstage, or front of house (ushering).
Our volunteers are integral to our success!