Using the art of musical theatre
to promote diverse artistic opportunities
and community involvement.
Sharing stories that reflect humanity,
inspiring all of us to see our similarities
and value our differences.
Saguaro City seeks to create a cultural hub that is uniquely Tucsonan by partnering with local artisans and businesses, as well as offering inclusive arts access to the entire community.
We are building Saguaro City to entertain, embrace, and empower the people of Tucson. Musical theatre can inspire us, provoke us, and connect us. It is not a luxury; it is a necessity for every community to grow and thrive.
Meet The Team
Meet The Board
Independent Financial Services Professional
Alba Rojas-Sukkar, CFRE
ARS CONSULTING SERVICES
"I am thrilled to be a part of the Saguaro City Music Theatre. I am incredibly proud of their inclusive art program. Watching their performances that includes kids of all abilities, was a reminder of all the good that they do, and how acceptance, inclusion, and support can change people’s lives."
More About The Board
Jan Albus, BA, LISTD
JAN ALBUS has produced and directed over 300 special events including ballet, musical theater, operetta, and concerts. Her performing career includes 40 productions with the Muny, the St. Louis Civic Ballet, and the Florida Ballet Company. She holds a teaching degree and BA in French and English from St. Louis University, and a doctorate from the I.S.T.D., London, England. While teaching in the theater department at Webster University, she established the St. Louis Performing Arts Academy and the Westport Playhouse Dance Department. Jan founded St. Louis Performing Arts Productions and counts Bye Bye Birdie and Babes in Toyland as her favorites as producer with that company. At Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis, her position as CEO utilized her background in theater, fundraising for children’s causes, and her marketing experience with national corporate sponsors. She founded many programs including Variety’s Bikes for Kids, Adventure Camp, Variety Chorus, Variety Dance, Curtain Up Camp, Variety Children’s Theatre (a professional company including a children’s ensemble of children with disabilities), and the Dennis and Judith Jones Wonderland in Forest Park. She co-produced the Sammy Davis Jr. Variety Telethon on CBS which received an Emmy award in 2007. She created Variety’s Runway Lights Fashion Show with New York designers including Carmen Marc Volvo and Ralph Lauren, and produced the Dinner with the Stars gala for 21 years with headliners including Diana Ross, Bernadette Peters, Lionel Richie, Sutton Foster, Patti LaBelle, Santana and Harry Connick Jr. In 2011, Jan received the Women in Leadership Award from the St. Louis Empowerment Foundation and in 2012 St. Louis Variety won the coveted Gold Heart Award as the best of 44 Variety chapters worldwide. In 2018 she and Lara Teeter were honored with the St. Louis Theater Circle Award for their “body of work” over the past nine years for Variety Theatre. Jan is married to Larry, her mentor and inspiration in all endeavors, and is proud of her daughter Jacque, son Mike and his wife Annie, and two incredible grandsons Sam and Ben.
Marcia Berger is a physical therapist and a certified audio describer who has been involved in making the arts accessible in Tucson since 1985. For 37 years, under the outstanding leadership of Founder/Executive Director Marcia Berger, Arts for All, Inc. has been serving the Tucson community with innovative programs that combine the arts and human services. These programs helped children and adults with and without disabilities build confidence, gain meaningful relationships, and develop performing and visual arts skills. "Arts are the key to reaching people," says Berger, "I've never met a person that some form of arts didn't touch, whether it is music, dance, drama, art or ceramics."
Ray Frieders is Creative Services Manager for Cox Media in Tucson, Arizona. Over the past 40+ years he has worked to tell the stories of local businesses and non-profits through advertising campaigns across all screens. He has served the Southern Arizona community with over 20 years of volunteer work in the non-profit sector. He is past president of the Autism Society of Southern Arizona, and has served as a board member for Tucson Alliance for Autism and VOICES: Community Stories. He also spent 4 years on the marketing committee of CYT Tucson (Christian Youth Theater) where he developed a passion for bringing new audiences to the shows. He is thrilled to be part of the Saguaro City Music Theatre team.
Lee was born in rural Sierra Vista, Arizona, a town of about 35,000 people situated just a few miles north of the border with Mexico. After graduating from Buena High School, he attended the University of Arizona graduating with degrees in Business Management and Entrepreneurship in 2009. In 2011 he joined Cox Media (a sister company of Cox Communications) where he began his career in advertising production and sales in Tucson, Arizona. Beyond supporting the theater arts, Lee’s other interests include playing golf, and he has been known to sign up to sing first at any karaoke event. Lee and his wife Jessica now call Virginia Beach home, where he is the General Sales Manager of Cox Media’s Virginia market operations.
Mark Mendelson is a dynamic and passionate fashion executive, bringing a wealth of experience in merchandising, sales, design, and marketing to the industry. With a proven track record of driving growth and leading successful business transformations, Mark is widely recognized for his strategic vision and customer-centric approach. Throughout his career, Mark has held leadership positions at various companies, both in the wholesale and retail sectors, showcasing his exceptional diversity of brands and ability to strike a dynamic balance between creative and analytical capabilities. Not only does he possess extensive executive training, but Mark has also made an exponential impact and wielded significant influence on the brands he has led. Guided by his unwavering passion for revitalizing brands, Mark leverages his strategic insights to turn around struggling companies, breathing new life into their identities, and fostering sustainable growth.
For over 30 years, Mark Mendelson has dedicated himself to the advancement of fashion education by holding influential board positions in multiple prestigious fashion schools. His exceptional leadership and guidance have left an indelible mark on students of all ages and backgrounds. With a keen eye for innovation, Mark has worked tirelessly to refresh the boards, ensuring that the institutions stay at the forefront of industry trends and best practices. He has personally advised students, facilitated internship placements, and provided invaluable mentorship, shaping the next generation of fashion professionals. Moreover, Mark's commitment to philanthropy shines through his involvement with the Arizona Oncology Foundation. Leveraging his extensive network, he has played a crucial role in influencing and impacting initiatives aimed at upgrading the donor pool and increasing contributions, ultimately supporting vital research and patient care. Mark's unwavering dedication to the fashion education landscape and his philanthropic endeavors make him a true influencer and advocate for positive change.
Jay Z. Parke, CPA
An "Az Business Leaders 2023" honoree, Jay oversees the audit and accounting practice at Walker & Armstrong. His background includes auditing publicly traded and privately owned companies, not-for-profit entities, state and local governments, and benefit plans.
He also helps companies receive Arizona's Qualified Facility tax credit, which promotes the location and expansion of manufacturing facilities.
Jay’s experience at a national firm included managing audits in the industries of technology, agriculture, hospitality, construction and a large Native American Community. He also assisted in developing the single audit curriculum used internally by the firm.
While working at local firms, Jay has performed a variety of advisory services work which includes several turnaround engagements for organizations experiencing financial and operational challenges. This includes financial and organizational restructuring and assisting with debt covenant compliance, and has involved functioning as the chief financial officer for several large organizations experiencing financial or other hardships. Jay has also assisted in developing legislation to assist local governments with regulatory compliance.
Cathryn M. Sakiyama &
Thomas T. Sakiyama
Cathy and Tom worked as classroom teachers. Tom also worked as a financial planner, a college instructor at 3 California universities teaching special teacher credentialing courses, church administrator, mediator, regional church denomination President. For 15 years, Tom managed the family nursery business and later the Sakiyama Family Foundation. He has shared his photographic skills in public education at multiple levels. Pacific Historic Parks at Pearl Harbor continues to publish his photos in their publications and merchandise. Officiating youth and adult community baseball was a passion for many years. Tom and his wife Cathy were honored by their hometown in California with their Humanitarian Award and recognized by city, county, and state officials for their work in the community. Cathy has been a leader in La Leche League and discussion for Bible Study Fellowship. Tom has served on the Stages St. Louis Board of Trustees for 9 years. He and Cathy have served on numerous committees with Stages St. Louis. The Missouri Arts Council recognized Tom and Cathy with the Philanthropy for the Arts award in 2016. They have focused their attention on the Stages Performing Art Academy. Tom and Cathy have hosted numerous cast parties for Stages taking the opportunity to offer the hospitality of the patrons to our talented guests. Tom and Cathy enjoy experiencing the Hawaiian Islands, particularly the many photo opportunities there, on the land, sea, and from the air.
Alba Rojas-Sukkar, CFRE
Alba Rojas-Sukkar is the Principal/Owner of ARS Consulting Services. Alba has been in
the fundraising business for over 30 years and has worked for organizations such as the
Boys and Girls Clubs, American Cancer Society, Tucson Museum of Art, and most
recently the Executive Director at the Arizona Oncology Foundation.
When she is not fundraising, Alba spends her time with her family and helping other
organizations. She is an Ambassador Council Member of the Sands Club at the
University of Arizona, and a member of Angel Charity for Children, and The Association
of Fundraising Professionals. She received her CFRE certification and currently is a
Board Officer of Arizona Public Media, Catalina Foothills Schools District Foundation
and Saguaro Musical Theater Company.