2014 Dance Forum | Speaker Biographies


Legislative Update | Brandon Gryde, director of government affairs, Dance/USA and OPERA America

Brandon joins the staff as Director of Government Affairs for both Dance/USA and OPERA America. For the past two years he served as Director of Communications for Youth Service America, an international youth engagement organization, where he worked to increase awareness about the positive impact children and youth make in their communities through service and service-learning. Prior to moving to DC, Brandon spent more than seven years at Jump Street, an innovative community arts organization in Harrisburg, PA. He managed a state re-granting initiative in partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and launched AND Magazine, a quarterly arts and healthy lifestyles publication written by teens, for teens. Brandon has a BA in Ethnomusicology and American Literature and Culture from UCLA and an M.A. in American Studies from Penn State.


Affordable Care Act Overview | Sarah Dash, research fellow, The Center on Health Insurance Reform, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute

Sarah Dash is a member of the research faculty at Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute, where she is leading a comprehensive review of state health insurance exchange implementation and its impact on access to affordable, high-quality health care. Prior to joining the Institute faculty, Ms. Dash spent four years on Capitol Hill as a senior health policy aide to Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) during the development, passage, and early implementation of the Affordable Care Act. There, she advanced health insurance transparency legislation along with other consumer protections in private health insurance markets as well as numerous women's health measures, and covered Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, delivery system reform, substance abuse and public health issues.

Ms. Dash served as senior health policy advisor to Governor Bill Richardson's Presidential campaign, where she developed the candidate's health care platform, and led the health policy consulting practice at Public Works LLC, which advises state and local governments on best practices and cross-cutting policy innovations. Earlier, Ms. Dash spent three years as a fellow and analyst for the Consumer Advocates in Research and Related Activities program and Applied Research Program at the National Cancer Institute, where she managed research projects related to population risk factor monitoring, cancer outcomes, and health services and economics. She began her career as a public interest legal assistant at Lansner & Kubitschek in New York City. Ms. Dash earned a Master's in Public Health from Yale University and a Bachelor of Science from MIT.


Small Organizations Breakout | Erik Rettig, northeast outreach manager, Small Business Majority

As Northeast Outreach Manager, working from our New York office, Erik Rettig builds and maintains strategic partnerships with small business owners and organizations in New York, Connecticut, Maine and throughout the Northeast. He educates small business owners and organizations about the Affordable Care Act, clean energy policies, and other important small business issues. Previously, Erik worked as a small business advocate around the DC metro area. He also worked on political campaigns and as a staffer in the House of Representatives.


Independent Artists Breakout | Renata Marinaro, LMSW, eastern region director of health services, The Actors Fund

Renata Marinaro, LMSW, is Eastern Region Director of Health Services for The Actors Fund. She counsels professionals and small businesses in the entertainment industry nationwide on health care coverage options. She created a series of guides on health care in 18 creative communities, as well as an online tutorial and a guide to the Affordable Care Act,  “Every Artist Insured: Understanding Health Care Reform”. Renata is also a licensed social worker and has worked at a substance abuse treatment facility and several hospitals in the New York metro area.