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  Spark Creative has assembled a team of highly experienced performers, trainers and business people to best serve and amuse you...

ALBERT SAMUELS (PRESIDENT & CEO) holds an MBA from Stanford University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. Using his unique background in theater, comedy and business, Al founded Spark Creative in 1995 to bring high-quality events and training to corporations worldwide. For over a decade, he has trained, designed and executed programs for hundreds of organizations. In 1997 he was accepted into the Second City Touring Company and was later tapped for the highly acclaimed Second City Mainstage, where he co-created two celebrated reviews. Al is also co-founder of the renowned comedy group Baby Wants Candy, which was awarded "Ensemble of the Year" in 2005 and Chicago Magazine's "Best Comedy Show in Chicago". He is currently working with fellow Spark staffer Rick Orlina on a series of books on bringing skills of theater and comedy into the workplace. You can also see Al in the Will Ferrell film, Stranger than Fiction.


RICK ORLINA (LEARNING DESIGN) received an MBA from Stanford University and a BA in Physics/Integrated Science from Northwestern University, where he is currently a PhD candidate in Learning Sciences. At Spark, Rick lends his background in Learning Sciences, with stints at both Sony and Sun Microsystems, to help deliver programs that have high impact and participant retention. Rick also designs appropriate metrics to measure individual program efficacy. Most recently Rick designed Spark's program for the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza School of Business and is currently collaborating with Spark founder Al Samuels on a series of books on corporate training and development.



JESSICA ROBBINS (PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT) is a native of Chicago and has been performing with a number of improvisational groups throughout the city. She holds a BS in Inclusive Elementary Education from Syracuse University, and a Masters of Education in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University. Prior to joining Spark to work on innovative program development with Rick Orlina (above), Jessica taught in both the Chicago Public School system and the private sector, and provided consultative assistance to principals, government agencies, and educational nonprofits at both the state and federal level.



DAVID HECHT (CONSULTING) received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, a Masters of Science from the University of Cincinnati, and a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois. David also served as a consultant at both Accenture and Booz Allen Hamilton, and as President of Insurance Services at Sears Financial. His front line experience in both consulting and client-side operations has proven invaluable in delivering effective training and event programming for Spark's larger clients worldwide.



TERESA GOODWIN (CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT) joins Spark after heading up Second City Communications, the consulting and training division of The Second City, where she created corporate training and entertainment programs for such diverse clients as Major League Baseball, Amgen, A.G. Edwards, BP, PricewaterhouseCoopers, British Airways, Toyota and the Gartner Group. Teresa was also director of corporate development for Career Track, Inc., one of North America's largest producers of general business skills and personal development training programs, where she created audio, video and seminar programs with Tom Peters, Ken Blanchard, Andrew Grove, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and M. Scott Peck, as well as an exclusive series of computer training programs with Microsoft and Lotus. In between her corporate adventures, Teresa studied design and interior architecture at the Harrington Institute in Chicago and co-authored the book, Renovate to Riches: Buy, Improve, and Flip Houses to Create Wealth (Wiley, 2004).



EMILY DOREZAS (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER) heads Spark's Production Department, which oversees logistics and planning for all of the company's programs. She has produced highly- successful events, lasting anywhere from one hour to one week, for audiences up to 1000. Prior to joining Spark Creative, Emily served as talent coordinator /program developer for the Stand Up Comedy TV Network, and as a producer for both The Second City and Humor Resources. Emily has appeared on Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart as an Election Correspondent.



TAD GLAUTHIER (FACILITATION) received an MBA and BA from Stanford University and served as a consultant for Boston Consulting Group. Since 1995, Tad has assisted in design and delivery for all of Spark's programs. Tad also serves as hands-on trainer and event leader for Spark programs. He is currently part of a team opening Supperclub, an upscale restaurant and performance venue in both San Francisco and New York, of which Spark is part owner. Supperclub provides an innovative workshop and event locale for Spark's clients and performers.



MARYA MORRIS (PLANNING AND LOGISTICS) holds a Masters in Planning from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BA from the University of Wisconsin. Spark utilizes Marya's strong background in planning to assist in design and execution of large-scale events in locations around the world. Currently a Senior Research Associate of the American Planning Association, she presents frequently on the relationship between the built environment and public health.


RICH TALARICO (DIRECTOR/WRITER/PERFORMER) has worked with Spark since 1995. Rich co-created and performed in several acclaimed shows at The Second City and throughout Chicago, and went on to write for both MADtv and for the last two years at Saturday Night Live. In addition to performing, the multi-talented Rich assists with creative direction and program development at Spark.


JACK McBRAYER (PERFORMER) has been a regular on the television program Late Night with Conan O'Brien and can be seen currently on episodes of 30 Rock and Fox's Arrested Development. Jack is also currently working on yet another film with Will Ferrell, due out next year. Jack has worked with Spark for the past eight years on numerous client engagements (including the wildly-popular Fuji video featured on Spark's web site). Jack is an alumnus of the Second City Touring Company and Second City's e.t.c. stage.


NICOLE PARKER (PERFORMER) is a regular cast member on the weekly television program MADtv and has worked with Spark for the past three years. A graduate of Indiana University, Nicole also spent several years performing and training for clients throughout Europe with Boom Chicago.



BILL CHOTT (PERFORMER) is a frequent cast member of Spark productions. He can be seen as one of the leads in the upcoming Farrelly Brothers' film The Ringer, starring Johnny Knoxville, as well as in the movies Dude, Where's My Car?, Galaxy Quest, Tomorrow Night, and Dancing at the Blue Iguana. He has been on the television shows ER, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Freaks and Geeks, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and was a writer and cast member on The Dana Carvey Show. In his long improv career, Bill has performed with The Second City, Comedy Sportz, Improv Olympic and the Upright Citizens Brigade.


JODY SHELTON (MUSICAL DIRECTOR) assists Spark with musical support for many of Spark's live productions. Jody is a Tennessee native who began composing music at the age of 12. Jody received his degree in film scoring from the renowned Berklee College of Music and in the process garnered several awards, including the Millican Endowed Scholarship for excellence in composition and the award for best film score of the year for his work on the short film "Balance." Jody has also served as Musical Director for the Second City National Touring Company.




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