Board Members

Suzuki Music Schools Board of Directors​

Michele Heimbauer, President
Rick Michalek, Secretary
Jennifer Woodbury, Treasurer
Lisa Blake
Barbara Byrne
Preneshan Ramaloo
Dr. Andrew Smith

Honorary Board Members

Coming soon

About Our Board Members

Jennifer Woodbury

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Michele Heimbauer

M.A. CCC-SLP

Rick Michalek

RJM Consulting

Dr. Andrew Smith

Executive Director, Suzuki Schools

Barbara Byrne

Jennifer Woodbury

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Jennifer earned a BS in Accounting from New York University in 2001 and her Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license in the state of California in 2004. She began her career in public accounting at PricewaterhouseCoopers and later worked for Williams-Sonoma Inc. as a Senior Financial Analyst. More recently, Jennifer served four years as an elected representative to the Darien Representative Town Meeting (RTM) and has also previously served on the PTO executive board of her daughters' elementary school and as a budget representative for the Council of Darien School Parents. Jennifer has three daughters who study violin at the Suzuki Music School of Westport.

Michele Heimbauer

M.A. CCC-SLP

Michele has been in the education field for over 20 years working with a diverse population of students with learning differences as an SLP, learning specialist, administrator, and consultant, and is passionate about advancing how we facilitate the development of cognitive, academic, and social emotional skills of children to promote independence, life success and satisfaction. In her current role as the Associate Director of the Winston Innovation Lab for the Winston Preparatory School, a nonprofit, independent, multi-campus school for students with specific learning disabilities, Michele is dedicated to designing, managing, and analyzing research endeavors, and translating this research to applicable evidence-based best practices, leading collaborative professional development, consultation, and parent education opportunities locally, nationally, and internationally.

Michele has been a parent member of the Suzuki Music School of Westport community for over 10 years and an active supporter of the Suzuki philosophy, as it is so closely aligned with the science of learning and language development. Inspired by the mission and vision of SMSW, Michele enthusiastically joined the SMSW Board of Directors in 2018. Michele has been committed to cultivating a deeper sense of community while expanding the outreach initiatives and establishing SMSW as an arts institute beyond our walls, benefiting not only our students but the community at large.

Rick Michalek

RJM Consulting

Richard ("Rick") Michalek has worked on structured finance transactions rated by international credit rating agencies for over 20 years. After graduating from Columbia University with joint graduate degrees in law (honors) and business (JD/MBA), Rick began his career in structured finance in the New York law office of Skadden Arps, after which he consulted for the pre-eminent New Zealand law firm of Chapman Tripp. Returning to the U.S. in 1999, Rick joined the Structured Derivative Products Group at Moody's, where, as a Senior Credit Officer he was tasked with analyzing novel legal risks from new derivative products, developing a methodology for rating collateral managers and advising and publishing on departmental policies. Rick also was directly involved in the rating agency's response and comments to the definitions used in ISDA form documentation. Following Moody’s, Rick co-founded the partnership RJM Consulting, offering consulting and expert services (including litigation support) relating to structured finance documentation and in particular, complex rated transactions. Rick has assisted various U.S. governmental agencies responsible for reforming the laws and regulations governing financial services. Relevant testimonies and engagements have included consultations with and appearances before the U.S. Senate's Permanent Sub-Committee on Investigations, the U.S. Congress's Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Commodities and Futures Trading Commission and several U.S. State AGs. Rick continues to offer support to parties working on regulatory reform following the 2008 financial crisis. He is the co-author of the chapter "How and Why Moral Hazard Has Distorted Financial Regulation" in the book The Failure of Financial Regulation: Why a Major Crisis Could Happen Again (Palgrave Macmillan). and is the co-editor of the book Moral Hazard: A Financial, Legal, and Economic Perspective, Routledge, Abingdon, December 2021 -- FORTHCOMING.

Dr. Andrew Smith

Executive Director, Suzuki Schools

Hailed by critics for his virtuoso playing, intelligent approach and richly expressive sound, award-winning violinist Andrew Smith made his US debut at the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series and his UK debut at the Royal Festival Hall, London. He has appeared around the world at venues including Symphony Hall in Chicago, Orchestra Hall in Detroit, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, Le Salle Gaveau and British Embassy in Paris and the Edinburgh International Festival. His performances have been broadcast on Radio and Television in the United States, England, Italy, Portugal and China. He has recorded for ASV, Sony Classical, Mahin Media, VUCA and MSR Classics. His recording of the Beethoven Violin Sonatas received rave reviews and his upcoming release of Mozart’s entire works for violin and piano, was recorded live for WSHU, National Public Radio.

In addition to working in classical music, Smith is heard on hundreds of major soundtracks for Television, Film and Gaming platforms working with artists in rock, pop and film. As a composer, his music is published by Faber Music and released on the Gothic Storm and Minim Labels. Andrew is a leading authority on Fin-de-Siècle music and its interaction with art and poetry in France and Belgium. He received the Royal Academy of Music’s highest award for music theory. He has led the Stamford International Music Festival, The Copland Centenary Festival and Connecticut Guitar Festival and is currently Executive Director of the Suzuki Music Schools.

Barbara Byrne

Barbara Byrne is Founder and President of 3 Spinners Technology, LLC, a small business that innovates Artificial Intelligence applications to help build a better and healthier cyber world, especially for young adults and children. Prior to establishing her own business, Barbara worked for several years in the field of Public Television programming, which included all aspects of producing the popular series, Inside the Law, with Jack Ford, appearing on WNET and WLIW, as well as Health Choices, which explored traditional and non-traditional approaches to health and wellness with guests such as Mehmet Oz, Deepak Chopra and Andrew Weil. She also managed underwriting, marketing, and promotions for these programs. Barbara has always been a student of the Arts and studied English Literature and Humanities at the University of Chicago. Barbara’s daughter, Maeve, plays the flute and has taken many years of lessons at Suzuki Music School of Westport, as well as lessons in harp. Barbara, herself, has played the piano since childhood and greatly values the Suzuki Method and Community. She also began violin lessons as an adult, only to realize just how much the Suzuki virtuoso violinists make playing that difficult instrument seem…easy.