Who We Are
A group of people concerned about the divisiveness and disconnect that we are feeling in today’s world. A group concerned that sometimes the elderly seem lonely and to lack a sense of purpose. A group of people who are concerned that younger generations often do not get the benefit of learning from the older generation. A group of people who feel that music can help bring back beautiful memories and comfort the soul. And, we are a group of people who feel that it is time for a movement like this, to bring generations of people together to fill many of these concerns.
Founder & Director
Susan Hebbel is thrilled to start this project, and she is so passionate about it. She has worn many hats in her lifetime, including mother to three beautiful grown daughters, real estate agent, school admissions director, yoga teacher and an extremely active volunteer for several non-profits. Susan has served on the Board of Directors for Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virginia and also for the Virginia CASA Program (Court Appointed Special Advocates). She volunteered for 6 years as the weekly BINGO caller at a local assisted living facility, bringing delicious specialty chocolates each week. Last summer, Susan went on a 7,400 mile cross country road trip, by herself, volunteering a half a day in each city that she visited. On this trip, she was fully inspired to make this intergenerational learning center (The Bridge), a reality. She has a family business in Northern Virginia with her family, and is fully committed and fired up about The Bridge!
Ian Knauer has been performing professionally on stage and on screen for over forty years starting with Kurt in The Sound of Music in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio. He now lives in New York and has performed in five Broadway shows, one West End show, ten national/international tours, and many films, concerts, recordings and cabarets around the world. He served on the Board of Directors of the Something mAAgic Foundation, an organization which supports various children’s organizations and the Give Kids The World Village by enhancing wishes for children from all over the world. For over a decade, Ian has sung with Vocal Ease, a volunteer singing organization that provides live entertainment for New York City’s senior citizens at hospitals, nursing homes, and senior centers and residences. He is looking forward to working with this terrific organization to bridge the generations through the arts!
Casey Hebbel is currently finishing her Masters of Arts in Teaching (with a Theatre K-12 licensure) at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, the university from which she also recieved a BFA in Musical Theatre back in 2012. After finishing her undergrad work, Casey spent two years in New York City auditioning and performing. Casey has spent the past six summers in Sonoma, CA, working with Transcendence Theatre Company, both as a performer and as their Director of Education. As an actor, Casey has performed regionally for companies such as Studio Tenn (TN), Musicals Tonight (NYC), Arts Center of Coastal Carolina (SC), Flat Rock Playhouse (NC), and Summer Repertory Theatre (CA). In Nashville, Casey serves as a teaching artist, choreographer, and director for various companies including The Theater Bug, Nashville Children’s Theatre, and Acting Up. Casey’s unusual combination of artistic abilities, teaching experience, love for others, contacts in the theatre world and organizational skills make her extremely valuable to the Bridge. She is thrilled to be a part of this truly incredible project and cannot wait to see how it will change the lives of so many!
Jennifer Farmer has been passionate about singing and acting for as long as she can remember. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Northern Kentucky University, with an emphasis in opera and classical studies. She has been associated with some of the top talent agencies and studied with some of the top coaches, all while working as a successful screen actor and continuing her education, focusing on musical theatre, her true love. After many years of performing in LA, Jennifer and her family moved to Northern California. There, she continued her professional career, acting, modeling and doing voiceover projects.
She also taught private voice lessons, and served as music director for two schools and was the head vocal instructor for a modeling academy. Jennifer loved most especially, the opportunity to sing at church and to perform with Transcendence Theatre Company’s Broadway Under the Stars in Sonoma, CA. There at Transcendence, she not only performed, but also served as Associate Kids Camp Director. Jennifer has appeared in several national television commercials, films and TV shows, and has performed in numerous concerts and musicals, both nationally and internationally.
She now resides in San Antonio, TX, with her husband and 3 boys who are the loves of her life. Caden who is 18 is on his way to college on a baseball scholarship. Layne who is 15 is an avid high school football player. And Asher who is 6, is into Ninja classes and hopes to someday be on American Ninja Warrior Jr! Even with a busy family life, Jennifer continues to teach voice and perform. She is beyond excited to have this opportunity to be a part of The Bridge, and is eternally positive about what an incredible impact it will have in bringing generations together through the arts! We are certainly lucky to have her with her positive energy, compassion and love for others that is truly contagious!
Alicia Albright is a NYC based Broadway performing artist, choreographer, creator, avid traveller and theatre dance/dance/yoga/meditation and empowerment teacher and is starting her own company called The Feed Your Soul Project. She has appeared on Broadway as an original cast member and swing in Disney’s Frozen the Musical, and was also the Dance Captain/Swing of Wicked on Broadway. She has also toured the US and globally teaching as well as performing in musicals and with dance companies such as Donald McKayle’s company the Etude Ensemble. She has toured with Wicked, A Chorus Line, Jesus Christ Superstar, All Shook Up, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers as well as other regional jobs and has worked as a performer and Associate Choreographer at Transcendence Theatre Company. She is also a guiding light on a new meditation app geared towards performers called La Luz.
Her passion and mission in her life is to live a life so connected, inspired, authentic and dedicated to being of service that her soul is truly fed. And that in the authentic living of that, she inspires others to do the same. And that all people she teaches, works with, loves and befriends feel seen, heard, valued, loved and appreciated, and know that they matter and make a difference in the world, simply by being themselves. She especially feels that way about senior citizens. She is so incredibly honored and excited to be working with THE BRIDGE, and can’t wait to help Susan fulfill her vision of bridging the gap between elderly people and others and filling that gap with inspiration, connection, understanding, empathy and love.
Carlos is a dual Venezuelan – Australian citizen, currently residing in New York City after having lived and worked in London for some time.
He currently is a Practice Lead at Consulting at McCann Health, where he specializes in assisting Life Sciences companies across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America to optimize their omnichannel strategies based on Real-World Digital customer behavioral Data. He also is a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of McCann Health North America, responsible for implementing initiatives that support and accelerate the organization’s D&I goals.
Prior to his current role, Carlos led DRG Digital | Manhattan Research’s European commercial team, tailoring its products and services to the European market. During his tenure at DRG he also led numerous projects to optimize his client’s communication and engagement strategies by leveraging physician, patient and payer insights gathered through traditional market research methods.
Starting his career as a research scientist in molecular biology, Carlos has over 10 years’
experience in medical research, working in projects that span from neuroscience to cancer research. Expanding from his science background, Carlos took on various commercial and strategy roles across Sydney, London and New York, focusing on medical communications and supporting Life Sciences companies, research institutions & government organizations in delivering information and professional services that resulted in optimized outcomes.
Carlos is part of a group of authors that has published research on the increased use of digital channels among payers, as well as how online conversations among patients can provide insights on how life science companies could support them better through treatment switching.
Being enormously passionate about helping others, Carlos is honored to work with The Bridge and to help in its’ goal of amplifying the voices of older generations and enriching the community by connecting them to younger generations.
Honorary Board Members
Shelly Fairchild isn’t new to the industry – but she’s far from old news. And of her latest release Buffalo she wants everyone to know: “This is the most honest record I’ve ever made.”
So it is. A staple in the Nashville music community, Fairchild hit the scene to much acclaim with her debut album Ride. The project introduced the young artist’s soulful, gospel-tinged brand of alternative country and spawned a Top 40 hit with “You Don’t Lie Here Anymore.” She toured with some of the biggest names in the format, including Rascal Flatts, Keith Urbanand Tim McGraw, and began to dig her roots in the industry. She again found success in her second release, Ruby’s Money, which came steeped in a thick groove with elements of funk – but it’s Buffalo that marks a milestone in her life and career.
The Jackson, Miss. native started the project in May 2014, launching a PledgeMusic campaign in the hopes that she would find support of her endeavor – and after reaching her goal in just two days, she realized she had. In many Native American cultures, the buffalo symbolizes gratitude and abundance. Fairchild, who has Choctaw ancestry, connected with the idea that though buffalo carry a lot on their shoulders, their horns are always pointing up to the sky.
A longtime hidden gem in the trove of Nashville musicians, Fairchild continues to keep her head and her heart pointing up to the sky. Between singing background vocals for the likes of Jason Aldean and Martina McBride, touring across the country and continuously working on future projects, it is clear she is just getting started.
As for accepting a position on the Board for the Bridge, we are thrilled! Shelly’s energy, passion and compassion for others is contagious and equal to her amazing talents as a singer-songwriter and performer! She is humble, kind, energetic and real….and someone who can take us to incredible levels of inspiration in making this project a huge success! Plus, in her own words, she said it so well when she told us, “You have no earthly idea just how much I love older people!” Shelly is sure to be a tremendous asset to the Bridge project
Gary D. Rappaport
Gary D. Rappaport is Chief Executive Officer of Rappaport, a retail real estate company he founded in 1984. Rappaport provides leasing, tenant representation, management and development services for approximately 15.5 million square feet. Rappaport’s portfolio includes more than 60 shopping centers and ground floor retail in some 125 mixed-use properties, both residential and office, located primarily throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Mr. Rappaport is Principal Partner for approximately 5 million square feet of the shopping centers managed by Rappaport.
He has made tremendous contributions to the shopping center industry as former Chairman and Trustee of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and through his service on ICSC’s Executive, Executive Compensation, Nominating, Government Relations, Long Range Planning and PAC committees. Additionally, his demonstration of a well-rounded competency of the industry earned him ICSC’s respected Certified Retail Real Estate Professional (CRRP) credential. Mr. Rappaport continues to lobby at the state and federal government levels on many issues important to the shopping center industry. Mr. Rappaport is committed to sharing his knowledge and experience as an entrepreneur and has authored two editions of “Investing in Retail Properties,” which explains how to structure real estate partnerships for sharing capital appreciation and cash flow. The information contained in the book is the basis for classes he teaches for ICSC’s University of Shopping Centers and as an annual guest instructor at Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, American and George Mason Universities as well as the University of Michigan and Georgetown Law Schools.