Carmencita Mitchell, 2019 KLAS Users' Conference Keynote Speaker
Carmencita, originally from New York, has made Palm Beach County her home for the past 16 years. She holds a baccalaureate degree in Humanities from New York University, an MA in English from St. John’s University, and an M. Ed in Higher Education Leadership from Lynn University. She has taught English Composition, Literature, Business Writing, and Public Speaking at several universities. She was a former faculty member of the American University of Nigeria where she held rank as full-time faculty, Director of the Writing Center, and teacher at the university high school.
Among her many research interests include: alternative modalities and composition pedagogy, including metaphysics and metacognition, medical humanities, yoga, and somatic studies, the philosophical constructs of the 18th century French Salon, and cultural studies.
She volunteers at and is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches. Carmencita was also appointed by the Palm Beach Board of County commissioners to the Palm Tran Service Board (PTSB)--and its two standing subcommittees--where she represents the disabled community at public meetings on issues of transportation. She has recently been elected Chair of that Board. Carmencita is also a member of the president’s advisory panel for the Hadley Institute for the Blind, where she offers advice on pedagogical improvements for the blind and visually impaired.Carmencita is presently an adjunct professor in the departments of communications, and developmental studies respectively at Palm Beach State College where she holds the distinction as the college’s first, visually impaired faculty member.
Finally, in addition to her academic pursuits and civic duties, Carmencita is also an approved Silver Sneakers Fitness and dance instructor and holds various certifications in yoga and group fitness as well as certifications in CPR, AED, and First Aid from the American Heart Association.
In her spare time, Carmencita enjoys yoga and reading Talking Books. She is devoted to the cause of helping the Blind and Visually Impaired community enjoy the “greatest quality of Life”.
Helene Kaufman Lundstrom, Welcome Reception Entertainment
Helene grew up in Bara, Sweden. Singing, dancing, and acting have been a big part of Helene’s life since childhood. She started singing in the church choir at age 11, the choir traveled around the country to perform. Around the same age, she joined a local acting group that worked on acting technique and improv when they had their classes. Helene got her first leading role in one of their musicals at the age of 14.
At age 14 Helene started taking voice lessons at the University of Music in Malmo where she studied for 3 years. She kept taking voice lessons, studying with 8 different teachers through her years of studying. Her real passion for dance started at age 11 when she started taking classes on a weekly basis, taking as many classes as time would allow :)
After finishing her performing arts-based high school Helene auditioned for the Ballet Academy in Gothenburg (Musical theater program) and she got in. Shortly after moving back home to Malmo she got the lead role as the Narrator in “Joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamboat”, she played the role for 2 years to sold-out houses.
Helene got her big break as a singer/actress in 1995 when she was hired to do the voice over for Walt Disney’s movie, Pocahontas, in her native language, Swedish. In 1998 Helene was hired for Pocahontas II as well. Helene has also appeared in several episodes of TV's Disney’s Little Mermaid.
Helene’s passion for all 3 art forms, singing, dancing, and acting brought a clear path to musical theatre.
Helene’s favorite voice teacher, Jack Abraham, was the one, alongside with acting coach David Brunetti, the ones that started Helene’s journey to the US and the way into the USA was through AMDA in NYC.
In 2003 Helene met her husband while singing at the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, FL and the following year made the move from NYC to Palm Beach.
After moving to FL Helene was working in musicals mainly but then moved into more of the band scene and corporate events, some of the places Helene has been seen at is The Breakers, Brazilian Court, The Colony, The Ritz, Hard Rock Casino, Isle Casino, The Addison, Club 21 in NYC and many more places.In 2007 Helene had the opportunity to open for Andrea Bocelli at a private birthday party in Fort Lauderdale.
Though classically trained, she is truly authentic and comfortable in any genre, pop, jazz, R&B, Broadway and classical. She has been able to be apart of musicals, corporate bands, voice over’s and being a studio session singer. In 2012 Helene was accepted into the Palm Beach Opera Chorus, she spent 5 years with the opera and did 8 operas at the beautiful Kravis center in West Palm Beach.
Early in her career, the following has been written in the Swedish press about Helene during her run in “Joseph” as the Narrator. “The Narrator, Helene Lundstrom, is blessed with a tremendously beautiful voice. The text is delivered in such a crystal clear fashion that not a single syllable is lost. She commands the stage with a natural, friendly presence.” “The Narrator, Helene Lundstrom, gives a flawless performance with regard to both acting and singing”
Helene got the Jullan Kindahl Grant in 1995. “Helene Lundstrom, the narrator in “Joseph” received SEK 5000, the reason for choosing her is as follows: An amateur who became a professional through her humble presence and strong charisma”
Praised by Disney; “Disney translator, Monica Forsberg was looking for new talent for the new Walt Disney movie Pocahontas. Helene was the perfect match. Disney in the U.S heaps praise on the young Swede, and say that she is the best foreign Pocahontas they have heard.”