Board of Directors
DAN KELLEY McBRIDE | PRESIDENT
DOUGLAS WONG | VICE PRESIDENT
Douglas is ecstatic to be singing with Modern Men. Having spent two decades in corporate and field retail for numerous major fashion labels, he now calls the beautiful desert of Palm Springs his home. In addition to his responsibilities in Modern Men, he has also performed with Harmonic Voices and A Cabbello here in the desert. When Douglas is not involved in the arts, he spends his time cooking and practicing as a licensed massage therapist.
TOM SPENCER | SECRETARY
Tom spent his childhood in a small Wisconsin town. With strong encouragement from their parents, Tom and his three brothers participated in band and choir. Upon completion of his computer data processing degree, Tom and his wife Lisa moved to the Twin Cities region of Minnesota where he continued to enjoy music from the audience side of the stage. Over the course of the last 25 years he and his wife attended many of the concerts performed by Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus of which his brother Dan was a member. In 2010 they moved to Palm Springs and in 2013 Tom became one of the founding members of Modern Men.
CHARLIE MERCER | TREASURER
Charlie is a founding member of Modern Men and also helped create Caballeros: The Gay Men’s Chorus of Palm Springs. He was the original treasurer of the group and is glad to be serving again in that role. Born in Houston, Texas, he lived a misspent youth in Texas and New Orleans and later in West Hollywood working within the Real Estate world as a realtor, loan officer and broker. With his spouse of twenty-seven years, he moved to the Palm Springs area in 1995 and, after working for a time with several realties, he formed his own broker’s firm until he sold it off. He now works as a secret shopper and caregiver. He has been involved with men’s choruses in the Valley since 1999.
MARK FEARNOW | DIRECTOR AT LARGE
Mark has been involved in music and theatre since childhood, singing in choirs from first grade onward and studying voice privately from 1976-1980. He earned a PhD in Theatre and Drama from Indiana University and was Associate Professor of Theatre at Penn State University from 1990-2000 and Professor of Theatre at Hanover College from 2000-2017. He taught courses including playwriting, theatre history, music theatre workshop, directing, acting and film studies. He is the author of three books: The American Stage and the Great Depression: A Cultural History of the Grotesque (Cambridge University Press); Clare Boothe Luce: A Research and Production Sourcebook (Greenwood); and Theatre and the Good: The Value of Collaborative Play (Cambria). He has contributed research essays to TDR: The Drama Review; Theatre Survey, The Cambridge History of American Theatre and The Oxford Companion to Theatre and Performance. Recent productions he directed at Hanover College include Tartuffe, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, The Glass Menagerie, and The Importance of Being Earnest. At Hanover College, Mark was department chair and managed a professional performing arts series as well as a 600-seat performance facility with scenic and costume shops. He retired to Palm Springs in 2017, where he works as a certified massage therapist and real estate agent, and enjoys singing, with Modern Men, acting, and taking good care of his dogs.
RIC HEATH | DIRECTOR AT LARGE
Ric relocated to the Coachella Valley from the midwest in mid-January of 2019 and joined Modern Men almost at once. He has performed in community theater for many years (mostly musicals), and is well-known for his karaoke shenanigans. He served on the board of directors for the 4th Street Theater in northern Indiana for three years and for three years on the board of the New Buffalo Business Association (in southern Michigan). For two of those years, he served as board president. Ric is a hairdresser by profession and has been self-employed for the past 31 years. At the height of his business career, he had two salons and employed over 30 staff members. He enjoys working with people, problem-solving and networking. He is passionate about bringing an open-minded attitude to any situation and is thrilled to be part of this talented group of Modern Men.
MEL McELREE | DIRECTOR AT LARGE
His seventeen years of singing with the Vancouver Men’s Chorus has helped Mel tremendously with social and membership knowledge. He was a board member with the VMC for three years as a director at large. He attended two Gala conferences — San Jose and Montreal. Attending these two events has had a very powerful growth experience for him as a person. While on the Vancouver board he worked to help grow the membership by recruiting new members and helped coordinate social events and fundraisers. He is a very outgoing and a helpful individual and feels a real connection with his new chorus and looks forward to continuing his relationship with Modern Men.
SCOTT PALERMO | DIRECTOR AT LARGE
“Scott Palermo, the Palm Springs Singing Realtor,” is excited to be singing with Modern Men. He and his husband, Jim Sanak have lived in Palm Spring for many years. Scott has been singing since childhood and music has always been one of his passions. Scott’s most notable stage performances include playing Jesus in Godspell and having sung on stage with the Fifth Dimension at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Modern Men has become his vehicle to bring fun and balance back into his life, outside of the exciting world of owning an international real estate brokerage, named Harcourts Desert Homes, in Palm Springs. Scott’s community goals are to continue to give back to the community via music, philanthropy and real estate. One interesting note: Scott created the persona “Scott Palermo, the Palm Springs Singing Realtor” after the real estate market crash of 2008 to bring smiles and music to people during that tumultuous time period. It has been a source of constant gratification for him, family, friends and business associates. The world can never have too many smiles.
DAN SMITH | DIRECTOR AT LARGE
Dan is the product of a lounge singer mother and a U.S. Air Force father. He thinks that has made him both an organized and social individual. He believes in the power of a good first impression. His background includes restaurant and retail management, interior design and real estate staging. He worked for Gay City Health Project as the community organizer, managing the volunteer program, events and the Pride parade contingent each year. In his hometown of Seattle he was an active member of Seattle Men’s Chorus and their small ensemble, Captain Smartypants. He has felt embraced by Modern Men and this community since relocating to the Desert in January of 2019. He hopes to meet you in person soon.