SAFD 2015 Member Representative Elections

As the 3-year term of your member representative comes to an end with 2015, it is now time to elect the next batch of representatives on the governing body of the SAFD. This year we will be hosting elections for the following positions:

  • Friend, Actor/Combatant, and Advanced Actor/Combatant Representative
  • Certified Teacher Representative
  • Fight Director Representative
  • Fight Master Representative


Read on to see this year's nominees and to read their statements!


2015 Member Representative Candidate Statements


Actor Combatant Representative Candidates:


Katherine Coyl:Katherine CoylKatherine Coyl

I am honored to have been nominated to serve as the representative for my fellow Advanced Actor Combatants.  I believe that whomever is elected to this position has a responsibility to not only relay ours concerns to the governing body but to act as our advocate.  This requires passion, tenacity, and an in depth knowledge of SAFD policies and procedures.  My two years as SAFD Business Operations Manager has afforded me a unique and thorough understanding of the intricacies of the SAFD.  I believe this knowledge would prove invaluable to representing our group effectively.


Matthew Crider

 Matthew Crider:

Hello, I’m Matthew Crider, and I hope you’ll consider me for your next Actor Combatant representative.   I believe I have a lot to offer; I’m a teacher at Murray State University, and my program strongly supports my work with the SAFD, giving me both the time and resources to devote to this position if I’m elected.  For eight years, I’ve been working on academic assessment, finding ways to better university programs, and I’d like to turn that experience towards helping the Society.  I want to serve the SAFD and support your concerns, so I hope you’ll consider me.  Thank you!


Keith GaviganKeith Gavigan:

“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown” (Henry IV, Part II). I have been a SAFD member for 17 years and would like to give back. I understand the responsibilities of this position and aim to help actors attain their goals.  I will help change what is needed in the SAFD so that happens.  My complete profile is available at:



Anna NewburryAnna Newbury:

I am versed in the challenges of working and training in this field. I have great empathy for the financial burden and commitment of time that is essential to refining this craft. I aim to provide more accessibility for actors and theatre communities to gain experience in stage combat, with the hope of carving a new standard on the American stage. I hope to be a voice that represents efficiency, integrity, and innovation. My name is Anna Newbury. I strive to be accountable and available for the body of people I serve and represent.


Tara Snyder:Tara Snyder

Tara Snyder, an Assistant Professor in Musical Theatre at the University of Central Florida, will seek to promote continued SAFD membership amongst those who pass SPT tests and encourage fellow actor combatants to maintain and improve their skills.  Further, she will continue her academic pursuits of finding crossover applications for stage combat, particularly as it relates to healthy vocal violence.  She has already presented on this topic at the Estill World Voice Symposium at Harvard University in 2013, and will be presenting on it at the IUGTE conference in Styria, Austria this December.



Certified Teacher Representative Candidates:


Fulton BurnsFulton Burns:

It is truly an honor to be nominated to run for a second term as your SAFD Certified Teacher Representative.

I will continue to bring all CTs’ ideas to the Governing Body and serve as your advocate. Next is to see the completion of 2 important projects; the first is the implementation of stronger public relations for the SAFD and the second is the expansion of diversity in our organization and supporting those talented members. Finally, I will personally make sure that the renewal process goes as quickly and as smoothly as we all desire.

Thank you for your support.


Jonathan ColeJonathan Cole:

As someone who had to exhaustively search for private training, I understand the challenge of locating a CT. As someone who fought to explain my work as a CT on the road to tenure, I understand the difficulties in navigating the special challenges of academia. If elected, I will work to strengthen our network to make it easier for students to find CTs in their areas, and for us to interface with colleagues. I will also create a support network for CTs to help them to present successfully the value of our discipline to Promotion and Tenure committees. Thank you.


Kevin Inouye:Kevin Inouye

I am honored to have been nominated for the CT Rep position, and would be more honored to serve should it come to pass that I take up the mantle from my friend Fulton Burns.

You all worked hard for your CT Status, and the question is how your CT status can work for you. I’m especially interested in pushing the expectation for and visibility of SAFD certificate training (including firearms!) in academia, and seeing how we can facilitate more exchanges and guest workshops. I look forward to hearing your input, or to working with whoever is elected.


Brian Letraunik:Brian Letraunik

My two major items of focus would be (1) exploring opportunities and options for continuing education; namely how to use mechanisms already in place in the SAFD to assist in this valuable aspect of teacher education.  Secondly, I want to address a mentoring system, similar to that employed by ATME, for those at the AC and AAC level interested in pursuing work and/or certification as a teacher, pairing up individuals who need mentorship with those who wish to provide it, thus providing a more prepared corps of potential teachers and striving to improve established relationships. 


Michael Mueller

Michael Mueller:

It is an honor to be nominated to serve as the Certified Teachers Representative and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to represent the membership classification I am most proud to be a member. If elected, I will continue to use the information I have gained through years of previous and current service to the SAFD and work tirelessly to present your views and concerns to the Governing Body. In addition, I will continue to look for ways to broaden and enhance our status both nationally and abroad. Thank you.



Fight Director Representative Candidates:



Mike Mahaffey

Mike Mahaffey:

Living and working in LA, I feel pretty far away from most of the SAFD. I provide training, support and opportunities for members who relocate here. I work in the industry so others may do the same and keep the SAFD relevant to the LA film AND theater scene.  

Despite my location I still consider the SAFD to be my artistic home. You are my extended family, and I owe you much. I would be deeply honored to step forward and work as hard as I can to represent the views of Fight Directors on the Governing Body. Thank you!



Fight Master Representative Candidates:


Ian Rose

Ian Rose:

I hope I have been of service to you in my duties as a representative of the College.  I have always tried to vote and represent to the Governing Body the best interests of the College as I understood them.  I believe we have a duty to uphold standards, be fair across the board, promote our art form and the SAFD, as well as provide an example of excellence in our community.  These are the goals for which we strive and I hope I have not been far amiss in my efforts.  

I hope to continue in my service to the CFM as your representative.  If I have done my job adequately I ask you elect me a second term, if not I was at least honored to serve and you must know I gave it all my best efforts.  


David Woolley:David Woolley

I would like to represent the Fight Masters as we move forward into the 21st century;  continuing the interaction between the College of Fight Masters, the governing Body,  our membership and the producers and directors of American Theater.  I would like to be able to keep the lines of communications open between us, the members of the college and serve as our voice to the community.  I think it is my turn in the barrel.