2012 Judges

Dr. Mark Lerner is a psychologist, author and speaker with a passion for helping people through life’s most challenging times. He maintains a clinical practice in Melville, New York. As president of the Institute for Traumatic Stress, Inc., Dr. Lerner provides practical information, training, support and early intervention for individuals, families, organizations and corporations around the world. Dr. Lerner has been called upon to consult with organizations, from private corporations to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Through his love for the theatre, and the realization of its potential to inform and inspire, Dr. Lerner created Reality Theatre Productions—real people, sharing real stories. He is currently presenting The Power to Overcome! ... a timely, one person production that tells the story of how people live through and overcome life’s most challenging events. www.PowerToOvercome.com

Toni's journey through the entertainment industry has taken many roads, from assisting top agents and celebrities to her current career as an actress and performance/audition coach. She has worked for Broadway producers, as an associate talent manager, and casting director; a classical, musical theater and rock singer; and has coached Broadway performers (including Tony nominees) on dialogue. As a teacher, she coaches students to find the confidence to unleash their unique creative voices.

Kimberly Thomas is the founder of ValleystreamMom.com, a website for families in Valley Stream, NY and also founder of Talented Youth Development, Inc. (TYDI), a youth organization that empowers teen girls through community service, education, philanthropy, and leadership development. She also produces etiquette workshops and performing arts scholarship competitions for girls. As a stay-at-home-mom for the last 4 years, she has worked as Executive Director of the Miss Brooklyn & Brooklyn’s Outstanding Teen Scholarship Programs, official preliminaries to Miss New York and Miss America, which she resurrected after an 18 year hiatus. Under Mrs. Thomas’ directorship, Miss Brooklyn 2008 won the title of Miss New York 2008 and placed 3rd Runner up to Miss America. Most recently, she coached Miss New York Outstanding Teen 2010 and Miss Brooklyn 2011 into winning their titles and is launching the first ever Miss Valley Stream Outstanding Teen pageant this fall.

Gail King danced as a child at Carnegie Hall. Currently, her lyrical ballet is being used in a Florida Program for abused single women inspired to fight their fatigue and depression. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Dowling College and receiving her Masters Degree from Stony Brook University, she taught for 35 years and presented her cooperative learning techniques at a New State Conference in Albany where she was awarded the SCOPE All Star Teacher Award. She won the title of Ms. New York Senior America in 2009 and then went on to become Ms. Senior America 2009-10, in Atlantic City. She has made over 400 appearances throughout the country as a motivational speaker for breast cancer awareness. She has been honored with over 17 Proclamations and was nominated for Suffolk County Senior of the Year and the Suffolk County Women’s Hall of Fame. She’s been featured on television, radio and movies, commercials, and recently been seen on the cover of Generations Magazine.

Most widely known in the NYmetro area as the composer of the P.C. Richard and Son “Whistle,” Leary maintains he is more than just a five-note melody line! He has been nominated for an Emmy, co-wrote a play that made Off-Broadway, was a finalist for Survivor and toured with the Blackfriars Traveling Shakespeare Company. He has been a narrator for over thirty years gaining local fame with PC Richard & Son commercials, national recognition sharing duties with Larry Kenney for VH-1’s “Best Week Ever” and international acclaim as the voice of such toys as Robocop, Galactus, Stretch Screamers, etc. His voice and gnarly face have appeared in animations, video games, educational narrations, radio/tv ads and films/documentaries. If you do not blink you’ll see him on Royal Pains, Onion Network and Boardwalk Empire. Leary is a proud happy husband and even prouder father of two sons.