The Bright Solutions is a team of twelve experienced professionals with a broad range of expertise working for not-for-profits. In addition to our staff, we have professionals that partner with us on occasion, depending on the client’s needs.
Our talented staff includes accountants, nonprofit and business executives, arts management professionals, and award-winning educators—and we are all dedicated to serving the nonprofit community
Owner and CEO
Ms. Bright has managed fiscal environments of not-for-profit and for-profit organizations for two decades. Since forming The Bright Solutions in 2008, Sarah has supported organizations with missions ranging from visual/performing arts to civic engagement to membership-based to health and human services. Sarah has provided comprehensive consulting, interim, short-term, and long-term solutions in financial management which has helped organizations to further sustain mission. Sarah is familiar with all needs in a not-for-profit landscape: budgeting, detailed and high-level accrual accounting procedures, fund accounting, audit facilitation, 990 facilitation, payroll and benefits administration, and executive search. Further, Sarah has experience with analyzing efficiency and workflow and endeavors to partner that knowledge with client’s organizational capacity and infrastructure. Prior to forming the Bright Solution, Sarah served as both the Director of Finance & Administration and the Patron Services Manager for The Washington Chorus.
Clients have described Sarah as a manager with great attention to detail and a steadfast approach. Sarah excels in interpreting corporate culture and frequently partners with senior leaders to problem solve in matters of accounting and organizational development. Sarah earned a Master of Arts in Arts Management from George Mason University and a Bachelor’s of Music in Voice Performance.
Associates & Staff
Xiujin (Jean) Chen
Jean has worked with TBS since 2014. Jean is a certified bookkeeper, Quickbooks Online ProAdvisor and Enrolled Agent. As a bilingual, she speaks both Chinese and English. She has many years of experience in the accounting field in both private and nonprofit industries.
Prior to working at The Bright Solutions, Jean was employed as a Data Control Specialist at Prince George Community College. She has been a tax professional with Jackson Hewitt Tax Service for many years. Jean specializes in accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, cash flow projection, budget, bank reconciliation, preparation of financial statements, Quickbooks setup, Quickbooks training, book clean up, tax preparation, and tax planning.
Alison Combes joined TBS in 2023. Alison has been a non-profit executive for almost 30 years having most recently served as CEO of Cathedra, a professional musical ensemble based at Washington National Cathedral (WNC), which, prior to the pandemic, toured all over the country and in Europe. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of the Cathedral Choral Society, the resident symphonic chorus of WNC. Under her leadership, the Choral Society turned around years of operating deficits and grew into a $2M performing arts organization. She has also served as Deputy Director of The Washington Chorus (TWC), a symphonic chorus that performs primarily at the Kennedy Center. A singer herself, she has worked with some of the world’s finest conductors including Sir Neville Marriner, Leonard Slatkin, Zdenek Macal, Mstislav Rostropovich and Marin Alsop. She has also participated in the Kennedy Center Honors, as well as on the 2000 GRAMMY Award-winning recording of Britten’s War Requiem with TWC. As a trustee of the Robert and Dee Leggett Foundation and the stewardship chair of her church for many years, Ms. Combes has extensive experience with both sides of fundraising, in addition to her extensive experience in management.
Ms. Combes holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Management from Frostburg State University where she received both General and Departmental Honors, as well as a Masters of Arts Administration from American University where she graduated summa cum laude.
Jeanette joined TBS in 2022. Jeanette holds a Master’s degree in Biology, and a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting with a Minor in Piano Performance from Colorado State University – Pueblo. She brings over 10 years of non-profit accounting experience and serves on Boards of Directors for non-profits in Colorado. Prior to joining The Bright Solutions, she worked for government and non-profit organizations in positions that specialized in compliance, budgeting & forecasting, policy writing, fixed asset management and audit preparation.
Blair joined The Bright Solutions in 2022. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Washington in 2013, after which she moved to New York City and discovered her passion for accounting while working in the finance department for a cookie company. She spent the six years prior to joining TBS doing outsourced controller work for several different organizations. She now lives in Santa Monica, CA with her family.
Lesley has worked with TBS since 2015. Lesley received her Bachelor’s degree in Theater from the University of Tennessee and her Masters in Arts Management from George Mason University. She currently serves as the Scheduling and Events Coordinator for the Center for the Arts and College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason. Lesley is also the Acting Executive Director for Music & Arts at Providence, a small visual and performing arts NPO in the Northern Virginia area. During graduate school, Lesley served as the GAMS (Graduate Arts Management Society) President and was awarded both the Leadership Award and Graduate of the Year Award.
As a Stage Manager, Lesley was nominated twice for the Kennedy Center Theater Festival stage management fellowship for her work on shows at PSTCC. She has worked with directors and musical directors from all over the United States and currently serves as the Opera Department Stage Manager at Mason. She also worked with Theater of the First Amendment and served as the Marketing Director for The American Century Theater. She had the honor of working with Lyric Opera of Virginia on two shows and teaches Stage Management at George Mason University.
Senior Executive Associate
Professor Kamenitzer has over fifty years of professional experience in accounting as well as financial, governance, and executive management. He has taught at the graduate and undergraduate level of 7 U.S., 4 Chinese, and 3 South Korean post-secondary institutions, with coursework, focused on accounting, business law, business statistics, collective bargaining, governance, budgeting, and planning for educational leaders and arts management. He has also run workshops for artists and artist managers in Swaziland, Africa as Cultural Envoy with the U.S. State Department. He was the Founder of The Board Member Institute at George Mason University. He was the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Jinx Hazel Award from Arts Fairfax for major contributions to the arts in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Richard was the Director of the Arts Management Program at George Mason University for almost ten years and was bestowed with “EMERITUS” status by the Board of Visitors of the University. He has served on many arts-related boards, social service, youth, and private foundation boards, including the Washington Stage Guild, Arts Council of Fairfax County, Hamiltonian Artists, illume productions, inc., The First Alliance Foundation, the United Way of Passaic Valley, the International Youth Peace Forum, and the Association of Arts Administration Educators. He has also created eight not-for-profit organizations, gaining tax-exempt status for each. Richard holds a Bachelor’s degree in accounting, an MBA in quantitative analysis and a law degree, and has completed post-graduate work in higher education administration.
William F. Reeder
Senior Executive Associate
Bill has worked with TBS since 2016. He has enjoyed a 30-year career in education, management, philanthropic administration, and the arts. A frequent advisor to non-profits, Bill is recognized for his fundraising, strategic planning and management skills.
Throughout his career, Bill’s teams have raised over $400 million for education and the arts.
His consulting practice focuses on executive coaching, board development, strategic planning, fundraising planning and assessment, and major giving. He has worked with universities, small and mid-sized cultural institutions, and national service organizations, leading strategic planning, major gifts, and capital campaigns.
Bill was the founding Executive Director of the Sallie Mae Trust for Education, a corporate giving program in Washington D.C. As such he understands the development process from both sides – the donor and the recipient. He has worked extensively with major donors, family foundations and wealth advisors, helping them evaluate and prioritize their funding priorities.
He was President of the Saint Louis Conservatory of Music and Executive Director of the Levine School of Music; Vice President and General Manager of the Washington Performing Arts Society; Executive Director of Opera Music Theatre International, and the Newark Community School of the Arts. Bill holds a visiting guest professorship at the Beijing China Conservatory of Music where he teaches fundraising and non-profit management.
After 14 years, Bill retired as the founding Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University, where he managed nine academic programs and served as CEO of two regional performing arts centers. At Mason, Bill was a tenured Professor of Arts Management, a Virginia Eminent Scholar, and the Heritage Chair for Cultural Criticism.
He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Certificate in Fund Raising Management from the Indiana University/Purdue University, Indianapolis Center on Philanthropy. Bill has served on Boards of Directors throughout his career. Many of Bill’s students from the George Mason Arts Management program are enjoying successful careers in fundraising and management.
Allison has worked with TBS since 2011. Allison has many years of customer service and administration experience. Prior to joining The Bright Solutions, she worked primarily in healthcare organizations and had direct experience assisting doctors in all aspects of office management. Allison manages all of our in-house operations, and since joining TBS, she has expanded her skillset to include bookkeeping, payroll, bank reconciliations, and 1099 tax filing. Allison earned an Associate’s Degree in Arts and Sciences from The College of Southern Maryland. She is also an active volunteer with her church and children’s schools.
DeAnna has worked with TBS since 2011. After completing a tour with the United States Coast Guard, DeAnna received her Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting from the University of Phoenix and her Master’s of Science in Accounting from Liberty University. She has been employed in the accounting field for over seven years in both private industry and not-for-profit. She has experience in general bookkeeping, budgeting, payroll, bank reconciliation, and financial statement preparation.
Julie has worked with TBS since 2022. Julie founded The EHE Foundation in 2015, shortly after her daughter was diagnosed with this rare cancer. She has been working with Sarah for the past four years managing the financials for The EHE Foundation. Julie has a wealth of experience as a patient advocate, group organizer, special events coordinator, financial manager, and not for profit board member. Julie and her husband both served in the United States Army and have traveled and lived all over the world. They have raised two beautiful daughters, who are both working towards degrees in the medical field. Julie’s travels and experiences give her a unique perspective and ability to adapt to new situations and to interact with and support diverse people and cultures.