Press Releases

State Theatre New Jersey Honors Brent and Susan Podlogar

Susan and Brent Podlogar Credits: Mary Brown


Sat, May 13, 2017
Ticket Office: 732-246-SHOW (7469)

New Brunswick, NJ (April 27, 2017)—State Theatre New Jersey will honor Flemington residents Brent and Susan Podlogar at the 2017 State Theatre Benefit Gala on Saturday, May 13, 2017 featuring six-time Tony Award®-winner Audra McDonald. Vice President for Human Resources Medical Devices and Corporate Groups at Johnson & Johnson, Susan Podlogar has served on the State Theatre Board of Trustees since 2010.
“Brent and Susan Podlogar have made remarkable contributions to the arts and our community,” said Tom Carto, State Theatre President & CEO. “Their outstanding leadership and thoughtful philanthropy are supreme among our universe of generous partners.”

“We relish the responsibility to cultivate and share our appreciation for the performance arts with others,” said Brent and Susan Podlogar. “Our two children, extended family members and many friends are now burgeoning arts patrons themselves. We have sought to bring the power of live performance and arts education to those that may not normally have such exposure. It has been at State Theatre New Jersey where we have found it to be energizing and rewarding to work with the Board, staff, and the State Theatre community, to collectively pursue this mission.” Since their first show at the State Theatre in 1995, honorees Brent and Susan Podlogar have become firm believers in the State Theatre’s mission to enrich the lives of people from diverse backgrounds in New Jersey and to contribute to a vital urban environment. Susan has been on the Board of Trustees for the last seven years and together, the pair chaired the State Theatre’s 2015 and 2016 Galas, leading the gala committee to raise 1.25 million dollars.

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Susan Podlogar is Vice President, Human Resources Medical Devices and Corporate Groups at Johnson & Johnson. Over her 16 years with the company, she has held various HR leadership positions in corporate, the device sector, and pharmaceutical sector of the business. Susan has a profound commitment to advancing the profession of Human Resources as demonstrated by guest lecturing at universities; serving on the Society of Human Resources Foundation (SHRM) board, and as a current member of the SHRM Certification Commission that sets global standards for the human resources profession.

Brent Podlogar, a PhD in Organic Chemistry, spent nearly 15 years in pharmaceutical drug discovery research. Today, rather than influencing the bonding of chemicals as a research scientist in computer aided drug design; he influences the next crop of scientists, engineers, and health professionals through education. He is an adjunct professor at TCNJ where he has been teaching general and organic chemistry since 2006.

Gala Information
The Gala festivities begin at 5pm at The Heldrich Hotel and the performance will begin at 6pm at State Theatre New Jersey. In addition to the show, Gala guests will enjoy a pre-performance cocktail reception, post-performance dinner dance with an open bar, fabulous auctions, and live entertainment from the Gerard Carelli Orchestra. The Benefit Gala, State Theatre New Jersey’s biggest annual fundraising event, underwrites the State Theatre’s artistically-acclaimed programming and nationally-recognized education programs. A portion of each ticket price represents a tax-deductible contribution to the State Theatre. Benefit Gala tickets are $700. For Benefit Gala tickets please call 732-247-7200, ext. 543.

The 2017 Benefit Gala Co-Chairs are Scott (RBC Wealth Management) and Barbra Fergang with support from Vice-Chairs Linda Piscadlo (Johnson & Johnson), and Matt (Moody’s Investors Service) and Tracy Taylor (Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey). The 2017 Benefit Gala Corporate Co-Chairs are Shideh Sedgh Bina, Founding Partner, Insigniam and Bradd M. Chignoli, Senior Vice President – National Accounts, MetLife.

2017 Gala Emerald Partners are American Benefits Consulting, Ernst & Young, Insigniam, and MetLife. 2017 Gala Diamond Partners are Aetna, Joan and Bob Campbell, and Alma Scott.
State Theatre New Jersey’s other honorees include Corporate Honoree American Benefits Consulting and Leadership in the Arts honoree, Freeholder Director Ron G. Rios and The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders. About the Gala Artist Audra McDonald—now featured in Disney's Beauty and The Beast—is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actress. She is the recipient of a record-breaking six Tony Awards®, two Grammy Awards®, and an Emmy Award®. Her Tony®-winning performances include roles in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. Now, see her live in concert as she performs hits from Broadway and the great American songbook.

For tickets or more information, call the State Theatre New Jersey Ticket Office at 732-246-SHOW (7469), or visit us online at The State Theatre New Jersey Ticket Office, located at 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick NJ, is open Monday through Friday from 10am to 6pm; Saturday from 1pm to 5pm; and at least three hours prior to curtain on performance dates unless otherwise specified. For information on group outings and discounts, call 732-247-7200, ext. 536. Some additional ticket and transaction fees may apply.

State Theatre New Jersey—creating extraordinary experiences through the power of live performance. The theater exists to enrich people’s lives, contribute to a vital urban environment, and build future audiences by presenting the finest performing artists and entertainers and fostering lifetime appreciation for the performing arts through education. State Theatre New Jersey’s programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. The Heldrich is the official hotel of State Theatre New Jersey. Magic 98.3 is the official radio station of State Theatre New Jersey. The Star-Ledger is the official newspaper of State Theatre New Jersey. United is the official airline of State Theatre New Jersey.

15 Livingston Ave
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Ticket Office - 732-246-SHOW (7469)
Online - STNJ.ORG
Please contact Kelly Blithe at
732-247-7200, ext. 542 or by email at
Information in this release is current as of April 27, 2017.
Up-to-the-minute information on events and State Theatre news,
online at
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