Board of Directors

Of Barak Ballet

Rachel Weber, Chair of the Board

Rachel Weber is the mother of three children and a philanthropist dedicated to supporting dance and protecting the environment. Besides being the executive chair of Barak Ballet, Rachel is also a current board member of The MRW Fund and The Rockefeller Family Fund.  As a former professional dancer and life long devotee of ballet and contemporary dance, Rachel is excited to help bring world-class dance to Los Angeles by supporting Barak Ballet.

Maya Chen Varnell, Creative Director and Board Member

Creative Director, Maya Chen Varnell has been with Barak Ballet since the company’s inception in 2012.  A former contemporary ballet dancer, Maya is also an artist and photographer.  Her images are used in Barak Ballet’s programs, media, and marketing.  Maya works alongside Melissa Barak in shaping the company’s creative, aesthetic, and business vision.  She is a founding member of the Colburn Dance Council, and has been on the host committee of the Taste of Colburn annual gala since its inaugural year.

Victoria Yust, Board Member

Victoria Yust is an architect and co-founding principal of Tierra Sol y Mar, Inc., a Venice based architecture firm specializing in sustainable design. Architecture is her second career – Victoria spent several years working in advertising and promotion at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and also as Director of Public Relations. She is an Angeleno and long-time supporter of dance in Los Angeles.

Dr. Michael Sheps, Company Chiropractor and Board Member

Dr. Michael Sheps is director and co-founder of Pacific Coast Sports Medicine in Brentwood, CA. He is a pioneer in the use of lasers for chiropractic medicine. Dr. Sheps worked closely with the R & D team of BIOLASE Technology, a world leader in lasers for dentistry and medicine, to develop a new laser and delivery system designed specifically for chiropractic, orthopedic, physical therapy, sports medicine and pain center markets. He is a member of the California Chiropractic Association and was Vice President of the Santa Monica Society. He is also a member of the McKenzie Institute and the VAX-D Association.

Craig Olsen, Board Member

Craig Olsen is the owner and founder of CRAIG OLSEN DESIGN and is considered one of the most creative and sought after talents in the interior design industry. Applying a hands on approach, Olsen designs around each client’s individual personality, with the belief that people should be surrounded by the things they love. Craig Olsen studied and earned his BFA from Cornish College of the Arts. After receiving his degree, Craig moved to Los Angeles and opened PLANTATION, a furniture showroom on La Brea – followed by his custom furniture-manufacturing showroom, BAMBOO COLONY. In addition to sitting on the board of Barak Ballet he is also a Trustee of The Edward F Limato Foundation. Craig lives in Hancock Park with his two loves, talent manager Richard Konigsberg and his Chihuahua, Oliver.

Julia Cherlow, Board Member

Julia Cherlow, an associate in Glaser Weil’s Litigation Department, focuses her practice on business litigation. Ms. Cherlow’s experience includes helping achieve favorable outcomes in high profile intellectual property disputes for a major motion picture studio and defending a large class action litigation for a major consumer products manufacturer. She has also handled contract disputes and consumer fraud/false advertising claims for large companies.

While attending Stanford Law School, Ms. Cherlow was a managing editor of the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. She also helped found the Stanford Colloquium on International Business Practices. While in law school, Ms. Cherlow worked for the Stanford Community Law Clinic where she litigated several complex employment and housing disputes. She also served as a law clerk for the Hon. Alphons Orie in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Trial Chamber One.
Prior to earning her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, Ms. Cherlow was a professional ballerina.