Our Operations Board is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the organization. They manage our five dance troupes, plan events, fundraise, and seek grants. Most members of the Operations Board are volunteers who dedicate their time to the operational success of Culture Shock DC.
Margareta Chughtai, Founder and Executive Director
In the 2001 Margareta Chughtai (formerly Eysel) moved from San Diego, California, where she was a core dancer with the original Culture Shock® dance organization, to start a new life in the east coast. She eventually settled in the State of Maryland. In 2002 Margareta and co-founder Brian Resurrection decided to establish a Culture Shock® chapter in the Washington, D.C.-area and called it Culture Shock® Washington, DC (CSDC). Margareta served as its first Artistic Director while Brian served as its Administrative Director. CSDC was running as a non-profit under the umbrella of Culture Shock® San Diego. In 2009 in her current role as Executive Director, Margareta worked with great success with her staff and the Board of Directors to establish Culture Shock® DC as an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Margareta is a graduate of Chapman University in Orange County, California.
John-Pierre Cardenas, Director of Operations
John-Pierre Cardenas (Johnny) currently serves as the Director of Operations for Culture Shock Washington, DC®. In Season XIV he served as Choreography Co-Captain (with current Artistic Director, William Miller, Jr.) under the directorship of Greg David and Cameron Bennett. Season XV is his fourth year of service with Culture Shock Washington, DC. Johnny is affiliated with the JHU Eclectics, JHU SLAM Dance Group, and UMBC’s Major Definition.
Johnny believes in the potential dance, and performance art, has to bring disparate communities together. He is dedicated to helping the members of Culture Shock Washington, D.C.® Season XV reach their dreams through actualizing their potential and connecting them with growth opportunities.
Johnny received both his graduate and undergraduate education in public health/ health policy at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He has expertise in organizational management, process optimization, and collaborative development.
Outside from Culture Shock Washington, D.C.®, Johnny is a public health and social justice advocate, a health policy leader with the State of Maryland, and a believer in the power of strong, united communities. He has dedicated his career to the expansion of health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
“We are strongest when we stand together.”
Cameron Bennett, Director of Strategic Development
Cameron Bennett began dancing in the fall of 2009 as a member of Dynamic Dance Team, a Hip Hop dance team from the University of Maryland, College Park. Three years later, he began dancing with Culture Shock® as a member of the Season 10 cast in 2012. As a member of Culture Shock DC, Cameron prides himself on being an ambassador of Hip Hop and inspiring others to push the boundaries of dance. As the Director of Operations for Culture Shock DC, Cameron strives to motivate his fellow members to be the best professional dancers they can be and even better people.
Lisa Norman, Youth Operations Director
Lisa Norman “Mama Lisa”, originally from Atlanta, Georgia, has been dancing most of her life. In 2005 because of her passion for the arts, youth, and the community she decided to volunteer for Culture Shock DC as the Director of Youth Programs. Her volunteer work and dedication to the community landed her a spot in the Washingtonian magazine’s spotlight story as a powerful community leader for youth and young women. She was also awarded volunteer of the year from So Others Might Eat, a homeless shelter for families in Washington, D.C. She strives to be a positive role model for the youth of today and hopes they will grow up to be positive, responsible, and respectful adults one day. Lisa has been a member/director for the Culture Shock organization for 15 years. After originally joining Culture Shock® Atlanta, Lisa worked for artists such as Ludacris, Jermain Dupri, and P. Diddy. She was also featured in music videos for artists like Ludacris, Whitney Houston, Snoop Dog, India Arie, and Wu Syndicate of Wu Tang Records. Lisa even toured with the artist Nivea. She currently dances with Afta Shock® DC and owns an event design company called Swanky Productions.
Annie Foster, Grants Administrator
Annie Foster Ahmed became aware of the Culture Shock organization when her daughter joined Mighty Shock® DC in 2008. Her daughter graduated to Future Shock® DC and became more involved in the activities of the organization. When Culture Shock DC gained its 501(c)(3) non-profit status, Annie offered to help the organization with its grant funding efforts because of her extensive experience in this area. CSDC has been a positive influence on her daughter and family. Volunteering for the organization is her way of giving back for all of the support she received. Annie is currently the Director for the Center of Academic Success (CAS) at the Universities at Shady Grove. She is originally from Puerto Barrios, Guatemala and grew up in Queens, New York. She received her Master’s Degree in Science Education from the State University of Buffalo (SUNY) and a B.S. in Biology from Daemen College.