Deborah Smythe Hermann, Chairwoman and CEO
For over 25 years, Deborah Smythe Hermann has championed fundraising and "friend-raising" for Cleveland organizations. Her breadth of experience and depth of community involvement have taken her from hard-working committee member to Chairwoman and CEO of GhostLight Productions, LLC. A five generation Clevelander, Deb's passion for all things Cleveland sets her apart from others in the field, making her an advocate as well as a consultant for every organization that contracts GhostLight's formidable talent.
Deb began her career in real estate as a commercial property manager and moved on to become a residential realtor in Northeast Ohio, where she became the youngest member of the Million Dollar Sales Club. After a short time in Michigan, Deb returned to Cleveland as director of marketing for a boutique travel consultant business specializing in European travel and small group tours.
In 2002, After many years as a volunteer committee member for non-profit galas, Deb began her love affair with special events as managing partner of MasterMinds, LLC, a high energy special events company. Building on the knowledge she and her former partner amassed as event planners, Deb and her new partner, David Shimp, formed GhostLight Productions, LLC in 2006. This partnership solidified her desire to add design and production services to her already impressive track record of successful planning services.
Deb is active in the Northeast Ohio community and serves on the boards of The Cleveland Chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES), The Sunbeam Board of Vocational Guidance Services, and The Hangar Recreation Society. She is currently Director at Large of the International Special Events Society (ISES) and is a founding member of the Cleveland Chapter. Deb makes her home in Shaker Heights, Ohio with her husband Bob, son Chip and daughter Khaki (when home visiting from NYU).
Deb is actively involved as a member of the Suicide Prevention Education Alliance and each year GhostLight Productions offers its management services free of charge to the organization's Into the LightTM Walk, its annual fundraising event that nets over $100,000 to support this important mission.
David R. Shimp, President and COO
David Shimp brings more than 30 years experience to his role with GhostLight Productions, LLC. His extensive experience as technician, producer and operations professional is evidenced in the broad range of projects, which he has designed and managed. As crew chief, production manager, master electrician, and lighting designer, Shimp has overseen classic local outdoor music festivals including the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival Rib Burn-off, A Taste of Cleveland, the Great American Rib Cook-off and the Pepsi Country Music Festival. Shimp is certified for theatrical and arena rigging.
Shimp is no stranger to the highly competitive and demanding corporate environment. He has designed and implemented all-important lighting and rigging, acted as head rigger, head technician and system engineer for corporate giants including Roche Pharmaceuticals, General Electric, Matrix Essentials, Polaroid, Marconi Communications, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Henkel Consumer Adhesives to name just a sampling.
As if the corporate world was not demanding enough, Shimp contributed his considerable talents to the political arena, providing lighting design and installation for television as well as interface for all aspects of production with the White House Communications Agency for appearances by President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Senator John McCain and numerous other Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates. On the local political level, Shimp oversaw lighting design, installation and rigging for Mayor Frank Jackson's inauguration events in January 2006.
Fundraisers, galas and grand openings have long been Shimp's areas of excellence, beginning with the Concert for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Grand Opening in 1996, for which he was a member of the production team.
Shimp resides in Monroe Township, Ohio with his wife Dawn. Dawn and David operate an animal rescue on their farm and are currently caring for over sixty rescued animals.