The Robert W. Smith Foundation promotes the power of music education to spark lifelong creativity and innovation. By fostering its intrinsic connection to growth and achievement, we envision lives and cultures transformed.

Robert W. Smith, President

Robert W. Smith is an accomplished composer and passionate music educator with a career spanning more than forty years. His life work provides evidence of the power of music to connect people. These relationships include partnerships with performers, music industry leaders, educators, students, advocacy groups, and entrepreneurs. Robert formed the RWS Foundation to mobilize this powerful network of music advocates to create broader access to music education. He believes lives and cultures can be transformed by the universal power of music.

Alfred L. Watkins, Vice President

Alfred L. Watkins is Co-Founder, Musical Director and Conductor of the Cobb Wind Symphony, an all-adult community band in Marietta, GA. In 2013, he concluded his 37-year career as a high school band director, including serving as Director of Bands at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia for 31 years. Bands under his leadership have earned John Philip Sousa Foundation’s Sudler Flag of Honor in 1988, Sudler Shield in 1998 and the Sudler Silver Scroll, 2009. The Lassiter Symphonic Band is listed on the HISTORIC ROLL OF HONOR (1980-2007) for outstanding high school concert bands. Watkins is one of a small group of band directors to hold three Sudler Awards simultaneously.

Derek S. Watson, M.D., Treasurer

Derek is a Board Certified physician specializing in General, Acute Care, and Trauma Surgery with the Prisma Health System in Upstate South Carolina, where he has been in practice for the past 24 years. He is also an Assistant Professor of Surgery with The University of South Carolina School of Medicine. He initially played clarinet with Robert W. Smith’s Pinellas Park HS Blue Stars band, before becoming the band’s Drum Major his senior year (1980-1984). He then took private trumpet lessons with Robert and went on to march soprano and flugelhorn with The Suncoast Sound Drum & Bugle Corps (1984, ’86, ’87).

Jeremy D. Morse, Secretary

Jeremy is the CEO at Mental Health America of Palm Beach County (MHA) and brings to the board extensive experience in philanthropic sector fundraising and management. He played tenor saxophone in Robert W. Smith’s Pinellas Park HS Blue Stars band 1980-1984. He received “Outstanding Jazz Musician” each of his four years, and was honored as a member of the Florida All-State Reading Jazz Ensemble in his senior year. Jeremy lives in West Palm Beach with his wife, Laura and their whippet, Etta.

Frank T. Williams, III, Director

Frank Williams currently serves as the Coordinator of Jazz Education for Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Marcia P. Hoffman Fine Arts Institute. He was the Band Director at Boca Ciega High School from 1981 until 2011. During his long career as a music educator Mr. Williams held many district and state offices and received many teacher of the year awards. He served as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician for many high school, college, and honors ensembles in the United States, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Mr. Williams has worked with drum and bugle corps since the late 70’s and was inducted into the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame in August of 2009. He continues to work as a freelance composer, arranger, consultant, and clinician.

M. Jane Lucas, Director

M. Jane Lucas’s thirty-three-year tenure in the field of education and music encompasses a vast array of experiences at all levels, as well as an extensive corporate management background. She has presented and conducted at national and international conferences around the globe, including conducting the Florida All State Honor Band, as well as being a featured clinician at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. For her work in these arenas, Ms. Lucas is a two-time recipient of the George Washington Freedom’s Foundation Medal of Honor. She was appointed Principal of Seminole High School in 2018. In her spare time, Principal Lucas loves to travel, read, make music, and spend time with her amazing family.

Michael Nakasone, Director

Michael D. Nakasone’s legacy as a conductor spans more than 50 years.  Throughout his distinguished career, Mr. Nakasone and his steady baton have led all levels of music ensembles to reach their greatest potential. Mr. Nakasone was appointed the 21st Bandmaster of the world-renowned Royal Hawaiian Band (RHB) from 2005 to 2010. Established by King Kamehameha III in 1836, the RHB is the only band in the United States of America with a royal heritage and is its only full-time municipal band. Mr. Nakasone is an inducted member of the distinguished American Bandmasters Association (1998), the National High School Band Directors Hall of Fame (2013), and the National Band Association Hall of Fame (2020).

Susan Smith, Director

Susan L. Smith, has taught general, choral, and instrumental music at the elementary through collegiate level in Florida, Virginia and Alabama and has served as an author, clinician, conductor, and adjudicator across the United States. She is currently Lecturer in Music Education and Horn at Troy University. She is the Past President of the Alabama Music Educators Association and the Chair of the NAfME Collegiate Advisory Council and the current faculty advisor for the Troy cNAfME Chapter.

Victor López, Director

Victor López has been an educator with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools System for the past 35 years. He is a highly acclaimed composer, arranger, and adjudicator, and has achieved success in music performance, education, and administration. In addition to being a former trumpet player and arranger for the Miami Sound Machine, he has recorded and performed with various artists and has appeared in numerous music videos. Among many of his accomplishments, López was named the “1978 Miami-Dade County Public Schools Teacher of the Year” and the “1979 State of Florida Teacher of the Year.”

801 S Olive Ave Suite 206
West Palm Beach, FL 33401