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Meet the JEST Team


Alex Sattler
Co-Founder, Artistic Director
Co-Marketing Director

Alex has been involved in Improv Comedy since 2013 and has been loving every minute of it! Alex has been performing since he was five years old in various theatrical plays and musicals, along with sketch comedy and student films. He has graduated the Conservatory program at the Second City, studied at the Groundlings and the UCB comedy centers along with various improv programs in the Ventura County area. Alex has been directing and teaching improv students since 2018 and has been directing the Jest Improv Comedy Program since January of 2022.


Alex never gets tired of seeing his students take the principles of improv that he teaches and have endless fun with their fellow players!


Alex Tron
Project Manager, Treasurer, 
In-house Legal Counsel

Alex Tron (or "Tron") is the co-founder of JEST Improv, and a recent graduate of USC Gould School of Law. He provides project management and legal counsel for JEST. 


After graduating from U.C. Irvine with a B.A.s in Anthropology and Political Science, he went on to work in tech startups as a Project Manager. It was that entrepreneurial spirit that drove him to start his first business in 2014, Sockstash, a niche fashion business focusing on unique sock designs. With a successful Kickstarter campaign of over $10,000, he was able to run the company for 3 years before transferring ownership. 


In 2018, Tron met the rest of the JEST Improv co-founders, who all officially launched JEST in November of 2018. After helping to get the program off the ground, he took a brief hiatus to attend law school, but as much of the world went remote due to the pandemic, he was able to return to the Ventura County area and help continue with classes. 


In addition to his roles within the organization, Tron likes to teach improv for those who don’t want to be actors, and uses his business experience to communicate the value of improvisational thinking with professionals at corporate workshops.

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Dawn Balk
Director of Operations

Funny business and show business combined to make a baby who was born in Chicago and would grow up not only addicted to endless viewing of 20th century TV comedy, but also the instant high a performer experiences from laughter and applause. As a young person, Dawn was cast in many performing groups and attended several summers of intensive theater training camps before earning her BA in Communications/TV production from Columbia College Chicago.


Her show biz interests blossomed into a long career both in front of, and behind the camera, creating many large scale corporate, industrial, commercial and educational video productions. After a couple decades of brutal but character building
Chicago blizzards, Dawn headed south to St. Louis, MO and continued her media creation pathway for a while longer.

Finally, after having her fill of the Midwest, Dawn headed out to California and re-connected with her performing roots when she stumbled into the very second drop-in class ever offered by the newly formed, JEST Improv. Little did she know at that time, she would soon be bitten once again by the performing bug – but this time it would be with a lot of heavily woven layers of life experiences under her belt to draw from, often resulting in comedy gold.

Dawn has been with JEST since its founding in 2018, and is currently a member of the performing group, and of the teaching staff. She is intent on endlessly spreading her Improv mania to guffawing audiences and aspiring performers.

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Chris Howard
Co-Marketing Director, Media Coordinator

Chris came to improv in an unconventional way as most of his experience with performing came from his time as a musician. Finding a new passion for improv with Jest was love at first sight. "I remember thinking: “It was like being slapped in the face. I went to a show and thought, that looks frightening. I want to be up there with them! I immediately started classes and it’s been more fun than I could have hoped for."

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