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OUR BOARD

The Board of Directors is made up of members of the community who love the arts. They recognize the need for a performing arts center, and would like to see local organizations and artists work in the venue that they and the community deserve. 

 

Arts Center Task Force is currently seeking new Board Members. To apply, click on the button below to fill out our Board Application. We look forward to meeting you!

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STEVEN WILEY

Chair

Steven Wiley is a computational biologist and project manager at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, where he has organized and led a number of multi-million dollar projects. He is a Laboratory Fellow (the highest scientific rank at PNNL) and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Before joining PNNL in 2000, Steven was a Professor of Pathology at the University of Utah. He has been active in community theater since high school and has done sound design with the Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre and video design for the Richland Players. Steven is on the board of directors of  Columbia Center Rotary and is currently serving a 3-year term on the Richland Public Facilities District. He is a member of Columbia Center Rotary, was President of the Tri-Cities Habitat for Humanity from 2009-2011, and has been Senior Warden for All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Richland. He has been a member of Arts Center Task Force since 2012.

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RICK WALLING

Vice Chair

Rick Walling has been active in the efforts to bring a performing arts center to the Tri-Cities for about 20 years and has been on the board of the ACTF since its incorporation. Starting out as a performer with Mid-Columbia Musical Theater (formerly Richland Light Opera Company), he’s been active continuously with MCMT for over 30 years as a performer, techie, board member and company president. He also performs with the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers.
 

Rick works at PNNL, his “day job” for 30 years, as an engineer/technologist in systems engineering, systems integration, and information management, and including assignments as a project manager, line manager, and individual contributor. Rick has a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA.

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EVA BARONI

Treasurer/Finance Committee Chair

Eva Baroni is a retired Project Specialist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. She was with the laboratory for 30 years and holds an MBA from the University of Washington. She has been an active member of the community since coming to the Tri-Cities in 1983, serving in various volunteer capacities. She is Treasurer for the Mid-Columbia Regional Science Fair, a position she has held since 1986. She is an active member of Christ the King Church.

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SHIRAH THIETJE

Communications Committee Chair

Shirah is driven by a belief that behind every thought-provoking question is an even more fascinating story to tell. Having served in various communications and project management roles during her six years at PNNL, Shirah has followed an intrinsic drive to make connections that paint big-picture insights about the world around us. With an education rooted in the social sciences, she understands the ripple effect belief and perception can exert and is passionate about presenting information that captivates and compels audiences to make more informed decisions in their daily lives. Shirah is excited to join the Arts Center Task Force team and use her communications skills and experience to help make the Mid-Columbia Performing Arts Center a reality.

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JOHN VEYSEY

Facilities Committee Chair

John Veysey is a senior manager with leadership experience in the management of large nuclear fuel, chemical, pulp and paper facilities. He has been employed at Areva in Richland since 2008.  John is a Past President of the Academy of Children’s Theater (ACT) Board of Trustees and is a founder of the IMPACT Day program for Habitat for Humanity (H4H), as well as an industry advisor for Tri-Tech Skills Center.

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BOYCE BURDICK

Mid-Columbia Symphony Representative

Boyce Burdick serves as the treasurer of the Mid-Columbia Symphony Society Board of Trustees. He is a theoretical physicist/nuclear engineer who retired from AREVA in 2010. Since arriving in the Tri-Cities in 1978, he has enjoyed singing with the Columbia Chorale, Oratorio Chorus, Yakima Valley Opera Company, and is currently a member of the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers Symphonic Chorus and the Shalom United Church of Christ choir.

 

Before coming to Richland, Boyce was a Senior Theoretical Physicist at United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford, Connecticut.  He has previously served as president of the Vernon Connecticut Youth Hockey Association and board president of the Mid-Columbia Center for Theological Studies. Boyce holds an MS and doctoral degree from Yale University and a BA in physics from Carleton College.

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Rolland Hofstedt

TRUSTEE

Rolly Hofstedt is a CPA and a senior tax supervisor with Account Sense PLLC in Kennewick. He has more than 30 years of experience in taxation and audits of non-profit organizations. He spent 20 years in public practice in San Francisco before returning to the Northwest. He received his B.A. in Business from the University of Washington, and has a Master’s in Education from Western Oregon University. He currently sings with Mid-Columbia Mastersingers and has performed in local community theater musicals.

Rolly was born in Spokane, grew up in Southern California in the shadow of Disneyland, and attended high school in Honolulu, Hawaii. He enjoys playing his guitar, trying to become a less inept golfer, and spending time with his wife Dianne and their golden retrievers Arya and Maisy.

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REGINALD UNTERSEHER

Secretary

Reginald Unterseher is Music Director and Composer-in-Residence at Shalom United Church of Christ, Richland, Washington. His works are published by Oxford University Press, Walton Music, and on his web site, www.reginaldunterseher.com, through Northwest Choral Publishers. He is Associate Conductor of the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers. He was the Washington State Music Teacher’s Association’s “Composer of the Year” for 2013.

 

Reginald’s compositions are regularly performed throughout the world and have been featured at regional and national ACDA and MENC conventions in the US as well as at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He currently serves as Repertoire & Standards Chair for Men’s Choirs for the Northwest Division of the American Choral Director’s Association, and is in demand as a choral and vocal adjudicator and clinician. Reginald is a past Artistic Director of Consort Columbia (now Mid-Columbia Mastersingers), founder and past Chorus Master of Washington East Opera, and an active member of Male Ensemble Northwest.

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Fundraising Committee Chair

JULIE WILEY

Julie Gephart Wiley has been involved in the Tri-Cities' arts, business, and education since 1979. She grew up in Kennewick and graduated from Kamiakin High School and Washington State University. Julie was an award-winning communications specialist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for 30 years and was named the Laboratory's Woman of Achievement in 2000. She has also served as vice president of Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre (formerly RLOC), and she has directed and performed in many community musical and theatre productions. Julie chaired the 2022 Tri-Citian of the Year event, is on the pastoral care team at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Richland, and serves on the Board of Columbia Center Rotary in Kennewick.

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JESS HOWARD

Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre Representative

Jess Howard serves as the secretary of the board for Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre. Their passion is in handling background details, to allow artists to focus on the art, across a broad section of local theatrical companies. Jess also brings their own art to the stage in the creation and management of props. Their recent involvement includes productions for MCMT, Richland Players, The Rude Mechanicals, Richland High School, and Princess Theatre. 

 

By day, Jess solves technology and facility issues for Educational Service District 123.

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AL WELLS

Mid-Columbia Ballet Representative

Al grew up in a family that have been patrons of local and regional arts communities and has brought his enjoyment of the arts to Richland, WA where he has attended and help produce art for more than 40 years.

Al has been a Board Member of the Mid Columbia Ballet for many years and an active behind the scenes support person for many of the Mid Columbia Ballet performances.  Al sincerely believes that the Tri-Cities needs a modern dedicated theater facility that will provide a venue for local, regional and world class performances.  In addition to providing excellent venue for the arts, the Mid-Columbia Performing Arts Center will be an excellent training ground for many local students considering careers in the many aspects of the performing arts.

Al is retired from Framatome, Inc. where he was employed for more than 40 years as a nuclear engineer/physicist and R&D project management.

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Justin Raffa 

Mid-Columbia Mastersingers Representative

Since his arrival in the Tri-Cities WA in summer 2008, Justin has focused on enhancing the quality of life in his community through arts and culture. In addition to his primary role as Artistic Director of the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, Justin served for several years as Chorusmasters of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Manager of the Mid-Columbia Symphony, and Chorusmaster of the Oregon East Symphony in Pendleton, OR. Justin has also served as an actor, music director and board member with Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre, music director with Columbia Basin College Summer Showcase productions, and Minister of Music at All Saints Episcopal Church in Richland. He is a former board member with the Washington State and Northwest Region chapters of the American Choral Directors Association. Additionally, Justin has been an adjudicator for festivals and competitions for regional music and theatre education associations and is the former chair of the City of Richland's Arts Commission. A South Jersey native proud of his Sicilian heritage, Justin holds a Bachelor of Music degree of Music Education with a vocal concentration from Westminster Choir College in Princeton NJ and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from University of Arizona in Tucson. 
 
Justin is a passionate advocate for the arts and currently serves as the immediate past chair of the board of the Washington State Arts Commission. The City of Richland Arts Commission honored him with it's 2011 award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to the Arts. He was an eight year board member with the Arts Center Task Force in the early 2000's and has now returned to ACTF as the liaison for Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, the current board chair with Leadership Tri-Cities, President-Elect of the Richland Rotary Club, and can be seen as a frequent performer and emcee for many charitable events across his community. He has been awarded as the Washington State 2013 Outstanding Emerging Choral Conductor, the Columbia Basin Music Educators Association 2014 Friend of Music, and is a graduate of Leadership Tri-Cities Class 19. Outside of the arts, Justin is a member of the City of Richland's Board of Adjustment, the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce's Local Government Affairs Committee, and proudly stood as a candidate for public office in 2020. Justin lives with his partner of eighteen years Molly Holleran, singer and voice teacher extraordinaire, in a beautiful 1940s Hanford era Alphabet House in Richland, WA.

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TINA BAUMGARDNER

Trustee

Tina Baumgardner was appointed Market Director of Marketing & Communications for Trios Health & Lourdes Health in December 2020.

Tina comes to Lourdes and Trios from Edmonds, Wash. She served nearly seven years as the Director of Marketing, Communications & Business Development at the Edmonds Public Facilities District/Edmonds Center for the Arts where she was responsible for the marketing, communications, public relations, advertising, community engagement and business development for the organization.

Prior to her role at the Edmonds Public Facilities District/Edmonds Center for the Arts, Tina was the Investor Relations and Administration Manager for Economic Alliance Snohomish County and the Director of Investor Relations and Operations for the Economic Development Council of Snohomish County, where she gained valuable knowledge, skills and experience working with key industry, political, workforce and community stakeholders, investors and businesses of all sizes.

Tina has over 30 years of experience in the private, non-profit and public sectors and a breadth of experience in relationship building, community engagement and partnerships, administration, business development, event planning, communications, sales and marketing.

Prior to relocating to the Tri-Cities, Tina was active in the community and committed to the economic vitality of Snohomish County, WA. She served on the Board of Directors for Soundview School, where she chaired the Governance committee, served on the Marketing and Development committee and the Annual Fund committee. She was a 2013 candidate for the KSER Foundation Board of Directors. Tina is an alumnus of the Leadership Snohomish County program and served six years as chair of the Business and Economic Development Education Day for the Leadership Snohomish County program and also served on the Board of Directors prior to relocating to the Tri-Cities. 

Tina earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre from the University of Washington and speaks Norwegian fluently.

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KELLY PRECECHTEL BRIGHT

Trustee

Kelly Precechtel Bright is the owner and manager of the award-winning Tri-Cities winery, Market Vineyards. She joined the ACTF board of directors in September of 2022 after volunteering on the Fundraising Committee for a few months. Kelly is excited to offer her business management knowledge and her ability to engage a diverse group of professional connections to Arts Center Task Force's efforts to build the Performing Arts Center. 

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JEFF BROWN

Trustee

Jeff Brown is an IT Analyst at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, and has been with them for 37 years.  He received a BA in History and Concentration in Computer Science from Carleton College. He has been an active member of the community since coming to the Tri-Cities in 1983, an active Board member of the Mid-Columbia Regional Science Fair Association since 1986, served on several professional society boards, and is a past member of a Richland School District committee.

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JOEL ROGO

Trustee

Joel Rogo is the owner of the Tri-Cities Academy of Ballet and Music and director of the non-profit Mid-Columbia Ballet. He is active in the community,  as a member of the Columbia Center Rotary and serving on the Richland Public Facilities District Board for 10 years. 

Joel comes to the Tri-Cities with an extensive background as a dancer and stage manager. He began his professional career as a dancer and stage manager touring the East Asia and Australia with DISNEY ON PARADE. It was while working as a dancer and stage manager on the original Australian production of A Chorus Line that he met his wife. Before moving to the Tri-Cities, Joel was the stage manager for 42ND STREET starring Peter Marshall and Constance Towers.

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