We're members of the community who love the arts. We'd like to see our performing and visual arts groups have the quality of venue they deserve. We'd also like to see the Tri-Cities have a performing arts center worthy of our growing and vibrant area.
We hope you'll help! The Arts Center Task Force is currently accepting new Board Members.
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. From 2009-2011, Steven was President of the Tri-Cities Habitat for Humanity and has been Senior Warden for All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Richland. He has been a member of the Arts Center Task Force since 2012.
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.
Kavita Patel-Stenoien and her husband own Fast and Curryous, a mobile food vending operation serving the greater Eastern Washington area. She is a West Richland resident, has two children, and currently serves as Treasurer of the Wiley Elementary PTA. Until 2018, Kavita was a financial specialist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory where she oversaw a portfolio of $25M in research grants from multiple government agencies. She had extensive knowledge of PNNL financial operations and worked closely with project managers, scientists, upper management, contracts, and external clients to ensure success throughout project life cycles. Kavita has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Arizona and an MBA in finance from the University of St. Thomas. She worked for five years at one of the country’s premier biomedical research facilities, Baylor College of Medicine, and she was business manager and accountant for Innovative Radiology in Houston, TX. Previously, she served as a Board Member and Acting Director for Greyhound Pets of America in Houston, TX.
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.
Renée Adams was the Arts Center Task Force’s first Executive Director, a position she held from 2018 to 2019. She is currently the Community Engagement Coordinator for The Memorial Foundation in Yakima. A native of Eastern Washington, Renée knows that the arts have the capacity to transform entire communities. Her career spans nearly every component of the performing arts including arts management, dance teacher, and performer. She is a graduate of Yakima Valley College and was President of Leadership Tri-Cities Class XXIV.
Prior to returning to Eastern Washington, Renée contributed to outreach programs for dance companies in Chicago and Portland. The Mid-Columbia Ballet brought Renée on staff in 2016 as Director of Programs and Outreach where she expanded the outreach program to include services to people with special needs, senior citizens, and the K-12 community.
Eva Baroni is a Project Specialist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland. She has been with the laboratory for 27 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.
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.
Zac Mason moved to the Tri-Cities at the age of 10 years old. He has been involved in the arts in our area ever since, including being the lead singer/songwriter in the national touring band Run From Cover for nearly 9 years before they disbanded. Today, Zac is a founder and partner at The Bradley Tri-Cities, and the Client Relations and Marketing Director for Chicago Title Tri-Cities. Zac is a driven entrepreneur in his early 30’s who is passionate about culture and community and is committed to helping Tri-Cities realize it’s potential as a regional and even multi-state attraction for the arts, wine, and great food and drink while also catering to the wants and needs of our local community and workforce.
John McDonald is a Financial Advisor at Waddell & Reed Inc. in Kennewick. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. John believes everyone should be able to experience the magic and talent of the performing arts in a great environment where the artists’ sounds and visualizations are heard and seen in their true form.
John has been an active member of the community since coming to the Tri-Cities in 2001, serving in various volunteer capacities, such as Executive Director for Central United Protestant Church and as Junior Warden for All Saints' Episcopal Church.
Dustin Petersen was born and raised in the Columbia Basin. He is currently a Senior Territory Rep for Ecolab. He was elected to the Quincy City Council in 2013 where he served on various committees and community organizations. He moved to Kennewick in 2017 and is active in his Church and Community. He is fluent in Spanish and holds a bachelors Degree in Political Science with an emphasis in State and Local Government from BYU-Idaho.
Dustin enjoys attending symphonies, plays, watching classic films and spending time with his wife and two children. He looks forward to the day he will get to see his children perform in a Performing Arts Center in the Tri-Cities!
Jennifer Porter is a Program Officer at the Vista Hermosa Foundation. As a newcomer to the Tri-Cities in June 2019, she joined ACTF as a volunteer member of the Strategic Planning Committee. Jennifer is a strong believer in community engagement and also serves on the Habitat for Humanity's Family Services Committee.
In 2018, Jennifer received her PhD in Geography from the University of Washington. As an artist-scholar, she is interested in the role the arts play in community engagement and urban change. In 2016, Jennifer completed a 15x5m mosaic mural in Costa Rica, titled 'Mariposas Contra la Violencia.' She has been a university educator since 2011 and in 2018, while teaching at the University of Washington, she was recognized as an outstanding instructor for her use of assignments that empower students to be engaged members of their communities outside of the classroom.
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.
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.
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. She is a member of Columbia Center Rotary in Kennewick.
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.
Mid-Columbia Mastersingers Representative
Born in Toronto, Canada, Miriam Kerzner came to the Tri-Cities twenty years ago after pursuing her education in political science and international relations from Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario) and the University of Pittsburgh. She has taught sociology and political science at Columbia Basin College for 10 years. She has also taught Hebrew and Latin in the community.
Miriam has performed and produced shows with the Rude Mechanicals, the Richland Players, the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, and the Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre. She serves on the boards of the Columbia Basin Badger Club and the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, is vice-president of Congregation Beth Sholom, and works with the Tri-Cities Interfaith Alliance. Miriam is currently developing an education and outreach committee for The Mastersingers that will include participants from every major arts community in the Tri-Cities.
Mid-Columbia Musical Theater Representative
Bob currently serves on the Board of the Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre (MCMT). He began his involvement with theatre in 2005 as a parent volunteer with drama program at Hanford High School. He has done set and prop design for numerous shows including Thoroughly Modern Millie, Seussical, Little Mermaid, Princess and the Pea, and Guys and Dolls. Bob has served as the For the technical director for MCMT's “Company” and “Next to Normal”.
In his professional career, Bob worked as an engineer and project manager for 38 years. Most of that time was spent as a manager in charge of projects involved with clean up at the Hanford Reservation.
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 Vista Performing Arts Center will be an excellent training ground for many local students considering careers in the many aspects of the performing Arts.
Al currently works for Framatome, Inc. where he has been employed for for more than 40 years as a Nuclear engineer/physicist and R&D project management.