Nate BaldermannPresident
Mandee HowardVice President
Aimie SmithTreasurer
Veronica Long – Secretary
Kelly Crippen
Daniel Dye

Susanna Ellis
Karen Gerring

Don LaFollette
Wendy Lake

Doug Meyers
Stephen R. Murphy

You do not have to be interested in being on-stage or backstage in order to be on the board of directors, as we are always in need of those talented in business, organizational development, marketing, and more to help keep this non-profit running smoothly. We are looking for dedicated people who are passionate about bringing theater to the Jackson community, with a variety of backgrounds and talents. Do you know someone that fits this description?  Feel free to forward this information to them and suggest that they contact us for more information about our needs in the upcoming season!

If you or someone you know would like to help Center Stage Jackson in its mission of cultivating, advancing, and promoting the appreciation of dramatic arts in the Jackson community, contact us at admin@centerstagejackson.org!


Board Meetings 2019-20

Unless otherwise noted, all board meetings take place at Jackson’s First Presbyterian Church, 743 W. Michigan Ave, Jackson, MI 49201, on the second Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm.  Board meetings are open to all members. Non-members are welcome at the beginning of each meeting!

Tuesday September 10, 2019
Tuesday October 8, 2019
Tuesday November 12, 2019
Tuesday December 10, 2019
Tuesday January 14, 2020
Tuesday February 11, 2020
Tuesday March 17, 2020
Tuesday April 14, 2020
Tuesday May 12, 2020
Tuesday June 9, 2020
Tuesday July 14, 2020
Tuesday August 11, 2020


About Our Board Members

Note: The date following each board member’s name indicates the year that board member’s current term ends/the year they will be up for re-election.

Nate Baldermann, President (2020)

Nate was first appointed to the Board of Directors in November 2017. He has served as Board Treasurer since that time. Nate plans to help CSJ through continued evaluation of policies and procedures to assist the organization as it continues to meet its mission.

Mandee Howard, Vice President (2020)

I graduated from Jackson Community College in 2004 with an Associate of the Arts, with a focus in Theater and Math.  While a student, I had the privilege to do work study under Sandy DiCesare, Michael Coy, and Dennis Young.  Theater has always been a love and a passion of mine.
I have been actively involved with Center Stage Jackson for over 2 years, serving in a variety of roles on stage, off stage, and back stage.  Two of my 3 daughters are (or have been) involved with Youth Theater, where I have also volunteered in numerous positions.  Those who know me would agree that I am hardworking, dedicated and focused.
Center Stage Jackson has been like a second family to me.  It has been a beacon of light through tough times and has been transformational to my daughter, enabling her to grow in ways I never thought possible. Serving on the Board of Directors for Center Stage Jackson would enable me to give back to the organization that has given so much to my family.   My vision for CSJ is for it to continue to grow, and to enable its members to continuously grow in their skills and knowledge. I would love to see more usage of assistants for production teams and the inclusion of workshop options for individuals that would like to learn more about unfamiliar areas, especially technical and production positions.  The production team members are critical to any production.  Establishing mentorship programs and expanding their knowledge will enable CSJ to be a top-notch theatre group.

Aimie Smith, Treasurer (2020)

Aimie has been a part of Center Stage Jackson since the fall production of Gypsy in 2015, where she stepped onstage and served as choreographer. In addition to serving on the youth theater and marketing committees, she has choreographed seven shows for Center Stage and worked as stage manager for two youth plays under the direction of Bob and Pam Bullock. This season, Aimie is thrilled to announce she will add two more shows to that as choreographer, will serve as director for the fall youth production, and stage manage for the winery show in the spring.
Aimie lives and works in Jackson, working in Compliance at Henry Ford Allegiance Health. She is dedicated to this community and welcomes the challenges serving on the Board will provide. She will strive to make this community theater a welcoming environment where anyone can grow and promote the arts.

Veronica Long, Secretary (2021)

Veronica fell in love with CSJ and the Jackson community during her first production with the company in 2015. Since then, she has served as the Secretary of the Board of Directors, chaired the Membership Committee and been a participant of others, performed in six shows, volunteered for events such as Culver’s fundraisers, was chosen to direct for the 2018-2019 season, and has made many lifelong friends. Veronica has worked on over 50 productions since catching the “theater bug” in middle school, and brings with her almost two decades of experience in different areas including stage managing, lights, sound, props, set building, makeup, directing, and acting. As Chair of the Membership Committee for the 2017-2018 season, she responded to the needs and desires of the organization by creating the CSJ Community Facebook page, organizing workshops of various topics, and putting together CSJ apparel. Veronica looks forward to continued collaboration with the passionate participants of CSJ on growing the company and supporting the arts in Jackson through achievable goals, transparency, and creativity.

Kelly Crippen (2022)

Kelly joined the Center Stage Jackson community in January 2018, when she assisted with props, set design and cast bios for Honk, Jr. A “stage mom,” Kelly has worked on many productions with her daughter at Columbia Central. In June 2018, she fulfilled a lifelong dream of performing in a musical by joining the cast of The Drowsy Chaperone. Kelly is an executive assistant at Amcor Rigid Plastics, where she is chair of the Activities Committee. She has three decades of professional experience; event planning and employee engagement are Kelly’s forte. “As a new member of the Board of Directors, I bring fresh perspective and enthusiasm to CSJ, helping promote theater in our local community. It is my hope to learn all aspects of theater and contribute where my talents can add value. My next personal goal is to produce a show for CSJ.” Currently, Kelly serves on the Play & Directors Selection Committee, the Annual Meeting & Award Ceremony Committee, and she helped host CSJ’s 1st Annual BBQ Fundraiser in July 2018.

Daniel Dye (2022)

Susanna Ellis (2021)

Susanna has been involved in theater since she was seven years old. She enjoys working behind the scenes to make productions (and especially Center Stage Jackson) run smoothly. Susanna has a degree in theater and business and was employed as a stage manager/theater gopher for three years. During the 2015-2016 season, she joined the board and has since served in many capacities including vice president, chair of several committees, co-tech director, stage manager, properties mistress, producer, and more. Theater is Susanna’s passion. She has seen firsthand how being involved in the arts can change lives and help people heal, and she wants to make that opportunity available to as many as possible.

Karen Gerring (2022)

Karen has a degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Michigan University and taught at the middle school level, before becoming a full time home educator. She volunteers at her church and several other organizations. Karen has been involved with CSJ for over six years, first becoming involved through her children’s participation in youth theater. She has been on the board for four years and has served on several committees including, but not limited to marketing, play selection and the newly formed teen theater committee. She has also handled the box office for the past few seasons and produced several shows. Karen has a deep love for theater and has seen first hand how it impacts so many. The performers, crew and the community as a whole all benefit from CSJ.

Don LaFollette (2021)

After graduating from Jackson College and Siena Heights University with a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre/Speech Communication, I traveled to Florida to work at Walt Disney World as a Character Performer and at a resort called Give Kids the World as an Entertainment Coordinator. As far as my traditional theatrical background goes I have done five shows with CSJ and those are Seussical, Back to the 80’s, Shrek, My Fair Lady, and The Drowsy Chaperone along with shows in college and other community theatres. I believe I would be a great asset to the Board of Directors because I work really well on a team and I want to help Center Stage continue to be the best it can be and help it grow to the next level for the Jackson community to love and enjoy.

Wendy Lake (2022)

Wendy has participated with Center Stage Jackson since January 2015. She especially enjoys helping with CSJ’s Youth Theater. Wendy has participated in several youth productions as stage manager. As a member of the CSJ Board of Directors, Wendy’s goal continues to be expanding into our community, getting people involved with everything community theater offers. Wendy reiterates, “We are COMMUNITY Theater!”
In 2018, with the help of a fantastic committee, Wendy organized the first annual BBQ cook-off fundraiser. They just finalized CSJ’s second annual Porkapalooza with huge success! Wendy’s proven marketing & sponsorship skills remain an asset to Center Stage.
Wendy wants to see growth in our community and with the heart of volunteers and support from local businesses, it’s inevitable. She has met so many wonderfully talented people and made some lifelong friendships with Center Stage. Wendy cannot wait to see what Center Stage Jackson does in the upcoming years!

Doug Meyers (2020)

Doug has served on the CSJ Board since 2008. He currently holds the position of chair of the Youth Theater committee, a post he has held for the last twelve years. He has previously served as the organization’s Treasurer and four terms as President. During the past season, produced and Tech Directed the Youth Theater productions of Wagon Wheels a-Rollin’, and produced Rockin’ Robin Hood as well as the main stage production of Peter Pan. Doug believes that the priorities of the organization are as follows (in no particular order):

• Maintain the financial viability of the organization
• Maintain strong relations with our venue hosts (Jackson College, Jackson Public Schools, First Presbyterian Church, Sandhill Crane Vineyards, etc.)
• Select productions that are appealing to the community and economically viable
• Continue to promote awareness of CSJ in Jackson and surrounding areas
• Continue to develop depth in technical positions through training programs
• Recognize the contributions of all of the organization’s volunteers

Stephen R. Murphy (2020)