Doug Meyers – President
Susanna Ellis – Vice President
Nate Baldermann – Treasurer
Veronica Long – Secretary
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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
Board Meetings 2018-19
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 7:00 pm. Board meetings are open to all members. Non-members are welcome at the beginning of each meeting!
Tuesday September 11, 2018
Tuesday October 9, 2018
Tuesday November 13, 2018
Tuesday December 11, 2018
Tuesday January 8, 2019
Tuesday February 12, 2019
Tuesday March 12, 2019
Tuesday April 9, 2019
Tuesday May 14, 2019
Tuesday June 11, 2019
Tuesday July 9, 2019
Tuesday August 13, 2019
About Our Board Members
Note: The date following each board member’s name indicates the year that board member’s current term ends.
Doug Meyers, President (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 nine years. He has previously served as the organization’s Treasurer and three terms as President. During the past season, produced and Tech Directed the Youth Theater productions of Alice@Wonderland, and produced A Pirates Life for Me as well as the main stage production of And Then There Were None. 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, JSO, 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 the organization’s volunteers
Susanna Ellis, Vice President (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.
Nate Baldermann, Treasurer (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.
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 (2019)
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.
Jake Ellis (2019)
Jacob Ellis first enjoyed the technical side of theatre as a student at Western High School, specifically light and sound engineering. He was absent from the theater scene while studying Fire Science at Baker College, but has since gotten involved with Center Stage Jackson helping with props for Arsenic and Old Lace and box office for 1776. Jacob is Fire Fighter 1 & 2 certified, and currently works at UPS and Spring Arbor Lumber. He brings skills to the organization including safety consciousness, previous experience with technical theatre, and a passion for getting things done correctly.
Amanda Frerichs (2021)
Amanda is a life-long resident of the Jackson community and takes such pride in being part of CSJ. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Michigan and is a Director for the Columbia Central Performing Arts (going on year 5!). If voted as a board member, Amanda will work hard to bring creativity to the areas of advertising and marketing. She can see billboards, fliers, and posters and can hear radio spots and tv commercials reaching all members of this great community. The people who dedicate their time to a wonderful CSJ performance deserve to be supported by Jacksonites and beyond, and the people in this community deserve the chance to see high-quality theatre. In addition to her outreach goals, Amanda would really just enjoy the opportunity to learn all of the nuances that go into keeping CSJ alive and well, while also supporting all of its staff members, musicians, and thespians.
Karen Gerring (2019)
Karen Gerring has a degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Michigan University. She taught at the middle school level until the birth of her first child. Karen and her husband now have six children ranging in age from twenty to nine. She continued to teach by educating her own children as well as volunteering in homeschool support groups as well as at her church. Karen and her family moved to the Jackson area about twelve years ago and were happy to discover Center Stage Jackson. She first became involved with CSJ because of her children participating in the Youth Theater. Karen was elected to the board in 2015 and has since served on various committees and has acted as producer and prop assistant. She is happy to again serve on the board to help bring excellent community theater to the Jackson area. Karen hopes to make more people aware of our organization and keep live theater accessible to the community.
Mandee Howard (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.
Wendy Lake (2019)
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 the stage manager: Oz! The Musical, Charleston, A Pirate’s Life for Me and Honk Jr!. She was also the props mistress for the main stage production of Gypsy as well as the upcoming Music Man. Wendy also has experience helping in neighboring community theaters as stage help and with set construction.
“As a member of the CSJ Board of Directors, my goal has been and continues to be to expand into our community insurmountably. I hope to help make Jackson and surrounding areas aware of and more involved with everything community theater has to offer.
In 2018, with the help of a fantastic committee, we organized the 1st annual pulled pork BBQ cookoff to raise money and awareness for Center Stage Jackson. We are COMMUNITY theater, I want to see growth in OUR community and with the heart of volunteers and support from local businesses it’s inevitable and I can’t wait to watch us grow!
Wendy has been employed at Avery Oil & Propane Inc. for 21 years. She needed to find her new niche, and she feels CSJ has fulfilled this for her. “I’m so thankful for friends that have introduced and pointed me in this direction. I have met so many wonderfully talented people and have made some lifelong friends.”
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.