Photo: Festival Theatre's Board Members are
(Back Row) Don Anderson, Allen Olson, Al Scheideler, (Middle Row) Sydney Paredes, Cherie Ollman , Melanie Nelson, (Front Row) Danette Olsen, Carol Lenhart, Therese Durkin.
Festival Theatre’s Board Leadership Prepares for 25th Year
Festival Theatre’s Board of Directors formally welcomed new board members, recognized their outgoing board president, and continued working on the details of their new organizational models when they met for a year-end board retreat in December, looking ahead to their 25th year of operation in the central St. Croix Valley.
“It’s such an honor to be passed this baton,” said incoming board president, Sydney Paredes. “I deeply appreciate all the benefits that come with living in a place where professional theatre and arts education are alive and well, so serving on this board is a wonderful way to use my experiences in the corporate sector and as a leadership coach.”
Paredes takes over board leadership from Carol Lenhart, who served as board president starting in August 2009. Under Lenhart’s leadership the nonprofit professional theatre company recovered from a severe 2008 operating loss and worked in collaboration with the City of St. Croix Falls under a National Trust for Historic Preservation grant to re-imagine the future of the Civic Auditorium, which is home to Festival Theatre. Through that process, a new operating agreement was crafted as well as the new organizational model.
“This little gem of a theatre company brings a special brand of energy to the Falls area that simply doesn’t exist in most rural areas,” said Lenhart. “It has been rewarding to be part of the leadership effort at Festival and I look forward to serving on the board in a support role to the excellent leadership Sydney brings to the table.”
Completing their terms of service during 2013 are John Driscoll, Jane Kleiss, and Tyler Norenberg. Joining the board during the fourth quarter, with first terms of service carrying them through December 2016 are Therese Durkin, Melanie Nelson, and Allen Olson who will serve as President-Elect.
In 2014, Festival Theatre’s Board of Directors will focus significant energy on the second year of transition to a new organizational model that decentralizes decision-making through a process of using four Action Groups comprised of staff, community stewards and board members. Community members interested in volunteering their experience, energy, and talents to Festival Theatre are encouraged to send a letter of interest to the organization at Box 801, St. Croix Falls, WI 54024.