Meet Our Advisory Board
Deborah Barnard's Db Studio is at Barnard Griffin Winery, which she co-owns with husband Rob Griffin. At the studio, which focuses on warm fused glass, she teaches classes and creates architectural art and fine-art glass pieces. Her work may be seen at Allied Arts and the winery.
Kyle Cox is the executive director of our region's award-winning public library, Mid-Columbia Libraries. He serves as chairman of the Tri-Cities' Brand Implementation Taskforce, tasked with revitalizing our region through a new, integrated branding strategy for a bigger, bolder, and brighter Tri-Cities. He is past-president of Leadership Tri-Cities. A lifelong arts advocate, Kyle has volunteered and performed with Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre, the Academy of Children's Theatre, and Mid-Columbia Ballet.
Deb Donahoe has been active in the Tri-Cities arts community for more than 20 years. She has directed shows for Enteprise Middle School, Hanford Middle and High Schools, Richland Players, Mid-Columbia Musical Theater, Academy of Children's Theater, Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, and several churches. She retired from teaching after many years as a librarian, and history and drama teacher.
Chuck Eaton served as Chair of the Arts Center Task Force, and later as Membership Chair, before joining the Task Force's Board of Advisors. His professional background is in the social services, but, as a trombonist, he is active in the arts community. Chuck has served on the Richland Arts Commission and the board of the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers. He is currently on the board of the Arts Foundation of the Mid-Columbia.
Ellicia Elliott is the co-founder and artistic director of The Rude Mechanicals, a new Shakespeare and Shakespeare-inspired theatre company in Eastern Washington. She holds a BA in Theatre Arts Education and an MA in Theatre Production, both from Central Washington University. Before starting The Rude Mechanicals, Ellicia taught in the public school system for thirteen years and has directed over fifty productions in educational theatre programs and local community theatres.
Robin Emmingham is the retired Executive Director for Support Services in the Richland School District. He is now President of Community Concerts of the Tri-Cities and a volunteer mediator for our local Dispute Resolution Center. Robin was the first drama teacher at Hanford High School and the former President of the Board of the Richland Players. Robin is a lifelong promoter of all performing arts.
Bob Ferguson has over 50 years of management and technical experience in both government and private sectors. He was Chairman of the Tri-Cities Industrial Council and its successor, the Tri-Cities Industrial Development Council.
A senior leader at the U.S. Department of Energy in Richland, Colleen is responsible for working with the National Park Service and the community to define and create Hanford's portion of the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park. She also manages the project to preserve and open to the public the B Reactor National Historic Landmark, which is drawing more than 11,000 visitors to the site each year. She is an accomplished and enthusiastic supporter of historic preservation and heritage tourism, and hopes to help link the vision for the Mid-Columbia Performing Arts Center to the new National Park and other outstanding and unique community resources.
Ed Frost was the Manager of Transit Development at Ben Franklin Transit for 27 years. He served on the Kennewick School Board for 12 years and the Kennewick Planning Commission for 4 years. He is a founder of the Mid-Columbia Literary Festival and an active participant in the Port of Kennewick's Vista Field planning process.
Mike Lawrence retired at the end of 2010 after 42 years of management of nuclear programs in the public and private sectors, including DOE Manager of Hanford from 1984 to 1990 and Managing Director of the United Kingdom's National Nuclear Laboratory in 2009-10. From 2003 to 2006 he was Chairman of the Arts Center Task Force and believes that establishing a sustainable Performing Arts Center in the Mid-Columbia is an important step in the cultural development of the region for both residents and visitors.
Lori is President and CEO of the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, the 5th largest Chamber in the state of Washington. She is passionate about working with community stakeholders to build a strong local economy and increase our quality of place. Lori is the past chair of the Washington Chamber of Commerce Executives and serves on the boards of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, the Association of Washington Business, Benton Franklin Workforce Development Council and Visit Tri-Cities.
As Dean of Arts and Humanities at Columbia Basin College, Bill is deeply involved in all phases of the arts. As a pianist, he also performs regularly with various local and regional ensembles. As an arts administrator, he has served for six years as a commissioner for the Washington State Arts Commission and has been a member of various community and State boards.
Scott currently sings with Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, is a long-time instrumental musician (trumpet and French horn), and is a supporter of all the arts in the community. Scott is partner in a Kennewick law firm and has also worked in the pharmaceutical and health care industries.
Jason is currently a band and orchestra teacher at Richland High School. He is also Principal Clarinet of the Mid-Columbia Symphony, and a member of the Richland School District Faculty Saxophone Quartet.
Mike has a long history of public voluntary appointed and selected involvement. He has served on a school board, on governor-appointed agency boards and non-profit boards. Among these are Tri-Dec, Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau and WSU-TC Advisory Council. He was named Tri-Citian of the Year in 2008. Mike has more than 35 years of technical and management experience in government, non-profit, small business and corporate settings.
Kathy Andrews Smith
Kathy is a Lead Budget Analyst at the Richland Department of Energy office. She most recently served 10 years on the Board of Trustees of the Academy of Children's Theater, serving as Secretary, Treasurer and Vice-President. Prior to that, she was on the Boards of Richland Light Opera, ARC, and the Three Rivers Children's Museum.
Bob Tory has been Governor/General Manager of the Tri-City Americans Hockey Club since 2001, and has an extensive background with various hockey teams in the U.S. and Canada. He has a wide acquaintance in the Tri-Cities community.
Artis is a professional artist featured in many gallery shows and collections. She has served as: Commissioner, Washington State Arts Commission; long-term president of Arts Center Task Force and Mid-Columbia Arts Council; member, Mid-Columbia Symphony Board; member, Benton County's Task Force for Jail Upgrade; and member, Richland City Arts Commission. Artis has also served as juror for many juried shows among the regional public schools.
Kris Watkins is the President & CEO of Visit TRI-CITIES, a non-profit destination marketing organization that represents Kennewick, Pasco, Richland and West Richland . She is Past President of the Washington State Destination Marketing Organizations Association and serves on the boards for Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA), TRIDEC, Benton Franklin Council of Governments, Hanford Reach Interpretive Center Foundation and the City of Kennewick's Blue Ribbon Commission. Kris is a strong advocate for the arts community and works to increase awareness by promoting the Tri-Cities as a premier visitor destination.
Kirk is a communications professional with a strong background in strategic planning, community engagement, media relations and issue/crisis management. He has been involved in several local non-profit and service agencies. These include Domestic Violence Services of Benton/Franklin Counties, Tri-Cities Family Emphasis (a Kiwanis project), and Tri-Cities Water Follies.