The Board of Trustees
President: Peter R. Teahen
Peter R. Teahen is a Funeral Director, author and a mental health professional. He is president of Teahen Funeral Home and an Adjunct faculty member at the University of Iowa. Peter has been involved in leadership roles in more than forty-seven major disasters throughout the world. He has been recognized for developing mental health programs for the military and international humanitarian aid workers in areas of conflict. Peter is a recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious National Public Spirit Award.
President Elect: Mark Hixson
Mark Hixson is the Business Development Director of Ladco Incorporate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He has 40+ years’ experience in Business Technology, Electronic Technologies, Business Management, and Sound Engineering. He is the past president of the Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival, Director Emeritus for Foundation 2 and currently serves on the HACAP Board of Directors as the Chairman of the Food Reservoir Advisory Council and is a Pastor for PCS Ministries he serves and is passionate about serving his community as a way to bring a sense of community to others and hopefully to inspire others to do the same.
Vice-President: Debra Brooks
Debra Brooks is a native of Cedar Rapids. She is a member of the International Thespian Society and started her acting experience at Jefferson HS. She graduated from Coe for her undergrad work. Debbie taught music in Cedar Rapids Community Schools for over 20 years. She did her post-grad work at UI and Clayton. Debra has been a frequent presenter at both state & national conferences. She attributes her ease in public speaking to groups to her years teaching and as a performer. She was a featured soloist in the original 10 years of “The Follies” (some of her solos were, “Just a Housewife”, “Somewhere Out There”, “Somewhere” from West Side Story, etc.). She also had roles in different Broadway series stage productions at the Paramount Theatre, ie: Lady Thiang in The King & I and roles in Theatre Cedar Rapids productions, ie: Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum under the direction of one of Old Creamery Theatre Company founders, Mick Dennison. She loves volunteering. She has served on many boards locally, and on several state and national boards. She is an accompanist and plays the piano and serves as the accompanist for Orchestra Iowa’s Discovery Chorus & Taft’s show choir, Adrenaline. She teaches private voice lessons and her paintings are shown in art exhibit shows. She spent the last part of her career helping those who are stuck in their careers, business or life as a Life Coach.
Secretary: Kim Kudej
Kim Kudej was appointed by Governor Branstad and confirmed by the Senate on April 11, 2016, to serve on the Council on Human Services which advises the Department of Human Services and its agencies. She retired from the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office, where she worked primarily as a Public Affairs Specialist. During her career she designed, developed, and conducted educational and/or training seminars employing all types of media to disseminate information to the general public or specialized target groups. As a public affairs specialist, she organized and coordinated news media interviews and press conferences to foster communication between the federal government and state local organizations. She worked with IPTV on the show Internet Intruders as well as provided content for their Frontline program The Meth Epidemic. During her career, she planned and implemented more than one hundred conferences on substance abuse. She also set up school assemblies to reach over 30,000 middle schoolers to educate children on staying safe on the Internet.
In addition to serving as Secretary of the Old Creamery Theatre, she is a Paul Harris fellow, and is in charge of programs for Cedar Rapids West Rotary. Kim is also a member of the Older Iowans Legislature (OIL) which promotes the health and safety of Iowans through legislation. She has also assisted with fundraisers for various nonprofits as well as serving on a number of board and civil organizations.
Treasurer: Mike Murray
Mike Murray is a Wealth Advisor with UICCU Investment Services. He grew up in Cedar Rapids and now resides in Amana with his wife Beth and their 2 children. Mike has been an active volunteer in the community. He is a member and past President of the Iowa City Noon Lions Club and currently serves on the Iowa City Lions Foundation. When Mike is not busy attending his children’s activities he enjoys running, biking and golfing.
Currently serves as Executive Dean of the Arts & Humanities and English departments at Kirkwood Community College. Jennifer earned her B.A. from Simpson College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She served as a faculty member and administrator at a number of colleges, including Central College and Mercy College of Health Sciences, before coming to Kirkwood. She is currently the program chair of The Way Up Conference, a conference dedicated to developing women leaders in higher education in Iowa. When not attending visual and performing arts events, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, reading, and home renovation projects.
In 2011, Ron Fielder completed nearly 25 years as the Chief Administrator of the Grant Wood Area Education Agency. Ron is currently a Clinical Professor at the University of Iowa where he is responsible for the school superintendent preparation program. In addition to teaching aspiring superintendents, Ron maintains his interest and activity in futures issues, leadership development, organizational effectiveness & leadership, strategic planning, & systems design. He has consulted with over 100 private and public sector organizations.
Heather Gierut is the Chief Communications Officer, co-founder, and co-owner of Flow Media, Inc. Prior to starting Flow, Heather served for almost 2 years as Community Relations Specialist at Tanager Place and has over 15 years of retail experience. Heather is passionate about the arts and is a strong advocate of the role they play in building a well-rounded community. Heather grew up in the Cedar Rapids area, received her B.A. in Communication Studies (2008) from Luther College in Decorah, and has volunteered her time to actively serve nonprofit organizations in the area, including Catherine McAuley Center and the Economic Alliance through her 4 year term on the ImpactCR board of advisors.
Robyn Meister is a life-long resident of the Cedar Rapids area. Having graduated from Jefferson High School, this is where she chose to raise her two sons and now enjoys being a grandma too! Robyn has a passion for entrepreneurialism and has owned two successful businesses, most recently a children's clothing store. She has been a long-standing volunteer and past member of Junior League. Robyn has taught continuing education classes at Kirkwood in the areas of design and home purchasing and also served on the Planning and Zoning Commission in Cedar Rapids. Robyn found her true passion in real estate. She joined Skogman Realty 18 years ago and has helped hundreds of families purchase their dream homes. When asked what her 'dream job' would be - she confessed being a stand-up comic. Robyn is excited to join the Old Creamery Theatre Board.
John Slusher has lived in the Cedar Rapids area since 1966. He graduated from the University of Missouri with a major in accounting. He worked for Rockwell Collins with various jobs in finance. John and his wife enjoy growing roses, exhibiting roses at rose shows, and judging rose shows. They now grow about 50 roses and at one time had over 250 roses in their yard. They enjoy attending Iowa sporting events and have season tickets to watch 5 Iowa teams perform. Those are football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, wrestling, and softball. John also spends time as a volunteer. John has volunteered to do tax returns as a volunteer tax preparer. He is an AARP tax volunteer. He helps out low income people and retired people by preparing their tax return and submitting it electronically. He has been a tax volunteer since 1983. He works 1 day a week and does about 75 tax returns a year. He also volunteers at his church for various jobs and has worked on various committees. John also enjoys traveling with his wife. They have been on over 20 cruises seeing Alaska, the Caribbean, and the Panama Canal. They also make trips to Branson to see the various shows there.
Mark Van Heukelom
Mark is a Cedar Rapids native who grew up in the performing arts. He currently works as an attorney at Bradley & Riley PC in Cedar Rapids, where he specializes in state planning, probate and trust administration, and real estate. He has an economics degree from Northwestern University and Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Iowa. A husband and father to a young family, he enjoys laughing and giggling with his children.
Program Development Committee:
Erich is a Jefferson High School alum and thespian who has spent the last twenty five years working in the creative industry doing graphic design, illustration, photography, and art direction. Erich is the Creative Director at Direct Impulse Design in Hiawatha and also one of the owners of Studio Reserved, a photography studio located in downtown Cedar Rapids.
Christina received a BFA in Vocal Performance from Carnegie Mellon University and an MA in Educational Theatre from New York University. She is a Master Teaching Artist with the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, and facilitates professional development for the Kennedy Center and Turnaround Arts. She is the Founding Director of Opera Ignite, which has served as an educational collaborator with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Toledo Opera, and Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre. She performed for six years with the Washington National Opera chorus and with companies including Revival Theatre, Mirrorbox Theatre, Pittsburgh Playwrights, Opera Vivente and Pittsburgh Fringe Festival. Roles include Francesca in Bridges of Madison County, Nellie in South Pacific, Monica in The Medium, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Lucy in The Telephone, Agnes in I Do, I Do!, andIsabella in Suor Isabella.
Kathryn Bowery Huang
Kathryn Huang, Costume Designer/Actor, Costume Designer most recently for Theatre CR in Dracula (Intimate Apparel, Dead Man’s Cell Phone), MirrorBox (Future Thinking), Revival (9 to 5, Sunday in the Park with George, Bridges of Madison County, Ragtime), and Cedar Rapids Opera (Grant Wood Operas, Coordinator for Turandot). Actor most recently for RHCR Odd Couple (Female Version) - Sylvie, TCR (Aurora - Dr. Melinda Mason & Ripcord - Colleen), MirroBox (Luna Gale) & Giving Tree Theater (Noises Off - Dotty).
Diviin Huff is so excited and and humbled to be a part of the program development committee for Old Creamery Theatre! She has her Masters in Applied Drama and Theatre for the Young from Eastern Michigan University. Her favorite roles include: 4.48 Psychosis (She/lead); Dreamwell theatre, Straight White Men (Person in Charge); Riverside theatre, Bully (Tanisha); Mirrorbox Theatre, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Ruby Rae/Reporter); ICCT, Blood Moon (Catria); U of Iowa Theatre, Romeo and Juliet (Nurse); ICCT, and Steve Got Raped (Katie); Dreamwell Theatre. Diviin would like to give a special thank yoooou to all the supporters of local art. Teamwork makes the dream work!
My friends know me as L.D. I'm a poet, author, dance educator, improviser, musician, yogi, massage therapist, and antagonist to all ne'er-do-wells. I'm no stranger to the stage having performed extensively in both dance and musical theatre productions throughout the U.S. I am honored to currently serve as a staff member at Nolte Academy, and as a Visiting Instructor of Hip-Hop & Tap at the University of Iowa in the Department of Dance.
Oscar has been a CDRPDS resident since 2001. He’s been in productions with TCR, RHCR THEATER, & CR FOLLIES. He is a member of Oakland Church of the Nazarene and sings on the PRAISE TEAM. He regularly performs the National Anthem for the CR ROUGHRIDERS CR KERNELS and at HAWKEYE DOWNS. (Oscar is a singer-extraordinaire! - Debbie)
Jennifer has been a professional seamstress for 20 years. She has designed & made costumes for Kennedy High School for various plays and Show Choir. She is the seamstress for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Jennifer was a Community Coach for MOPS International for 4 years, and a leader within the organization for 10 years. She was on the Board of Directors for the Belton, Missouri Chamber of Commerce for 3 years. She has lived in Cedar Rapids for 12 years, originally hails from Kansas City, MO She has an associates degree from Kirkwood.
Chris is a technical director, lighting, scenic, and sound designer with over twenty-five years' professional and academic experience. In the Summer of 2018, Chris came to Iowa City to pursue new play development and production with Megan Gogerty. He found a welcoming community and thriving theatre scene to join. He works with Theatre Cedar Rapids, Riverside Theatre and Pyramid Theatre Company of Des Moines. He also serves on the Development Committee with The Old Creamery Theatre. Prior to his work here in Iowa, he worked predominantly in the Southeast. He has served on the boards of the Southeastern Theatre Conference and Alabama Conference of Theatre. He has been honored to be the recipient of the Marian Galloway Award for Contributions to Theatre in Alabama and the national winner of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Special Achievement Recognition for Lighting and Sound Design for his work on Troy University's Two Rooms. Chris also serves as host of the Sunday Sound Salon, a monthly Iowa City based community development event that incorporates storytelling around the music of our lives.
Blake is an Iowa City based double and electric bass player, vocalist, composer & arranger, teacher, and bandleader originally from Lisbon, IA who likes to stick his foot in just about everywhere he can (musically speaking). His first vocal jazz record, "it happened.” (released in May 2019) closely follows jazz idioms but has also proven to be only a small part of the bag of tricks Blake brings to the table. He‘s received both his Bachelors of Music in classical double bass performance and Master of Arts in jazz studies degrees from the University of Iowa. Currently Blake holds a position on the Iowa City Jazz Fest talent picking committee. He also plays in the groups Thrio, Dan Padley Trio, River Glen, and the Clinton St. House Band. Blake has had the pleasure of playing with jazz heroes such as Wycliffe Gordon, Ohad Talmor, Carmen Bradford, Dave Pietro, Brett Zvacek, and Dick Oatts. Apart from gigging every weekend Blake is also the general music teacher at the Hiawatha and Cedar Rapids Day Schools. Find him on Instagram, youtube, and FB to learn more.