John is a patent, trademark and copyright lawyer. Before law, he was an aerospace engineer. John holds a bachelor engineering degree from Duke University, an advanced degree from Ohio State University, and a law degree from Washington University. In 2005, John celebrated the 10th anniversary of his solo law practice in Springfield.
Octarium’s Artistic Director and General Manager Krista Lang Blackwood possesses a diversity of education and experience that helps make Octarium one of the freshest vocal sounds in choral music. Octarium’s philosophy is one of chamber musicians, exemplifying the concept of “musical synergy,” and singing with such combined artistry that phrasing, breath, nuance, and dynamics all happen spontaneously.
An accomplished mezzo-soprano herself, Blackwood has toured internationally as a soloist, performing a wide range of musical genres, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in All-level Vocal Music Education, Masters’ degrees in Vocal Performance and Musicology and a Doctorate in Voice.
Margaret Castrey was a lonely bookworm who turned a childhood love of reading and writing stories into a 35-year career. She has found that most people have something they want to say, and that many of them need help saying it. Maggie has made her living writing or editing magazine and newspaper articles, books, videos, DVD, Website and kiosk interactive media, hospital direct mail marketing programs, public relations campaigns, and various print projects that have won regional, national and international awards. Her clients have included individuals, not-for-profits, national and regional publications, corporations, schools and universities, and government agencies. She lives in Springfield.
Raymond Castrey has been studying music for most of his life, and pursuing a musical career almost as long. He is a performer, composer, teacher, facilitator, and student dedicated to exploring relationships and creating community through music. He has special interests in arts integration, interdisciplinary arts, and drumming and recreational music making activities.
Ray lives in Springfield and is presently a faculty member of the Missouri Fine Arts Academy, and is an emeritus member of the Theatre and Dance Department at Missouri State University. He is pleased to return for this year’s SEA Conference.
After graduating from Drury University, John Dillon became a founding member of the band The Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Two years later, the band was signed to A&M Records, and had their first hit "If You Want to Get to Heaven" a song John co-wrote. Their second album "It'll Shine When It Shines" included the song that would go #1 worldwide, "Jackie Blue.” While at A&M, the band recorded eight albums, selling millions, and earned gold records in the US and Canada.
?John's insider knowledge of the music industry, his talent as a composer and a lyricist, and his years of experience performing on the road give him a deep understanding of the relationship between art and business.
Nathan Falter co-owns Springfield Pottery, a community clay center and fine craft gallery, with his wife Jennifer. He earned his BFA in ceramics and drawing from MSU, an MFA in sculpture and ceramics from the University of Delaware, and is an adjunct professor in the Department of Art at MSU. In 2006, Nathan went on to establish the Springfield Claymobile program to provide a dynamic ceramic educational outreach program to serve communities in the Southwest Missouri area.
Nathan’s has work in galleries and private collections both regionally and internationally. He is both a potter and sculptor who enjoys making both functional pots and large sculptural pieces. Nathan tries to balance the sculptural potential of the objects with the requirements for everyday use. His work appears in The Ceramic Design Book (Lark Press, 1998), and in 500 Pitchers (Lark Press, 2006).
As CultureWaves™ WaveMaster and Chief Insights Officer for NOBLE Communications, Andy Ford provides thought leadership to one of the agency’s most dynamic and growing disciplines – CultureWaves.
Ford is a trained observer of the effect that lifestyle choices, demographics, media bombardment, education, and experiences have upon the world’s diverse population. His job is to fit in with – and infiltrate – a variety of groups, giving him a unique perspective on social and brand interaction.
As WaveMaster, Ford works in close association with the CultureWaves creative laboratory where consumer insights are tracked 24/7 via a proprietary virtual landscape. He stays plugged into the heart of consumer trends by monitoring their exploration and experimentation. He then translates this in-the-trenches experience for clients, helping them understand the purchase and consumption behavior of their target audiences A few brands for which he has translated waves include Doritos, Taco Bell and Auntie Anne’s.
Ford is a publisher of the Internet blog afordrunning.com and the Wave Master’s blog on the CultureWaves website.
Karen Gunderson is a native of Racine, Wisconsin. She received a BS in Education from the University of Wisconsin, followed by masters’ degrees in both Painting and Intermedia. Karen has held teaching positions at institutions across the United States, including Cornell College, Ohio State University, N.Y.U, and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Furthermore, her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at venues such as William Siegal Art Gallery in Santa Fe, NM; Clamp Art and Artists Space in New York, NY; Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Spain; and the Government of the Ministry in Sophia, Bulgaria. Karen currently resides and works in New York, NY.
Russ is a graduate of Ringling School of Art & Design one year after the launch of Macintosh. He is skilled at solving marketing challenges through the use of advertising and design. He is married to Jann (a Springfield, MO native) and together they have two children, one dog and one cat. Over the years Russ has worked with a wide variety of clients including: Cartoon Network, MTV, World Championship Wrestling, Kroger Grocery Stores, Paramount Home Video, The Home Depot, Georgia Pacific, Fox Home Entertainment, Murney Associates, and Bass Pro Shops.
Jeff Jenkins is the founder and Executive Director of The Skinny Improv, as well as the Executive Director of the Gillioz Theatre. He graduated from Evangel University with a degree in Drama, and has over a decade of professional Improv experience. Jeff is a graduate of the I.O. Training Center in Chicago, IL, where Chris Farley, Tina Fey, and Stephen Colbert studied (formally the Improv Olympic) and has also studied with the Four Day Weekend Training Center in Ft. Worth, TX, and traveled the country with Isaac Improv. Jeff can be seen in The Jeff Show with Jeff Houghton and several other long-form groups at The Skinny Improv and in their award winning Mainstage show. He also coaches and teaches at the Skinny Improv Training Center.
Jeff is a nationally recognized speaker and provides corporate training using improv techniques. In 2006 he was elected to Springfield Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40, and selected as GO Magazine’s Person of The Year. He can also be seen in several commercials and voice work for companies such as Silver Dollar City, AG Sunday Schools, Fine Arts, The Missouri Film Alliance, and Springfield Parks and Recreation. He is also the founder and Artistic Director of The Springfield Playhouse, an interactive theatre for children.
Jeff also serves as President and CEO of UpSide Down Creative Group, a 501(c)3 company that helps organizations develop the creative side of their business through the theatre arts.
Leah Hamilton Jenkins serves as the Executive Director for the Springfield Regional Arts Council, serving Springfield and 27 counties in Southwest Missouri. The Arts Council works closely with area organizations and individual artists to provide direct resources regarding arts funding, networking, professional development opportunities, advocacy and marketing including social media.
Jenkins was named 40 under 40 by the “Springfield Business Journal” in 2009 and currently serves on the board of Missouri Citizens for the Arts, the Urban Districts Alliance as well as Missouri State University's College of Arts and Letters Advisory Board. She is an active professional singer and musician and married to Jeff Jenkins, owner and founder of The Skinny Improv and Executive Director of the Gillioz Theatre in downtown Springfield.
Herman Johansen is a Kansas City based actor, director and writer who has acted in shows as diverse as My Fair Lady, I’m Not Rappaport and American Buffalo. Kansas City acting credits include The Front Page, Omnium Gatherum, Fiddler on the Roof and Copenhagen. Work at the Great Plains Theatre includes Noises Off, Of Mice and Men and Harvey. At the Black Hills Playhouse he has appeared in Moon Over Buffalo, The Boys Next Door, Brighton Beach Memoirs and The Sugar Bean Sisters (with Marcia Wallace). Directing credits include Agnes of God, Our Town, Sweet Metigoshe, Home Safe and My Name is Rachel Corrie. Herman has been in numerous TV and radio commercials.
Matt Lemmon is the Digital Director for Whitaker Publishing, a Springfield-based magazine publisher that produces the titles “417 Magazine”, “417 Bride”, “417 Home” and “Branson Vacation Magazine”, along with a host of websites and commissioned projects, including the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau's annual Community Guide.
After graduating from Drury in 2002 with a Bachelor's degree in journalism, Matt worked at the Springfield News-Leader and the Christian County Headliner as a copy editor and reporter, respectively, before joining Whitaker Publishing in 2005 as the editor of GO Magazine, a bi-weekly entertainment tab. In 2007, he added the title of Web Editor, taking responsibility of all of the company's online content—both mag-to-web and original.
After graduating with his Masters in Business Administration in summer 2009, Matt was promoted to Digital Director for Whitaker Publishing. He is responsible for day-to-day content and readership growth on the company's sites—primarily 417mag.com—and also for online revenue growth by developing online advertising and sponsorship opportunities, helping sales people monetize the company's online assets, and tracking readership trends to target the proper advertising audience.
With his experience as both an editor and a business-side manager, Matt has a unique perspective on the interaction of both sides of the publishing coin, and he hopes to share some of that perspective with you this weekend.
Nick Sibley came to Springfield from El Dorado Springs in 1971, and graduated from SMSU in 1975 (spending his sophomore year at Drury College). Nick started writing jingles in 1974 and playing in bands at night. He started with a home recording studio and moved into 412 S. Campbell in 1982.
Nick is married to Tina Sibley, and has three grown daughters and a six year old son. Hobbies include music.
Mark Steiner grew up in rural New Jersey. Out of high school he went on a national tour for the children theatre troupe “The Robin Hood Players.” Upon finishing that run he moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting. He worked for ten years in film and television as both an actor and running a craft service (catering) company on movie sets. After moving to Connecticut in 1994 and ending his film career he began working as booking agent for nostalgia and jazz acts. In 2001 he started his own talent booking agency, Steiner Talent and a few years later co-founded the largest online talent and event related website, GigSalad.com. He relocated to Springfield, MO, his wife’s hometown, in 2004 where they wanted to raise their two children.
Dr. Kelley Still is in her 15th year at Drury University. Prior to that, Kelley worked in public accounting, corporate accounting, and as a consultant, during which time she attended Drury University as a graduate student in the MBA program. Dr. Curt Strube, the late director of the business school, encouraged her to obtain her PhD and return to Drury as faculty. Kelley’s teaching areas are primarily in tax, financial statement analysis and management decision analysis. She annually directs the free income tax service for low-income and senior citizen taxpayers provided by Drury accounting majors.
Furthermore, Dr. Still was one of the founders and the first director of the Arts Administration program at Drury University. Her scholarly interests center around tax policy and the development and use of integrative cases in the classroom. She has also published in the area of service learning, which she heavily utilizes in her courses. Kelley has an active consulting practice and frequently provides mediation, special master and litigation support services to the legal community. She also has been an active member of the arts community in Springfield, and has served on the boards of the Springfield Regional Opera, Artsfest, and the Chamber Orchestra of the Ozarks.
Greg still believes he made the right choice 25 years ago when he switched from a successful medical sales job to that of a photographer.
He has traveled to over 25 countries in the course of his career and routinely shoots for magazines ranging from Time and Newsweek to Wine Spectator, and Shape. He currently enjoys shooting lifestyle, travel, and food images and has won advertising awards for many of the projects on which he has worked. His commercial clients include: Hyatt, Budweiser, Jack Daniel's, Kraft, Nike, Coke, and State Farm.
Currently living in St. Louis, he is always interested in learning new things….currently, it's beekeeping, molecular gastronomy, and foreign language.
Judy Young is the author of children’s award-winning poetry, fiction and nonfiction picture books. The Lucky Star is a 2010/2011 Show Me Award Nominee, Minnow and Rose won the 2010 Storytelling World Award, and R is for Rhyme, A Poetry Alphabet has received numerous awards including the 2008 Mom’s Choice Gold Award. Judy has six other children’s books published and is a frequent speaker at schools and educational conferences nationwide. Judy resides in Springfield, MO, with her husband, Ross, who illustrated Judy’s Show Me books. Visit Judy at www.judyyoungpoetry.com.
Classical guitarist John Waldo has been featured live on network affiliated television. His recordings on the Blair Works label have been broadcast on classical music stations throughout North America. He has served as Artist-In-Residence for public elementary school students and appears regularly in Taizé format worship services.
Tom Whitlock was born and raised in Springfield, MO. As a drummer, he played in many bands and on many recording sessions. In 1977, he was signed to his first recording contract with Mercury Records. In 1983, Mr. Whitlock became a recording engineer in Los Angeles, CA, focusing primarily on film scores and songs for movies such as Scarface, Beverly Hills Cop 1 and 2, and many others.
In 1985 he co-wrote five songs for the movie Top Gun. In 1986, he was awarded a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for his lyrics to the song “Take My Breath Away.” Mr. Whitlock has written or co-written many other hit songs, including “Danger Zone” from Top Gun, “Meet Me Halfway” for Kenny Loggins, and the official themes for the Olympics in 1988 and the World Cup in 1990. Mr. Whitlock owns and operates a private recording facility and a music publishing business. He continues to write, record, and license his works for film, television, and commercial use.