Board of Directors
Sharon has been involved with CPA since 2011 and started on the board as the fundraising chair in 2013. Originally from the Chicago area where she developed her love for theater, Sharon ventured to Minnesota to play soccer at Gustavus Adolphus College she earning her BA while falling in love with Minnesota. After obtaining her MBA with an emphasis on marketing from University of Wisconsin Whitewater, she moved permanently to Minnesota. She has been instrumental in guiding the program expanded programing and into their new home. Sharon also volunteers for the Flips Gymnastics Booster Club and Arts Garden Theater Group. She sits on the board for the Hanifl Foundation as well as the newly established WBL Avenue of the Arts council.
Brooke has been involved with CPA for 5 years. She had been on the board for 3 years a Director of Communication and in an Advisory role. During that time, she developed & managed Marketing collateral, website updates, weekly communication and outside vendor services. Brooke has a BA International Business. In addition, she supports 4H and the High School Golf Booster club.
Jennifer discovered CPA three years ago when her daughter Lucy joined " rising stars" and was in the performance Mulan Jr. The moment the curtain went up, and she saw Lucy for the first time on stage; Jennifer knew that Lucy was in her element. Jennifer is passionate about her whole family being involved with CPA, an organization that has a role for everyone to help with. What Jennifer loves most about CPA; is helping children of all ages share thier talents and hardwork on stage! Jennifer has a BS degree in Hospitailty and Tourism Management from the University of Wisconsin Stout; and works full-time as a Senior Sales and Training Executive for a cosmetics company. Jennifer is also very involved with St. Peter's Catholic Church and School in Forest Lake; where she holds several volunteer opportunities such as: vacation bible school teacher, church lector, and serves on the Home and School Board. Jennifer resides in Forest Lake, MN and with her husband Michael, daughter Lucy, and puppy Cash( as in Johnny Cash) Lucy's favorite singer!
After many years in the corporate world as a executive assistant, a lay-off made Shari realize what she had been missing with her family life and the time donated to the community. She decided to align herself with non-profits and to give back to her community. Since then she has been heavily active with many roles in the Girl Scouts. She also does work with a women's shelter, food shelf, back pack program, Mana market and is a leader of her small group religion class. She is passionate about helping organizations centered around children. She has helped individuals, businesses, and non-profits with fundraising such as golf tournaments, dances, dinners, crafts show, raffles, and direct solicitation.
Blaine approached CPA to volunteer to become a board member, seeking an opportunity to give back to the community in support of theater arts education for young people. He earned a Master of Arts degree in theater from the University of Denver, taught high school Speech and Theater, and worked in a variety of roles in professional theaters throughout the Midwest. Since moving to the Twin Cities to be near family, Blaine has become a business and technology leader in the legal administration, software and consulting industries.
I have the been the Director of Community Services and Recreation for White Bear Lake Area Schools since August of 2016. What I love most about my line of work is providing learning opportunities for students, families, and the surrounding community. My department offers programming experiences from early childhood to our senior citizens, and all ages in between. We provide individuals an avenue to explore hobbies and interests, create relationships, and develop skills to enhance the quality of life for them and the community. As I looked for additional ways to serve the community in my role I felt that CPA would be a great fit both professionally and personally. In my personal life my wife and I enjoy juggling the schedules and activities of our two kids. She and I volunteer as often as we can support their interests. Currently our son participates in any sport or activity he can and our daughter, the ham, loves all musicals, dancing, figure skating, and anything she can do to wear a princess dress. I also organize a Thanksgiving run in my home community with two friends to benefit our local food shelf. We're closing in on a decade of work and have raised over $35,000 for the Friends in Need Food Shelf. I look forward to my continued work with CPA!
Sonja joined our board in July of 2018. She graduated with her Master of Fine Arts in Stage Management from the Yale School of Drama and worked both on and off-Broadway for a couple years before deciding that she really missed Minnesota. Since moving back, she has been fortunate to work with a few local theatres to supplement her full time job at Entira Family Clinics. Sonja continues to be a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and is excited to find new ways of being involved in theatre. She’s looking forward to using her skills to help expand CPA while sharing her love of theatre and stage management with children. Sonja lives in White Bear Lake with her dog, Hazel, and loves being back in the Twin Cities!
Noreen, or Nor, joined the board in 2018 with a passion for the arts and a special interest in the continuing success of CPA and the overall arts district. Nor is also currently an Emeritus Board Member for the neighboring White Bear Center for the Arts after completing six years on the board, two as board chair. Prior volunteerism includes eight years on the White Bear Lake Planning Commission and many years volunteering at her two sons' elementary school. She received a Bachelor of Physics degree from the University of Minnesota and worked for many years as a scientist or engineer before switching to a variety of income producing adventures. She deviated from her own path a couple of times to act as Finance Director for United Way and to work in finance at the University of MN. She especially enjoys new challenges, experiences and going to new places; but also loves time here with her family including her five delightful grandchildren. Joining the CPA board is a new escapade and she hopes to apply her knowledge and passion to seeing continued growth for CPA's theater community. She lives with her husband Kevin in Stillwater and they have a 'cabin' by the river in downtown St Paul.
Kate Thomas joined the board in early 2019 to volunteer her time supporting children's access to the arts and their growth through performance. Kate has enjoyed theater since the 3rd grade, when she was cast as Goldilocks in a school production. By day, Kate is a user experience researcher at a large corporation and brings her expertise in writing, editing, and website architecture to the board and Grant Committee.
A former high school English teacher and speech coach, Amy Peterson has always been passionate about youth development and education, especially in activities that foster creativity, confidence, and leadership. She taught for fourteen years before leaving the classroom to devote more time to her own kids and now works part time in non-profit communications when she is not driving her sons to their activities. One of her favorite things is watching her sons perform—in music and theater—which is what drew her to want to be involved in Children’s Performing Arts. With undergraduate degrees in English and Communications, a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing, and a love of literature and writing, Amy is happy to be on the board and excited to help tell the Children’s Performing Arts’ story.
Jess became involved with CPA when her daughters performed in Joseph in 2018, and joined the CPA Board of Directors in Summer 2019. Jess and her husband quickly recognized the uniqueness and specialness of CPA. Beyond the theatre skills development, children are developing personal growth, friendships, leadership skills, and confidence through CPA programming. Bringing inclusive opportunities to all families is a goal Jess has, so that every child can discover their uniqueness. Jess spends her days working for St. Catherine University as an Assistant Professor of Nursing and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Her background includes work in critical care, nursing consultation and editing, parish nursing, research investigator, grant writing, school health, and clinical education innovation and development. Jess and her husband started a community preschool soccer program in 2013; though each of their three daughters participated in the soccer program, they would equally prefer (or perhaps prefer more) to be on stage with CPA!
Kari has been involved with CPA for 7 years and has served on the board in the past for different capacities including Treasurer and President. Dance has been a passion of Kari's since she was 8 years old. From the age of 15, she started working in various dance studios as an instructor. She is trained in tap, jazz, ballet, modern dance, and clogging. She has performed with numerous dance companies including The Canepa School of Dance, Judy Peterson Dancers, Dance Unlimited and others. Currently, she teaches and performs with The Pleasant Valley Cloggers. Her theater experience has grown from performing with dance troupes in community theater in her home town Baraboo, WI. She has served as choreographer for CPA for 4 years. Kari also has a BA in marketing from UMD, and has worked in management for a large company. Currently, she runs her own business providing office support services for marketing and bookkeeping for various types of businesses. Kari is adept at organizing people and systems. She also volunteers and mentors families through the Food Allergy Support Group of MN. Typically, her work involves finding solutions that allow children to be integrated into classroom and extra-curricular activities while supporting their needs. Kari believes in the value of CPA for children. She believes that every child who participates in our programming walks away with a confidence that will be with them for years to come. That having the courage and ability to speak, sing, act, and dance in front of an audience of hundreds is a skill we can all admire.
Agendas & meeting minutes are furnished by request. CPA board meetings are open to the public. To find meeting dates and locations, please see our Calendar.