Gary Solomonson – Interim Chair
For the past 53 years, Gary has worked with many teams in the senior living industry to help create exceptional living environments, working in the areas of design, management, sales, marketing, life enrichment, fundraising and volunteerism throughout the US and UK, offering independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing. His leadership style has always been one of empowerment for all team members, helping them create tools to be successful in their work, careers and personal lives. During these decades, he has also developed volunteer programs and taught sustainable fundraising and resource development initiatives… Read more
Nicole Bartelt – Secretary
Nicole Bartelt is a Manager at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), and currently is the Bridge Planning and Hydraulics Engineer. Nicole has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering, both from Michigan State University. Nicole serves on the Board of the Society of Women Engineers Minnesota Section, as well as on the Stillwater Area High School Project Lead the Way Community Advisory Board. She is an advocate for education and outreach in all forms, having served as the STEM Education and Outreach Liaison for MnDOT. She lives in Oak Park Heights with her husband and 2 children. Her son found his passion in music and theatre, and has participated in numerous Zephyr Theatre productions. This pushed the whole family to join in supporting and championing this wonderful theatre, and to provide a connection between the Zephyr Theatre and young families. Nicole joined the Board in June 2019 and currently serves as the Board Secretary.
John Grzybek – Treasurer
John Grzybek, Vermont Law School, J.D. cum laude; B.A. Central Connecticut State College; former Chair of Clean Water Action (501(c)(3)), Minnesota; former Chair, Sierra Club, North Star Chapter, Minnesota (501(c)(4)); former member of the Highland District Council (elected position) Saint Paul, Minnesota; former member of Saint Paul’s Energy Consortium ((501(c)(3)); testified before Congress, Minnesota State Legislature (Senate and House) on a variety of environmental and legal topics; appointed by the Saint Paul City Council as member of the Mississippi River Critical Area Task Force; appointed by Saint Paul School District Board as member of a Citizen Budget Review Committee; appointed by Saint Paul School District Board to chair Special Committee to examine school issues; former University of Minnesota Law School adjunct professor teaching appellate brief writing; Hamline University teaching litigation discovery process and procedures; co-author of law review articles; author of Minnesota’s Anti-SLAPP statute (Strategic Litigation against Public Participation) Minnesota Chapter 554.
Robin serves as the Executive Director of the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce since 2016. Prior to that she worked 12 years in local and state government, 8 years in global consulting, and 6 years as a small business owner building a business from the ground up. In her prior life she taught marching band and drum and bugle corps for 15 years, where she also performed herself in the LaCrosse Blue Stars and other organizations. She is a self-starter and team-player fostering collaboration and is proud to serve her community. Robin is a 2019 graduate of Institute for Organizational Management, a US Chamber leadership program. She has passion for music, the arts, and our community.
She has lived in Stillwater for over 26 years where she raised her two children, Nicole and Tyler; both also performed in the LaCrosse Blue Stars for many years. Nicole is married and a teacher at the Hudson WI Middle School. Tyler served and performed 8 years in the Commandant’s Own Drum and Bugle Corps, US Marine Corps and currently is serving in the Stillwater National Guard MP Unit and law enforcement. Robin is excited to bring the Zephyr Theater to the Stillwater area to provide a positive economic impact for the businesses and to enrich the lives of our community.
James F. Beck
Jim was born on a livestock and cropping farm in NW Ohio and is a graduate of Ohio State University majoring in the field of Agriculture. Jim achieved a 30 year corporate career in the Agricultural Seed Industry with Cargill Inc. (23 yrs.) and Novartis / Syngenta (7 yrs.). At the age of 51, Beck engaged in an entrepreneurial business in the area of Dairy Cow Management Software for 10 years. Beck was an innovator during his working career and has been issued as inventor a total of 8 patents during his business career.
Jim currently resides in Oak Park Heights MN. He has two daughters, both RN nurses that live in the Metro area. Jim is semi-retired sharing time with retirement activities, friends and family and the capturing of photographic images daily.
Beck is a recent addition to the Board of Trustees of the Zephyr Theatre Group of Stillwater MN and spends a portion of his time as a volunteer in support of the Zephyr Theatre. In 2018, he launched a photography business, Prescription Art Images. He is currently booking exhibitions of his photography in the greater St Croix Valley Area.
Dr. Gary Bird
Dr. Gary Bird, Retired Professor Emeritus of Music from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls (1968), Master of Music from University of North Texas (1971) and a Doctor of Music from Indiana University, Bloomington (1992). He is presently an adjunct Professor of Music at UW-River Falls. In his professional career he has been the conductor of the following Musical Theater productions: West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Fantasticks, The Pirates of Penzance, Working, On the Town, My Fair Lady, Hair, Cabaret, Into the Woods, Kiss Me Kate, A New Brain, Candide, A Little Shop of Horrors, Guys and Dolls, Joseph and His Technicolor Dreamcoat, Gigi, Lady Be Good, and Jacob’s Ladder.
Rachael Harvey is a real estate agent with Edina Realty and has her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University Of Minnesota Carlson School Of Business. Rachael was previously with Seagate Technology and Control Data selling hard drives to OEM manufacturers including Cray Research, Silicon Graphics and Gateway. She is an avid skier and has been on the National Ski Patrol for 48 years. She is on the Board of Bayport Marina, and an Ambassador for the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce. She has volunteered her expertise to many organizations including Past Commander of the St. Paul Sail and Power Squadron and does vessel safety checks on the St. Croix River, the Board of Women’s Business Bridge and an Ambassador for Valley Outreach. Rachael has also acted at The Phipps and the Lowery Lab and volunteers at the Guthrie Theatre. Rachael is currently leading the volunteer efforts for The Zephyr Theatre.
Michael’s efforts to support the Zephyr stem from the cognitive benefits he sees the arts provide, while testing comfort zones of the individual. His creative interests were refined early through acrylic painting while attending Stillwater High School. In 2014 Michael began piano lessons revealing a hidden talent for improvisation, quickly composing many original pieces…even rewriting a Satie classic within five months and performing at the Phipps twice by invitation. He leads an innovation practice centered on civic issues, with ‘sustainability’ being the current focus.
Kathie holds a BA degree from the College of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN She has enjoyed many years of volunteer work from the days at school while raising her two boys, to now serving her church community. She has held many volunteer positions over the course of 20 years working with the North Star Winter Color Guard and the Govenaires Senior Drum and Bugle Corps. She currently resides in Mahtomedi with her husband, Dean. They
have a total of 4 children and 12 grandchildren. She is looking forward to offering her time and talents to this endeavor.