Who We Are
Board of Directors
Tim Wolff, President
Lisa Stelck, Vice President
Britt Palmedo, Secretary
David Hanks, Treasurer
Tim Black | Robert DeGennaro | Sandy Figge | John Gaeddert | Tod Hamachek
Barbara Lehman | Rob McGowan | Jeanne Meyers | Wendy Pesky | Trina Peters
Katherine Rixon | Judith Smooke | Ryan Waterfield | Sarah Woodward
The Center Staff
Chief Operating Officer
Christine moved to the Valley after attending Colorado College where she earned a BA in political science and art history. Prior to The Center, Christine’s professional experience included 12 years as a marketing manager for Smith Optics. After joining The Center in 2013, she led all aspects of patron development and fundraising events for The Center including the Annual Wine Auction with a keen focus on financial goals and event sustainability. Christine was worked collaboratively with SVCA Board and Center leadership, staff, volunteers, and external service providers to deliver fundraising events that provide exceptional experiences that build patron loyalty to the organization’s mission, programs and case for support. Christine now brings her leadership and strategic vision to The Center as COO to guide the organization’s strategic and operational planning and community vision for the future. Christine previously served as Chair of the Pioneer Montessori Board and is a member of their Advisory Committee.
Kristin Poole has served as Artistic Director at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts since 1997 where she leads programming for the accredited museum whose multidisciplinary approach involves exploring topics of relevancy through visual art exhibitions, humanities lectures and seminars, music and theatre performances. A curator and art historian, Poole also develops exhibitions, lectures and writes on topics related to modernism, American Craft and contemporary art. Prior to joining the staff at the Center, Poole worked as an independent lecturer, consultant, and art historian. Previous experience includes: Director of Chicago International New Art Forms Exposition; Curatorial Assistant, Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago); and Director of Lill Street Gallery (Chicago). She holds an MA in Modern Art History from the University of Chicago and a BA in Studio Art and English from Denison University.
Finance and Database Assistant
After spending the past 7 years in Oregon, Brooke recently returned to the Wood River Valley. She attended the University of Oregon, earning a BS in Environmental Studies and a minor in Business. Brooke’s professional experience has been in building and maintaining databases in the consulting industry. She’s thrilled to bring her skill set and passions together at The Center.
Director of Performing Arts
Kristine has been with The Center since 2000. She has transformed her love of attending live performances into booking and coordinating the winter and summer concert series and in bringing artists (both musicians and dancers) into our local schools. Kristine Bretall is a graduate of Middlebury College in Political Science and Spanish and earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard University.
After spending 12 years in Aspen, Colorado, Holly is a recent transplant to the Wood River Valley. She brings her love of the arts, the outdoors and mountain town communities with her for her role at The Center. Holly’s previous positions as graphic designer and Director of Marketing & Communications at Anderson Ranch Arts Center position her well to bring both her visual and design sensibilities and extensive marketing experience to The Center’s marketing efforts. Originally from Connecticut, Holly graduated from Colorado College with a BA in Art History.
Special Events Assistant
Born and raised in California, Heather moved to the Wood River Valley in 2007. Heather has a BA in Media Arts and a minor in Business, from the University of Arizona. Prior to joining the center, Heather worked in entertainment publicity in New York. She also spent time working in real estate in Southern California. Heather enjoys and has experience in planning catering events from being involved in the hospitality and the restaurant industry.
Administrative Coordinator/Lead Ticket Sales
Hailing from the Washington D.C. metro area, Kelly Eisenbarger comes to us most recently from San Antonio, TX. While in Texas, Kelly worked for the Briscoe Western Art Museum and spent her springs working for the SXSW Music and Film Festival. A former reporter/photographer with a passion for the arts and non-profits she brings a range of experience to the front desk. After a recent visit to the Sun Valley area she fell in love with the people and the culture and had to stay.
Director of Education & Humanities
Katelyn is excited about the opportunity to live and work in Sun Valley’s mountain community. Originally from Colorado, Katelyn graduated from the University of Colorado with a BA in Art History and is completing a MA in Education from Saint Michaels College. Katelyn has spent the last six years in Vermont, as the Adult Programs Coordinator at Shelburne Museum. She also has experience working with the education department at the Denver Art Museum and the Fleming Museum of Art.
Curator of Visual Arts
Courtney Gilbert holds Ph.D. and Master’s degrees in art history from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College. Most recently she worked at the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin, where she coordinated the planning for a major exhibition of Latin American abstract art. Prior to joining The Center, she also taught Art History at Columbia College Chicago, and Texas State University.
Core Company Artist
John Glenn is a founding member of Company of Fools and has served as one of the Core Company Artists since 2000. He has more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of professional theatre. Prior to his time with the Fools, John served as the artistic director of the Barksdale Theatre in Richmond, Virginia and spent 10 years as the associate artistic director for Theatre IV, the nation’s largest touring theatre for children. He started his career as an actor and spent years playing roles at various theatres across the country.
David joins the team at the Sun Valley Center from Richmond, VA. He holds an MFA in Theatre Pedagogy from Virginia Commonwealth University and was first introduced to the valley via Company of Fools back in 2007. You may recognize him from his acting work on stage at the Liberty Theatre. For the past five years David worked as Database Administrator for Virginia Repertory Theatre in Richmond. He and his wife, actor Aly Wepplo, are thrilled to relocate to this magical place free of humidity and traffic.
Education Coordinator and Arts & Crafts Festival Director
Sarah Kolash was born and raised in the Wood River Valley. Sarah received her BA in Spanish from the University of Idaho in 2004 and joined the Center’s staff in 2006.
Joe received his introduction into theatre in 1995 by none other than Company of Fools. A graduate of Boise State University with a degree in Theatre emphasizing scenic design, Joe joined Company of Fools staff in 2006. Since that time, he has built all – and designed numerous – sets for the Company. Joe has been a resident of the Wood River Valley since 1994 and lives in Hailey with his wonderful wife Jen and precocious daughter Ava.
A Sun Valley local, Cole is the veritable “face” of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts. If you are at a Center event you will see him smiling at our will-call booth or pouring wine for patrons. Don’t be alarmed if you see someone giving him a smooch on the cheek! With a background in emerging media and documentary production from New York’s Hunter College, he supports every facet of The Center and encourages his peers in the community to participate on all levels.
Production Stage Manager
A graduate of California Institute of the Arts, KO spent many years in the L.A. area working as a freelance stage manager with a number of theater companies, including the Center Theatre Group. After a long tenure with Universal Studios as an event manager and coordinator, KO followed her soul and moved to the mountains of Idaho where she has happily served as stage manager for Company of Fools since their 2005/2006 season.
Volunteer Coordinator and Company of Fools Administrative Assistant
Kris spent a lot of time in the audience at the Liberty Theatre before she joined the staff at Company of Fools in 2010. She moved to the Valley in 1985 after earning a BA in French Language from the University of California, Davis. She has over 15 years’ experience in the non-profit sector and 20 years in the photography production industry. Kris lives in Hailey with her husband Michael and son Zachary.
Born and raised in the Wood River Valley, Danica decided to try out city life by moving to Southern California. She attended Orange Coast College and transferred to California State University, Long Beach where she graduated with a BA in Art Education and a Single Subject Credential to teach art. After falling in love with the fiber department, she earned a BFA in 3D Mixed Media Fiber and decided to move back home to Idaho.
Core Company Artist
Denise Simone is a founding member of Company of Fools as well as an accomplished director, teacher, playwright and actor with more than 30 years of experience in the world of professional nonprofit theatre. She was the Director of Community Outreach for Theatre IV, the nation’s largest touring theatre for children as well as developing and teaching classes in theatre and creative writing Richmond’s School for the Performing Arts, St. Catherine’s and the Henrico’s Center for the Arts. She also served as an arts commissioner for 6 years for the Idaho Commission on the Arts.
Events and Hospitality Assistant
Born and raised in the Wood River Valley, Esther studied mission work in Belize and Thailand, became an Advanced Underwater Scuba Diver, and then lived and worked for nine months in Australia’s Sunshine Coast. After spending the next four years in New York City, personally assisting four children for a family based on Fifth Avenue and around the globe, she returned home to the valley and to The Center. You could say her world travel and big city culture have developed her artistic sensibility that make a great fit for her role as the Events and Hospitality Assistant.