Board of Directors

Gary Davis Headshot_200

Gary retired from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2011 as Professor of Music and Director of the Honors Program. He was appointed to the UNK faculty in 1990 as Director of Bands and Professor of Brass, teaching private lessons to major and minor low brass students and conducting the UNK Brass Quintet. In addition, he conducted the UNK “Pride of the Plains” Marching Band, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble and taught instrumental conducting. Dr. Davis served as Director of Bands from 1990 to 2004 and Director of the Honors Program from 2003 to his retirement. A native of Lincoln, NE, Gary received his Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music in Trumpet Performance degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He received his Ph.D. in Music Education from The University of Iowa. Prior to his appointment at UNK, he was Director of Bands at Wayne State College (Wayne, NE), Schuyler Central High School (NE) and Instrumental/Vocal Director at Cedar Bluffs Public Schools (NE). Gary is a veteran serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1971-1974. After retiring, he joined the 1733 Barbershop Chorus, the barbershop quartet Patent Pending and the Platte River Singers Chorus. He has joined the Kearney Dobytown Kiwanis Club, Kearney Concert Association, Torch Club International, and was selected into the TeamMates Mentor Program. Most recently, Gary was appointed to the Fine and Performing Arts Small Learning Community Advisory Team for Kearney High School. He continues to conduct high school honor bands and adjudicate music festivals and contests. During his 37-year career as a music educator, he has conducted more than 330 honor bands in 13 states and three Canadian provinces. Gary and his wife Debby have been married for 45 years. They have two grown children and five grand children.

Ann Bauer Headshot_200A native Kansan, Ann has taught music for more than forty years throughout the Midwest. During her career, she directed choirs and musicals in Missouri, Kansas, Arizona, South Dakota and Nebraska. She is in demand as an accomplished accompanist, choral clinician, guest conductor and adjudicator in the Midwest. She finished her career teaching and directing the music program at Kearney High School in Nebraska. She has traveled extensively throughout the world with her choirs. Her experience includes over 50 years playing the organ and accompanying ensembles and soloists in countless churches. At the present time, she is the organist at Kearney First United Methodist Church. Ann holds degrees from Ft. Hays State University, Arizona State University and Kearney State College. Ann has also sung professionally with the Richard Dales Chorale. Ann is the 2014 recipient of the Celebration of Giving Volunteer Award for her service to Kearney. She is currently enjoying time with her 16 grandchildren and 5 children. In her spare time, she works for Tour Resource Consultants, is a substitute teacher, volunteer worker, and avid gardener and supporter of her husband, David, in his many endeavors.

Julie is currently the publisher of the Kearney Hub, the daily newspaper serving Kearney and surrounding communities. She joined the Kearney Hub shortly after graduating from Kearney State College in 1978 and has served the newspaper as its advertising director, general manager and, since 2012, as its publisher. She also served as publisher of the Columbus Telegram from 1995-2000. Her career in journalism has included many leadership positions on the state level with the Nebraska Press Association. She has been a board member of the Kearney and Columbus Chambers of Commerce, Buffalo County Community Partners, Kearney Housing Authority, Kearney Area United Way, Kearney Arts Council, Kearney Family YMCA, CHI Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation and the Kearney Area Community Foundation. In 2015, she was named a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Julie and her husband Dan live in Kearney and plan to remain active as volunteers in the community.

Brian Botsford Headshot_200Brian is a 1995 graduate of Kearney High School and a 2000 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. After 11 years as the vocal music instructor and assistant instrumental music instructor at Bishop Neumann High School, he is now the 6-12 vocal music instructor at Lexington Public Schools. Brian has been an active performer in the Lincoln and Omaha area, participating in groups such as the Omaha Symphonic Chorus, Lincoln Community Concert Band, Lincoln Civic Orchestra, First Presbyterian Church of Wahoo as well as solo music performances. Currently, he is pursuing a Master of Music degree at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Brian has served as the Musical Director for the last three summers for Crane River Theater.

Bob Heiden Headshot_200

A Kearney native, Bob graduated from Kearney High School in 2002. With a passion for the fine arts, he started out performing in musicals at the high school and community theatre level where he discovered his niche: designing, building and painting scenery. He earned a BFA in Graphic Design and a minor in Technical Theater from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Bob has designed and painted sets for many local organizations including Zion Lutheran Church, Holy Cross Lutheran Church and Kearney Community Theatre. He has served in multiple design capacities with Crane River Theater during the last five seasons. When he’s not painting, Bob channels his creativity as an Art Director for Buckle Inc. where he manages the graphic design team for online marketing.

Kathy was born and raised in Kearney. Throughout her education, she was involved in the performing arts. Singing or acting, she credits these early experiences in building her sense of the world and her self-confidence. After graduating from Kearney High School in 1992, she attended the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. Even as a Biology major, Kathy found time to act and stage manage in a couple productions. After receiving a B.S. in Natural Science, she moved to Los Angeles and married her high school sweetheart. While in LA, Kathy received a Masters of Education from Pepperdine University. She taught Middle School Science at Burbank Unified School District until the birth of her son. Her family, including her son Jackson, daughter Eleanor, and husband Jon have split their time between Kearney and Los Angeles. Currently in Kearney, Kathy is excited to be able to contribute her time and efforts in support of Crane River Theater.

Kelly Bartling currently serves as the vice chancellor for enrollment management and marketing at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Prior to joining UNK in 2013, she worked in the Office of University Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as news director, senior news writer, and national news editor. She also served as director of national news for the Office of the Vice President for External Affairs. Before joining the staff at UNL, she was managing editor for the York News-Times, news editor for the Kearney Hub and a reporter for the Lincoln Star and Beatrice Daily Sun. A native of York, Nebraska, Kelly attended Kearney State College as a first-generation college student before completing a bachelor’s degree in news-editorial journalism at UNL. She also holds a Master of Arts in marketing, communication and advertising from the UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communications and has taught courses at UNK, UNL and Nebraska Wesleyan University in marketing, public relations, social media, media relations and crisis communication.

Kim is twice a graduate of UNK – first in 1999 with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and History Education, then in 2004 with a Masters of Arts in Art Education. In between her degrees, Kim taught art for two years at Barr Middle School in Grand Island. Two weeks before walking across the stage to receive her hood, she gave birth to her son Nolan. She has been a full-time mom since, and added daughters Lydia and Morgan along the way. Kim stays very busy outside of the home, having been involved with the Kearney Children’s Museum, Leadership Kearney, several Kearney Public Schools bond committees and superintendent/parent advisory committee, UNK’s Alpha Phi sorority, Kenwood and Park Elementary School PTO groups, multiple Holy Cross Lutheran Church boards and the Museum of Nebraska Art. In addition to her community involvements, Kim teaches fitness classes and coordinates special activities at Just for Ladies Fitness. She also has her own business, Kim Dart Designs, creating customized artwork for people’s homes and businesses. Kim and husband, Lucas, have called Kearney home together since 2001.

Originally from Florida, Lauren has firmly planted her roots in the heart of Nebraska with her family.  Lauren is the mother of six children and has been married to the love of her life, Rob, for over 20 years.  When she is not visiting Disney World or traveling to new destinations, Lauren can be found volunteering her time with the Kearney High School Music Department, the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) and also with Holy Cross Lutheran Church.  Lauren developed a deep love for drama in high school, and she continues to spread her love for the theatre to everyone she meets.  Lauren’s enthusiasm, generous spirit, love of musicals, movies and dressing up come together to make her a perfect fit for the Crane River Organization.

Lee received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration from Kearney State College. She is currently employed at the University of Nebraska, Kearney in the Office of Equity & Compliance, as the University and Research Compliance Manager. In addition to her full-time job, she was an adjunct professor for 8 years, teaching OSHA Construction Safety. Previously, Lee was employed at Coleman Powermate, serving as an active Envoy with the Chamber of Commerce, helping on the United Way Board, and a member of the UNK Gold Torch Society. She actively volunteers with the Kearney Area Community Foundation for the Wine & Jazz Festival, and at the Classic Car Collection, where she and her mother, “play with big dolls”, by dressing the mannequins to the era of cars & seasons. She has two grown children with whom she enjoys spending time with.

Lois and her husband Todd own and operate Kearney Floral Company in Kearney. She has a degree in music education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and has been performing professionally as a vocalist in the jazz group Thalken, Tesdall & Thalken, for more than twenty years. She has been involved in countless area arts organizations including the Kearney Area Arts Council (executive director, board member), Nebraska Arts Council (artist’s review panels), and Kearney Community Theatre (numerous productions as a performer and/or musical director). Some of her other past volunteer efforts include Kearney Public Library Foundation, Kearney Public Schools Foundation, Kearney Community Concert Association, Frank House, Museum of Nebraska Art, and a season judge for UNK theatre productions.

Loralea Frank Headshot_200Loralea Frank was born and raised in Ainsworth, Nebraska. After graduating high school from Ainsworth, she went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2003. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of South Dakota School of Law in 2006, where she was the Managing Editor of the South Dakota Law Review and a member of the South Dakota School of Law Trial Team. In 2006, Loralea moved to Kearney with her husband, Mark. In 2011, she formed a law firm, now called Bruner Frank. Loralea specializes in Family Law litigation. Loralea and her husband, Mark have three children. Loralea has served on numerous boards and committees in the Kearney community, including the SAFE Center, Kearney Area Children’s Museum, Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce Agricultural Committee, Make A Wish, and Leadership Kearney. As a female leader in business and law, Loralea speaks to young women and serves charitable causes to advance women’s issues.

Matt was born in Fort Collins, CO and grew up in Boulder, CO.  He attended the University of Colorado at Boulder for his undergraduate degree and the University of Colorado School of Medicine for his Medical Doctorate.  While there, he obtained the Doctoring Award for demonstrating compassion, humanity, and respect of personhood in medicine.  He then moved to Omaha for his surgical training at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  He is a board certified Otolaryngologist/Head and Neck Surgeon and moved to Kearney to join ENT Physicians of Kearney in 2016 where he also directs the rural training of UNMC otolaryngology residents full time.  Matt’s first job as a teenager was bussing tables at the Boulder Dinner Theater in Boulder, CO before working up to bartending, serving and work as a backstage tech as well as with lighting and sound.  He fell in love with live musical theater there, but it wasn’t until he and his wife Emily hosted Crane River Theater at their property Mountain Rose Ranch for Of Mice and Men that he reconnected with his previous enjoyment of and passion for live theater.  Matt enjoys time with his wife and two children, experimenting as an amateur chef, dirt biking, and woodworking.

Michael “Del” DeLorm recently started his 6th year as a Senior Lecturer in Lighting Design and Stage Management at the University of Nebraska Kearney. A North Carolina native, he attended UNC-Asheville for his undergraduate degree and received his MFA in Theatre Design and Production from the University of Memphis. Del spent several years in Memphis as a freelance designer and stage manager before he returned to North Carolina, joining the faculty of Western Carolina University. He taught lighting, stage management, and sound for eight years, while also serving as the Technical Director for the Bardo Performing Arts Center. Previous designs for Crane River include Footloose, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and RED. 

Steve Lewis Headshot_200Stephen received his Bachelor of Arts from California State University-Sacramento with a double major in Theatre (Acting/Directing & Design/Lighting/Tech -1972). He worked on a Masters in scenic design at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, but switched and graduated with an MBA from UNL in 1984. At the College of Business Administration, he was a teaching assistant and awarded two fellowships. He spent 14 years as a broadcast professional and 14 years in not-for-profit management, education and development including responsibility for a seven state area for American Red Cross. Stephen is the past President of the Kearney Concert Association and Treasurer of the Zion Lutheran School Foundation. Stephen has over 110 theater production program credits. Born in Kearney, he has lived in California, Hawaii, Missouri, Texas and four years in Japan, but upon reaching 51, he chose to retire early and return to his hometown of Kearney and became a professional volunteer.

Vonda grew up in Friend, Nebraska. She received her Cosmetology and Barber License from the College of Hair Design in Lincoln. Vonda currently resides in Kearney and serves as the Hospitality Coordinator and Box Office Manager at the Merryman Performing Arts Center, as well as an office assistant at MTG. She is an active volunteer in the community as a member of the Kearney Chamber of Commerce Envoys, Museum of Nebraska Art Guild, and leadership team for the Connection Café at E-Free Church. Vonda is currently the president of the Make A Wish friends group in Kearney. She is the proud mother of two sons and two daughters with her husband Tom.

Yvonne Deyle Headshot_200Yvonne has been with Barney Insurance in Kearney, Nebraska, for the past 50 years and is now the Account Executive and supervisor. During this time, she was the first woman president of Professional Insurance Agents of Nebraska. She has served on various boards including PIA, Kearney Woman’s Club, Insurance Women of Mid-Nebraska, Buffalo County Board Envoys Chairman, Cancer Society and Central Nebraska Auto Club. Yvonne received the 2013 Celebration of Giving Award for her service to the community of Kearney. She has been a volunteer with many organizations including the Kearney Community Theatre, Buffalo County Community Health Partners, Habitat for Humanity and is a 25-year member of Rotary Club.