Staff and Board

STAFF

Jack Kolb-Williams – Executive Director, Founder – jack@catalystmusic.org

As a music educator and performer, Jack spent the last 12 years composing, developing curricula, leading ensembles, and teaching students of all ages. As an active musician, he has played hundreds of live shows across the country and contributed to several recording projects. In addition to teaching and performing he has honed his skills in the music industry by working as a booking agent, venue manager, artist manager, and promoter rep.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Craig Freeman – President

A Twin Cities native, Craig spent his teenage years driving in from the suburbs to every all-ages show he could find. Now a married father and attorney living in St. Paul, Craig joined Catalyst Music with the goal of providing teens the access he didn’t have in the 90s. When he’s not busy chasing after his young son, Craig can be found either at a local club listening to punk or hip hop (the angrier the better) or watching the Iowa Hawkeyes and Minnesota Twins break his heart. Again.

Logan Adams – Vice President, Founder – logan@catalystmusic.org

Logan is a published writer and critic who has taught and mentored young people for fifteen years—as camp counselor, middle school teacher, high school tutor and coach, and university instructor. He trained new teachers for the national nonprofits Teach for America and The New Teacher Project, as well as designed and piloted curriculum for Teach for America.

Amir Berenjian – Treasurer

Amir was first influenced by music at a very young age when his parents taught him how to read music on an upright piano (with a bit of help from the notes written on the keys).  After picking up percussion in middle school, Amir eventually learned to play the drums and was quickly hooked on making music with his friends. Regretfully, he never played a gig at a venue as cool as THE GARAGE. As a Minnesota native and University of Minnesota graduate, Amir spends his days as an investment banker at a Minneapolis-based boutique; however, he has not completely given up on the dream of becoming an internationally respected rock star. Amir currently resides in the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis with his wife Molly and pup Charlie.

Steph Jacobs, Secretary

Steph’s music career peaked early in her life when she sang her rendition of “Leader of the Pack” in 4 th grade choir. But her love of music has only grown since then. In Minneapolis, Steph has found an awesome community of live music lovers. You’ll find her out at a concert most nights (and if you do, please say hello). She’s always on the search for new things to listen to. Steph is the resident nonprofit nerd on the board. Her background is in nonprofit capacity building and she has a passion for building and developing leaders in the sector. She teaches two nonprofit courses at the University of Minnesota and will happily talk your ears off about board governance. Steph lives in the Longfellow neighborhood with her corgi Cooper.

Georgina Chinchilla

Georgina is a current Full-time MBA student at the University of St. Thomas. Originally from Honduras, she grew up playing violin and piano. Her love of classical music led her through different obsessions, from Baroque performance to the Beatles and beyond. After completing degrees in Violin Performance and Musicology, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jordan. There she honed her passion for teaching and working with young people. She’s a dedicated youth development professional who believes that all youth deserve to be in high quality programs that are relevant to their needs and cultural backgrounds. She lives in the Frogtown neighborhood of St. Paul with her husband Greg and their very anxious black lab, Berlitz.

Shayna Melgaard

Ms. Melgaard, an American Studies graduate of St. Olaf College, has been working professionally in the Minnesota music and arts scene for the last 10 years, as a booker, college programming advisor, stage manager, venue manager, production manager, and promoter rep. She has most recently accepted a position with Live Nation Entertainment’s booking office in Minneapolis. Ms. Melgaard honed her mad skills as a Jane-of-All-Trades at the Varsity Theater, working directly with local, as well as nationally and globally recognized artists. Ms. Melgaard previously served three years on the board of directors for the non-profit Rock the Cause, and has a passion for fostering emerging artists as well as upcoming music industry professionals, particularly young women. In her youth, Ms. Melgaard dabbled in the musical arts, but mostly just skipped piano lessons to go to punk rock shows in garages. She loves spicy food and her fiancé Dane.

 Jerome Rankine

Jerome grew up in Portland, OR, where he recorded his first songwriting efforts with a tape recorder the size of a shoebox. Since then he’s been in classical choirs, jazz trios, rap duos, 10-piece ska outfits, and a number of barely googleable NYC indie bands. Upon moving to Minneapolis in 2009, Jerome spent several years producing music and sound design for advertising and other visual media. He now works as a communications specialist for hire in the non-profit sector, while continuing to release his own music from his home studio. Jerome lives in south Minneapolis with his wife Kyrra and their two kids, both of whom are kazoo virtuosos.

Shannon Robinson

Shannon Robinson is the Director of Individual Giving for the Guthrie Theater. She focuses on direct solicitation and campaign strategy as well as development operations. Shannon was development manager for The New York Pops, an orchestra playing to sold-out audiences at Carnegie Hall, for nearly six years prior to moving home to Minnesota. She has a degree in music from University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. Her free time is spent supporting the vibrant Twin Cities art community by attending as many shows and performances in music, theater and dance as possible.

Jennifer Sorenson

Jennifer Sorenson is the President of The Art Institutes International Minnesota, a private creative arts college, where she oversees all operations including development of and execution on the vision and strategic direction of the college, student success initiatives, graduate outcomes, faculty and staff development, and effective internal and external relationships. Her background includes operations, recruiting, and creating, implementing and facilitating an executive development program.  She is passionate about providing all young people access to an education that allows them to pursue their chosen path.

Kevin Curley

As a Twin Cities native Kevin has always had plenty of music in his life and from an early age he was hooked. Whether it was piano lessons, studying percussion, playing in bands, attending concerts, or even a stint as a roadie; each experience helped pave the way for his formative “youthful rock-n-roll years”. Hoping to instill his passion for live music in his two daughters, as well as influence their respective musical tastes, attending Rock the Garden has become an annual tradition. Currently Kevin and his family reside in St. Paul where he happily works with Ticketfly and music venues throughout the Midwest.

 

 

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