Staff and Board

STAFF

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

Jack Kolb-Williams is a music educator and performer who has spent the last 15 years composing, developing curricula, leading ensembles, and teaching students of all ages. Since co-founding Twin Cities Catalyst Music in 2015, he has devoted his time to providing opportunities for and advocating on behalf of young people across the metro region.

Rob Frost III – Audio Visual Coordinator – rob@catalystmusic.org

Robert Frost III is a Composer/Sound Designer, Entrepreneur, Pro Audio and Video Professional, Acoustics Consultant, and Educator. He built and manages The GARAGE Recording Studio, produces Live Streaming events, and teaches music production on behalf of Catalyst Music. He also co-founded and operates Space Mace, a video game studio, where he creates music and sound effects for various published video games.

Caitlyn Williams – General Manager – caitlyn@catalystmusic.org

 

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, Co-Founder

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 4th 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.

Cyrena Denniston

Cyrena is originally from Seattle, WA where she obtained her B.A. degree in Music Vocal Performance from Seattle Pacific University while on a track & field scholarship. She is a proud wife to her husband of almost 16 years, and mother to their daughters. Her heart and motto is to always remain a passionate, intentional woman set out to make a positive impact on the world through love, music, fashion, and fitness.

Shannon Robinson

Shannon L. Robinson is a seasoned non-profit arts professional with nearly thirteen years of experience working primarily in the field of fundraising. She is currently the Managing Director at the Jungle Theater where her ultimate career goals is to connect people to their artistic communities and inspire them to make thoughtful choices that enrich and diversify their lives and the lives of others. For the past seven years, she has worked at the Guthrie Theater focusing on individual giving strategy and general operations of the development department. Shannon worked at The New York Pops, an 80-piece orchestra with one of the highest selling subscription series at Carnegie Hall, for nearly six years prior to moving home to Minnesota. She has a degree in music, and tries to see as much theater, dance and music as this town has to offer.

Carrie Shaffer

Carrie grew up in Green Bay, WI where she spent most weekends hanging out at record stores and punk shows. Her love of music (especially of the live variety) grew fast and furious and drove her to Minneapolis to attend the University of MN where she studied Communications. She fell in love with the city and has been here ever since. She’s held a variety of professional roles all centered around relationship management, but her true love remains live music. She has instilled that passion in her two teenage daughters who both attend an arts school in Eden Prairie. You can find all of them in their south Mpls neighborhood frequenting their favorite spots as well as traveling to shows all around the country.

Jennifer Sorenson

Jennifer Sorenson is the Campus Director for Brightmont Academy, an accredited private school offering one-to-one instruction for students in grades 6-12, and tutoring for students in grades 3-12.  She operates the Apple Valley, MN and Plymouth, MN campuses where she oversees all operations including student success initiatives, academic outcomes, 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.

James Taylor

James moved to Minneapolis in 2015 after spending 16 years in Austin, TX, where he attended the University of Texas and dedicated his life to a career in music after graduating. As a touring musician, James has performed in 35 states and 5 countries. Previous board positions include the Austin Music Foundation, focused on career development and mentoring for aspiring professional musicians, and Austin Music People, an advocacy group for “bands, brands, and fans” in the Live Music Capital. In 2012, James and business partners opened Holy Mountain, a 200-cap bar and live music venue in Austin’s Red River Cultural District. Most recently, James joined the booking team at First Avenue in 2017.

Joel Walters

After attending Gustavus Adolphus College, The University of Minnesota Law School and Georgetown University Law Center Joel pursued a career in finance that spanned forty years. He lives in Eden Prairie since retiring from the professional pursuits that kept him and his family moving around the United States and the world for many years. Joel has a passion for bringing the skills he has developed to organizations that are making a difference in their communities. In addition to being an avid music fan, Joel saw the importance that access to the music world has upon young people as his two kids grew up while they were living in London, with his son ultimately becoming a professional musician. He would like to see all young people have those opportunities to experience what music can bring to their lives.

 

2 Replies to “Staff and Board”

  1. lee pattridge says:

    Jack,
    I read the Growler article about what you are doing on the East Side to help kids in performing their music. He noted Transportation as an issue. Please contact me as I may be able to help in this area. I’m familiar with the area as I’ve been volunteering at Pastor Chris & Pastor Terell’s Church; East Emanuel on Payne.
    Thanks
    Lee

    Like

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