Union Street Players, Pella’s award-winning community theatre, held our annual elections on Monday evening, August 14th. For several years now, USP has held the August annual meeting at West Market Park and celebrated the finish of our fiscal year with a potluck picnic. Once again, a large crowd of members gathered to honor the year that was and look forward to the future.
After everyone filled themselves with a generous feast, USP President, Tom Vander Well, presided over elections for the 2017-2018 Board of Directors. The 2017-2018 Board of Directors bring years of experience to their posts, however the leadership of Pella’s community theatre will look different in the coming year.
The 2017-2018 USP Board of Directors will be:
President: Mat Kelly
Vice-President: Denise Gregory
Secretary: Deb Linn
Treasurer: Jim Palmer
At-Large: Kim Beyer
At-Large: Doug DeWolf
At-Large: Arvin Van Zante
In keeping with the USP Corporate By-Laws the USP Costume Shop Manager, Pati Van Zante, will also serve as an ex-officio Board Member. Past President, Tom Vander Well, will also serve an ex-officio role for one year to help with the transition, as prescribed by the organizational By-Laws.
With the exception of Jim Palmer, all of the 2017-2018 Board members have previously served on the USP Board. Palmer has been an active member and participant of USP, both on stage and off, for many years. Arvin Van Zante and Doug DeWolf will retain their positions on the Board. Deb Linn and Kim Beyer will continue to serve on the Board, though each will be in new positions in the coming year. Denise Gregory and Mat Kelly are returning to the Board, having served in different capacities in previous years.
Out-going President, Tom Vander Well, also gave an annual report during the meeting. USP has invested money in infrastructure improvements during the 2016-2017 year including:
- Repairing and renovating the Pella Community Center audio system
- Organizing and moving prop storage to a new storage facility
- Repairing and rehanging USP show posters in the Community Center hallway
- Adding additional storage in the Pella Community Center for audio and lighting equipment
- Funding the cleaning of duct work in the Community Center auditorium HVAC system
- Updating air conditioning in the USP meeting room and Green Room
Vander Well reported that the investment in infrastructure meant that USP would end the 2016-2017 fiscal year “in the red.” Nevertheless, USP celebrated strong support from local donors and advertisers. He also cited strong support from, and collaboration with, the City of Pella who sponsor USP and generously provide for USP’s stage home in the Pella Community Center.
The outgoing Board of Directors will finish their tenure by administrating the 2017 USP Awards Night. Doug DeWolf was announced as this year’s inductee to the USP Walk of Fame. Vander Well encouraged everyone to pay attention to the website and Facebook for upcoming announcements about the Awards Night and the first annual “USPy” awards.