Scott Joplin Ragtime Foundation Board Members
Kathleen Boswell "After growing up in Sedalia, I moved away to go to college and to teach. I am a long-time member of the Sedalia Rotary Club and First Baptist Church. I work part-time at the Katy Depot and do many of the tours book there. I love introducing people to the best parts of Sedalia whether they are visiting us or if I am at the Sedalia booth at a regional event".
Secretary, Deborah Biermann Deb has over thirty years experience in not-for-profit organizational management, consensus building, strategic & action planning, financial management, grant writing, and program implementation.
Career accomplishments include: creation of the Sedalia Convention & Visitors Bureau, Tourism Development Plan and Sedalia Destination Marketing Campaign; buildout of the Sedalia Heritage Foundation into managing tenant of the Katy Depot working through restoration phase, exhibit design and interpretive program development, retail store setup, design and operation of the welcome center, and overall management of the historic Sedalia Katy Depot.
Kyle Herrick was born and raised in Sedalia and is the current president of the Heritage Foundation which oversees the Katy Depot in Sedalia. He also serves as the current president of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
In addition to his elective duties, Kyle has been associated with Bryan Motors, serving as the company's Managing Partner and Dealer Principal (Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Chrsyler) since 2012.
He's a proud member of the Sedalia community and a part of such a dynamic team supporting ragtime in Sedalia. There's nothing better than welcoming so many fantastic Scott Joplin enthusiasts to Sedalia each year.
President, Doug Freed An artist with a studio in a restored Main Street building in downtown Sedalia, Doug is a member of many local, regional and national arts and civic groups. “My strength is I see the big picture and I have connections with these other organizations and a lifetime of experiences working with arts non for profits”
Dr Becky Imhauser “I am eager to partner with the board in strengthening Sedalia’s ragtime heritage and enhancing the Scott Joplin Festival as a destination, entertainment venue, and educational experience. I am especially interested in promoting the Festival to Sedalians, helping them recognize, embrace, and support our community’s ragtime heritage. I hope my knowledge of area history, educational background, and communication skills can benefit the organization in ways yet to be determined”.
Katherine Menefee, Katherine has served on the SJRF board for seven years with an interest in the Festival since the 1980's, including handling the Dance for four years. “I enjoy the music and the fellowship and want to see the history of ragtime and the festival preserved. I believe my past involvement will be an advantage now”.
Nancy Moss. Nancy was a staff pharmacist at Bothwell Regional Health Center in Sedalia and retired after working there for 34 years. She has attended every Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival since 1974 and has served on the SJRF Board since 1997. She started the Performers Hospitality Room in 1999. It has become an annual event that is deeply appreciated by the performers. She is interested in promoting the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival and Sedalia, MO as the Cradle of Ragtime.
Evelyn Porter, long-time area resident, graduated from Smithton High
School and the University of Central Missouri. She taught business education for 20 years at Otterville High School, and then taught 8th grade American history for 25 years at Sedalia Middle School. She started working in the Scott Joplin ticket office in 2003, and became a board member in 2018.
Chris Robinson. “I am told that some of my first words were: “’Cott Hoplin’.” I was born shortly after the movie “The Sting” was released . Since then, I’ve lived in Memphis, TN, where I eventually became harmonica player and singer for a Beale Street Blues Club.”
“I am serving on the SJRF Board because….Sedalia is one of a few American cities that changed the world with its music. I hope to facilitate increased awareness of ragtime and Scott Joplin in the community (and beyond), and help Sedalia recognize its very special gift to the world in the form of classic ragtime music.”.
John Simmons. John has been Sedalia’s Community Development Director since 2006. “My interest in serving is based on strong beliefs that the festival and heritage of Ragtime music in Sedalia is an underdeveloped asset that can provide economic enrichment of the community. The music itself is a challenging form and should be preserved and kept front of mind in the music community as a basis for new and emerging genres as well as the existing genres created out of the form”.
Bryan S. Wright, Ph.D., of Pittsburgh, PA, is the Foundation's Artistic Director. He is a pianist and musicologist based at the University of Pittsburgh where he teaches courses in music history. Classically trained as a pianist from age 5, Bryan enjoys playing a variety of syncopated piano music, from classic and modern rags to piano novelties, tangos, and early jazz. With his wife, Yuko, he has performed across the United States and abroad. He is founder and executive producer of Rivermont Records, a Grammy-nominated label devoted to ragtime, dance bands, and early jazz.
Bob Walters lives in Columbia, Missouri where he is retiring from a career in real estate development. A Sedalia native, he is a proponent of historic preservation and fan of American history in general. Recently, he has renovated two buildings in Downtown Sedalia and has attracted three new businesses to lease them.
He has volunteered for the Foundation since 2015, administering the Festival’s Facebook page and this web site. He also developed the Festival logo and assists with other graphic, marketing and advertising endeavors.