Board of Trustees
Growing up in Elkhart, Indiana, Adrienne developed an appreciation for the arts, playing the French horn, singing, and performing on stage in musicals. Her passion to engage and excite children in the arts was evident throughout her 13 years teaching and 5 years administration experience in education. She spent two years teaching in Germany, experiencing 14 countries and their beautiful cultures, works of art and theaters. Arts Appreciation and Arts Integration are programs Adrienne supports being utilized in schools and in the classroom as early as possible, through classes or clubs, art shows and showcases. With these programs being removed at an alarming rate, programs like AECT are that much more important for our communities today. Adrienne’s three children live in Laingsburg, and have enjoyed the AECT program in the audience, on stage and participating in its unique guild program.
During his youth, Matt Treadwell was involved in theatre; he even served time as president of his high school’s troupe of the International Thespian Society. He comes to the AECT board with a deep appreciation for the positive impact theatre can have in the lives of young people. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University in 2003 and currently serves as the Communications & Marketing Manager for the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. Matt lives in Lansing with his wife, Cathy, and their five children.
Board Vice President
Jen Ackerman is the proud mom of five theatre kids, and a fourth grade teacher at Explorer Elementary School in Williamston. Prior to the summer of 2018, Jen and her family lived in West Michigan. There, Jen was involved in theatre in several different capacities. She has served as a director, performer, costumer, prop assistant, house manager, and as a Board Member for Central Park Players in Grand Haven. Jen is thankful for the opportunity to find a new theatre home for her children, and to continue to be personally involved in furthering opportunities for children to be involved in theatre here at AECT.
Jeff is a life-long resident of East Lansing. He graduated Suma Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and a master’s degree in Labor Relations and Human Resources from Michigan State University. For the past five years, he has been a parent volunteer for St. Johns Public Schools, acting as a role model and providing a positive male presence in the classrooms. He joined AECT as a Family Membership when his youngest son accepted a role in AECT’s production of Bridge to Terabithia, in 2018. AECT provided a tremendous opportunity for him to become involved with something that his son loves, while helping to promote the same benefits and experiences his son derived from being a cast/crew member, such as developing strong friendships, gaining confidence and learning new life-long skills.
Paul has been involved in the arts his whole life. Starting on the violin at age 4 and switching to cello at age 8, he followed a music career path through high school and college where he earned a Bachelor of Music in cello performance from Indiana University. Visual arts and theater were also part of Paul’s life in high school, college and in a few semi-professional productions. Taking his love of the arts to the management side, he earned a master’s degree in arts administration and has worked for several arts organizations, including The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and The Cleveland Orchestra. He has been a fundraiser for non-profit organizations for 20 years, currently serving as Associate Director of Philanthropy for The Nature Conservancy and has served on several community non-profit boards, most recently at Fenner Conservancy in Lansing.
Andy Boyan, Ph.D. is VP of Research & Innovation for Urban FT, a fintech provider. He loves theatre, and has roots in high school and collegiate theatrical performance and crew. A dedicated husband and father, Andy brings a his goofy dad-jokes and knack for technology to help AECT grow and create safe, fruitful spaces and programs for community kids.
Jen Van Der Heide
Jen’s family has been an AECT member since 2014, when her son participated in a summer camp and then joined the cast of The Neverending Story. A former high school English teacher, Jen is now a faculty member in English Education in the College of Education at Michigan State University. As a teacher educator, she is delighted and impressed with the many ways AECT apprentices youth into meaningful theater experiences and responsibilities. As a board member, she hopes to support the organization so that generations of youth can continue in meaningful participation in a variety of programs.
Peter started in theatre in fifth grade, and continued acting in many shows through high school. He was pursuing a theatre degree for a career in the arts when he was called in a different direction. A proud father of four, he has put his children’s activities ahead of his own acting but hopes to someday be in a show with his children. His son was in numerous shows with AECT, and his daughters are excited to now be a part of it as well. Peter works with St Gerard Church youth ministry and has coached youth softball. He is a business analyst who has worked for a government contractor for more than 20 years, but loves any chance to get away from his desk and up in front of a crowd. He believes that he can use his talent and love of theatre to help keep that option available for young people through AECT.
Youth Board Member
Audrey Tieman has been with AECT since 2011, both in acting roles and in the guild program. Currently attending Haslett High School, she’s very excited at the opportunity to serve on the board as a youth member and gain valuable experience.
Youth Board Member
All-of-us Express Children’s Theatre (AECT) is a community-based nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees elected at the annual membership meeting held each September. Officers are elected by the Board during the annual membership meeting in September.
The Artistic Director, show Directors, Stage Managers, Crew Heads/Supervisors and Instructors are employed through the City of East Lansing Division of Parks, Recreation and Arts (ELPRA); they are not employed by or supervised by the AECT Board of Trustees. AECT board members and officers are volunteers.