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Board Members

Bob Murphy

Chair

  • Marketing Committee Chair
  • Board member since 2018
  • Resident of Three Oaks, MI

Bob and his wife Kim are longtime patrons of The Acorn and residents of Three Oaks.

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Ashley Magnus

Executive Director

  • Acorn Center for the Performing Arts (ACPA) Executive Director since March 2023

Ashley holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Utah, and specializes in business strategy, project management, and the building of constructive community, individual, and institutional partnerships.

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Laura Madsen Jolly

Immediate Past Chair

  • Chair, Nominating & Governance Committee
  • Board member since 2019
  • Resident of New Buffalo, MI

Like many of us, Laura and her husband Fred fell in love with The Acorn when they attended their very first show back in 2017. Inspired by this wonderfully funky theater and recognizing the importance of it in our community, they have both been active volunteers and supporters ever since, and are fully engaged and committed to securing the future of this remarkable place at the heart of Harbor Country.

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Janet Davies

Chair Elect

  • Development Committee Co-Chair
  • Board member since 2021
  • Resident of Galien, MI

Janet Davies was the entertainment reporter for Chicago’s ABC 7 for over 30 years.  She was also the host and executive producer of 190 North, a multiple Emmy award winning Chicago-based entertainment and lifestyle program.

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Amy Black

Treasurer

  • Finance Committee Chair
  • Board member since 2021
  • Resident of Michiana Shores, IN

Amy began her professional career in California, gaining extensive experience in fundraising, grassroots organizing, government relations and new business start-ups.

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Brett Boyd

  • Board member since 2021
  • Resident of Bridgman, MI

Brett is President of Classic Catering and Events, a full service event company serving southwest Michigan and northwest Indiana.  Brett and his wife, Melissa, have owned and operated the business for over 20 years.  

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Fred Brandstrader

  • Building & Grounds Committee Co-Chair
  • Board member since 2022
  • Resident of Beverly Shores, IN

Fred and his family have been visiting the communities along the south shore regions of Lake Michigan since 1988 which led Fred to be a long-time patron of The Acorn as well as many other of the Harbor Country's wonderful offerings.

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Steven Ellis

  • Board member since 2021
  • Resident of Sawyer, MI

Steven has owned his own design company in Chicago and Harbor Country for 25 years.  His collections have been exhibited throughout the country at corporate offices, Saks Fifth Avenue, Marshall Fields, Met Merchandising, and private homes. 

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Jon Goldman

  • Programming Chair
  • Board member since 2021
  • Resident of Sawyer, MI

Jon has been a regular at The Acorn for years and is drawn to the intimate setting and the approachable musicians who truly love the space.  His love of live music is extensive and he’s worked on two different radio shows/podcasts over the last five years; the latest being an interview format show featuring local musicians and those coming through town. 

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Paddy Lauber

  • Building & Grounds Committee Co-Chair
  • Board member since 2022
  • Resident of New Buffalo, MI

Paddy and her husband have been patrons of the arts attending The Goodman, Steppenwolf, and Lyric every year and have grown to love The Acorn and what it offers southwest Michigan.

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Brad Martin

  • Board member since 2022
  • Resident of Long Beach, IN

Brad and his wife Tracy were first introduced to The Acorn when her cousin Corky Siegel was performing there. Brad and Tracy relocated from the Chicago suburbs to Long Beach Indiana in 2020 and are now able to enjoy The Acorn throughout the year.

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Chris Schuba

  • Board member since 2021
  • Resident of New Buffalo, MI

Chris is a lifelong music fan and a patron of The Acorn since he & his wife moved to New Buffalo in 2015. His passion for live music started in college when he was program director for entertainment at John Carroll University, and continued as he worked afterward in the concert promotion industry.

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Jen Shoup

Secretary

  • Past Chair
  • Board member since 2016
  • Lifetime resident of LaPorte County, IN

Jen Shoup discovered The Acorn as an audience member and pitched in to help at the close of shows.

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Kathy Sprau

  • Board member since 2022
  • Resident of La Porte, IN

Kathy has spent years volunteering and doing development and fundraising with many organizations, including Indiana University Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council, Adaptive Sports Center in Crested Butte, CO, University of Chicago Cancer Research Auxiliary Board, P.T.A. and their church.

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Julie Walczak

  • Development Committee Co-Chair
  • Board member since 2022
  • Resident of Long Beach, IN

Julie and her husband Paul discovered The Acorn enjoying their first show, 10,000 Maniacs. Julie was intrigued by the positive vibe of the entire experience and signed up to volunteer quickly after.

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