Ludington Area Center for the Arts
Ludington Area Center for the Arts
Find YOUR Center!!

LACA Staff

Andrew Skinner, Executive Director 

Skinner is an award-winning photographer who has been recognized for his work in both the art world and as a photojournalist. 

In addition to his passion for photography, Skinner is an avid book binder (creating unique journals from discarded book covers) and creates various mixed-media artworks. Always interested in learning a new technique or medium, Skinner enjoys spreading his knowledge and passion for the arts within the community and has made it his mission to make LACA the center of all things art in Mason County and the surrounding area.  

Nickname: Babe, Handsome and Skinner 
Favorite Art Medium: Photography
Loves: Patti >coffee 
Favorite Band: Phish
Best Friend: Don't tell anyone... Grey

Favorite Color: Gray 
Scared of: Nothing until there's 
a snake around. 
Favorite Ice Cream: All of it!!

Kali Gilbert, Office Manager 

Kali (Findley) Gilbert has been performing in theater and music for nearly 20 years. She recently moved to Michigan from Findlay, Ohio and is thrilled to engage with the local arts community through her position at LACA. Kali performs on stage with West Shore Community College, the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts, and the Ludington Area Center for the Arts. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Ohio Northern University in 2013, where she studied psychology, philosophy, biology, and criminal justice. In 2017, she adventured on a solo backpacking trip through seven countries. Kali lives in Ludington with her husband and their four cats.

Nickname: Sweet Zachary
Favorite Medium: Performing arts
Loves: Piña coladas
Favorite band: ABBA

Best Friend: Marion Riedl
Favorite Color: Pink
Scared of: Marion Riedl
Favorite Ice Cream: Chocolate Moose Tracks

LACA Board of Directors

Brad Reed, President

Brad Reed and his dad, Todd Reed, work together as full-time outdoor landscape and wildlife photographers. In 2005, Brad’s image “Power & Light” won runner up in the emerging artist category in the Nikon International Photography Contest. Brad holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Calvin College. After beginning pursuit of a Master of Social Work, he decided instead to follow his heart by embracing his love for photography, a journey which started for him as a young boy. Brad has two children, Julia and Ethan, and he loves to hang out with his family. Together, they enjoy hunting and sports of all kinds.

Nickname: Skyhooker
Favorite Artist: Jim Brandenburg, photographer
Loves: Downhill skiing
Favorite Musician: Garth Brooks

Best Friends: My kids
Favorite Color: Blue
Scared of: The dark
Favorite Ice Cream: Anything from House 

of Flavors

Jane Carpenter, Treasurer

Jane Carpenter was born and raised in Chicago where she first learned to love the arts in kindergarten, then later at the Art Institute of Chicago. The first piece of art Jane can remember producing was a collage of a fish bowl that she made in kindergarten. “I also made a pretty terrific ceramic turtle, but I think the fishbowl was first.” Jane’s first dramatic performance was as the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. Jane went on to earn a degree in finance and economics at the University of Michigan, and spent most of her working life in banking and corporate finance. Now that she is retired, Jane is privileged to put her financial background and love of the arts to work as the Treasurer of the Ludington Area Arts Council.

Nickname: Protected by a non-disclosure agreement

Favorite Art Style: Self-portraits
Loves: Art history, historical novels, antique stores, and scarves of all kinds
Favorite Musical Instruments: Violin and cello
Best Friends: My husband Bill and my little dog, Studly
Favorite Color: Green
Scared of: Small rodents
Favorite Ice Cream: Chocolate and pistachio (1 scoop of each please!)

Justin David Gustafson

Justin David Gustafson is a professional fine artist and oil painter. Gustafson’s work can be seen on his website,, and is available for commission. Born and raised in Ludington, he graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design in 2002. Gustafson moved around the country for 20 years only to return, having decided there is no place like home.

Nickname: Love Machine
Favorite Artist: Van Gogh
Loves: Art and animals (people included)
Best Friend: Olaf Jagermeister Snugglepuss
Favorite Color: Cobalt blue
Scared of: The inevitable heat death of the universe
Favorite Ice Cream: Butter pecan

David Preston

Dave Preston is a semi-retired lawyer who is of counsel at Varnum Attorneys at Law as a member of the Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources Practice Team. He attended law school at the University of Toledo, prior to which he and his family lived in Colorado where he worked as an environmental manager. Dave is a strings musician who can be found practicing as part of LACA’s Wednesday Jammers group. He also enjoys oil painting and serving as part of the arts council’s programming committee. Dave’s advice? “First, keep your sense of humor. Second, pay attention to the first thing.”

Favorite Artist: Otto Dix
Loves: Dogs
Favorite Musical Genre: Open-minded
Best Friends: Sheila & Ruby
Favorite Color: Ultra violet
Scared of: Running out of time
Favorite Ice Cream: Bacon

Richard Young

Rich Young is the CEO of Synergy Media Inc., better known as radio stations WWKR, WLDN, WKLA, WKZC, and WMLQ. He graduated from Ferris State University with an associate degree in marketing, followed by a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Indiana Tech University. Having served in the Michigan Army National Guard as a Non-Commissioned officer, and as a United States Coast Guard Merchant Marine Captain, Rich’s affinity for sea and sky has also led him to earn his FAA private pilot license, Safe Boating Instructor certification, and Vessel Safety Examiner certification. When he’s not camping, sailing, fishing, or golfing, you can find Rich playing the guitar, keyboard, mandolin, or accordion.

Nickname: Rich, boss, coach, gramps

Favorite Artist: Mya Navi-canvas
Loves: Open water, hockey, fresh air, spouse, children, grandchildren
Favorite Band: Daily & Vincent
Best Friend: Rhonda
Favorite Color: Red
Scared of: Stupid people that do stupid things
Favorite Ice Cream: Edy’s Jamocha Almond Fudge

Thom Hawley,  Vice President

Thom Hawley has worked at West Shore Community College since 2002, and currently serves as the Executive Director of College Relations. He oversees marketing and public relation initiatives, the college’s Foundation, the Business Opportunity Center, and the Performing Arts Series. Thom was the first Executive Director of the Mason County Historical Society and was responsible for the opening of White Pine Village. Prior to joining the college’s administration, he was the Director of Public & Media Relations for the Lake Michigan Carferry service, operator of the S.S. Badger based in Ludington. He has also worked in radio and television in west Michigan and the Detroit area. Thom has served in leadership roles on a number of local, statewide, and national boards of directors. He is also the Vice President of SJS Ventures, which operates Jamesport Brewing Company in Ludington.

Favorite Medium: Watercolor

Loves: Travel
Favorite Musical Genres: Classical and jazz
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Ice Cream: Butter pecan

Fremont John Ashton

Monty Ashton is a singer / songwriter / guitarist. He started later in life on that path, and prior to his music career, Monty was an entrepreneur in the environmental industry, co-founding ProAct Services Corporation. After finding his way as a musician, Monty was voted #1 Original Artist in Tampa Bay in 2014. Monty enjoys spending time with his family, especially his granddaughter, and is glad to be back in Ludington after 16 years in Florida.

Nickname: Monty

Favorite Artist: My dad, Monty Sr. (deceased)
Loves: Barrel-aged brews
Favorite Band: Santana
Best Friend: My wife, Margi
Favorite Color: Blue
Scared of: Heights
Favorite Ice Cream: Moose Tracks

Sandie Holcombe

Sandie Holcombe graduated from Michigan State University in the 1970s with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. After over 30 years as an entrepreneur in the concrete industry, Sandie recently sold her two businesses. Besides the arts council, Sandie is also active within the community as a member of Zonta International.

Nickname: Sandie

Favorite Artist: Will Barnet
Loves: Laughter
Favorite Musical Genre: Rock
Best Friends: Mary, Gail, Vicki, & Nancy
Favorite Color: Blue or red
Scared of: Andy (Skinner)
Favorite Ice Cream: Nutty

Shelby Soberalski

Shelby Soberalski is a proud Ludington native with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and a minor in art history from Ferris State University. Shelby is a proud autism sibling, farmer, and volunteer. A former queen herself, Shelby has recently been named a Co-director of the Miss Ludington Area pageant. She is excited to be a part of LACA and to support the arts in any capacity.

Favorite Medium: Visual arts
Loves: People, animals, nature
Favorite Music: Anything, but lately obsessed with Queen
Best Friend: My sister, Jolee
Favorite Color: Blue, green, purple, black
Scared of: Seaweed
Favorite Ice Cream: All of it!

Heather Tykoski, Secretary

Heather L-V Tykoski has been the Community Development Director for the City of Ludington for over 12 years. Heather has a bachelor’s degree in political theory and constitutional democracy from James Madison College at Michigan State University. She also earned a Master of Public Administration at Central Michigan University. In addition to serving as an adjunct professor of political science at Ferris State University, Heather has successfully secured and managed foundation grants at the federal, state, and local level. Heather has served as a board member of the Ludington Area Arts Council for six years.

Loves: Running
Favorite Ice Cream: Eskimo Kisses

Mary Case

Mary Case owns and operates Art by Mary Case Gallery & Studio where she sells professional fine art of many different mediums, including her own works. Mary also teaches painting and pottery classes to students of all ages and backgrounds. She recently competed as a finalist in the 2019 Momentum Business Plan Competition. New to the Ludington area, Mary cares deeply about promoting the arts in this community.

Favorite Artist: Georgia O’Keefe

Loves: Afternoon rainstorms, turtle sundaes
Favorite Musician: Maura O’Connell
Best Friend: The Lord
Favorite Color: Yellow
Scared of: Snakes
Favorite Ice Cream: Moose Tracks

and good music

Bill Kerans

Bill Kerans serves as the Director of the Scottville Area Senior Center. He offers his expertise as a communications specialist by serving on the arts council’s fundraising and performance committees.

Denise Ottinger

Denise Ottinger retired and moved to Ludington in 2016 Denise spent 40 years as Student Affairs Administrator for colleges and universities in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri, and Kansas. She stays involved with the community by volunteering with LACA, Zonta, Optimist Club, and Philanthropic Educational Organization Sisterhood (PEO). Denise enjoys attending art fairs and offering support “starving artists.”

Nickname: D, Ott

Favorite Medium: Ceramics
Loves: Ludington
Favorite Musical Genre: Folk / Bluegrass
Best Friend: Jennifer in Minnesota
Favorite Color: Gray
Scared of: Spiders
Favorite Ice Cream: Pistachio

Board Emeritus

Bill Carpenter

Bill Carpenter is a retired pilot, motorcycle racer, long-distance horse racer, FAA inspector, bed and breakfast owner, and former Mason County Commissioner. Bill was President of the Ludington Area Arts Council when the opportunity to buy the LACA building came our way. Bill was the driving force behind the transformation into what the arts center is today. “The crew has turned [our] dreams into a really outstanding community asset for generations.” He brings to the organization a lifetime of success in setting and achieving goals.

Nickname: Bill

Favorite Art Medium: Air script
Loves: Flying
Favorite Musical Genre: Latin
Best Friend: Everyone
Favorite Color: Red
Scared of: Nothing
Favorite Ice Cream: Coffee

LACA volunteers

Bridget Ennis, Volunteer Coordinator

Bridget Ennis graduated from Saint Mary’s College in 2008 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking. Bridget has worked at a number of art galleries and institutes in Michigan, including A.M. Galleries, JM Galleries, Gwen Frostic Prints, and Interlochen Arts Camp. She has served as the LACA Volunteer Coordinator for the past four years. Bridget is a stay-at-home mom and owns her own print shop, Ludington Letterpress.

Nickname: Midget

Favorite Medium: Printmaking
Loves: Old movies
Favorite Musical Genre: Swing
Best Friend: Ann Marie
Favorite Color: Pink
Scared of: Ghost stories
Favorite Ice Cream: Superman

Marion Riedl, Volunteer

Bachelor’s degree from Albany State Teachers College in highschool teaching Latin and French. Used my language skills in my employment as a staff writer for 32 years at the Ludington Daily News. Served as volunteer service area manager for 20+ Girl Scout troops in Ludington for 18 years. Currently, an active volunteer at LACA serving as scribe and pursuing my creativity in collage and acrylics.

Favorite Mediums: Collage and acrylic
Favorite Musical Genres: ‘50s and classical
Best Friend: Many
Favorite Color: Blue
Scared of: Flying and heights