LACA Executive Director Andrew has been leading the charge at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts (LACA) for the past 4 years. During that time, he has been influential in expanding the center’s educational offerings and programming; as well as spearheading and implementing numerous facility upgrades.
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 with the community and has made it his mission to make LACA the center of all thing’s art in Mason County and the surrounding area.
Skinner and his wife, Patti, live in Pentwater with their two daughters, Sophia, 7; and Amelia, 6.
Kali (Findley) Gilbert has been performing in theater and music for over 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.
LACA Board of Directors
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.
Heather L-V Tykoski
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.
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.
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.
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.
Justin David Gustafson
Justin David Gustafson is a professional fine artist and oil painter. Gustafson’s work can be seen on his website, JDGus.com, 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.
Cathy Swengel Hunt is retired from the faculty of the School of Art at the University of Houston, where she coordinated the printmaking and book arts program. She received a BS from the University of Illinois and MFA from the University of Houston.
As a summer resident at Epworth, she has been coming to Ludington most of her life and now maintains studios in Ludington and Grosse Pointe Park. She served as President of the Board of Trustees at Epworth for a total of six years and is now President of the Epworth Fund for Ludington.
Her interests include the expressive possibilities at the confluence of image and language and the place of the print in contemporary artistic practice. She teaches classes and workshops on all aspects of printmaking as well as the book arts, with an emphasis on artists’ books. She has collaborated with a wide array of artists and authors on artist’s books and chapbooks; with her partner in Fiocat Press she most recently produced 'A Poem By You' by Terrance Hayes. She has served as President of the Board of Governors of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN and on the Board of Directors of the Lawndale Art Center in Houston. Cathy currently serves as a Co-Director of the Paper and Book Intensive, an annual meeting/workshop for artists and practitioners in papermaking, printmaking, book arts and conservation.
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 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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bachelor’s degree from Albany State Teachers College in high school 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.