Board of Directors
John Warner, President
John has been an active supporter and volunteer with VPA for a number of years. He served on VPA’s Board Development Committee for five years and on the Finance Committee for four years before joining the Board. John is also active in the community through the Wasilla Sunrise Rotary Club, an organization that he has been a part of since 2001 and has served as the club president on two occasions. After retiring from the Air Force where he proudly served for 25 years, he swapped his uniform for a two-piece suit and became a financial advisor with Edward Jones and has provided services through them for fifteen years. He is glad to be supporting VPA as a board member.
Kathy Sage, Vice President
Kathy has been involved in numerous aspects of VPA for many years. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors she is active in the annual fundraising and capital campaign efforts for the organization. She has also done PR for many productions during the last ten years. Kathy works at Shaw Elementary School as a speech/language therapist for the deaf and hard of hearing. She lives in Wasilla with her husband, Mike, and they have two lovely daughters, Aubrey and Lindey.
Paul Beer, Treasurer
Paul is a Business Banking Manager with Wells Fargo where he has worked for almost 11 years. He is an active supporter of VPA who has served on the board as a member and Treasurer. Paul has volunteered in several productions as well as serving as a member of VPA’s Capital Project, Board Development, and FUN-raising committees. He likes getting involved in the community and volunteers with other organizations including the United Way and Rotary. This Alaska-born guy enjoys all of the outside sports and activities that you can name and spending quality time with his wife and five children.
Elizabeth Hanson, Secretary
Elizabeth is a semi-retired school psychologist. She joined VPA as one of the “Mamas” in Fiddler on the Roof in 1999 and since then she has done just about everything behind and in front of the curtain, except lights and chief carpenter. This is the second time that Elizabeth has served on the Board and she also chaired the first Board Development and Fundraising Committees.
Kevin Cochran, Director
Kevin and his wife, Jackie, have been Valley residents for almost nineteen years having relocated from Alabama with their two children in 1996. He has been actively involved with VPA for over ten years, volunteering in many areas including show direction, on-stage activities, Board service, and several support committees. Kevin currently sees dental patients at his office in Palmer and at the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Clinic.
Janel Gagnon, Director
Janel is passionate about the importance of community involvement and support of community efforts. She, her husband, Elliott (who was born and raised in Alaska), and their two children, moved to the Valley from northern California in January 2016 so that he could open a medical practice in Wasilla. In addition to working in her husband’s practice, Janel enjoys serving the Mat-Su library board representing Palmer and her new involvement with the Wasilla Sunrise Rotary club. Both she and Elliott have been avid supporters of community theatre in the various places they have lived and were thrilled to discover VPA. Janel looks forward to season 41 and supporting VPA in a variety of capacities.
Mark Lee, Director
Mark is a life-long Alaskan with over 50 years of life experience in the 49th State. He and his wife of 38 years, Christine, are the proud parents of 4 grown children, 14 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. Mark has volunteered on VPA’s Capital Project Committee and Board Development Committee in addition to serving on the Board. He has almost 40 years of business and financial experience and has successfully managed his own realty business for the last 13 years here in the Valley. Mark is active in the community and volunteers with other organizations including Rotary, the Mat-Su College advisory Board, and several adult and youth hockey organizations.
Phenie Miller, Director
Originally, from California, Phenie came to Alaska on vacation nearly 40 years ago and never left! Phenie lives in Palmer and has three children, all raised in Alaska. Through employment with Alaska USA Federal Credit Union spanning nearly 29 years she has a broad background in leadership, customer experience, and relationship building. Phenie served on VPA’s Board Development Committee for two years prior to joining the Board and also volunteers as the hostess of the VPA opening night party (sponsored by Alaska USA Federal Credit Union) for each play. She has served in leadership roles in several charitable business and community non-profit boards and hopes to bring all of these skills together to assist VPA in achieving its long and short term goals, so community theatre will play an increasingly important role in our community.
Dave Nufer, Director
Dave is a retired principal that served over 20 years in the Mat-Su Borough School District. As a long-time Alaskan resident, he provides a broad background of service and public education experience. Dave is an active member at St. John Lutheran Church and serves as the congregational president. He has been an active supporter of VPA for a number of years, volunteering both as an actor in numerous plays as well as a show director. Dave is also a past-president of VPA’s Board of Directors and currently serves as a member. He looks forward to helping VPA continue its emphasis of providing quality live theatre to the community and to further its vision of a new facility to better serve the needs of the Mat-Su Valley. He is married and has three adult children. Dave has an active recreational life which includes fishing, golf, and movies.
Ariel Talen-Keller, Director
Ariel has lived in the beautiful state of Alaska for fourteen years. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Geography from the University of Oregon and a Master of Aeronautical Science degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Ariel currently works in the air traffic control industry and is also a flight attendant for a major U.S. airline. She has earned five President’s Volunteer Service Awards and is very active in our community. Ariel is a proud Rotarian and serves on many other boards in the Anchorage/Mat-Su area. She loves the performing arts and enjoys serving on this board.