Board of Directors
Standing left to right: Dr. Matt Gibson, Dr. Gail Waring, Geoff Trotier, Andrew Laird.
(not pictured: Therese Diener, Christine Harris and Andrew Kallies)
Chairman of the Board
DR. MATT GIBSON is an educational and community leader. He served as superintendent of the School District of Elmbrook for 17 years, elevating student achievement while successfully guiding three successful building referendums.
In “retirement”, Dr. Gibson serves as principal of Wisconsin International Academy (WIA). He also consults for executives and organizations and serves on a variety on non-profit boards.
Dr. Gibson earned a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from UW-Madison. He has always loved music. It is interesting that his first professional job was as a music educator.
WIO is thrilled that Dr. Gibson will be an advocate for our powerful mission.
THERESE DIENER is a registered nurse in orthopaedics for 33 years. Therese is advanced certified in orthopaedics and coordinates new employee orientation for the Orthopedic Hospital of Wisconsin. Additionally, she currently serves as a Training Center Coordinator and regional faculty for the American Heart Association.
Ms. Diener has represented and/or served on various fine arts boards including the Oconomowoc Chamber Orchestra, the Florentine Opera, Waukesha Arts Board and Waukesha Choral Union.
An active performer, Therese has sung with the Bel Canto Choirs, the Waukesha Choral Union and has played violin with the Menomonee Falls Symphony and Orchestra O. Therese has also served on the worship teams for Elmbrook Church and Crossway Church.
CHRISTINE HARRIS has been working with creative enterprises and community development for over 30 years. After two decades in executive arts leadership, in 2010 Christine co-founded the National Creative Economy Coalition following the design and execution of the nation’s first review of defining the creative economy. In 2011 Christine formed her own consulting company focusing on helping build more creative communities.
Christine has worked on creative sector development with the Greater Des Moines region; City of Hillsboro, OR; City of Austin, TX; Arts United/the City of Fort Wayne, IN; City of Lawrence, KS; City of Marquette, MI; Arts Alliance Illinois; ArtServe Michigan; Americans for the Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; National Creativity Network; Arts Wisconsin; and many others. She also presents on creative sector development around the country. Prior to her consulting work, Christine was CEO of Creative Alliance Milwaukee, United Performing Arts Fund, Milwaukee Ballet, and was Director of Audience Development for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she sat on many arts organization boards.
Christine is considered a key national figure in this work, with her significant background in cultural administration leadership, cultural economy research and field leadership. Christine has been a consulted advisor and presenter for both the Americans for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts and currently serves on the National Creative Economy Advisory Committee for Americans for the Arts.
ANDREW KALLIES is a proud lifelong Milwaukee resident and avid music lover. Andy grew up surrounded by music in his home, church and school and believes in the power that music has to inspire and enrich our lives.
Andy earned his B.A. in Communications from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and has spent his entire career in the financial services industry. He is currently the Director of Branch Support for Baird’s Private Wealth Management division. Andy maintains his Series 6, 7, 9, 10, 63 and 65 securities licenses and brings a broad range of experience to the Board including marketing, communication, project management and strategic leadership.
Andy believes that a key to working toward peaceful and prospering communities lies in the power of understanding and collaboration amongst people of all ages, experiences and backgrounds. He sees that happening with the Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra in the most beautiful of ways and is excited to work with the Board of Directors to help this great organization further its mission and impact
ANDY LAIRD, growing up in central California, began his musical adventure at age five with piano. Then from eight until fifteen violin. Violin was set aside for tuba, euphonium and bass played through high school (Lodi, CA), college (Elsah, IL), grad school (Denver, CO) and military service with the Colorado Air National Guard Band. Andy’s professional career as a broadcasting engineer began in Denver, staff engineer KWGN-TV then chief engineer of radio stations KLAK AM & FM.
A job opportunity in 1972 moved Andy to Los Angeles as the Chief Engineer of one of only three full-time fifty kilowatt AM stations in Southern California. Work responsibilities grew, involving travel most every other week to other cities nationally. Andy’s musical interest, ensemble playing, was no longer possible as rehearsal and performance dates were preempted with work obligations. Andy moved to Milwaukee in 1998 assuming similar broadcast engineering responsibilities for Journal Broadcast Group as Vice President Engineering, Chief Technology Officer.
Planning for retirement Andy wanted to resume violin study and to play in an ensemble. In 1998 Andy purchased a violin, having it ready for retirement. Andy retired in 2014 as the Journal Broadcast Group became part of E. W. Scripps. Total retirement came in 2016 after completing a number of Scripps consulting projects. The violin didn’t come out of the case until the summer of 2018. After a few weeks Andy realized he urgently needed help after a sixty four year hiatus from violin. For lessons Andy connected with Dr. Alexander (Sascha) Mandl at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. Several months later Dr. Mandl suggest Andy contact the Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra. Andy joined WIO in the spring of 2019 and continues private lessons with Dr. Mandl
GEOFF TROTIER is a Wisconsin native, growing up in many of the Milwaukee-area arts organizations. Geoff studied Horn Performance at Northwestern University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, later returning to school at the University of Minnesota Law School, where he received his J.D. Geoff currently is an employment attorney at von Briesen and Roper, s.c., representing businesses and non-profit organizations in employment disputes.
Geoff has been fortunate to have the opportunity to perform throughout the U.S., Japan, and Portugal with the Cincinnati Symphony, the Cincinnati Pops, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Pacific Music Festival, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory Philharmonia, the Music Academy of the West Orchestra, the Cincinnati Ballet, the Lexington Philharmonic, and the Dayton Philharmonic. He is extremely excited to become involved with the Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra, both onstage and behind the scenes by serving on the Board of Directors.
DR. GAIL WARING a California native, grew up playing violin in her formative years. After receiving her B.S. and M.S degrees in Biology from San Francisco State University, she earned her PH.D in Molecular Biology at the University of Oregon. Following three years of postdoctoral study at Indiana University, Gail accepted a faculty position in the Biology Department at Marquette University. After 37 years of teaching and research, she retired in Dec 2014 as Professor Emerita of Biology. In retirement Gail has maintained her ties with Marquette, currently serving as Executive Director of the Marquette University Retiree Association. After sporadic violin playing during her working years, she was thrilled to join the inaugural Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra in spring of 2016. Making new friends of all ages as well as rehearsing and performing with such talented colleagues, has been a truly transformational experience. By joining the WIO Board, Gail hopes to serve an organization and community that has brought much joy into her life.