Our board members act as a driving force; their guidance and support has been invaluable to our growth as an organization and we offer each of them a heartfelt thanks.
We always accept applications to become an Austin Area Arts Board member. Please use the form below and know that if we don't currently have an opening on the board, we will find a way to put your talents to use for the good of art!
Mary Anne Wolesky
Mary Anne is the Director of the Mayo Clinic Health Systems Austin and Albert Lea Health Care Foundations. Prior to this Mary Anne was a Nursing and Hospital Operations Administrator for MCHS Austin. Mary Anne Co-chairs the Austin ArtWorks Festival with Bonnie Rietz. Prior to that Mary Anne has served on the Festival Steering Committee and the Visual Artists committee. Mary Anne is a community volunteer and also volunteers in the ArtWorks Center retail space. Mary Anne and her husband have three adult children and eight grandchildren.
Randy Kramer is a Private Wealth Advisor for Ameriprise Financial. He is co-chair of the Austin ArtWorks Festival Music Committee, and on the board for the Hormel Foundation. Randy is an active community member, serving on boards for Early Risers Kiwanis Club, Hormel Historic Home, March of Dimes Walk for Babies, Pacelli Catholic Schools Foundation, and the United Way of Mower County. Randy and his wife Wendy are proud parents of two sons who attend St. Mary's University in Winona. Randy is the kind of enthusiast who runs a scheduled 5K even though a blizzard hit.
Marlene R. Schlichter
Marlene Schlichter is the Treasurer of Austin Area Arts and serves on the Executive Committee. She has 17+ years of experience working for and with several non-profit organizations in management positions. Marlene likes to travel and is fond of chocolate.
Belita graduated magna cum laude from the University of ND in 1965 with a degree in commercial art and advertising. She started her own interior design business (Belita's Interiors) in 1978 and was in business for 25 years. Belita is also a board member on the Riverland Community College (RCC) Foundation Board and the Austin Area Foundation Board. She belongs to the Austin Rotary Club and is on the advisory board for the carpentry department at RCC. At Austin Area Arts, Belita serves as Board Secretary, on the Executive Committee and co-chairs the Paramount Renovation and Expansion project with Randy Kramer. Belita is a frequent volunteer and Austin Area Arts' CFO (Chief Fun Officer).
George Bass is the Director of Business Services for Riverland Community College. He earned a Six Sigma - Green Belt from University of St. Thomas. He is a graduate of the University of Mary where he completed a Master of Business Administration in 2011. He is an expert at financial analysis, business operations, improving workflow efficiency and analyzing data.
Greg is an Operations Administrator at Mayo Clinic Health System. He is also a member of the Steering Committee for Vision 2020 and the Rotary Club of Austin. He is a graduate of Luther College and moved Austin in 2014 with his wife (Jennifer) with two boys (Noah 12, James 9).
Susan Fell Johnson
Susan is a musician—percussion and trumpet—and plays with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. She works in technology at Mayo Clinic Health System. She is married to Andy, mother of Alexander and Nicholas and grandmother of Ezra. She is a fierce supporter of the fine arts and is a big fan of snacks and singing in the shower.
Kristen is the Community Concierge at the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce, working to welcome new families to Austin. She volunteers widely in the community, previously served on the Austin Public Library Board, and has helped put local programs in place for mentoring in the schools, a food recovery program, a community-wide volunteering database, and a community home improvement program. She is married with two children. As a former editor, one way Kristen makes herself useful is by finding spelling errors in Austin Area Arts materials.
Gretchen is a former teacher in what was the Sales and Marketing program at Riverland College and owned a Main Street business for 10 years. She also serves on the Spruce Up Austin board and volunteers at the University of Minnesota/The Hormel Institute. She formerly co-chaired the capital campaign and creation of the Austin ArtWorks Center. She continues to be involved at the ArtWorks Center as a retail volunteer and on the Retail Jury. She also shares her expertise with Austin Area Arts through serving on the organization-wide Marketing committee and the Paramount Programming committee. Gretchen is a visual artist. One of her mottos in life is "Be naughty, save Santa the trip."
An Austin native, Chad Sayles is the Director of Corporate Engineering for Hormel Foods Corporation. He is the President of Austin Aspires, member of the board for the Development Corporation of Austin and previously served on the board of the United Way of Mower County. Chad is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, a licensed profession engineer and holds certifications in project management, energy management, supply chain management, reliability engineering, and green building. Chad serves on the Paramount Expansion Project committee for the AACA and consults on building maintenance and operations as well. He is married with two daughters.