Meet the Friends of the Arts Executive Board

"We have jobs to make a living but the arts are what makes life worth living!"

Julie Bruns

 As a '93 graduate of Fort Recovery High School, my love of music was instilled by band and choir directors, Ted Shuttleworth and Karen Meiring.  I pursued my interest in music in college while playing in the concert and pep bands at Xavier. I reside in Fort Recovery with my husband Mike, and our kids, Matt and Katie.

Jessica Jutte

I am love being a part of this group and look forward to sharing my love for music with the community. I live in Fort Recovery with my husband John and four children: Addison, Mason, Collin and Hazel. Currently, I am a teacher at Fort Recovery Middle School and have been teaching in the district for eleven years. I enjoy walking up to listen to the summer concerts with my family and am excited to be a part of the planning stages.

Karen Meiring

I am a lifetime resident of Fort Recovery and a graduate of Fort Recovery High School. I have retired from teaching music at Fort Recovery Local Schools. I am a former adjudicator for OMEA and I am currently serving on the Lake Area Council board. This is my fifth year serving on the Friends of the Arts committee and I have enjoied every minute of it.

Connor Rammel

I have served on the Friends of the Arts Committee since 2010 and have enjoyed every minute of it.  I am a licensed Insurance Agent at Fort Recovery Insurance Agency specializing in property & casualty. I've always had a passion for music and entertainment. I believe there is nothing better than spending time with family and friends down at our outdoor amphitheatre with such dynamic entertainment. We are truly blessed to be able to provide such a wonderful program for our community. If you have any questions pertaining to the Friends of the Arts, you'll see me at every concert. Feel free to introduce yourself and let me know how I can make your experience more enjoyable.

Kelly Walter

I am a proud graduate of  Fort Recovery High School and have been a lifetime resident of Fort Recovery. I currently work at Fort Recovery Insurance as a licensed insurance agent. I spend a lot of my time with my son Leo, but in my spare time I enjoy reading and being with my family. This is my fifth year serving on the Friends of the Arts committee. I look forward for this program to continue to grow and be successful. I hope to see many of you down at Hein Amphitheatre this summer!

Stacy Faller

 I was thrilled to be asked to join the committee as I have always had a love of music.  I am currently a speech-language pathologist with the Mercer County Educational Service Center where I have worked for 16 years.  I live in Fort Recovery with my husband Jose and our two sons, Will and Leo.  I am a graduate of Fort Recovery High School and was actively involved in band and choir and performed in several musicals.  I will never forget Karen Meiring arranging for me to see my first Broadway show (Les Miserable).  I owe my love of music to her!  I’m proud to be a part of bringing great entertainment to our community!

Tracy Evers-Westgerdes

I'm excited to be a part of the Friends of the Arts Committee and share my love for music with our community.  I am a graduate of Fort Recovery High School and reside in Fort Recovery with my husband Joe.  We have seven children-Adam, Jacob & his wife Courtney, Jamie, Caleb, Alex, Josh & Tony.  I am currently the choir director at Fort Recovery Schools and have been both an administrator and teacher there for 18 years.  I also taught at Covington High School for 3 years as a band and choir director.  I have enjoyed attending several Friends of the Arts Concerts over the years and look forward to helping in my first year on the committee.  

Sam Knapke

I am beyond excited to be apart of the Fort Recovery Friends of the Arts committee. I have been a lover of all music since the day I was born, who else can say they had an enormous karaoke machine hooked up in their living room? My husband Jake and I live in Fort Recovery with our kids, Lane, Will and Jo. Currently, I work at Reid Health as an occupational therapy assistant. I hope to continue what the FOTA has brought in the past of family shows and hope to continue bringing in great local talent to the community.

Eric Brackman

As a lifelong Fort Recovery area resident, I am proud to be a part of the Fort Recovery Friends of the Arts.  The concert series brings the community together to enjoy shows for all generations. I am employed as the Branch Manager at Mercer Savings Bank in Fort Recovery.  I hope to continue bringing in shows for all to enjoy while making improvements to Hein Amphitheatre and Van Trees Park. 

Larry C. Brown

After enjoying my first Friends of the Arts Concert, I knew I wanted to be a part of the organization. My lifelong love of music led me to Bowling Green State University where I received a degree in string instrumental music education. I have continued my career in education here as a member of the Fort Recovery Local Schools’ Staff. My wife, Susan, and I reside in Fort Recovery and we have two adult daughters, Abigail and Kristen.