Chair: David Skinner
Vice-Chair: Karly Warren
Secretary: Celina Linares
Treasurer: James Thompson
Music Director: Beth Mears (ex-officio)
Immediate Past Board Chair: Pete Gram
Kathy Allen is the Director of Human Resources and Marketing for the South Carolina State Fair. She started her position in 2017, after working 21 years for The State newspaper. At the newspaper she began her tenure there as a Human Resources Manager and ended it as the Marketing Director. Kathy graduated with a B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of North Florida (Jacksonville, Fl). She grew up and has lived in Columbia, S.C. most of her life.
Pete Gram recently retired from a career in the packaging industry and is shifting his energy to serving the Columbia Choral Society. He is the immediate past board chair. Pete has long held a passion for choral music and its presentation to the community. He sang in the Oratorio Choir at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he was fortunate to sing Haydn’s Creation under the direction of guest conductor Robert Shaw. Since moving to Columbia, Pete has sung with several church choirs including the last several years at the Church of the Good Shepherd under the direction of Dr. David Lowry. He has been a vocalist with the Columbia Choral Society since 2012.
Audrey Korsgaard, is a professor of Management at the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business in Columbia, SC. She received her Ph.D. from New York University and taught at Tulane University before joining the University of South Carolina. Her research focusses on how leaders build trust and motivate followers. She also works with numerous corporations on leadership development and 360 degree feedback. Audrey has repeatedly served the Columbia Choral Society as President, Board Chair, vocalist, and continues to guide the organization as Board Chair Emeritus. She also serves on the Palmetto Health Foundation’s Palmetto Health Cancer Centers Board.
Celina Linares, secretary for Columbia Choral Society, earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a Master’s degree in clinical psychology from Augusta State University. She has worked for the Department of Juvenile Justice for 20 years evaluating juveniles for Family Court. The last ten years, she has been a community psychologist traveling weekly to counties in South Carolina completing evaluations. She attends St. Thomas More Catholic Church, where she sings in the choir and is also part of an all-women schola choir.
David Skinner is a Vice President with the Shakespeare Company, where he oversees Quality Assurance, EH&S, Product Regulatory Compliance and Product Innovation for Lawn & Garden products. His career has included assignments in Product Development, Operations Management, and a four-year expat assignment which involved building a factory and serving as Director or China Operations for the Shakespeare Company in Guangzhou, China. He is the named inventor on 32 USA patents, has served on Shakespeare’s leadership team for over 25 years, and has previously served on the Board of American Quality Assessors. A lifelong member of church choirs, David began singing with the Columbia Choral Society (CCS) in 2016. He currently serves as board chair of the CCS.
Geoffrey Steele has worked for South Carolina Electric and Gas at VC Summer Nuclear Station since 1990 in Chemistry, Nuclear Training and Nuclear Oversight. He previously served in the US Navy as a Machinist Mate 1st class, qualified on submarines. Geoff earned a BS in Business Management from Limestone College in 1999. Geoff attends the Church of God, International, and has enjoyed singing in his church choir for about 15 years before joining the Columbia Choral Society in 2017. Geoff enjoys a variety of activities such as running and volleyball and previously served on the Board of the Columbia Volleyball Club.
Jason Stegall has worked for The State Media Company since May 2000 as a local marketing consultant advising clients and companies on ways to effectively market their products and services by getting to know what their goals are by identifying the target audience they would like to reach. During his time with the The State Media Company Jason has also worked with various not-for-profits including museums, art centers and local and national charities.
Donna Thompson has been a member of the Columbia Choral Society since 2015 and is president elect. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Furman University, where she also met her husband while playing trombone together in the Furman band. She then obtained her Master’s in Science from Wilkes University in Instructional Media. Donna recently retired after a career that included working at John de la Howe School, SC State Department of Education and SCETV. In her last position before retirement, Donna provided computer support and training to teachers across South Carolina in new tech tools.
Donna loves to make music, teach, and laugh! In addition to singing with the Columbia Choral Society, she enjoys directing the children’s and adult handbell choirs at Bethel United Methodist Church located in the Peachtree Rock area. She also enjoys the art of tatting (which is making lace by hand), designing tatting patterns and teaching the craft. Donna and her husband, Jeff, will celebrate 35 years together in 2019!
James E. Thompson, Chorus Treasurer. James is currently retired, formerly the Director of Finance at Companion Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.
Dr. Karly Warren is a clinical psychologist with considerable experience working with individuals across the lifespan, including those with chronic mental illness. Dr. Warren is the assistant chief of mental health at the Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina. In addition, she is a member of a group private practice that conducts comprehensive psychological evaluations with children, adolescents, and adults in inpatient settings, private practice, and at the VA hospital. Dr. Warren received her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Alliant International University in Sacramento. She completed a pre-doctoral internship at Wasatch Mental Health in Utah and a post- doctoral fellowship at Oklahoma City VA Medical Center, receiving extensive training across a breadth of specializations.
David Watkins is a Certified Public Accountant and currently has a practice located at 3103 Devine Street where he does mostly tax work. He is a native of Columbia where he attended Cardinal Newman High School. During his teenage years, he was active in the scouting program and was successful in obtaining his Eagle Award. After graduating from Clemson University in 1981 with a degree in accounting he joined the international accounting firm of Ernst and Young in Houston, Texas. He is the father of four children and he is active in the Columbia running community and has served on the board of Trustus Theater, Columbia Choral Society, and Sandlapper Singers. He also served as the fundraising chairman of the American Cancer Society in SC.