Dean's Advancement Council

The Caine College of the Arts Advancement Council assists the CCA Advancement Officer in fulfilling development goals for the college, its programs, and its special projects and serve at the invitation of the Dean. They are members of the broader community and advocates of the arts. They have also established an endowed scholarship for CCA students. Current members of the CCA Advancement Council are:

Keri Hale

Keri Hale

Keri Hale is the current "Director of Charitable Giving" for the Dell Loy Hansen Family Foundation.

Keri graduated from Westminster College with a bachelor's degree in Arts Administration and a minor in Music, focusing on vocal performance. Keri enjoys performing and was able to perform a senior vocal recital while at Westminster. Her favorite style to sing is opera.

After graduating from Westminster, Keri went on to work for the Real Salt Lake Foundation. Keri took a brief break after having her second child before starting at the Dell Loy Hansen Family Foundation. 

Keri has served on the Hale Centre Theatre board for 3 years, and the UVU Arts Resource Council for 2 years.

Karla Axtell

Karla Axtell

Karla Axtell is a native of San Diego, California. She has had a love for music all her life. She started piano at the age of eight and has been accompanying choirs and soloists since fifth grade.  She received her Bachelor of Music degree in piano and has taught for over 20 years. Karla was an accompanist for the Cache Children’s Cantate Choir and loved all of the singers, especially her daughters, who participated in the choir. She is currently a rehearsal accompanist for the American Festival Chorus.

Karla has also been studying the organ for many years. She has performed in the Logan Tabernacle numerous times at the piano and organ as part of the Tabernacle Noon Concert Series.  Karla has produced Classical Piano CDs and two volumes of hymn arrangements with Jay Richards entitled Hymns of Faith. Karla has served on the Eccles Ice Arena Board and remains on the Board of Trustees and the Cache Children’s Choir Board.

Karla and her husband, Bruce have six daughters, two sons, and twenty one grandchildren, with another on the way. She enjoys reading, walking, skiing, traveling, and her hobby farm of rabbits, chickens, and alpacas.

David Coppin

David Coppin

David was born and raised in Utah and in 1966 married his wife, Kathy. He is the father of 4 married children, who are all USU graduates, and is the proud grandfather of 19 grandchildren.

David Coppin is a retired physician who practiced for 36 years, 27 of which were in Logan, Utah. He graduated with high honors in 1966 with a BS from Utah State University and went on to the University of Utah to receive his medical degree in 1970. He served his residency at the Madigan Army Medical Center from 1970-1974. From 1993 to 2003, he was the owner of Coppin’s Hallmark Shops.

He was named an Outstanding Medical Intern, an Outstanding Graduating OB-GYN Resident, and received the Meritorious Service Medal in the US Army. He served an LDS mission in the Netherlands and Belgium, was a Lt. Colonel in the US Army, and was the Chief of OB-GYN and Surgical Services at the Raymond W. Bliss Army Hospital.

David has a lifelong interest and involvement in classical music. He is mostly self-taught, but did receive a few lessons in piano, violin, organ, and voice. He collects and compares recorded musical performances and boasts a collection of more than 4,000 recordings.

David and Kathy have attended hundreds of opera, chamber music, orchestral, and choral performances all over the world and have season subscriptions dating back more than 50 years. He has enjoyed new musical endeavors, such as learning to play the organ. His wife shares his interest in music, and she is a talented singer and pianist. They love to travel and incorporate their interest in music and history into trips to many countries, especially in Europe.

In addition to his rich musical background, David is very involved with genealogical research with a special emphasis on Cornwall and the Netherlands. He has written articles on Cornish research and has ongoing participation as the online parish clerk for two parishes there. He is also part of a Cornish organization that is involved in the preservation and transcribing of old records to aid others with their research, and provides volunteer online assistance to people around the world who are seeking their Cornish roots.

David served on the board of directors and was the corporate vice president for Logan's Budge Clinic, as well as serving on the board of trustees and as president of the medical staff for Logan Regional Hospital. He was on the board of directors, physicians division, for Intermountain Health Care, based out of Salt Lake City.  He also served as a practice accreditation reviewer for the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.

David and his wife, Kathy, live in Logan, Utah.

Linda Daines

Linda Daines

Linda Daines has been with Goldman Sachs for more than twenty-seven years, working with wealthy families, foundations, private companies, and pensions. She became a managing director in 2001. She served as founding co-head of the Leadership Council for US Private Wealth Management. She is a former director of the Goldman Sachs Trust Company. Linda earned her bachelor’s degree from Utah State University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. Before business school, Linda was chairman of the music department at the Spence School in New York. A former cellist, she serves as a trustee of the School of American Ballet. Linda and her late husband, Richard Daines, have three children.

The Newel & Jean Daines Concert Hall is named for her in-laws.

Ronald Gunnell

Ron Gunnell

He is founder and Global Chairman of Truth Alone Triumphs, Global Enterprises, LLC which provides global consulting and dialogue bridge building between countries with relationships in the United States, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UEA, Brazil and India. He has presented on “India Power Talk," a digital platform that conducts webinar view Podcast series for the India Chamber of Commerce. He’s topic “Surviving and Thriving In Business and Life Post Covid-19.” He was invited to be the Chief Speaker at the 5th World Parliament of Science, Religion and Philosophy at MIT World Peace University, Pune, India in 2019. He is currently building strong ties with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and India.

He serves on a number of Educational and Arts Boards including Hale Center Theatre, Utah State University Caine College, BYU Marriott School, UVU Presidential Advisory Board, U. of U. School of Music, Legacy Film Foundation, and National Advisor to Best of State. Dean’s Advancement Council, Caine College, Utah State University. He has been heavily involved in Charitable and Volunteer work, Mentors International - Philippines, Honduras, Guatemala, Peru, El Salvador. Operation Kids, and Board of Directors, Rising Star Outreach in India. He is an Ambassador Board Level member at World Trade Center Utah. WTC Utah is part of an international ecosystem of global connections and integrated trade and investments.

In 2000 he was called as Executive Producer For Global Talent and Assistant to the President of the world renowned Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. He is responsible for securing, negotiating world renowned musical guest artists and celebrities who perform with the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. In 2021 he was called to be Global Envoy to the Tabernacle Choir Presidency. In this new assignment he will assist the global outreach and positive influence of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square around the world by promoting music as the universal language of peace and love.

He is the Global Artistic Advisor to the internationally acclaimed King’s Singers based in London, England, and is on the board of their Global charitable efforts world wide. He is also Manager and Global Advisor for GENTRI, the gentleman’s trio.

He is married to Kaye Lynne Gunnell, and has three daughters, Kristen, Lauren, and Natilyn and one son, Michael , and two grandchildren, Emma and Henry.

Mary Heers

Mary Heers

Mary received her BA from Stanford University, her MA from Middlebury College, and a BFA and her teaching credentials at USU. She was awarded the Key to the city of Preston and was named the Friend of HASS for 2008. Mary and her husband, Art Heers, have been generous donors to the Theatre program and the Art and Mary Heers Scene Shop is named for them. Mary had a cameo in the 2004 hit movie, Napoleon Dynamite.

Mary Heers worked as a creative arts instructor at USU for six years and prior to that worked as the director of plays and musicals for Preston High School. She is currently retired and volunteers as a docent for the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City.  She is also a volunteer teacher for the English Language Center in Logan.

Miles Jensen

Miles Jensen

Miles has had an extensive career in law, recognized for multiple awards in his field, and served on many boards in his community. He received Robin’s Award for Achievement of the Year (1972), Rex Robinson Forensic Award (1972), The Academic council he chaired won the Robins Award for Organization of the Year (1972). He was recognized as a Legal Elite in the corporate law category by Utah Business Magazine in January 2008 and 2009 and the real estate category in 2011.

Miles serves on the Board of Directors for Sunshine Terrace Foundation, Board of Directors for Logan Regional Hospital and served on Judicial Nominating Committee. He is a member and past president of Logan Rotary Club. During his time at Utah State, Miles was a member of Pi Sigma Alpha.

Craig Jessop

Craig Jessop

Dr. Craig Jessop is Professor of Music and Coordinator of the Masters of Conducting Program with a Choral Emphasis at Utah State University. From 2010 to 2018 Dr. Jessop served as the first Dean of the Caine College of the Arts at USU. This appointment followed Dr. Jessop’s distinguished tenure as Music Director of the world-famous Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square in Salt Lake City and as Head of the Department of Music at Utah State University. He is the founder and Music Director of the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra which in 2018 celebrated their 10th anniversary with a critically acclaimed tour to England, including performances at Ely Cathedral, Coventry Cathedral and Holy Trinity Church, Sloan Square, London. He has served as the music director of the Carnegie Hall National High School Choral Festival sponsored by the Weill Institute of Music at Carnegie Hall. For the past 10 years Dr. Jessop continues to serve as the Music Director of the National Memorial Day Choral Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Under his direction, the Tabernacle Choir received numerous awards, including the coveted National Medal of Arts in a ceremony at the White House. He has recorded over 15 CDs on the Telarc and MTC labels with the Choir and in 2008 received a Grammy nomination for his work with the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.

He lives in the peaceful setting of the northern Utah valley of Cache County with his wife RaNae. They are the parents of four children and have ten wonderful grandchildren, 8 grandsons and 2 granddaughters.

Carol Laub

Carol Laub

Active with several community organizations, Carol Laub is a resident of Cache Valley. Currently serving on the Logan Schools Foundation Board and the Utah Fast Pass Board, Carol splits her time between her family and her work. She has also helped with fundraising for political campaigns/initiatives and charitable organizations. Her experience includes working for Mitt Romney, Gary Herbert, and Utah Fast Pass. Previous community service includes working as a board member for the Logan Foundation for the Arts.

Carol is married Jim Laub, the owner of Cache Valley Electric and they are both very generous donors to the University and the college. Carol devotes much of her time to her husband, Jim, and their two sons, Mark and Eric. She is a creative individual and has a unique talent for interior design and landscaping. She loves to cook and travel and especially enjoys her time in their other home in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Jed Pitcher

Jed Pitcher

Jed H. Pitcher is the retired CEO of the Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield group of Portland.  He is a retired Chairman of the Board of the Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield Group of Utah.  Mr. Pitcher graduated from Utah State with a B.S. degree in economics. He has served two terms as a trustee for Utah State, and has received the Professional Achievement Award, the Distinguished Service Award and the Hearts and Hands Award from Utah State. Mr. Pitcher and his wife, MerLynn, have given to Utah State, supporting the Women’s Center, the School of the Arts and Alumni Relations. The Pitchers have also donated to endow a scholarship in the College of Business.

MerLynn Pitcher

MerLynn Pitcher

MerLynn Pitcher was affiliated with Alpha Chi Omega sorority, serving as president before her graduation in 1963 with a major in History and minor in Physical Education. Subsequently, she taught school at South Cache Junior High School and Preston Junior High School.  MerLynn, originally from Brigham City, has continued to be involved with Alpha Chi Omega on a national basis, and has served as a member of the Board of Trustees and as a member of the House Corporation Board at USU. MerLynn is active in sports programs of all kinds, having coached various youth teams in the Bountiful area, where she lives. She began working for the Bountiful City Recreation Department in 1969 and has worked as a Water Fitness Program Director. As her children were growing up, MerLynn was also involved with PTA in several capacities and was President of Mueller Park Junior High School PTA.

MerLynn is the mother of four children and is married to Jed Pitcher, who served on the Utah State Board of Regents.

Melanie Raymond

Melanie Raymond

Melanie Raymond is a mother and community and church volunteer. She was raised in Whitney, Idaho. She is a graduate of USU in Education, where she also played in the Symphony Orchestra.

Professionally, she was the Acting Alumni Director at USU and Historical Guide in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. She was president of the USU Alumni Association and served three terms as a member of the USU Board of Trustees.

She is a member of the Cache Performances Board, Chair and Member of the Utah Festival Opera Board, committee member of the Sunshine Terrace Foundation Board, and was a committee member for the Manon Caine Russell Kathryn Caine Wanlass Performance Hall seat campaign.

Melanie is married to A. Spencer Raymond and is the mother of seven children, six of whom are sons.

Daniel Russell

Daniel Russell

Daniel (Danny) is one of Dan and Manon Caine Russell’s children. His parents were instrumental in the founding of the Caine College of the Arts and the Russell Family Foundation funds several scholarships in the College. Danny currently works as an investor and he is the previous owner of Valley Grand Golf Course in Bernalillo, New Mexico.

Danny and his wife Sally live in Logan and are parents of two children, Ian and Addy.