Skip to main content

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, chair

Keri HaleKeri 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 AxtellKarla 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 CoppinDavid 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 DainesLinda 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.

Ron Gunnell

Ron GunnellRon Gunnell co-founded the real estate and venture capital firm The Paradigm Group with Michael S. Lewis in 1999. The Paradigm Venture Partner strategic investment portfolio includes fiber optics, stored valued credit card processing and consumer credit financing. Paradigm Development specializes in large commercial real estate ventures. Ron previously co-founded Health Benefits America (HBA), which became one of the nation's premier outsourcing benefit management solutions. HBA provided services to many Fortune 100 companies including GM, Bank of America, PepsiCo, Chrysler, Sears, Citibank, Chevron, Xerox and Marriott. HBA was acquired by Automatic Data Processing (ADP) in 1996.

Ron has been a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir since 1997 and serves as assistant to the president for special projects for the choir. He has been responsible for securing and negotiating with guest artists and celebrities to perform with the Choir. He serves on a number of boards including Dynamic City, Galileo Financial, Hale Center Theatre, University of Utah School of Music, the President’s National Advisory Board for Utah Valley University, the National Advisory Board for Best of State, and International Advisory Board Chairman for Enterprise Mentors International. He previously served on the Utah Governor’s Global Economic Council. Ron graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and psychology from Brigham Young University.

Ron lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Kaye.

Mary Heers

Mary HeersMary 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.

Carol Laub

Carol LaubActive 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 PitcherJed 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 PitcherMerLynn 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 RaymondMelanie 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 RussellDaniel (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.

Ned M. Weinshenker

Ned M. WeinshenkerNed M. Weinshenker Ph.D., is president of Churchill Oaks Consulting, a company with provides management, technical consulting, and Board of Director services to a range of clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostics, and chemical and high tech industries. Prior to this, he was the Vice President for Strategic Ventures and Economic Development at Utah State University, where he was responsible for the Technology Commercialization Office, the Innovation Campus and the Utah Science, Technology and Research (USTAR) Initiative. 
Dr. Weinshenker has over 38 years of business, education and scientific expertise. Before joining Utah State University he was the Director of the Life Sciences Cluster in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. He served in upper management positions at several Silicon Valley biotechnology and venture capital firms, and was President, Chief Executive Officer and Director for Salt Lake City-based IOMED, where he was responsible for the creation of new products, partnerships, and overseeing a successful IPO in 1998. He served as President and CEO of two University of Utah spinouts, MantiCore Pharmaceuticals and Pharmadigm in SLC.  Previous positions were at ALZA Corporation, Dynapol, Liposome Technology and MBW Management.

On the academic side, Dr. Weinshenker worked as an Assistant Professor in the University of Maryland’s Department of Chemistry, and has been an Invited Lecturer and Visiting Scholar at Stanford University. He also served on the College of Science Advisory Board at the U of U and in several advisory boards at Westminster College. Dr. Weinshenker received a BS at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and completed post-doctorate work at Harvard University under Nobel Laureate E.J. Corey.

In addition to serving on The Leonardo @Library Square Board, Dr. Weinshenker also serves on the Board of JSK Therapeutics and on the Investment Committee of the KickStart Venture Seed Fund all in Salt Lake City. Recently, Dr. Weinshenker began an additional career in Digital Imaging. In the past few years he has exhibited his photographs (digitally printed) at The Utah Gallery, Distinctive African American Gallery and The Evergreen Gallery and Framing Co. in Salt Lake City. He recently organized and opened “The Artists’ Gallery” in the Bullen Center, a gallery to display artistic works of local Cache Valley artists. CCA students are usually represented in the gallery.

Ned and his wife, Gail, live in Providence, Utah.