December 5, 2018
At their November meeting, the Colts Board of Directors elected officers and additional board members to oversee the organization for the 2019 fiscal year.
The board selected Jim Johnson to serve as president. Jim has been active with the Colts organization in various capacities since 1989. He was a member of the baritone section for two years before joining the staff as an office assistant, low brass instructor, and marching technician, as well as director of the Colt Cadets in 1996 and 1997. Jim has been an active volunteer for the organization since, often spending time on the cook truck with his husband, Barry, who served as a Colts head cook for over a dozen years. Jim works professionally in the Division of Student Affairs at Indiana University.
Appointed as vice president was Cathi Roberts. Cathi has been involved with the Colts since 2014, when her son, Jack, became a member of the corps in the cymbal section. Cathi is an active volunteer with the organization and currently leads the Red Team Thread Team. A resident of Omaha, Cathi has been involved in various philanthropic endeavors throughout the area, including holding a seat on the board of directors for the League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha and serving on the Event Leadership Team for the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life for 12 years. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, she chaired the event and helped raise over $4,500,000.
Bill Howes was reappointed to his position as treasurer, along with Bill Symoniak, who will once again serve as secretary. Peter Hansen will provide support as past president of the board.
The newest members of the board are Mike Kelley, Steve LaHood, Jim McKernan, and Cindy Steichen.
Mike Kelley is currently the director of data center network and security engineering at Cognizant Technology Solutions. He has served on many nonprofit, state, and local government boards in various leadership positions. Focused on ensuring all children have access to the arts, in particular music education, Mike was elected twice by the residents of his home town of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, to three year terms on the regional and local school committee, where he served as chairman. Throughout his life, Mike has marched with or volunteered with a number of drum corps around the country. Mike was a baritone player with the Buccanneers of Merrimack Valley Drum & Bugle Corps for one season and the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps for four seasons. This past summer, Mike spent almost three weeks of the season on tour with the Colts, alternating between driving a van and working on the cook truck. Julie, his wife, is an accomplished musician and public school music teacher in the Boston area. Their son, Sean, is a member of the Colts trumpet section and their daughter, Kathryn, spins with the Arabella Independent Color Guard and has plans to join the Colts in the future.
Steve LaHood is a native of Omaha and had his first taste of the drum corps activity through the Railmen Drum & Bugle Corps. He was a snare player with the Colts from 1984 to 1986, and continued on as a percussion staff member for both the Colts and the Glassmen Drum & Bugle Corps. Steve currently serves as the vice president and director of marketing and product design for HDR, a global architecture and engineering firm headquartered in Omaha. He travels the country and the world building and growing teams of strategists, designers, and communications specialists. Along with his wife, Carol, the LaHoods volunteer with several organizations focusing on fundraising and youth outreach promoting Catholic education in the Omaha area. Steve also serves as a design and leadership mentor within HDR and other organizations. Steve has a passion for all things design, and recently completed transforming an abandoned 520 square foot former natural gas utility building into an Airbnb property.
Jim McKernan is the regional vice president for Quincy Media, Inc. Based out of Quincy, Illinois, the media company manages newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations throughout Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Indiana. Jim oversees eight TV markets, including KWWL in Waterloo-Dubuque-Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. He is a 35 year broadcasting veteran. Born and raised in Dubuque, Jim graduated from Hempstead High School and then attended Bellevue College in Bellevue, Washington. Following graduation, he worked with the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command in Omaha, Nebraska. Jim was a member of the Colt .45 Cadets in the early 1970s as a snare player. He cites his experience in the Colts as transformative and educational and that it continues to impact him in his day-to-day life. Currently, Jim lives in the Cedar Falls area with his wife. Together, they have four children and four grandchildren.
A native of Dubuque, Cindy Steichen began her drum corps career in 1972 with the Colt Cadets color guard at the ripe old age of 12. In 1973, she joined the Colts (then called the Colt .45), and was a member through 1979. Cindy was also a member of the 1976 Colts Winter Guard, which placed first at the VFW National Color Guard Championships, the precursor to Winter Guard International (WGI). Cindy’s mother, Juanita, was an active volunteer with both the Colts and Colts Cadets, traveling around the country with the corps. Cindy’s siblings, Gene and Dawn Steichen, were also members of the Colts and Colt Cadets during the 1970s and 1980s. Cindy returned to the Colts organization in 2002 when her daughter, Kayla, became a member of the Colt Cadets color guard. Cindy has worked as a registered nurse for over 35 years. She began her career in Iowa, but currently lives in the Denver area. Throughout her career, she has worked in acute care, hospitals, home health, traveling nurse, and long term care. Since 2002, Cindy has been involved with the Rocky Mountain Color Guard Circuit in various capacities and with several winter guards.
The Colts would also like to thank Randy Eichhorn for his 22 years of service on the Colts Board of Directors. Throughout his tenure, Randy served as president from 2003 to 2010 and vice president in 2002 and from 2012 to 2015, as well as being an active member on the booster board. Randy will join Rod Bakke, Gary Dolphin, and Tom Reilly on the Emeritus Committee, where he will continue providing guidance and support to both the board and the organization as a whole.
To view a full list of board members, you can click here. The Colts are proud to have a large and active board that continues to support and provide an unparalleled experience of excellence for the countless students who are impacted by the Colts programs. Thank you for all you do!
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