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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Beverly Giangiacomo, Retired-BSN/Nursing 

Mrs. Giangiacomo is a long-time resident of Columbia, MO. She has been a TRYPS angel since the first production of “Free To Be…You & Me” in 2000. She volunteers with tea party fundraisers, hits local garage sales looking for those hard-to-find props, and has hosted the most spectacular homemade pizza parlors as fundraisers.

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Brandon Banks, BS/Business Management-University of Central Missouri

Mr. Banks is a serial entrepreneur who began his career at the age of fifteen. He founded a children’s theatre program in Troy, Missouri called “Spot Light Stars”. He left the company to attend the University of Central Missouri. Mr. Banks is now the Managing Partner of MAAD CREATIVE - the  company owns and manages renowned brands like 93.1 Jack FM, Relocating in Columbia magazine, and The Add Sheet. Mr. Banks is a lifelong arts advocate who was born twirling a cane and singing "Hello My Baby, Hello My Darling"! As a young creative entrepreneur, he wanted his own theatre company to provide a safe space for children. His passion for children’s theatre led him to TRYPS. He’s proud to join the Board, learn more, and to make a difference in the continuity of the company’s mission. Everyone deserves an opportunity to enjoy the arts and to be part of the arts! 

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Brandy Tieman, Freelance Artist

Ms. Tieman was born in Saint Joseph, MO. She planted her roots in Columbia, MO in 2004 and has proudly called it home ever since. Her first experience with theater was when her 5-year-old daughter was in the “Skippy Jon Jones” class production with TRYPS. Ms. Tieman has been the master scenic painter, tea party volunteer, usher, office volunteer, and assists with the day-to-day efforts that keep TRYPS rolling. She appreciates that TRYPS is a place where kids and adults alike can be themselves and take on the wonderful challenge of theater!

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Bridgid Magee Kinney, BS/Biologial Sciences-University of Missouri/Columbia

Mrs. Kinney is Director of Advancement for Columbia Independent School in Columbia, Missouri.  She is responsible for all fundraising activities, giving campaigns, and event planning.  She also oversees the Parent Association, and is a key member of the leadership team.  Prior to her role at CIS, Bridgid owned her own company for fifteen years, specializing in audio and video home electronic systems. She enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her husband, children, and two mischievous dogs.

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Christopher Meade, Retired-District Manager/O’Reilly Auto Parts

Mr. Meade serves as Board Treasurer. His business experience spans 36 years in business management. He was the Co-President/CFO of the Keytesville Hardware & Lumber Company in the 1980s. He was the District Manager for O’Reilly Auto Parts for 25 years. Mr. Meade comes to the TRYPS family by way of his daughter’s participation over the last several years. Mr. Meade looks forward to continuing TRYPS’ growth in Columbia and Mid-Missouri and helping so many young people achieve their true potential.

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Connor Hirsch, BS/Journalism, Public Relations & Advertising-DePaul University

Mr. Hirsch was born and raised in Jefferson City. He participated in community theater since he made his debut in “The Wizard of Oz” in 5th grade. He continued performing and competing vocally throughout high school. His favorite role was Lord Faarquad in “Shrek the Musical” his senior year. He made his way to Chicago and completed his degree in Journalism and Public Relations & Advertising, while continuing to perform with an acapella group. Mr. Hirsch moved to Columbia in March 2019 and launched his professional career as a reporter with ABC17 News. He joined the TRYPS Board at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is most proud of how resilient the organization is by taking on the pandemic’s challenges and continuing to provide a creative outlet for kids who share his lifelong love of theatre.

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Greg Wack, BS/Building Engineering-Lincoln University

Mr. Wack was born in St Louis and moved to Ashland, Missouri in 1972, where he and his family lived until 2015. His career with the State of Missouri spanned 28 years, where he served as Engineering Technician, Construction Inspector, Construction Manager and Assistant Chief Construction Manager. His notable projects included historic renovations of the State Capitol Building and the Supreme Court Building, and construction of the Lewis & Clark State Office Building. He and his wife, Jayne, moved to Columbia in 2015. He has served on the Board of Directors with the Columbia Country Club and as Activities Committee Chair. Mr. Wack was first interested in theater in high school after attending the Muny Opera in St Louis in 1966. His interest was rekindled when he took his grandson to see a TRYPS performance of “Jungle Book.”  When he toured the TRYPS office at the Columbia Mall, the rest is history. He has volunteered as the master scenic builder and served on the Board of Directors since 2009. He has watched all the children who have come through TRYPS, seen their growth in self confidence and leadership. He also firmly believes that the impact TRYPS has on these children is infectious.

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Kallie Chrisman, BA/Sociology & BA/Information Science
University of Missouri/Columbia

Mrs. Chrisman is the owner of Pixel Foundry. She designs websites and provides marketing support to dozens of companies. Her first theatrical experience was in 9th grade in her hometown of Trenton, Missouri. She is most proud of the safe and inclusive community TRYPS provides for children and the spirit of artistic expression it fosters.

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Kim Nowak Watson, MFA/Graphic Design & Photography
University of Missouri/Columbia

Ms. Watson was born and raised in Chicago. She arrived in Columbia in 1981 as a freshman at Columbia College, where she earned two undergraduate degrees (BS/Art and a BA/Art Education). In 1995, she founded Pinnacle Graphics, a graphic design firm,with clients like Shelter Insurance, Toastmaster, Inc., Penske Racing and many others. As a high school sophomore, she forced herself into taking an acting class to get over being shy. Years later, her children became involved in theater. Her youngest was most active with TRYPS. Today, her grand-daughter is a TRYPS kid! Ms. Watson believes that TRYPS brings so much to the community while bringing the community together! TRYPS is an opportunity for children to build life skills while developing knowledge in the performing arts. She is most proud of how well-rounded our students become through the cultural experience of TRYPS.

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Kristen Meade, BA/Psychology & Sociology-William Jewell College

Mrs. Meade was born in North Kansas City, Missouri, but considers Columbia her hometown, as she has lived in Columbia for 30 years. She has worked for the University of Missouri for almost 25 years and serves as the Director of UM System Procurement/Chief Procurement Officer. Mrs. Meade remembers attending various shows and plays as a child. One of the first plays she attended was “Annie”, and her love for theater has continued through the years. She joined the TRYPS family about seven years ago when her daughter started attending the TRYPS After School Enrichment program. Her daughter loved it so much, she auditioned for shows.  TRYPS has been such a vital part of helping her daughter, and so many other children,  grow and learn self-confidence.  Mrs. Meade looks forward to seeing TRYPS in their new location and to continuing its work enriching the lives of many more young people.