Board of Governors

The Willa Cather Foundation's Board of Governors is a passionate group of individuals dedicated to promoting the life, times, and work of Willa Cather. These business professionals and scholars reside from coast to coast and donate their time and talents to provide strategic governance of our mission-driven activities. Regular communication and committee meetings are ongoing, and the Board meets three times a year—one time each in Omaha, Lincoln, and Red Cloud, Nebraska.


Robert Thacker, President
St. Lawrence University
Canton, New York

Mark W. Bostock, Vice-President
Centennial Lending (Retired)
Malcolm, Nebraska

Amy L. Springer, Secretary
Webster County Community Hospital
Red Cloud, Nebraska

C. Kay Stahly, Treasurer
Dana F. Cole and Company, LLC
Kearney, Nebraska

Glenda J. Pierce, Past President
University of Nebraska College of Law (retired)
Lincoln, Nebraska

Board of Governors

Marion Arneson
Midwest Land Company
Wayne, Nebraska

Sarah Baker Hansen
Writer and Marketing Consultant
Omaha, Nebraska

Peter Cipkowski
Marketing Consultant
Los Angeles, California

Dan Deffenbaugh
Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences, Central Community College
Hastings, Nebraska

Marian Fey
Millard Public Schools
Omaha, Nebraska

Max Frazier
United States Air Force (Retired)
Riverside, Washington

Thomas Reese (Tom) Gallagher
Communications Consultant
New York, New York

Charmion Gustke Hearn
Associate Professor, Belmont University
Nashville, Tennessee

Melissa Homestead
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, Nebraska

James A. Jaap
Penn State University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Ruth H. Keene
Community Service Leader
Omaha, Nebraska

Ana McCracken
Founder, Ames Writers Collective
Ames, Iowa

Dr. Fritz Mountford
Hastings College
Hastings, Nebraska

Diane Prenatt
Marian University
Indianapolis, Indiana

Ann Romines
The George Washington University, Emeritus
Alexandria, Virginia

Steve Skupa
Skupa Insurance
Campbell, Nebraska

Luis F. Sotelo
Doane College
Lincoln, Nebraska

Mary June Talen
Nonprofit Consultant
Omaha, Nebraska

John A (Jay) Yost
Citi Private Bank
New York, New York

Advisory Council

Bruce P. Baker II
University of Nebraska Omaha, Emeritus
Omaha, Nebraska

Jim Fitzgibbon
McCook High School, The Nature Conservancy
Red Cloud, Nebraska

David B. Garwood
Garwood & McCracken Law Offices
Red Cloud, Nebraska

Joel Geyer
Geyer Group Productions
Lincoln, Nebraska

Betty Kort
Hastings Public Schools Foundation
Hastings, Nebraska

Mellanee Kvasnicka 
Papillion LaVista High School (Retired)
Omaha, Nebraska

Susan Maher 
University of Minnesota Duluth
Duluth, Minnesota

Gary L. Meyer
Heritage Bank
Red Cloud, Nebraska

John J. Murphy
Brigham Young University, Emeritus
Newton, Massachusetts

Rev. Charles A. (Chuck) Peek
University of Nebraska Kearney, Emeritus
Kearney, Nebraska

Nancy Picchi
Friend of the Willa Cather Foundation
New York, New York

Jane Renner Hood
Nebraska Humanities Council (Retired)
Lincoln, Nebraska

Rhonda Seacrest
Community Service Leader
Lincoln, Nebraska

James P. Southwick
Cather Family Descendant
Heber City, Utah

John N. Swift
Occidental College
Whittier, California

Gary W. Thompson 
Gary Thompson Agency 
Lincoln, Nebraska

Joseph R. Urgo
University of North Carolina Asheville
Asheville, North Carolina