Molly Morrison is retired president of Natural Lands, one of the oldest and largest regional non-profit land trusts in the United States. She retired in 2018. Morrison took the reins at Natural Lands in 2005 and her leadership resulted in some of the region’s most significant conservation achievements. During her tenure, the organization has preserved permanently more than 32,000 acres of open space in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.Prior to joining Natural Lands, Morrison worked for the Chester County Board of Commissioners, where she served in a variety of positions over a 21-year period, most recently as Director of Policy and Planning. In that role, she was responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the county’s nationally recognized open space program (which has resulted in more than 42,500 acres of permanently protected land in Chester County) as well as for policy development and program implementation for planning, parks, water resources, community development, housing, and environmental protection. Morrison served on the Natural Lands Trust Board of Trustees from 1997 to 2000.
Eric is the president of Great Valley Industries in Downingtown, PA. West Chester is his hometown, and he loves living there. He has been active in local government and community organizations for many years. Most recently, he helped launch the Barclay Grounds Preservation Alliance which succeeded in rallying community support to save the historic Barclay Grounds from development. He is also a member of the newly-formed West Chester Historical Commission. Having fought years ago to save the Warner Theatre, a 1930’s art-deco movie palace, only to see it demolished, he is thrilled that Uptown has turned the old armory into a thriving performing arts center.
Chris Howe graduated from the University of Maryland with a BS in Accounting. Prior to joining CTDI, he worked as a CPA at Arthur Andersen & Co. in audit and advisory services. Chris joined CTDI in 1994 and currently serves as the CFO and Vice President of Accounting. Chris has responsibility for internal and external financial reporting, accounting operations and general ledger, global consolidation, financial business systems, treasury, bank and debt management, compliance, acquisition integration, and the financial control environment. During his tenure at CTDI, Chris has served in progressive roles within CTDI from Assistant Controller, to Controller, to Director of Accounting. Chris is a valued member and advisor to the CTDI Executive Management team. He has provided due diligence, analysis and decision support related to business acquisitions.
Nicole was born and raised in West Chester, PA and graduated West Chester University with a Major in Accounting and a Minor in Theater. After receiving her MBA from the Wharton School of Business, at the University of Pennsylvania, Nicole took her career across five cities and three continents, where she lived and worked. She then returned to West Chester, to settle down, with a new appreciation of the phrase, “there is no place like home” and a mission to do what she could to give back to the West Chester community. Nicole became part of Uptown! in 2016, joining the team as Launch Director, in order to help the team get the building across the finish line and open to the public. After the opening, she continued to remain connected to the organization and in 2018 she joined the board. Nicole is part of the CTDI Program Management team, focused on the supply chain for Comcast Corporation.
For the past 25 years Holly has been closely connected with the revitalization of West Chester Borough. First as a member of the initial Downtown Committee, then as a member of the Main Street Program. That program initiated a committee to organize a Business Improvement District which she helped to create, and then was selected as a board member. After two years on the BID, Holly was elected to Borough Council where she served for 8 years, as president for four years. During that time she helped oversee the construction of the new Chestnut Street garage, the development of a Retail overlay district, and worked on ordinances that helped the economic development of the Downtown. She has most recently served as Vice Chair of the West Chester comprehensive plan committee, President of the BID, and member of the committee that restored and returned the historic fountain to Marshall Square Park.
After a 30 year career with The DuPont Company, Roy retired in 1992 giving him more time to pursue one of his passions – historic preservation, as evidenced by his involvement in ten preservation organizations over the past nearly forty years. His contributions to historic preservation led to Roy’s being named the first West Chester Downtown Foundation “Preservationist of the Year” and the recipient of the F. Otto Haas Award, Preservation Pennsylvania’s signature award for lifetime achievement in preservation. Roy has also been active in the Borough, having served on its Historical and Architectural Review Board, Planning Commission, Zoning Hearing Board and the Board of the Business Improvement District.
A native of Washington, D. C., Richard graduated from Sidwell Friends School in 1964 and went on to Princeton University where he earned an AB in Economics in 1968. He and Julie, also a D.C. native, married in 1969 while Richard was serving in the U.S. Army.
After opening RKM Advisors, a fee-only financial services firm now located at 121 N. Walnut St., West Chester, Richard began getting involved in the community. From the 1980s to the early 1990s, he served in various positions on the boards of diverse not-for-profits including the GWCCC, West Chester Lion’s Club, West Chester Civil Service Commission, West Chester Recreation Commission and West Chester Vacancy Board.
Since 2000, Richard has helped numerous organizations including West Chester Downtown Foundation and West Chester Business Improvement District. In addition, he served as Treasurer of the Board of the West Chester Public Library during its $2.7 million renovation and expansion project and founded West Chester Library, Labor & Capital, LLC to provide the project with $400,000 in initial funding. He also co-founded the Uptown Entertainment Alliance to bring a new theater to West Chester and founded Uptown Bravo Theatre, LLC which raised $1.5 million in capital for the new Knauer Performing Arts Center, opening December 31, 2016.
April, a life-long resident of West Chester, has more than 20 years in the arts industry, is the former COO of the Chosen Dance Company in West Chester, PA where she worked for more than 16 years. April has been with Uptown! since 2017 when she joined the team as the Assistant Director.
She is very proud of the impact Uptown! is making to further performance art and culture in our town and sees an even greater opportunity for a more profound influence in Chester County.
Eric first entered the live performance industry in 2012 as a sound engineer. Since that time, he has worked in performing venues throughout the Washington D.C, Baltimore, and Delaware regions. In addition to holding a B.S. in Audio Production, Eric has a wealth of experience working as a freelance engineer and technician at venues such as Baltimore Center Stage and the Delaware Theater Company, and spent several years serving as the Sound and Projections Supervisor at the Olney Theatre Center. Additionally, Eric has spent several years as an adjunct instructor of audio technology at Cecil College, where he also served as the resident designer and lead technician for the Elkton Station Performing Arts Hall.
Director of West Chester Studio for the Performing Arts, which she founded in 2009, Therese is a professional actress who has performed in New York City, Los Angeles as well as regional theaters across the country. She holds an MFA in Classical Theatre from the Old Globe Theater Professional Actor Training Program and has been seen and heard in Commercials, Voice-overs, TV, Soap Operas, Industrials, Film, and on Stage. Therese join the closing cast of the 1997 Broadway Company of Annie as Martin Charnin’s assistant director and continued on with the National Tour. Therese received a Best Actress Dramalogue Award for her work as Grace in Annie and was nominated for a Best Actress Robby Award for her work as Fiona in Brigadoon, both while working in Los Angeles. In addition to performing Therese has taught Musical Theatre, Shakespeare, Acting and Speech for over 25 years at many theaters and schools: The Old Globe Theatre, LA Repertory Company, Flat Rock Playhouse, Performers Theatre Workshop in NJ, The Hedgerow Theatre, The Media Theatre as well as private coaching in New York City.
Charlotte Kroft is one of two Administrative staff at Uptown! In addition to general administrative duties such as box office, house management during performances, and coordinating memberships, Charlotte is on point for scheduling and training the theater’s cadre of volunteers. Prior to joining the staff, Charlotte volunteered at Uptown! and enjoyed a long-term and diverse career at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals. She has been a member of Concordia Choral Arts since the fall of 2008, and served as both Secretary and President for a number of years. At Uptown!, Charlotte enjoys the diverse and fast-paced nature of the theater, especially interacting with patrons and tremendously talented performers!
Debra started her professional career in Musical Theatre touring the east coast in Me and My Girl and Annie. In London, she conceived, created and implemented an intensive course in Dance and Musical Theatre utilizing her proximity to the West End. Debra now offers the course in the U.S. and has published a feature article in Dance Studio Life Magazine (October, 2015) based on her curriculum. She also created a program matching American and international dance schools which was nationally sponsored by National Dance Week.
Debra graduated with a certificate in dance from the University of the Arts and also holds a B.A. in Arts Administration. Debra has been featured in Dance, Dancer and Dance Teacher Magazines for her work in dance education. She is certified in all three levels of Progressing Ballet Technique and is accredited at the Master Level with the National Registry of Dance Educators. Debra is a Temple University honorarium proctor for the performance examination of dance education candidates. Debra was a contributing writer for Dance Studio Life Magazine for eight years and is currently a columnist for The Dance Journal and Phindie.