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festival commitee members

festival commitee members

Kori Burke
eXp Realty

Kori is a licensed real estate agent in Washington state with a diverse understanding of the industry. Her passion for helping people led her to pursue a career in real estate. With experience in lending and insurance, she offers customized home buying/selling experiences. Kori has helped over 300 families buy/sell homes and specializes in residential properties. She prioritizes educating her clients and aims to build lasting friendships. Check out her social media for educational videos and tips. Kori is a dedicated single mom and has deep knowledge of SW Washington.

James Cameron
Band Director – La Center School District

James Cameron has been a band director in La Center since 2017, where he teaches both high school and middle school.  He served as Wind Ensemble Director at Warner Pacific University from 2008 to 2017, where among his duties was running annual middle and high school band festivals.  Since 1995 James has been a member of the 234th Army Band, Oregon National Guard.  During that time, Staff Sergeant Cameron has served as Enlisted Conductor and Leader of the Woodwind Ensemble and Brass Quintet, among other roles.  James served as Music Director/Conductor for 7 shows at Clackamas High School in Clackamas Oregon, which included directing large scale productions of Sweeney Todd and Les Miserables.  Still an active professional horn player, James has been a member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra since 2002. Past music positions have included Worship Ministries Director at Mt. Scott Church of God from 2010-2017, Music Director at Hillsboro First Baptist Church from 2006-2009, Director of Bands at La Salle High School in Milwaukie from 2002-2006 and Band/Choir Director at Vancouver Christian High School in from 2002-2005.

Rhonda Catchpole
Director of choral music at La Center Middle School and High School in La Center, WA

Rhonda Catchpole has been the director of choral music at La Center Middle School and High School in La Center, WA, since 2000. She earned her Bachelor Degree in Music Education at Warner Pacific College (now a University,) and her Master’s Degree in Education at Washington State University in Vancouver. Rhonda has served as the Repertoire and Resources Chair for Junior High and Middle School Choirs for the Washington State ACDA (American Choral Directors Association.) She currently sings in the professional group Choir Anno, has been a singer in Choro in Schola, and sang in the Portland Symphonic Choir, which included the opportunity of being in the choir as a backup singer for Andrea Bocelli in one of his Portland, OR performances. Rhonda is also a Cross Country and Track Coach and regularly trains as a competitive runner. At home you will find her running with her husband, playing the piano, and spending time with her two dogs.

Candy Conrad
Human Resources Manager

Candy Conrad, Human Resource Manager for the New Phoenix/Last Frontier Casinos. I have been a part of the Casino family since 2012. I have worked in the entertainment/hospitality industry for the past 30 + years. I enjoy the field of Human Resources as it allows me the opportunity to help others, build a better workplace, create a positive working environment, contribute to our Company’s growth and be able to give back to our community by participating in special events.

La Center United Logo

Melissa Flatt-Girard
Community Prevention Project Coordinator; Prevention and Youth Services

Melissa Flatt- Girard has been with La Center United since their beginning about 10 years ago.  La Center United is a community coalition made up of individuals, businesses, and agencies who all share a vision for a healthy and resilient community. We believe in the power of positive community change when we all work together.

The coalition formed as a grassroots effort by concerned citizens in 2013. In 2014, La Center United incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, and in 2015 we were awarded a federal Drug Free Communities Support Program grant for $125,000 a year for five years. With this funding, we are working to increase community collaboration and reduce substance use and mental health issues facing today’s youth.

Sam Glackler
SpecPro Operations Manager

Sam Glackler has been a La Center resident for over 13 years. In addition to his management role at Daimler Trucks North America, he owns and operates a farm and is the owner of Exit 16 Brewing.
Sam is active in the La Center Lions, Treasurer and committee member for La Center Our Days, and is a Middle School and Youth Wrestling coach. Sam is married to Trista and has three children in the La Center school district.
This is Sam’s 2nd year as part of the La Center Christmas Festival committee. Giving back to the community and making La Center a special place for families is one of his passions.

Nicole Johnson
Left-handed Misfit Owner/operator

Nicole Johnson has been a resident of La Center for 8 years. She has 3 kids in the La Center School District. Nicole passes time by sewing, crocheting, cross stitching, and other crafts. You can find her creations on social media, just look for the Left Handed Misfit. Along with running her own business, Nicole has also been a certified caregiver for the last 7 years. Nicole has volunteered with the La Center Music Association for 2 years. She’s in charge of gathering unique and talented vendors for the annual Holiday Bazaar at the Middle School. The La Center Music Association team has been amazing to work with and has really been an important part of Nicole’s growth. Event Coordinating and helping others find their artistic grove is really her passion.

Bryan Kast
Community Development/Public Works Director

Bryan Kast is the Community Development and Public Works Director for the City of La Center. He is a professional Engineer and has over 15 years of experience in local government. Bryan has a bachelors and masters degree from Washington State University and is a graduate of Leadership Clark County.

Michael Kirkman
Pastor at La Center Church

Pastor Michael Kirkman began his ministry at La Center Church in 2010. He brings over 40 years of experience and leadership, having served in pastoral leadership in four churches and as the Executive Director of Central Oregon Youth for Christ.  He is married to Carol and they have three grown children, all serving our Lord in their local churches.

Peter Rosenkranz
Superintendent – La Center School District

I am the Superintendent of La Center School District. I’ve worked for the school district for around 10 years and lived in La Center for the past 2.5 years. I truly love living and working in La Center. What I love most about the Christmas Season is spending time with my family and will enjoy my first Christmas with my new granddaughter. 

Amy R. Roberts-Santistevan
Public Works Supervisor

I am the Public Works Supervisor for the City.  I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family and three big dogs.

Thomas Strobehn
Mayor of La Center

Thomas “Tom” Strobehn and his wife Courtney of 25 years have two boys, Austyn & Brisyn, and have been residents of La Center for the last 20 years.  Thomas is an active member of Clark College CSIT advisory committee since 2016, La Center City Council for 5 years, multiple donations to schools and charity groups in and around Clark County; Started a scholarship at Clark College for single parents, volunteer for Clark College events, “green eggs & ham” Read Across America volunteer, current and past supporter of The Northwest Association for Blind Athletes, Janus Youth Programs, Our Days in La Center, Miss Teen Pageant La Center, All Gods Children; current member of the Lions International Club in La Center.  

Maria Swinger-Inskeep
Director of Administrative Services

Maria Swinger-Inskeep has served as the Director of Administrative Services for the City of La Center since July of 2020.  This is her 3rd year helping to lead the Christmas festivities, and she is excited to see it continue to grow each year. 

Chris Swindell
General Manager of the New Phoenix Casino and the Last Frontier Casino

Chris Swindell is the General Manager of the New Phoenix Casino and the Last Frontier Poker Room. He has worked for the Company since 1999, after serving in the United States Marine Corps. Through his work, and once lived in this great town has been part of this community for over 24 years. He has two children, Daisha and Gavin who attended Elementary and Middle School in La Center, and has been his family’s favorite town. Chris is thankful for the opportunity to volunteer for the Christmas Committee to help keep La Center special.

Jurinda Swingruber
Branch Manager

Jurinda Swingruber, Branch Manager of the La Center Community Library part of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library system.

I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest all my life and enjoy the small town vibe of our La Center community.  When not checking out the latest best seller or clamming at the beach I enjoy sailing, knitting, and travel.