After receiving a degree in Corporate and Organizational Communication from Western Kentucky University in 2017, Will moved back to Paducah and got involved volunteering at the Yeiser Art Center and working with the Lower Town Arts & Music Festival. He joined the YAC full time in 2019 as the Project Coordinator and spends his days surrounded by beautiful art from around the world and serving the community that has done so much for him.
Board of Directors
Ashley R. Barnett
Originally from Henderson, KY, Ashley and her husband moved to Paducah in 2002 for the creative community that had developed due to the Artist Relocation Program. Over the years Ashely has entered many shows at the Yeiser and met countless artists and art lovers that have inspired her and encouraged her as an artist. The Yeiser was a key factor in the development of her artistic career and she wants to make sure it continues to do so for future generations.
Nikki D. May
Nikki is an artist and designer with a background in drawing, painting, jewelry and fiber arts. After an accidental 10 year career as a Creative Director with IBM, she moved from Atlanta to Paducah as part of the Artist Relocation Program in 2003. She spends her days designing logos and websites, drawing pretty pictures and drinking too much coffee.
Aida Vega, MSSW, CSW
2nd Vice Chair
Cody Walls was born in Paducah, graduating from Lone Oak High School. He attended Murray State University for undergrad, obtaining his Bachelor of Science with an Area of Accounting, then his Masters’ of Business Administration.
After obtaining his M.B.A., Cody worked in the area as an accountant for a portable building manufacturer, handling all aspects of accounting and financial information, and obtaining his Certified Public Accountant license. He then went on to work for a Public Accounting Firm in Mayfield, preparing tax returns, completing audits and compiling financial statements.
After working as a CPA for a time, Cody attended Southern Illinois University Law School. During his time there he worked as a Staff Member and Note Editor on the Law Journal in the process. While in law school, Cody began working at Denton Law Firm, where he is now employed as an Associate Attorney practicing estate and business law.
Teri Ray, Human Resource Management Senior Lecturer at Murray State University, earned her Bachelor’s degree from Campbellsville University and an MBA from Morehead State University. She also earned her SPHR and SHRM-SCP professional certifications through the National Society for Human Resource Management.
Teri helps guide the paths of many students interested in Human Resource Management at Murray State University. In 2009 the Human Resource Management Program at Murray State was audited and endorsed by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) as aligning with their curriculum guidelines and providing students the necessary knowledge for success in the profession.
Teri and her husband Kelley reside in Paducah, where Kelley works as band director/jazz coordinator for McCracken County High School.
Melinda is a teacher and assistant director at Immanuel Preschool in Paducah. After receiving her BFA in art studio with an emphasis in graphic design from the University of Kentucky, she dabbled in a variety of graphics spots until eventually landing with her favorite crowd of art makers, preschoolers. Being a member of the Yeiser Board has been a wonderful opportunity to plug in to Paducah’s fabulous art scene, meet artists from everywhere and create fiber art.
Special Events + Fundraising
Stefanie Graves is a professional watercolorist with paintings in both private and corporate collections nationally. Her style is representational with elements of Impressionism to capture the spirit, movement, and feeling of her subjects. Stefanie is inspired by the natural world, and her paintings draw from nature as well as the changing seasons. Additionally, with a house in central Mexico, she is inspired by the culture of the Mexican highlands with their vibrant colors and varied landscapes.
Stefanie is a self-taught artist, having taken various workshops throughout her career from instructors in Chicago and Indianapolis. She has exhibited widely throughout the United States in various group shows as well as in central Mexico. She is the immediate past President of the Yeiser Art Center and lives in Paducah, Kentucky where she and her husband relocated as part of the Artist Relocation Program in 2007. She is also a retired nurse with over 40 years of experience in healthcare and management with a Baccalaureate Degree from Indiana University and a Masters of Business Administration from Boston University.
With over twenty years of experience in higher education, multiple leadership opportunities have presented themselves to Kate Senn. Dr. Senn is the Associate Vice-President of Academic Affairs at West Kentucky Community and Technical College. Prior to her current position, she served as the Director of Online Learning, Program Coordinator and Professor in Computer and Information Technologies. Dr. Senn completed her Ph.D. in Leadership in December 2019 from the University of the Cumberlands and is also a graduate of the University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky and Johns Hopkins University.
Tanya Gadbaw-Neitzke (b.Watertown, NY) is an artist and the Painting and FYE Assistant Professor at the West Kentucky Community and Technical College’s Paducah School of Art and Design, currently living in Brookport, Illinois. Gadbaw-Neitzke received her M.F.A. degree at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Illinois. She has been included in various solo, two-person, and group exhibitions nationally as well as internationally.
Some of these exhibitions include, In Memory, a solo exhibition at the Sauk Valley Community College Art Gallery in Dixon, IL, Art+Energy+Future in the Museo Regionale Di Scienze Naturali, Turin Italy, and Tales They Told Usat the Lexington art League in Lexington KY. She also has been in numerous group exhibitions in the Zhou B. Art Center in Chicago Illinois with the 33 Contemporary Gallery collective group.
Gadbaw-Neitzke also loves to explore and experiment with her work, as well as introduce people to the world of creating. She also has been featured on the PBS show, Expressions.
Education + Fundraising
Sara Simon is a mixed media artist and art teacher based in Paducah, working mainly with acrylic painting and recycled fibers in her practice. When she is not doing artsy stuff, she is a homeschooling mom to a wonderful 10 year old boy, a wild spotted dog, a Red Eared Slider turtle and travels the world laughing with her life long love. Sara has been on the board at the Yeiser for 2 years. She loves how the Yeiser brings culture and creativity to our region and exhibits work of artists both local and international.