Gretchen Bond has over 15 years of progressive experience in the nonprofit arts arena. Ms. Bond has held influential and leadership roles with the School of the Arts Educational Foundation, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Literature Alive and the Miners Foundry Cultural Center. Gretchen was instrumental in the founding of the Bitney Springs Charter High School; the first Charter High School in Nevada County, as well as one of the original organizers of “Moms on the Mountains”; a unique fundraising event which has raised over $400,000 for the Nevada City Schools arts programs. She is also a Board Member of Nevada County Arts, the official Arts Council of Nevada County.
Gretchen moved to Nevada County, from Connecticut, in the mid 1980’s to make it her home. At that time, the Miners Foundry Cultural Center was the American Victorian Museum, as she recalls the AVM was “the place for entertainment in Nevada County.” With an Art History degree from the University of Richmond, VA, Gretchen has an appreciation for art, historic preservation and culture. Gretchen understands the essential role the arts play in the lives of the people and their community.
Hired by the Board of Trustees in 2005, Gretchen recognizes the unique place the Miners Foundry holds in the community; a cultural center that presents music and theatrical events while offering an elegant venue for weddings and private parties. The venue hosts art shows in the newly established Box Office Gallery, and is a perfect location for nonprofit fundraisers and an historic treasure to be preserved.
When asked what she loves most about the Miners Foundry, she said, “The Foundry has captured the spirit of the community, past and present. When you walk in to this building you get a sense that wonderful things happen here, it’s as if the walls of these great halls have absorbed everything that has taken place here and are holding these feelings to share with all of us”.
Cherylynn Allen joined the Miners Foundry Cultural Center in April of 2006 as a contract book keeper, and took over as part time Event Coordinator when the position became available. Since 2006, Cherylynn has worked closely with Gretchen Bond, Executive Director, and was promoted to Operations Manager in 2009.
Cherylynn has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fine Art and Art Education, graduating from San Jose State in 1993. Since that time, she has put her educational and art training into working as After School Program Director for several child care schools in the Bay Area. In June of 2000, she followed her mother’s move to Nevada County to raise her son. From Preschool Director, After School Child Care Director, Volunteer Coordinator and Board Member for School of the Arts Educational Foundation to contract bookkeeping, Cherylynn has worked in the non-profit industry for over 10 years.
Cherylynn enjoys giving back to the community and loves the mission of the Miners Foundry to support educational, cultural and artistic endeavors in Nevada County. “One of the things I like about working at the Foundry is how we are able to bring artistic endeavors of many kinds to our community”. In addition to working at the Foundry, Cherylynnvolunteers her time with the Gold County Youth Soccer League as a coaching coordinator and coach, and at Sammie’s Friends Animal Shelter.
Kat Kress joined the staff of the Miners Foundry Cultural Center in 2011 as the Event Coordinator. She graduated in 2000 from Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications and a Minor in English. Kat moved to Nevada County in 2005 after searching for a unique place with the perfect blend of arts, culture, recreation, and the outdoors. Kat lives in Nevada County with her husband and 5 year old son.
“Working at the Foundry has been the culmination of a lifelong dream for me. I even listed working to benefit a nonprofit organization as one of my goals when I graduated from high school. For me, the Foundry is the perfect blend of history, the arts, and community. It’s truly a joy to share in something bigger than myself and to use my skills to contribute to our community.”
Board of Directors
I was born in San Francisco, but spent my childhood in Saudi Arabia where my dad was in the oil business. I attended high school in Beirut, Lebanon.
After college, I taught 7th grade English for 7 years in Texas, where my two children grew up. The bulk of my career was at Chevron in San Ramon where I worked in information technology contracting. My husband, Larry Birdsong, and I retired and moved to Nevada City in 2001.
My other volunteer activities have been in public library support, tutoring for illiteracy or second language, services for the blind, and Celtic Society. We serve on the Mardi Gras committee, and recently joined Marching Presidents, where we portray Senator Aaron and Mrs. Sargent.
I joined the Miners Foundry board in 2008. My greatest accomplishment was spear-heading the Strategic Plan of 2010-12, and seeing many goals accomplished toward the vision of the Foundry as a “First Class Venue.”
Dave Iorns, born in England, is a long time resident of Nevada City, along with his wife, Maryann and two boys, Jon and Daniel. He and his wife own Nevada City Crystal and Glass. Dave also owns and operates Dave Iorns Consulting, an advertising company.
Dave became involved in acting in the early 80’s and was one of the founding members of “The Actors Circle” performing in “The Dining Room” “ I Can’t Hear You When The waters Running” and several other productions. He was also one of the founding members of the Center of the Arts on Grass valley in the mid 90’s was President of the board twice and the remaining time was the secretary. He now serves on the board of theMiners Foundry and is this years president elect for the Nevada City Chamber
He joined up with Bruce and Marsha Kelly’s, Cheap suit Productions and performed in “Of Mice And Men” “The Perfect Party” “Breaking Legs” and “The Odd Couple.”
Dave also understudied for Phillip Snead and acted in several performances of Foothill Theatre Company’s “Kringles Window”
For the past several years he has been appearing in The Miners Foundry productions of Tim O’Connor’s Readers Theatre. He also performed in “How I learned to drive” a Ewing Ventures production. The high point of his acting was the role of “Atticus Finch” in “To Kill a Mockingbird” a LeGacy Production. His latest role was Tony/Tod, twin brothers in the updated version of “The Perfect Party”
Born in the Bay Area in 1958, and a 4th generation Californian, Hamilton Bryan attended college first at Texas Christian University then finished at University of Southern California in Broadcast Journalism. He founded a video production company in San Francisco in the early 80’s followed by a video distribution business in the late 80’s. In 1996 he moved to Cody, Wyoming where he owned and operated a dude ranch for 10 years. The next five years was spent consulting in the same field with clients including the Yellowstone Club and some private ranches. In 2009, Bryan was the General Manager of a newly renovated, non- profit, ski mountain outside of Cody, Wyoming. This led to more non-profit work for the Winter Recreation Coalition, a Cody based consortium of five winter recreation-based groups with the goal of “Fighting childhood obesity through increased recreation investment”.
With wife and two young children, moving to Nevada City in October of 2011 was moving “home”. Great schools, beautiful location, historic town, closer to family and the desire to preserve a treasured hotel were the motivators for heading west. The Miners Foundry is a great asset to the Nevada County Cultural Preservation Trust and to this community. With entrepreneurism in his resume, Bryan looks forward to working with the board and especially would like to add new preservation projects in the future.
Originally from Southern California, and after a brief stop in the Bay Area, Tom moved to Nevada City 18 years ago with his young family, identifying the quality of life and education as an ideal location to raise a family. His children attended Nevada City schools and Nevada Union High School. Actively involved in youth and community focused organizations, he believes ‘giving back’ is an important part of being a member of a community. His volunteer time has included board member of the Nevada City School Foundation, Nevada City Little League and Nevada Union Football Boosters; coaching youth sports for
Gold Country Soccer League, Nevada City Little League and Seven Hills School; and currently managing the local Challenger Division Baseball program for boys and girls with physical and mental challenges.
Tom has a 22 year career in sales, marketing and project management in the software technology industry. For the last 10 years, he has managed a technology consulting group that focuses on customer relationship management software and social media solutions.
Tom joined the Board of Trustees in 2011. He has enjoyed the Miners Foundry from many views – as a parent with local school functions; as a volunteer in support of fundraising activities for various organizations; and as a patron in appreciation of the music and arts the community has to offer. “I am honored to be involved with a great board that shares a vision and desire to support the Miners Foundry – the preservation of its history; the support for music, theater, art and education in our community; and all the new and exciting changes to come in the future.”