Cynthia A. Prost, President
President of the Arts and Education Council since June 2008. Cynthia has held senior management positions leading arts and culture nonprofit organizations for over 15 years. Prior positions include Executive Director of Cultural Festivals, a nonprofit arts organization that specializes in presenting unique community festivals and special events, including the nationally ranked Saint Louis Art Fair and the award winning St. Louis Jazz & Heritage Festival as well as the Big Read, a book festival, created under her leadership. Previous positions include serving as Director of Marketing for KSD-AM&FM, Sports Marketing and as Director of Special Events, City of St. Louis.
Cynthia received her Bachelor’s degree in communication magna cum laude and her Masters degree in management from Fontbonne University in St. Louis.
She is a recipient of a Grand Center Visionary Arts Award in 2007 as the Outstanding Arts Professional and the YWCA Leadership Award in 2006 for Non-Profit Management. She serves on the Private Sector Council of the Americans for the Arts, is a member of the St. Louis Forum and a graduate of the Focus St. Louis Leadership Program. Additionally she serves on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Community Advisory Board, Clear Channel Communications Community Board, is a former Commissioner of the St. Louis Zoological Park, Tax Incremental Financing Commission for the City of St. Louis.
Terri Leyton, Vice President of Development
Terri is responsible for all aspects of fundraising including corporate, foundation, and individual giving, major gifts and gift planning. Prior to joining the Council, Terri served in a variety of development positions at Washington University in St. Louis and worked for numerous nonprofit organizations in St. Louis, New York and Washington, D.C. Terri holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Washington University and serves on the board of the Crown Center for Senior Living. Terri and her husband Steve have two daughters, Mollie and Emma. Terri likes to keep art happening in her home with entertaining, gardening, knitting and cooking projects.
Heather Edwards, Development Manager
Heather joins the Development team as a manager of Workplace Giving programs in the corporate/professional divisions. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media Arts cum laude from Hampton University (Virginia), and is currently working toward a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Missouri - St. Louis.
Her professional experience includes event planning, community relations, media, and other communications roles for the past 11 years, most recently as corporate relations/communication services coordinator with Centric Group, L.L.C. Additionally, she has served on the allocations panel for United Way of Greater St. Louis and is a volunteer with their GenNext program.
As a Thespian, Alpha Player, and trained classical ballet dancer, Heather continues to "keep art happening" by attending dance productions, live theatre, jazz concerts and watching great movies -- her most favorite is, The Wizard of Oz.
Dorothy Powell, Development Manager
Dorothy manages the education and government divisions of development, and she holds over thirty years of experience in the education division. Dorothy and her husband Tommie have two sons and two daughters; Steven, Tommie Jr., Tammie and Wonder. Dorothy is especially fond of her grandchildren (7 boys, 3 girls) who call her “Darling.” Her favorite classical songs are Rhapsody in Blue, The Hallelujah Chorus and Moonlight Sonata.
Mike Ryan, Development Manager
Mike coordinates Workplace Giving Campaigns with local institutions and helps plan the Arts and Education Council’s annual St. Louis Arts Awards. He holds a BA in English from Saint Louis University, where he also minored in French. He also spent a semester studying at the National University of Ireland in Galway.
Before joining the Arts and Education Council, he spent four years with the St. Louis Public Library Foundation.
Mike loves film, literature, visual and performing arts, and music. He plays guitar (poorly) and piano (reasonably well). In their spare time, Mike and his wife, Maggie, love hiking, cooking and going to concerts…that is, when they’re not tending to their dog, cat and (as of this writing) five rabbits.
The Arts and Education Council is deeply grateful to all donors and community partners for sharing our vision.
Patricia Tichacek, Director of Development Administration
Pat has been with the Arts and Education Council since 1972. During her career at the Arts and Education Council, her duties have included raising funds, grant writing, direct mail, organizing workplace giving campaigns, publications, database management, special events, volunteer coordinator, liaison to arts organizations for various projects, and working with the board of directors on assigned programs among other responsibilities. Pat and her husband, Dave, have four daughters and several pets. She enjoys gardening, music, movies, theatre and travel.
Aubrey Dulin, Development Coordinator
Aubrey Dulin, Development Coordinator, processes gifts and memberships and assists the Development Department with daily needs. Aubrey graduated Suma Cum Laude with a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Eastern Illinois University in 2009, completing a double emphasis in Performance and Directing. She began her career in the arts as an A&E/Boeing funded apprentice with STAGES ST. LOUIS. Upon completing her apprenticeship, Aubrey was hired full-time at STAGES where she worked as an Education Associate, and was later promoted to Development Assistant. Aubrey is thrilled to join the A&E team, the very organization that made her career in the arts possible. Aubrey is extremely passionate about the arts and likes to keep art happening by attending local theatre productions, and by taking the stage herself to perform throughout St. Louis and St. Charles Counties with a professional Children’s Theatre Company. In her free time, Aubrey enjoys spending time with her husband and her entire family, cooking, and watching football.
Susan Rowe Jennings, Vice President, Administration and Grants
Susan Rowe Jennings, Vice President, Administration and Grants, manages the administration for the Council, the Centene Center for Arts and Education and the grant application and allocation process. Susan has been with the Council for nine years and has worked in the arts for over 20 years including managing the AXA/ Equitable Gallery in New York City and working in the Curatorial and Development Departments of the Saint Louis Art Museum. Susan and her husband Michael have two daughters; Alex and Franny. In her free time, Susan enjoys reading, dancing and music.
Joe Soer, Controller
Marketing and Communications
Christine Blonn, Marketing and Events Specialist
Christine manages donor marketing, social media and special events. She has a M.A. in Communications from Marquette University, where she won an award for best student paper. She recently returned to her home town of St. Louis after spending five years in Chicago where she most recently worked at the primary local Public Broadcasting Station, WTTW. When she’s not working, you can find her reading, watching Cary Grant movies, biking or shoe shopping.
Stephen Siwinski, Creative Communications and Design
Stephen is responsible for the aesthetic and artistic branding of A&E’s many publications and philanthropic efforts. Stephen graduated with a B.A. in Television Writing and Producing from Columbia College Chicago. Prior to relocating to St. Louis, he worked as deputy director of creative and social media for the Missouri Office of the Secretary of State. Siwinski’s background in not-for-profit communications was fostered at the nation’s third largest public television station, WTTW Chicago, where he served as associate producer for the Emmy® Award-winning restaurant review series Check, Please! He also had the opportunity to work with countless musical and cultural icons through his roles with the station’s musical series Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis and Soundstage. In his free time, Siwinski enjoys exploring St. Louis' international culinary scene, taking in local arts and culture and riding his scooter.
Ellen Futterman, Communications Content Editor
Ellen has been communications content editor since January of 2009. In that capacity, Ellen writes and edits the Council's Happenings newsletter as well as oversees many of its other publications. In addition to her work at the Council, Ellen is editor of the St. Louis Jewish Light, where she is responsible for editorial operations, including managing both staff members and freelancers. Under her editorship, the Light has won six Rockower Awards, which are the highest awards given for Jewish journalism.