The Board of Directors consists of dedicated community members who are invested in choral excellence and will advance the mission and vision of LSYC.

For more information on the LSYC Board of Directors, please contact the Executive Director, Jenna Kelly, at 

Members feature from left to right beginning with the back row include: Ryan Kern (President), Kelly Roeser (former Director), Sheila Shusterich (Secretary), Joey DeVlieger (Vice-President), Penny Mayer (Parent Representative), Gina Bortnem (former Director), Lindsay Kern (Director), Marilyn Odean (Treasurer), Grace Nelson (Parent Representative).
*Nicole Ottjes (Director, not pictured).

Board Member Application Form 


Contact your parent representatives so your voice can be heard at the next Board meeting:

Grace Nelson,

Penny Mayer,


  • Ryan Kern

    Ryan Kern


    Ryan is the founder of Minnesota’s largest special events company, and is the driving force behind the award winning and nationally recognized Duluth Airshow, regional events such as the Duluth Oktoberfestival, Duluth Drag Race & Carshow and a variety of artistic events in the Duluth area. Ryan also serves on the board of the Bong Veterans Historical Center and is a bagpiper with the Aad Shrine and Duluth Scottish Heritage Associations. Ryan and his wife Lindsay have two daughters who have been involved in the Lake Superior Youth Chorus Resident Choral Program.

  • Joey DeVlieger

    Joey DeVlieger

    Vice President

    Joey is a parent of two choral artists in the Lake Superior Youth Chorus’ resident choir program. He was drawn to this organization by the intentionality it has to develop both community and leadership within the students through such a high caliber music platform.He is a doctor of physical therapy practicing in Duluth, MN and brings to the Lake Superior Youth Chorus a systematic, objective approach to future growth and sustainability.

  • Marilyn Odean

    Marilyn Odean


    Marilyn has a long history with the organization, now in its 27th year. She was an important part of the organization’s incorporation in 2005 and the development of the Executive Director position in 2018. Marilyn was the recipient of LSYC’s Outstanding Service Award in 2019 for her invaluable support and dedication to LSYC. Marilyn continues to play a critical role in financial developments for the organization.

  • Lindsay Kern

    Lindsay Kern


    Lindsay brings a background in Human Resources and Community Relations to the board offering support with policy creation and outreach opportunities. She is responsible for the community relations efforts as well as the day to day business operations at Kern and Kompany Marketing and Special Events. In addition to the LSYC Board, Lindsay serves on the board of the Duluth Airshow and Visit Duluth and is an active in the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce as an Ambassador and member of the Volunteer Focus Group. Lindsay believes that a youth choral opportunity provides a rich experience in both teamwork and individual performance and she is thrilled that LSYC exists so that her own children are able to benefit through the organization’s many offerings.

  • Sheila Shusterich

    Sheila Shusterich


    Sheila K. Shusterich retired as the middle school choir director at Ordean East in 2019 after having taught music for 37 years at both the K-12 and collegiate levels. The Ordean Grade 8 Choir, under Mrs. Shusterich’s direction, collaborated with the Lake Superior Youth Chorus and their guest artists in 2009 (Sowah Mensah concert). Sheila selected students to participate in the Lake Superior Youth Chorus Honor Choir program from its inception through 2019 and continues to encourage students to sing in LSYC.

  • Nicole Ottjes

    Nicole Ottjes


    Nicole is a music teacher currently teaching 9-12 music at Harbor City International School in Duluth. She teaches choir, chamber ensemble, jazz band, music history, African drumming, introduction to guitar, and private lessons. Nicole also enjoys helping with the music direction for musicals at her school and the Duluth Playhouse. Before returning to her hometown of Duluth in 2016, Nicole spent fifteen years in the Twin Cities teaching at colleges and k-12 schools while earning a master’s degree in musicology from the University of Minnesota. She is happy to be joining the LSYC community this year as a board member and a parent!

  • Penny Mayer

    Penny Mayer

    Parent Representative

    Penny joins the board as our parent representative and is eager to provide her perspective on reaching low-income families and valuing our mission of inclusivity.

  • Grace Nelson

    Grace Nelson

    Parent Representative

    Grace began her involvement with LSYC in 2018 by participating in various volunteer opportunities throughout the season. The positive experiences she had and the connections she was able to make with other LSYC parents prompted Grace to seek out ways to become even more involved with the organization. She is grateful for the opportunity to represent the parent community as a part of the LSYC Board while furthering the mission and values of the program.

© 2019 Lake Superior Youth Chorus

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1100 E Superior Street

Duluth, MN 55802


This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Community Arts Education Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Lake Superior Youth Chorus is a 501c3.