On September 1, six new representatives joined the IAA Board of Governors. Get to know your new BOG reps below! Don’t forget, you can contact any of the representatives here.
Debbie returns to the board after serving in the 90s and early 00s. When she previously was involved, she was heavily invested in reaching out to “lost” alumni; those whose contact information had been lost and not updated. She’s going to continue some of this work to ensure those from her era remain connected to both the IAA and Up with People. Professionally, Debbie is a music educator who has taught in four countries and directed over 30 productions across the world. In her role, she wants to be an ambassador for Up with People.
Tony has had a vested interest in Up with People for nearly 50 years now and is excited to continue making a positive footprint on our global community. From his performing years, he was involved in a number of spin off and specialty casts between 1971-1974, including the Hawaii American Airlines tour, the EXPO 1974 Cast, and the Washington World’s Fair Cast; groups that became family to Tony. He’d like to make sure the UWP experience is more accessible to all who are interested in traveling. Also, in 1991, he received the first-awarded J. Blanton Belk Outstanding Alumnus Award for his community service work.
81-90: Craig Mills (USA, 81C)
Craig has long wanted to serve on the BOG. He’s an 81C alumnus, he performed at Super Bowl XVI in Detroit, MI, and was a member of the ‘82 World’s Fair cast in Knoxville, TN. He’s getting involved now because the timing is right. He and his wife have 3 children (triplets) who are juniors at Iowa State and Creighton and are planning to take their gap year with UWP. As a career change practitioner with cross-cultural experience living and working across the globe, Craig wants the IAA to approach the future with a global perspective, one that promotes transparency and diversity, and ensures a continual growth mindset for all alumni.
Up with People helped Chris to broaden his perspective and look beyond himself. Chris met his wife in UWP and his daughter traveled recently in cast B17. One of his favorite memories from traveling would be performing on stage at ZDF in Germany with the Gypsy Kings, Phil Collins, Aerosmith, and UB40. He’s seen how people can become change agents in their communities, casts and countries and he looks forward to ensuring there’s a sustainable path forward for the IAA in the future.
Latin America Rep
Natalia has been connected to Up with People since she traveled as a participant five years ago. She worked as a promotion representative for three semesters and has led the advance training in Denver. She feels that as a member of the BOG, she can continue to expand alumni networks not only across her region, but across the globe. She wants to be sure that young alumni especially do not lose sight of the fact their impact does not end when they leave the road—their time as alumni is only just beginning.
Europe, Middle East & Africa Rep
Birger Husted (Czech Republic, 87A)
You may recognize him from the Up with People Survival Band (whether you’ve had the chance to see him perform in person or on Facebook Live from a past EAM or one of their rocking rehearsals). From Denmark, Birger has lived and worked in the Czech and Slovak Republics for much of his professional life. He’s organized multiple EAMs and has served on the Danish Up with People Alumni Club board. He sees his role as the “EuroRep” to be a coordinator, communicator and connector: he hopes to continue to activate our large network of alumni to all of our benefit.