The Arts Center Staff
Lauren Brown Shepherd, Executive Director
Lauren has been Executive Director since 2013 after spending her youth as an AACA volunteer and performer.
Prior to returning to her home town to accept her dream job, Lauren was an associate communications consultant in New York City.
Lauren has a MA in Literary Studies from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a BA in English Writing with a concentration in Applied Music from Queens University of Charlotte.
In addition to administrative and program duties at AACA, Lauren is involved in a volunteer initiative to support downtown Athens’ revitalization efforts by focusing on arts & cultural programs.
Lauren’s favorite role is “Momma,” to Olivia Sloane, a spirited, precocious young girl who will direct many things in her lifetime.
Leslie Arnold, Marketing & Gallery Coordinator
Leslie is a recent graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan University, where she majored in Communication Studies with a minor in Theatre. She has always been involved with the arts, so it wasn’t long after her transition to Athens that she found The Arts Center. She has been involved as a volunteer since 2016, and has been serving as Marketing and Gallery Coordinator since fall of 2018.
In addition to her work at The Arts Center, Leslie is also a classical dance and drama instructor at ConcordArts studios in Knoxville, and a professional photographer in the Knoxville and Chattanooga areas. Her favorite part of her jobs is spreading a knowledge and appreciation of the arts in her community.
Jedi Gabel, Operations Coordinator
Jedi is a recent graduate of Cleveland State Community College, where he received his Associates in Mass Communications. He has always been involved in arts and dance, which brought him to The Arts Center in 2016. Jedi quickly become a volunteer both onstage and off. In 2018, Jedi graduated from volunteer to intern and served as Operations Coordinator through January of 2021. He has shifted now to serving as our contracted videographer and editor for our virtual programming content. He loves being a part of The Arts Center where he is able to see artists express their creativity.
In addition to his work at The Arts Center, Jedi is also involved in filmmaking and video editing. As he studies the film industry, Jedi has created, with his best friend Ben Burton, a video production team that publishes through YouTube; “Ambient Hour Productions.” He loves telling stories and bringing creativity to the world using this art form.
He is thankful to have found The Arts Center, as it has become such an important place in his life.
G. David Brown, Technical Director
G. David has been involved with Athens Community Theatre since the early 1980s. His involvement at The Arts Center is as thorough as it is varied. He has acted with ACT, as well as directed, produced, and designed and ran lights and sound for ACT and other productions and events at The Arts Center since it’s opening in 2005. He is a volunteer technical director for The Arts Center and by day is a school psychologist, serving the Deputy Director for Meigs County Schools.
Board of Directors
Art Kimball, President
Recently retired from 43 years in banking, Art is a longtime AACA supporter, performer, director, and producer. He managed many AACA productions including Jazzy Little Christmas, Sisters, and the House Blend Series.
Traci McKenzie, Vice President
Mother, professional, volunteer, director and actress, Traci McKenzie is active in many aspects of AACA.
Jim Bagley, Secretary & Treasurer
Bio Coming Soon!
Sarah Kennedy, Vice President
Bio Coming Soon!
Shelley Griffith, Past President
Retired general practitioner, Shelley is an ACT veteran and regular on the tech crew for ACT productions.
Bob Roseberry, Past President
A founding board member of AACA, Bob Roseberry has been involved in AACA programs for nearly 40 years. He is President/CEO of Financial Guidance Partners, LLC.