Board of Directors
President - Kevin Russell | Vice President - Jimmy Miller | Treasurer - Patsy Lawson | Secretary - Inell Reeves
Claudia Starns Burns, Tommy Johns, Candace Croft, Tina Goodman, Barbara P. James, Mil Owens Cox
The Board of Directors holds meetings on the 3rd Sunday of each month at 3 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS BIOS
President, Founder of Reestablished Spanish Trail Playhouse
Kevin Russell is a native of Chipley, Florida and has served as the President and Founder of the Spanish Trail Playhouse, Washington County’s only all-volunteer community theatre, since its reopening in 2006. Kevin has been involved with all things theatre since the age of 6, and has participated in numerous master classes in New York City, Atlanta, and the North Florida area.
He has attended and participated in innumerable theatre conferences across the Florida Panhandle as well as teaching numerous summer theatre camps. Kevin’s acting career has consisted of over 75 productions and over 50 productions in his directing career. Some of his favorite directing projects include Annie; Oklahoma!; 9 to 5: The Musical; You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown; Neil Simon’s Rumors; Schoolhouse Rock LIVE!; The Honky Tonk Angels; Back to the 80s; Barefoot in the Park; Guys and Dolls; and most recently, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. His favorite acting roles include J. Pierrepont Finch (How to Succeed…), the Cowardly Lion (Wizard of Oz), Danny Zuko & Roger (Grease), both roles in the Greater Tuna series, Will Parker (Oklahoma!) and Andrew Ralley (I Hate Hamlet). Kevin will star in the one-man musical, George M. Cohan Tonight!, as George M. Cohan in July 2018
Outside of theatre, Kevin holds a Bachelors of Science degree in English Education. He currently teaches English and Culinary Arts at Vernon High School where he also serves as Director of Theatre. Kevin is a 2-term past Chipley City Councilman and currently serves as Chairman of the City of Chipley Code Enforcement Board. He is a proud member of Chipley First Presbyterian Church were he serves as an Elder, pianist, and Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee.
Vice President & Chair of the
Budget & Finance Team
Jimmy Miller is a lifelong resident of Washington County, Florida. Born into a musical family, Jimmy started playing guitar with his father a very early age. At the age of twelve, he started playing the banjo with many other instruments to follow, including the pedal steel guitar. It has been said, “If it has strings on it, Jimmy can play it!”. He has performed with many bands and formed his own country music band, Southern Sound, playing venues all over the southeast.
Meeting and opening for major acts has been common place for him in both gospel and country music. Beginning in 1996, Jimmy along with other regional pedal steel players formed the Southeastern Steel Guitar Association. This opened up many doors for Jimmy and for nearly ten years he traveled to various states and performed with members of the Hall of Fame at steel guitar shows and conventions. During this time, Jimmy began his studio recording career. He has played on hundreds of recordings, many of which received national attention. These recordings were with both gospel and country artists. On many occasions, he played steel guitar for members of the Grand Ole Opry while performing at the Ocean Opry in Panama City. Jimmy currently performs with various artists, including the gospel group, The Thompsons, and Nashville recording artist Chad Street.
Jimmy is a founding board member of the reestablished Spanish Trail Playhouse where he serves as Vice-President, Technical Director, and Co-Chairperson of the Budget & Finance Team. His experiences in musical performances led him to proudly introduce and direct the Artist Series events, a series of musical performances accompanied by a live band, at the Spanish Trail Playhouse. These annual audience favorites include An Evening of Southern Gospel, The Classic Chipley Christmas, and The Spanish Trail Opry. He is proud to be a part of bringing live entertainment to Washington County.
Patsy C. Lawson
Treasurer & Co-Chair of the
Budget & Finance Team
Patsy, one of eight children, was born in Marianna to Bart and Anna Chatwood. She graduated from Marianna High School and Chipola Junior College. Following college graduation, she began working at First Bank of Marianna.
After moving to Chipley, she continued working in Marianna until 1974 when she began working at the Florida Bank of Chipley. During her years as a bank employee, she taught Principles of Banking at the Panhandle Area Vocational College and Chipola College. Later, when Dr. Jack Taylor opened his dental office, Patsy began working as his office manager. She also works part time at Chavers-Brock Furniture & Gifts. Patsy has been involved in many community service organizations and is currently an active member of Shiloh Baptist Church in Chipley. Patsy has three sons and five grandchildren who play a very important part of her life. Patsy has been a volunteer with Spanish Trail Playhouse for the past 10 years, and took the position of treasurer in 2009. She currently serves as Co-Chairperson of the Finance Committee. During her tenure as Treasurer, the audit of financial book, completed annually, has been without question. She plays a vital role in keeping the Board of Directors financially accountable and the organization financially stable.
Office Manager/ Secretary Board of Directors
Inell was raised in Washington County and graduated from Chipley High School. She began her career with Southern Bell, but transitioned to AT&T when the company split.
Inell was married to the late Charles Reeves and together they had six children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Inell is active member at New Prospect Baptist Church.
She began her journey with the Playhouse in 2014 when she volunteered to take minutes for the monthly meeting of the Spanish Trail Playhouse Board of Directors and serve as the box office worker for the season productions. In January 2015, Inell took on the duties of managing the office and general secretarial duties. She currently assists with the typing needs for the various teams within the Spanish Trail Playhouse. Inell takes pride in ensuring that the sponsors and members of the Spanish Trail Playhouse are well taken care of and contacted regarded the upcoming productions. Inell enjoys her work and encourages everyone to become part of the Spanish Trail Playhouse!
Claudia Starns Burns
Board Member & Chairman of Education Team
When she is not volunteering for Spanish Trail Playhouse, Claudia is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner who works in the Emergency Rooms at Jackson Hospital and Gulf Coast Hospital.
Claudia originally hails from Texas and came to Washington County via Louisiana. She was first involved in Spanish Trail Playhouse when she took the stage as Vera in Spanish Trail Playhouse’s production of Wedding Belles in 2016. Her skills as a seamstress were demonstrated during that production and she immediately became a vital part of Spanish Trail Playhouse.
She has been involved on-stage, backstage, as well as set construction, ushering and particularly alterations of costumes. Claudia’s love of live theatre is long standing. Claudia was elected to the Spanish Trail Playhouse Board of Directors in 2017 and currently serves as chairwoman of the Education Team.
Board Member & Chairman of Beautification Team
Tommy is the son of Peewee and Sandy Johns and a lifelong Chipley native. Following school in Tallahassee, Tommy and Casey, his wife, moved back to Chipley in 2001 where they now live with their three children, Cooper, Ava, and Lincoln. Tommy is a Civil Engineer and has worked with Atkins Engineering Firm for 17 years.
In addition to most all outdoor activities, Tommy enjoys all types of movies and music, building projects, salvaging materials, and genealogy.
Tommy’s first experience with the Spanish Trail Playhouse was in 2009 when Casey joined the ensemble cast for “A Stroll Down Broadway”. He remained a part of the Spanish Trail Playhouse family by “association” as Casey continued to perform in shows over the next several seasons. In 2014, Tommy took to the stage alongside Casey in the Season 7 production of Neil Simon’s “Rumors”, where they played husband and wife, Ken and Chris Gorman. Tommy has since performed in several shows. Over the last 10 years, Tommy has developed a love for the theatre and is honored to be a part of the Spanish Trail Playhouse. In January 2017, Tommy began serving as a member of the Spanish Trail Playhouse Board of Directors. Currently, Tommy serves as chairman of the Beautification Team.
Board Member & Chairman of Public Relations Team
Candace Croft, CCC, is the Communications and Public Relations Coordinator at West Florida Electric Cooperative. Croft holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida and is very proud to be a part of the Gator Nation.
Her first experience with Spanish Trail Playhouse was as a ensemble member for the 2015 Spanish Trail Playhouse production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s musical, Oklahoma! Candace says that production caused her to fall in love with our theatre, and she has been actively involved since that time. When she realized the quality work of the theatre, she offered her expertise in Public Relations to help Spanish Trail Playhouse actively and effectively promote its programs and offerings to a wider clientele.
Her employer, WFECA, Inc, has also become an advocate for Spanish Trail Playhouse. Candace was elected to the Spanish Trail Playhouse Board of Directors in 2017, and serves as Chair of the Public Relations Team.
Board Member and Co-Chair of the Public Relations Team
Tina is a full time employee for Enviva Bio Mass in Cottondale, but considers being a wife for 24 years as her best job in life. Her four children have given her four beautiful grandchildren.
Tina became an active volunteer at the Spanish Trail Playhouse in 2010 when she was cast in the sold-out production of the musical, “Annie”. She has performed in many productions throughout the past 8 years. Her favorite role was the drinking secretary in “9 to 5” which the audience seemed to thoroughly enjoy.
Throughout the years she has worked backstage and on-stage serving in many vital capacities. Tina will serve as production director for the Spanish Trail Playhouse production, “Hallelujah Girls”, in June 2018. This will mark her debut as a production director for Spanish Trail Playhouse. Tina became a Board member in 2017 and serves on the Public Relations Committee.
Barbara P. James
Board Member & Co Chair Beautification Team
Barbara was born and raised in the Finger Lakes area of New York State. She graduated from Cazenovia College, Cazenovia, New York before it became co-ed.
She was married in Cleveland,Ohio, while working for TWA. She moved to Florida, and four children followed. She states, “We all arrived in Chipley in 1977 by way of St Petersburg, New Port Richey, and New York City. I love Chipley and the Panhandle area, so I guess I’m here to stay”.
Since living in Chipley, Barbara has successfully overseen the complete renovations of several contemporary and historic homes. Barbara is a dedicated member of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Chipley. Currently, Barbara serves on the Beautification Committee of the Spanish Trail Playhouse Board of Directors. Her van is always full of gas and ready to go when we need volunteer help at the Playhouse.
Mil Owens Cox
Board Member & Chairwoman of Sponsorship Team
Mil is a retired nurse educator who has enjoyed being involved in Spanish Trail Playhouse since her retirement. She fell in love with live theatre as a senior in high school when she played Annie Oakley in the musical, "Annie Get Your Gun".
Mil has directed musical dramas for both youth and adult choirs. She has written and directed musical dramas for senior adults. Using her creative talent, she has written and performed innumerable comedy sketches, monologues, poems, and choreographed creative dance. She is a wife of 50 years, mother of four, and “Nona” to nine grandchildren. Since being involved as a volunteer at Spanish Trail Playhouse, she has worked in many capacities: on stage, director, backstage, set design, and costuming. Currently, Mil serves as a member of the Spanish Trail Playhouse Board of Directors, and as chairwoman of the Sponsorship Team. She is especially grateful to you who have generously supported the Spanish Trail Playhouse with your time and money. Mil states, “It helps keep us old folks young at heart and we hope it does the same for you as you enjoy live entertainment”.