The Staff of the FOA


Mikel Wewers, Executive Director Email

Born in Kingsport TN and raised in Jonesboro AR, Mikel has 20 years of progressive experience in management Production, Quality, Safety, and Cost Control for large distribution and manufacturing centers in the Arkansas area. He is also a musician, vocalist, and visual artist. When asked about his passions, he says “I love everything art and the power it gives to vent, influence and endless ways of expressing oneself, forever expanding ones growth. We are all Artists.”

Kristi Pulliam, Artistic Programs Director Email

Kristi began her career at the FOA in 2001 as a part-time theatre teacher. She joined the full-time staff as Community Development Director and eventually became Artistic Director. Kristi notably served as the FOA Executive Director for ten years, where her leadership helped double our volunteers, patrons, and financial reserves. Kristi is grateful once again to serve as Artistic Programs Director and be a valuable resource for our leadership team. 

Before the FOA, her previous experience was spent as a high school teacher and instructor at Crowley’s Ridge College and Arkansas State University. Her passion for community and education has helped the FOA expand its value for outreach, increase enrollment, and grow our theatrical productions. Kristi is a strong proponent for what she has coined, “theatre done well.” In addition, her vision-casting enabled numerous partnerships, the Oasis Arts and Eats Fest, Oasis Film and Digital Fest, Perspectives Art Contest, and First Fridays at the Forum concert series to name a few.  

Kristi holds both a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Theatre from Arkansas State University and remains an active Red Wolves fan. She is a licensed Creative Success Coach and Executive Communication Coach and is internationally certified in both areas, working with clients from around the world to help them find success. She is also credentialed as Certified Non-Profit Executive (CNE) through NANOE (National Association of Nonprofit Organizations and Executives) and is a Consultant for NDI (National Development Institute).

Joe Carr, Development Director Email

Joe grew up in Indianapolis with a great love for music and theatre. His career working with churches eventually brought his family to Jonesboro, and he began volunteering at the FOA in 2011, acting on stage and serving behind the scenes. He joined the staff in 2015 as the Associate Director for Tech and Development, leading the technical team, managing volunteers, and overseeing facility improvements. In 2018, Joe moved his family to Boston, MA where he gained valuable insight volunteering with other theaters and earned his Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership. Joe uses his passion for the arts and this community to inspire support for the future of the FOA.

Meridith Pierce, Marketing & Outreach Manager Email

Meridith joined the FOA staff in 2016, though she has been around as a volunteer since 2010. A former 3rd-grade teacher with Nettleton Public Schools, she holds a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Educational Theory and Practice. She also owns Lolly Gourmet Popsicles in downtown, Jonesboro with her husband Russ. She is the mother of two children, ages 6 and 8. Aside from her love of theatre, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and helping to make a positive impact in our community through the arts. “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller

Emily Trapp Jenkins, Education Programs Manager Email

A native of Portland, Oregon, Emily Jenkins is a pianist that specializes in musical theatre, art song, and opera while regularly collaborating with professional singers and ensembles around the Midwest and South. She owns and operates Jenkins Piano Studio and frequently performs as a worship accompanist/soloist at area churches. She holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance and a Bachelors of Arts degree from Goshen College (Goshen, IN). In her spare time, she loves to cook, listen to true crime podcasts, and take walks with her dog, Lucy.

Cody Duncan, Technical Designer & Facilities Manager Email

Cody serves the FOA as our technical director, leading our set construction process and lighting and sound design for all stage productions. His background in IT serves our organization’s needs well by managing other technical needs. He joined the FOA first as a volunteer, acting in stage productions, and then later as a part of our technical team. Besides his numerous talents, Cody is also a great tuba player!

Kelly Kelley, Bookkeeper

Kaylin Taylor, Customer Service
Shelby Johnson, Customer Service 
Jericho Smith, Technical Assistant
Alyssa Cooper, Customer Service Jenna McCann, Marketing
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