Staff and Board of Directors

Miriam Deming, Choral Director

Miriam Deming graduated from Colorado Mesa University with a BA in Vocal Performance and Music Education.  Previously, she was the choir director at Bookcliff Middle School for 8 years and at Mount Garfield Middle School for one year.  In addition to teaching choir in public schools, she has also taught private voice lessons for over 15 years.  She enjoys performing, having recently sung with the High Desert Opera in Nunsense and as Donna in Mamma Mia and sings in concerts with the Western Colorado Chorale and Mariachi San Jose, among others.  Miriam believes in the power of music and the arts to change lives and is very passionate about Charisma Chorus. When not singing or teaching, you can find Miriam spending time with her husband and two children or off on an outdoor adventure!

Alec Brown, Accompanist

Alec graduated from Colorado Mesa University with a Bachelors in Keyboard Performance, Liberal Arts.  He’s made his career out of accompanying and assisting his colleagues in the school district, performing for various choirs, and broadening his compositional horizons with neat projects like short films!

Board of Directors

Karen Rowe, Board President

Geri Anderson, Vice President

Geri grew up in Palisade. She earned a B.S. in Accountancy from the University of Denver, which she attended as a Boettcher Scholar after graduating from Palisade High School. A former CPA in Colorado and Texas, she has worked for CPA firms auditing banks, nonprofits, and governmental entities. Additionally, Geri has directed or supervised internal audit at two financial institutions. Geri helped found Charisma Chorus Inc. in 2019 and served as Executive Director until mid-2021. She is passionate about providing vocal music to youth. She manages an accounting office in New Jersey, remotely, from her residence in rural Arkansas. She is the proud mother of three grown children.

Vladyslav Nykolyshyn, Treasurer

Vlad finished his bachelor and Master degree in Finance and Accounting. He worked for different businesses, including accounting firms, CPAs and other companies. He is currently living and working in New Jersey for a local consulting firm, providing accounting services to all types of clients, including non-profit organizations. He is excited to be a part of the project.

Lori Summers, Board Member

Lori Summers has been on the Charisma Board since its inception. She was born and raised in the Clifton/Palisade area and has been married to Marc Summers for 17 years. She has 3 adult daughters, a son, and six grandchildren. Her career path has mostly involved working with children. She has a degree in Psychology from Rollins College in Florida. Over the past 29 years, she has worked with families in need, worked at and directed a child development center and preschool, directed Colorado Bright Beginnings of Gunnison, led youth and adult mission teams to the Dominican Republic, created and facilitated a youth coalition in the high schools to promote healthy choices and most recently worked with children who have experienced trauma. She currently supervises the Mentoring and Life Skills department at Ariel Clinical Services. She has also spent time working for the District Attorney’s office. Lori’s hobbies include painting, hiking and biking, playing the piano and singing, gardening, and raising farm animals.

Joey Stafford, Secretary

Joey grew up somewhere between the city of the blues and the city of country music. Throw in a splash of old gospel music and a load of old musicals and you get a girl who grew up loving to sing and dance. So it’s no wonder that later she got her BA in Vocal Music Performance at CMU and has done her share of performing in operas and musical theater all over the world! She loves to share her love of the art with everyone and hopes that others will find their love of performing arts as well. Joey’s favorite things include traveling the world, square dancing and round dancing and any kind of dancing she try her hand at, wine tasting, hiking, being on and in the water, and of course her dogs and cats. She’s been known to paint rocks and leave them on hikes for others to find. 

Scott Betts, Board Member

Scott earned his Bachelors in Music Education with an instrumental emphasis in 1977 and a Masters in Music Education in 1984 at UNC. He then moved to the Grand Valley, where he taught at local middle and high schools for 30 years. In 2003, his seventh grade choir was chosen to perform at CMEA. In the spring of 2014 he retired from teaching orchestra and choir at Redlands Middle School. Scott performs as a trumpeter and vocalist with numerous groups in the area, and sings and plays the guitar with his jazz quartet, Hot Tub Jazz. For 17 years, Scott sang tenor with the madrigal group, the Revelers. He has been conducting with High Desert Opera since the summer of 2008. Besides music, Scott’s hobbies include exercise and dancing the Argentine Tango with his wife Alice.

Suzie Nelson, Board Member

Suzie is honored to have been asked to be on the Charisma Chorus board! She was born, raised and educated in Arizona. Music has always been her passion! Singing and Teaching are her favorites! She was in Band of Love Youth Choir as a pre-teen. She was the Children’s Choir director (Joyful Singers) at her home church First United Methodist Grand Junction. She retired in May 2023 with a 34-year career teaching K-8 classroom (11 years) and K-5 music (23 years), 20 of those years for District 51, at Clifton and Taylor Elementary. She has 4 grown children (raised in GJ!!), 2 grandchildren, 4 siblings and spouses, and dozens of nieces and nephews. All of her family keep her busy having fun! She’s back and retired in her native Arizona now. She sure misses the Western Slope and hopes to come and hear the Charisma Chorus soon! She spends time singing, sewing, quilting, cooking and playing board games.

Are you interested in being a board member? Please e-mail if so!