Our People Bios
Rhonda Lyne, Executive Director
Rhonda is a scientist by day and avid supporter of the arts by night. Rhonda has had an active role with the Midwest Music Foundation since the inaugural fundraiser, Apocalypse Meow, in 2008. Inspired by our founder, Abigail Henderson, Rhonda is dedicated to the mission of the MMF. Current duties include fundraising, volunteer and event coordination, overseeing the health care fund, and other day to day activities of the organization.
Sondra Freeman, Director of Promotions and Artist Relations
After meeting Executive Director, Rhonda Lyne, while buying raffle tickets at an MMF function, Sondra was immediately interested in the organization’s mission and quickly became an active volunteer. Sondra’s extensive fundraising background and her lifelong love of music made her an immediate asset. Her duties have grown, and she functions as a band liaison by managing booking, promotions and many other aspects of event planning.
Sondra’s life outside of MMF includes Assistant Manager at the Buffalo Room, a performance space in Westport, and co-owner of Big Mac’s Fireworks.
Bryant Miller, JD, Development Officer
Bryant is currently a consultant with over thirty years of sales and marketing experience in the legal publishing and educational technology markets helping investors understand and keep up to date. Bryant is a great appreciator of the Kansas City art, music, and performance community and has worked as a volunteer and associate with the FOLK Alliance International. This has led to a passion for helping artists and musicians who need and are supported by the work and services the Midwest Music Foundation provides. Mainly a guitarist born and bred on the British Invasion, Bryant has also been known to help out as a bassist for cover bands best forgotten. Bryant has an undergraduate degree in Art History from Kent State University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Akron. He has also traveled extensively in the Midwest and Central Plains area of the country as well as to Europe, Mexico, Jamaica, and Japan.
Michelle Bacon, Editor
Michelle Bacon is a musician and writer dedicated to Kansas City’s thriving music community. As a web content writer at 90.9 The Bridge, she highlights emerging local artists and upcoming music events; she also freelances for The Kansas City Star and Ink. In addition to playing bass with The Philistines and drums with Chris Meck & the Guilty Birds, Michelle plays with and works as a social media/marketing consultant with a number of other local music projects. She works as a writer and editor for Midwest Music Foundation.
Brenton Cook, Promotions Specialist
Brenton became involved with the Midwest Music Foundation after attending the first two years of the MidCoast Takeover events in Austin, TX, which helped cultivate his desire to give back to the Kansas City music scene.
Brenton started independent Kansas City-based record label Haymaker Records in 2014 and coordinates the Outer Reaches music festival. He is the curator of the Midwestern Audio local compilation CD series. Brenton has also assisted with concert and music promotions for MMF. Brenton functioned as a DJ, business manager and assistant music director of his college radio station and has carried this passion for new music with him ever since. He is interested in growing Midwest Music Foundation’s visibility within the community and providing different ways for people to access new local music.
Canyon McClung, Production Specialist
Canyon started volunteering for MMF at the ripe old age of 17. He took particular interest in the technical aspects of making live music happen and quickly began learning how to run sound and lighting. He is now an intricate part of making any MMF show happen. By day you’ll find Canyon printing your band’s merchandise at Seen Merch.
Scott Easterday, President
Musician and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Scott Easterday is a singer/songwriter, performer, producer, composer, and recording artist. Easterday is producer, songwriter and guitarist for Expassionates. Easterday has been active in many projects in the Kansas City music and arts community for over two decades. He was a producer of the rock stage at the Kansas City Spirit Fest. He is the local host for the multi-city showcase The Love Hangover on the day after Valentine’s Day. Easterday wrote review articles and produced video interviews for KCMetropolis, Kansas City’s online arts journal. He maintains the MMF website and also works at the Spencer Library at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Chris Meck, Vice President
Musician and CM2 Audio
Chris is a musician and the co-owner of CM2 Audio. He has been captivated by music his whole life and playing guitar since he was able to lift one. As a founding member of the Midwest Music Foundation, Chris is dedicated to supporting musicians and promoting the amazing music developing in the greater Kansas City area. Chris is responsible for coordinating music production for MMF, for live shows and recordings.
Don Simon, JD, Secretary, Legal Advisor, Chair of Education
Little Class Records
Don Simon is a music attorney and the Managing Partner of Middle Class Records, a Kansas City-based record label. He is also co-owner of Little Class Records, Lost Cowgirl Records, The Westport Roots Festival, and BandHack.com. Don also serves on the boards of Folk Alliance Region Midwest, CinemaKC, and Kansas City Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts.
Don acts as an adviser on MMF’s legal and business affairs. He is also the chairman of MMF’s education committee.
Don lectures and writes extensively on music law issues and has appeared in Billboard, DownBeat, Screen Magazine, and KC Business. Prior to becoming an attorney, Don worked in the broadcasting, cable, and publishing industries as an award-winning producer and director. He also played bass guitar in several bands.
Don received his Juris Doctor and Master of Laws (Intellectual Property) degrees from The John Marshall Law School, his Master of Arts (Media Communications) from Webster University, and his Bachelor of Arts (Communications) from Missouri Southern State University.
Garrett Nordstrom, Treasurer
Musician and Birdsway Productions
D. Garrett Nordstrom has 30 years music industry experience and a distinct interest in musician’s needs. Nordstrom has been a songwriter, producer, guitarist, band manager, grant writer and an elementary school music teacher. Nordstrom is the chief operating officer of Governmental Assistance Services in Lawrence, KS and manages the musical group Maria the Mexican. He was born in St Joseph MO to a soldier and Playboy Bunny. He serves as treasurer for the Midwest Music Foundation.
Dr. K. Allen Greiner, MD, MPH, Chair of Health Care
University of Kansas Medical Center
K. Allen Greiner, MD, MPH is currently Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) in Kansas City, Kansas. He directs the department’s Research Division. He completed an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Brown University and medical school and a Family Medicine residency at the University of Kansas. He is a practicing family physician and is the Medical Officer for the Kansas City, Kansas, Wyandotte County Unified Government Health Department. Since 2002 he has been one of two primary faculty advisors to the Jaydoc Free Clinic, a medical student run clinic for the uninsured in Kansas City. He directs the Kansas Patients and Providers Engaged in Prevention Research (KPPEPR) Network. This primary care practice-based research network serves as an important research laboratory for health studies and projects in rural and urban safety-net clinics across the state of Kansas. Over the last decade the KPPEPR Network has been the primary recruitment setting for four separate National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 intervention studies and an ongoing multi-year comparative effectiveness trial of weight loss strategies in rural Primary care (PCORI funded, C. Befort, PI). In August 2017, he completed work after seven years of funding on an NIH U54 award supporting the Kansas Community Cancer Disparities Network. This Community Networks Program Center grant from the National Cancer Institute worked with Latinos and American Indians across the region and was one of 23 cancer health disparities centers across the US. He has also directed the community engagement program (the Community Partnership for Health) for the past seven years in Frontiers, the KUMC Clinical Translational Science Award Program. Through this program he leads efforts to expand community-based research and to assure a strong infrastructure and community input into KUMC’s bioscience activities. He has received federal and foundation grant support to study health information technology, health disparities, chronic disease management, health literacy, and patient health risk behavior in rural and underserved community settings.
Kait Perry, MPH, Public Health Officer
Kansas Public Health Association
Kait is a Jayhawk and Kansas native. She spent a few years in Boston completing her degrees, Master of Public Health in Health Law and Bioethics and Human Rights at Boston University. Kait specializes in health policy and health promotion, working to address barriers and inequities within undeserved populations. She played the flute until she thought it wasn’t cool any more and had a short stint with the bass guitar, but dreams about learning the ukulele. Kait was raised to love all types of music and almost always prefers any type of music live. Her favorite treasure is her mom’s record player, found in a closet in her grandparent’s house. Kait spends her days in Lawrence, and is a big fan of the great outdoors, dogs, and playing kickball.
Terry Uhl, Chair of Development
Uhl Engineering, Inc.
Terry Uhl has had a long, enjoyable career as a civil engineer and business owner, accompanied by a lifetime of playing, studying, discovering and listening to many genres of music. MMF is an initiative where he can contribute to the growth and well-being of musician entrepreneurs.
Vi Tran, Chair of Membership
Musician and The Buffalo Room
Vi Tran is a storyteller, singer/songwriter, actor and arts advocate. He is the curator of The Buffalo Room, an artists’ salon and performance venue in Kansas City. Born in Vietnam and raised in southwestern Kansas, Tran considers himself equal parts sea salt & wheat fields.
Sarah J. Beasley, Chair of Marketing
Sarah has been a long-time human rights activist and passionate supporter of the music scene. In 2004, Sarah & Abigail Henderson co-founded an activist organization that promoted civic involvement, fought against political apathy and inspired action through collaborations with the creative community. Through the years, Sarah has been involved in many non-profit groups that work towards progressive social change. As a committed lead volunteer & one-time staff person, she continues to contribute to the goals of the ACLU. Sarah holds a belief that music can change lives, bring communities together and drive essential social transformations. She loves playing the spoons, listening to old soul & garage rock & encouraging her friends & neighbors to get out & support live music.
Calandra Ysquierdo, Chair of Volunteers
Musician and The Lazarus Group
Calandra has been playing music in KC for 20+years. Calandra’s energy involved her with MMF and she will focus on volunteers and helping the MMF expand its reach. She currently plays bass with Chris Meck and The Guilty Birds.
Midwest Music Foundation has a volunteer Staff and Board.
Our dedicated Staff and Board donate their time and expertise to keep the foundation running smooth.
Small Stipends are sometimes given to help offset expenses or lost wages.
Staff or Board members are eligible to be awarded Contracts and receive Grants from Abby’s Fund.
Portrait photography by Todd Zimmer.