Our Board

“Where words fail, music speaks.” ~ Hans Christian Andersen

Fredric L. Laughlin, DBA


Since retiring from PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2001, Fred has concentrated on nonprofit board development, strategic planning, and leadership development. He has worked extensively with Dr. Robert Andringa (The Andringa Group) on projects involving nonprofit governance – with a particular focus on governance models at private clubs and private schools. His club governance experience includes developing the Club Governance Model for the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA), chairing the CMAA Governance Study Group, authoring the material in the Governance section of the CMAA web site, teaching governance at the CMAA BMI V course, presenting at the CMAA World Conference, conducting workshops for CMAA chapters and individual clubs, advising scores of club General Managers, and writing extensively in publications targeted to club boards and General Managers.


Fred joined Price Waterhouse in 1973 and retired from the merged firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2001. Admitted as a partner in 1979, he led various national and international Management Consulting units including the Middle East MCS (1981-85), Management Science and Economics (1986-1992), and the Federal Government Sector (1993-1995). He was named Managing Partner of the Office of Government Services in 1995 and was elected to the US and Global Boards of Directors in 1996. During the merger between Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand, Dr. Laughlin served on the Joint US and Global Boards and chaired the committee that oversaw the global integration of over 100 PW and C&L partnerships around the world.


Among his clients over his 28 years of Management Consulting were private companies, government organizations, NGO and nonprofit organizations, international funding agencies, and international governments. His specialties with Price Waterhouse were applied management science, strategic planning, and leadership development.


Fred received his Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy, his Masters in Business and Doctorate in Economics and Management Science from The George Washington University.


Prior to joining Price Waterhouse, Fred was an economist in the Federal Government, the Controller of Leasco Information Products, and an officer in the US Army, stationed in North Carolina, Viet Nam, and Virginia. He is a Registered Professional Engineer (inactive) and a Certified Management Consultant. He has published articles in various magazines including the Financial Executive, the Assembly, the Executive, the PW Review, Club Management Magazine, Boardroom Magazine, and others. Along with Dr. Andringa, Fred co-authored the book Good Governance for Nonprofits (American Management Association, 2007). Fred has served as an Adjunct Professor of Leadership at the Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ and an instructor at the National Center for Leadership in Washington, DC.


Fred and his wife Maralee live in Phoenix, AZ.

Keith Y. Preston, D.M.A.


Keith is in his 35th year serving students and teachers in public education as a music instructor and music administrator. His teaching experience includes band, orchestra, jazz ensemble, mariachi, and other world music ensembles. Additional teaching experience includes general music instruction at the elementary level, as well as teaching experience at secondary and post-secondary institutions.

He earned his advanced degrees from Arizona State University and has several published manuscripts as primary and secondary authorship. He is a frequent contributor and participant in the pre-service teacher preparation program at Arizona State University’s Herberger School of Music.

Keith’s leadership background includes having served two terms as the vice-president for high school instrumental music activities for the Arizona Band & Orchestra Directors Association, one term as vice-president for high school activities for the Arizona Music Educators Association, as well as AMEA Western Division Tri-M Chair.

As an arts administrator, Keith has the responsibility to insure that all students have equal access to the arts. His current duties as the Director of Fine Arts Education in the Paradise Valley Unified School District include:

  • Curriculum adoptions for visual art, music, drama, and dance – all grade levels.
  • Provide content-specific professional development opportunities for 121 fine arts teachers across 45 school sites.
  • Manage a resource budget to support instruction in K-12 fine arts classrooms.
  • Provide instructional support to principals at 45 school sites.
  • Design and implement fine arts signature programs, which include a Suzuki violin program, and the Shadow Complex for the Arts – a comprehensive fine arts magnet for students in grades 5-12 in music, art, dance, or theatre.
  • Creation and sustaining a district-wide fine arts festival featuring all aspects of fine arts education, and which attracts over 12,000 guests each year.

Keith lives with his wife, Annie, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Dr. Robyn Swanson


Dr. Robyn Swanson is a Professor of Music Education at Western Kentucky University. She serves as Coordinator of Music Education and Advisor to the Graduate Studies in Music Program. Prior to her tenure at Western Kentucky University, she taught music education at Black Hills State University, Spearfish, South Dakota, Cherokee Public Schools, Cherokee, Iowa and Sterling Unit District #5, Sterling, Illinois.

Dr. Swanson is an active researcher with numerous publications and presentations at the International, National, State, Regional and Local Levels. She is known for her expertise with Music Curriculum-Instruction-Assessment for ALL Learners and Teaching with the Multiple Intelligences. She authored the Kentucky Department of Education's (KDE) Arts and Humanities Kentucky Elementary Learning Profile (KELP) assessment guide. Her contributions to KDE Curriculum-Instruction-Assessment committees have been and continue to be extensive. Currently, she is director of the KMEA/KDE Collaborative Music Listening Assessment Project.

She has served as President of the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA), Kentucky Alliance for Arts Education (KAAE) and VSA Kentucky. These state level leadership positions have resulted in service to the music education profession at the national and international levels. She is a member of numerous WKU university, college and department committees. In 2001, Potter College of Arts and Humanities, Western Kentucky University, awarded her the Distinguished Public Service Award in Education. In January, 2005 the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) awarded her the Distinguished Leadership Service Award. Dr. Swanson received the 2006 Western Kentucky University Potter College Award for Teaching..

David B. Low


At the age of twelve, David was performing as the drummer with a dance band and a jazz trio. He continued drumming in a jazz quartet as well as a big band at Princeton University. David sang bass in an octet through high school and in college with an
a cappella close harmony group, the Tigertones. With his wife Nancy, who studied piano at Julliard, they have performed leads in all thirteen Gilbert & Sullivan operettas in New York and Washington, D.C.

David retired in 2006. Since then, he has been:

  • Senior Advisor and International Advisory Board member of Oxford Analytica Inc., a British consulting firm specializing in analysis of world events;
  • Senior Advisor to The Forum Foundation for Analytic Excellence, established to promote critical thinking skills and structured analytic techniques;
  • Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Public Service and Policy Development, affiliated with Pepperdine University, whose mission is to create forums where multi-partisan views can be addressed with civility and respect.

David has had an extensive career in both the public and private sectors. As National Intelligence Officer (NIO) for Transnational Threats, he was the senior advisor to the Director of National Intelligence on strategic global terrorism issues after 9/11. In the 1980s, David was NIO at Large responsible for assessing the issues of weapons proliferation and international economics. Earlier, he worked for the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. as Special Assistant to the Chairman.

In the private sector, David served as President of the largest U.S. apartment owner and operator. Before that, he was responsible for U.S. corporate acquisitions for a British firm and was General Counsel for the investment advisors to the Imperial Government of Iran under the Shah as it acquired stakes in multinational engineering companies. He practiced corporate law on Wall Street at White & Case.

David attended the Corporate Financial Management Program for executives at the Harvard Business School. He graduated with an A.B. degree from Princeton University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia. He was awarded the Distinguished Intelligence Medal in 1985 by the Director of Central Intelligence, William Casey. David has been married to Nancy Otto Low for 41 years and they have 2 children and 5 grandchildren.

Terrance C. Ryan, PhD, PE


Terry has been the Vice President, Web Meister and Executive Producer for the West Point Alumni Glee Club for the past nine years. The Club has grown to over sixty members ranging in age from 80’s to 30’s and performs as many as fifty events per year for veterans, service members and their families. Stemming from the first ever Glee Club Reunion at West Point in 2007, Terry and four others founded the Alumni Glee Club to sing inspirational and patriotic music. The Alumni Glee Club has performed in NYC, Connecticut, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and throughout the Washington, DC area and has sung with the Army Chorus, The Army Band, West Point Band and Virginia Grand Military Band.

Terry loves all kinds of music, has played several instruments in school, and has been in singing organizations since elementary school. He hastens to say that stage work and moving choral risers seems be his forte over pitch perfect performing.

A graduate of West Point in 1965, Terry has enjoyed a five decade plus career in civil engineering, serving with the US Army Corps of Engineers and then in private practice. He has taught and practiced engineering at all levels from college to post doctoral. Terry was a Regional Director of Engineering for Globetrotters Engineering serving the US State Department Embassy Program. He founded the Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering Program at George Mason University prior to being selected to be the Executive Director of the Engineers and Surveyors Institute, from which he is retiring in June 2016 after 17 years. He has been recognized as an Engineer Researcher of the Year at the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, IL and recently received the Distinguished Graduate Award from the West Point Society of DC for his work with the Glee Club and other professional activities.

Terry is married to Nancy (nee Pavone) from Trumbull, CT. They have two boys and five grandchildren. Most of The Ryan Clan resides on Diamond Hill Farm in Aldie, Virginia.

Stacy L. Merida


Stacy Merida is an Assistant Professor of Music Business in the Recording Industry Department in the College of Media and Entertainment at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) where she also serves as the Faculty Advisor to Match Records, the student run record label. Prior to joining MTSU, she was President of The MERIDA Group, a marketing and business consulting firm based in Brentwood, TN. Her corporate clients included SONY Music Entertainment, BET, Integrity Music, and Warner Bros. Records. She has also served as the music coordinator for BET´s Sunday Best singing competition series, talent coordinator for The Dove Awards, script assistant for CMA Fest, and coordinating producer for TV One. She was successful in securing client performance on the 50th Annual Grammy Awards Show, as well as national appearances for other clients on ABC´s The View, the CBS Morning Show, CNN, and ABC News.

Stacy was employed as Vice President of Marketing for SONY Music Entertainment in New York. Prior to joining SONY, she served as General Manager for CeCe Winans´ CW Wellspring Entertainment in Brentwood, TN for three years. She commuted between Nashville and New York for five years as the Director of CBA Marketing and Sales for Benson Label Group, a division of Zomba Music Group/Jive Records. Immediately following college and before entering the music entertainment and education fields, she was employed by Teledyne Brown Engineering, a military defense contractor, where she served in the finance and contract administration departments.

Stacy is very active with various professional, civic, and charitable organizations. She is a member of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association, the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Women in Higher Education TN, and the Gospel Music Association. She served on the Gospel Music Association board for ten years with six of those as Secretary and numerous years on the Gospel Music Association Foundation board. Currently, she serves as board member and treasurer of Women in Film and Television Nashville. Stacy is a 1989 graduate of Stillman College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration, a 1993 graduate of the University of Mobile with a Master in Business Administration degree, and is presently completing her research in cultural competency and proficiency in higher education administrators for the PhD. in Urban Higher Education at Jackson State University.

Stacy began taking piano lessons in 2nd grade and continued throughout high school. Her love for all things percussion led her to play several instruments for marching and concert bands. She believes the strong parental guidance and incredible teachings from her elementary and middle school music instructors assisted her in developing a strong skill set in perseverance, patience, analysis, and a keen awareness of life’s most precious attributes. All of this created the foundation for her love and passion for music, business, and education.

Elaine Thomas


Elaine Thomas retired in August, 2016, after forty-five years in music and art education with the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) where she served as the Director of Elementary Music and Art for the last ten years in the district’s Visual and Performing Arts Department. Prior to moving to central administration, Elaine taught elementary music for thirty-five years which included twelve years of teaching elementary art in addition to music. She has presented numerous professional development sessions nationally and statewide. Elaine has a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of North Texas a Master of Education Administration from Dallas Baptist University.

During her tenure as director at DISD she:

  • oversaw the placement of certified music and art teachers in every elementary school;
  • placed standard equipment and technology in every classroom;
  • selected a leadership team for both music and art, which oversaw the writing of a new curriculum based on the revised Texas standards and the development of both written and performance assessments for elementary music and art;
  • developed a partnership with the non-profit organization Little Kids Rock;
  • established a live arts performance for every elementary student from second to fifth grade, including theatre, ballet, art museum, and symphony; and
  • created professional learning communities across the district, which provided elementary music and art teachers the opportunity to learn from one another, share ideas and develop friendships.

In 2016, Elaine was honored by Little Kids Rock as the Modern Band Educator of the Year. In 2014, she was selected as the outstanding fine arts director of North Texas and received the Bayard Friedman Hero Award. Further recognition of her teaching career includes her being one of five finalists for Dallas Independent School District Teacher of the Year in 2004 and 1998 and being identified as a Class Act Teacher by Station KDFW-TV, Dallas.

Elaine lives in Arlington, Texas, where she loves gardening, cooking, reading, and singing in her church choir.

Steve Gilreath


Steve has served as the Producer and Director of Quaver’s Marvelous World of Music – a program created to help kids learn to love music, starring Graham Hepburn.

In television, Steve served as the Executive Producer of “America’s Dumbest Criminals” (widely syndicated by Paramount Television — seen in over 20 countries). Steve produced and directed four series for The Family Channel and Fox Family, including “Postcards From the Road,” “The Summer Drive-In Theater,” and “CCM-TV”, a weekly video show with a three-year run.  “Postcards” included a comedic reality documentary of offbeat tourist attractions, shot in 41 states. In 2000, Steve produced the ‘Dove Awards’ national broadcast for the Gospel Music Association, in Nashville.

He has produced and directed several different children’s series, including “Mr. Henry’s Wild & Wacky World,” the “BibleMan” series for Thomas Nelson, and “Start Dancin’ with Jump5” for the Disney Channel.

Beyond television, Steve’s experience in the development and execution events for RJR/Nabisco, Revlon, Paramount Pictures, Reebok, MTV and many others reached millions of consumers through events from NASCAR to Pro Rodeo, live concerts to regattas, and PGA/USTA U.S. Opens.

Finally, Steve produced the largest marketing event for college students in the country, annually attracting over 100,000 students during Spring Break. Sponsors included Jeep, Warner Bros. Pictures, Sony, Nintendo, Domino’s Pizza, Ray Ban, The Gap, and many others.

He serves as Elder at Christ Community Church, is involved in Boy Scouts, and lives with his wife Denise and three children in Franklin, Tennessee.

Quaver Foundation for Advancing Music Education, Inc.  is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization incorporated under the laws of the state of Tennessee working to provide educational programs to the public.


Quaver Foundation for Advancing Music Education, Inc.  is located on historic Music Row in Nashville, TN.



1706 Grand Avenue

Nashville, TN  37212