Staff

A closeup of a person in a tuxedo.

Rob Ward PRESIDENT & CEO

Rob Ward is the fifth president and second alumnus to serve the Oklahoma Arts Institute as President. A McAlester native, he attended OSAI as a chorus student three times and has worked an additional 15 summers as a counselor, counselor coordinator, technical director, and faculty member; conducting the chorus in 2019. Ward has taught middle school, high school, and university choirs in Texas and Kansas and has sung with numerous professional choral ensembles across the United States. Rob holds degrees in vocal music education and choral conducting from Oklahoma State University (B.M.Ed.), Southern Methodist University (M.M.Ed.), and the University of North Texas (D.M.A.). He comes from a family of educators and artists who taught him the value of arts education.  He lives in Grapevine, TX with his wife, Lindsey, their son, Karsten, and two amazing golden doodles, Barkley and Luna.

PHONE 405.605.7500 ext. 0

Emily Claudé VICE PRESIDENT & DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS

Emily was born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma and graduated from the University of Oklahoma. While she spent a few years in Boston after graduation, she still calls Norman her home. Emily’s artistic experience is well rounded, studying dance, film, photography, and acting at various times of her life. And she prides herself on a well-rounded employment history as well, having worked in retail, accounting, architecture, and healthcare. But she found her true calling when she began working at the Oklahoma Arts Institute in 2005. She delights in creating educational opportunities for Oklahoma’s artists and is gratified to see such tremendous talent each year. When not at Quartz Mountain, Emily loves doting on her three dogs, traveling with her husband, and living vicariously through her daughter.

PHONE 405.605.7500 ext. 306

Shana Gibelyou VICE PRESIDENT & DIRECTOR OF FINANCE

A native of Ponca City, Shana Gibelyou holds a bachelor’s degree in dance management from Oklahoma City University, where she graduated magna cum laude and received the “Outstanding Graduating Senior in Dance Management” award. As a dancer, Shana is an experienced performer, teacher, choreographer, and adjudicator. She has performed at the Jazz Dance World Congress in Wiesbaden, Germany and has performed and taught ballroom, Latin, swing, and country dance at the largest ballroom studio in Oklahoma City. She is also experienced in aerial dance. Shana is the co-founder of a nonprofit organization that provides food, clothing, and medical care to over 200 orphans in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and she has visited the orphanage ten times since 2009. Shana enjoys spending time with her husband and their 8-year-old daughter, Elise Joy, who is already discovering her artistic talents in art, fashion, dance, and gymnastics. Shana attended the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain for three years as a modern dancer in high school. This year marks Shana’s 20th summer as a staff member of the Oklahoma Arts Institute.

PHONE 405.605.7500 ext. 303
Alyssa Andriotis

Alyssa Andriotis ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS

From a young age, Alyssa has always been interested in the arts, especially music. She was a member of the local youth symphony and participated in many school musicals and plays. Alyssa went on to graduate summa cum laude from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance. While completing her Master’s degree at Florida State University, Alyssa realized her passion for arts administration. She is now actively involved in the Oklahoma Flute Society and is a member of the Flute New Music Consortium. Alyssa enjoys performing new music (especially with her composer husband), baking, and gardening.  She lives in Oklahoma City with her husband and their cats.

PHONE 405.605.7500 ext. 307
Sarah Helsley

Sarah Helsley OFFICE MANAGER & PR/DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANT

Originally from Edmond, Sarah has been an avid supporter of the OKC arts community since childhood. In 2018, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre, and she has worked as a professional dramaturg for Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park and the Neustadt Literary Festival. She also serves on the Marketing & Design Committee for the 2024 Sunny Dayz Mural Festival. Sarah enjoys writing and has been published in the Thornton Wilder Journal. In her free time, you can find Sarah lounging in the sun, reading a novel, or catching a film at the local cinema.

PHONE 405.605.7500 ext. 0

Kara Keeton DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT

From an early age, Kara has lived every breath with curiosity and wonder. From long road trips with her grandparents in their airstream cross country as a young girl to attending bible school in the Austrian alps during college to living for several years in NYC, Kara is inspired by a deep desire to better understand our diverse world and the beautiful people she meets. She grew up in Oklahoma City and graduated from UCO with a B.A. in English Literature. Her career spans from college publishing sales, marketing, event planning, HR in financial services during the 2008 recession, to serving nonprofits through gift in kind acquisitions and leading a team of brand advocates in the clean beauty space for the past decade. In each role she has found ways to serve philanthropically with a heart to promote artists and their work. Kara is heart centered in her approach to living. When she is not creating nourishing foods inspired by Ayurveda in the kitchen, you may find her behind a book outback with a fire or exploring local parks & restaurants with her son. She delights in gathering people together and hearing stories with a core belief that we all have unique gifts with experiences to offer as a means to heal our communities. We are here to grow, evolve and it is never too late to try a new thing.

PHONE 405.605.7500 ext. 308

Stefanie Leland MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Stefanie is from Canute, Oklahoma and holds bachelor degrees in both biology and theatre arts as well as an associate degree in film and video production. Earlier in her career she directed, wrote and produced environmental documentary films, including Bokoshe: In the Air We Breathe for the Sierra Club Cimarron Group and the independent feature documentary Where Did the Horny Toad Go? She has also managed several national commercials and managed the nationwide arts project, Her Flag. Her connection with the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute began in 2010, and in 2012 she attended her first photography workshop at the Oklahoma Fall Arts Institute. In her free time, Stefanie enjoys life on a 20-acre farm forest with her husband, son, and daughter. She can often be found tending to plants, observing wildlife, or creating nature-inspired watercolors.

PHONE 405.605.7500 ext. 309
Caleb Mitchum

Caleb Mitchum ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT

Originally from Minco, Oklahoma, Caleb first experienced the magic of Quartz Mountain as a member of the flute section in the orchestra in 2009 and ’10. He studied music at Oklahoma City University, performing in orchestras, wind ensembles, chamber groups, and (most enjoyably) pit orchestras for numerous operas and musicals. Since then Caleb has played with various orchestras in the metro area, including the OKC Philharmonic and Painted Sky Opera, and maintained a studio of successful students. He also served four years as the Program Manager for the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras, of which he is also an alumnus. When not making music or helping others to do so, he enjoys reading, writing, painting, crafting, and board games with old friends.

PHONE 405.605.7500 ext. 304

Wren Pfahl PUBLIC RELATIONS & OUTREACH COORDINATOR

Wren Pfahl is a flutist originally from Hendersonville, Tennessee. She spontaneously moved to Oklahoma in 2016 to study music at Oklahoma City University where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in flute performance in 2018 and 2020, respectively. Wren developed a love for nonprofit work and arts administration in 2017 when she began as an intern at Oklahoma Youth Orchestras and continued on to serve as the Communications Director from 2020-2021. Additionally, she frequently performs in the OKC metro and Fort Smith areas. Outside of music and work, Wren enjoys thrifting, watching movies, reading, dancing, and being a helicopter mom to her two cats, Kitty and Atticus.

PHONE 405.605.7500 ext. 305