Erica Griessel has served as the manager of the Howard Performing Arts Center since November 2011, although her history with the Howard Center goes back much farther than that.
While a student at Andrews University, Erica worked at the Howard Performing Arts Center, first as a marketing and communication assistant from August 2003 to May 2006, and later as a contract writer during the 2006–07 season. Upon graduation in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in public relations with a minor in music from Andrews University, she took a job in finance and freight claims for USF Holland. When the assistant manager position at the Howard Performing Arts Center opened up in late 2007, Erica was hired as assistant manager in January 2008 and served in that capacity for three years.
In her time at the Howard Center, Erica has held a wide range of responsibilities in the areas of event coordination, marketing, promotions and management. She says, “It’s such a privilege to bring high profile artists and great music to Andrews University and Berrien Springs.”
Her passion for music extends beyond her role at the Howard. Erica is a classically trained violinist of 17 years who loves to teach. In 2008, she worked as a violin instructor for the Dance & Music Asylum in Saugatuck, Mich., where she instructed students from beginner to intermediate. The southwest Michigan commute, particularly during the inclement winter months, proved challenging, so in May 2008, Erica opened a private violin studio based out of Berrien Springs. She currently instructs a growing number of students from beginner to intermediate.
Originally from Holland, Mich., Erica currently resides in South Haven, Mich. with her husband, David Griessel, who she married in June 2012. A true southwest Michigander, she counts Lake Michigan as one of her favorite things. She also loves biking, running and reading.
Eileen McMillen began her role as the assistant manager of the Howard Performing Arts Center in January 2012.
As assistant manager, Eileen is responsible for volunteer coordination, event and concert management, as well as assisting in a number of day-to-day management responsibilities for the Howard Center.
Prior to accepting the assistant manager position, McMillen had been working as director of funding and strategic development for StoneBridge School in Chesapeake, Va. She graduated from Andrews University with a Bachelor of Science in psychology in May 2009. Two years later, in May 2011, she completed the Master of Administration in International & Community Development with an emphasis in non-profit management. During her time as a graduate student, McMillen worked with a number of non-profit organizations, both local and out-of-state.
“Music has always been a huge part of my life. I started singing in church when I was very young and have continued singing and playing a variety of instruments ever since," Eileen says.
Eileen is a native of Sebring, Fla. She has been married since June 2011 to J.B. McMillen, a fellow Andrews alum. Eileen and her husband have two “furry” children, a cat and a dog.