Board of Directors

Our organization affirms that the arts are crucial to a healthy, prosperous community and that access to arts and cultural experiences lifts up the quality of life for both residents and visitors of Virginia and surrounding communities.

The Lyric Center works to promote programs and opportunities that uphold these values:
  • The arts foster civic engagement, stimulate economic activity, and increase cultural empathy, and thus play a crucial role in sustaining thriving communities. 
  • Every resident deserves access to a variety of arts and cultural experiences, in their community. 
  •  Arts education is central to the development of all children and to ongoing creative engagement for people of all ages. 
  • Artists and arts organizations require a social environment that values and supports their contributions, encourages excellence, enhances entrepreneurship, and fosters a substantive network. 
  • The breadth, depth, and diversity of artistic and cultural life are critical measures of the vitality of the community we serve

Pete Pellinen, President

Pete Pellinen resides in Virginia, MN with his wife Mary. He studied at Bemidji State University, and Indiana University in Bloomington. Pete sang with San Antonio, Des Moines Metro Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light and Minnesota Opera Companies. He has worked as a warehouse manager for Mead Paper, as sole proprietor Rangeline Transportation, and currently is a guide at Soudan Underground Mine State Park as well as director for Small Parts Players Children's Theater Company. Pete says, "The Lyric Center will bring tourists and art patrons to the Quad Cities. It will provide a home for the great actors, musicians, visual artists, and writes who live here on the Iron Range". 

Brian Holzer, Treasurer

Raised in Minneapolis, Brian worked 33 years in State and City Public Safety services, with the final working years as City of Virginia Fire Chief.  Hi is past President of many professional organizations including Minnesota State Fire Chiefs. Brian has in Virginia since 1997.  He enjoys golf, sailing and classical music.

Dan Engel, Vice President

Dan Engel joined our board as a parent of actors in Small Parts Players Children's Theatre Company.  He is on staff of Barr Engineering as a Wetland Ecologist. Dan and his family are huge supporters of the arts in our area and is effective in grant writing, planning and logistics.

Steven B. Johnson

Steve is actively involved in numerous non-profits that serve the youth, elderly, and the arts.  He serves as an elected official on City Council of Virginia, MN.   He also works for a AEOA, a non-profit, in education and career counseling.  When not volunteering to make his community a better place, Steve enjoys camping, fishing, yard work and geocaching with his non-traditional family and friends. 

Arlene Jershe 

Arlene (AJ) is a former board member and officer of the Northern Lights Players theatre company and retired from St. Louis County Health and Human Services.

Lorrie Janatopoulos

 Lorrie is a 2016 Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow currently working with the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) in community, workforce and economic development.  Lorrie is past Planning Director at Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA), a community action agency with an anti-poverty mission. She has a Master of Public Affairs, a Bachelor of Behavioral Arts and Sciences with a concentration in Management, and certificate in Dialog, Deliberation and Public Engagement plus an extensive background in public policy, served on a Governor’s Task Force for LGBT Minnesotans and has over 30 years of local and statewide non-profit board experience. 

Interested in becoming a member of our Board of Directors or working on a task force or committee?  Complete and send in our application and we'll be in touch.