The Orpheum Theatre is actually run by two boards!  The first is The Orpheum Theatre Inc, NFP and the second isThe Knox County Metropolitan Exposition, Auditorium, and Office Building Authority.  Both boards are comprised of the same members.  I think you can see why we just refer to them as The Orpheum Theatre Board of Directors!


Below you learn more about our Board of Directors, but if you want to see them in person all our meetings are open to the public and held at The Orpheum Theatre, on the third Wednesday of each month at 4 PM.  

Mark Blackburn


Mark Blackburn resides in Galesburg and has a long history of involvement with The Orpheum Theatre.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Management from what is now known as University of Illinois-Springfield, and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Saint Louis University.  Since 1994, Mark has worked at First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust in Galesburg, and since 1998 he has served as President of the bank.  He has served on the board for many local organizations, including Galesburg Cottage Hospital, Bridgeway Inc., The Galesburg Downtown Council, and United Way of Knox County, as well as volunteering for a number of community civic organizations.

Mark continues to be very passionate about The Orpheum Theatre, and the positive educational, economic, and entertainment impact it has on the Knox County and surrounding areas.  He has always enjoyed hearing stories from patrons about how the theatre has made a personal impact in their lives: from tales of how people me their spouses at the theatre, to when they have come to the theatre as children and come back as adults, and all the generational experiences that have been born out of The Orpheum Theatre.  When Mark is not volunteering or fulfilling his duties at the bank, he enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with friends and family.  

Jay Bullis


Bio coming soon...

Naomi A. Law


Naomi holds a Bachelor of Arts from Illinois State University, a Masters in Education from the University of Illinois, and is now a retired Special Educator and Administrator. She has been involved in the Galesburg community for many years; in the past she held titles of President for both the Knox County Retired Teachers' Association (KCRTA) and the Galesburg Public Library Foundation Board (of which she is President Emeritus). She is a member of the Carl Sandburg College Foundation Board, a Reading Buddy at Gale Elementary School, Volunteer for the Walking School Bus, Secretary of the Hawthorne Club, and Monthly Columnist for the Galesburg Register Mail. Naomi continues her loyal service to the community by her participation as Commissioner for the Galesburg Fire & Police Commission, and a member of the Galesburg Historical Society.  Besides her involvement as an Orpheum Board member, Naomi volunteers regularly at the theatre-- you'll often see her smiling face as an usher on the main floor or mezzanine!

 My greatest joy at the Orphuem has been the centennial celebrations.  It is amazing to think about the things that have taken place on that magnificent stage and he people who have sat in the seats.  We are very fortunate to have such a jewel and resource in our community.  It is a place where everyone can come together and appreciate the arts.  It doesn't matter if that is acting, dancing, speaking, or other creative expressions.  The Orpheum Theatre is a place where all of the arts are celebrated and that has been happening for over one hundred years!

                                                                                                          -Naomi Law

Chris Ashby


Chris grew up in Girard, IL and graduated from Girard  High School in 1991.  He is a 1995 graduate of Monmouth College with a BS in Education with a minor in History.  Chris started his life after college coaching  football at Alexis Jr./Sr. High School.  After trying a few different jobs, he started his career at G&M Distributors in 2001.  He began there as a swing sales person, shortly after starting he became a salesman for the  Liquor/Wine/Craft Beer Division, and took over as manager of that division in 2010.  In 2013 Chris was promoted to his current position of General Sales Manager over the Anheuser Busch, Pepsi, and L/W/C Divisions.  He has turned his first job into his passion and continues to coach youth baseball and football.  He has taken two different teams to the Cal Ripken Regionals.  Chris is currently the Galesburg Junior Football League President.  Chris and his family are avid St. Louis Cardinals fans, and he has been fortunate enough to attend the last two World Series clinching games at Busch Stadium.  Chris truly enjoys his career and the opportunity to help G&M Distributors give back to the community.  Chris says, “Being on The Orpheum board allows me to ensure there will always be a place in Galesburg and surrounding communities to participate and watch performing arts.”


Brent Bernett


Brent grew up in Quincy, IL and graduated from Quincy High School in 1981.  He is a 1985 graduate of Illinois State University with a BS in Marketing and a Minor in History.  Brent lived in Austin, TX for a few years after college but could never find the right job, so in 1987 he moved to Galesburg and started his career with G&M Distributors.  He began there as a sales person for the E&J Gallo Winery in the Liquor/Wine/Craft Beer Division, and took over as manager of that division in 1998 until becoming the General Sales Manager over the Anheuser Busch, Pepsi, and L/W/C Divisions in 2010.  In 2013, Brent was promoted to his current position of General Manager, in which he oversees the daily operations of the company. His hobbies include beer and sports history which gave him his love for old and historic buildings.  He loves to travel, especially to sporting events across the U.S. and Canada, and has attended games at all the current and many past arenas and stadiums for MLB, NFL, and NHL as well as many NBA and collegiate facilities.  Brent loves taking along his two children Montana (daughter age 15) and Clark (son age 11) who have both almost attended all MLB current venues, as well as many others for football and baseball.  He and his kids are avid San Francisco 49ers fans and see them several times a year-- and the children are actually named after the famous play from 1982 known as “The Catch” which was a touchdown pass from Joe Montana to Dwight Clark.  Brent thoroughly enjoys working at G&M and all that it offers both at work and in the community.  Brent says, "The Orpheum board is a perfect place for me, and I look forward to all it will offer to the Galesburg area in the future."

Photo credit: Thomas Foley 

Janet K. Occhi  


Jan resides in Keithsburg, Illinois, and is one of the most seasoned members on The Orpheum Theatre Board.  She became involved when she was the Knox County board designee, and stayed on because she loves theatre.  Jan is no stranger to working on boards and committees-- her involvement in local government and community organizations is extensive.  Jan is involved with: Keithsburg City Council, Crime Stoppers of Mercer County, Carver Community Action Center, The Boys & Girls Club, Mercer County Metical Corps, and the Women's Mercer County Democrats.  She holds titles of  Vice Chair of the Mercer County Democrats, Chair of the Christian Women's Fellowship at First Christian Church of Keithsburg, and she is even Deputy Mayor of Keithsburg.  Jan also sits on the Veterans Memorial Committee and the Playground Committee of Keishburg... and in fact, out of the nine committees on the Keithsburg City Council, she sits on seven!  One of her first experiences at The Orpheum was coming to events with her kids when they were in band.  The first production she ever worked on was in the early nineties: "My Fair Lady" presented by Galesburg Community Theatre.  When Jan isn't attending many a meeting, she enjoys crafts and gardening.

Maeve Reilly 
Maeve Reilly is the associate director of donor relations at Knox College. She previously worked in communications and marketing positions at the University of Illinois for more than 20 years. A native of Peoria, in 2018, Maeve moved to Galesburg from Champaign, Illinois, where she served on the board of the Art Film Foundation, which supported the independently owned Art Theater. She also served as a member of the community advisory board for Illinois Public Media, the public radio and television stations in Urbana. Maeve recieved a bachelor's degree from Bradley University in 1984, and a master's in Angelo-Irish Literature and Drama from University College Dublin in 1988. She was a Peace Cops volunteer in Morocco from 1985-87.
"I am passionate about the arts and creating an environment where the arts are valued. Galesburg is a hub for artistic and entrepreneurial endeavors, and I'm excited to help build awareness and community around all the creativity in our area."
Russell Fleming


Bio coming soon...


Jeannette Kleine


Bio coming soon...


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The Orpheum Theatre
57 South Kellogg Street
Galesburg, IL  61401

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Box Office Hours (Via phone)
Tuesday - Friday, 10am-2pm

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The Box Office opens 1 hour prior to every ticketed performance

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