Ed Francis-Artistic Director
Ed Francis-Artistic Director
Ed Francis graduated from the Austin Graduate School of Theology, Austin, Texas, USA. After years of marching in high school bands, competing in the Jr. Drum Corps, touring with the USAF World Wide Talent Contests and performing in local bands, Mr. Francis decided to bring his passion for percussion into the heart of his community where he began teaching as a drum coach at Round Rock Drums and also co-founded Rhythm Workshops. The latter being a non-profit dedicated to bringing musical experiences into the community, at no cost to the children – focusing on groups of people who have little access to making music. He also devoted 8 years in the USAF as a Mental Health Unit Specialist working at an Alcohol Rehabilitation Center, Substance Abuse Recovery Center and as the NCOIC of the Department of Neuropsychology. After serving his country, Mr. Francis worked for the Center for Health Care Services MH/MR where he served adults with special needs. Mr. Francis never forgot how music and drumming helped him to work through the pain of growing up in an abusive and dysfunctional home environment. The scars may have run deep, but the power of having a positive outlet helped to build his self confidence and slowly release the otherwise debilitating anxieties building up in the young man. While working with Rhythm Workshops Mr. Francis relates his experiences to young people everywhere.
Kim Francis-Executive Director
Kim Francis-Executive Director
In her former life, Kim Francis worked for a healthcare lobbying group. She planned events and assisted with legislative research. When she began her family, Ms. Francis opted to stay home to raise her 5 boys. During this time, she found activism through the education system. Ms. Francis has served on numerous boards and committees at RRISD. Currently, she serves as the President of the Stony Point Area Orchestra Boosters and the Parent/Community Relations Representative for the Stony Point Area Band Boosters. She is also the Event Coordinator for Round Rock Drums and the Grant Writer for Rhythm Workshops. After years of study, Ms. Francis is nearing completion of a BS in Marketing w/concentration in Social Media Marketing with plans to complete a MPA in Social Policy. Ms. Francis is passionate about the importance of music education because she has lived it on a personal level and knows how it is beneficial to children.
John Speaskmaker-Honorary Board Member
John Speasmaker received his BA and MBA from Baylor University. Mr. Speasmaker served as a mental health professional for more than five years at both Mexia State School and Heart of Texas MHMR. After finishing his graduate degree, Mr. Speasmaker served as a sales and marketing professional in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries for more than twenty years. After leaving the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries he is now helping local individuals and businesses develop their internet presence. Mr. Speasmaker and his wife, Heidi, are empty nesters, with two grown children. It’s worth mentioning that Mr. Speasmaker has been a Central Texas resident for the majority of his life and was raised in Waco, Texas. As a board member of Rhythm Workshops Mr. Speasmaker uses his gifts to enhance the outreach of our programs.
Lori Dillon-Board Member
Lori Dillon has a background in administrative work. She is also a teacher having homeschooled three kids. Her “babies” are seniors this year. Ms. Dillon also is a strong advocate of kids with special needs. One of her children is celiac and Ms. Dillon has fought tirelessly to make sure her daughter has what she needs. While homeschooling, Ms. Dillon also was the administrative arm of a family IT consulting business. In addition to bookkeeping and administrative tasks, she also was in charge of employee recruiting. Ms. Dillon’s passions include reaching out to the young people in our community whose lives have been impacted by circumstances beyond their control. A strong advocate for children, she also helps to make connections for kids who need it most. As a board member of Rhythm Workshops Ms. Dillon uses her gifts to enhance the outreach of our programs.
Kelly Farmer-Board Member
Kelly Farmer lives in Hutto, Texas and is the devoted wife to Shane Farmer and together with him is raising a heard of eight children ranging in age from 15 down to 2. Ms Farmer is a Cloud Services Executive with IBM and has worked in the IT industry for
over 17 years. Ms Farmer has her MBA from Stephen F. Austin State University and although she was an Army brat and born in Italy, is really a native Texan. Ms Farmer is a School Board Trustee for Hutto ISD, a CASA of Williamson County, has served on the board for Hutto Youth Football and Cheer Association and the Hutto Political Action Committee. Ms Farmer, Shane and their children are members of The Exchange Church in Round Rock and service actively in several areas of ministry with some amazing people including Lori and Rebecca Dillon. Shane and Zach (12) are both students at Round Rock Drums and Ms Farmer is the proud “aunt” to drummer Neo. In her spare time Ms Farmer enjoys traveling, being outside, reading and taking naps (wonder why right?). Ms Farmer is thrilled to be a member or the board for Rhythm Workshops and is excited to see how we can grow the music outreach throughout the local, regional, state and national areas!
Andrea Johnson-Board Member
She is the Proud mom of an energetic, 8 year old, Round Rock Drummer, Carson. She has dedicated her life to sharing her passion of the arts with her students for going on 10 years, with many more years to come. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from University of North Texas in 2003 and her Master’s in Art Education from Texas Tech University in 2016. She understands the importance of expressing yourself through art and music. She has used her art to express the pain and hurt suffered from previous abuse and knows how much music has and will help her son express himself through drumming, working through issues he may go through, and channeling them through a creative outlet. She has served on numerous committees at her school Harmony Science Academy North Austin as well as being apart of Texas Art Education Association, National Association of Professional Women and running her own business Andrea’s Artistic Palette creating personal and custom art pieces. As a Board Member she plans to help spread the great works Rhythm Workshops has already created using her art talent to share the love of music and art to young kiddos needing that positive creative outlet.
Hannah Kania-Board Member
Hannah Kania received her BA and Masters in Education from Texas State University and has been an Elementary Special Educator for 15 years. She taught in Austin and currently teaches in Round Rock ISD where she was named 2015 Teacher of the Year for Claude Berkman Elementary. Ms. Kania is mom to two terrific sons, one of whom is a Round Rock Drums drummer. She has been a Cub Scout leader and Pack committee member for 4 years. Music has always been an important part of her family’s life, as she met her husband at Texas State while marching in the Bobcat Marching Band. As a sister to a person with severe disability, Ms. Kania has seen the healing impact music has had through music therapy, as a teacher she has seen the powerful impact music has on the students she works with everyday. Ms. Kania will strive to help bring music education to students who might not otherwise have the opportunity, because we all benefit from the gifts music can give.
Jim Stuart-Board Member
Jim Stuart lives in Round Rock, Texas and has been married to Lisa Stuart for 26 years. They have one son, Jarek, who is 23 years old. Jim started his law enforcement career in 1982 at the University of Texas Police Department in Austin, Texas. In 1986 he was hired by the Round Rock Police Department. He is currently the Commander of the Training Division. Jim has worked in every area of the Round Rock Police Department, but has spent the majority of his career working narcotics investigations and as a member of Round Rocks SWAT team. Jim has a Bachelor Degree from Ohio Christian University in Organizational Leadership. He has had a lifelong appreciation of music and has been drumming for the past 15 years. Jim and Lisa both love to travel, listen to live music, and reading good books. Jim believes keeping children focused on positive activities early can help them become more confident and successful adults.
Tiffany Williams-Board Member
A native Austinite, Tiffany graduated from Anderson High School and went on to study Interior Design and Architecture. She has worked as kidsActing’s office manager since 2005 and oversaw our moves from our 20 year residency on Burnet Rd. through a couple of temporary homes until we happily moved into Center Stage Theatre.
Dede calls her kidsActing’s central nervous system because she calmly keeps the administration running smoothly, which is no mean feat, corralling various artistic departments and personalities. She is the ultimate “cat herder.” She has a gift of organization and attention to detail, and keeps candies on her desk!
Jennifer Zeiner-Board Member
Jennifer Zeiner has worked full time at CoreLogic for 20 years in Project Management as a Business Analyst. Ms. Zeiner has enjoyed philanthropy and has worked along side community-oriented programs as a coordinator for the Meals on Wheels program, Habitat for Humanity – and has also volunteered for RRHS PTSA as the Clothes Closet chair and Cub Scouts Den Leader for five years. She is the proud mother of a Round Rock Drummer (since 2008). Ms. Zeiner is also a wife, mother & grandmother who cherishes her family and enjoys spending time with her 6 grandchildren. Having a strong level of commitment, and being a person who cares about her community all make her a valuable member of our team. As a board member of Rhythm Workshops Ms. Zeiner uses her gifts to enhance the outreach of our programs.
Let’s make a difference
Our Master Drum Coach (MDC) enjoys bringing the “Rhythm Workshops’ “Shake, Rattle & Drum Roll” experience to schools, community centers, libraries, (insert your place here).
Here is your opportunity to have our MDC – and the talented students at Round Rock Drums – come out to work with your kids.
We look forward to reaching into your local community and making a difference in the lives of kids who have yet to discover the value of drumming and music.
The kids will experience a taste of what drumming looks and sounds like, followed by an exciting interactive part where onlookers become active participants.
All you need to do is fill out the provided spaces and initiate contact.
We do all the rest! 🙂
Not in the Austin area? Submit a workshop application and we might travel to you!