Board of Directors

As a 501c3 organization, the Kalamazoo Experiential Learning Center is run by a Board of Directors. These community individuals give of their time and talents to help make the Kalamazoo Experiential Learning Center successful. Our organization wouldn’t be possible without them and their support. 

Greg Ayers, Discover Kalamazoo 

Greg is currently the President and CEO of Discover Kalamazoo. Discover Kalamazoo is the official destination marketing organization representing Kalamazoo County. His leadership in destination marketing and tourism is unparalleled and his commitment to education and engagement through experiential events is invaluable.


Bob Miller, Western Michigan University

Bob is Associate Vice President for Community Outreach.  His leadership as a conduit between the University and the community will provide direction for programming and educational enrichment. His involvement with downtown stakeholders and business development help to connect college students in entrepreneurial development.  


Libby Ziemelis, Vice President Data Services at HandsOn Connect Cloud Solutions

Libby Ziemelis is the Vice President of Data Services at HandsOn Connect Cloud Solutions. Libby works with nonprofit organizations around the globe in her role consulting on best practices and efficient use of technology to further their missions. Her leadership provides insight into nonprofit collaborative partnerships as well as career development and nonprofit leadership. 


Jacob Droppers, Varnum Law

Jacob Droppers is a partner at Varnum Law and has been raised in the event management business.  His insight into festivals and events has been through his leadership in working at The Event Company for five years prior to attending law school. His knowledge of the law and event management provides guidance required for ongoing operations.

Becca Shemberger, Director of Events 

Becca is a director at the Kalamazoo Experiential learning center. Upon graduation from Western Michigan University, Becca served as an intern at the center. She worked in corporate sales for just over four years before making the descision to return to KELC as the new Director of Events. Her experience at the Center provides valuable insight into intern coaching, management, and program enhancement. Plus, her time in corporate sales gives her a great understanding of how to work with all types of people.


Deborah Droppers, Executive Director

Deborah Droppers is the founder of the Kalamazoo Experiential Learning Center.  She has been an event manager and director since 1988 when she was the convention services manager for the City of Kalamazoo.  Since then, she has administered festivals, special one day events, parades, and an event budget of $900,000 and nearly 1,700 volunteers. Additionally, Deborah Droppers administers the Western Michigan University Minor program and teaches 15 credit hours a year in event management and nonprofit marketing.