The Clinton Arts Center Board of Directors

Learn more about the Clinton Arts Center, the staff, board of directors, and much more.

Ruth Knoll


Ruth Knoll has over 30 years of experience working on large, collaborative, community-based projects.  With a keen knowledge of the arts, education, and expertise in 501(c)3 start-ups, Ruth’s experience serves the Clinton Arts Center and the greater Clinton Village community through her passion for economic development. In her free time, Ruth enjoys working with clay and glass, dabbling in gardening and traveling with her family. Ruth received a BS in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.  She has two children, Andrew and Hannah, both graduates of Kalamazoo College.

Howard Oesterling

Vice President

Howard Oesterling attended Adrian College and earned a BS degree. Lesson learned:  Attending college was the best four years of his life. He earned a masters degree and a specialist degree from Eastern Michigan University. Lesson learned:  Smart people have more questions than they have answers. He has been an elementary, middle school and high school teacher. Lesson learned: Working with the young keeps you young. He was high school principal for nineteen years. Lesson learned: Today’s teenagers are smarter and know more than any generation before them. He was superintendent of schools for eight years. Lesson learned:  Making hard decisions keeps you awake at night. He has been a speaker for schools, service clubs, and businesses all over Michigan, and for fifty years he has been a keynote speaker at the Rotary Youth Leadership Conference. Lesson learned: If you do a good job, you get invited to do another speech. He has been on the staff and president of the board at the Maurice Spear Campus, Adrian, Michigan. Lesson learned:  Wards of the court are no different than any other kids except they have been caught doing something wrong. He has been a member of a service club for forty years. Lesson learned:  Service above self is a good way to live. In retirement, he became a videographer and has made over 300 films. Lesson learned:  Make each project better than any you’ve done so far.

Claudia Kretschmer

Board Member

Claudia Kretschmer is the owner and head coach of Gym America, which was founded in 1979.  In her 30 plus years of experience, she has produced many National level competitors.  She has also qualified gymnasts to the TOPS National Team. Claudia’s great passion has led to the development of the Xcel Program, which she pioneered.  She is married to co-owner Ed Kretschmer and has two sons Kyle (18) and Kevin (30).  Claudia resides in Saline, Michigan.


Michigan Female Coach of the Year – 1992

Michigan Contributor of the Year

National Instructor of the Year – 2003 & 2005

Region 5 Contributor of the Year 2010 & 2012

Contributor to Bahamas Gymnastics 2012

Michigan Parks and Recreation Association – Community Service Award – 2013

National Instructor of the Year – 2013

National Service Award for USA Gymnastics

Anat Shiftan

Board Member

Anat Shiftan studied English Literature and Philosophy (BA 1980) at the Hebrew University, ceramics at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design (1980 -1982), Eastern Michigan University (MA 1984), and at Cranbrook Academy of Art and Design (MFA 1986).  Shiftan worked at Pewabic Pottery in Detroit, Michigan (1986 to 1999) as an Instructor, Production Manager, Senior Designer and Director of Education. She also taught at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design (1999-2002) and has been teaching ceramics since 2003 at SUNY New Paltz, NY, where she is currently head of the Ceramics Program.

Awards and other career highlights:

Shiftan received the Michigan Grant for Individual Artists twice and exhibited her work extensively. Shiftan has also collaboratively organized Contemporary Issues in Clay: A British Perspective, (2006) and Why Clay (2008), and organized Beyond Hand Made (2008), all symposiums examining theoretical, social, and economic trends as the context in which creative practice in the visual arts occurs today.

Link to examples of artwork:

Dorris Kemner

Board Member