Governing Board

Board of Directors

Larry Shroth
“I believe that the Mastodon Fair provides opportunities, in partnership with schools, for students to explore and pursue their interests in the arts and sciences. The experiences which students encounter and the people they meet at the fair will help them to achieve success in any career.”Larry is a Customer Service Advisor in a multi-county region with Ameren Missouri. He has been with Ameren since 1999.  His previous background and education in industrial sales, product management, strategy and planning.
 Jake Hertenstein Jake Hertenstein
Vice President 

From 1999 to 2003, Jake was a Science Fair contestant in the Mastodon Fair and an International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) finalist from 2002 to 2003. He received the B.Sc. in Computer Engineering and M.Sc. in Systems Engineering degrees from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in 2008 and 2010 respectively. In 2010 he joined DRS Sustainment Systems, Inc. as a Systems Engineer and returned to the fair as a Board member. Since 2011 he has held a Director position at the Midwest Gateway International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) Chapter. In 2012 he joined Mark Andy, Inc. as a Software Engineer.
 Ben Hoeft, CLU, ChFC Ben Hoeft
Past President

“I have been involved in with the Mastodon Fair in one way or another since moving to the area in 2009, starting out as a volunteer, becoming a board member and now a past president. The Fair focuses on two topics that I have always enjoyed learning and expanding my knowledge in, and that is the arts and the sciences. Not only does the Mastodon Fair provide students the opportunity to learn and get involved in art and science, but it provides students with an excellent opportunity to present their knowledge and to enter a competition; a competition that can lead to competing on an international level! The opportunities, knowledge and experiences students have because of the Mastodon Fair is priceless and I want to thank everyone that makes the Mastodon Fair possible, including but not limited to all the students, parents, teachers, volunteers and sponsors that get involved every year, without them the Mastodon Fair would not exist.”This year Ben completed two years as President of the Board of Directors for Mastodon Fair. He is currently the President of the Board of Directors for the South County Chamber of Commerce. Ben is a Wealth Advisor with Fortune Investment Bank.
 Gilbert Joseph Pfaff Sr. Gil Pfaff
Technology Committee Chair
Gil’s children are 8 year participants in Mastodon Fair. Gil joined the Board of Director’s this year and is an IT Analyst for the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Gil brings 30 years of IT experience in multiple fields including networking, operating systems, cloud computing, programming. He is invested in upgrading and improving Mastodon’s technology. Gil is also actively involved in Boy Scouts and is a Cubmaster.
Mickey Portell
Jill_Malcom Jill Malcom
Jill was the Executive Director for 13 years, a former participant, and volunteer since the Fair started in 1979. She grew the Mastodon Fair from one county to seven, increased participation to over 3,000 students and created a commercially available software product called E-Fair for the complete administration of a science and/or art fair. Jill brings a combination of executive, software entrepreneur and non-profit management experiences to the Board. As a 20 year CEO of an entrepreneurial software development company, Jill raised venture capital, had one patent awarded and secured contracts with seven Fortune 500 companies and one multi-year government contract.
  Sharon Greco  Sharon Greco
Sharon is the Administrator of 
Festus Manor Nursing Center and coordinates Mastodon Fair’s Annual Fundraiser, Night at the Races in the Spring.
I support the Fair because I see the value of what it teaches the children about hard work, initiative, inquisitiveness and what potential is there for them. As an employer, those are the types of people I want knocking at my door for employment. There are a lot of opportunities for the children that are into sports but not for the child that is more interested in the arts and science. The Mastodon Fair gives them the opportunity to shine and receive incentives to continue to excel in the fields of Art and Science. I really enjoy viewing the exhibits and seeing the amount of thought and hard work that goes into each one.
Deutsch Carl Deutsch
(Retired CEO DEMA Engineering/Standard Machine & Manufacturing)
I support the Mastodon Art/Science Fair because I think it’s important to encourage young students to excel at these subjects. Our nation needs the resources these young inquisitive minds can contribute to the general welfare. The awarding of any winning ribbon offers an incentive to their enthusiasm.
VeraOct2007 Vera McCullough – Awards Chairman
(Retired Math Teacher and Director Emeritus)
My involvement with the Mastodon Fair began as I am a math and science teacher who believes that inquiry science trains minds to investigate and make discoveries in both science and art, thereby enriching the lives of the students and their families. I believe that the Mastodon Fair is an excellent venue to promote science and art advancement.


Fair Operations Committee

Erin Erin McCullough – Family Day and Awards Ceremony Coordinator As the Family Day Coordinator, I recruit and schedule various art and science exhibitors and activities for the Mastodon Fair Family Day event.  I also assist in organizing the Grand Awards Ceremony.  I enjoy volunteering with Mastodon Fair because I believe in its mission to promote art and science education is important in helping to inspire creativity, critical thinking skills, and self-confidence in today’s youth. These beneficial skills can be applied in every aspect of one’s life, not just art and science related fields. I also find it inspiring to see the exhibits each year which are tangible evidence of how very talented the young people in our community are.
 Robert Crabtree Award Sonja Ecton – Art Director
Sonja joined Mastodon Fair more than 20 years ago as an art judge. She stepped up and has served as both Interim Executive Director and Art Director. Sonja brings an entire career as a successful fine artist and a graphic designer for AT&T for more than 31 years. She has participated and won in several major local art exhibits including Venus Envy, 33, and the St. Louis Artist Guild Show. She is an inspiring mentor to many aspiring artists. She shares her creativity and patience through fantastic week-long art summer camps, Artsy Pants Camp.
Bob Brazzle, Ph.D. Bob Brazzle – Science Director
Bob joined Mastodon Fair in September, 2016. He brings a diverse background and is excited to be a part of the Mastodon team. Bob earned a Ph.D. in Physics from Washington University in 1997. He then served as the K-12 science coordinator for University City schools. Later, he had a dual position at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA). He developed and taught a variety of science courses to these talented high school-aged students. While at IMSA, he also assisted several districts in implementing Project 2061’s national science standards, and was part of a team that designed curriculum and delivered professional development for a middle school science and math enrichment program.Bob returned to the St. Louis area and taught high school Physics for 6 years. He has been active in the St. Louis Area Physics Teachers group, and served as its president for three years. In 2014, he was selected to serve on the K-5 Work Group to redesign Missouri’s science standards. Bob now has a tenure-track position at Jefferson College, where he teaches Physics and Engineering courses, and chairs a task force for planning the campus-wide event for the total Solar eclipse which will occur on August 21, 2017.
Laura Laura Schmidt
(Owner, ALL OUT Wildlife Control, LLC
) I support the Mastodon Fair because I am always amazed at the talent our young people have and want them to have a chance to showcase it and to teach Jefferson County residents what they learned from their science projects. Laura is a native St. Louisan and comes from a family of educators (both parents, two sisters, two aunts, a cousin) who instilled the importance of exploring one’s talents and learning. Laura has a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in Environmental Policy and a minor in Criminal Justice, as well as a Master’s in Public Administration, from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has worked both professionally and as a volunteer with youth and family services and literacy. Laura and her husband, Dave, own ALL OUT Wildlife Control, LLC.
Pam Wamsley – Head Science Coach

Beverly Leon – Hospitality

Stacey Lynch – Hospitality

Beth Crannick – Hospitality

Nancy Dubuque – Ribbons

Yvonne McCool – Sponsor Appreciation

Carl McCullough – Technology

Shane Weatherholt – Viking Gallery Art Show

Mastodon Fair Endowment Fundraiser Wine Sale
Mastodon Fair GuideStar Profile