Director & Board

The Olive Branch Arts Council consist of 11 Board Members and an Executive Director.  The Long Range Plan of the organization continues to be consistent with the mission and goals.  The goals are to be a center for information and resources for artists, art groups, and the public

Dena Richardson

Dena Richardson

Executive Director

My family moved to Olive Branch in 1969 when I was in the 10th grade. After graduating from Olive Branch High School in 1972, I attended Northwest Community College for two years. I received a bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design in 1975 from MSU. I worked as an interior designer for eight years at an English Antique shop. I have been working for a custom upholstery shop since 1983 designing furniture until May 2010, when I started my own upholstery business “Dena’s Personal Touch” Your Custom Upholstery Shop.

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Allison Pruette

Allison Pruette

President

Originally from New Albany, MS, and an Ole Miss graduate in Graphic Design, Allison moved to the Memphis area to work in the printing industry. With over 27 years experience in design and printing, she makes use of her talents in other areas as well. Finding her “heart for art” late in life, Allison discovered a niche in arts and crafts and most recently hosting paint parties at the Painted Pigeon.

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Marilyn Pickle

Marilyn Pickle

Vice President

Marilyn grew up on a farm outside of Sallisaw OK where she attended junior college. After starting her family, she finished her Associates degree in Poteau OK. Marilyn and her husband David moved to Memphis in 1990 w she where she completed her bachelor’s degree in fine art at University of Memphis. Marilyn taught visual art in Memphis for 15 years until she I left teaching in 2011. Since then, Marilyn has been creating gourd art, beading, zentangle art, and painting at B J Chain library. She also participates in Yoga and aerobics at OB Senior Center. She has been a member of OBAC for several years and works at the Painted Pigeon Gallery on weekends. She has a son and daughter who are both married and are expecting their first grandson in April 2017.

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Rita Schelly

Rita Schelly

Secretary

Rita Schelly has been a resident of Olive Branch since 1986. She is married to John Schelly, who is retired from the City of Olive Branch. Rita is retired from BancorpSouth Bank in Olive Branch.

Rita has been a board member of the Arts Council for over 15 years. Rita enjoys gardening, reading, spending time with grandchildren, making desserts and traveling.  The Schelly’s are members of New Prospect Baptist Church.

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Peggy Henderson

Peggy Henderson

Past President

Peggy Henderson grew up in Wilm, Delaware and attended the University of Delaware. She flew as a flight attendant for an international charter airline, then moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked as a travel agent and met her husband, David. They lived and worked in Lynchburg, Va. and Tulsa, Oklahoma before moving back to the D.C. area with their daughter, Marcail.

Peggy was a Girl Scout leader for six years and worked actively in her church, schools, and the community while her husband worked as a public affairs consultant.

Peggy and her husband retired after living in Northern Va. for 33 years and moved to Olive Branch in the fall of 2007 along with their daughter, son-in-law, and grandson.

Peggy is active with the Republican Women DeSoto Area (RWDA) and the Olive Branch Arts Council.

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Doris Thompson

Doris Thompson

Past President

Doris Thompson began working for IRS October 1963 and transferred to Memphis, TN 1972, where she was a Section Chief, Department Manager and Lead Instructor. Doris retired from IRS in October 2006. She began working for DeSoto County Tourism 2007 as Marketing & Social Media Coordinator and retired 2018.

Doris has been a resident of Olive Branch since 1999. Doris is the widow of Bill Thompson and the mother of two wonderful stepdaughters.

Doris is a past President of ‘American Women’s Association’. In 1980, she was the Memphis Belles Chapter “Woman of the Year”. She also is a Competent Toastmaster and a Past President. In 2005, Doris was a recipient of the Department of Treasury’s Training ‘APEX’ award (Achievement of Professionalism and Excellence). She began working for DeSoto County Tourism in 2007.  She is a member of First Baptist Church of Olive Branch.

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Lycia Callahan

Lycia Callahan

Board Member

Lycia Callahan has been in Olive Branch since 1996. She moved her family here to allow her three children to attend the wonderful Olive Branch Schools. She has a heart for volunteer work and has served on the board for several organizations.

She is currently a member of the Desoto County Health Council. She has helped start community and school gardens in Desoto County and in the Delta. She has worked with Head-start and the Boys and Girl Clubs to promote healthy living lifestyles for the youth in this area. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and has a passion for the arts in this area.

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Jennifer Watson

Jennifer Watson

Board Member

Jennifer (Lewis) Lane-Watson graduated from Olive Branch High School in 1998. She went on to get her Bachelor and Master of Arts at Ole Miss. Jennifer is currently a pharmaceutical sales rep. She and her husband, Thomas Watson, have two sons, Charlie and Brett. The family is active with their business Pigeon Roost Apiary in Olive Branch.

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©2017 Olive Branch Arts Council • PO Box 90 - Olive Branch, MS 38654 • 901-619-0261
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