CANYON, Texas (KFDA) - An interim internal leadership team for the new Cultural Foundation of the Texas Panhandle will provide continuity as the advisory body continues to take shape.
CFTP places Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation, producers of the outdoor musical drama “Texas,” under the oversight of West Texas A&M University, as a member of The Texas A&M University System.
WT is looking for a full-time executive director to lead CFTP’s efforts for the Wt campus in Canyon.
The Cultural Foundation will be led by an advisory board made up of prominent Texans with a history of service to the state who will be devoted to advancing CFTP’s mission.
Several current PPHM and TPHF staff members will fill the interim leadership roles.
Heather Friemel, PPHM associate director of finance and outreach, will serve as interim executive director.
Friemel has more than a decade of management experience and has worked full time at PPHM since 2013.
A WT alum, she currently oversees all administrative and financial functions for the museum and oversees the outreach team that creates programming and educational endeavors.
Buster Ratliff, PPHM development director, will serve as interim associate director. Ratliff joined the museum in 2003 as operations coordinator.
He is a WT alum, Ratliff has a master’s degree in information organization from the University of North Texas and currently oversees development, collections and exhibitions management
Stephanie Price, PPHM associate director of marketing, will fill the same role for the foundation.
A decorated marketer with a bachelor’s degree from WT, a master’s degree from Kent State University and certification in hospitality and tourism management from Florida Atlantic University, she has worked at PPHM for eight years.
Dave Yirak, longtime artistic director of “Texas” and executive director of Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation, will continue in those capacities on an interim basis.
Yirak, who retired after 32 years as Canyon High School drama teacher in 2016, was in the “Texas” cast from 1979 to 1981, then from 2002 to 2004.
He became the director of the show in 2006, then was named artistic director for TPHF in 2008.
An executive assistant also will be brought on board to provide support for the executive director, staff and the various boards.