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Our Team

Check out our awesome Life Under the Wheel family. We are lucking enough to have an amazing team of music festival professionals that help make our festival grants amazing and life-changing!

Our Team

Life Under the Wheel was founded in 2017 with the intent to share all the joys of the music festival experience with music lovers who are living with a life-threatening illness. Our Board of Directors consists of five individuals who possess extensive experience in the festival and/or medical field, a love of music, and a passion for helping others. Together, this team, along with the support of the music festival community, will provide a loving experience to music lovers who need it the most!


Founders

Evan Gross, Executive Director

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Evan Gross serves as Life Under the Wheel’s Executive Director. He manages festival partnerships, general staff, and overall strategic management of the organization.

Evan earned a BS in Political Science, a Master of Public Administration (MPA), and is completing a Ph.D. in Learning & Leadership at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC).

Over the past decade, Evan has solidified his place in the music festival industry by working at numerous festivals all over the country. He has served these festivals as a manager of various operational areas such as ticketing, credentials, RFID operations, customer service, logistics, and access control operations.

Evan’s passion for human connection, generosity, and love of others is where the idea for Life Under the Wheel came from. He strongly believes in the power of music, the festival experience, and our mission to share the magic of both with those who (we believe) need it the most!


Elizabeth Pikaart, Director of Operations

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Elizabeth Pikaart serves Life Under the Wheel as the Director of Operations. Her primary responsibilities are managing the daily operations of the organization, which include the client selection process, wish granting operations, marketing, and financial management.

A native of Connecticut, Elizabeth has a long history of charitable work. She attended the University of Mary Washington, and studied abroad at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, where her academic work was focused on Spanish linguistics and business management.

Elizabeth is an music festival veteran. She has served many festivals in a professional capacity in the operational areas of ticketing, credentials, RFID operations, customer service, logistics, artist relations, and staff training. Elizabeth is also an avid music festival fan who thrives on the positive sense of community that is shared by so many of her fellow attendees.

As one of the founders of the organization, Elizabeth, believes strongly in the mission of Life Under the Wheel. She believes that music is a universal language. It was this belief, along with her passion and dedication for helping others that transformed into the concept for Life Under the Wheel. Elizabeth believes strongly that a music festival can provide a beautiful and positive experience for individuals living with life-threatening illnesses, and hopes it will also serve as an avenue for healing to occur.


Staff

Katie Helms, Project Manager

Katie Helms is an seasoned music festival industry professional hailing from wherever her van (Van Wilder) takes her. She graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Recreation Therapy. Katie has a passion for the outdoors, traveling, music, and good company. Naturally, the music festival industry became a second home and family to her.

Katie’s professional experience has included progressively increasing leadership roles with festival industry staples like the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Outside Lands, and emerging events such as the Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival and Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival. She also has an extensive background in RFID operations and customer service.

Katie brings a light to our team that embodies everything that we were founded upon. We can’t wait for you to meet her!


McKinley Maples, Project Manager

McKinley Maples is a recent college graduate from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) with a B.S. in Middle Grades Education and a M.Ed. in General Education. During McKinley's collegiate career he was awarded the Each One Reach One Scholarship, the Josh L. Baily Memorial Scholarship, and the Clayton Arnold Scholarship for academic and professional performance. While at UTC, McKinley completed a two year graduate assistantship at the Challenger STEM Learning Center.

McKinley has been working in the music festival industry since 2012 specializing in RFID operations. His most recent events include the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, WayHome Music & Arts Festival, & Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival.  McKinley also works on the Front of House Engagement team with the Montreal based RFID company Intellitix. 


Angeline Chase Priefer, Project Manager

Independent Contractor for Event Production, Yogi, Dancer, Small Business Owner, World Traveler, these are all titles used to reference Angeline over the course of each 12-month period. At the root of it all, music has always been a tremendous passion. She started her career path in Festival Production in 2010 working Credential Check-In at Coachella, Stagecoach and then Bonnaroo. Other early experience included working in the Production Office on Black Oak Ranch, where she has family tied to the Music Industry, assisting in various aspects of production for Earthdance, Kate Wolf Memorial Festival and Gaia Festival. Hugely curious to better understand all aspects of the festival world she remained eager to jump into various roles from assisting with Vendor Coordination to working with Artist Relations.  In 2014, she was promoted to the Assistant Manager of the Bonnaroo Credentials Department and the following year, she became the Manager.  Since then, she has taken her knowledge of ticketing and credentials to other festivals, managing the Credentials Department and helping to construct credential and ticketing operations at festivals including; Forecastle Festival, Okeechobee Music Festival and Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival where she stands as the Director of Ticketing. 

Angeline is honored and enthusiastic to be involved in Life Under the Wheel. The feeling of community that permeates the festival scene inspires her daily and she sees it’s potential to offer so much positivity to those in need. She is humbled in this opportunity to help share the love of live music and art.


Board Of Directors

Ruth Carlton

Director of Festival & Venue Operations, Another Planet Entertainment

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Lauren DelFrago

Associate Director of Festival Operations, Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival

Christy

Christy Feener

Vice President, National Event Services West

 
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Gordon Oldham

Executive Director, Rock Medicine

Taylor

Taylor Shomaker

Vice President, Entertainment at HUB International