Board Profiles

Student Art Festival, Inc. is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization composed of educators, festival coordinators, and film enthusiasts – all of whom are dedicated to seeing STARTFEST becoming a nationally recognized destination for youth education in the film arts.




Kyle Snavely


Working in the industry since 2003, Kyle has produced over 200 films and has been recognized for his work in all areas of video production, including major motion pictures, national television, professional sporting events, local television, live event coverage and web content. Kyle also has been a video production educator for over 7 years, instructing students both at the high school and college level. Under his guidance, students have been recognized at the local, state, national and international level. Graduates of his high school program have continued their education at such prestigious colleges and universities as:

  • University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts
  • University of Central Florida School of Radio and Television Broadcast Emerson College School for Digital Media
  • Western Carolina University Motion Picture Program
  • Seminole State College of Television & Digital Cinema

Kat Quast


Kat has been Executive Director of Audubon Park Garden District for the last four years. During that time, Kat has helped shape the district into the most thriving and interesting of all the seven Main Street Districts in Orlando, so much so that she was also hired as a consultant by another district to help them get their own Main Street started. Kat was Operations Manger of The Florida Film Festival for over eight years. During this time she was responsible for all aspects of the film festival including working with film makers to ensure proper screening criteria, shipping, 35mm projection and splicing. She hired, trained and oversaw the entire regular season as well as festival staff. She has worked in and managed non-profit organizations for over 15 years and knows film festivals in side and out.


Sharon Gustafson

Event Coordinator

Sharon Gustafson

Sharon is no stranger to the arts or working with today’s youth. Sharon is a graduate from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Student Education. She has been working with students of all ages since 2003. She is currently an exceptional education teacher at Millennium Middle School. Sharon began performing at the age of five. She has studied all forms of dance primarily ballet. In 1992 she was the youngest member of the Ballet Theater of Brevard dancing with students 5 years her superior. She has also trained at Orlando Ballet Company and Royal Ballet. In 1997, Sharon traded in her point shoes and joined the Lake Howell High School Colorguard. She was a member of the Lake Howell Silver Regiment and guard from 1998-2001. She was also colorguard captain in 2000 and 2001. In 2002 Sharon decided to continue on with her marching career and joined Magic of Orlando Drum and Bugle Corps; Sharon is an Open class Gold Medalist and World class finalist. She returned in 2003 as colorguard captain. Sharon was a member of the original “cast” of Fahrenheit Independent Winter Guard and was Director of Membership in 2004 and 2005. In 2006 Sharon began working with the Oviedo Colorguard. She is entering her 7th year on staff and 3rd year as co-director.


Jean Snavely, PHD


Jean is Executive-in-Residence in finance at Western Kentucky University where she teaches a variety of finance and accounting classes in the Gordon Ford College of Business. Dr. Snavely has received the Gordon and Glenda Ford Award for Faculty Excellence, the Student Advisement Award, and the Vitale Award for Initiative, Innovation Leadership while at WKU. She currently serves on the Honors and Assessment of Learning Committees in the College of Business. Prior to joining the faculty at WKU, Dr. Snavely taught at the University of Cincinnati, the University of Dayton, Wright State University and the University of Texas at Arlington. Jean has a wide-range of experience volunteering for not-for-profit organizations. She has been associated with the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps where she served as president and member of the board for 3 years, the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Magic of Orlando Drum and Bugle Corps. Jean has served on the boards of the Miami Valley School in Dayton, Ohio, the Junior League of Dayton, and the Junior League of Arlington, Texas. She has also enjoyed volunteering for the PGA and the Senior Olympics. Jean currently lives in Louisville, Kentucky where she enjoys Churchill Downs (home of the Kentucky Derby), working in her yard, solving crossword puzzles (especially the Wall Street Journal on Friday), playing games on Xbox Kinect, cooking and reading.


Alison Tate-Cortese

Youth Programs Coordinator

Allison Tate-Cortese is currently studying Film Television Production at the prestigious University of Southern California in the heart of Los Angeles. She began her media career under the incredible mentorship of Kyle Snavely at Oviedo High School and so far in her young media career, she has won over $15,000 in awards, had her work screened on television and festivals across the country and she has been recognized and honored for her work on the local, state, national, and international levels. While directing is her passion, she is currently exploring immersive transmedia storytelling to continue to push the boundaries of multimedia experiences and reality as we know it.


Jessica Gross


Jessica is currently studying Festival and Concert Management at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College. Jessica has worked on and been a participant in numerous concerts and film festivals including the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, as well as event voluteer for the Clothing Warehouse Classic Vintage, NY. She is passionate about youth arts education and helping the talented students in the community.



Jason Lietz

Sponsorship/Grant Coordinator

Jason Lietz has been with Workforce Central Florida for a decade and currently serves as the organization’s Community Outreach Manager. In this role, he works with community partners to have WCF represented throughout all of Central Florida at community events. Additionally, he is the organization creative director and oversees branding; internal and external signage; and all internal graphic design and communication efforts for both job seekers and employers. He handles the implementation, coordination and production of the majority of WCF special events, including managing the development and execution of WCF’s State of the Workforce Summit for the last nine years. Before WCF, Jason was the special events manager for Junior Achievement of Central Florida working with donor, volunteers and students throughout Central Florida.