Voting Open 8/15-8/31! Watch your email for ballot instructions.

Area 8 Candidates


Pat Latshaw

Patricia Latshaw, a ringer since 1986, enjoys performing small ensemble and solo handbell music. She studied flute at the University of Kansas while earning a BA in German. Pat is the handbell director at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Prairie Village, KS, and has served as clinician and instructor at regional handbell workshops. She is a ringer member of Rezound! Handbell Ensemble in Kansas City, serving the group as Publicity Director.



Emily Dalthorp

Emily Dalthorp’s ringing adventure began 20 years ago when she joined her church’s youth bell choir, and she has been actively involved with ringing and church music ever since. She currently rings with the handbell choir of Memorial Lutheran Church in Nevada, IA, and enjoys participating in small ensemble, bell tree, and solo ringing. Emily assists in the direction of the kids and youth bell choirs and loves watching new ringers get excited about bells! She also serves as one of Memorial Lutheran’s accompanists for worship services, as well as choir accompanist.

Emily has a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State University, with an emphasis in Visual Communication. She currently works as Publications & Content Manager for a nonprofit organization in the water certification industry, where she writes and designs print and digital marketing materials for campaigns and events.



Lori Fenton

Lori Fenton started ringing handbells 35 years ago.  She currently rings at Plymouth Congregational Church in Des Moines as well as with the Des Moines Concert Handbells.  In true bell-addict fashion, she has participated in several ringing events over the past 15+ years including the Bay View Week of Handbells, Distinctly Bronze East and West and twice with Virtuoso, an advanced ringing event sponsored by the Raleigh Ringers.  She toured in Italy with Desert Bells and attended the International Symposium in Vancouver in 2016.

Lori is also a vocalist and sings with numerous group in Des Moines including the Plymouth Choir and Chorale, the Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble and the St. Paul’s Episcopal Howell’s Scholars.  

Lori is currently serving as the Vice President for the Des Moines Concert Handbells and previously served as Treasurer and President for the the Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble.  She co-chaired her company’s United Way Campaign for two years.  

Her day job is as a Finance AVP with Global Atlantic Life & Annuity in Des Moines.  In addition to handbells, she is addicted to Disney, wine, and cats, currently sharing her home with five of them.

Joyce Miller

Joyce Miller has been active in handbells for over 30 years. She currently directs the River City Ringers Community Choir and the St. Wenceslaus Youth Choir. She was the chair of the Hartford National Directors Seminar and serves on the Nebraska Handbell Musicians of America Board. She is a Distinctly Bronze and Classic Bronze ringer. She has traveled to Italy, France, England, Scotland and Switzerland for handbell tours. She currently is the handbell director at Concordia Junior/Senior High School, Music teacher for the Montessori Co-op School and is a private piano teacher.



Burnell Hackman

Burnell L. Hackman currently serves as Director of Music Ministry at Peace Lutheran Church in St. Louis, Missouri. He previously served as Director of Music Ministry at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Arnold, Missouri. At Peace he directs a multi-faceted music program which consists of a Chancel Choir, Chamber Orchestra, Handbell Ensembles, children’s vocal and handbell choirs and “Concerts at Peace” a highly successful concert series bringing local and nationally known musicians to perform at Peace. He also directs the St. Louis Archdiocesan Handbell Choir.

Prior to coming to the St. Louis area he was involved in music ministry at several Jacksonville, Illinois churches serving as organist, vocal choir director and handbell choir director. Burnell was a public school music teacher before entering Music Ministry full time.

His handbell ensembles have provided worship leadership on six occasions for Handbell Musicians of America (AGEHR) Area 8 conferences and had the honor of leading a worship service for the AGEHR National Directors Seminar at the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France (the Old Cathedral) in 1995. He served Area 8 as treasurer from 1992 – 1996 and Chair from 2002 – 2004. He was awarded the Outstanding Service Award from Area 8 in 2000.

Hackman is a member of the American Guild of Organists and serves as Dean of the St. Louis Chapter, Association of Lutheran Musicians, Handbell Musicians of America, and Handbell Association of Greater St. Louis.

Sharon Schmidt

Sharon Schmidt’s active involvement with Handbell Musicians of America began in 1994 when she joined the Illinois State Committee. She’s still on the committee, having served several terms as chair and treasurer. At the national level, Sharon was faculty coordinator for the 2003 National Seminar, chair for ten Distinctly Bronze events from 2004-2013, co-chair for the 2007 Distinctly Bronze European Tour, served on the 2008 International Handbell Symposium Committee, and was recently appointed as national Certification Program Coordinator. In 2013, she received the President’s Award in appreciation of her service to the Guild.

After learning to ring in the 1970s, Sharon began directing at Gary UMC in Wheaton, Illinois, in 1985, where she continues to direct Altar Bells and Sanctuary Ringers. A current and charter member of The Agape Ringers, a Chicago-area community handbell ensemble formed in 1992, Sharon was its first president. She has taught many aspects of the art of handbell ringing at the state, area, and national levels since 1995.

Educated as a chemical engineer with BS & MS degrees, Sharon worked at the Amoco Research Center as research engineer, economics analyst, supervisor, and project manager. Since leaving in 1999, she’s studied music theory and accounting, and exercised her project management skills on Guild events and church projects in addition to operating a small business serving the handbell community.