Why We Exist > Our Team

Our Team

Eric and Sheryl Kolb, Co-Founders – Eric and Sheryl, building on lessons learned during their own experience caring for Sheryl’s mom, Trish, started Songs & Smiles to help other families navigate the challenges of the Alzheimer’s journey. Eric and Sheryl met and were married in Illinois. They moved to Texas in 1994.

Eric Kolb, Executive Director — Also known as our “Director of Songs,” Eric loves singing and sharing with people who have Alzheimer’s, helping them connect with their own joy-filled memories. He has worked for many years in public relations and publishing, including positions at the Texas Rangers Baseball Club and ClubCorp. He enjoys reading and building LEGO models.

Brad Newton, Director of Smiles — A talented improvisational comedian, Brad is helping us develop an interactive workshop demonstrating how improvisational comedy techniques can help caregivers better engage with their loved ones living with dementia. Brad is also a professional photographer and works with us to provide family photo sessions at care facilities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Board of Directors

Sheryl Kolb, President — Sheryl is a former corporate meeting planner who now works for The Container Store. She loves creating memorable events for family and friends. In 2017, Sheryl created the first Songs & Smiles event as part of a family gathering and birthday party celebrating her mom’s 78th birthday.

Melanie McGee, Treasurer — Melanie lives with her husband, Jeff, in Arlington, Texas, where they both work for The University of Texas Arlington. She currently is Director of Corporate Relations, having previously served as Director of MBA programs. A licensed CPA and Certified Fraud Examiner, Melanie earned her Bachelor’s in Accounting at Louisiana Tech University and her Master’s in Accounting from UT Arlington.

Melanie helps care for her aging mother, and she tries to spend as much time as possible with her grandson, Jacob.

Stacey VanBeek, Secretary — Stacey lives with her husband, Kelly, and their daughters, Grace and Sydney, in Brookings, South Dakota. A former corporate accounting professional, Stacey now serves as Business Manager for Flandreau Public School. She earned her Master’s in Administration at South Dakota State University.

Stacey is a first cousin of Songs & Smiles co-founder Sheryl. Stacey and Sheryl lost their grandmother Olive to Alzheimer’s in 2006.

John Ponder, Board Member — John, a successful manager and sales representative, lives with his wife, Nancy, in Dallas, where they have raised four children: daughter Anna and sons Joe, Mike, and Chris. A graduate of Davidson College in North Carolina, John is a Vice President at Graphic Communications, a division of Veritiv. His favorite meeting place is the golf course.

John helps care for his mother, who has dementia. He recently helped his parents move into an assisted living community.


You can help us create joy-filled connections during the Alzheimer’s journey. We are grateful for our many volunteers, a group that has included many of our friends and family members. Please contact us to discuss ways you could be part of our team.

Eric, Trish, and Sheryl at World Series

Co-founders Eric and Sheryl with Sheryl’s mom, Trish, getting ready to cheer on the Texas Rangers at a World Series game in 2010

Our Team: Melanie and Jeff

Our treasurer, Melanie, and her husband, Jeff, enjoying the entertainment at a Songs & Smiles family event in 2017

Our Team: VanBeek Family

Our secretary, Stacey, with her husband, Kelly, and their daughters, Grace and Sydney, visiting Magic Kingdom Park in 2018

Our Team: John Ponder and Family

The Ponder family in 2017 (clockwise from top right): John; his wife, Nancy; daughter, Anna; sons Joe, Mike, and Chris; and dog, Rebbe

Group of volunteers

Sheryl’s brother Larry welcoming attendees and introducing Meyerband at the first Songs & Smiles event in 2017

Group of volunteers

Eric’s parents, Barry and Nancy, putting together information packets prior to the first Songs & Smiles event in 2017

Get Involved

Care for Caregivers

Provide encouragement and support to those on the front lines.

Care Tips

Learn how to better connect with someone living with dementia.

Share Your Story

Encourage others by sharing your own story.


Contact us about getting involved as a volunteer.

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