Executive Team

RICHARD CASPER | Co-Founder & Executive Director

Richard co-founded CreatiVets and currently serves as the CreatiVets organization’s executive director.  Richard served four years as an infantryman in the United States Marine Corps, with a combat deployment in Fallujah, Iraq.  During his deployment, he was hit by four IEDs in just four short months, causing him to suffer from a traumatic brain injury.  Upon returning home, Richard found it hard to adjust and suffered from PTS until he discovered the healing power of music and art.  After experiencing firsthand the impact music and art had on his own recovery, Richard co-founded CreatiVets to help other veterans who are suffering.

BRETT GILLAN | Program Director

Brett Gillan attended Illinois State University (ISU) where he was a member of the men’s basketball team.  He had been developing web applications at State Farm Insurance as an intern from highschool through college and was set up for a career at State Farm’s corporate headquarters in Bloomington, Illinois.  But, after graduating ISU with a degree in Applied Computer Science (ACS) and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Brett decided to pursue an entirely different career path.  He became a founding member and the front-man for Midwest country band, Brushville.  Brushville’s debut album, released in 2014, went to #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.  Brushville shared the stage with nearly 100 major label acts as a touring band and also won multiple regional and national awards including the Battle for the Saddle, a battle of the bands style competition, at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, Tennessee.  In 2017, Brett made the decision to part ways with the band and move to Nashville, Tennesse to help with the mission of CreatiVets.  His current role involves all of his life experience from IT work to business management to music…and, he can still shoot the lights out playing basketball.

KYLE YEPSEN | Deputy Director

Kyle is the brother of LCPL Luke Yepsen and has founded many businesses over the last 15 years. His most recent company, Texas Track Works, is based in Fort Worth and specializes in building custom BMW and Porsche race cars. After building that organization and winning numerous club racing titles over the last 11 years, he decided to step away in order to take time to make a difference in the lives of veterans. Kyle is a recent participant of the CreatiVets songwriting program and seeks to bring the same appreciation and creativity to veterans across the country.

ANYA HUDYNCIA | Development Manager

With over a decade of experience in the nonprofit arts industry, Anya joined the CreatiVets team in 2022. Expanding on many years in events and development, she is excited to give back to the men and women in our military and veterans who have done so much for her, the Nashville community, and our country. In her spare time, Anya likes to explore with her Australian Shepherd, Maddy, and hang out with her family. She is an avid runner, but only to be able to eat more Five Points Pizza. You can find her on any given day attempting to keep her plants alive and talking about late 1960s American muscle cars.

 Staff & Volunteers

KEOKI SPAULDING | Chief Impact Officer

Keoki has spent her professional career bridging research and practice to create and support evidence-based programs, which advance organizational effectiveness and impact, and create stronger and healthier communities. For the past five years Keoki has supported the evaluation efforts of several Veteran Service Organizations as part of the external evaluation department at D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families.

A few years ago, to celebrate her 50th birthday, Keoki ran the Rehoboth Beach Marathon and used the opportunity to fund raise for CreatiVets. She continues to run but her marathon days are over.

Keoki holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Castleton State College and her Master’s Degree in Cognitive Psychology from Boston College and has taught courses in Research Methods and Statistics.

RICKY ANDREWS | Community Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator

In 2007, Ricky enlisted in the Air Force as Security Forces Airman and was assigned to the 72 Security Forces Squadron at Tinker AFB, OK. Ricky deployed to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, and Manas AB in Kyrgyzstan. Ricky then took on a special duty assignment in 2013 as a combat instructor in Las Vegas, NV where he completed his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and finished his term with the USAF.

SETH COLE | Veteran Outreach

Seth is an Army veteran who served from 2005-2009 as a radar operator for field artillery. Before the military, he worked many exciting jobs from construction of sewage treatment plants to painting huge grain silos all over the Midwest. Seth joined the ARMY in 2005 and was deployed in 2007 to Iraq to FOB Mamadiyah where they were rocketed and shot at on occasion the 6 months he was there. After surviving a lot of close calls, one day in September, 8 days after he did a re-enlistment his luck ran out in a sense, when he was injured badly by a misfired Mark 19 round. What wasn’t realized was that what looked like bad luck was a blessing in disguise. “Any holiday can be a day when packages come to the door and you don’t remember ordering them.” Many years went by with a lot of therapy and different things for the PTS nights. Seth was about to give up. A friend called one day and said that he found a group called Creativets and that he signed Seth up. Seth took that a leap of faith and it took him on a soul searching journey of art, songwriting, and learning to compose music. In 2018 he attended the Visual Arts Program and was completely captivated by how much healing came out of it and the sense of self-worth that ensued through creating something that made ripples with others in and out of the veteran community. Amazed by what he learned over the last few years, Seth said, “art saved my life and music has shaped it.”

JESSE WAYNE TAYLOR | Nashville Music Instructor

Unlike the majority of musicians in Nashville, singer, songwriter and musician, Jesse Wayne Taylor, is a born and bred middle Tennessee native. Growing up with a love for music, he experimented with writing lyrics as young as 7 years old. While singing in church throughout middle and high school, Jesse did not start playing guitar until he was 18. In his early years of college at Lipscomb University, he quickly realized that music would be a very big part of his life. While still in school he played around town any chance he could get. He graduated from Lipscomb University in 2015 with a degree in Public Relations. Following his college graduation, he decided to become a full time musician. Over the past few years he’s been “cutting his teeth,” playing any show he could get his hands on and writing song after song. As an independent artist, he has already released several projects. Along with his work at Creativets, he is collectively working to release more new music.  

TIM BROWN |  Art Director

BART CROWE |  Veteran Resident Assistant

Bart Crowe grew up in Daytona Beach, FL and served active duty Army from 1988-1991 and then National Guard from 1991-1995. He deployed for Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm 1990-1991. He now resides in North Carolina with his wife Melinda and three boys. Bart attended the CreatiVets art program in the summer of 2017 and has become an official part of the CreatiVets team to “pay it forward” since the program had such a positive impact on his life.