Board of Directors
Penni Smith, Executive Director
In December 2014, Penni witnessed the amount of work that was put into the production of Christmas Jam and quickly realized that the founders had sacrificed the joy they initially felt in the early years to the daily grind of the business behind the production. That Christmas, Penni gifted her time to the cause, committing to take on the business portion of the organization.
Penni was born and raised in West Texas, and moved to Utah twenty years ago. Penni has volunteered for the past nine years with the Utah Hemophilia Foundation, as well as volunteering with the medical personnel on numerous church-related camps for youth.
Professionally, Penni has been a Registered Nurse for twenty years, spanning the specialties of high-risk labor and delivery, oncology, and hematology. Penni’s family is her world and she loves spending as much time as she can with her children and grandchildren.
Joanna Johnson, Vice Chair
Joanna’s involvement with Christmas Jam of Utah began when her son was recruited to play in the concert in 2011 — Christmas Jam’s second year. The following year, she participated in what would eventually become the Board of Directors for Christmas Jam of Utah. Joanna’s family has performed together in the show since 2011, and the size and scope of this endeavor has grown far beyond their humble beginnings.
Joanna was born and raised in Salt Lake City. She and her husband have been involved in the local music scene since the late 1980s. Realizing a music career wouldn’t pay the bills, she went back to school earning a Bachelor’s degree. Later, she earned a Masters in Nursing to become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. This is a career in which she finds great purpose and satisfaction.
Having two children afforded Joanna the opportunity to volunteer at the schools of each. From elementary school through high school, Joanna donated her time in many capacities, including vision screenings, room mom, reading with students, health lectures, and dance department show help.
Joanna loves spending time with her family. “Mom” is her foremost job title and keeps her very busy when she is not working. Her free time is spent crocheting scarves and hats to donate, as well as reading.
Kate Colbath, Secretary & Treasurer
Kate and Geoff attended Christmas Jam 2014, and fell in love with it -- with the show itself, with the spirit behind it, and with the way it brought our great community together: uniting the joy of music with the joy of giving.
Following that first show, Kate was invited by Penni to join the Board of Directors and is excited to be a part of it all. Soon thereafter, she recruited Geoff, and together they have worked with others, our Board, and our community to ensure that Christmas Jam is a meaningful holiday event that stays around for years to come.
Kate moved to Utah with her husband, Geoff, in 2012 for her graduate studies, but stayed out of love of the community and the beautiful surroundings.
Her past experience with volunteer work includes helping the homeless find transitional housing and work in Chicago.
When Kate is not spending her time with the Christmas Jam crowd, she is either working at Primary Children's Hospital in Healthcare Quality Improvement or spending time with her family, enjoying all that our beautiful community and state have to offer.
Geoff Colbath, Director of Marketing & Technology
Geoff joined the Board of Directors in the Summer of 2015 — when his wife, Kate, did. He is originally from the mountains of New Hampshire, and came to Salt Lake City with Kate in 2012 from Chicago, IL, where he lived and worked for nearly a decade.
Geoff’s past volunteer work includes “roadie work” for performances benefiting the arts with Arts Jubilee (New Hampshire), washing dishes in soup kitchens, and helping friends and neighbors when they need a hand with anything.
Geoff pays the bills as a Senior User Experience (UX) Designer in the benefits administration industry.
When not working or volunteering for Christmas Jam, Geoff enjoys spending time with his wife and son, working around the house, bicycling, camping, hiking, and skiing.
Sarah Payne, Board Member Emeritus
Sarah has sadly departed the state of Utah, and is unable to derve on the Board of Directors full-time, but she still provides valuable input from afar.
Sarah joined the board of Christmas Jam through mutual friends, and has been thrilled to lend her experience and passion for helping people. She originally hails from Canada, but has loved living all over the U.S.
Sarah’s non-profit experience includes everything from Executive Director, to certified victim advocate, to T-ball coach. She has worked with organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the Rape Recovery Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the United Way, and Salt Lake County.
Professionally, she works as an Account Executive in the recognition and appreciation industry.
When not volunteering, working, or going to school, Sarah enjoys spending time with her two daughters, traveling, and being outdoors.