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  • Donny Thompson, M.S., NPA

Robert & Shirley Kramer "JOIn" Jazz Outreach Initiative Advisory Board!

Joining Jazz Outreach Initiative as our volunteer group directors, Robert and Shirley Kramer are a formidable team. Together they have formed, supported, and have been on the boards of many non-profit organizations. For over 15 years they have displayed their expertise and leadership as a part of the arts communities in Nevada, California, and Utah. They continue to be major philanthropists for all the arts.

Robert and Shirley Kramer have advised JOI since its inception and now act as Volunteer Directors building and leading the "JOI Jazz Alliance" volunteer group. As a team, they plan on doing their part to ensure the preservation of the arts and the continued growth of Jazz Outreach Initiative. The Kramers have held leadership positions with the Utah Shakespeare Festival Guild, the Las Vegas Philharmonic Guild, Opera Las Vegas, and many other arts nonprofits. Recently they saw a need for a fundraising organization supporting jazz at UNLV and together with Dave Loeb (Dir. of Div. of Jazz & Commercial Music) and Dr. Nancy Uscher (Dean of Fine Arts) and her staff, they’ve founded “Friends of UNLV Jazz” where they currently act as directors.

Robert and Shirley Kramer have lived in Las Vegas since 1998. Living in Las Vegas, they noted a need for volunteerism and leadership in the organizations who supported the arts. Robert has a history of leadership manifested in his experience as an Air Force combat air-rescue pilot in Vietnam, heavy jet pilot in California and senior controller in the Pacific Command Post in the Philippines. He was selected for duty in the Presidential unit at Andrews Airbase when he was designated to fly Code 1 dignitaries to include the Vice President, President’s family, Secretaries of State and Defense and heads of state. He also served as a senior controller in the Presidential Command Post.

Next, he departed the military for two years to incorporate and act as president of a

major property management company. Upon return to the service, he was assigned to an Air National Guard VIP unit at Andrews Airbase, where he served as Operations Officer. He finished his 60-year aviation career as a United Airlines Captain in the airbus A-320. He holds airline transport ratings in the Sabre-liner, Learjet, B-272, 737, 747,757,767 and A-320.

Shirley was an accountant with over 50 years of experience. She served as comptroller for a large investment firm in Maryland. While in Maryland, she was also the Executive Director of the District of Columbia National Guard Association for 5 years and coordinated with the highest levels of the Guard leadership. In Las Vegas, she was President of the Las Vegas Philharmonic Guild for 2 years. She served in treasurer, membership, and volunteer board positions in many non-profit organizations supporting the arts.

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