Richard T. Steadman, Founder
Known around Zion as “Richie T,” the producer and Mormon voice of X-96’s popular “Radio From Hell” show, he also “serves” as X-96’s Marketing Director. He always knew he was destined for entertaining people.
After serving a mission in Cleveland, Ohio, his love of the theater, fine arts and people led him to Southern Utah University where he majored in theatre and was also voted Mr. SUU. He’s now been with X96 for six years (unless you’re reading this bio three years from now). In 2010, he became a husband and father. A year later the house was born. Richie spends his free time with his wife and son gardening, running marathons and acting in various local plays and musicals.
The thing he loves most about his faith is CHURCH HISTORY – seems like he can’t get enough of early Church history. He loves people, the gospel and sharing his take on current Mormon-culture events. The Cultural Hall is a perfect fit for him.
Ashley Garbe Smith, host
Ashley is a copywriter and musician, which can sometimes mean “unemployed”… but that’s okay, because she’s also a wife and a stay-at-home mom, which is the best job anyone can ever have – and not get paid for. Ashley started playing the piano at four, wrote her first story at six, and composed her first song and started performing at eight. Her diversity of interests at a young age was likely overcompensation for her lack of athletic ability since she was always the shortest kid in class – last to get picked for kickball and first for red rover.
Ashley graduated from Spanish Fork High School in Utah. She earned a degree from the University of Utah with a BA in English, which contrary to popular belief, proves to be good for something – great book club discussions. Ashley continues to compose and play music.
Ashley loves the peace the knowledge of the gospel brings. Knowing our Savior atoned for our sins and trials, and knowing that life is eternal has brought her a lot of comfort in her life.
BreAnne LeRoy Mawhinney, host
BreAnne is a mother of two amazing children and has a love for media. Her day job is a banker, which fortunately she also loves (even though Richie told her that, as a banker, he is bored just sitting next to her). She currently lives in Saratoga Springs, Utah, but grew up in Orangeville, Utah, which is usually described as Emery Country. Don’t ask her why she describes her roots as a county rather than a town, but a few of us have our ideas. If she finds any spare time, she enjoys being with her family, anything competitive and vacationing.
BreAnne received her associate degree from Dixie State College, went to one semester at SUU (where she met Richie and Rob), and finished her bachelor degree in electronic communication with a minor in business at the University of Utah.
She is extremely excited to have a small part in contributing to The Cultural Hall. She loves the gospel and enjoys talking about it! She’d like to thank her amazing husband and children for putting up with her.
Rob Ferre, host
Rob is excited to be a contributing member of The Cultural Hall family. He is a Utah native who was born and raised in Salt Lake City under the LDS faith. After graduating from East High (of High School Musical fame), he served his mission to the Canary Islands in the Spain Las Palmas Mission. After which, he attended Southern Utah University in Cedar City where he met Richie T.
At SUU, Rob was involved in student-produced programing on the university’s radio and TV stations, including hosting “SUU Live,” the number one rated TV talk show in its time slot in Cedar City. Shortly after graduating, Rob moved to Orlando where he gained valuable experience in the field of entertainment working for Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Nickelodeon.
Upon returning to Utah in 2006, Rob started Life of the Party, a mobile DJ service specializing in music and DJ entertainment for special events, including weddings, corporate, mitzvahs and, of course, LDS church dances. As a single Mormon man, Rob offers his unique perspective of the LDS culture, while still looking for that right girl to dance with.
Brother Kyle, host
Kyle, although born in southern California, was raised in Centerville, Utah, and still resides close by in Bountiful. Kyle’s “real job” is as the owner of Kennadie Christian Motors, a car dealership in Bountiful. He also works as a group fitness instructor at the Sportsplex in Kaysville, Golds gym in Bountiful and The GYM at City Creek in Salt Lake City. Yes, a used car salesman and an aerobics instructor… his parents are so proud. As an avid cyclist and triathlete, he spends more time on a bike than a person really should; this is why he shaves all his body hair, thinking it will make him a fraction of a second faster.
Born and raised in the LDS Church, Kyle had a few years of inactivity in the late 80’s (wow, he must be old) but thankfully pulled his head out and came around. Kyle has been very fortunate to have parents and four amazing siblings who have always been close as a family and always loved him, even with all the aforementioned.
Kyle is the eldest member of The Cultural Hall podcast. He also has the most jobs, is the only Eagle Scout and is the only one that is homeless, since April of 2011. Diversity and adversity build character… right? He has been involved in radio off and on over the last 20 years, which is how he met Richie T (and Carol Channing, look her up). A single father of one, his son is the rock in his life and the reason for everything. Although years of misfortune and hard times have all but drained every ounce of compassion and humanity out of him, his son has brought it all back. However, he still doesn’t trust women.
I love being a part of The Cultural Hall. I always look for things to try to strengthen my faith and good people to be around, but I do The Cultural Hall podcast anyway. I’ve been told I joke around WAY too much and in general don’t take things very serious. One thing I am serious about is a GREAT deal on a pre-owned BMW or Lexus! Oh wait, I mean my faith. It’s something I can look at from someone who has been on both sides of the fence. And, it’s one of the few things in this world I believe wholeheartedly in.
Brittney M. Nielson, host
At the ripe old age of 29, Brittney has officially moved from her MTS (Menace to Society) status into full fledge spinster-dom. Fortunately, it has also gained her the official title of Utah’s very own Anxious White Virgin, complete with her very own blog. Brittney would describe the blog as a “mix between Eddie Izzard and Eckhart Tolle…if they were both white Mormon virgins living in Utah.”
When she isn’t pontificating in blog form or on The Cultural Hall, Brittney can be seen performing at the Desert Star and other local theaters, or with several improv troops in Salt Lake valley.
Though trying to find her EC (Eternal Companion) has become her full-time career, Brittney has decided to go back to school in an attempt to make herself more “desirable” to the male Mormon population at large. She is currently studying at Utah Valley State University and hopes to graduate very soon (not only from literal school, but also from the school of single-hood). But until that day comes (if ever), Brittney is taking life one day at a time and learning to love the journey. Her advice to other older single folk: Just soak up life while there is still life to be had.
Molly Mormon, writer
Molly was born a Catholic and grew up back east. Her family joined the Church when she was very young but went inactive after her own baptism. Thanks to an invitation to a young woman’s activity at age 12, Molly began attending church on her own, getting rides from friends to Sunday and mid-week meetings, and even completed at least two years of early-morning seminary.
At 19 after working for a year as a nanny, she moved to Provo to see what it would be like to be among other Mormons her age and to play guitar in a band (yes, really). Within a year of moving to Provo, she had gotten married in the temple and begun her life as a wife. Now, 15 years later, she is a stay-at-home mom with six kids (oldest: 13 years old, youngest: 4 years old), still living in Provo.
In addition to being home (or, never home) with her kids, Molly enjoys blogging, dancing, singing, travel, doing laundry, zumba and triathlons. Her favorite thing about the Church is the diversity of its people; her favorite things about her faith are the principle of personal revelation and that families can be together forever.
John Mabey, writer
After living “all over the U.S.,”John is finally back in Utah and thrilled to be joining The Cultural Hall family. John has written under the name, Token Single Guy, for The Cultural hall, but is now engaged.
He never really went to school. But, being passionate about storytelling in all its forms (yes, comic books count too), he has taken that drive and written for a Seattle-based magazine, been an active member of Colorado’s prestigious literary group, The Lighthouse Writers, and has come within reach of what could become a great publishing deal for his dark fantasy trilogy. (He would like to take a moment to specify that dark fantasy does not mean unicorns and fairies. He doesn’t do that stuff…or vampires.)
John finds that his inspiration to write comes from a gracious Heavenly Father and a life spent experiencing other cultures and religion, with a special thanks to LeVar Burton.
(But don’t take my word for it.)
Joni Haws, writer
Joni aspires to one day be an eccentric old lady, building up her experience in cooking, crocheting, reading and singing too loudly in church. She possesses a mean RSA (Relief Society Arm), which she proudly displays while serving as Primary Chorister.
While ardently avoiding shopping malls, she has enjoyed graduating with an English degree at Utah State University, pretending to be a runner and raising three kids with her rock star husband.
Carli Warr Mortensen, Pinterest Manager and writer
Carli lives completely surrounded by Indian reservations in Middle-of-Nowhere, New Mexico, with her husband of 7 years and rambunctious 2-year-old son. She was born in Salt Lake City and graduated from high school there, but she spent 16 years in between living in Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas with the majority in Houston. Being raised in the Church, Carli is grateful that it’s the same wherever you live.
Carli studied journalism at Southern Utah University where she was the editor-in-chief of the SUU Journal. As a freelancer, her technical writing has been featured in national magazines, online and in industry newsletters (of which you have probably never heard, unless you are a contractor or homeopathic health professional). She occasionally works for her husband’s company, but mostly loves staying at home with her son.
In addition to writing, Carli enjoys hiking, rock climbing, four-wheeling, playing the cello, and reading or listening to audio books. She collects cookbooks and enjoys reading them more than cooking from them, although she doesn’t dislike cookery. Oh, and she absolutely loves Pinterest.
Dylan Mazziotti, Graphic Designer
Dylan grew up in Vernal, Utah, for most of his childhood and was very active in the Church and boy scouts. He is an Eagle Scout.
He went on to get 2 associate degrees in the graphic design industry and enjoys helping small businesses grow. He is currently inactive.
Michael Schooley, full-time twitter manager, part-time blogger
Danica Holdaway- Writer
Danica Holdaway is a born-n-raised Utah girl, a teacher, a blogger and a Jedi. She grew up in Utah County and graduated from BYU, although her blood probably isn’t as blue as it should be. By day you can find her taking cell phones from snapchatting teens while teaching about our glorious US nation between sips of Diet Coke. By night she’s blogging, Pinteresting, playing in sad adult sports leagues and eating popcorn for dinner.
She is active in the church and happily married in the temple for 3 years with no kids, so the majority of her social interactions end with her made-up reasons for why they have no kids – including, but not limited to: “We’re allergic to kids.” and “We like teenagers, so we’re just gonna wait a few years and adopt one.”She is excited to join the Cultural Hall team and give another voice to this crazy Mormon culture we love/hate.
Lauren R. Johnson, host
Born in New York City and raised in Salt Lake City, she is a graduate of East High School and the University of Utah, where she majored in electronic journalism. She served a mission in Cleveland, Ohio, and studied abroad in Israel.
Catherine Shaw, writer
The Cultural Hall, founded April 6, 2011
The Cultural Hall is an online community for members and non-members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to discuss all things Mormon.
The Cultural Hall podcast has an Articles of News at the beginning of the week and an episode at the end, which features Mormons of note or a topic. Blogs, including refreshment recipes, are available here on our website. We focus on LDS life and culture, and shy away from matters of deep doctrine.