Board and Staff - Foundation for the Performing Art Center - San Luis ObispoFoundation for the Performing Art Center – San Luis Obispo | To elevate the ARTS in our Community
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The Foundation for the Performing Arts Center is fortunate to have a dedicated and knowledgeable Board of Directors and a small, but committed and experienced staff. Together they are building a legacy of the arts for generations to enjoy.


  • Leann Standish

    Executive Director

    Leann Standish brings more than 20 years’ experience in leadership and development of cultural arts organizations to the Foundation, spanning from Portland, OR to Miami FL. Most recently, she served as the interim director and deputy director for external affairs at Pérez Art Museum Miami.  Leann is a tireless advocate for arts accessibility for students.


  • Trudie Safreno portrait

    Trudie Safreno


    Trudie is co-founder of Trust Automation, has been its CFO for over twenty years and serves on its board of directors. She is a former member of an international management advisory and educational consulting firm. Her board experience includes twelve years with a local non-profit whose major fundraiser brings in 500+ participants to the area annually.

  • Joey Leslie

    Vice President

    Joey is the President of Matchfire, an award-winning digital agency that has built campaigns for Fortune 50 companies and global nonprofits. He’s directed cause campaigns that have raised over $100 million for non-profits across the United States. Joey also serves on the Board of the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum.


  • Maryellen Simkins


    Maryellen spent most of her professional career as a legal administrator, retiring from Andre, Morris & Buttery in San Luis Obispo. Today she focuses on management consulting with both nonprofit and for profit clients, including the SLO Symphony, Festival Mozaic, and the SLO Repertory Theatre.  She has also served on several local boards and is the Immediate Past President of PCPA Foundation.

  • Morgen Houlis


    Morgen Houlis, a CPA and Principal with Glen Burdette for 21 years, is an expert in cost segregation studies and fixed and capitalized asset concepts, focusing on the hospitality industry. She is also passionate about trust administration. In addition to serving as acting Treasurer for the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center, Morgen serves as Treasurer for RISE, an organization which provides crisis intervention and treatment services to survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence. Morgen holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cal Poly and has practiced as a licensed CPA in New York and Wyoming. She is the former Treasurer of both SLOHS Boosters and San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden.

  • John Rolph portrait

    John Rolph


    John and his wife Elizabeth grow a variety of red wine grapes in their vineyard west of Paso Robles. A statistician by training, John moved here from Southern California where he was a professor of statistics at the University of Southern California. Previously, he spent 24 years on the RAND Corporation research staff where he founded RAND’s statistical research and consulting group.

  • Jill Anderson

    Jill founded Pacific Repertory Opera (now, Opera SLO), in 1985 and lead the opera for 23 years, producing more than 35 successful operas. Jill holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music/Voice from Pomona College, a Master of Music degree in Opera from the University of Southern California, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

  • Sharon Armstrong

    Mrs. Armstrong is the First Lady of Cal Poly. In addition to supporting President Armstrong as university ambassador and host, Armstrong currently serves as co-chair of the Campus Wellbeing Committee, a presiding member of the Student Affairs Advisory Council, and volunteers at French Hospital. Mr. & Mrs. Armstrong are also Foundation supporters at the Founders level.

  • Anthony Brizzolara

    Anthony has previously served on the boards of the American Heart Association, CASA of San Luis Obispo and the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival (Festival Mozaic). He and his wife Christi reside in San Luis Obispo. They have two daughters, Olivia and Natalia, and a son, Vincent.

  • Kathleen Choal

    Kathleen Choal has been the President & General Manager of KSBY-TV/CW 5 since 2011. Kathleen has spent most of her career in the news world, most recently at a sister TV station in Tuscon, AZ, and earned her BA in Journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations in SLO, and joined the Foundation’s board in early 2016.

  • Kristin Flynn

    Kristin is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center. She provides leadership for all human resource functions including strategy, recruitment and retention, organizational development, and benefits and compensation for nearly 800 employees at the hospital. Kristin also serves on the board for the Workforce Investment Board of San Luis Obispo County.

  • Bob Kitamura

    Bob Kitamura is currently responsible for family owned businesses and properties in California, Nevada and Hawaii. Bob was the University Architect and Executive Director of Facilities Planning and Capital Projects for Cal Poly State University San Luis Obispo from 1993-2011. He was responsible for the development of the 2001 Campus Master Plan along with the design and construction of over $800 million worth of projects over an 18 year period. He is currently a Member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of Hearst Castle, as well as serving from 2008 until 2014 and was President from 2011- 2012. He is also a member of the Robert E. Kennedy Library, Dean’s Advisory Council at Cal Poly. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Science degree from Cal Poly.

  • Geri LaChance

    Geri LaChance was with North Island Credit Union in San Diego as Chief Operating Officer before being tapped as the president/CEO of SESLOC in 2011. During her five years here, Geri has overseen the development of the SESLOC campus on Broad Street, the construction of two new branches and significant upgrades in technology for the credit union. Active in the local community, she has served as Chair of the SLO YMCA for two years, and has participated on the Housing Trust Fund board, chaired the Chamber Economic Development Committee, and serves on the Martin Resorts board, Leadership SLO board and is treasurer for the SLO Chamber of Commerce. She is a graduate of the University of San Diego with a degree in Economics and an MBA. She is the proud mom of two sons, Ian, a recent graduate from the University of Michigan and Collin, a senior at Cornell.

  • Catherine Luckett

    Cathy is a retired Speech Language Pathologist and an avid arts supporter.  Having worked her entire career within the public schools, she retired in 2002 to follow husband Richard to Washington D.C. for a three year stint.  While there, they held season tickets to three different theater groups, as well as events at the Kennedy Center, and enjoyed many travel opportunities.  Since Richard’s retirement in 2006, the Lucketts have had many travel adventures, having visited all seven continents. Within the Central Coast community, Catherine has served on the board of directors of the SLO Symphony and the PCPA Foundation in Santa Maria.  She has also assisted with outreach events for the SLO Little Theatre.

  • Skylar Stuck

    Skylar has over 24 years of experience in the wine industry. Born in Portland, he has lived around the world and holds an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University, Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. Skylar also serves on the Rhône Rangers Board of Directors, Partner Advisory Board MUST! Charities, and Trade Marketing Committee of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance.

  • Liz Summer

    Liz Summer is a Senior Client Relationship Manager with Pacific Premier Bank, formerly Heritage Oaks Bank. Liz specializes in business development and oversees some of the larger business and non-profit relationships with Pacific Premier. Liz joined Heritage Oaks Bank in 2012. Her previous careers included founder, Sales Director and Publisher of Central Coast Magazine, a regional lifestyle magazine featuring stories about food, wine and life on the Central Coast, a Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch in San Luis Obispo and an evening news anchor at WDIO-TV in Duluth, Minnesota. Liz has been involved in the San Luis Obispo community since moving here in the mid-90’s. She was San Luis Obispo Citizen of the Year, 2016. She is a past President of the San Luis Obispo Symphony Board of Directors, as well as San Luis Obispo Rotary Club Daybreak. She is Chair of French Hospital Foundation and President of Hospice SLO Board of Directors. Liz also serves as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister at Mission San Luis Obispo. She and her husband, John, her former co-anchor some 30 years ago, have 3 children and 2 grandchildren.

  • Libbie Agran portrait

    Libbie Agran

    Honorary Board Member

    Libbie worked as a Registered Investment Advisor and founded her own company, Libbie Agran Financial Services, in 1979 in Los Angeles. She has lectured nationwide on the Economics of Being a Woman and developed a seminar series that educated over 20,000 women in Los Angeles. Libbie works on projects promoting economic justice for women in Myanmar.

  • Jim Eckford headshot

    Jim Eckford

    Honorary Board Member

    Jim moved to the Central Coast in 1981 to work for Ziatech, where he stayed as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing until the company sold to Intel in 1998. He lives in Arroyo Grande with his wife Carlen and their pet donkeys Lolita and Lulu, and enjoys helping to organize Hospice of San Luis Obispo’s annual Avila Beach Concours fundraiser.

  • Bob Haas portrait

    Robert Haas

    Honorary Board Member

    Robert has played a leading role in the American wine industry for over half a century. As Managing Partner of Tablas Creek since its foundation in 1989, he has spoken in favor of organic viticulture, minimum-intervention winemaking and wines of terroir and sophistication, both locally and at festivals across the country. He founded the Winery Partners of the PAC in 2009.

  • Dr. Brendan “Ben” McAdams

    Honorary Board Member

    Ben has been a notable contributor (Founder) to the Foundation and the PAC since its inception. He most recently served as chair of the Encore campaign, during which he and his wife Kathryn “Pat” McAdams pledged a substantial legacy gift to the Foundation to permanently secure community access to the arts.

  • Clifton Swanson portrait

    Clifton Swanson

    Honorary Board Member

    Clifton served as Chair of the Music Department at Cal Poly; during his tenure the program achieved accreditation. He founded the Cal Poly Chamber Orchestra in 1967, conducted the San Luis Obispo Symphony from 1972 to 1984, and helped found and conduct the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival from 1971 to 2004. Clifton and his wife Jane are still active musicians.

  • Matt Trevison portrait

    Matt Trevisan

    Honorary Board Member

    Matt founded Linne Calodo Cellars in 1998, and began meticulously crafting wines that reflect the West Paso Robles region. Taking a hands-on approach ingrained by the “learn by doing” philosophy taught at Cal Poly, Matt participates in all aspects of Linne Calodo, from farming to marketing; selling wines throughout the United States.

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