Who We Are

Meet the ArtsOC Board and Staff and learn about what we do

ArtsOC Board of Directors

ArtsOC Board Members bring decades' worth of expertise and leadership from the diverse artistic, business, civic, and educational sectors that make up Orange County


Rick M. Smetanka, Partner-in-Charge, Audit and Business Advisory Services Group, Haskell & White LLP, Irvine


Susan Hori, Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP, Costa Mesa


Mary Lyons, Civic Leader, Newport Beach

Past Chair


Mechelle Lawrence Adams, Executive Director, Mission San Juan Capistrano

Marleena Barber, Director, VSA Orange County & Consultant, Orange County Department of Education, Costa Mesa

Dr. Stephen Barker, Dean, Claire Trevor School of the Arts and Executive Director, Institute and Museum of California Art, University of California, Irvine

Ellen Breitman, Former Director of Education, Newport Harbor Art Museum

William Cusato, Director - Service Engineering & Operations Center, Commercial Aviation Services, The Boeing Company, Seal Beach

Thuy Vo Dang, Ph.D., Curator for the Southeast Asian Archive, University of California, Irvine

John Forsyte, President, Pacific Symphony, Santa Ana

G. Patrick Gandy, Founder & Executive Producer, The Silence is Broken, Monarch Beach

Sara Guerrero, Founder & Artistic Director, Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble, Santa Ana

Monica V. Guillena, MSW, Administrative Director, Hispanic Education Endowment Fund, Newport Beach

Robert J. Klein, First Vice President-Investments, Wells Fargo Advisors, Newport Beach

Ernesto Maldonado, Vice President/Fiduciary, Pacific Premier Bank, Irvine

Jerry Mandel, Ph.D., President and Chair of the Board, Irvine Barclay Theatre

Dr. Al Mijares, Superintendent of Schools, Orange County Department of Education, Costa Mesa

Kay Mortenson, Artist & Professor Emeritus of Art, Golden West College, Huntington Beach

Tim Shaw, President, Tim Shaw & Associates, Irvine

Paula Tomei, Managing Director, South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa

Tina Van Dam, Managing Attorney, Manning Gross + Massenburg, Irvine

Edmund Velasco, President, Orange County Musicians Union, Local 7, American Federation of Musicians

Debora Wondercheck, Founder and Executive Director, Arts & Learning Conservatory, Costa Mesa

Walter Yenkosky, Chief Operating Officer, OC Music & Dance, Irvine


David Emmes, Founding Artistic Director, South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa

Carl Neisser, President, The Neisser Company, Costa Mesa

David R. White II, Retired Partner, Haskell & White LLP, Irvine

ArtsOC Staff


Richard Stein

President and CEO

Karen Ahola

Advancement Officer

Nicholas Thurkettle

Program Coordinator

What's the Latest?

See the latest issue of our newsletter and all our recent mentions in the media

Read about our 25-year+ adventure championing the arts!

What does an Arts Council do, and what does Arts Orange County do?

Our offices are at the bustling O.C. Music & Dance Center