Naimeh Woodward is the Founder and President of Encinitas Friends of the Arts and has served as one of the City of Encinitas Arts Commissioners. She is an active participant in several art and civic organizations such as Scripps Health, Synergy Art Foundation, San Diego Visual Art Network, LITvak Dance, and Society for Arts in Health Care and plays a key role in advocating for cultural arts in Encinitas and San Diego County.
Deanne Sabeck is the owner of Deanne Sabeck Studios/Kuivato Glass Gallery. She has also served as an owner and director of Casa Candelitas, an art and yoga retreat located in Costa Rica. She is also part of the San Diego Visual Arts Network Greencinita.
Anne Howard has lived overseas for much of her life experiencing and enjoying many different cultures. Anne is an attorney specializing in the area of family law. Anne is a long time North County resident who just returned from two years in Ecuador. In Ecuador, Anne helped North American ex pats with their estate planning while she managed her family law office. Now settled back in North County, Anne looks forward to working with EFA to help promote art awareness and enjoyment in North County. She believes everyone will benefit by EFA helping to incorporate art into the environment and making cultural and art events more accessible.
Angela Jackson is a mixed media artist and art educator who has exhibited in many group and solo shows throughout the United States. She is inspired by the beauty and therapeutic aspects of the ocean which are expressed in her work. Angela teaches Visual Art at San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas. She received her BFA in Art from the Pennsylvania State University and her M.Ed in Integrated Teaching Through the Arts from Lesley University, Massachusetts.
Brent Ringoot is a California native who lives in Cardiff by the Sea and enjoys helping clients make smart real estate decisions. Brent is pleasant to work with and demonstrates a sense of mental toughness with negotiating the best price for his clients. When not working, Brent finds great joy in surfing, snowboarding, tennis, golf, volunteering and advocating for the community.
Monica Moreland is the Director of Sergott Contemporary Art in Rancho Santa Fe. She is passionate about connecting underserved areas and youth with artistic opportunities and education. Monica grew up in San Diego and developed a love for the arts at a young age. She studied English and International Relations while an undergraduate at Stanford University. While there, she was also a part of a National Championship Volleyball Team. She continued on to pursue a Masters in Anthropology with a focus on Ecotourism. Monica worked as an educator, initiated campus sustainability programs, and consulted in the educational technology arena. She believes that the arts are a vital and magnificent part of our community for all ages to participate in and enjoy. She enjoys writing, hiking, traveling, and time in the ocean.
Kathleen McMillen Lees
A second generation Angelino, Kathleen moved to Encinitas to escape the traffic and find a little space. She started her own art business as an art dealer and consultant in a convenient showroom space in downtown Encinitas. Retiring after 35 years of doing what she loved…she truly never worked a day.
For many years, Kathleen has served on the Board of the Leucadia-Encinitas Town Council and is currently completing a second term on the Encinitas Arts Commission. She is committed to the wellbeing of Encinitas and has participated in many committees and groups involved with community development such as open space preservation; both Downtown and Leucadia Streetscape projects; Pacific View School as an Arts Center; safe at-grade railroad crossings and quiet zones; General Plan Update; building Olympus Park; preservation and replacement of the Leucadia Tree Canopy; and street design. She loves being on the EFA Board and is looking forward to having more time to support its efforts.
Nivardo Valenzuela is an emerging Creative Producer with a passion for films, photography, design, nature, the sea, sustainability, housing issues, taekwondo and menswear. He currently serves as a Vice Chair in the City of Encinitas Commission for the Arts. He has previously worked in Management and Creative Direction/Consulting where he has collaborated with graphic designers, musicians, photographers, visual artists, poets, filmmakers, among other creatives, as well as various educational, cultural and governmental institutions.
Michael Corrales Schmitt
Michael Corrales Schmitt founded The Ducky Waddle‘s Poetry Ruckus and the Freak for All at E-Street Café both open mic for spoken word, music and improvisation and Summer Fun on the 101 at Surfy Surfy and then Leucadia’s beloved annual Leucadia‘s music festival Summer Fun at Roadside Park with Leucadia 101 Main Street Association. He chairs the L101 promotions committee and he books music for all of L101’s events like the Battle of the Bands which raises money for a local music scholarship for outgoing seniors at SDA. Michael has promoted many other poetry and music events under the name Ruthless Hippies, at venues including the Belly Up and the Encinitas Public Library. Currently, Michael is finishing out his last term on the City of Encinitas Commission for the Arts as its chair.
Erin Seelert is a southern California native and was a member of the Encinitas Art Commission. She’s a professional Costume Designer and Illustrator and has spent most of her career designing for the Halloween industry, Film & TV. She also owns and operates her own small clothing brand and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design from Otis College of Art + Design. When she isn’t working, she enjoys playing classical piano, practicing yoga, distance running and exploring the outdoors.
Patricia Frischer is a founder and the coordinator of the non-profit San Diego Visual Arts Network, which has an events calendar and a directory with lists approximately 2500 visual arts resources in San Diego County. She also writes editorials, art reports, social media entries. She has curated exhibitions in California and Europe. Patricia Frischer’s vision is to see the San Diego region recognized as a hub of excellence for the visual arts.
Joann Johnson is a certified Kaizen Muse Creativity Coach who has been facilitating Creativity Workshops since 2003. Joann has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Colorado State University and has over ten years of grant writing experience working with non-profit organizations in both Colorado and California. Joann previously worked with a variety of organizations including the Boulder County Latina Women’s League, League of Women Voters NCSD, North County Photographic Society. She is currently the Treasurer for the Encinitas Friends of the Arts.
Teresa Barth is a third-generation resident of the North Coast area. She served on the Encinitas City Council from 2006 -2014 and was an advocate for the arts. Barth is the founding president of Engage Encinitas, a nonprofit that aims to enrich the lives of city residents by encouraging collaboration and strengthening civic engagement.
Sayat Asatryan was born in Yerevan, Armenia and trained in Russia at the Voronezh Ballet school and St. Peterburg Ballet Academy. He received a comprehensive arts and humanities education at the St. Petersburg Ballet Academy and Voronezh Ballet Academy with the Master Degree in Dance and Arts. Additionally, he completed Certified Performing Arts Executive program from University of New Orleans focused on the management aspects of performing arts tour booking and presenting. He has been dancing professionally in the United States and throughout the world over the past 23 years, and teaching ballet technique and choreographing for the past 20 years.
Dr. Beatriz Villarreal
Dr. Beatriz Villarreal has worked to assist the Latino community for more than 27 years, providing community resources for the prevention of juvenile delinquency, gangs, drug abuse, and violence. From her over 8 years of service as a director of a counseling program at San Diego’s Juvenile Hall, to founding the Mano a Mano Foundation–a non-profit organization that works to support at-risk youth– Dr. Villarreal’s actions demonstrate her work in students achieving the American dream.
Gabriela "Gaby" Beas
Gabriela "Gaby" Beas is a first generation Mexican-American, the daughter of migrant farm workers, with roots in both Solana Beach and Encinitas. As the first in her family to pursue higher education, Gaby received an A.A. degree from Mira Costa College and was awarded the Latino HealthCare Professional Project (LHPP) fellowship at California State University Long Beach. During her time at CSU Long Beach, Gaby gained extensive experience in community advocacy while working to eliminate healthcare disparities. After completing a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, she shifted her focus from healthcare to education and has since continued the long and passionate work of eliminating educational disparities, championing equality, and empowering communities. For the last several years she has also played a significant role in some of the key cultural programs such as Dia de los Muertos celebration in the Encinitas and Solana Beach communities.
Pacific View Art & Culture Center Advisory
James Halliday is currently the Executive Director of A Reason To Survive (ARTS), a creative youth development nonprofit and community arts center located in National City, CA, serving youth and families across the South County region of San Diego. In previous roles, James was Regional Manager of Collective Shift / LRNG, an MacArthur Foundation-funded education technology platform focused on credentialing out-of-school learning; before that, he was Program Director for the Education Synergy Alliance, where he advanced excellence and equity in school districts across San Diego.
After graduating from Stanford, James completed graduate studies abroad, then worked as a journalist for a decade in Eastern Europe and Turkey. James is a serial social entrepreneur, and a founder of the Impact Hub Istanbul (2010-2014) and Impact Without Borders (in San Diego, 2015-18).
Deeply committed to civic service, James is a board member of the San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition, the Cabrillo National Monument Foundation and YouthWill; between 2017-21, he sat on the City of San Diego’s Citizens Advisory Board on Police-Community Relations. As a fifth generation San Diegan, James is proud of the region’s rich, diverse history and mix of cultures -- and passionate about the role of arts and culture in fostering a welcoming, dynamic, and inclusive binational region.
When he‘s not working, he’s cooking and spending time with family. When he‘s not inside, he’s hiking or playing tennis. When he‘s not here, he’s across the border -- in Valle de Guadalupe or at a Xolos match.
Growing up in Solana Beach, Marineke Vandervort had ties to the Club before she became the CEO. In high school, she joined their swim team where she became an exemplary athlete, earning a scholarship to Colorado State University. While studying for her bachelor’s in Colorado, she returned to the Club every summer to teach swim and stay connected to the organization and its mission.
After graduating from college and a year abroad, she became the Club’s Aquatics Department Manager for five years. Her work ethic, passion for the cause, and commitment to the community impressed the CEO, and Marineke was promoted to HR Director. She worked full-time while attending UCSD at night and taking care of her two children, both under the age of five. She went on to earn her Professional Human Resources Management certificate from UCSD, her Non-Profit Management and Supervisory Skills certificate from Brandman University, and she completed the prestigious Harvard Business School Not-For-Profit Business Management Program. Her dedication has also earned her the Administrative Staff of the Year award by The Professional Association of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, where one BGC staff is chosen amongst 52,000 candidates.
Her 30+ years in the Clubs have greatly impacted Marineke’s role as Chief Executive Officer, which she assumed in 2015. Her belief in the power of community, her multi-faceted knowledge of the Club, and her commitment to the Club’s mission have guided her time as CEO. She has led the Clubs to improve their programming, serve more members, increase customer satisfaction and employee morale, enhance the Clubhouse and program experience, and improve fundraising efforts. She is committed to ensuring that the Club is a center for the community, innovation, and positive youth development.
Rachel D. White, MPA
Rachel is a Federal Employee, who serves her community in various ways. She is a Past President of the Encinitas Lions Club and a current Board member. Rachel also serves as a Board Member at Large for the Carlsbad Playreader Theater; and is a CADEM Appointed Delegate for the District 18 of the State of CA. Rachel is a Commissioner on the City of Oceanside‘s Housing Commission. As a member of North Coast Church in Vista, CA; Rachel is a volunteer leader within the church and a Project Leader for the church’s bi-annual county wide service project program. She is a member of the North County African American Women’s Association and North San Diego County NAACP. She is a published author and an advocate for the arts, education and the underserved in our community.
Previous volunteer service areas include: San Diego County Fire Dept CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), working music festivals locally and in Europe, motivational speaking, and mentoring.
Rachel loves to travel, spend time with family and friends; and enjoys sleeping in when able.
Creative Director- Ballet Folklorico de San Dieguito – Encinitas
Nadia Arambula was born in Mexico where she studied business in tourism. She began dancing Mexican folkloric dances at the age of five and came to the U.S. fifteen years later to follow her dream of creating her own ballet folklórico program. After six years as an instructor in San Diego and Oakland, she established Ballet Folklórico de San Dieguito & El Tapatío at the Bayside Community Center in Linda Vista and the Encinitas Community Center. She has also supported the Folklórico and Mariachi Association (FAMA) at the University of San Diego since 2012.
City of Encinitas Liaison
Collette Murphy is the Arts Administrator for the City of Encinitas. Collette is an entrepreneur and philanthropist with over 25 years of graphic design, marketing, publishing, and event management experience with multiple awards to her credit. She holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the Art Institute of California.
After selling Ranch & Coast magazine, Collette focused her attention in the arts working for local nonprofits including Lux Art Institute and most recently as director of marketing for Oceanside Museum of Art. As a long-time Encinitas resident, she has served two terms on the Commission for the Arts and was a founding board member of Encinitas Friends of the Arts.
Social Media Coordinator
Sean Hnedak is a web designer, UX designer and visual artist with an interest in community engagement and the environment. Outside of updating the EFA social media, Sean is an active oil painter, capturing the natural beauty of San Diego in a style know as “plein air” or the art of painting outdoors. After graduating from USC with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Design/Painting in 2016, he returned to his hometown to pursue his passions.