Our Distinguished Board
Board of Directors
The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center has a distinguished Board of Directors drawn from across the Tri-Valley. These individuals and the LVA staff, working with the Livermore City Council and City staff, have given their time and resources to help the Valley flourish both culturally and economically.
Ms. Watkins worked as a software system engineer and manager for 18 years in the telecommunications field, developing network management and control systems for satellite and wireless communications. After retiring from industry, Ms. Watkins started getting involved in the local community. She currently serves as the Immediate Past Chair on the UC Merced Foundation Board. UC Merced is the newest research University in the University of California education system. Over 70% of the students at Merced are first in their families to go to college. Additionally, Ms. Watkins owned and operated the Vancouver Stealth for 11 years, a professional Lacrosse team that played in Langley BC. Prior to the Stealth, Ms. Watkins owned and operated Primal Quest, an expedition adventure race that operated in North America. Ms. Watkins has been involved in several charities and notably co-founded the Pleasanton Schools Educational Enrichment Foundation, a non-profit corporation which supports arts, science and other enrichment learning programs that benefit all Pleasanton Unified School District students. She led the organization as its President for 13 years. Ms. Watkins has served on numerous committees for the Pleasanton School District, including co-chairing the district-wide Excellence Committee. Ms Watkins has 3 grown children.
Dr. Younker received his Ph.D. in Geophysical Sciences from Michigan State University in 1975. He served as Assistant Professor Geophysics 1975-1980 at Central Michigan University, Indiana University Indianapolis and the University of Illinois, Chicago. Dr. Younker was employed as a staff member at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1980 to 2011. During that period, he was Earth Sciences Department Head and a long- time member of the Senior Management team. Dr. Younker has lived in Livermore 38 years, married to a retired Livermore teacher. The Friends of Livermore has chosen him as its Chairman. Dr. Younker was a former member and Past President of the Valley Concert Chorale, past President and current Board Member of the Valley Study Group, a former Board Member of the Pacific Chamber Orchestra, and a current member of the Rotary Club of Livermore.
Mr. Huff, CPA, has spent his career as a financial officer and public company director with chairman experience. He has served as Chief Financial Officer with a strong background in managing the process of capital raising, general finance, general administration, accounting, financial reporting, planning, credit, cash, and data processing management. He has worked with public and private offerings, including equity and debt, investor relations, arranging credit lines, real estate transactions, SEC filings, contracts, pension and retirement programs, and insurance. He also is experienced in financial and accounting affairs of not for profit organizations. He started his career working for Price Waterhouse & Co., and has worked at a high level for over a dozen large corporations and startups. Huff serves as Board Member and Treasurer (2009- present) for the Livermore Valley Opera; Board Director (2014-present), Treasurer, for Friends of Bankhead and Bothwell; Audit Committee Chair (2013-present), Tri-Valley Conservancy; and Board Trustee (2000-2009), Finance Committee Chairman, and Treasurer (2000-2008), of the San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum, San Francisco.
Ms. Shuler, a resident of Livermore since 1968, has worked at Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) as a computer scientist since 1972. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics from the College of William and Mary. In her current position at LLNL, she is a workforce manager and High Performance Computing technical consultant in the Livermore Computing Division. She understands well the cultural of the Lab, one that is drawn to the arts. LLNL recognizes the importance of the role LVPAC performs as a vibrant performing arts center, a role that helps LLNL to recruit and retain employees. Although she has traveled extensively both for work and pleasure, she continues to be active in many LLNL and community volunteer organizations and hosts music events in her home. She was on the Board of Directors for Expanding Your Horizons Network, an international organization that inspires girls to recognize their potential and pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Dr. Kelly Bowers, Executive Director of the Three Valleys Community Foundation, served as Superintendent of Schools for the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District since 2010. She is a first generation college attendee and a proud product of Bay Area public schools, graduating from UC Berkeley summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, earning her Administrative Credential and Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from CSU East Bay, and her Doctorate in Education from UC Berkeley. She is married to a graduate of Livermore High School and together they have three grown children, all who attended Livermore schools.
Dr. Bowers has extensive professional experience as an educator: 13 years teaching at all levels in both urban and suburban settings, as well as 21 years of site and district level administration. Her work has been honored by the Association of California School Administrators, the American Association of University Women, Phi Delta Kappa, CSU East Bay, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, and the California State Assembly.
Dr. Bowers staunchly believes our children – all children – deserve an excellent educational foundation with multiple, equitable opportunities for higher education and a range of career choices. Her leadership in LVJUSD focuses on ensuring equity of access, experience, opportunity, and outcomes through systemic change and cultivating sustainable community partnerships, creating unique opportunities for “each student to graduate with the skills needed to contribute and thrive in a changing world.” She is co-chair of the Innovation Tri-Valley Education and Workforce Development Committee, an active member of the Rotary Club of Livermore, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Livermore Chamber of Commerce. As a former “Miss San Francisco Children’s Opera” as well as drama teacher/director, she is both personally and professionally passionate about visual and performing arts as an integral part of a well-rounded educational experience.
Dr. Bowers is committed to act as a change agent for the betterment of students, teachers and families residing in the larger Bay Area, Tri-Valley region and Livermore community she calls home.
Mr. Burkhard, a resident of Livermore since 1977, has a BS in physics from Pennsylvania State University and an MS and PhD in physics from UCLA. He retired from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2008. During his 31 year career at LLNL, he held various positions including Nuclear Test Containment Program Leader, Geophysics and Global Security Division Leader, and Acting Associate Director for the Energy and Environment Directorate. For the US Department of Energy, he served on the DOE/NV Containment Evaluation Panel, chaired the DOE/NV Subcritical Containment Review Panel, and was DOE/NV Scientific Advisor for Nuclear and Subcritical Testing. He has volunteered extensively for environmental conservation work with the Nature Conservancy, the Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, and the Grand Canyon National Park. In the Livermore Granada Little League, he was a manager/coach for 12 years and an umpire for 23 years. He appreciates the role the arts can play in a community as the arts (in all forms) enrich the lives of all community members. The arts help any community be more vital and healthy.
Kelly Cousins, Ph.D. is a retired educational psychologist and has been an active member of the Pleasanton community since 1991. She became involved in Pleasanton Unified School District’s gifted and talented, arts and music programs during her two son’s attendance at PUSD. She has participated within the larger community serving 10 years on Pleasanton’s Human Services and Library Commissions. Kelly has served on various city wide task forces including being a part of the Pleasanton Youth Master Plan, the Cultural Arts Mater Plan, the East Pleasanton Specific Plan and most recently the Pleasanton Civic Center/Library Task Force. She currently serves as President of the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council and the liaison member to the Livermore Cultural Arts Council from PCAC. She is also a member of the Pleasanton Tulancingo Sister City Organization and has traveled to Mexico as a representative of the City at their 30 year celebration of the organization. Kelly serves on the education, outreach, development, government and events committees. Kelly enjoys traveling with her husband and friends and engaging with different cultural groups and in various arts activities. One of her goals as a board member of LVPAC is to help develop partnerships among the local community groups and city agencies to expand the performing arts opportunities for students and their families as well as embrace the cultural diversity within the Tri Valley Area.
Dona L. Crawford retired from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) after having served as Associate Director of Computation for 15 years. In that capacity she led the laboratory’s high performance computing efforts, one of the premier computing centers in the world. Prior to her LLNL appointment in July 2001, Crawford was with Sandia National Laboratories since 1976, serving on many leadership projects.
She is currently the President of the Livermore Lab Foundation, a 501(c)(3), whose mission is to promote philanthropic engagement to advance promising scientific research, technology development and educational endeavors at LLNL.
Ms. Crawford has served on advisory committees for the National Research Council and the National Science Foundation. She Co-Chaired the Council on Competitiveness High Performance Computing Advisory Committee, and Co-Chaired the CRDF Global Board. She is a Senior Fellow at the Council on Competitiveness, and sits on the Boards of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the Krell Institute. She is a member of the Strategic Research Advisory Council at Purdue University, the California Council on Science and Technology, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Association for Computing Machinery.
Judge Eaton practiced general civil litigation prior to his appointment to the bench. His 23 years of service on the Alameda County Courts included 17 years on the Superior Court. In his capacity as a private judge, since 1999 he has mediated over 1,100 cases with a settlement rate in excess of 95%. Mr. Eaton has a well-deserved reputation for being a dedicated, innovative and highly successful facilitator of settlements. Such skills earned him the 1995 Trial Judge of the Year Award by the Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association. His commitment to local charities is remarkable: Director, Axis Community Health Center 2001 – present; Tri-Valley Conservancy Board 2001-2012 and Advisory Committee 2012 – present; Advisory Committee of Pedrozzi Foundation 2011– present; Livermore Granada Boosters 1997 – 2009; Director, Valley Memorial Hospital 1982 – 1985; Director, Pacific Health Care 1985 – 1989; Director, Livermore Chamber of Commerce Education Committee Chairperson & V.P. Civic Development 1966 – 1969; Trustee, Livermore Valley Jewish Community Center 1970 – 1971; President and Director, Student Educational Loan Fund 1968 – 1972; President and Director, Livermore Active 20-30 Club 1964 – 1968; City of Livermore, Committee Member, Beautification Committee 1968 – 1971; Committee Member, Ad Hoc Human Relations Commission 1968; Member, A Coordinating Committee to Overcome Racial Division 1968 – 1975; Member, Legal Advisory Board and Valley Communities Economic Opportunities Organization 1966 – 1967.
Dr. Dyrell Foster has been an administrator in the California Community College system for over 20 years. He is a student-centered leader, with a proven track record of advancing educational access, equity, student retention and success. He is collaborative in his approach to implementing institutional practices, behaviors, and policies that provide a positive climate on campus and effectively addresses the diverse needs of students.
Being the first in his family to attend college, Dr. Foster received his Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Southern California, his Master of Science in Counseling: Student Development in Higher Education from California State University, Long Beach, and his Bachelor of Science in Applied Behavioral Science from the University of California, Davis, where he served as co-captain of the UC Davis Aggies football team. He and his wife, Tami, have two children, Maylea and Daylen.
Mr. Kaskey is currently Curator and past President of Livermore’s historical society, the Livermore Heritage Guild. The Guild manages Livermore’s historic five acre Hagemann Ranch, the Duarte Garage and Lincoln Highway Museum, the History Mobile which brings Livermore history to the schools, and the downtown History Center. Mr. Kaskey served as Vice President of the Livermore Cultural Arts Council, and has served on the Livermore’s Historic Preservation Commission for five years. He spent 37 years as technical staff, manager and director in places including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sun Microsystems, Intergraph and Rambus, and holds five US patents. He has participated in ten start-up companies; the most recent was acquired by Applied Materials.
Ms. King was employed at Sandia Labs as a computer programmer and an adjunct instructor at Las Positas College teaching mathematics. Previously, she served on the Livermore Commission for the Arts, the boards of the League of Women Voters, AAUW, Friends of the Vineyards, Livermore Cultural Arts Council and as past president of the Student Education Loan Fund, Del Valle Fine Arts, Livermore-Amador Symphony Association and the Tri Valley Conservancy. She presently serves on the Board of the Livermore-Amador Symphony Association and the Advisory Board of the Livermore Valley Opera. King was named Woman of the Year (2009) for the 15th Assembly District for her leadership role in the arts and the environment, including preservation of vineyard lands.
Mr. Marceau is employed as the President of the Northern California Division of Shea Homes. He joined the company in 1995 as Vice President of Finance for the Southern California Division. Marceau took a lead role in corporate mergers and acquisitions, successfully leading the acquisition of both the Mission Viejo Company in 1997 and UDC Homes in 1998. In 1999, he became Corporate Vice President of Operations and in 2000 he was named President of the Northern California Division. Prior to joining Shea Homes, he spent seven years at Deloitte and Touche in the Real Estate Consulting and Audit practice. He also worked as a high school economics and mathematics teacher. Marceau earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Management Science from the University of California, San Diego and his MBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of California, Irvine. Marceau is a licensed California Certified Public Accountant and Real Estate Broker. He has been a member of the California Building Industry Association since 1995 and served as Chairman of the Association in 2006. Layne was inducted into the California Homebuilding Foundation Hall of Fame in 2009. He has served as a Board Member of HomeAid of Northern California since 1995, the 1st Tee of the Tri-Valley since 2005, and the Livermore Performing Art Center since 2007.
Founder and CEO of Pleasanton-based Cheza Nami Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 organization whose mission is to promote cultural diversity through the African traditional arts. Catherine has a passion to uncover the symbiotic connections within all of humanity. With over a decade of fieldwork that promotes cultural education and diversity awareness to learning institutions, corporations and communities focused on fostering a more congenial relationship among its members, Catherine advocates that music, dance, and an open mind are the essential ingredients for common ground and joyful exchange among people from all walks of life. She holds a masters in cell and molecular biology and is currently employed as the Director of Precision Medicine Portfolio at a large pharmaceutical company. By unifying her passions for science, community, and the arts, she has successfully brought together hundreds of master musicians and dancers, community partners, volunteers, and participants to deliver cultural education programming to communities, schools and organizations. She is regarded as an expert when it comes to catalyzing cultural connection, and has been recognized for her ongoing contributions to the community. Accolades include being named to the 40 under 40 list – Diablo Magazine, and featured in Oakland Magazine, Contra Costa newspaper, as well as many other media publications. She has delivered keynote addresses (graduation/corporate), participated on numerous panels related to cultural diversity and global citizenship, and provided a cultural inclusion presentation for TEDxLivermore in 2015. In 2017, she was awarded the CBS/KPIX Jefferson Award, which is considered the Nobel Prize for community service, as well as the Alameda County Arts Leadership Award. She is most well-known for organizing the annual Taste of Africa festival in the Tri-Valley, and “The Essence” showcase, a celebration of oneness of humankind through traditional African music and dance. She also serves on several other local boards and along with her husband enjoy traveling and playing a myriad of sports with their 14 year old twins, when they allow it!
In 1963, Ms. Seppala founded The Independent, a Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin weekly newspaper, and continues as its publisher. Ms. Seppala participates in Alameda County’s Altamont Settlement Committee and the Livermore Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee. She serves as a board member of the Valley Study Group Board, an organization formed by employees of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to increase community awareness of its scientific achievements. She co-founded the Livermore Cultural Arts Council approximately 50 years ago, and remains a member today. As early as 1986, she envisioned a performing arts center in downtown Livermore to enrich the cultural life of the community, and with others, led the founding of the Bankhead Theater and Bothwell Arts Center. Ms. Seppala’s involvement in the broader community has been recognized with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Award from the Tri-Valley YMCA; Las Positas College Friend of the College Award; Alameda County Board of Supervisors’ District 1 Champion for the Arts Award; and along with her husband, Lynn Seppala, Livermore Rotary’s Rodeo Parade Grand Marshall for outstanding service to the community and volunteer efforts toward the betterment of Livermore.
Mark Triska has excelled in representing commercial real estate clients since 1989. During his career, Mr. Triska has specialized
in the sale and leasing of industrial, R&D, office, retail, land, and investments in the San Francisco East Bay Area. Since 1989, his lease transactions totalled over 4.0 million square feet of space and the value of land and commercial property sales reached over $1 billion.
Mr. Triska believes in building relationships with clients and will take the time to fully understand their needs and desires. His experience in the market and the relationships he has developed gives Mr. Triska first-hand knowledge of political climates, assessment and water districts, traffic mitigation plans and other seemingly small things that can influence a deal.
Mr. Triska also owns Crane Ridge Vineyards and host Caddis Winery there on his vineyard, as well as growing 10 acres of wine grapes exclusively for Darcie Kent Vineyards, and farms a 4.5 acre truffle orchard. He also sits on the board of directors for the TriValley Conservancy.
Dr. Weiner is a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology, with over thirty five years in the field and several medical publications to his credit. Dr. Weiner has also been very active in the community. He serves on the Board of Directors for the California Symphony and is a supporter and major donor for Chamber Music San Francisco. In the past, Dr. Weiner has served on the Boards of Directors for the Jewish Community Center of Contra Costa, Friends of Civic Arts Education Foundation and Civic Arts Education Advisory Council. When he lived in Fresno, Dr. Weiner served on the Boards of Directors of the Fresno Art Museum and Congregation Beth Jacob.
Mr. Wente acts as Vice President of the Wente Land and Cattle Company and Vice Chairman of Wente Vineyards. He currently serves as a member of the Wine Institute, Innovation Tri Valley, and the Alameda County Agricultural Advisory Committee. He has held many positions throughout the California wine industry, as well as the Tri-Valley business community. Mr. Wente’s experience in the agri-tourism industry facilitates the merging of wine event tourism with the arts, strengthens Livermore’s positioning as a tourist destination, and brings seasoned leadership to LVPAC.
Mr. Bocchicchio was a consulting architect and served as the Associate Vice President – Capital Resources Management, for the University of California System. He was twice appointed State Architect under Governor Deukmejian, was employed as the Regional Director of Planning and Facilities for Southern California for Kaiser Permanente and served as University Architect and Executive Director for the University of Southern California. He and his wife have been impresarios active in producing grand opera in the Bay Area. He is a former President of the Livermore Valley Opera company. Mr. Bocchicchio, chair of the Performing Arts Center Architectural and Construction Committee and member of the Finance Committee, had extensive experience and knowledge of large-scale construction management and financing. Mr. Bocchicchio served on the board from xxx through 2013.
Mr. Dean retired as a physicist from the University of California in1993, having spent 32 years working in the fields of radiological physics and analytical cytology at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He served as President of the Livermore Cultural Arts Council, a multi-organization service group, for 10 years. Mr. Dean is one of the three founders of LVPAC and a distinguished, longstanding contributor to the project, who has made organization, administrative, management and sound fiscal practice a cornerstone of the organization. Board Member from 1998 to 2008.
Patrick Kernan opened the Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel’s Pleasanton law office and was chosen to become its managing partner from 1998 until June of 2004. From 2004 to 2005 he was employed as the Vice President & General Counsel of Valley Care Health Systems. Mr. Kernan founded the Law Offices of Patrick J. Kernan in 2007. Mr. Kernan is a past member of the Hospital & Pacific Care Boards and is now on the Pacific Symphony Chamber Board and the Las Positas Foundation Board. Mr. Kernan was appointed to the Pleasanton Unified School District Board in 1997 and was a member through 2010. Board Member since 2005.
Dr. Mendelsohn is a recently retired Senior Scientist and former Associate Director at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where for 20 years he headed the Biomedical and Environmental Research Program specializing in radiology, cytogenetics and analytical cytology. He recently spent three years as Vice Chairman of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Hiroshima, Japan. Long active in the arts, he currently serves on the Board of Del Valle Fine Arts. Dr. Mendelsohn brings extensive connections in the arts community and high- level managerial expertise to the board’s endeavors was a board member through 2014. Board Member since1999.
Mr. Reitter was elected to the Livermore City Council (1989-2007). Before his retirement, he was employed as a mechanical engineer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. As a council member, he was particularly concerned with preserving agriculture and open space around Livermore and in preserving the city’s individual character and sense of place. He helped focus the city on downtown re-vitalization. He sees the Bankhead Theater as a major economic driver of the downtown, an institution that will help make Livermore a center for arts and entertainment. Mr. Reitter served on the board through 2014.
Director – Governance Committee
Ms. Wilcox works as a CEO, a Director and a marketing consultant for several local wineries. Her long career in the wine business included General Manager of Concannon Vineyard and Wente Sparkling Wine Cellars in Livermore, as well as Vice President, Marketing and Sales, for Wente Vineyards. During her employment at Wente, she opened the Sparkling Wine Cellars new restaurant, conference center and concert series. She also launched several local events, including Art in the Vineyard and the Livermore Valley Wine Festival. In addition, she has been engaged as an instructor for wine appreciation and service at many national universities and has conducted several national and international seminars on wine.