Our Team

Staff & Instructors

 

Amanda Gonzalez
Ballet and Jazz Instructor
Elizabeth Kenny
Administrative Assistant
Kunchang Lee
Breakdance, Guitar, Band, Freestyle Rapping, and Song Writing Instructor
Sean Boling
Creative Writing Instructor
Vivian Higuera
Hip Hop Instructor
Emily French
Art Instructor
Kathryn Teale
Piano Instructor
Kristin Scott
Voice and Glee Instructor
Kody McNamara
Sound Technician / Substitute Teacher
Katherine Bradley
Intern
Jamie Umphenour
Sewing Instructor
Rebekah Hahn
Pre-Dance & Piano Instructor
Ryan Flores
Operations Technician, Lighting Technician, Video Production and Technical Theater Instructor
Genevieve Higuera
Pre-Performance Dance Instructor
Keisha Sizemore
Hip Hop Instructor
Claire Fundaro
Drama Instructor & Director
Teddy Ramirez
Drums Instructor
Mariah Higuera
Creative Dance Instructor
Joseph Truong
Drums and Guitar Instructor

Leadership

 

Mindy Dierks
Executive Director
Emily Jagger
Director of Development

Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation Board of Directors 2017

 

Sue Benitez
Co-President/CFO
Sue has lived in Paso Robles since 2005, having moved West from Maryland. She studied Mathematics at UCLA and George Washington University, Maryland. Sue had a robust career as co-owner of a software development and consulting firm and now spends her time volunteering for a number of Paso Robles area civic and non -profit agencies. Sue currently volunteers at the Paso Robles library. Former volunteer activities include: Board member, Treasurer and Finance Chair of her Homeowners Association; Supervisory Committee member of SESLOC Federal Credit Union; member of the San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury, as well as Treasurer of the PR Friends of the Library. Sue uses her expertise to help institute upgraded financial processes and reporting for PRYAF.
Cindy Stevens
Co-President
Cindy Stevens has lived in Paso Robles for the past 17 years. She came from Northern California with her husband, Phil, and moved here to raise their family. They have three daughters, Vanessa, Hanna, and Julia, and a son, Philip. Cindy has been working as a Realtor in San Luis Obispo County since 2004. In 2005, she and her husband started their own wine label, Del Real Wines. Cindy has been a board member since 2003 and loves being on the PRYAF board because it is a fantastic way to give back to the community.
Russell B. Baker
Co-Vice President
Originally from Shandon, CA Russell is a 1992 graduate of Paso Robles High School. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from UC Davis, and is a graduate of the Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy. Russell has a twenty-year career in the computer software industry, and has worked for leading companies including Oracle Corporation and Siebel Systems. He has gained a depth of knowledge serving in roles in both sales and sales management. He currently holds the position of Director of Sales with MicroFocus Corporation. His work has allowed him to travel the world and to live in some amazing cities including Boston, San Francisco, and Raleigh. Skills that he has honed that will translate well to a member of the PRYAF board include: sales management; expertise in customer and partner relationship management; revenue forecasting & reporting; and writing and negotiating legal contracts. Russell lives in Paso Robles with wife Amy and daughter Amelia, and their two dogs Max and Olly.
Pat Bland
Co-Vice President
A graduate of UC Davis in Economics and Business, Pat is a thirty-year banking professional and Paso Robles resident. She brings vast local business experience to the PRYAF Board. Even with her heavy career demands in professional banking positions, Pat has volunteered for organizations ranging from the Boys and Girls Club to Hotline of SLO, REC Foundation to Boy Scouts. To each of these she brings her skills as a collaborative thinker and problem solver. Both she and her current employer, Rabobank, have recently worked on PR Housing Authority construction and low-income teen jobs programs. Last summer, Pat lost her husband Mike, a highly respected Georgia Brown teacher. Her volunteer work has helped her to “fill the gap my husband left as he is no longer able to make a difference in the lives of his Georgia Brown students.” For years, she and Mike shared in the joy of their wonderful three children and three grandchildren.
Donna Jones
Secretary
A five year resident of Templeton, Donna’s roots are in Los Angeles where she had a thirty-year career as Assistant City Attorney with the City of Los Angeles. To prepare for her career, Donna graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from UCLA and then earned Juris Doctor at Loyola Law School. Of that she says, “I bring a legal background, but more importantly, a love of music and the performing arts. I believe the exposure to art, music and drama is one of the best gifts that we can provide to the youth of today.
Carrie Asi
Director
Sybil Bonelli
Director
Leo Castillo
Director
A military change of station in 2013 brought Leo, his wife Katie, and their three young children to beautiful Paso Robles. Leo serves as an active member of the California National Guard. Originally enlisting into the Active Army component 17 years ago, he has completed two overseas combat tours and has worked in many different capacities ranging from training Non Commissioned Officer (NCO), Operations NCO, and Platoon SGT. For the past seven years, Leo has worked as a military liaison for many non-profit Anti Drug Coalitions in an effort to keep them a sustainable entity. He is currently working with a local foundation as a strategic planner. Leo has coordinated numerous events, conferences, town halls, and other gatherings that have all successfully brought the community together. His ability to connect different layers of the community for a specific cause has proven to be an asset to any organization. The skills Leo has accrued over the past 17 years gives him the expertise in communication and relationship cohesion that may benefit PRYAF and their mission. Leo says, "I believe in the Arts and not just for those who can afford it, but for those who NEED it even when their socio economic standing may not allow it."
Nancy Hoagland
Director
Nancy is a life-long resident of Paso Robles. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture Business Management and a two year degree in Animal Science, both earned at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Her career includes 20 year tenure as a title officer for Chicago, Ticor and United General Title Insurance Companies, and now she is the co-owner of Hoagland Construction, Inc. and is employed as an online researcher for AFX Research, LLC. She has vast volunteering experience at a wide variety of local groups including Amigos de Los Niños, Templeton 4-H Club, Farm Bureau Women and Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation where Nancy is an active fundraiser. Of the Youth Arts Foundation, Nancy says, “Having grown up here I‘ve seen such positive changes…and so many organizations available to our youth… but there is only one organization like PRYAF providing, for free, such diverse classes from drama to fine arts, dance to music. It’s nice to be a part of (it all)!”
Marc Goldberg
Emeritus