Board of Directors

Youth in Arts is supported by community members who make art programs work for youth. Without them we would not be able to offer such a multitude of programs and services. Strong community support is vital to having a sustainable organization. Our Board of Directors form a critical support component for our staff.

Naomi Tamura, Board President, has been involved in a variety of creative and community endeavors, from volunteer efforts to practicing a variety of visual arts mediums around the Bay Area. After graduating from Scripps College with a Studio Arts Degree, Naomi worked professionally as a graphic designer /art director in both print and online advertising.  After a brief stint as a freelancer, Naomi joined Netcentives, Inc., an online incentives marketing company, as their in-house Senior Art Director. At Netcentives, she built and managed a team of designers that developed the visuals for their product and all out-bound marketing communications for their flagship product, as well as various in-house special projects.  Naomi is also board chair of O’Hanlon Center for the Arts. After the death of her eldest son, Walker, in 2011, Naomi chose to concentrate on family life and more philanthropic projects. In conjunction with Youth in Arts, she developed the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund to honor the spirit of her son, who loved to create art together in their small studio space at home.

Tim Distler, Treasurer has spent his career working in the renewable energy project finance and development industry.  Along this path, he’s lived and worked in Boulder, CO, Chicago, IL and now San Francisco where he currently works for Prologis, as the Senior Vice President, Global Head of Finance and Capital Investment in Energy & Mobility.  Tim has a strong passion for renewable and environmentally sustainable energy sources as well as business and investment strategy.  He thoroughly enjoys solving new and interesting problems and learning from this process along the way.  In his free time, Tim enjoys trail running, skiing in Tahoe or Colorado, camping, cycling, and traveling to Sonoma or the Russian River to relax with friends, wife and two young children.  Tim is originally from the Chicago area yet spent most of his childhood in Iowa where he attended the University of Iowa during undergraduate school.  He since went on to earn an MBA from Lindenwood University in St. Louis, MO.

Jane Burkhard, A native east coaster and long-time Bay Area resident, Jane Burkhard has been on the board of the SF Opera, SF Ballet, and SF Museum of Modern Art. She served in different capacities over the three organizations, from president of auxiliary groups to gala chair to general board member. Having stayed home with her two children, loving the involvement in their early lives, Jane went back to work full time in finance when the kids were older and self-sufficient. While she enjoyed the arts scene in SF, the appeal of having a greater impact in her own community – particularly with youth – is more in line with my current interests. “Our children were lucky to have arts in all of their grades, and I didn’t realize until much later on that many adjacent school districts don’t have the resources to provide this to their students.” Jane shared, “I’ve been a lifelong art lover, am an amateur photographer, and value what art provides in my life. I feel strongly that all children need the creative outlet and emotional development that art can provide.”

Devin Dixonhas lived in Larkspur with her husband Todd and their two sons for many years. She has a background in finance. She has served on multiple boards and currently also serves as secretary on the board of the Ralston White Retreat

Emma Orrick, is the student representative to the board and is a member of `Til Dawn. Emma has been singing for as long as she can remember. She is a senior at Redwood High School.

Lorenzo Jones, is a professional Executive business coach, speaker, facilitator, trainer and executive with more than 20 years experience that is solidly grounded in creating a positive learning environment by building a high degree of connection and trust with his clients. Lorenzo has lived in Marin more than 15 years. He grew up in Wichita, Kansas and came to California to earn his degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles before launching a career as a corporate retail manager. He is the owner of Lorenzo Jones Consulting and Coaching Group.

Orin CarpenterAfter graduating from the University of Memphis in 1992 with a BFA in graphic design, Orin learned early that his desire and passion to create would not be satisfied in corporate America. He transformed his life by moving to San Francisco, CA, to continue his education at the Academy of Art University, receiving an MFA in illustration/Storyboarding. Although the transition was in the right direction, he still didn’t understand how to create from the inside out since his usual form of creation came from the outside in. This epiphany evolved while teaching high school students for 16 years at Marin Catholic High School. As the Visual and Performing Arts Director, Orin learned the value of every story. His artistic voice matured in the many solo and juried exhibitions he participated in throughout the country (Memphis, Nashville, Atlanta, Colorado, Connecticut, New York, Washington, Rhode Island, Oakland, and San Francisco). The ultimate destination was participating in the Open Exhibit at the De Young Museum in San Francisco along with many other talented artists. Orin’s work has lived in many galleries across the country and in a few publications.

As an art educator and exhibiting professional artist, Orin has led workshops focused on using Art as the model for uncomfortable conversations. He partnered with Boston College University Roche Center for Education, to teach a course on Educating for Social Justice through Art and with the Archdiocese of Omaha to share his expertise as both an artist of color and educator. As a result, Orin and his work were included in over 12 magazines, newspaper articles, and multi-radio and podcast series. Orin’s goal is to educate, elevate, and challenge everyone who encounters his work, vision, and voice. As he continues to showcase his work in various galleries and exhibits, his hope is to inspire others to use their artistic voice to tell their story and show how even though our stories are different, they still possess the same ingredients: struggle, challenges, and hope.

Kathleen Newsom Kate is a Wisconsin native, born in Milwaukee and raised in Green Bay. She completed her BA in French at Saint Mary’s College Notre Dame, IN in 1991. She holds a MA in French Language in Civilization from the NYU Paris Campus (1993) and a MBA from University of San Francisco School of Management (2001). Upon moving to San Francisco in 1991, Kate became involved in the wine & spirits industry, first working for a distributor/broker. She then moved on to work as the Western region marketing manager for Schieffelin & Somerset who represented luxury brands such as Moet & Chandon, Tanqueray, Johnnie Walker, and Hennessey. Since retiring from the wine & spirits industry in 2012, Kate has been a California Licensed Fiduciary. She serves in the capacity as trustee and estate administrator. She and her husband Eric have a recent graduate (daughter) from George Washington University and a sophomore son at Northwestern. In her free time, she loves to travel, cook for friends and family, and hike the trails in Marin.

Sarita Patel story has always been about weaving people together with purpose and heart. Her decades of working alongside visionaries as a steward of their livesgives her a unique perspective on building teams of people with passion, loyalty and abundance.  She zeroes in on each individual’s soul purpose to create teams that thrive in collaboration vs. competition.  Her ability to touch people at a heart level while running complex companies and personalities has given her the insight only a few have ever experienced.  This insight is being shared to shape the quality of individuals to inspire and teach with abundance so the rest of their teams, families, and communities can learn from them.  The very essence of leadership, going out ahead to show the way, derives from more than usual openness to inspiration, to insight.

Sarita is a first-generation Indian born from parents who immigrated to US in the early 60’s.  Her mother’s lack of access to education became the catalyst to educate and nurture her daughters so they had freedom to make choices for themselves. Growing up in a village environment taught her early on that no one person thrives unless everyone in the village thrives. Sarita holds a Journalism degree from Ernie Pyle School of Journalism where Courses on Ethics in Media played a huge role in her investigative nature to how culture shapes individuals today.  She has worked with Founders, executives and support staff from McDonalds, Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine, Spiegel Catalogues, Gap, Esprit de Corp, Lucasfilm Ltd, Apple and now consults with people all over the globe to build short- and long-term vision plans which are custom to each individual or group. She is a breast cancer survivor and works with families balancing life issues such as Technology & Relationships, Elder Care, Mental Illness and Philanthropy.  Sarita currently sits on the advisory boards for Ronati, Zen Moose CapitalEvergrain  and Heroic Artists and has helped produce movies geared towards humanitarian efforts such as SOLD and Spinning Gold.

She is raising her 18-year-old son in Marin county.

Suzanne Reich, is a museum educator with a background in elementary education.  Since 2016, she has worked as a Museum Educator at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, touring K-12 students, students with special needs and adult groups, and writing exhibit-related curriculum.  Suzanne also volunteers as a School Guide at SFMOMA, touring 3-12 graders.  Until 2015, Suzanne taught at Old Mill School in Mill Valley as a reading specialist, working with K-3 students.  Suzanne became an educator after a dozen years in corporate finance with Citigroup in Warsaw and London, where she also served as a literacy volunteer.  Suzanne holds a BA in Anthropology from Harvard College and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of London. She lives with her two teens in Mill Valley.

Angela Rafner, is an art history graduate of UC Berkeley. She has lived in Kent Woodlands with her husband Josh and their three children for more than ten years.  She served on the Kentfield School Foundation Board and has raised funds for nonprofits such as Marin Primary, the Marin Rowing Community, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, She is an active runner who has participated in triathlons and the Dipsea race.

Sheila Tuffanelliis a fine artist who specializes in tar paper sculptures. She was an art major at Stanford University and continued her education at the Academy of Art in San Francisco and the College of Marin. In her sculpture she portrays the strength and dignity of women, the loving, nurturing yet fiercely protective nature of women. These attributes have been passed down to her daughters and 11 grandchildren. She has long championed and spearheaded “Rising Stars” the annual Marin County high school art show.

Join our Board

If you are interested in joining the Youth in Arts Board of Directors, please contact us here.

Board Presidents

2015-current       Naomi Tamura

2009-15       Peter Rodgers

2005-09       Mimi Murphy

2002-05       Nancy Rehkopf

1999-2002   Carol Slocum

1997-99        Ingrid Purcell

1996-97        Mimi Murphy

1994-95        Kimberly Violich & Mimi Murphy

1992-94        Sue Carlomagno

1991-92        Susan Crozier

1989-91        Neva Ellis

1988-89       Diane Anderson

1986-88       Lynn Callender

1985-86       Vera Olmsted

1984-85       Therese Redinger

1982-84       Sue Melodia

1980-82       Camille Noble

1979-80       Jean Knox

1977-79       Therese Redinger

1975-77       Nancy Bell

1970-75       Joanne Dunn