Val Richman | firstname.lastname@example.org | Executive Director
Val Richman has been a Petaluma resident for 27 years and is an experienced nonprofit director. Before joining the Petaluma Arts Center, she served as executive director for Mentor Me Petaluma. Richman also was education and marketing director at Cinnabar Theater and has volunteered for many organizations and causes in Petaluma and Sonoma County. She was a founding member of Le Cercle Français de Petaluma and El Grupo Español de Petaluma. As DJVal, she produces Twist & Shout Funky Dance Jam, Lunch Beat Petaluma, and keeps the dance floors full at events and parties. Richman served on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Wine Country Chapter and is a volunteer with ARTery at Burning Man. She was a longtime Girl Scout Leader, a tutor and PTA President, among many school-related volunteer positions.
Hilary Blyth brings 30 years of experience to the Petaluma Arts Center. A New York University graduate with a degree in Marketing and Business, coupled with project team management and business ownership, provides the ability to manage the day-to-day operations and volunteer coordination for the Arts Center. A native of Edinburgh, Scotland she has lived in New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Sydney, Australia. Petaluma has become a forever home after 14 years here where she has raised her two sons. Her passion for art and Petaluma are crucial to the ongoing operations and community outreach related to the Petaluma Arts Center.
Board of Directors
Eric J. Adams is an award-winning film producer, screenwriter, journalist and author. He wrote the script and served on the producing team for the feature film “Supremacy” (2015), starring Danny Glover and Joe Anderson. He co-wrote and produced “Archie’s Final Project” (aka My Suicide) (2010), winner of 21 major international film festival awards including the Crystal Bear in Berlin. He wrote and directed “To Save A Child,” a documentary on suicide prevention, as well as a number of other documentary and short films. Eric is also the author of six books, including the suspense/thrillers Birdland and Plot Twist. As a journalist, Eric has written for dozens of national and regional periodicals, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Wired, and Salon. A 27-year resident of Sonoma County, Eric previously served for five years on the board of Petaluma Community Access television and was a court appointed commissioner on the Sonoma County Juvenile Justice and Prevention Commission. A life-long lover of the arts, Eric hopes to help PAC create a broad range of visual, multimedia, interactive, and performance programs and events that reflect the eclectic nature of Petaluma.
Garth Bixler | Born and raised in Southern California, Garth moved to Petaluma in 1976. His interest in the arts has been life-long and he has earned both a BA and MA in Fine Arts from San Francisco State University. For many years he worked as a free-lance artist creating faux finishes in acrylic glazes for residential and commercial settings in the Bay Area. These days he is semi-retired and can be found managing the historic commercial building he has restored here in the center of our town. Garth and his husband Steven Barclay live in Petaluma with their two quirky wirehaired dachshunds named Bunny and Bruno. He loves hiking and gardening. His favorite sport is downhill skiing which he especially enjoys with his daughter and grandson. His biggest passion (perhaps obsession) is reading.
Tyler Chartier | Curious. Obsessive. Passionate. Commercial photographer by day + father by night, Tyler is also co-founder of a local custom furniture and cabinetry studio, and sits on the boards of two Petaluma non-profits. Tyler specializes in architectural photography where his passion for marketing and brand identity, combined with his experience in the built environment, gives him a unique toolbox to deliver images that produce results for his clients. “If I hear ‘What a fantastic photo!’ in a way I’ve failed. My perceived role should be subtle, if not invisible. When I hear ‘That’s an amazing space!’ or ‘I would love to talk to her!’ then I’ve told the story.” As an owner of Studio Woodworks, Tyler leans on a decade of experience working as an independent furniture maker to help clients navigate the aesthetic and logistical questions of how to bring their ideas into the world. While no longer making much sawdust for work, he can still be found building things on the weekend with his wife and two boys -most recently a 17′ lap strake dory.
Tyler invests substantial time and energy in his community as a board member of the Petaluma Arts Center and Rebuilding Together Petaluma. “As parents we have a remarkable power to shape the perception of ‘normal’ in our children simply by living intentionally. Taking a leadership role in giving back to my community is something I want my boys to think is just what you do. “You’ll run into Tyler around town in Petaluma, often San Francisco and New York -but you’ll see his biggest smile if you cross paths with him outside in one of Sonoma County’s amazing parks or on the Tomales Bay.
Michael Frost | Michael has spent the better part of his childhood living in Germany, Japan and the outskirts of Washington, D.C., as his family followed his father, a civilian working for the U.S. government. After one year of college in Boston, Mike heeded the call from the West Coast and never looked back. He moved to Sausalito in 1972, attended New College of California and received a degree in Humanities. Unwilling to move indoors, he began a career in residential construction, making two forays to Fairbanks, Alaska and otherwise living and working in the Bay Area. He moved to Petaluma in 1989, buying a house and forming Scout Construction, specializing in residential construction.
His interests have included sailing on San Francisco Bay, bicycling, backpacking in the High Sierra and spending time outdoors in California for any reason whatsoever. He lives with Katherine Plank, artist and member of the PAC Exhibits Committee, in obsequence to their cat, Jupiter.
Mike would like to see PAC bring exhibits and educational opportunity to Petaluma from sources outside our normal courses of experience, to challenge and enhance an already vibrant Sonoma County. He anticipates PAC becoming an essential asset to the City of Petaluma and North Bay communities.
Michael Gorman | Michael began volunteering with the Arts Center in early 2010 by helping to manage the investment account. Mike is a Fee Only Financial Planner and a principal with Wiiken & Gorman LLC. He received his B.A. from Boston University and graduate certificate in personal financial planning, awarded with distinction, from the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining W&G, he founded and ran a successful business in San Francisco for sixteen years and was president of several small business and trade associations. He joined Wiiken & Gorman in March 1999. Mike enjoys traveling, spending time with family including grandchildren and is an avid golfer.
Carin Jacobs | began her role as Director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Sonoma State University in August of 2013. A specialist in adult education with extensive experience in arts administration and curriculum development, Carin most recently served as Director of the Center for the Arts, Religion and Education at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. At previous stages in her career, she served as Curator of Education and Public Programs at the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley and as Interim Manager of Adult Programs at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She holds a Masters Degree in Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University and a Bachelors Degree in French Literature from UC Santa Cruz. Carin has taught courses in both Museum Studies and Food Studies at the graduate level, and sits on the board of the Petaluma Arts Center.
Heather Mackin | Heather helps bring design thinking and a modern approach to marketing businesses in the North Bay with her firm, Mackin Creative. Heather is also a commercial interior designer with 20 years of experience in servicing corporate design clients with innovative branding concepts and workplace strategies. Heather is currently the President of PSMG-North Bay, a professional organization for marketers in the North Bay and has been active throughout Petaluma serving on the board of Rebuilding Together Petaluma as well as advising on the Youth Commission for the City of Petaluma. She is a graduate of the Leadership Petaluma Class of 2013 and was a recipient of the North Bay Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” award in 2012. In her free time (wait – what’s that?), Heather enjoys volunteering in her community, hanging out with framily (friends + family), junking for unique and creative finds, and exploring things for the first time all over again with her young daughter.
Michael Nistler | During his corporate career, Michael worked in technologies including satellite earth stations, telephone and computer network management and packet communications, manager of mini-computer maintenance, long-range strategic planning engineering, global marketing and sales, regulatory/legal/contract negotiations, Bell Labs software engineering manager and business modeling. In recent years, Mr. Nistler turned internet entrepreneur with startups in online video-based education services, as well as a video travelogue providing instruction on how to capture the best photos while touring California. Michael grew up in Redding and has lived in Petaluma the last 40 years. He has served on local Boards including President of the Petaluma Golf and Country Club and currently supports the Petaluma Rotary Club and the alumni for Leadership Petaluma.
David Powers | began photography in 1974 working as a photojournalist for the SF Bureaus of Time, Newsweek, and Business Week. He opened his San Francisco commercial studio in 1989. His photography projects centered on projects depicting real people and their stories, and involved domestic and foreign travel. He was recipient of a number of awards for his work on these projects. He served as the National Co-Vice President of the Advertising Photographers of America (APA) as well as vice president of the APA/SF Chapter. He was a member of the SF Academy of Art Advisory Board, and a Juror for the SF Academy of Art’s Year End Student Show.
In 2003, he joined his wife Beverly Schor as a partner in her start-up West County Gardener, which designed and manufactured high tech garden gloves for the independent garden center market. After selling the business in 2008, he moved to Petaluma in 2010. He joined the Petaluma Arts Center board in August 2014. Favorite activities include gardening, cooking, cycling and traveling, and exploring the new discoveries opened by the world of art.
Greg Reisinger | has been a resident of Petaluma for going on 20 years where he has been active in a number of community organizations including Petaluma Bounty, Friends of Shollenberger Park where he serves as Treasurer, the Steering and Executive Committees of the Petaluma Day Labor Initiative, a former member of the board of the Petaluma Art Association, and current Board Chair of Petaluma Tomorrow. He was a founding board member and later President of the California Olive Oil Council where he authored and successfully managed the adoption of a truth in labeling law for California olive oil. He lives on Howard Street with his wife Valerie and two cats and enjoys gardening, watercolor painting (many years of class with local artist Jean Fulton Logan), and practicing his violin. He is currently an analyst with the California Public Utilities Commission, previously was a partner in a California olive oil company where he managed the company’s award winning product design (as well as its 250 acre olive grove) has managed a political campaign and worked for much of his career as a management consultant. Greg earned a BA from Villanova University, an MA from Brown University and an MBA from the Darden School of the University of Virginia.