Drake Cunningham, President | Drake has been a resident of Petaluma since 2005, when he and his wife, Ann Ingraham, found the city by accident while living in SF and searching for affordable housing. Originally from Baltimore, Drake has a BA in Sculpture and an MA in Writing and Design. His artistic awakening was in poetry, first as a writer then as a publisher, when he co-edited The Pearl, at the time Baltimore’s oldest literary journal.After years of operating his own construction company, Drake is currently the General Superintendent for a residential contractor in Sausalito. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Rebuilding Together Petaluma, a non-profit that utilizes volunteers to repair and renovate housing for the elderly, veterans, and those in need.When not working or volunteering, Drake can often be found hiking the redwoods, biking around town with his son, or pouring coffee over his paintings at Peet’s on the boulevard.
Llisa Demetrios, Vice President | Llisa began her archiving career at the Mies van der Rohe Archive at MoMA in New York. As a granddaughter of the Eameses, she continues her services as a board member of the Eames Foundation and archivist and Registrar of The Eames Collection. She has recently prepared exhibits in London, Lisbon, Sacramento, Pasadena, and Singapore, and has led “Powers of 10” workshops for all age groups. A third-generation sculptor, she has been practicing her art for over twenty years. She graduated with a BA in History from Yale University. She is married with two children.
Travis White, Treasurer | Travis has been a resident of Petaluma for more than 20 years. He has been humbly married to his beautiful bride since 2002 and is a proud father of three children. Two of those children are adults and the third is keeping him young at home while she attends middle school. Also keeping him young is the family English bulldog, Daisy Mae.Travis’s father was in the military and Travis lived in exotic places growing up such as Guam and less exotic places like Wisconsin and Texas. After graduating high school, Travis joined the US Army himself and was stationed in both Colorado and Alaska. After leaving the Army in 1992, he moved directly into the field of Finance. He has held many roles in the finance field working primarily for banks but considers his most rewarding work to be his current role as an independent Financial Advisor / Wealth Manager. Travis currently works with Oculus Financial in Petaluma where he happily helps select clients across the country define and realize their financial goals and dreams.Travis is not an artist but recognizes the valuable role the Petaluma Arts Center plays within the community from both a cultural and educational perspective.
Pat Martin, Secretary | Pat Martin is a State Certified Massage Therapist, an Eden Energy Medicine practitioner and Yoga teacher, and a devoted art lover. The arts have always been part of her life—both as an avid participant and an appreciative observer and collector. She believes that all art forms have the power to enrich our lives, open our hearts, and benefit our communities. When she and her late husband John moved to Petaluma in 1996, they both engaged in Sonoma County’s rich artistic environment, taking classes and collecting art.
From early on in her career, Pat has always made time to volunteer in her community: initially she was active in PTA, then later she became president of Rotary Club of Central Marin. She has served on various executive boards and foundations in both Sonoma and Marin counties, and currently volunteers her time teaching Yoga at the Petaluma Village Network. As a member of the board at PAC, she sees her Board service as a fine opportunity to support local artists in new and different ways.
Cinda Gilliland | Cinda is a Marin County native who moved to Petaluma in 2003, after meeting and marrying her husband, Larry Reed. Cinda is a landscape architect who, while a principal at SWA Group in Sausalito, worked on projects throughout California as well as internationally. She has a lifelong passion for art and remembers bemoaning the short shrift art was given in grammar school. She went on to receive an undergraduate degree in drawing and painting before moving to NYC to pursue art. Life intervened, providing a daughter and a graduate degree in landscape architecture. She and her husband currently have a landscape architectural practice in Petaluma and the reduced commute has afforded Cinda time to devote to PAC. She is excited by the potentials that PAC offers to the community and the chance to engage with artists and other creative professionals to build a more resilient community and to optimistically pursue goals of equality, acceptance, and understanding.
Leslie Ihrig and her husband, Craig, have lived in Petaluma since 1988 where they raised two sons. Her art education began in fashion illustration in NYC. She received a BA in Art from San Jose State University. She worked in display in her early years and enjoyed freelance work in decorative painting. Leslie taught elementary school for 24 years in Petaluma (with a teaching credential from Dominican University). Recently retired, she is re-engaging in own art work with portraits, still life, and other painted pieces.
Leslie is interested in bringing her background as an artist and educator to the PAC. She has served on many committees as an educator. Her background is a good fit for continuing to create connections and communication with the local school districts. As a local artist, she wants to support and foster art creation and appreciation within our community.
Leslie has participated in the following recent events: Art Apart, Virtual Art in the Park, SFWA exhibit (September), Black Lives Matter Mural (Petaluma Library), Studio Gallery (SF) Delicious exhibit (2016 and 2018). Her artwork is inspired by influential people and events.
Leslie also loves hiking with her husband and dogs, Millie and Maya, doing yoga, reading, and watching great movies.
Daniel Backman | Daniel is Architect and Artist living in Petaluma. He is joining the Petaluma Arts Center board with an eye towards creating greater opportunity for making, experiencing and discussing art in Petaluma.Daniel’s passion for art is rooted in his experience as a youth artist at Artists for Humanity, an extraordinary non-profit art studio that has employed thousands of Boston’s young people as professional artists and designers over the past 30 years. The values of entrepreneurship, mentorship and innovation instilled in him at AFH remain at the core of everything he does. Daniel’s interest in the urban environment that began as a young artist led him to the study of architecture. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Art History from the University of Pennsylvania before relocating to the Bay Area to pursue the Master of Architecture degree at UC Berkeley.In over a decade of professional practice as an Architect, Daniel has designed a wide variety of project types and sizes, ranging from classrooms to shopping centers, offices, restaurants and multi-family housing. In his current leadership role at Santa Rosa’s TLCD Architecture, Daniel is heading up the design and construction of several significant arts education facilities at Community Colleges across the Bay Area. This includes the modernization and expansion of Santa Rosa Junior College’s Burbank Auditorium and a new Visual and Performing Arts Complex at Saratoga’s West Valley College. These programmatically rich and technologically complex projects have given Daniel the opportunity to work closely with art educators to understand and implement their unique creative visions and aspirations. Daniel has dedicated his career to making spaces that support creative growth and public engagement.Outside of the office, Daniel is an accomplished visual artist who has exhibited his paintings and collages at numerous galleries in Boston, Oakland and Santa Rosa. Daniel has lived in Petaluma with his wife Madeline for over five years. Together, they restored a 120-year-old Victorian home which won a Heritage Homes Preservation Award in 2015. They have two young children and are eager to expose them to the amazing culture and creativity that Petaluma has to offer.
Melissa Masters joined the board in 2020. Originally from the East coast where she raised her son and daughter and taught art in a public high school for twelve years, she moved to California in 2001. “Lissa” has a masters degree in art education and is a certified art therapist. She holds an advanced degree in holistic counseling and several certificates in expressive arts facilitation. Her personal work as an artist has in the past focused on landscape painting, yet now she enjoys abstract painting, singing/songwriting, and writing…amongst other artistic pursuits. She is passionate about community building and engaging the creative spirit of others. She is the author of A Professional’s Guide to Promoting Self-Discovery in Youth-A Creative- Based Curriculum, Charles Thomas Pub. 2017; www.lissamasters.com .