BOD and Staff
Board of Directors
Dan Wieden, Founder (1996)
A longtime supporter of civic and charitable organizations, Dan has a major presence on the boards of the American Indian College Fund, the Oregon chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Ecotrust. Dan’s presence at the camp and his relationship with the kids earned him the nickname “Papa Bear.”
Cindy Campbell, Board Member (2000)
Over the past 25 years, Cindy has helped shape the culture of the Portland area as director of giving for the Campbell Foundation, and by serving on the boards of Youth Resources, the Children’s Course, and Friends of the Children—Portland.
David Chen, Board Member (2010)
Driven by a commitment to financial and personal sustainability, David formed the Equilibrium Capital Group and Patton Valley Vineyards to promote the development of sustainable practices. This focus helps keep the development of Caldera’s land and programs environmentally efficient.
Karrelle Dixon, Board Member (2013)
Originally from the UK, Karrelle began his Wieden+Kennedy career at W+K London. Having spent five years as the Global Account Director for Nike at W+K Portland, working across the Nike brand (Run London, Olympics (Find Your Greatness), World Cup (Risk Everything), LeBron (Rise), Kobe (Black Mamba), Better World, and others, He is now based back in W+K London as the Director for Growth Markets. His role focuses on helping the key W+K offices in Asia fulfil their creative and global client partnership potential. He is also a former professional rugby player and gained his Oxford Blue, while studying for his second master’s in psychology (the first being from Brunel University).
Myrlie Evers-Williams, Emeritus Board Member (2009)
Since the ’70s, Myrlie has been a tireless activist for human rights. She wrote the book on gender politics at ARCO, ran two congressional campaigns and became the first African-American woman appointed as chairman of the NAACP. Through her work at the Medgar Evers Institute and at Caldera, she’s spread ideals of equality to new generations.
Joy Fowler, Board Member (2017)
Joy Fowler is the VP and Diversity Program Manager for Umpqua Bank. Both her banking career and undergraduate studies began in her home town of New York City. Upon graduation, Joy moved to Portland where she continued her banking career and completed a Masters of Business Administration at Portland State University with a focus in Human Resources. Joy is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and volunteers with Portland Workforce Alliance, Portland Youth Builders and the Nativity School in Portland. She also serves on the Portland Leadership Council of the United Negro College Fund. In her personal time, she is dedicated to spending time with her 3 grandsons, traveling, and serving as President and co-founder of A MIRacle Foundation, Inc., a foundation that supports children with special needs along with the families/caregivers and organizations that care for them.
Scott Howard, Board Member (2017)
Scott Howard is the co-founder of Kivel & Howard LLP, a Portland-based law firm. He works primarily in the areas of business planning and transactions, succession planning, estate planning, and charitable planning. Scott’s community involvement includes supporting Oregon non-profit organizations as an advisor and board member; he has supported many non-profits. Scott counts among his most meaningful successes the establishment of Park Academy, a school serving dyslexic children and as Chair of the directors of Concordia University.
John Jay, Lifetime Director (1996)
As President of Global Creative at Fast Retailing, John’s creative and cultural influence has been recognized by magazines such as I.D. and American Photographer. A fascination with how youth culture can change and shape business drives John’s commitment to Caldera.
Keesha Jean-Baptiste, Board Member (2017)
Keesha Jean-Baptiste is currently the Senior Vice-President of the Talent Engagement and Inclusion practice at ad agency trade association, the 4A’s. After more than six years at Wieden+Kennedy in Portland, where she led recruiting efforts and served as head of human resources, this position took Keesha and her family back to New York, where she started her agency career nearly 20 years ago. Keesha holds an M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communications from Emerson College and a B.S. in Mass Communication, Corporate and Electronic Media Production from James Madison University.
Cristy Lanfri, Past Board Co-Chair (2007)
After 15 years in Silicon Valley, Cristy brings her technology-driven mentorship to Oregon, working with arts organizations such as the High Desert Museum, Central Oregon for Oregon Community Foundation, and Art in Public Places.
Wes Lawrence, Board member (2007)
Wes currently serves as Managing Partner of Evensol, LLC, a company that produces environmentally friendly renewable energy. His previous work includes being the Regional President for Key Bank for six Western states. He has served on the board for many organizations, including the Portland Art Museum and Portland Business Alliance. In addition to his interest in art and finance, Wes has a huge passion for the development of our kids.
Dave Luhr, Board Member (2018)
Dave Luhr is president of Wieden+Kennedy’s global network. He started his career in advertising in 1977 at DFS (now Saatchi & Saatchi), then moved to TBWA\Chiat\Day, where he supervised the Porsche, Nike, and Yamaha accounts. During his tenure at W+K, Dave touched nearly every piece of business, from Nike to Microsoft, Miller Brewing to Coca-Cola. In 2006, he was appointed chief operating officer and focused on growing W+K into what is today’s largest global independent advertising agency. Dave serves as a partner and trustee of W+K and works closely with Dan Wieden to ensure the agency retains its biggest creative asset: independence.
Barbara McDougall, Board Member (2011)
Barbara is a Portland native and PSU alumna, class of 1975. She has served on the PSU Foundation, as a past president of Oregon Women’s Golf Association, and currently volunteers with Pathfinders in Rancho Mirage, CA to benefit Boys and Girls Club of Palm Springs. Her volunteer work has been with the schools her children attended and with Tualatin Country Club, raising money for American Cancer Society’s Camp UKANDU. Prior to having children, Barbara worked in software development for Timberline Software. She has been married for 36 years to Duane, and they have 3 grown children.
Rene Mitchell, Chair (2007)
René Mitchell is a creative convener and arts advocate with over two decades experience cultivating creative thinking and challenging perception. Following eighteen years co-leading Bend-based branding agency, tbd, in 2016 René took on the role of the Director of Marketing for former-client Humm Kombucha while continuing to promote arts, culture, and social change through her creative studio, René Mitchell Creative; as a Board of Director for Caldera, Art in Public Places, and ScaleHouse; and as the Director of the Bend Design Conference. René finds her inspiration from her two young daughters and their creative pursuits. She loves film festivals, far flung destinations, and spaghetti.
Mary Normand, Board Secretary (1996)
Mary is a dedicated Portlander. She was born here, works at Wieden+Kennedy as an Executive Assistant, and she’s been volunteering for the Portland-area SMART program for more than a decade.
Dennis Wilde, Board Member (2004)
One of our leading supporters of sustainable design, Dennis helped found the City of Portland’s Office of Sustainable Development, and has been involved with the Gerding/Edlen Development for more than a decade.
Bob Woodell, Board Member (2013)
During the 18 years that Bob worked at Nike, he held a variety of positions, including: Vice President; President; and member of the Board of Directors. He is also one of three founding partners of Rogue Ales and served as the Executive Director of the Port of Portland from 1987-1991.
Brian Detman, Executive Director (Portland), Pronouns: He/Him/His
Brian joins Caldera with more than two decades of professional, civic, and volunteer experience working in the nonprofit, business, and public sectors both locally and nationally. His unique blend of youth development, nonprofit strategy and leadership, as well as passion for young people, nature, and the arts can be seen from his previous work experience at Multnomah County, Enhabit, Metropolitan Group, and the I Have A Dream Foundation-Oregon. Brian’s commitment to equity and empowerment is reflected throughout his career, and aligns squarely with Caldera’s values and goal of deepening its innovative programs for underserved communities.
Tiffany Vergara, Finance & Operations Director (Portland), Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Hailing from California, Tiffany was fortunate enough to have been raised in a culturally diverse and highly artistic household and is thrilled to join Caldera’s work in this area. She is incredibly passionate about doing good well, volunteers often, and aims to use her extensive background in nonprofit finance, accounting, human capital, and process management to help Caldera move forward in its mission. She holds a B.S. in Accounting from San Francisco State and an M.A. in Social Entrepreneurship & Change from Pepperdine University. She loves to learn, bake, dance, and travel and can usually be found singing at her desk.
Olivia Mitchell, Executive Assistant & Office Manager (Portland), Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Olivia has benefited from incredible arts education her whole life. She credits her interest in poetry, visual culture, and social justice to these transformative experiences. After graduating from Whitman College with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Visual Culture Studies, Olivia was an intern at Wordstock and Hawthorne Books. Most recently, she worked as the Operations Coordinator for a local holistic nutrition company.
Karena Salmond, Youth Program Director (Portland), Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Karena brings over a decade of arts education experience to Caldera, having worked with young people in out-of-school programs in the Midwest and the Bay Area. Prior to joining Caldera, she served as Program Director with San Francisco-based Performing Arts Workshop. Karena hails from Kalamazoo, Michigan, and is proud to call Portland home after stints in Chicago and San Francisco. When not working, she can be found in neighborhood parks with her twins or at the occasional dance class. Karena believes in the power of art to create social change and Caldera’s strength in helping students develop their voice.
Kevin Ball, Middle School Mentor (Central Oregon), Pronouns: He/Him/His
Kevin takes the step into the Central Oregon Middle School Youth Mentor position after almost ten years of working with Caldera (most recently as our Portland Middle School Mentor) and our youth seasonally at camp. Along with those experiences, Kevin has also spent time working with Native American groups at University of Oregon where he studied Sociology and Ethnic Studies.
Meg Ball, Young Adult Advocate (Central Oregon), Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
After working in research at Oregon Social Learning Center and studying psychology, Meg began working with Caldera seven years ago as a Youth Advocate at camp. Meg exhibited extreme skill, compassion, and patience in her advocate role, which made her perfectly suited for the Elementary School Mentor at Peninsula K-8, where she is worked with 3rd–5th graders alongside teaching artist, Julie Keefe, funded through the Oregon Community Foundation’s Studios to School Initiative. Transitioning into the Young Adult Advocate role, Meg has now had the opportunity to work with our youth through all stages (3rd graders to young adults) of our youth programming. Meg understands that success looks differently to different people and loves supporting our youth into young adulthood with this in mind.
Aasha Benton, Middle School Mentor (Portland), Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Born and raised in Portland, Aasha has been involved with Caldera for 10 years. Starting as a camper, she discovered her love of painting. After finishing high school, she returned as a Junior Advocate and while studying Psychology at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, she worked as a Youth Advocate. After graduating in 2012, Aasha worked for Portland Public Schools and in 2016, she brought her painting skills back to Caldera and served as a teaching artist at Weekend Intensives. Aasha values creating safe environments for students to share, grow, learn, and create. Being the Portland Middle School Mentor will allow her to use her talents in creativity and passion for serving the youth in the community.
Jessica Lovejoy, High School Mentor & Arts Curriculum Coordinator (Central Oregon), Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Born in Arizona and raised in Washington and Oregon, Jessica brings over 12 years of experience working with youth as a classroom teacher, in foreign travel, and through the wilderness. She is a certified teacher and was previously the camp manager at Power of Hope in Washington. Additionally, she is a master gardener and a trained yoga teacher. Jessica believes that we are all artists and that everyone is born with creativity writhing in our veins.
Catón Lyles, Camp Manager (Seasonal), Pronouns: He/Him/His
Catón has been with Caldera since its founding as one of our original teaching artists and is now our Camp Manager. A passionate teacher, percussionist, and studio musician who believes in the power of creativity, Catón has worked alongside many artists, including The Supremes, The Gary Small Band, and Chris Parker, lending his stylistic expertise across many genres. Along with Caldera, Catón has worked with the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, Young Musicians and Artists Inc, and Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe.
Bryan Ortega, High School Mentor (Portland), Pronouns: He/Him/His or They/Them/Their
Bryan joins Caldera with extensive experience mentoring and working with Latinx families and communities. He has worked at Providence, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and De La Salle North Catholic High School. Additionally, Bryan has an degree in anthropology from Portland State University and was a part of M.E.Ch.A. Bryan was born in Mexico, grew up in Wisconsin, and has called Oregon home for the past 16 years. He feels passionately about equity and empowerment through education, the discovery of self, and creativity.
Arts Center + Artists in Residence Program
Maesie Speer, Arts Center Programs Director (Central Oregon), Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Maesie Speer has been working at the intersections of education, the arts, and public health for over ten years. Prior to Caldera, she worked at the Oregon Community Foundation where she administered the foundation’s arts and culture initiatives and scholarship program. A life-long performance-maker, Maesie is a past company member with Hand2Mouth Theatre and has co-created many productions with the company, touring regionally and nationally. Other passions include botany, plant-based medicine, and cooking. Maesie holds a BA from Carleton College.
Jason Whalen, Arts Center Maintenance Associate (Central Oregon), Pronouns: He/Him/His Jason’s story with Blue Lake began as a child. He started camping at Blue Lake in the early 90’s and has had a special connection to the lake for almost 30 years. Jason co-founded Armature, a creative co-working art space in Bend with photographer Tambi Lane in 2013 and also built custom furniture as a welder and woodworker. He has a deep seeded interest in education and preservation of the wilderness in Oregon.
Development & Communications
Persis Singh, Director of Advancement (Portland), Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Persis joins Caldera with extensive experience leading programming, fundraising, and communications initiatives at cultural organizations in New York City and Los Angeles. She previously served as Program Director for VIA Art Fund, Deputy Director at LAXART, and Program & Marketing Director for Artis. As a passionate arts advocate, Persis believes that art is a powerful tool for individual empowerment and catalyst for social change. She holds a B.A. from NYU in Economics and Spanish Literature, and an M.A. in Art History from the University College London. Persis is an avid yoga practitioner and certified yoga instructor.
Staff can all be emailed individually at FirstName.LastName@CalderaArts.org.