BOD and Staff
Board of Directors
Dan Wieden, Founder and Emeritus Board Member (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.”
Priscilla Bernard Wieden, Board Member (2019)
Priscilla Bernard Wieden felt the need for avid community service early in life. Since moving to Portland 41 years ago, Priscilla devoted her life to being of service in the healing arts, having founded and run Evergreen Clinic for 35 years, and in the theater arts, having served as Board Chair for Profile Theater. Devoting much of her heart and time to the children served by Caldera has been one of her top priorities since her first visit there in 2009. Immersing herself in the issues of social justice, housing for the less fortunate, the environment and hunger, including past Board service for Urban Gleaners, and current Board service with Caldera and Ecotrust, keep her active and awake with the world.
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 Vice-Chair (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.
Cristy Lanfri, Board Member (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 Treasurer (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.
René Mitchell, Board 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.
Michael Navarro, Board Member (2020)
Michael Navarro has been involved in education in Oregon since 1995. His experiences range from coordinating Step Up at Roosevelt HS, a tutoring and advocacy program, dean of students at Open Meadow High School, teaching at the high school and middle school level and Principal at Open School North. Michael has been both a cheerleader and partner for Caldera in his work in Portland. As a teacher/advocate he actively bridged the gap for Caldera arts in the 90s. During his tenure as a principal Michael partnered with Caldera, Open Signal, and other arts organizations to enhance programming at Open School North. He believes art education is an essential part of everyone’s education.
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.
Bryan Wieden, Board Member (2020)
An Oregon native and graduate of Embry-Riddle, Bryan worked as a professional pilot and flight instructor. Later, after pursuing investing in local start-ups, Bryan co-founded an Artificial Intelligence company headquartered in Portland. He works in leading implementation projects and IT consulting. He has always appreciated the importance of our connection to nature from his life spent in the PNW to travels into the Amazon Rain forests of Ecuador. Bryan was involved during the inception of Caldera and worked there in its early years, earning his camp name of Sandman. He and his wife Jessica have been long-time supporters of youth and community programs.
Karrelle Dixon, Interim Executive Director, Pronouns: He/Him/His
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).
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, HR & Operations 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.
Sarah Taruc, Staff Accountant (Portland), Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Sarah joins Caldera with 10 years of administrative experience in community based arts organizations. Sarah found her love of the arts through the LA underground scene, where she witnessed the potential of art to empower individuals and to bring together the different strands of the community. She has worked for the dA Center for the Arts, Make Music Pasadena, Pasadena Museum of California Art, and the Portland Japanese Garden. Sarah holds a B.A. in Economics from California State University, Fullerton.
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, Central Oregon Program and Camp Manager (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, High School Mentor and 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.
Catón Lyles, Camp Artistic Director (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 Obo Addy, lending his stylistic expertise across many genres. Along with Caldera, Catónhas worked with the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, Young Musicians and Artists Inc, and (Kúkátónón) now Sebe Kan Children’s African Dance Troupe.
Bryan Ortega, High School Mentor and Young Adult Advocate (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.
Javier Cruz Contreras, Programs Coordinator (Portland), Pronouns: He/Him/His
A Caldera Alumnus, Javier has been involved with Caldera for over 13 years. In addition to being a camper, he has also taken on roles in the summer kitchen and as an advocate. Javier recently graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in advertising and moved back to Portland. He enjoys re-discovering the city he grew up in and being close to family. Working as an advocate over the summer brought Javier back to life. The students’ energy, creativity, and individuality inspire him to do the best job possible in this position. As Programs Coordinator, Javier hopes to grow alongside the community.
Arts Center + Artists in Residence Program
Maesie Speer, Arts Center Programs Director (Central Oregon), Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Maesie Speer has been working at the intersections of education, the arts, and public health for fifteen years and is passionate about developing nurturing creative spaces. She grew up in the theatre community of Memphis, TN, and her journey as a performance-maker took her to Minnesota, Florida, Kentucky, and finally, Oregon. She first came to Caldera in the winter of 2009 as an artist in residence with her creative family, Hand2Mouth Theatre, and joined the staff in 2015. Prior to Caldera, she worked with the Oregon Community Foundation, Bogli Consulting, and the Oregon School-Based Health Alliance. Maesie is a Conversation Project facilitator for Oregon Humanities and board member of the Arts and Culture Alliance of Central Oregon.
Jason Whalen, Arts Center Maintenance Coordinator (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
Stephanie Prom, Development and Communications Director (Portland), Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Stephanie has dedicated her entire career toward the advancement of under-resourced communities through programs aimed to equalize access to education and art. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephanie grew up loving music, dance, and performance as much as she loved fighting for what was right, deep community connection, and justice. Since graduating from Lewis & Clark College with a B.A. in International Relations, Stephanie has worked with various non-profits creating and facilitating out-of-school programs, lived abroad teaching English and college prep, and shifted out of programming and into development with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Now, Stephanie is thrilled to be a part of an innovative advancement team at Caldera, focusing on community and accessibility to our mission. Stephanie loves to sing, dance, and spend time with her dog, partner, and friends.
Dayne Castillo, Development and Communications Manager (Portland), Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Dayne is passionate about education, arts and culture, nature, and working towards an equitable future – as such, she is overjoyed to support Caldera’s mission as a member of the Development and Communications team. Dayne enjoys spending time with her friends and family in the great outdoors, traveling, and making art. She proudly holds a B.A. in World Languages and Literature from Portland State University.
Madeleine Wilhite, Special Events & Partnerships Manager (Portland), Pronouns: She/Her/Hers A dedicated advocate for the arts and artists, Madeleine recently returned to Portland following 10 years in the Bay Area working with Headlands Center for the Arts and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Madeleine is interested in the overlap between art, environment, and social justice, and works to champion creative expression as an important agent for change. As Special Events and Partnerships Manager, Madeleine is dedicated to raising awareness and support for Caldera’s critical work and its community of youth, alumni, artists, volunteers, and supporters. Outside of work, she looks forward to reconnecting with all that Oregon has to offer – art, food, nature, and family and friends.
Staff can all be emailed individually at FirstName.LastName@CalderaArts.org.