Kevin Hoffberg, Executive Director

Kevin Hoffberg

Executive Director

Kevin is a former member of the VCA Board of Trustees and Executive Committee.  He joined the staff in March of 2018 as Director of Operations and became Executive Director effective June 1, 2018.  Kevin and his wife moved to Vashon in 2012 to live on and work a small historic farm. Over the past 35 years, Kevin has been an executive, consultant, and entrepreneur, working in companies and industries from coffee, to technology, to banking and asset management. He and his artist wife are parents of a professional dancer and a conservatory trained jazz musician and have been involved in the arts for all their lives.

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Kaycie Alanis, VAIS Program Manager

Kaycie Alanis

VAIS Program Manager

Kaycie earned a BA in Theatre Education from Emerson College in Boston, and has worked as an actress and director with companies such as Centastage in Boston, and Second City and Chicago Dramatists in Chicago. Most recently, she worked with Two Pence Theatre in Chicago as Interim Director of Education before moving west with her family to Vashon. She has worked as a photographer, and practices another artistic love—singing—with Vashon Island Chorale.

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Crissy Baker, Registrar

Crissy Baker


Crissy started participating in VCA activities in the Fall Term of 2012 by first volunteering in the Nutcracker production doing stagehand help with props while her children attended the dance program. She had taken time off from work to be a stay at home mom before then, but with both children in full time school, it was time to go back to work. Having a degree in HR from Central Washington University, she has worked at both corporate Starbucks and Microsoft before having children. But now being located on Vashon and having her children so involved in the activities at VCA, she considered taking a different route when the opportunity for the Registrar position came available in Spring of 2013. It was the perfect fit being local and involved in the Arts with an organization she’d grown to love. She has always had a passion for dance and is also the Tap Instructor for VCA Center for Dance and continues to assist in the VCA Center for Dance productions.

Email Crissy:

Stephanie Johnson Blomgren, Arts Education Assistant

Stephanie Johnson Blomgren

Arts Education Assistant

Stephanie joined the VCA staff in 2016 as a helper in the Late Start Arts program, gradually joining the broader Arts Education department. As Arts Ed Assistant, Stephanie may be found fielding class registration requests, fixing ballet hair buns, or covered in paint after a particularly successful art class. She is mom to two dancer-artist dynamo kids.

Email Stephanie:

Eileen Burke, Database Manager

Eileen Burke

Database Manager

Bio coming soon….

Email Eileen:

Wendy Finkleman, Director of Arts Education

Wendy Finkleman

Director of Arts Education

Wendy joined VCA in 2010, after working in the field of education for over 15 years. Wendy worked in student services for University of Cincinnati, Western Washington University and the Art Institute of Seattle and spent a decade at Antioch University Seattle as an academic advisor and part-time adjunct faculty. In addition to being an accomplished photographer and running a portrait photography business, Wendy likes to explore different art mediums; her current favorites are felting, mosaic and encaustics.

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Devin Grimm, Koch Gallery Manager

Devin Grimm

Koch Gallery Manager

A painter, visual and freelance artist, Devin earned his BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012 and his  MFA in Arts Leadership from Seattle University. He spent one summer studying painting and printmaking at the Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Arts in Brittany, France, and a semester providing art training to at-risk youth in Nicaragua. He is proud to be a part of the Vashon Center for the Arts and the thriving Vashon artistic community.

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Angela Gist, Artistic Director

Angela Gist

Artistic Director

Angela joined VCA in fall 2009, as Program Manager of Vashon Artists in Schools. In 2010, she was promoted to Deputy Director and managed all finance and administrative operations during VAA/VCA’s capital campaign to build the Kay White Hall. She holds an M.A. in Theatre and an Executive Masters in Non Profit Leadership from Seattle University. Angela has worked in performing arts for 30 years and previously served three years as Managing Director for Freehold Theatre in Seattle. Angela moved to Vashon in 2006, and loves that this uniquely artistic community is home for her and her son. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Vashon Chamber of Commerce.

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Maria Glanz, House Manager and Volunteer Coordinator

House Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, Maria Glanz, is an award-winning actor, solo performer, writer, teacher, and producer.  Maria is a member of UMO Ensemble and a new member of the Civic Rep Ensemble.  She has extensive experience in marketing and all areas of non-profit management and has worked for a number of non-profits in the region.

Michael Hayes, Technical Director

Michael is a graduate of Tisch School of the Arts and brings over 25 years of production experience to VCA.  Locally, Michael previously served as Technical Director for the Capitol Hill Arts Center and Production Manager/Technical Director for Hugo House.

He has extensive experience in lighting design, audio engineering and as electrics lead for companies such as Seattle Children’s Theatre, Village Theater, and NY Harlem Productions.  In addition he has applied his talents to large festivals and corporate events when working with Live Sound and Stage and Bold Hat Productions.  Ask him about his massive project helping to build out the Old Rainier Brewery!  Michael is a most welcomed addition to the Vashon Community!

Stephanie Jewett, Assistant House Manager

Stephanie Jewett

Assistant House Manager

Bio coming soon…

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Vadne White, Director of Vashon Center for Dance

Vadne White

Director of Vashon Center for Dance

Vadne fell in love with Vashon’s artistic community, and moved to the island in 2013.  She joined VCA in the Fall of 2016, and formally became Director of Dance in 2017.  Prior to joining VCA, she worked as a Dance Teacher and Associate Director for 10 years after her first career as a Buyer for Macy’s and  Project Manager for Starbucks.  She is a certified Fitness Instructor, and has developed curriculum for ballet schools and fitness organizations.   Currently Vadne is working toward her MFA in Dance Education with the Royal Academy of Dance, while continuing to train in Latin and Ballroom dance.  Her unique mix of education and experience support the organization as she often hops from ballet class to business meeting.  Her greatest joy is providing an avenue for her students to experience dance as an art form and supporting their life goals.

Email Vadne:

Micole McCarthy, Project Manager

Micole McCarthy

Project Manager

Micole grew up in Yosemite National Park, California, and dabbled in a variety of performing and visual arts. She has trained in 8 different styles of dance, with an emphasis in Hip Hop. At age 14 she worked for Ansel Adams’ family at their gallery in the Park, moving to Washington at age 18 to pursue higher education. She’s close to finishing her Bachelor’s degree in Sociocultural Anthropology, with a double minor in American Indian Studies and English.

Before moving to Vashon, she lived in Wiesbaden, Germany for two years, exploring Europe and cultivating a travel blog – using social media and other digital resources to expand her readership and enhance her audience’s experience. She’s worked as an executive for Macy’s, promoting their upcoming events and fundraisers. Since starting work at VCA in early 2017, she has held multiple positions across different departments – because she continuously wanted to be more involved in the organization! She now holds the position of Project Manager, a job which she thoroughly enjoys as it allows her to work with all of the departments and incredible people that work at VCA.

Email Micole:

Lara McKnight, Finance Manager

Lara McKnight

Finance Manager

Lara moved to Vashon at age 10. As a teenager, she developed two loves: theatre and math. She moved off-Island after graduating from VHS in 1994, and pursued theatre between college and ‘regular’ jobs. In 1999, she unexpectedly found herself working as a bookkeeper for a busy Seattle construction company, a job she fell in love with and dedicated 12 years to. She returned to Vashon in 2007, and in 2011, finally found a way to combine her original two loves, bookkeeping for VCA!

Email Lara:

Benjamin McQuillin, Production Assistant

Benjamin McQuillin

Production Assistant

Benjamin McQuillin has worked at the intersections of sound art, music, and performance for more than twenty-five years. Originally from deep Arizona, Ben toured with the fire performance group Flam Chen before settling in the Pacific Northwest. His favorite instrument to play is the Turkish cümbüş, and he has played guitar, samplers, and drums on albums with locally and internationally acclaimed groups. Ben is honored to bring his appreciation and knowledge of all things sound to his audio technician work at the Katherine L White Hall in the Vashon Center for the Arts. 

Email Ben:

Ele McNamara-Blad, Assistant House Manager

Eleanor McNamara-Blad

Assistant House Manager

Eleanor grew up in the bush in Australia and studied art history and philosophy at Melbourne University before  moving to the States to ski, sail, paint and travel. In between she raised children, lived at length aboard a sailboat and worked in the airline industry.  Moved to Vashon in ’96 and joined VCA in 2016. She enjoys interacting with patrons and artists and plans to be around for a while.

Email Eleanor:

Tara Morgan, Patron Services Manager

Tara Morgan, Patron Services Manager

Tara splits her professional interests between arts and non-profit administration and the sport of rowing.  She holds a degree in Arts Management from Ithaca College (NY) and has worked in several capacities including development, marketing and production for PacNW organizations like Pilchuck Glass School and  Seattle International Film Festival.  She is the Founder and Head Coach of Seize The Oar Foundation, championing inclusion in rowing and has spent the last near-decade coaching the Learn To Row Program at Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing.  She’s new to Vashon Island as of December 2018 and looks forward to meeting you at the VCA!

Email Tara at

Ian Metler, Facilities Manager

Ian Metler

Facilities Manager

Ian Metler joined Vashon Center for the Arts as Facilities Manager in March 2016. Ian is an Island native who spent much of his youth within the walls of the Blue Heron building. His involvement in the Arts ranges from music to design. After spending his last 20 years in construction as a carpenter and general contractor, he is excited to join Vashon Center for the Arts and support the arts within the Vashon community.

Email Ian:

Joseph Panzetta, Creative Director, Marketing and Communications

Joseph PanzettaJoseph Panzetta

Creative Director, Marketing & Communications

Joseph joined VCA in December of 2017 after 20 years of multi-media design in the technology industry, including 8 years as Creative Director and then VP of Creative for Atigeo, and 5 years at Microsoft as Executive Presentation Designer. He has resided on Vashon since 2011 and is active in the local music scene as a singer-songwriter and member of the band, Saint Ophelia. Many moons ago, he received a BA in Theater from Marquette University. He is a life-time advocate of the arts, and proud to be a part of VCA.

Email Joseph:

Jill Venturi, Director of Development Communications

Jill Venturi

Director of Development Communications

Jill returned to Vashon Center for the Arts in 2018 after 2½ years championing the Island’s senior population fundraising for the Vashon Community Care Foundation. She previously served for six years in a development role at Vashon Center for the Arts for the campaign to build the Katherine L White Hall. Before moving to Vashon Island in 2005, Jill spent eleven years as creative manager for advancement communications at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA for the $300 million Challenged to Lead capital campaign. She holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic communication from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
Email Jill:

The Board

Mark Bennion

Mark BennionA painter, sculptor and visual artist, Mark Bennion’s work has been exhibited throughout the US and abroad since 1968. Returning to VCA’s board, he looks forward to helping develop a clear vision that fits the community’s goals, along with concrete plans to ensure a bright future for our Island’s arts.

Marcia Bruya

Photo and biography coming soon

Clifford Eckman

Cliff EckmanClifford Eckman is a long-time supporter of VCA and believes its mission and service enhance Vashon’s quality of life. Experience includes committee roles ranging from program chairman to auctions and fundraising, and boards of Vashon Rotary, Vashon Golf Club and Overlake Hospital Foundation. He volunteers with Vashon Opera making sets, and as assistant golf coach at Vashon High School.

John de Groen

John DeGroenJohn de Groen is a small business owner interested in the arts. He has performed with the Vashon Chorale, Opera and Drama Dock. John and his wife Beth support all the various arts as well as other not for profit organizations. He looks forward to helping VCA and its board in the future.

Britt Freda

Britt Freda has been designing, drawing, painting and telling stories for as long as she can remember. She received a double degree with honors in fine art and writing from St. Lawrence University in New York. In addition, Britt studied painting, drawing and photography at Lorenzo de’ Medici Institute of Art in Florence, Italy and by invitation for intensive residency at La Cipressaia in Montagnana, Italy under internationally acclaimed South African artists Rose Shakinovsky and Claire Gavronsky. After working in the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Business School at the University of Washington, Britt researched and reviewed early stage bio tech, sustainable energy, tech and lifestyle companies for a local venture catalyst firm.  Britt’s paintings can be found in private collections, museum collections and exhibitions, galleries and publications nationally and internationally.

Kimberly Jackson

Kim Jackson is a recent Vashon Island resident who relocated from Dallas, TX where she was an active member of many arts organizations including Shakespeare Dallas, the Nasher Sculpture Garden and Dallas Black Dance Theater.  Her true passion is overseeing the new Make Art with Purpose Sylvia Hougland Emerging Artist Fund named for her mother. The scholarship helps young emerging artists age 35 or under with a $1500 grant for project-based work that addresses a social or environmental theme. The first scholarship was awarded in March to Arnoldo Hurtado to create murals in Fort Worth that celebrate immigration. Kim is graduate of St. Lawrence University and of the year-long Dallas Business Council for the Arts’ Leadership program where she learned the business and cultural side of arts leadership. Her day job is as a consultant with Jacobs Engineering specifically in the areas of communication, marketing and organizational change management.

Denise Katz, President

Denise KatzDenise Katz has 30 years’ experience as a senior executive in business and currently works as Managing Broker and Sales Director for Windermere Real Estate on Vashon Island. She is very active in the community and has been a trustee on the VCA board since 2011.

Wendy Kearns

Wendy Kearns is an intellectual property and technology partner and chair of the Technology, Advertising, Trademark & Entertainment group at the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in Seattle.  She is the mother of three Vashon-native kids who actively participate in the arts.  Wendy joined the board to help further the mission and reach of VCA.  In her spare time, she cooks a mean pulled pork and brisket, travels a lot, and writes poetry.

Jenny McMurdo, Vice President

Jenny McMurdoJenny McMurdo has called Vashon home for 17 years, and continues her family’s tradition of supporting the arts on Vashon. She has worked with a variety of organizations and nonprofits, including Clackamas Community College, Baker Cabin Historical Society and Oregon Advanced Technology Center.

Ann Nicklason

Ann NicklasonVAA and VCA have been a big part of my life since we moved to the island twenty-five years ago. Our girls participated in the ballet program for many years and enjoyed theater and art classes at the Blue Heron. Our family embraced the wide variety of visual arts, performances, programs and social events. As a former trustee, I coordinated the art auction for many years, worked with the garden tour, volunteered at the Heron’s Nest  Gallery and helped with other activities which greatly enriched and broadened my life.

Mary O’Leary-Bryant

Mary-Oleary-BryantMary O’Leary-Bryant has worked with children and run a small business, and has been 
active in the arts for years. She is pleased to expand her involvement with VCA at such an exciting time, to be part of an organization that brings together two of her passions: art and 

Mary Margaret Pearson

Mary Margaret PearsonMary Margaret Pearson’s career path took her from managing her family’s farming business to fashion and corporate advertising at 
Nordstrom. She sees the new VCA building as the embodiment of Vashon’s love of the arts and is delighted to join the board at this stage.

Allison Reid

Allison Reid is Director of Advancement at Harbor School, Vashon’s independent K-8 school. An avid supporter of arts and education, Allison has worked in the non-profit sector for more than 25 years using her talents in development, event management, marketing and communications to help organizations thrive and grow. She is delighted to join the VCA community as a board member and supporter.Toggle Content goes here

Susan Rives, Secretary

Susan RivesCo-founder of Scientific Explorer, Rives and her husband grew their company into the most popular children’s science line in the U.S. Their science kits won national awards and are sold in stores across the country and internationally. Currently Rives chairs the nominating committee and is excited about having VCA serve all Islanders.

Tim Roden

Tim RodinSenior Management Consultant at Point B, a national consulting firm headquartered in Seattle, Roden spent over twenty years in education, first as a teacher and then developing some of the country’s most widely used health education programs and products for the Discovery Channel.

Jon-Eric Schafer

Jon Eric ShaferJon-Eric Schafer is an island artist, craftsman, and general contractor. He has been showing his ceramics and landscape watercolors nationally since high school. He grew up in Hawai’i, after which he lived in  Tucson (University of Arizona), Boston and Seattle. He moved his family to Vashon Island in 2000 to raise his 3 girls in a community rich in artistic heritage. He joined VCA to help ensure that the arts remained integral to this amazing community.

Margo Tantau

Margo blends a life-long passion for art and design with a first-hand understanding of small town living and community. Margo has been described as “Fairy Good-Mother to Artists Everywhere” and loves to live into that personality. It is this passion that guides her creative spirit, as she works with artists and companies to develop unique products the world over. Her son Cooper is involved in VCA’s musical theatre and directly benefits from the Arts in the Schools program.

Ron Thomas, Treasurer

Ron ThomasRon Thomas is president emeritus of the University of Puget Sound and has had a home here for the last 12 years with his wife, Mary Thomas. Ron understands the transformative power of arts and literature in the lives of individuals and communities. After 34 years as an award-winning administrator, scholar, teacher and writer at UPS, Harvard, the University of Chicago and Trinity College, he looks forward to supporting VCA.

Shelley Thomas Williams

Shelley WilliamsShelley Thomas Williams is passionate about the arts on Vashon Island, and is excited to join in VCA’s next step in its commitment to the arts and arts education. She currently sits on the board of the Zions Bancorporation and served on boards at University of Utah, Sun Valley Center for the Arts and United Way of Greater Salt Lake.

Michael Tracy

Since 2011 Michael has made Vashon his home.  Before then Michael lived for over 25 years in New York City where he is an Advisory Board member of The Wooster Group and was a past president of CSC Repertory Theater. These two positions gave him a hands-on experience in the ‘economics’ of small theaters and productions. However, Michael’s real passion is in piano and acoustic music especially in intimate settings such as Kay White Hall. This past spring Michael hosted three lecture/concerts at VCA on Schubert, Chopin and Liszt involving multi-media and local musicians. He looks forward to the challenges and rewards that VCA presents.

Cathy Winjum

Cathy and her husband have been Vashon residents for over 15 years. She is an alumnus of the University of Washington School of Business and her professional experience includes public accounting consulting (KPMG), mortgage banking, and real estate appraisal. Together with their elementary-age twins, she and her husband especially appreciate all of the activities and arts education opportunities available for children and families on Vashon. VCA is a huge part of what makes Vashon Island such a unique and amazing community and a big part of why they enjoy living here. Cathy is a new member of the board and looks forward to contributing to VCA in the years to come.