Board Members

Oregon Coast Council for the Arts works under the supervision of a "working" board. Board members supervise OCCA initiatives, efforts, fundraising, and long-range planning, as well as serving in various capacities on advisory committees. 

Sandi Williams

President

Sandi Williams dedicated a total of 36 years of her professional career to the Lincoln County School District, twenty-seven of those as a K-8 classroom teacher. As a teacher, “sparking interest in others to learn” has been her mantra in project oriented curriculum. In a unit of Egypt she guided students to design their own outfits and create a group song and dance culminating in a performance as they discovered an ancient civilization. In another unit, students selected a medieval name to research, created a medieval festival, and set up a guild for hands-on learning. Sandi served on and led the District’s K-12 Arts Curriculum initiatives. As an OCCA board member she wants to help make arts learning connections with the area schools as OCCA reaches out in service to Lincoln county youth. Recently, Sandi assisted with the Washed Ashore project that engaged Lincoln County youth and OCCA. Years ago, she brought in Annie Painter, an Oregon artist, to work for a year with K-5 teachers enriching their understanding of the arts by showing them how to incorporate painting and all of its aspects into their curriculum. Sandi started her career as a teaching assistant at Yaquina View Elementary school in Newport before going to east county to teach in Mary Harrison and Arcadia Elementary Schools in Toledo. After teaching at Newport Middle School, she became project director at the Siletz Middle School, where she was instrumental, along with the assistance of OCCA staff member Jan Eastman, in bringing arts back into that school. In north county, Sandi taught at Oceanlake Elementary and at Taft Middle School in Lincoln City. She was principal of Sam Case Elementary in Newport and prior to retirement served as Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for Lincoln County School District. Sandi’s honors and awards are many including, Teacher of the Year, Oregon Mentor Teacher, Administrator of the Year, White House National Award Recipient for Drug Prevention Program, to name a few. Exemplifying her constant passion for learning, in her retirement Sandi will continue studying music theory, art pottery, and photography. She is also taking classical guitar and clarinet lessons. She and her husband have served as Opera Hosts and enjoy attending the Jazz Party as well as events at the Visual Arts Center. For Sandi, serving on the Board of Directors for OCCA means helping to ensure that there are quality arts opportunities along the Oregon Coast for everyone to access and enjoy.

Wayne Belmont

Secretary

Wayne Belmont has lived in Lincoln County since 1986 and worked as Lincoln County Legal Counsel since 1987. He received his undergraduate degree from Linfield College and earned his law degree from the University of Oregon. He and his wife, Sal, have one daughter, Lizzi, who was active in music, dance, and theater performing arts during her school years in Newport. Belmont has served on many professional and community organizations. He is currently on the Board of Legal Aid Services of Oregon and the Oregon Law Center among other volunteer activities.

Cathleen Donellan

Treasurer

Cathleen spent her first 32 years in Massachusetts. She attended Northeastern University and received a BSBA-Accounting degree in 1982 and a Master of Science degree in Taxation from Bentley College in 1989. She worked in a large regional accounting firm as a tax specialist; taught seminars to staff, clientele, and the general public; wrote tax-related articles for The Boston Globe; and served as a panelist on WBZ Radio’s “Ask the Experts.” She was also involved in various accounting and tax-related organizations. She married her husband, Gil Sylvia, in 1989 and moved to Newport where, in 1990, their daughter Niki was born. She has served on the Lincoln County School District’s Board of Directors Budget Committee, the Yaquina View Elementary Site Council, and the YVE Dolphin Boosters board as Treasurer. She has an active practice in Newport. Although I don’t have a background in the arts, she believes they play a crucial part in our development and our enjoyment of life. She looks forward to working with this Board.

Jody Hanna

Board Member

Jody Hanna, an Oregon native, moved to Newport 22 years ago to teach sixth grade at Newport Middle School. She thought she had moved to the end of the earth and only planned to stay one year. Instead she fell in love, with her husband and the community. Jody, with her husband Brian, decided that Newport was where they wanted to live and raise their family. As a child growing up, she was shy and reserved and used theatre and music as a way to gain confidence. In 2004, Jody helped create Coastal Act Productions (CAP), a community theatre company for youth and their families. She currently serves as the artistic director on the CAP board, as well as directing and appearing on stage at the PAC. “Theatre has the power to change you,” she declared. “People tell me all the time that they can’t sing, or they are afraid to be on stage. If you have a voice, you can sing. Maybe not a solo, but everyone can sing in a group, and when you are surrounded on stage by people who care about you, it changes you.” Jody earned her undergraduate degree in education from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Portland State University. “Lots of parents get involved with their kids through sports and I want people to know that they can also get involved with their kids (or other children they care about) through their involvement in the arts,” she explained. Through the OCCA, she hopes to inspire young people to pursure the arts as they grow into adults, whether as a professional or as a volunteer.

Ellen Hertell

Board Member

Ellen Hertell notes, “The OCCA does an outstanding job in bringing the creative energy and spirit of the visual and performing arts to our community.  As a volunteer at both the Newport Visual Arts Center and the Newport Performing Arts Center, it is very rewarding to see the appreciation and joy on the faces of people visiting an art exhibit or enjoying a performance.  “As a member of the steering committee for the Newport Visual Arts Center, I am also aware of the tremendous effort, dedication and work it takes to continue to provide this rich cultural component to our community.” Ellen’s personal interests and participation in the arts range from ballet, piano, photography, wood carving to multimedia art. Professionally, she was the director of a large, nonprofit community center in San Jose, Calif., for many years. She understands the challenges of providing programs, raising funds, writing grants, budgeting, staff and facility management and volunteer coordination. Ellen hopes to lend her experience and support to OCCA as a board member.

David M. Jones

Board Member

David M. Jones is looking forward to serving on the OCCA board and bringing a fresh view. “It’s an exciting time for our coastal confluence of art – with the continued upgrade of our own Performing Arts Center, as well as strengthening our bond up and down the Oregon Coast with our art communities. It presents challenges as well as opportunities.” David’s arts background includes performance (acting, magician, musician) and visual (painting, pen & ink, sketching, woodblock printing, serigraph, photography, ceramics), along with running his own design/build company – all of which should help with board duties.

Randy Madnick

Board Member

Randy Madnick grew up in the central valley of California during the 1950s. He developed a love for music and photography and played in a number of local rock and roll bands, while at the same time he became a photographer for the high school paper. Following his Navy service in Vietnam, he continued his interests in photography by attending various classes and seminars, some of which were instructed by the well-known Ansel Adams. Randy was event manager for High Sierra Entertainment, its premiere event being the Strawberry Blue Grass Festival, and worked as road manager and sound engineer for the Chambers Brothers. He has performed with numerous well-known groups, among them Freddy Fender and the Chambers Brothers Band. In 1993, Randy and his wife Kathy moved to Seal Rock, Oregon. Here he has worked for local contractors as a fine finish carpenter. He organized the Fox Creek music revue, an annual event to help raise money for South Lincoln County Food Share. Randy’s formed the jazz group Perpetua, where he participates in the composing, recording and performance of the group’s music. He is one of the original members of the jazz committee that founded what is now known as the Oregon Coast Jazz Party and he is co-founder of the not-for-profit production company, Just Jazz Inc. providing music education in our community.

Kay Moxness

Vice President

A North Dakota native, she’s lived in Newport since 1979. “One of the first things I did [when I moved to Oregon] was join OCCA, which was pretty new then, and I went to plays at the Naterlin Center,” she reflects. Kay emphasizes that her childhood access to the arts developed her love for them: “My childhood in rural North Dakota was filled with books, hours at the piano, the writing of little stories, collecting insects (for a while I was pretty sure I was going to be an entomologist) and my pet cats, dogs and rabbits, drawing and watercolor painting and puppet theaters made in empty tissue boxes.” Interest in mathematics took over in high school and, at university, led to a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in public policy economics. “Now that I am retired, I look forward to working with the ... federation of artists that is the OCCA,” she says. “No matter how much one may love the symphony or theater or chamber music, it all has to work together. No one element can survive by itself; the economics of singularity simply doesn’t work in the arts.” While living in the Midwest, Kay was active in the arts. She attended the Metropolitan Opera’s Midwest Week each year in Minneapolis, and through her husband, met many speakers, musicians, theatre groups, dance artists, etc., at the college where he worked. “I was ‘hostess without portfolio’ for that 10-year period,” she recalled. In Los Angeles, events at the Music Center filled her arts needs. Kay worked for nearly four decades in the energy industry, in utilities and consulting for a multi-state electric cooperative utility. Her work here at Central Lincoln PUD required much time in regional policy meetings in the valley, but she still found time to be a 1998-1999 OCCA board member. Kay observes, “In order to have genuine local access to the arts for everyone we must maintain a joint effort of creation, maintenance, financing, sharing and sometimes just paying attention. The future of the OCCA is what we make it,” she continued. “We have so many events and opportunities right here on the coast. It’s really amazing. Much of what we have is due to the generosity of individuals who have chosen to share their good fortune. We have the PAC at Newport and all the HD reception equipment and underwriting support, and donations for the various member organizations that are under the OCCA umbrella all up and down the Oregon coast. Now we begin the important job of fund-raising for the PAC expansion and upgrade so it will be ready for growing audiences and those future generations of young aspiring artists who will launch their arts careers from the coast,” says Kay. OCCA thanks Kay for also being an Opera Host and Jazz Club member. Welcome to the arts leadership team.

Akia Woods

Board Member

Akia Woods has joined the OCCA board to help OCCA with its mission “to promote and provide high-caliber arts experiences on the Oregon coast.” Woods is often seen onstage (or backstage) with Red Octopus, Porthole Players and One Of Us Productions. She also ushers for the Newport Symphony as well as OCCA’s Met Opera Live in HD and National Theatre London in HD events. She sings with Yachats Big Band and has sung with the Sweet Adelines and Central Coast Chorale locally, as well as other groups throughout the state. She has given solo and duet concerts locally and often sings at Oregon Music Teachers Association events and other fundraisers. Did we say that Woods likes, indeed loves, to sing? She had her own record label for a while and used to tour with her original music. She decided on early retirement from the state of Oregon where she started in social work with the elderly and alter-abled, moved to management, and served the last 17 years as a computer network technician. While working as a tech, she made theatre arts connections up and down the coast. She loves to ballroom dance, is active in Dances of Universal Peace in Newport and Yachats and likes to hike. “I look forward to giving back to the entire coastal community that so warmly welcomed me when I moved to the central coast from Grants Pass in 1997,” says Woods.

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