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. 

Mark Farley

President

Mark Farley (pictured here with wife Kaety and daughter Simone) came from a long career in marketing, business and technology development. While majoring in fine art at the University of Oregon, Mark swiftly realized that an artist brings a unique perspective to the world, and that communicating ideas and concepts can change the world and is valued. He came to Newport in 2011 to work with Oregon Sea Grant at the Hatfield Marine Science Center to develop the National Science Foundation funded Cyberlab, a human observation system that allows social scientists and education researchers to understand how people learn in informal settings like the science center. Farley works with scientists to better communicate science to the interested public through exhibit development, videos, social media, apps, and special education programs.  Farley says, “Working with Oregon Sea Grant provided me a wide range of experiences and the opportunity to work with remarkable people. One of those remarkable people was Fisheries Extension Agent Kaety Jacobson, also with Oregon Sea Grant.” Together they developed many successful programs and grants together. Mark came to know through his association with Kaety how vibrant Extension work was, and was inspired by her love and commitment to her coastal community. The working relationship turned romantic and then to marriage, and he stands with her in their mutual commitment and appreciation of this unique community.  Farley notes that, “his own strange, wonderful and eclectic journey with the arts, his draw to give back to this remarkable community and his desire to support his daughter in her love of the arts brought Mark to serve on our board.” Welcome.

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.

Rob Connell

Board Member

Oregon Coast Council for the Arts board member Rob Connell landed in our fair county in 1982, for his first job in the law as Assistant County Counsel for Lincoln County. Originally from a suburb of Chicago, Rob is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, and Lewis and Clark Law School.  He has enjoyed a long career in the law in public and private law practice ever since his arrival in Newport. Rob has participated in a variety of musical events on the coast, where his rock and blues based guitar chops have found expression. Along the way, He also participated in many organizational meetings of what was then known colloquially as “the Newport Jazz Festival,” which we now refer to as the Oregon Coast Jazz Party. Following years of volunteer service in different roles at the Newport Performing Arts Center (PAC), in recent years, Rob has worked in stage production for the Jazz Party, as well as other events. He has also performed with his own band at the PAC, and more recently, had the privilege of playing an acoustic guitar gig through the PAC’s Meyer Constellation acoustic system, as part of a sound apprenticeship class developed by OCCA and Justin Gleeson. He says, “I hope to add both a performer’s and a professional’s approach to an already fine mix of talents on the OCCA Board.”

Chris Graamans

Board Member

OCCA board member Chris Graamans hails from Yachats. Originally from the Netherlands, his business career started with a degree in marketing, which led to a stint as a research analyst for a consulting company in Amsterdam. He then took a hard turn west, emigrating to the Oregon coast in 1982 to join his wife Stacy. Once here he became a woodworker and started a cabinetry manufacturing shop that he ran until the business sold a decade ago. Chris has served on the board of several nonprofits in Yachats: the Back Porch Gallery (an artists’ cooperative), the Friends of the Yachats Commons Foundation, and the Yachats Youth & Family Activities program. Currently, he works as a photographer, with an emphasis on capturing people: events, portrait, wedding and family. A strong interest in the performing arts started with him driving his (then still too young to drive) son Milo to rehearsals at the PAC for the various musicals he played for in the pit orchestra. Chris is pleased to mainly be known as “Milo’s dad.” Photographing performing arts remains a favorite activity, and he works with numerous PAC RATS to document and publicize their shows: Porthole Players, Red Octopus Theatre Co., New Visions Arts, OMTA, and others. He has photographed the Oregon Coast Jazz Party and OCCA Theater Camps.

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.

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.

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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