The following positions are up for election this year. Please click on each position to read about each of the nominees for that position. For positions with multiple nominees you may also click on their names to go directly to their bios within their category.
BILLY PARISH - I served one year as Vice President of the Arts Council and previously served as the Director of Membership. I am excited to serve another term helping the Arts Council to grow and serve the membership. If re-elected, my goals for this next term are to work toward increasing the diversity of those working with the Arts Council and expand our reach into communities that I feels may be underserved or may have less opportunity to participate in the Arts. I'd also like to continue to work on projects that help to bring our members together, such as a reinvigorated Jubilee once the climate allows it.
HUN KAPLOWITZ - is a former elementary school teacher and current university instructor in early childhood education. Hun’s bachelor’s degree is in business administration with an emphasis on accounting. She has over 3 years of experience in public accounting working for both KPMG and PWC. After 5 years of accounting, she earned a master’s degree in early childhood education to teach in the classroom. She volunteers both in and out of the classroom within the local school district and is an active member of the GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) steering committee. She has volunteered as PTA Treasurer, Chairman of School Site Council and Board Member of STEMs Grow. She resides in Thousand Oaks, California, with her husband and two children.
As a former elementary school teacher and as a university instructor teaching future educators, Hun has a true passion for creating life-long learners. She finds joy in instilling the love of learning in children and future educators. In a normal classroom setting, some learners are not successful and do not find the joy in learning. For these learners and many others, the arts provides opportunities for accomplishments, creativity, and peacefulness. Through work with the Arts Council of the Conejo Valley, Hun hopes to make the arts more readily available in the local schools and throughout the community to spark this joy in her fellow community members.
STEVE KAMINS - My wife and I have been residents of the Conejo Valley since 2003. We lived in Newbury Park for 8 years, and now 9 years in Westlake Village. Our daughters, now 25 and 24, were participants in member programs at Hillcrest Community Center and with the Orchestra. We also have a son who will be a senior at Westlake High School in the Fall.
My professional experience in California is as a business owner. My company distributes components and assembles systems for gas and chemical handling applications for a variety of industries. It is based in Camarillo with operations in Torrance and Kapolei, Hawaii. It employs 33 people, and has performed consistently through all the economic cycles. I hope my fiscal acumen developed from this experience can be beneficial to the Council.
I have also served the community in a variety of voluntary roles. I have coached my children and many others in AYSO soccer, NPBA basketball, NP softball, NP and Westlake Pony baseball, and Agoura Basketball. I served on the NPBA basketball board as a director. I also currently serve as Treasurer of the Malibu Bay Club HOA, serving a community of 136 condos and townhomes in Malibu.
TONY GITT - Please click here for Tony's credentials.
DIRECTOR OF EXHIBITIONS
CONNIE TUNICK - A professional artist for many years, Connie Tunick has lived in this area since the early 70's and experienced the many changes in the Conejo Valley. She is a Northwestern University graduate and children's art specialist, with a teaching credential and M.A. in education from California Lutheran University (CLU). Her professional art experience has been invaluable to curating (co-curating) the ACCV’s six shows yearly at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts.
In the art community, Connie has been involved with all aspects.
. Thousand Oaks Art Association, serving on the board and being the president.
. Director (1985-1988), The After School Cultural Enrichment Program, a cooperative program of the Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD), the Arts Council (ACCV) and the Conejo Recreation and Park District (CRPD).
. Seeking space for local artists to exhibit, she became a Charter Board Member of the Thousand Oaks Community Gallery.
. Currently, she serves on ACCV’s Board of Directors, and is Co-Curator of the Galleria at Hillcrest Center for the Arts, 403 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks.
. Women Painters West member, a juried art organization
DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION SERVICES
JOHN PILLSBURY - I am the incumbent Director of Information Services. I have also served the ACCV as treasurer and as head of the Bylaws Review Committee. I am at present: the producer and corporate secretary of the Ventura County Gilbert & Sullivan Repertoire Co. and treasurer of the Philosophical Research Society. I should also note that I do have significant experience with computers and networks, and have arranged for the donation and servicing of all of the computer related equipment which the ACCV currently possesses.
I look forward to continuing to help the ACCV to promote the arts and education in our community. I would also like to thank all of our member organizations both for their support of the ACCV and the good work that they do.
DIRECTOR OF EVENTS AND HOSPITALITY
ANTHONY ANGELINI - It has been my honor to serve as your Director of Events and Hospitality for the past year. As you can guess, this hasn't been the best year for either "events" or "hospitality," but I believe we must always be looking forward. My vision for the ACCV is to once again hold in-person events that bring us together as artists and arts organizations. I believe there is no "online" substitute for viewing live performances, viewing art, and interacting with people in general. As your Director of Events and Hospitality, I will advocate for the safe reopening of our theatres, galleries, and cultural institutions as soon as possible within the health and safety requirements of local government agencies.
DIRECTOR OF ELECTRONIC MEDIA
BRIAN GAFFNEY - is currently the Vice President of Business Development for CODEX, an X2X Media Company. CODEX is an Emmy award winning design and technology company supporting Hollywood. Brian is also the SVP of Business Development for X2X Creative Services, a sister company, that specializes in production dailies and the final creative color process for Cinema and TV releases. Brian also develops the content the company website. Prior to Brian’s role at CODEX, he was the Product Manager for Technicolor’s Advanced Production Technology Group in development of Cloud Based Workflows.
Most recently he held the position of Vice President of Technicolor’s On-Location Service, focused on assisting Productions, on and near set, by enabling unique workflows associated with digital acquisition. Brian Gaffney founded Creative Bridge in 2005 and joined Technicolor in 2006. Prior to this Brian was President of Turbo Squid, an online 3D asset management company. Prior to Turbo Squid, Brian worked as Vice President of Sales for MTI Film, a film restoration services company, and manufacturer of the industry standard DRS product line.
Brian’s roots are in Visual FX (VFX), and he has worked in Commercial Post as an Executive Producer and was the Director of Sales for the Americas for Autodesk, manufacturer of the academy award winning Flame and Inferno products. He worked with the marketing team to draft the proposal submission that led to a Sci-Tech Academy Award for the product Inferno. With Technicolor Creative Bridge, Brian has worked on over 100 projects using DP Lights, an on-set color correction system. Prior to entering the Media and Entertainment industry, Brian worked in the Laser Industry for over 8 years as a specialist in UV Excimer lasers used in Scientific Research and Development. Brian pioneered the use of these laser systems in Industrial applications, and successfully developed and sold to Boeing Corporation, the first ever laser wire marking system for the Boeing 777. This combined experience of research, knowledge of high-end technology, and applied sciences, including product design, marketing, and sales experience, have provided Brian with a solid base for leadership and a strong product development and creative vision.
I have lived in Thousand Oaks since 1997 and I would be honored to provide my volunteer time and leadership efforts to the digital media needs and challenges of the Conejo Valley Arts Council.
DIRECTOR AT LARGE
PAT JOHNSON is currently an At Large Board member.
Legacy Scholarship Committee
Chair of Hang with the Best Show
Chair of the May Open Show
Chair Conejo Cottontail project of Conejo Public Art
President (total of 6 years off and on)
Approximately 15 years total on ACCV Board
ROGER PONDEL - wants to serve his new community through the Arts Council of the Conejo Valley, having moved with his wife to Westlake Village from Los Angeles in 2019 to be closer to their grown children and their families.
He is chairman and CEO of PondelWilkinson Inc., a nationally recognized public relations firm, which he has led since 1989. Earlier in his career, he was a reporter with the San Jose Mercury.
Professionally, Roger has been the architect of communications programs for a wide range of organizations in various industries, from entertainment, hospitality and consumer, to healthcare, technology and non-profits. He has been involved in all aspects of publicity and media relations and has been the architect of messaging strategy for corporate transformations, mergers and acquisitions, crises, litigation issues, investor relations and a host of sensitive matters, serving in advisory capacities to boards of directors and the executive suite.
For the Council, Roger would like to combine his managerial and professional expertise with his lifetime interest and involvement in the performing and visual arts. A folk singer in his youth, he comes from a family of artists. Roger’s brother is a renowned New York jazz guitarist who plays with legendary musicians; his father’s drawings were exhibited at a leading gallery in Santa Monica, as were Roger’s photographs; and his wife’s uncle was a famous San Francisco-based rock-and-roll impresario, who was influential in many aspects of Roger’s life.
KRISTINE CLARK - I am a proud and fortunate mother to an ever curious and creative 15 year old. Artistic expression, in many forms, are part of our daily life- participation, as well as, pure enjoyment of. As a Para Educator in Special Education at Willow Elementary School in Agoura Hills for the last twelve years, I am a strong advocate for the Arts to be accessible to all students, especially those I work with. I graduated from UCLA, majoring in Art History, and I have volunteered for various organizations, including the Getty and the Malibu Stage Company. Also, I served on the Native American Cultural Resource Advisory Committee and the Trails Committee for the City of Malibu.
Art is a passion of mine, and I am a strong believer that a community needs various artistic platforms where people may acquire, manifest, and benefit from creativity and culture.
JULIA FRIEDMAN - I’m delighted to have the opportunity to be considered for a seat on the board of directors for the Conejo Valley Arts Council. In addition to a lifelong passion for the arts, I bring a unique skillset as well as personal and professional connections that I believe would bring great value to the Council during its next phase of evolution.
I grew up in a community that prioritized athletics over the arts, and I was quite the outlier as a self-described “artsy-fartsy” in my love of the performing and visual arts. To me, nothing is more critical to cultural awareness and exposure, self-discovery and self-expression than a lifelong exposure to the arts.
By day, I am Senior Communications Manager for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, where I have the privilege of promoting the humanitarian work the Foundation is doing throughout the world to key audiences.
I currently sit on a board for a nonprofit organization, The Communications Network, a national affinity group for communications professionals working to impact social change through the power of communications. I have found this position to be incredibly rewarding, with a focus on creating a strong sense of community and comradery among the current members, and working to build the membership database.
I would be thrilled to join the board of directors for the Conejo Valley Arts Council and bring my passion for the arts, expertise in strategic communications, publicity, branding, storytelling, networking and relationship-building to the Council.
I hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from New York University and a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University. I live in Agoura Hills and have three children, ages 9, 7 and 7.
But, perhaps one of the most important things to know about me is that I am a complete and total Shakespeare nerd. So, since brevity is the soul of wit, I will wrap this up with one of my favorite quotes from the Bard that to me embodies the process of creating art of any kind, including the art of reimagining the Conejo Valley Arts Council:
“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”
Thank you in advance for your time and I am grateful for your thoughtful consideration.
SUSAN T. CALKINS - I am a 25-year veteran public school music teacher. I have enjoyed an amazing career as a band, orchestra and chorus teacher. As I approach retirement. I'm seeking opportunities to help give back to the community. I've spent the last 20 years working with kids as an instructor for the Young Artists Ensemble, part of the Hillcrest Center for the Arts. My tenure there has been fabulous! There's nothing that gives me greater joy than to share knowledge with young people and then have those talented students take the stage and share all they've learned with the community. Both of my jobs have afforded this opportunity for more than 2 decades.
In leadership roles, I currently serve as the union representative for my school and have been re-elected to that position twice. This is my 3rd year in that position. In 2012, I was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year for LAUSD. At my current school, I have single-handedly run the music program for 15 years. That has included fundraising for new instruments and field trips. I am a masterful fundraiser who can manage finances expertly. I served a 2-year term on the Board of Directors for the Camarillo Skyway Playhouse.
Lastly, I'm known throughout Ventura County as a pianist, musical director, arranger and conductor having offered musical support to Los Cerritos MS, T.O.H.S, Ventura H.S., Conejo Players and High Street Theaters.
Thank you, again, for reading my brief story and considering me as a candidate for your Board of Directors for the Arts Council of the Conejo Valley.
CRISTINA ALVAREZ COX (MONA PAYMENT SOLUTIONS - CEO)
Cristina has worked in the payment services industry for 27 years. She started out in electronic check services right after her first child was born. Since then she has worked her way up through the industry, succeeding against the odds as self-educated, a minority, and a single mother of two. Along the way, she has won many awards for her performance, including awards from Tele-Check, Select Sales Club, First Data, and NXGEN. Most recently, she received an award for “NXGEN 2019 Highest Portfolio Revenue”.
Her professional accomplishments led to the launch of her own business in 2011, developing a boutique-style agency to provide the personal touch so often lacking in merchant services. Filling this gap in the industry, Cristina has been able to grow her company both internally and externally, as she has expanded her team to the East Coast earlier this year. She works with a community of successful, hand-picked clients across multiple industries, for whom she delivers customized solutions. Her company specializes in transparency and integrity, giving businesses the stable and trusting platform that is needed to focus on steady growth.
What she enjoys the most in her work is building long-term relationships with her clients. She enjoys anticipating needs and problem solving. At the end of the day, there is no stronger feeling of accomplishment than taking care of other people, both at work and in her personal life.
Cristina has also recently received notable certifications for her business, such as the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council – West, and the Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council; both of which she works hard to be involved and up-to-date on current affairs.
With that, being involved in community outreach programs, such as the Southern California Veterinary Medical Associations weekly animal shelter pop-up, is big part of her weekly schedule. She can be found there with her two dogs or her children, on occasion, who are ages 26 and 29. When she is not there, she is hosting her large, extended family and grandchildren at home. Coming from a family with seven other siblings herself, fostering familial relationships is her main priority.
Cristina has also recently received notable certifications for her business, such as the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council – West, and the Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council; both of which she works hard to be involved in and up-to-date with on current affairs and events.
Cristina’s well-rounded and balanced lifestyle allows her to fully invest her passion and commitment into her work and personal life. She has found that being a vocal and collaborative person has lead her to the budding career she has today; her integrity and loyalty has allowed for her flourishing and loving relationships.
All of these experiences make her an excellent candidate for the Director at Large position. The ability to step in when needed to help complete tasks, see projects through, and assist in advising special committees; all actions that are incredibly similar to Cristina’s day-to-day tasks.
ADONNA EBRAHIMI - I am an artist ( painter ) myself, working mostly in acrylic ( dabbling in other mediums, but mixed media runs a close second!)
I have been marketing my work only recently, and flowers are my muse. They bring me much joy, and it is my vision to bring that joy into anothers' space.
In the process of marketing my own art, I've come to realize that the general public admires art, but doesn't feel they can "afford" it for their own home. I feel very strongly that this misconception needs to be changed! There is nothing quite like the vibe of original art hanging in your home ! Art heals. It brings happiness. It evokes emotion. We need it. Plain and simple.
If I can be a part of making that happen in our community, I would appreciate the opportunity.
you can find my work at:
and on social media:
FB and IG @artistrybyadonna