The Board of Directors oversees Artists United’s administration. The board meets four times per year, including once per year in person, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Board members also commit to helping raise funds to support our work. In addition, board members serve as ambassadors to spread the word about the organization.
Jennifer Wallace has spent 15 years in Fortune 500 marketing, business development, and program management roles. She currently works for a large financial institution designing and launching their new family dynamics offering, which helps families navigate the social and emotional dynamics of wealth stewardship and transfer across the generations. She spent the first part of her career as a nonprofit fundraising and program development director for legal aid and educational organizations. Jennifer is a first-time documentary filmmaker, producing and directing a film about her personal journey to locate and build community with patients of the surgeon who rebuilt her face after the devastating effects of a large facial tumor she developed at birth. Jennifer holds a B.A. in Psychology from Smith College, where she was Dean’s List and First Group Scholar. She lives north of San Francisco and is passionate about independent film, cooking, running, yoga and ballroom dancing.
Jeff Brock is a charismatic, right-and-left-brained communicator with more than 20 years expertise in web design and web development, and 11 years as a photographer, journalist, and media-relations professional. The WordPress expert has spoken at WordCamp conferences in Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.
A graduate of Stanford University, he’s committed to social change. He worked at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation from 1996-2007 (first as media spokesperson, and then webmaster). In June 2003, he bicycled 585 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles in AIDS/LifeCycle, raising thousands of dollars for the AIDS Foundation.
Some of his recent work for nonprofits includes Equal Rights Advocates, DaVita Village Trust, BioBricks Foundation, and InSTEDD (Innovative Support to Emergencies Diseases and Disasters). Jeff lives near Seattle with his wife Roberta, and two rescue cats.
Lisa Burger is Board President and acting Executive Director for Independent Arts & Media, a San Francisco nonprofit that provides fiscal sponsorship and development support to non-commercial art and media-related projects. Since 2010, Ms. Burger has served on the Advisory Council for The Crucible, an Oakland nonprofit industrial arts center. She is also a consultant specializing in nonprofit formation, operations, and early strategic development. As an attorney with San Francisco public interest law firm the Lexington Law Group, Ms. Burger’s legal practice is devoted exclusively to representing plaintiffs in environmental enforcement and consumer protection litigation.
David Byrd was born and raised on the musical mecca of 47th street in Chicago, where his uncle, Red Saunders, was the drummer and bandleader at the famous Regal Theatre. On the same block of 47th and Drexel Blvd where he lived, jazz greats like Gene Ammons played at the Southerland hotel.
Byrd went to the jam sessions that were hosted by Sonny Stitt at the Grass Hut on 79th street and then enrolled in Chicago State University to study under the great Bunky Green, forming a jazz band in 1979. Specializing in a jazz vocal tradition called “vocalese,” which originated with Eddie Jefferson.
He has carved out a unique musical niche with the combination of jazz and reggae, forming “Byrds of a Feather,” and spreading his jazzreggae message of love.
Marissa Cohen (www.marissacohen.com) is an award-winning author, blogger, and reviewer. Her piece “Cancerland” was nominated for both the Best of the Net Award and the prestigious Pushcart Prize. The late Poet Laureate of Florida called her work “powerful.” Her work has appeared in many online and print publications, among them the NonBinary Review issues of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Anne of Green Gables, The Cancer Poetry Project 2, Grammarly.com, Wilde Magazine, and in She Magazine as a book columnist and associate editor. Projects Marissa has been associated with have been featured in The New York Times and Time Magazine. She’s also been an editor for the award-winning Bella Books and been interviewed on CBS Radio and The Liz McMullen Show about women’s creativity. Marissa also writes about spirituality and encourages private clients to work with their intuition.
Courteney Coolidge is a fundraising professional who has combined 20 years of experience as a freelance photographer with her passion for social justice and support of nonprofit organizations. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Courteney has worked for 10+ years managing development efforts for community organizations, as well as grants management for educational and arts programming. Her past photo documentaries include a three-year project celebrating family diversity in America and featuring a national exhibition that traveled from the 92nd Street Y in New York City across the country to the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose.
Janis DeLucia is an actor, teacher, voice over artist and filmmaker based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was trained at the American Conservatory Theater and Hamilton College. Her stage roles include Anna in Pinter’s Old Times, Sarah in Pinter’s The Lover, Ilana in Animals Out of Paper, and Solange in The Maids. In 1998, Janis co-founded Coffee and Language, a film production house. She has starred in, directed and/or produced six feature films, including Coffee and Language (Best Film nomination Hamptons International Film Festival) and Stephanie’s Image (starring Melissa Leo). Janis also received a nomination for Best Editing at the Milan International Film Festival for Stephanie’s Image. She works as a private acting coach and has taught at Stanford University.
Growing up in New Orleans provided Doug with a deep appreciation for art, music, food, and celebration. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a B.S. in Marketing, he continued to strengthen his passions by spending over 10 years in Austin, TX. During that time he supported education by working with companies such as Dell and Apple Computer. At the turn of the century, he took time off to travel the world and explore the cultures of Europe and Asia. Doug retuned home to New Orleans within six months of Hurricane Katrina and has spent the last ten years helping the city rebuild, and working as a distributor of in the healthcare industry. He loves to spend his time studying, supporting, and exploring new ideas.
Susan Hess Logeais
Susan Hess Logeais brings her passion as a social activist to her work as a filmmaker, creating films that are thought provoking and inspiring. Her background as a dancer, actress, and perpetual student allows her to craft stories that do more than entertain. She also blends the knowledge and understanding earned from over 30 years of spiritual exploration with her technical experience as a filmmaker, providing her with a unique perspective on building projects that draw the viewer into a heartfelt experience of the story. Holding a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Transformational Entertainment and Human Consciousness, Susan recognizes her responsibility as a creative to produce content that serves the human spirit. Currently, Susan is working on a feature documentary highlighting the discoveries of psychedelic psychotherapy pioneer, Stan Grof. Working directly with Stan, she is weaving a story that incorporates her personal exploration of his techniques, revealing the extraordinary healing power of non-ordinary states of consciousness. Recent work includes Soar, a documentary focusing on two sisters —both dancers, one a quad amputee, that aired on PBS, and a project documenting the work of Spacial Dynamics founder, Jaimen McMillan. Past work includes writing and producing the award-winning indie feature, Not Dead Yet.
Ken Hoffman earned his MBA from Kaplan University , and is currently a VP with the Bank of Oklahoma Financial’s Wealth Management area. He has been serving the financial industry for more than three decades in Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis and now Phoenix. He is also a regional director for the United States Bowling Congress (2 years), and president of the non-profit Phoenix Unified Gay Bowling Alliance (member and director for 14 years, president for 6 of the last 7 years). He has been married to fine art photographer, Thomas Fleisher, for the last five years of their 14 years together. On frequent trips for bowling tournaments and holiday travel, the pair can regularly be found on side trips to museums and galleries, often adding to their eclectic personal collection of artworks and objet from around the world.
Sam is a professional director, teacher, designer, creative consultant, acting coach and performer. He has directed award winning productions both on stage and in film, won numerous design awards and has appeared as a performer in over 60 productions including opera, stage, film, and TV. He has worked in Las Vegas as an Assistant Show Director and as a Director for Sabre Latin America both in Miami and Orlando, Florida. Sam has worked with Universal Studios, Artists Repertory Theatre, The Cantilever Project, Bump in the Road Theatre, Van port Square Studios, Staged!, Running Deer Films, Seaside Music Theatre, Hot flash Films and the Portland Area Theatre Alliance (PATA) where he served on the Board of Directors. He was a professor of Theatre for 17 years and has taught at the University of Florida, St. John’s University, College of St. Benedict, Rollins College, the University of Central Florida, PCC and The Art Institute of Portland. Sam has presented at the American Theatre of Higher Education conference (New York City) and served as an international consultant to the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance (GVPTA) in Vancouver, BC. Sam holds an MFA from the University of Florida and two Bachelors from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. Sam has built his career on producing, directing and reinventing artistic opportunities for women. He encourages women to look beyond the limitations set by the industry and find new and exciting methods of communicating with the world at large. His primary mission is to raise the awareness of limited opportunities for women in the arts, with a goal of advancing the definition of “women’s work” and creating outlets and partnerships for women in the professional and educational arenas. He is currently serving as the Executive Director and Founder of ARTemis an organization advancing women artists through knowledge building, exposure, and support.
With roots in the Silicon Valley and the East Coast, Cady (pronounced like Elizabeth Cady Stanton) now lives in micro-urban Champaign, IL with her husband, dog, and cat. This events professional is a long-time multi-media artist and “maker” of things with a bachelors degree of Art in Architecture and Urban Planning.
Her work has been published in a scientific journal, and she has been commissioned for artwork from private parties for over ten years. Looking forward, Cady wants to make more of her art and creations available for the general public to enjoy. Not only does she have a lot to share, there is a lot that she wants to learn. Being connected through Artists United is the catalyst by which she and so many artists can thrive, and she is thrilled to be part of it.
Adele James is an organizational development consultant and career/life transition coach with 20 years experience in the nonprofit and philanthropy sectors. She has commissioned and/or facilitated grant programs totaling $173 million throughout California. First-hand knowledge has taught her both about the challenges and supports needed by leaders of color, women, underserved and underrepresented communities in order to catalyze social change. Adele works with statewide, regional and local groups in conducting program planning and design, meeting facilitation, training, grants administration, capacity building and evaluation. A native of Trinidad, West Indies, in Adele’s own life, stepping into purpose and passion has meant taking risks and allowing curiosity and intuition to move her towards the unexplored and things that make her heart smile, even when intellect has wanted to take a safer and less fulfilling route. In the past year Adele began worked with artists in the Caribbean to bring their stories and talents to the world. This has meant combining her organizational development and coaching skills, along with exploration of photography, towards the creation of a book about 20 indigenous and undiscovered artists in Trinidad & Tobago.
Lila LaHood is the publisher of the San Francisco Public Press. She has worked as a nonprofit consultant, and as a freelance writer and editor. She was previously a business writer at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where she covered retail and real estate. Lila is president of the board of directors of the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She has an M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a B.A. in international relations from Stanford University.