Staff / Board of Directors

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Staff

Photo of  Amanda  Chiado
Amanda Chiado Program Manager
Work Phone: 831.636.2787

Amanda Chiado is a published poet and credentialed teacher.  She holds a BA and MFA in Writing.  She is an active member of California Poets in the Schools, an organization founded in 1964.  CPITS engages professional, published poets to teach youth of all ages the basics of writing and the creative process. CPITS poets help students recognize and celebrate their creativity and intellectual curiosity through the writing process.

Mrs. Chiado is a trained poet teacher who brings her experience and love of craft into her work at the Arts Council, as well as into the classroom.

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Photo of  Heidi  Jumper
Heidi Jumper Marketing Assistant
Work Phone: 831.636.2787 Home Phone:

Heidi fell in love with the arts in grammar school while attending an arts education program at the San Jose Museum of Art. She quickly developed a passion for all types of art: visual, literary, and performance. These interests stuck with her through college, leading her towards professional careers involving visual merchandising, marketing, graphic design, and business management. Over the years, she has also been involved with several volunteer organizations. Heidi believes that involvement in the arts brings joy to individuals and valuable culture to communities. She is excited to bring her creativity and skill set to the San Benito County Art Council.

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Photo of  Jennifer  Laine
Jennifer Laine Executive Director
Work Phone: 831.636.2787

Jennifer Laine has served as Executive Director of the San Benito County Arts Council, a local arts agency based in Hollister, California, since 2010.  In her tenure at SBCAC, she has pioneered new and innovative projects in her rural community by creating the dynamic ARTspace in downtown Hollister, launching strategic creative-placemaking initiatives, advocating for arts in education and developing arts programming for targeted underserved communities, including low-income youth, students with disabilities and youth in corrections. Jennifer has served as a grant panelist for the California Arts Council, Silicon Valley Creates and Center for Cultural Innovation and also serves on the Board of Trustee to the Hazel Hawkins Hospital Foundation.

Prior to her work at SBCAC, she worked with other cultural and international organizations, including the Bechtel International Center at Stanford University, the International Diplomacy Council, Kato-gun Board of Education, Japan, and as an independent consultant in Dresden, Germany.  She holds a B.A. in Art History from UC Santa Cruz and a M.A. in Global Studies from the University of Leipzig, Germany.

Jennifer is trained as a modern dancer and performed with the Mel Wong Dance Company from 1999-2000. She lives with her husband, 3 children, puppy, cat and 5 chickens in Hollister, CA.

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Photo of  Michelle  Leonard
Michelle Leonard Operations & Development Assistant
Work Phone: 831.636.2787

Michelle Leonard has been involved in the arts for many years…as a dancer, culinary artist, “dance mom”, collaborator and avid arts supporter. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the Arts Council through her vast experience in office administration, customer service, event planning and project management and is also well-connected to the local community.  Michelle is half-Korean, half-Mexican and considers herself “mostly” bilingual, bringing an invaluable cultural perspective to her work.

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Board

Photo of  Don  Boys
Don Boys

President of Central Coast Patent Agency, a full-service Patent Law firm operating on the California Central Coast for twenty-five years, and specializing in rapidly creating patent portfolios for start-up companies and patents for established companies and for independent inventors.  He is a member of the Federal Patent Bar and is a Professional Mechanical Engineer.

Mr. Boys graduated from Purdue University in Indiana in 1962 with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering, worked in Aerospace Engineering at Pratt and Whitney Aircraft in Hartford CT., was with General Motors from 1963 to 1976 developing robotic and automatic processing equipment, developed automated vacuum systems and magnetically-enhanced sputtering equipment for Varian Associates for seven years, founded Iodep Engineering, which merged with Genus, Inc. to develop one of the first cluster tools, and then moved into the Intellectual property world in 1989.

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Photo of  Cesar  Flores
Cesar Flores President

Cesar Flores, a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), has over 30 years experience with El Teatro Campesino.

His most recent theatrical endeavors include La Pastorella (El Teatro Campesino), Rain of Gold (Western Stage Company), and The Late Henry Moss (Magic Theater, SF). He has also been involved in numerous television and film projects.

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Photo of  Mike  Grace
Mike Grace Treasurer

Michael Grace (Mike) began his career as a Certified Public Accountant in 1979. He was a CPA with Deloitte and Touche, an international tax and accounting firm, until working as a controller for an agribusiness company. He founded his own local CPA practice in 1986, and in 1998 formed the partnership of Grace & Associates, CPAs.

Mike has over 30 years of experience in public accounting and is available to help you with audit, business planning, taxation, accounting, valuation and a variety of other consulting services.  In addition to serving on the board of the San Benito County Arts Council, he also serves as Treasurer for the Community Foundation for San Benito County and Finance Assistant for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

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Photo of  Phil  Leonard
Phil Leonard San Benito County Arts Council

“As an artist, I create to fulfill my own imagination. Painting has become a necessary outlet, it is not what is being painted or even necessarily how it is being painted that provokes my mind to wonder. After all, art is intended to stimulate the senses and evoke emotion! My media of choice, automotive urethane enamel, provide me with the desired affects that resemble my own imaginations characteristics….. polished yet mechanical and imaginative yet grounded. A steady balance of these characteristics makes a successful painting to me”.

Phil has served as an Advisor to the San Benito County Arts Council since 2011 and joined the Board in 2014.

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Photo of  Jane  Rekedal
Jane Rekedal

Jane Rekedal is a professional potter and long time resident of San Benito County, having moved from Minnesota in 1975.  She teaches ceramics at Gavilan Community College and maintains her own studio, Family Gooey Pottery, in a rural setting in Aromas.  She hosts her own studio opening twice annually and participates in art events throughout the area.  Jane also currently serves as a director on the Executive Board  of the Aromas Hills Artisans.

Jane produces stoneware and porcelain pottery that is both sculptural and functional, inspired by historical ceramics, yet contemporary in character.  Recent sculptural work focuses on a series of animals including sea otters, horses, birds, dogs, and cats.

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Photo of  Robert  Rivas
Robert Rivas

Robert Rivas is a lifelong resident of San Benito County.  He has dedicated his career to public service, as he has worked in CA State and Local Government since 2003.  Currently, he is a Student Support Manager at San Benito High School, an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Gavilan College and represents the 3rd District on the San Benito County Board of Supervisors.  As a member of the Board, he has taken on an activist role to protect the environment.  In 2014, Robert helped mobilize a grassroots effort that lead to the first voter-approved initiative in California banning hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in San Benito County.

Robert has received a Masters in Public Administration from San Jose State University and Bachelor of Arts in Government from California State University, Sacramento.

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Photo of  Louise  Roy
Louise Roy

Louise is a board member of the San Benito Art County Council and the president of the Hollister Art League. She moved from Long Beach, California to Hollister 25 years ago to teach art and ceramics at San Benito High School. She was the Art Department Chairperson for three years and received the honor of Teacher of the Year 1997. Having always been involved in some form of art and teaching, she danced professionally and worked in the motion picture industry in Los Angeles before moving to Hollister.

After taking an adult education class in oil painting Louise changed her major from dance to visual art. She graduated from California State University of Long Beach with a B.A. in Art and a Single Subject Credential in Art. She received her Masters in Art from North Western University of Louisiana, with emphases in painting. In 2005, Louise received a teacher’s scholarship to attend the Academy of Arts College of San Francisco where she studied life sculpture and plein air oil painting.

Her work hangs at Hazel Hawkins Hospital, San Benito County Public Library, Hollister City Hall, Mars Hill Coffee Shop, and in private collections. She has won many first place awards at the San Benito County Fair, Gilroy Arts and Wine Exhibit, and first place purchase award for a ceramic bust of a young woman from the California Teachers Association, just to name a few.

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Photo of  Brenda  Weatherly
Brenda Weatherly

Brenda Weatherly is a California native from Lompoc and graduate of CSU Fresno with a degree in Advertising/Journalism and a minor in Art.

She has lived in San Benito County since 1986, and had worked locally in sales and marketing before becoming the Executive Director for the Hollister Downtown Association in 2005.  She has been actively involved in Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce, The Economic Development Corporation for San Benito County as well as in other local service clubs and non-profit organizations over the years.  Brenda is also a certified Life Coach.

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