Board of Directors

Laura Thompson – President
Founder/president of one of Southern California’s leading event production company specializing in fundraising for nonprofit organizations. During the final decade of ownership, Laura helped client raise more than $65 million through events and sponsorships. Resides in Eagle Crest.

Trish Sewell – Secretary
Teaches voice at Central Oregon Community College. She sings with the Central Oregon Mastersingers and has been the vocal director for productions with Theater in the Park/Mejaski Choreography, Schor/Kilpatrick productions, Cascades Theatrical Company, and BEAT Children’s Theater.

Richard Camp – Marketing
Creative Director and president of a leading digital marketing agency. His work includes campaigns, marketing strategy, and website applications for global technology companies and e-commerce brands. He is a former TV commercial director with numerous film, video, and photography credits. Resides in Bend.

Stefanie de Gruyter
Works in the Deschutes County District Attorney’s office as a member of the person crimes team. She is the office interpreter and is coordinator for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team, with a passion for inclusivity. Stefanie brings her multi-cultured and international experience, knowledge and perspective, acquired from her 20 plus years of living, working, and volunteering in Europe, South America, Canada, and Africa. She sings with the Central Oregon Mastersingers and is a co-founding member of The Decency Project. Stefanie lives in Bend.

Michael Gesme
Conductor of the Central Oregon Symphony and Professor of Music at Central Oregon Community College for 24 seasons. In addition, he conducts the Cascade Winds, the Central Oregon Chamber Orchestra, and various performances for Opera Bend.

Thomas W. Giuliano
Was Director of Projects and Promotions in the Marketing Department of San Francisco Opera for 23 years. He played a significant role in retrofitting of the San Francisco Opera after the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989 and produced television and radio ads, along with video clips for network television, and he increased ticket sales by 20% bringing young audiences. Lives in Sunriver.

Peggy Kinkade
Peggy has lived in Bend since 1993 with her husband Brent and their three (now grown) children. She serves on the High Desert Education Service District board (currently as Chair) since retiring from the Bend-La Pine School Board. During her 12 years at Bend-La Pine Schools, Peggy was twice board chair and gained experience with bond campaigns, construction planning, policy rewrites, collective bargaining and community outreach. She is a classroom volunteer and teaches an early morning class with high school students from her church.  

Valerie Pitts
A 40-year veteran educator and superintendent of schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. Has overseen the construction of several performing arts and theater facilities in schools. Sings with Central Oregon Mastersingers. Consults on executive searches, board training, and educational projects. Resides in Sunriver.

Robert D. Schaub
Robert Schaub was Seattle Opera’s Technical Director for more than 25 years. He played a key role in the development and realization of designs for McCaw Hall, the performance home of Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Robert also provided vision and leadership in the concept, design development and realization for the new 60,000 sq ft opera center located on the Seattle Center campus, completed in 2018. Lives in Bend and consults with the Arts Tech Group, in Seattle.

Larry Sewell
A retired police lieutenant from the LAPD, as well as a retired English and history high-school teacher. Long-time choral singer who for the past 10 years has sung with the Central Oregon Mastersingers. Three years ago, he spearheaded the idea that the Central Oregon Center for the Arts needs to be built.

Jon Thompson – Communications
Print journalist, reporter and editor; photographer blogger and banjo picker. Sings with the Central Oregon Mastersingers. Retired from Los Angeles Times Community News. Lives in Eagle Crest.