Board of Directors
President (interim) & Treasurer: Will Schieber, founder North River Management Services
Mr. Schieber is a native of the Chicago metro area where he attended Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. His professional career was with the United Nations in Geneva and New York where he worked in information technology. Upon his return to Berkeley he was a licensed agent for a local real estate broker. He later established North River Management Services which does website design and management for non-profits and individuals in the arts. He also serves as a Trustee on the Board of Cal Performances. He finds that living in the Bay Area offers great opportunities to attend fine arts events.
Vice President: Lena Zentall, Project Manager, University of California, California Digital Library
Formerly with the administrative staff of the San Francisco Symphony, Ms. Zentall has worked in a wide breadth of industries including software, biotech, nonprofit, corporate, and higher education. She brings experience in project management, strategic planning, integrated marketing, and design.
Secretary: Carol Christ, Chancellor, University of California, Berkeley
Ms. Christ is the eleventh chancellor and first female leader of UC Berkeley. She has served in a number of administrative positions at the University of California at Berkeley, including six years as Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. In 2002, she moved to New England to become President of Smith College until her retirement in 2013 when she returned to UC Berkeley to head the Center for Studies in Higher Education.
Jonathan Arons, Emeritus Professor of Astronomy and of Physics, University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Arons grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received his B.A. in Physics from Williams College and his Ph.D. in Astronomy from Harvard University. He was a postdoctoral Fellow at the Princeton University Observatory and the Institute for Advanced Study before becoming one of Mark Twain’s loose nuts and rolling West, coming to rest in Berkeley in 1972. He enjoys cooking, playing the cello in amateur orchestras and chamber groups, as well as taking concerts, theater and film from the overflowing Bay Area cornucopia, with occasional expeditions to New York and LA.
Anthony Cascardi, Sidney and Margaret Ancker Distinguished Professor at UC Berkeley, Dean of Arts and Humanities
Anthony J. Cascardi is Dean of Arts and Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also Professor of Comparative Literature, Rhetoric, and Spanish. He is former Director of the Townsend Center for the Humanities and of the Arts Research Center. Cascardi’s research interests include the relations between literature and philosophy; aesthetic theory; the novel; and early modern Europe. His recent publications include the two edited volumes "Art and Aesthetics After Adorno" and "Poiesis and Modernity," and the books “Cervantes, Literature, and the Discourse of Politics" and "The Cambridge Introduction to Literature and Philosophy."
Martin Cohn, Founder, Cohn & Wells
Cohn &Wells, one of the ten largest direct marketing firms in the United States, was merged into the Euro RSCG international network. Mr. Cohn has served as president of the Board of Directors of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and as a member of the boards of San Francisco Performances, French American International School and the Instituto Italiano Scuola.
Laurie Pitman, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist
Ms. Pitman, a classically trained pianist, grew up in West Africa. She studied Middle Eastern languages and literature at University of Chicago in the mid-80s, and moved to the Bay Area in 1990. In 1995 she co-founded WebLogic, where she worked as a software engineer until she retired in 1999. From 2005-2012, she owned and operated Golden Gate Helicopters. Now in her second retirement, she sits on the boards of Arts for Oakland Kids and Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and she is an emeritus member of the San Francisco State University Foundation Board.
Andrea Plesnarski, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble musician
Ms. Plesnarski has served as a musician board member with Oakland East Bay Symphony for the past 8 years. She has volunteered with Students Run Oakland for several seasons and now works as a garden mentor with City Slicker Farms in Oakland. Ms. Plesnarski is Principal Oboist with Oakland East Bay Symphony and actively freelances in the Bay Area. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute, where she studied with John de Lancie and Richard Woodhams.
Amanda Wu, Individual Giving and Special Events Manager at Cal Performances
Amanda Wu is a development professional at Cal Performances in Berkeley, focusing her work on annual giving and special events. Prior to Cal Performances, Ms. Wu was a member of the San Francisco Symphony development team. Outside of her development work, Ms. Wu is a double bassist with a background in classical music from University of California Davis. She can often be found playing with local ensembles or in an orchestra pit for musicals in the Bay Area. When she is not involved with the arts, Ms. Wu enjoys rock climbing, running, and eating delicious food.
Bio coming soon!
Thomas Laqueur is Helen Fawcett Distinguished Professor of History at Berkeley where he has taught since 1973. His most recent book The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains was published by Princeton University Press in 2016. He wrote the libretto for the opera Death with Interruptions performed by the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. Laqueur is an amateur cellist and avid cyclist. When not practicing, riding, wakig his dog or working, he tends an orchard in the Santa Cruz mountains with his wife Dean Carla Hesse where they make all things apple, from brandy to vinegar.
Carl Schimmel, winner of the Bearns Prize, the Lee Ettelson Award, and the 2017 Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has received honors and awards from many organizations, including MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Copland House, New Music USA, and ASCAP. His works have been performed throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, by ensembles such as the Minnesota Orchestra, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, Da Capo Chamber Players, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and many others. He is Associate Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Illinois State University.