VCA Staff

Susan Warner, Executive Director

Susan joined VCA in 2017 having spent the previous 16 years at the world-renowned Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. She was most recently the Artistic Director/Major Gifts Officer and before that, the Executive Director. She grew up in East Africa, studied at Southampton University in the UK attaining a Bachelor’s degree in History, followed by a Diploma with Merit from the Studycentre for the Fine and Decorative Arts in London. She received her Master’s Degree in Education from Antioch University in Seattle and recently attended Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management at the Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School, and Museum Leadership at the Getty Leadership Institute. Prior to joining Museum of Glass, Warner held positions at Seattle Children’s Museum, the State Capital Museum and Dayton Art Institute.

Angela Gist, Deputy Director

Angela joined VCA in fall 2009, as Director of Vashon Artists in Schools. In 2010, she stepped up to Deputy Director and managed all finance and administrative operations while overseeing VAIS. She holds a M.A. in Theatre and Masters in Non Profit Management from Seattle University. Angela has worked in performing arts over 25 years and most recently served three years as Managing Director for Freehold Theatre. Angela and her family moved to Vashon in 2006, and they love making this uniquely artistic community their home. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Vashon Chamber of Commerce.

Janice Mallman, Gallery Curator

Originally from Michigan, Janice has worked with VCA for more than 25 years, served as Gallery Curator since 2000 and has been involved in every aspect of the organization. A visual artist, she currently creates collaged lamps and cards with Japanese papers and monotypes. Having lived 36 years on Vashon Island, she knows many artists and draws upon her knowledge as an artist and her connections to create an exciting and ever-evolving gallery program. Janice is an incredible asset to VCA. She loves living on the shores of outer Quartermaster Harbor.

Christine Juarez, Director of Vashon Center for Dance

Christine instructs many dance classes. She has taught for 30 years and holds a M.S. in Modern Dance and Physical Sciences as well as a B.S. in Ballet and Music. Christine has served as dance faculty at Indiana University, Washington University and Cornish College of the Arts – where she has taught and coordinated the summer dance program for 18 years. Christine’s mentors include notable teachers Bill Evans, Jean Pierre Bonnefoux, Jacques Cesbron, John White, Margarita De Saa, Marina Svetlova, Jurgen Pagles, Patrick Suzeau, Muriel Cohen, David Howard and Suzanne Grace. She has taught and held master classes at over 50 schools and arts centers throughout the country.

Wendy Finkleman, Director of Arts Education

Wendy joined VCA in 2010, after working in the field of education for over 15 years. Wendy worked in student services for University of Cincinnati, Western Washington University and the Art Institute of Seattle and spent a decade at Antioch University Seattle as an academic advisor and part-time adjunct faculty. In addition to being an accomplished photographer and running a portrait photography business, Wendy likes to explore different art mediums; her current favorites are felting, mosaic and encaustics.

Vacant, Marketing Director

Stephen Jeong, Director of Performing Arts

Stephen grew to appreciate the arts while studying Art History and Classical Studies in his hometown of Chicago. He has danced professionally in Vancouver, B.C. with several contemporary companies, both locally and abroad. In his recent career, he has both interned and volunteered for 4Culture, and worked at the Frye Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum and The Seattle Architecture Foundation. He graduated with an MFA in Arts Leadership from Seattle University, and has served on the board of Sprout Seattle. An ardent supporter of the arts, Stephen is thrilled to be part of the amazing arts community on Vashon, and looks forward to presenting exciting new work.

Meredith Neal,Patron Services Manager

Meredith joined VAA in the summer of 2011 after moving to Vashon from Portland. Originating from Kent State, Ohio, where she studied Cartography, Physics and Hydrology, she decided to adventure westward. When she landed in Portland, Meredith knew she had found her natural habitat in the Pacific Northwest. She worked six years at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and taught physics while also working at an art gallery, playing in a band and teaching workshops. Meredith moved to Vashon and looks forward to exploring more, especially through VAA.

Lara McKnight, Bookkeeper

Lara moved to Vashon at age 10. As a teenager, she developed two loves: theatre and math. She moved off-Island after graduating from VHS in 1994, and pursued theatre between college and ‘regular’ jobs. In 1999, she unexpectedly found herself working as a bookkeeper for a busy Seattle construction company, a job she fell in love with and dedicated 12 years to. She returned to Vashon in 2007, and in 2011, finally found a way to combine her original two loves, bookkeeping for VAA! She is currently pursuing a business degree from WSU, and is thrilled to be raising her young son on Vashon.

Lisa Breen, Volunteer Coordinator and House Manager

Lisa Breen is a long-time Vashon Island resident. Over the past eighteen years, she has been involved with Drama Dock, both as a board member and a performer. She has worked as an Artist in Residence in the schools with Vashon Center for the Arts, taught theatre classes for children and, most recently, worked for the Vashon Island School District. She is very excited to have this opportunity to interface with so many fabulous artists and Vashon volunteers, as well as to work at VCA in the lovely new Katherine L White Hall. Look for Lisa at the front desk and please email her if you wish to become involved at VCA as a volunteer!

Jesse Bell, Technical Director

Jesse Bell is “beyond ecstatic” to be a part of VCA. While finishing his Recording Arts and Bachelor’s degree in Orlando, he worked in production, freelancing as a stagehand and audio engineer in local venues and theaters, to a brief stint with concert and show productions in theme parks. Such diverse settings over the past 15 years helped build his wide range of technical skills. Most recently, Jesse was Director of Event Technology for PSAV in the Seattle area.

Jesse has been drawn to the arts since a young age, and says he is an obsessive audio-musicophile and feels strongly about positive benefits that creative outlets have on individuals and the community.

Ian Metler, Facilities Manager

Ian Metler joined Vashon Center for the Arts as Facilities Manager in March 2016. Ian is an Island native who spent much of his youth within the walls of the Blue Heron building. His involvement in the Arts ranges from music to design. After spending his last 20 years in construction as a carpenter and general contractor, he is excited to join Vashon Center for the Arts and support the arts within the Vashon community.

Kathy Pine, Heron’s Nest Co-Manager

Kathy retired as Director of Policy Development and Senior Trust Officer for Russell Investments. She spent the last 15 years creating jewelry and embraces Fair Trade and the use of eco-friendly materials.

Whitney Rose, Heron's Nest Co-Manager

Whitney spent her childhood in the greater Tacoma area and moved to Vashon in 2002. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in printmaking from Pacific Lutheran University. For the last several years in sales and customer service with Apple and a small company in Tacoma, she provided support to retail businesses by making best practice recommendations, installing point of sale systems and implementing online web stores.

Devin Grimm, Gallery Assistant

A painter, visual and freelance artist, Devin earned his BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. He spent one summer studying painting and printmaking at the Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Arts in Brittany, France, and a semester providing art training to at-risk youth in Nicaragua. He is currently completing his MFA in Arts Leadership from Seattle University.

Kaycie Alanis, Program Manager – Vashon Artists in Schools

Kaycie earned a BA in Theatre Education from Emerson College in Boston, and has worked as an actress and director with companies such as Centastage in Boston, and Second City and Chicago Dramatists in Chicago. Most recently, she worked with Two Pence Theatre in Chicago as Interim Director of Education before moving west with her family to Vashon. She has worked as a photographer, and practices another artistic love—singing—with Vashon Island Chorale.

Crissy Baker, Registrar

Crissy started participating in VAA activities in the Fall Term of 2012 by first volunteering in the Nutcracker production doing stagehand help with props while her children attended the dance program.  She had taken time off from work to be a stay at home mom before then, but with both children in full time school, it was time to go back to work. Having a degree in HR from Central Washington University, she has worked at both corporate Starbucks and Microsoft before having children. But now being located on Vashon and having her children so involved in the activities at VAA, she considered taking a different route when the opportunity for the Registrar position came available in Spring of 2013. It was the perfect fit being local and involved in the Arts with an organization she’d grown to love. She has always had a passion for dance and is also the Tap Instructor for VAA Center for Dance and continues to assist in the VAA Center for Dance productions.

Eileen Burke, Database Manager