Board of Directors
Mike De Luca, President
Mike De Luca assumed the role of president of the Board in July 2017 after three seasons as Treasurer. His goal for his presidency is, quite simply, to “make Symphony Tacoma indispensable to the community.” In his professional life as president and owner of Torre Consulting, Mike works with companies to evolve strategy and achieve outcomes by improving processes and developing the teams that support them. He works with all levels of leaders and teams to connect strategy to the underpinning metrics and management system that ensure success. With over 15 years of leadership experience, most recently as Executive Director of Finance at Group Health, Mike is a featured speaker at conferences nationwide and a Fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. He holds the Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP) designation, a Master of Science in Finance from Seattle University, Master of Arts from Indiana University and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Rochester. An avid pianist and music lover, Mike lives in Federal Way with his wife and teenage twins and also enjoys hiking and tennis.
Clark D’Elia, Immediate Past President
A member of the Symphony Board of Directors since June 2006, Clark D’Elia currently serves as Immediate Past President. He has served as First Vice President, Secretary, and two separate terms as President. Other past assignments include chairing the Strategic Planning, Symphony Gala, Music Director Search, and Leadership/Governance committees. He has also served as a member of the Finance and Fund Development committees. Prior to joining the Symphony Board, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Point Defiance Zoo Society for eight years, and served as its president for two years. Clark is a retired Intel Corporation program manager, and his hobbies and passions include landscape gardening, as well as tasting, collecting and reading about wine. He lives with his wife Eileen in Gig Harbor.
Dianne Conway, First Vice President
Dianne Conway is a Partner at the law firm of Gordon Thomas Honeywell, one of the region’s largest law firms, based in Tacoma and Seattle. Her primary areas of practice are in environmental law, real estate litigation, natural resources law, and land use. She holds a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, and a B.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization from the University of Washington. She is Past President of the Point Defiance Zoo Society and was the 2013 Zoobilee Chair. Other previous board positions include the Washington Agriculture-Forestry Education Foundation and the KBTC Association. In addition, she participated in the Tacoma Pierce County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program. She “ran-limped-crawled” two marathons for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training Program. Dianne currently leads the Fund Development Committee and is serving as Chair of the 2017 West Side Story Gala. A lifelong classical music lover, Dianne grew up playing the violin.
Rick Meeder, Second Vice President
A lifelong musician and devotee of symphonic music, Rick joined the Symphony Board in 2015 and looks forward to supporting the orchestra as it achieves new levels of artistic performance and community impact. As the corporate affairs manager for Intel in Washington, Rick was responsible for government and media relations, community engagement, education outreach and contributions. In this role, he worked with school districts and community organizations to support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs that engage and motivate students. Prior to joining Intel, Rick spent 20 years in broadcast journalism, working for radio and television stations in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Rick is also member of the board of directors for United Way of Pierce County and an active Special Olympics volunteer. He and his wife, Sue Barrett, live in Gig Harbor.
Sharon Williamson, Treasurer
Sharon grew up in Tacoma, learning to appreciate music while playing the flute and studying dance. After earning an Environmental Engineering degree from New Mexico Tech, she returned to the northwest, where she climbed smokestacks as an air quality test engineer. She then switched to the aerospace industry, working first in Tacoma at General Plastics Manufacturing Company and then Vaupell Northwest Molding and Tooling, from which she recently retired as Quality Manager. Retirement allows her to spend time with her husband Russ, and to keep up her garden, which suffered while she was commuting. Sharon and Russ love to travel, and have been around the world to various sites in Egypt, Peru, Ecuador, and Central Europe. Lately, they have been using their R-Pod travel trailer to find our best northwest hiking spots.
Deborah Anderson, Secretary
Deborah Anderson is a lifelong Tacoma resident who has followed the Symphony’s progress and presence in the community since her childhood. As a member of the Board, she is honored to help “pay forward” the influence it has had on her life. Deborah began composing at the age of 6, and has now completed nearly 90 works. She graduated from Lawrence University (Appleton, WI) with a degree in French. After graduation, she worked as a nanny in Paris, then taught English for two years with the Peace Corps in Tunisia where she learned to play the ‘oud and sing in Arabic. Soon after, she fulfilled a lifelong dream of studying the English Renaissance lute. In 1979 she earned her master’s degree in French from the University of Washington (Seattle) and taught French on the college level. Over the years, she has studied seven foreign languages and continues to travel widely throughout the world. She enjoys gourmet cooking, watercolor painting, basic gardening and the arts. She has sung in a number of choirs, including ten years with the PLU Choral Union.
Dick has been a Symphony Board member since 2001. During that time he has served several roles, including Governance Committee chair and Secretary, First Vice-President, and President. Dick is passionate about the role that the arts in general, and the Symphony in particular, play in the renaissance that is transitioning Tacoma to a vibrant city. He is in a committed relationship with Verity, his English partner who lives in London, and they spend a good deal of time in each other’s countries! He has been retired from Intel Corporation for nearly 7 years, after a career of over 40 years in the computer business.
Connie Bacon was elected to the port commission in 1997. She serves as advisor to the Asia Pacific Cultural Center and Fuzhou Committee and is co-chair of Water Partners Tacoma. Bacon also serves on the Urban Waters Board and the Port of Tacoma Audit Committee. A member of the Transportation Club of Tacoma and Tacoma Propeller Club, she is a senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum and member of the advisory board to the Port of Tacoma Endowed Chair at the University of Washington Tacoma. She is an emeritus member of the Northwest Sinfonietta Board of Directors. Bacon is a former executive director of the World Trade Center Tacoma and served eight years as special assistant to former Washington Gov. Booth Gardner. She is a graduate of Syracuse University and earned a master’s degree from The Evergreen State College.
Bob has long enjoyed attending the Symphony and other Tacoma performing arts organizations; his recent retirement has enabled him to focus on supporting that which has brought him such pleasure and satisfaction for so many years. A member of the Board since 2016, Bob brings to the team a special facility for working with people, fostering the growth of community organizations, together with more than 43 years of experience managing money for a major investment bank. He currently serves on both the Finance and Fund Development committees, where his assistance is invaluable in creating and revising financial and investment policies, as well as identifying and cultivating new sources of sponsorship and other support. Bob is passionate about at least two things in life: investments and fly-fishing. He lives in Gig Harbor with his wife, Margie, a retired schoolteacher.
Andrea Hynes joined the Board in 2009 and returned this fall after a leave of absence. She is a member of the Gala steering committee and previously served as Chairperson of the Audience Engagement Committee. An enthusiastic fan of the Symphony, Andrea is a longtime season subscriber and enjoys her service to the organization. She recently retired from her position as the teacher librarian at Graham Elementary School in the Bethel School District.
Dan and his wife Karen are longtime donors, subscribers, and supporters of the Symphony. Dan joined the Symphony Board in 2015. He played tuba and sang in chorus from elementary through high school and continued his musical training during college years as an applied voice major. Dan’s father taught band and his stepmother, who was his first voice teacher, was an assistant professor of music at University of Montana, making music a lifelong passion. Dan was a member of Symphony Tacoma Chorus for 12 years and served as chorus representative to the Symphony board for 6 years during that time. He has served on the boards of several non-profit and professional organizations and has filled a variety of board roles. Dan recently retired from his role as Facilities Manager for Fife School District, and he and Karen reside in Federal Way. Their interests include learning about wine and exploring Washington’s wineries, travel, entertaining, and sailing.
Kenton Lee began performing music at the age of three. He was raised in a family of six musical children in Minnesota, where he studied the piano, voice and viola. His love of both music and ministry led him to Life Center, Tacoma, where he has completed 33 years as the Minister of Worship and Creative Arts. Kenton directs Life Center’s holiday production, the Singing Christmas Tree, each December (16 performances) and serves on a creative team that coordinates ongoing weekly services and other seasonal events. He holds a Bachelors of Arts in Music (piano), a Masters in Theology and a Doctorate in Worship Studies. He is a published composer and arranger. Kenton is married to his teenage sweetheart, Benita, also a pianist. They have raised four musical children and are now enjoying six grandchildren. Kenton and Benita live in University Place.
Julie Dunbar was appointed to serve on Symphony Tacoma’s Board of Directors in 2018. She serves on the Fund Development Committee and the Gala Committee. She has lived most of her life in Washington State, currently the greater Tacoma area where she considers home. She has held accounting and finance roles for municipalities, a healthcare facility, a transportation and distribution company, and currently serves as budget manager for Tacoma Community College. Julie’s interest in music began at an early age (around three) when someone put a violin under her chin. She began playing at the age of seven when music lessons were a part of public school curriculum. She transitioned to the viola in middle school and has performed as a member of several symphony orchestras in Washington State including Everett Youth Symphony, Everett Symphony, Cascade Symphony, Port Angeles Symphony and currently the Tacoma Community College Orchestra. Additionally, she has performed with orchestras in Port Townsend and Sequim. Julie loves music and Tacoma. She considers Symphony Tacoma a gem of the community and wants to do her part to maintain the Symphony’s important and strong presence in the community by expanding the Symphony’s efforts to inspire audiences. She considers music vital for both the individual and for the continuation of the arts in humanity. Julie is the proud mom of three grown children and a daughter-in-law who all love music. In her spare time Julie enjoys weightlifting and working out several days a week, gardening, reading, playing chess, and of course, listening to and playing great music.
Kit Evans, Interim Executive Director
Recently retired from being executive director of Hilltop Artists, Kit Evans is a passionate supporter of the arts. Kit has been an executive director and consultant for non-profits for over 40 years. While creating organizations, developing programs and advocating, she has also raised over 22 million dollars for programs and facilities — including domestic violence shelters, sexual assault centers, AIDS housing and the arts. Kit received a MA from Antioch Seattle and her BA from the Evergreen State College. She participates in multiple task forces and working groups focused on the arts, education, and youth development; is a Senior Fellow in the American Leadership Forum; and is a member of Tacoma’s Rotary 8.
Denise Cline, Chief Financial Officer
Denise first joined the staff in 1999 as Operations and Ticket Manager. After a five year absence, she returned to the Symphony in 2009. Denise is from upstate New York where she was fortunate to grow up in a town with a rich community music history as well as a thriving public school music program. She played trumpet and cello throughout her school years beginning in the third grade. She continued her music education at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music near Cleveland Ohio, where she earned a Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance under the instruction of James Darling. While at Baldwin Wallace, Denise also played principal trumpet in the Cleveland Youth Orchestra for two years under Maestro Jahja Ling and was incredibly humbled to rehearse and perform in Cleveland’s Severance Hall under his direction.
Saul Cline, General Manager
A member of the Symphony staff since 2003, Saul Cline oversees the organization’s concert operations, artistic administration, orchestra personnel and educational programs. He is responsible for maintaining compliance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement and for all artistic contracting. He supervises the part-time Music Librarian and is the liaison with the stage and production crews of the Broadway Center. Saul received a Master of Music degree from Central Washington University and a Bachelor of Music in jazz performance from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has served as lecturer on the affiliate music faculty at Pacific Lutheran University and as an elementary music teacher in the Bethel School District. An accomplished reed player, Saul performs regularly throughout the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area.
Anna Jensen, Education Specialist
With 20+ years in performance and education, Dr. Jensen has the ability to develop an instant rapport with youth of all types, quickly establishing a sense of trust and shared respect that makes learning comfortable and effective. Dr. Jensen is the assistant principal bassist of Symphony Tacoma, the principal bassist of the Tacoma Opera Orchestra, and regularly performs with orchestras across the region. She has performed with the Second City Chamber Music Series, the Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival, the Kairos Music Festival and Lyceum, the Rackham Chamber Music Series, and the All Rivers at Once contemporary music series. Dr. Jensen has been the featured soloist with the Evergreen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lake Chelan Bach Festival Orchestra, the Wenatchee Symphony Orchestra, and the Tacoma Young Artists Orchestra. She holds degrees from the University of Michigan (DMA and MM) and Central Washington University (BM). Her passion for the music translates to her deep involvement in education. In addition to instructing positions at Pacific Lutheran University and Central Washington University, Dr. Jensen teaches double bass and music theory at the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association and maintains a large private studio. When not performing or teaching, Anna can be found making mud pies with her four young children, hiking in the woods, or encouraging her own family’s improvisational skills and joy of music! Check out Anna’s WEBSITE.
Laura Stone, Advancement Manager
Laura received a Bachelor of Arts in Art History, with a minor in Elementary Education from the University of Mary Washington in Virginia. After several years in direct social work, she took a grantwriting course and has been working in non-profits ever since. She began her non-profit career working for the Symphony back in 2000 as its Marketing & Development Coordinator. After that, she served as Grants Manager for the Museum of Glass during its exciting rise to opening in 2002. Laura then shifted gears by spending three years working on the other side of the “grants table” in philanthropy, as the Grants Administrator for the Forest and Sequoia Foundations. She came full circle when she returned to the Symphony in 2008 as its Advancement Manager. Laura has presided over a significant expansion of the Symphony’s pool of foundation donors and provides the organization with effective counseling on maintaining positive foundation relations.
Lydia Robinson, Database Manager and Executive Assistant
As a Tacoma native, Lydia has been an active member of the Tacoma music community since childhood. She has enjoyed many playing opportunities as an oboist in the Pacific Northwest Area, including All-State and Honor Band participation, Tacoma Youth Symphony, and most recently PLU wind Ensemble and University Symphony Orchestra. She has also served as a member of the orchestra in the Orchestra Recital Series sponsored by the Tacoma Chapter of the WSMTA for the past 7 years. A recent graduate from Pacific Lutheran University, Lydia graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music in oboe performance. She is looking forward to growing her oboe studio and continuing to play locally. As Database Manager and Executive Assistant, Lydia’s role in the symphony is to aid patrons, maintain its database and ticket sales, and serve as the assistant to the Executive Director. Lydia looks forward to sharing her love of music by offering her best service to the music patrons of Symphony Tacoma.
Susan Newsom, Marketing & Communications Manager
Susan grew up in Port Orchard and has lived in Tacoma for more than 20 years. She earned her BA in Liberal Studies from the University of Washington-Tacoma and has spent much of her career in a variety of marketing and communications roles, primarily for local nonprofits. She was a member of the inaugural marketing team at the Museum of Glass and worked there for 11 years. After five years with healthcare and social service organizations, Susan was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to return to the Tacoma arts community with Symphony Tacoma in 2018.
901 Broadway, Suite 600
Tacoma, WA 98402
Administrative, Subscriber and Patron Services 253-272-7264
Single Tickets 253-591-5894 or 800-291-7593