Board of Directors
Mike De Luca, President
Mike De Luca assumes the role of president of the Board beginning 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 The Athena Group, 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 Williams, 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.
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.
Andy Buelow, Executive Director
Since his arrival in 2007, Andrew Buelow has instigated new strategic planning, team building and programming initiatives, expanded marketing and advertising, and revitalized fund development. Under his leadership contributions have increased by 60 percent and the number of donors by 77 percent. The Symphony has expanded its community presence with concerts at Washington State Fair and Tacoma Dome, a new series for toddlers and parents titled Mini Maestros, and collaborations with the Broadway Center and Tacoma Opera. The organization has doubled its endowment and grown its reserves by 40 percent. Andy received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Lawrence University, and is an avid keyboardist and sailor. MORE
Denise Cline, Finance Manager
Denise first joined the staff in 1999 as Operations and Ticket Manager. After a five year absence, she returned to the Symphony in 2009 and now serves as its bookkeeper. 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.
Ann Dorn, Engagement Manager
With a background in journalism and marketing, Ann Dorn joined the Symphony staff in September 2016 and helps share the Symphony’s powerful story through video, web, newsletters, press releases and other channels. Having previously helped market various programs for Pierce College as well as having published her own community wellness magazine, Ann is passionate about extending opportunities to experience the life changing impact of education and the arts. She played piano and the trumpet for years as a youth and now encourages her daughter’s love of music by taking her to guitar lessons and to regular musical performances of all kinds.
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