Board of Directors


Naimeh Tanha Woodward is the Founder and President of Encinitas Friends of the Arts and one of the City of Encinitas Arts Commissioners. She is an active participant in several art and civic organizations such as Scripps Health, Synergy Art Foundation, San Diego Visual Art Network, and Society for Arts in Health Care and plays a key role in advocating for cultural arts in Encinitas and San Diego County.
Laura Diede works at The Leichtag Foundation/Coastal Roots Farm as their Office Assistant and Receptionist. Prior to joining the Foundation, Laura worked for Athena San Diego as Program Assistant, as a Community Manager for 10 different HOA’s, a General Manager at an architectural survey company and as a manager of the Farmington Woods Pro Shop. Her passion has always been non-profit work and being a part of the Leichtag Foundation is a dream come true.
 Deanne Sabeck is the owner of Deanne Sabeck Studios/Kuivato Glass Gallery. She has also served as an owner and director of Casa Candelitas, an art and yoga retreat located in Costa Rica. She is also part of the San Diego Visual Arts Network Greencinitas.
Joann Johnson is a certified Kaizen Muse Creativity Coach who has been facilitating Creativity Workshops since 2003. Joann has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Colorado State University and has over ten years of grant writing experience working with non-profit organizations in both Colorado and California. Joann previously worked with a variety of organizations including the Boulder County Latina Women’s League, League of Women Voters NCSD, North County Photographic Society. She is currently the Treasurer for the Encinitas Friends of the Arts.
Janine Free, EFA’s Board Secretary, is a Street Photographer from France. She has been living in Encinitas, CA for 26 years. After she retired from working at QUALCOMM as a Research Librarian, she embraced street photography as a full-time activity. She travels in cities all over Europe, Asia and the United States. She stays in each city for weeks at a time, shooting every day until she feels she has captured the essence of that city, through walking in its streets. She has exhibited in the San Diego region for 8 years.
Arun Goel is an attorney based in North County specializing in intellectual property and commercial law. A first-generation American and proud father of two, Arun joined EFA to support its mission and help advance cultural arts throughout Encinitas.
Irene Abraham is an artist and a member of the City of Encinitas Arts Commission. She has been a resident of Encinitas for 14 years and is very interested in increasing the impact of the arts in San Diego North County. Irene has an MFA in Visual Arts, is involved in several local artist groups and has shown her work in California and nationally. She also is a member of the North Coast Strings, an orchestra specifically for adult learners. She has a background as a research biologist (Ph.D.) working primarily in cancer research.
Sayat Asatryan was born in Yerevan , Armenia and trained in Russia at the Voronezh Ballet school and St. Peterburg Ballet Academy. He received a comprehensive arts and humanities education at the St. Petersburg Ballet Academy and Voronezh Ballet Academy with the Master Degree in Dance and Arts. Additionally, he completed Certified Performing Arts Executive program from University of New Orleans focused on the management aspects of performing arts tour booking and presenting. He has been dancing professionally in the United States and throughout the world over the past 23 years, and teaching ballet technique and choreographing for the past 20 years .


Advisory Board

Teresa Barth is a third-generation resident of the North Coast area. She served on the Encinitas City Council from 2006 -2014 and was an advocate for the arts. Barth is the founding president of Engage Encinitas, a nonprofit that aims to enrich the lives of city residents by encouraging collaboration and strengthening civic engagement.
 Vikas P. Srivastava is an educator, artist and entrepreneur. As a musician, primarily a percussionist and DJ, his work represents the evolution of East Indian transition and translocation. As an educator, he is known for his integration of non-violence, arts and technology. As an entrepreneur, he strives to maintain community spaces where cultural diversity is the norm. His motto is, “Be the child you wish to see in the world”.
Dr. Beatriz Villarreal has worked to assist the Latino community for more than 27 years, providing community resources for the prevention of juvenile delinquency, gangs, drug abuse, and violence. From her over 8 years of service as a director of a counseling program at San Diego’s Juvenile Hall, to founding the Mano a Mano Foundation–a non-profit organization that works to support at-risk youth– Dr. Villarreal’s actions demonstrate her work in students achieving the American dream.
Collette Murphy Stefanko is a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist with over 25 years of graphic design, marketing, publishing, and event management experience with multiple awards to her credit. After selling Ranch & Coast magazine, she refocused her attention on the arts and is currently the director of marketing for Oceanside Museum of Art. Over the years, Collette has remained actively involved with local nonprofits and currently serves as an arts commissioner for the City of Encinitas, Encinitas coordinator for California Alliance for Arts Education, and is a founding board member of Encinitas Friends of the Arts.
Patricia Frischer is a founder and the coordinator of the non-profit San Diego Visual Arts Network, which lists approximately 2500 visual arts resources in San Diego County and receives over a million hits a year. She also writes editorials, art reports, and has managed many gallery operations in San Diego, as well as London. Patricia Frischer’s vision is to see the San Diego region recognized as a hub of excellence for the visual arts.
Angela Jackson is a mixed media artist and art educator who has exhibited in many group and solo shows throughout the United States. She is inspired by the beauty and therapeutic aspects of the ocean which are expressed in her work. Angela teaches Visual Art at San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas. She received her BFA in Art from the Pennsylvania State University and her M.Ed in Integrated Teaching Through the Arts from Lesley University, Massachusetts.


City of Encinitas Liaison

Jim Gilliam is the Arts Administrator for the City of Encinitas, a position he has held since 2005. Previous positions include Arts Administrator for the City of Santa Ana and Executive Director of Imagination Celebration of Orange County. He is a member of the Advisory Committee for Advocates of Classical Music and is a member of the Steering Committee of the North County Arts Network. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Church Music from Vanguard University and holds certificates in fundraising, conducting and the Kodaly Method of music education. For more than 30 years he has held director of music and choirmaster positions for churches in Orange County, California.