Margaret M. White (Peggy), Executive Director

Peggy_W_004Peggy has more than 25 years experience in non-profit management. Twenty years ago she landed the job of her dreams when she became Executive Director of DRAA. It was an ideal opportunity because this position blended her professional background with her passion for the arts. She danced professionally with the Atlanta Ballet and Joffrey Ballet’s Apprentice Company. Her nonprofit career includes serving as Director of Community Relations for the March of Dimes, Director of Development for Goodwill Industries, and Executive Director of the Volunteer Center of Contra Costa. She was awarded the Woman of the Year by the California Legislature in 2002, the Point of Light Foundation Executive Director Award for Outstanding Achievement in 1995, and, in 1993, she received the United Way of the Bay Area Executive Director Award. Her extensive community involvement includes Business Arts Council Board of Trustees, First Tuesday Professional Women in Business, Leadership Contra Costa, the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce, the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way Campaign Cabinet. She received a bachelor’s degree in 1976 from Florida State University where she double majored in mass communications and dance.

Lisa Mansfield, Operations Director

Lisa has fond memories of going to the theater with her parents. She is thrilled to be a part of the DRAA and seeing the smiling faces of children and adults attending the Arts Access performances and community events. Lisa has a business and economics degree from UC Santa Barbara and is a licensed CPA. She has six years of auditing experience and seven years experience working on individual tax preparation.

Mary Hand, Marketing Director

Mary’s marketing communications background is broad and diverse, with expertise in branding, positioning, creative direction and media buying. She directed large-scale campaigns—such as a multi-year contract to produce the official marketing materials for the City of Los Angeles, communications for Universal City Walk, Hollywood, IMAX and various independent film companies as well as advertising for Disney Concert Hall. Mary developed a passion for the performing arts while she was Marketing Director for Smuin Ballet and has taken that passion to a broader audience at Diablo Regional Arts Association. She has found that the professional level of theatre, the community support for the arts and the amazing outreach program an inspiration that drives her creative energy.

Jody Cook, Arts Education Manager

Jody has been involved in the arts her entire life.  From performing on stage, dressing lead actors for live productions, Assistant Stage Management, and administering a volunteer usher program for live theatre with over 300 volunteers for 900 events per year, to being an integral player in the launch of a professional jazz series with world class artists.  She also appears on an original cast recording of a CD for an original musical, an a cappella CD singing second tenor through second soprano, as well as supplied background vocals for some diverse recording artists.  She has been fortunate enough to serve in a variety of capacities over the last 10 years at the Lesher Center and finds DRAA is a perfect fit.

Noel Escobar, Administrative Coordinator

Noel has over 18 years experience in the performing arts as a singer and actor.  His Lesher Center credits include performances with Center Repertory Company and Contra Costa Musical Theatre, in productions such as She Loves Me, Smokey Joe’s Café, Sweet Charity, Les Miserables, The Music Man and The Full Monty.  When not on stage, Noel has worked as an administrative coordinator for The Good Guys and EXP Pharmaceutical Services, having served in that field for 12 years.

Jade Shojaee

Jade Shojaee is the Development and Communications Coordinator for DRAA. She has several years of experience as a social media manager, writer and digital SEO content strategist. Her published work can be found in Bay Area publications such as the Mercury News, the Oakland Tribune, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, the Lamorinda Weekly, Contra Costa Marketplace Magazine and the East Bay Times. Her nonprofit career includes serving as the Development Associate and Grants Manager at Las Trampas, where she managed weekly, monthly, and quarterly email marketing and newsletter distribution communications, social media marketing initiatives, and the development and submission of grant applications and grant reports. Jade is also a Bay Area performer with a passion for the Lesher Center, and for the arts. Her Lesher Center credits include Les Miserables and It Shoulda Been You. She has also performed with the Center’s Fantasy Forum.