Staff

Margaret M. White (Peggy), Executive Director

Peggy_W_004Ms. White has more than 25 years experience in non-profit management. Almost 20 years ago, she landed the job of her dreams when she became Executive Director of the Diablo Regional Arts Association. 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

Ms. Mansfield 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.

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 that 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 the stage, Noel has worked as an administrative coordinator for The Good Guys and EXP Pharmaceutical Services, having served in that field for 12 years.

Mary Hand, Communications Manager

Mary has a diverse business background but she specializes in marketing and communications for the performing arts. She is excited to work with the stellar team at DRAA where she manages communications including: media relations, web design and updates, promotion of DRAA events, social networking, execution of all DRAA collateral.

Joanna Grossman, Communications & Development Specialist

Joanna has more than 12 years experience with nonprofits and marketing, most recently as a volunteer at The Seven Hills School and as Associate Director of Alumnae Relations at Marlborough School in Los Angeles. Prior to her transition into the nonprofit world, Joanna was a sports writer for a variety of publications including the Tri-Valley Herald, Sacramento Bee and Denver Post.

Chrissy Luciano, Event Coordinator

Chrissy joined the DRAA in 2015 to support projects that enhance the foundation’s goal to enrich the quality of artistic programming within the Lesher Center and to create avenues for everyone to enjoy the arts. Prior to joining DRAA, Chrissy worked as an executive assistant and event planner for a fast growing Mortgage Banker in Southern Arizona. Having been raised in a large, close knit Italian family, she came to appreciate the arts at an early age. She realized the tremendously positive impact an early exposure to performing and visual arts can provide to children and young adults.