Staff

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 more than 25 years of accounting experience both in public accounting and in non-profit accounting. She previously was an Audit Supervisor at Blanding, Boyer and Rockwell auditing non-profit organizations.  In addition to her professional experience, Lisa served as the Treasurer of Bancroft Elementary School PFC and Ygnacio Valley High School Athletic Boosters.  Lisa has a Business and Economics degree from U.C. Santa Barbara and is a licensed CPA.  Attending the theatre brings back fond childhood memories for Lisa.  She is thrilled to be a part of DRAA and seeing the smiling faces of children attending the Arts Access performances.

Sharon Capece, Community Relations Director

Sharon has a passion for supporting the community and has been involved, either professionally or as a volunteer, in education, healthcare and youth services. Sharon began her career with a position to provide support for a short-term major gifts campaign at a hospital in Utah.  She was promoted to Vice-President of the McKay-Dee Hospital Foundation, only leaving to return home to California where she accepted a position with the Greater Bay Area March of Dimes as the North Bay Division Director. With a desire to be more locally engaged, she took a job as the Membership Director at Contra Costa Council.  She returned to healthcare as the Director of Major Gifts at John Muir Health Foundation, was later promoted to External Relations VP and spent 20 successful years there.  She serves on the Finance Committee at her local church and recently served on the Carondelet High School Board of Directors.  Sharon earned her BA at St. Mary’s College.  With her deep passion for youth, the arts and education, Sharon is most enthusiastic about DRAA’s Arts Access program. 

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, Communications and Development Coordinator

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.