The non-profit, all-volunteer Foundation provides funding for creativity development and arts in education for the children and youth of Sonoma Valley.
Judy Vadasz Co-Founder and Director Emeritus Soon after arriving in Sonoma in 1998, Judy met local artist Keith Wicks who had an idea to bring fine artists to Sonoma to paint, sell their work to the public for the benefit of art education in the 4th and 5th grades, while providing much needed funds to help art education in public schools. Through the Vadasz Family Foundation, Judy provided financial support to help create the Sonoma Plein Air Foundation and has served on the SPAF Board since its inception in 2002 through 2015. A project oriented person, Judy has volunteered for KQED, Interplast, and various other groups. She spent many years working with at-risk freshmen in the counseling department at Mountain View High School, and helped form a parent-teacher preschool in Sunnyvale when her sons were small. Judy came to California from her home in Nebraska via Boston where she met her husband Les. Currently living in Sonoma, Judy and Les have been on the Peninsula since 1962.
Keith Wicks Co-Founder and Board Member As founding member of the Sonoma Plein Air Foundation, Keith donates his time and paintings to various causes including the Ronnie Lott Foundation’s “All Stars Helping Kids” and the Sonoma Valley Film Festival, where his works are auctioned for charity. With over thirty years experience, Keith devotes considerable time to teaching art at the Academy of Art in San Francisco and to various charities that promote art education in public schools. Keith began painting at the age of 11 and won his first city-sponsored art award in the sixth grade. A graduate of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena Ca, Keith is a signature member of the California Art Club, and exhibits his work around the country. Keith and his wife Terri live in Sonoma.
Volunteer Board of Directors
Cathy Good Co-President A native Californian, Cathy has been involved with SPAF since 2007. Prior to moving from Oregon to Sonoma in 2004, Cathy’s long-time volunteer activities include active involvement at her kids’ schools, Christ Episcopal Church, and Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR. A graduate of Mills College with a BA in English, Cathy fondly remembers her grade school art teacher whom she credits with her enduring appreciation for art. Cathy and her husband David live in Sonoma where David’s family’s roots trace back to the early 1970s.
Cheryl Shimek Co-President Cheryl spent most of her career in the healthcare industry initially working as a critical care nurse and then moving into the medical device marketplace in marketing & communications roles. For over 10 years while living in Oakland, Cheryl was involved with Girls Incorporated of Alameda County as Chairperson or Committee Leader for their annual fundraising event, ‘Women of Taste’. She has had a lifelong interest in the arts stemming from educational experiences and friendships with artists. In addition to involvement with Sonoma Plein Air, she is also a mentor with the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance and a member of Impact100 Sonoma. Cheryl lives in Sonoma.
Barbara Wells Treasurer Barbara moved to Sonoma in 2008 and began her local career working for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley. Since then she has been involved with many nonprofits including La Luz Center, Sonoma Valley Rotary Foundation, Sonoma Valley Fund, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, and Sonoma Valley Catalyst Fund. Barbara graduated from Sonoma State University with a degree in Global Studies.
Pat Meier-Johnson Secretary A native Californian and happy Sonoman since 2011, Pat is an honors graduate from San Francisco State University and began her career as a graphic artist for KQED Newsroom and on-and off-air for Bay Area radio stations. Her first job in public relations was to explain how Ella Fitzgerald broke the wine glass in the famed Memorex commercials. With a knack for tech, she hosted a TV show featuring tech leaders and founded one of the first woman-owned tech PR agencies serving clients around the world for more than 20 years. Pat married writer/photographer/filmmaker Russ Johnson in 1998 and they collaborate on communications projects supporting tourism, technology, and Sonoma Valley non-profits. Pat has a passion for art. Her paintings, primarily California landscapes, are in collections and exhibited in the US and Asia. Her still life was the 2015 award-winning image for the Sonoma Olive Festival.
Irene Cook Irene began her career with American Airlines. With a passion for travel, history and art, she visited museums and art galleries throughout the United States and abroad. After retiring from the airlines, Irene began volunteering with Guide Dogs for the Blind (San Rafael) raising Guide Dog breeders. Raised in San Francisco and Marin County, Irene and has been at home and active in the Sonoma community since 1972. Irene began volunteering with SPAF in 2013 and enjoys the role of artist liaison.
Mary Clark Janis Mary Clark holds a Master of Education degree. During her teaching career she specialized in elementary and gifted and talented programs in Virginia. She then went on to establish a successful event planning business for corporate and private clients. After moving to Sonoma, she and her partners designed and built her present home, as well as several other custom homes in Sonoma and Virginia. Mary Clark has been involved with several non-profit organizations including Horizons Hampton Roads, Teen Services Sonoma, Jack London Historic State Park and Impact 100 Sonoma. She and her family continue to support a variety of non-profits in the Sonoma area and Virginia as they follow the adage “Think Globally, Act Locally.“
Nancy Evers Kirwan Nancy Evers Kirwan grew up in San Francisco coming to Sonoma for her summers since the 1950's. She now resides in her family's renovated summer home after living for 35 years in Los Angeles with her husband, Kyle. Nancy attended UC Santa Cruz followed by UC Hastings College of Law. After practicing law in San Francisco for 10 years she moved to Los Angeles and attended UCLA earning a landscape architecture degree. While there, she actively supported her children's schools, Children's Hospital LA and the at-risk youth of Neighborhood Youth Association, while working with her landscape design clients. After returning to Sonoma full time in 2016 she has joined the board of Sonoma Plein Air, Sonoma Mountain Preservation, worked with the Sonoma Ecology Center on post fire watershed protection, and pitched in with various other environmental and community non-profits.
Nancy Pollock Nancy Legge Pollock spent her career in the travel industry working for an airline, various cruise lines, and an Internet travel startup company. After moving to Sonoma in 2000 Nancy quickly became involved with such wide-ranging organizations and activities as the Sonoma Valley Visitors’ Bureau, Master Gardeners, La Luz, the Red & White Ball, and others. She is a founding board member of Sonoma Impact 100. Nancy lives in Sonoma with her husband Bill.
Linda Rosso Linda began her career in magazine publishing and went on to serve as marketing and communications strategist for some of the nation’s best-known companies. Before relocating from Marin County in 2015, she served as a board member of the Volunteer Center of Marin, Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce and The Outdoor Art Club. She served for six years as Commissioner of Parks and Recreation in Mill Valley and led a non-profit corporation to raise funds for high school music programs. She currently works part time as a marketing and development consultant for the Sonoma County Parks Foundation and several small businesses. Linda and her husband Michael live in the Sonoma Valley.
Lori Winter Lori has been a Sonoma resident and parent since she and her husband Mark moved up from Mill Valley in 2003, when their daughter was about to be born. Lori has a local graphic design business and her primary talent is helping clients strengthen their branding, marketing materials and web design, and shape their messaging. Sonoma Plein Air has been a favorite client since 2013. Lori designs each year's campaign, from postcards to Gala invitation sets to print and digital ads. The Sonoma Plein Air Board asked Lori to join the board in 2022, a huge honor. Having a close-up view behind the scenes—seeing the board, volunteers and supporters in action to make this incredible festival happen every year—has been deeply satisfying. Lori's full time access to art education in high school (and later, Cal Poly SLO) was the entire key to Lori's career as a designer. Supporting Sonoma Plein Air's mission is a definite passion.
Adopted by the Board of Directors on August 23, 2021
Sonoma Plein Air Foundation does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of artists, volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of staff, artists, volunteers, art purchasers, subcontractors and vendors.
OUR MAILING ADDRESS: Sonoma Plein Air Foundation 19201 Sonoma Highway, Suite 321 Sonoma CA 95476