Board of Directors

Michael Simkins

Michael Simkins

President

boardofdirectors@slorep.org

Michael is a lifelong learner and theater buff. He was an elementary schoolteacher for 15 years in the Los Angeles area where he also taught drama and musical theater workshops for elementary and middle school students. He pursued his theater avocation by attending plays, taking acting workshops, and appearing in community theater. In 1987, Michael began nine years as principal of Baywood Elementary School in Los Osos. He spent the following 12 years directing federal and state educational technology projects in Silicon Valley. In semi-retirement, he has been a Cal Poly lecturer, community college instructor, and consultant to various organizations including the Federal Communications Commission. He now focuses on supporting nonprofit organizations in meeting management and leadership challenges.

Jeff Olds

Jeff Olds

Vice President

Jeff and his wife Linda own the local Jamba Juice stores. They have lived here since 2000 and sponsored several shows with SLO REP. Prior to moving here, Jeff was a lawyer in the Bay Area and specialized in business and estate planning law. He graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law and from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English Literature. He has been a fan of theatre since performing in high school plays. Jeff has served on several boards of directors and is presently on the Economic Activities Committee of the Downtown Association in SLO.

Jerry Chirpich

Jerry Chirpich

Treasurer

Jerry Chirpich was born in Minnesota and after attending college at Mankato State, moved to California in 1958 to start a career with Deluxe Check Printers (now Deluxe Corp.) Jerry was Plant Manager for two of the company’s largest operations for 20 years and retired after 35 years of service in 1992. He and wife Sharynn moved to San Luis Obispo in 1994 from the San Fernando Valley. Jerry has been active in San Luis Obispo Country Club serving on the board for four years—two years as president—and continues to serve on the finance committee. Jerry and his wife Sharynn are also active in the community by volunteering for Hospice Hope Chest, Womenaide, Prado Day Care, Festival Mozaic and the Performing Arts Center. They have one daughter and three grandchildren who live in Southern California.

Marcia Scott

Marcia Scott

Secretary

Marcia has been a SLO county resident for 30 years. Originally from Wisconsin, she came to San Luis Obispo in 1985 as a traveling nurse on a 3-month contract and never left. She has worked as a critical care nurse and nurse educator for 20 years, and is currently the Director of Nursing at Cuesta College. She became interested in Theatre over two decades ago when her children enrolled in creative acting camps, allowing her to witness the magic that theatre brings to an individual and to a community. She is pleased to be a member of SLO REP Board of Directors, and takes this opportunity to help ensure that the benefits of local theatre continue in our community for future generations.

Richard Lukette

Richard Luckett

Director

Richard Luckett is a 30 year resident of San Luis Obispo, a retired PG&E engineer, and a supporter of the arts. He has been a long time patron of the San Luis Obispo Repertory Theatre, and is pleased to be a member of the Board of Directors.

Wilda Rosene

Wilda Rosene

Director

It all started in a parking lot in SLO one June day in 1992 when a friend said they needed board members at SLO REP. “Send your resume over right away,” I was told. I did and I have been an active member of the theatre group ever since serving as President of the Board three different times, actually being employed for about 18 months and generally doing whatever is necessary to make our theatre the best ever. It is a joy to see how far we have come in these 21 years and I look forward to serving this theatre for many years to come!

Ellie Washington

Director

Ellie managed marketing and PR campaigns for over 100 musicals and plays in the professional theatre industry in Sacramento, including box office-breaking national tour engagements of Wicked and The Lion King, working on shows starring Broadway legends Carol Channing and Tommy Tune, and many Tony Award™-nominated actors. A Cal Poly journalism alum, she couldn’t resist when the opportunity arose to return to the SLO life, where she is the Marketing Director for Wilson & Co. Sotheby’s International Realty. It brings her joy to utilize her experience and passion to support SLO REP’s mission.

Michael Howard

Michael Howard

Director

Michael is a lifelong fan of theatre and movies, finding appreciation not only for the finished product but also great fascination in the process. He has enjoyed numerous plays and musical events here on the Central Coast as well as in San Francisco, London and New York. He is a passionate and engaged community member, volunteering and working with other local non-profit organizations. Michael has been in media sales and marketing for most of his career but is currently working as an Employee Relations Officer. He lives in Morro Bay.

Dianne N. Long

Director

As a little girl, Dianne Long paid the neighborhood kids twenty-five cents for each backyard performance of her self-directed, original productions. She continued her love of theater regularly performing in high school, college and community plays. Her favorite roles include that of Desdemona in “Othello” and Jennet in Christopher Fry’s “The Lady’s Not for Burning,” mostly because the costumes were so fantastic.

Dianne brings many years of board experience serving with the Foundation for the Performing Arts, San Luis Obispo United Way, City of San Luis Obispo Promotion Coordinating Committee, Cal Poly Christian Center, Cal Poly Children’s Center and Cal Poly Center for Practical Politics. She is now retired from the Cal Poly political science department where she launched the Master of Public Policy, the Women’s Studies program, the Ethnic Studies program and a variety of interdisciplinary research centers. She has earned a Ph.D. in political science, a master’s degree in public administration, and Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education, English and drama.

Dianne is thrilled to be part of the SLO Rep board, our Little Theatre — all grown up.

Pam Nichter

Director

Pam and her husband Mitch retired from their careers in the Bay Area and relocated the tiny town of Harmony in 2015. Both Nichters are passionate gardeners and enjoy working in their home gardens as well as volunteering their time with the Master Gardeners of SLO County. Longtime theatre fans, the Nichters sought a local theatre to enjoy and support, and to their delight discovered SLO REP.

A long-time Board Trustee of Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Pam now also serves on the Board of Directors for SLO REP. She is honored to have the opportunity to help nurture the theatre’s vision to present professional theatrical productions for the entertainment and enrichment of the public, and to provide theatre education opportunities for children and adults. Pam truly believes that the entertainment and storytelling aspects of live theatre can provide transformative and thought-provoking opportunities for dialog and the connection of friends, family and communities.

Deborah Stewart

Director

Debbie has held a lifetime love of theatre that began with her first steps into the footlights at the age of four. Theatre and music was her continued focus throughout her youth and through college where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from the University California, Riverside.

Life took its own twists and turns which let her to San Luis Obispo nearly 30 years ago with her husband, Robert, who is a local physician. She went back to school 20 years ago and became a CPA. Debbie is currently a Senior Tax Manager at the local firm, Glenn Burdette.

Debbie has continued to stay active in her love of music as a soloist, member of a small vocal ensemble and choir member of Mission San Luis Obispo. She has previously served on the board of the San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony. Debbie is thrilled to share both her financial and theatrical experience as a board member of SLO Rep.

Chip Visci

Director

Live theatre has commanded Chip’s respect since elementary school when, as an unsuspecting understudy, he was suddenly the lead in a play mercifully forgotten. He soon realized his talents lay elsewhere. His three-plus decades in newspaper journalism included several years as arts and entertainment editor for the Detroit Free Press, and led to positions in newspaper management and on the corporate staff of Knight Ridder. He was publisher of the San Luis Obispo Tribune from 2005 to 2008. From 2009 to 2014, Chip served in various communications and marketing roles at Cal Poly including Director of Communications for the Office of the President. He is currently a senior strategist for AMF Media Group.

Since moving to the Central Coast, Chip has served on a variety of nonprofit boards, including the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce, the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce, the Housing Trust Fund of San Luis Obispo County, Visit San Luis Obispo County, and the Governing Board of the Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.

Chip and his wife Marty Claus live in Shell Beach.

Keith George

Director

Keith is a retired trust and estates lawyer and active supporter of the arts having served previously on the boards of the San Luis Obispo Little Theatre (now SLO REP), the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center, and the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival (now Festival Mozaic). He graduated from Stanford University and earned law degrees from the University of San Francisco and New York University. Keith and his wife, Wendy have lived in San Luis Obispo County since 1973 and currently live in Morro Bay.

Susan Minker

Susan Minker

Director

Originally from New York, Susan has gradually (and gratefully) moved West, first to Tucson, Arizona where she was the only female partner in a group of 27 diagnostic radiologists, and then to the central coast, when she and her (now late) husband retired. Since moving here, Susan has served on the boards of the SLO Health Commission, the SLO Symphony, the SLO International Film Festival, and the Hearst Cancer Resource Center.

Susan saw her first play, the original Broadway production of “West Side Story,” when she was thirteen years old and was instantly in thrall. She acted (poorly) in college and has had minor roles in a couple of local productions (“Oklahoma!” with Chameleon Productions and “The Royal Family” with the Little Theatre). One of her only regrets in life is that she isn’t a better actress. Had she been, she would have pursued acting instead of medicine as a career. So now she’s thrilled that as a SLO REP board member, she is able to serve in some way to promote and support our wonderful local repertory theatre.

Susan lives in Los Osos with her two beloved standard poodles.

Interested in serving on the board of directors? Please contact any board member or send us an email today.

Diane Clausen

Director

Diane moved to SLO from the SF Bay Area in 2013 upon retirement from a career in education. Starting out as a Middle School teacher, she then spent 30+ years as a development professional (fundraising) for institutions including UCSB, Laguna Blanca School, UC Davis and Menlo School in Atherton, CA.

A forever fan of theater, music and dance, Diane soon became a regular at SLO REP shows. Her son and family live in SLO and she takes particular pleasure in watching her grandchildren in their many performances, several of which have been at SLO REP. Diane has served on the Homeless Foundation of SLO County, as a member of the Friends of 40 Prado Board, and in various positions on the SLO Newcomers Board.

Diane is excited to be part of the SLO REP Board at a time when moving to the next level of excellence, made possible by the likelihood of a new downtown facility, is very much a reality in the near future.