Patty Thayer Uncategorized

Myraline Morris Whitaker Joins SLO REP Board

Myraline Morris Whitaker, former executive of Martin Resorts and owner of Central Coast of California Hospitality, LLC, has accepted a seat on the Board of Directors for SLO REP.

Now retired, Morris Whitaker enjoyed a decades-long career in the hospitality industry, including marketing roles at several of California’s top hotels in Los Angeles and San Diego. She came to San Luis Obispo County in 2005 as Chief Operating Officer of Martin Resorts, overseeing four hotels and two restaurants.

Morris Whitaker joins the board at an opportune moment in SLO REP’s history as we seek to complete a $15.3 million capital campaign to build a new venue for live theatre in downtown San Luis Obispo.

SLO REP has raised over 75% of its $15.3 million goal to build a venue that will house two theatres, a 215-seat mainstage theater and a 99-seat black box theatre. The project also includes the acquisition of a headquarters building that houses SLO REP’s administrative offices, rehearsal studios, and classrooms for its rapidly expanding theatre-education programming for young people, the Academy of Creative Theatre (ACT).

Construction of the new theatre is expected to begin in 2025 adjacent to the City of SLO’s long-planned Cultural Arts District Parking Structure at the corner of Monterey-Nipomo-Palm streets. Site preparation for the parking structure has begun, and the new SLO REP venue will begin once the garage is fully underway.

“This is an exciting time in SLO REP’s history. I’m looking forward to helping SLO REP complete its new venue and realize its vision to become a nationally recognized regional theatre,” Morris Whitaker said. “SLO REP’s plans will have an enormously positive impact on the region, both economically and culturally, for residents and visitors alike.

“If SLO REP’s last 10 years are any indication, this vision is definitely achievable,” Morris Whitaker said. “Over the past decade, SLO REP has steadily and impressively improved the caliber of its productions. In turn, audiences and ticket sales have steadily increased, and the operating budget has more than doubled.”

In addition to her volunteer efforts at SLO REP, Morris Whitaker continues to advocate for diversity in the workplace and community. She is a member of the Diversity Coalition San Luis Obispo County, the Cal Poly Black Faculty and Staff Association, and the NAACP. Among her many efforts, her “Sister Soldier Project,” which benefited thousands of U.S. Military women, has drawn favorable attention in national media.

SLO REP Board President Pam Nichter said: “Myraline’s extensive marketing and operations experience in the hospitality industry will add a great deal of knowledge to SLO REP’s operations as we strive to deliver a distinctive, high-quality experience to theatergoers.

“Equally important, Myraline also brings to the table a lifelong passion for theatre. She shares our board’s belief in the power of live theatre to ‘nourish our souls and illuminate our shared humanity’,” Nichter said.

After assisting Martin Resorts at a critical time in that company’s history 2005-09, Morris Whitaker formed Central Coast of California Hospitality in 2009. Her company operated the SeaCrest Oceanfront Hotel, the Inn at the Cove in Pismo Beach, and the Inn at Morro Bay.

Her firm consistently appeared on the Pacific Coast Business Times’ list of Top 10 Minority-Owned Businesses and Top 20 Women-Owned Businesses in the Tri-County area. She also was recognized three times among the Times’ “Top 50 Women in Business.” In 2019, the South County Chambers of Commerce honored Morris Whitaker as Pismo Beach’s “Citizen of the Year.”

A graduate of California State University, Los Angeles, with an MA from Syracuse University, Morris Whitaker is an expert on all facets of California tourism. She has served on the Board of the San Luis Obispo Tourism Bureau (now Visit SLOCAL), the Economic Vitality Corporation of San Luis Obispo County and the California Lodging Industry Association (CLIA).

Her work on diversity and belonging was featured in the February-April 2020 San Luis Obispo County R.A.C.E. Matters exhibit entitled “Belongings.” The archives of her non-profit “Sister Soldier Project” are housed in the Schlesinger Library of the Harvard Radcliffe Institute. The Schlesinger Library is considered the leading center for scholarship on the history of women in the United States.

Morris Whitaker regularly attends SLO REP performances and has been an avid theatregoer since age 14 when she saw, for the first of many times, A Raisin in the Sun in New Orleans. Since then, she has kept a Playbill from every play she has seen, including multiple performances of a wide variety of productions, among them: Hair, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Les Misérables, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe.

As SLO REP launches its 77th Season in July, Morris Whitaker joins a dedicated group of 13 returning volunteer SLO REP board members including:


  • Pam Nichter, President
    Retired Managing Partner Osterweis Capital Management
  • Diane Clausen, Vice President
    Retired Development Professional, CA Educational Institutions
  • Deborah Stewart, Treasurer
    Retired CPA, Glenn Burdette
  • Michael Simkins, Secretary
    Retired Educator, Spokes CEO


  • Jay Beck
    Sr. Vice President, Regional Commercial Banking Manager, American Riviera Bank
  • Jerry Chirpich
    Retired Executive Deluxe Corporation
  • J. Keith George
    Retired attorney, George, Cyr & Assoc.
  • Richard Luckett
    Retired Nuclear Engineer, PG&E
  • Susan Minker
    Retired MD/Radiologist
  • Jeff Olds
    CEO at SLO Life Co.; Owner Jamba Central Coast Franchises
  • Wilda Rosene
    Retired Business owner
  • Chip Visci
    Retired Publisher, Editor and Communications Strategist
  • Ellie Washington
    Realtor with Compass

For board bios and photos, please click HERE. 

For more information about SLO REP’s board, staff, productions and their Capital Campaign to build a new theatre in downtown San Luis Obispo, please contact Patty Thayer, Development & Capital Campaign Director at [email protected] or call (805) 781-3889, ext. 15.