Staff List

Claire Allen-Africa (Operations Associate) has been deposited by the Fates at a small vineyard in Port Townsend after many years of world travel by sea, elephant and bicycle, this sailor brings a multi-world view to her responsibilities at Centrum. A no-nonsense approach inherited from her British roots instills in Claire the ability to initiate eloquent solutions to her problem solving and logistics. Claire enjoys jamming with friends when not tending to grapevines, making wine and savoring the results with her husband and collie dog. cafrica(at)centrum.org, (360) 385 3102 x112.

Christina Ballew (Development Associate) has a multidisciplinary background, with an MA in Sustainable Development & Policy Studies, a BA in Psychology & Political Science, and a certificate in Public Health & Nutrition. She has worked in a diverse range of nonprofit settings with a focus on fundraising, database management, grant-writing, marketing, outreach, and communications. Originally born in Detroit, Michigan and traveling to almost 50 countries, Christina loves textile art, natural fabrics, and embroidery. She also is a percussionist that plays the gong. Check out her website: https://ballewconsulting.weebly.com.
cballew(at)centrum.org, (360) 385 3102 x107.

Holly Barousse (Operations and Residency Assc.) Holly joined Centrum in 2020 after several years in other roles at Fort Worden. Her experience working at The Fort introduced her to Centrum’s staff and programs. She was thrilled to join the Operations team, working with the Registrar, Residency Program Manager and the Operations Manager. Holly grew up in Michigan, spent time in Alaska and Oregon and fell in love with Port Townsend. She lives in Blyn with her dogs, cat and goats. And she has a tractor. hbarousse(at)centrum.org

Robert Birman (Executive Director) Named 2022 Business Leader of the Year in Jefferson County, Rob joined Centrum in 2013, having served as a senior executive in the orchestra world for more than 20 years in San Francisco, Louisville, Santa Barbara, Boston and elsewhere.  He is a former arts administration fellow with the National Endowment for the Arts; an ISPA fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach; and worked two summers at the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder.  Mr. Birman has been a member of numerous national boards and is Past President of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras.  He has served on grants panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, Washington State Arts Commission, Kentucky Arts Council, and The Heinz Endowments and is a former presenter and participant in programs of the League of American Orchestras’ Orchestra Leadership Academy.  Rob is a percussionist and has a Bachelor of Music Performance degree from Temple University and graduate training in arts administration from Drexel University in Philadelphia.  rbirman(at)centrum.org, (360) 385-3102 x111.

Gigi Callaizakis (Director of Human Resources) joined Centrum in May of 2011. She relocated to Port Townsend from Denver in 2006 with her husband. Gigi’s Human Resources background includes independent consulting for higher education, medical manufacturing and non-profit human services organizations. Beginning her HR career at ADP’s payroll service processing unit in Denver, she also went on to lead the HR Departments in the pharmaceutical, casino and youth services nonprofit industries. Gigi holds a PhD in psychology and an MA in Organizational Management. She currently consults in Human Resources services and offers coaching, mediation, energy work services and particularly enjoys working with the Enneagram of Personality to facilitate teamwork and personal growth. gigic(at)centrum.org, (360) 385-3102 x121.

Lucinda Carver (Artistic Director, Port Townsend Chamber Music Festival) was appointed in late 2009.  Called “a first rate conductor” by the New York Times, she is active as a conductor / pianist and her orchestral appearances have included the National Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. Opera conducting credits include the Minnesota Opera, New York City Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.  Lucinda received her doctorate in musical arts from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California where she currently teaches piano, harpsichord and conducting and was appointed Vice Dean in 2013.  She served as music director of the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra from 1991 to 2002.

John Clayton (Artistic Director, Jazz Port Townsend) leads Centrum’s Jazz Port Townsend festival and workshop. A Grammy-winning bassist, composer and conductor, Clayton has written and arranged music for Diana Krall, Milt Jackson, Quincy Jones, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Whitney Houston and many others. He served as the Artistic Director of Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl from 1999-2001. His compositions have been performed by ensembles throughout the US and Europe, including the American Jazz Philharmonic and the Carnegie Hall Big Band. Clayton is the co-leader, along with his saxophone playing brother Jeff, of the Clayton Brothers Quintet.

Alyssa de Leon (Program Manager for Creative Youth Development) was raised in the forests of Northern California on a steady diet of reggae music, arts festivals, and hippie counterculture. She studied education, philosophy, and politics at the Dominican University of California, and went on to obtain a Master’s of Education. Her professional career has ranged from preschool and forest school director to aquarium naturalist, to Community Radio Station Manager. Most of her spare time is spent being a mom of three, but she finds moments to sing songs on her Ukulele and is always on the lookout for an opportunity to dance. adeleon(at)centrum.org, or (360) 385-3102 x120.

Tavin Dotson (Broadcast Manager) started as a Production Crew member in 2016, and has since moved into the Development department as an associate. He also works in the Operations department doing IT support. Tavin began his professional career as a Lighting Technician at the Juan de Fuca Foundation of the Arts, and still works on their season concerts from time to time. Before moving into a full time job at Centrum, Tavin worked with Peninsula College redeveloping and expanding their drama department. Other theater jobs include: directing a hybrid ballet-theater Nutcracker Fundraiser in 2017, being a founder for the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center Shakespeare Festival, working as a mentor for countless Port Angeles High School and Peninsula College theater productions, and doing lighting design for Kate Long’s Ballet Workshop.
tdotson(at)centrum.org, or (360) 385-3102 x103.

Katy Goodman (Senior Director of Development) has spent her career as a passionate advocate for the power of the arts, working to create meaningful community connections and celebrate diversity and beauty through cultural expression. After graduating from Oberlin College, she spent two decades as a non-profit leader and fundraiser in Houston, Texas, where she co-founded and was director of the creative youth development organization Workshop Houston. She led a capital campaign to build a long-term home for that program before becoming development director for the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University. She has also worked for arts and education groups across the city as a fundraising and strategic consultant. Born and raised in California, Katy is happy to have made her way back to the west coast with her family for new adventures.
kgoodman(at)centrum.org, (360) 385-3102 x104.

Michelle Hagewood (Artist Residency Program Manager) joined Centrum in 2019. She is a practicing artist and brings over fourteen years of experience in artist collaborations and educational programming in museums. Prior to Centrum she was the Associate Curator of Public and Youth Programs at the Henry Art Gallery and has held positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Walters Art Museum. She holds a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. In addition to her full-time activities, Michelle enjoys drawing with her daughter and exploring her relatively new home in the Pacific Northwest. mhagewood(at)centrum.org, (360) 385-3102 x129.

Michael White Hayes (Technical Director) embodies the jack-of-all-trades archetype for the arts. Having graduated from NYU with a degree in filmmaking he’s gone on to work in that industry as a Cinematographer and Lighting Director to Sound Designer and Sound Mixer. He’s toured the world with New York Harlem Production’s official Gershwin production of the opera Porgy and Bess, won awards for Sound Design, composed music for television shows that have appeared on the Discovery Channel, and helped create several Youtube indie shows. Since moving to the west coast and adding theater to his resume he’s built and run his own performance space as well as working at several theaters in Seattle including ACT Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Village Theatre, the 5th Avenue Theater, and an endless list of fringe companies. He’s recently arrived from Vashon Island, where as Technical Director at Vashon Center for the Arts he managed to bring his film and theater experience together to help launch a Covid-motivated move into livestreaming and hybrid events. He likes to backpack and spend time with his senior pug Brutus and is happy to now call the peninsula home.
mhayes(at)centrum.org (360) 385-3102 x118.

Mary Hilts (Program Manager, The Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival/Development Manager) joined the Centrum staff in 2003. Mary manages all administrative aspects of the PT Acoustic Blues Festival; and assists with aspects of resource development, Centrum’s donor database and coordination of donor events. A graduate of Washington State University, Mary also completed Jazz Studies at Shoreline Community College, and holds a degree in Music Performance from Los Angeles Harbor College. Prior to working at Centrum, she was in artist relations and management, coordinated booking and promotions, as well as contract negotiation, public relations, and tour management.  A musician, artist, and advocate for social justice, Mary moved to Port Townsend in 1981. mhilts(at)centrum.org, (360) 385-3102 x116.

Jaime Jaynes (Marketing & Communications Director) was born and raised in Port Townsend, attended Centrum’s Youth Art Camps as a high school student, and played the string bass in Port Townsend High School’s Chamber & Symphony Orchestras. She has a bachelor’s degree in fine art from the School at the Art Institute of Chicago. For the past ten years, she has been working at Nike as a Brand Marketing Director focusing on the omnichannel growth of their women’s business. Prior to Nike, she held positions with several luxury brands in branding and corporate retail. She owns a local start-up company, Vespertine, in downtown Port Townsend. jjaynes(at)centrum.org, (360) 385-3102 x130.

Raymond Kennedy (Finance Manager) joined Centrum in 2020, having served as a senior finance executive in companies large and small, including Procter & Gamble, Fidelity Investments, and more recently Senior Services of Island County. Ray has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Binghamton University in New York. He moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2016 and now resides in Port Townsend Washington.
rkennedy(at)centrum.org, (360) 385-3102 x105.

Katya Kirsch (Development Officer) joined Centrum in February 2015 after 36 years of work with Alaska conservation organizations, including over 3 years as the Executive Director of Southeast Alaska Conservation Council. A skilled facilitator, she has also consulted for Alaskan outdoor education and humane non-profits. Katya holds a B.S. in communications from Skidmore College. kkirsch(at)centrum.org (360) 385-3102 x140

Gary Copeland Lilley (Artistic Curator, Writers Conference) is the author of eight books of poetry, the most recent being The Bushman’s Medicine Show, from Lost Horse Press (2017), and a chapbook, The Hog Killing, from Blue Horse Press (2018). He earned his MFA from the Warren Wilson College Program for Creative Writers. Lilley is a veteran of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear submarine force. He is originally from North Carolina and now lives, writes, performs, and teaches in the Pacific Northwest. He has received the Washington DC Commission on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry. A founding member of The Black Rooster poetry collective, he is published in numerous anthologies and journals. He is a Cave Canem fellow. He can usually be found with a guitar strapped around him.

George Marie (Program Manager for Writing) joined Centrum in 2017. She has a background in fundraising and managing literary programs for a small-press publishers and nonprofits. She holds bachelor degrees in both English Literature and Cultural Studies from Marylhurst University. She is a Ford Opportunity Scholar and the recipient of the Jackie Mosier Emerging Writer Award. Her first book, Dismember, was published by Bedouin Books in 2012. She currently runs Westering Press with her partner in Port Townsend, WA.
gmarie(at)centrum.org (360) 385-3102 x131.

Peter McCracken (Program Manager, Fiddle Tunes, Voice Works, Uke) has served at Centrum in various capacities, including Arts Program Director and Traditional Arts Program Manager. In 1992, he started the Blues workshop and festival, bringing five National Heritage Award recipients to Fort Worden to perform and teach. McCracken led the initial curatorial project for Centrum’s Festival of American Fiddle Tunes Preservation and Stabilization project in 2000, producing Volume 1 of the Fiddle Tunes Archives. The CD “A 20th Anniversary Festival Sampler” captures twenty-two performances from the festival’s twentieth gathering. The long-term project received initial funding from the National endowment for the Arts, along with generous donations from individual donors. peter(at)centrum.org, (360) 385-3102 x127.

Gregg Miller (Program Manager, Jazz, Choro, Chamber Music) first came to Centrum in 1978 as a student in the Chamber Music camp. In the early ’90s, he returned for three years as a faculty member at Jazz Port Townsend. In the fall of 1999 he became Program Manager for Jazz and Classical Music and now runs Jazz Port Townsend and the Port Townsend Chamber Music Festival. Gregg is active as an adjudicator and frequently serves as a grant panelist for the NEA, Chamber Music America, the Washington State Arts Commission and other organizations. He enjoys skiing, motorcycling and working with his hands, including driving and repairing wheat combines in eastern Washington. gmiller(at)centrum.org, (360) 385-3102 x109.

Hali Miller (Registrar) relocated to Port Townsend at the age of five when her father, Bill Ransom, founded and directed the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference at Centrum. Hali has been a PT “local” ever since. hmiller(at)centrum.org, (360) 385-3102 x114.

Sue Randolph (Finance Associate). srandolph(at)centrum.org (360) 385-3102 x113.

Owen Rowe (Box Office Manager) joined the Centrum staff in 2020, adding to a career that has included voice acting, teaching and translating Italian literature, engineering computer fonts, and writing hotel management course materials. He has volunteered for many arts organizations in Port Townsend since arriving here in 1997, including Centrum, KPTZ, the Port Townsend Film Festival, and the Port Townsend Arts Commission. He presently serves on the board of directors of The Food Co-op as well as the Port Townsend City Council. orowe(at)centrum.org or (360) 385-3102 x110.

Lisa Waipio Werner (Director of Operations) is an alumni of the University of California at Irvine, and has owned and managed a variety successful businesses. In 2008 she came to Port Townsend from Kapa’au Hawai’i to work as volunteer coordinator and residency program manager at Centrum. Raised in a family of musicians and ocean sports enthusiasts, her hobbies include playing flute and guitar and racing outrigger canoes. In 2012 Lisa and her partner moved into the house of their dreams, a compact sustainable home designed and built for them on Discovery Bay. lwerner(at)centrum.org, (360) 385-3102 x128.

Jontavious Willis (Artistic Director, Acoustic Blues) grew up singing Gospel music at a Baptist church with his grandfather. Since an early age, he demonstrated a talent and passion for the music and the ability to sharpen his skills rapidly. At the age of 14, he came across a video of Muddy Waters playing “Hoochie Coochie Man,” and was immediately hooked on the blues. He just released his second album, “Spectacular Class.” Through original lyrics, the gifted musician delivers a timeless album that features dynamic vocals and many types of blues: Delta, Piedmont, Texas, and Gospel. His stand-out fingerpicking, flat-picking, and slide guitar prowess are also on virtuosic display. “Jontavious Willis, that’s my wonderboy, the wunderkind,” says international Blues recording artist, Taj Majal. “He’s a great new voice of the 21st Century in acoustic blues. I just love the way he plays. He has just delightful timing and a real voice for the music because he was raised in the tradition and the culture. It’s just wonderful to hear him sing.”

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