The San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra recently welcomed seven new members to its board of directors as part of a strategic board expansion initiative.
The Symphony was founded in 1929, but did not formally establish a board until 1963 when founding president of California State University San Bernardino John M. Pfau was the first to be elected to that office. Currently, the position is held by Dean McVay, a partner with Lewis Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith LLP.
The seven new members join a who’s who of the region’s leadership, both currently and historically. Previous Board Members have included civil attorney and San Bernardino Community College District’s longest-serving elected trustee Allen Gresham; former publisher of the San Bernardino Sun and founder of Century Group Media Gerald Bean; philanthropist/real estate developer Edward G. Hill; and former San Bernardino Mayor Judith Valles.
The new members come from across the region and across the career spectrum.
Damon L. Alexander, Th.M, MPA, a retired federal law enforcement officer, was recently elected to serve on San Bernardino’s City Council 7th Ward. An active community leader, Alexander is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Founding President of the 100BMIE, and is a member of the American Legion. He is also a former U.S. Marine, immediate past President of the North End Neighborhood Association, and served as a Chairman of the San Bernardino’s Board of Public Safety. Alexander recently received the prestigious Dorothy Inghram Social Action Advocate Award. He is married to Felicia C. Alexander, Sector Director for Global Supply Chain Logistics at Northrop Grumman. They share a blended family of five.
Sonietta Brown brings 20 years experience in leadership and developing relationships in the community. As a result-oriented sales coach, Brown implements game changing action plans to maximize results in the Senior Living and now Hospice industries. Professionally, Brown has been awarded for her energized, motivational marketing, sales and communications and goals that she has achieved in every step of her career. She is President of the Sojourner Truth Fund, serves on the Executive Board as the Foundation Chair for Jack and Jill of America Inland Empire Chapter, is a member of the Links Incorporated San Bernardino Valley Chapter, and volunteers with Girls Scouts USA. She is married to San Bernardino County Board of Education Trustee Hardy Brown, Jr. and they have two daughters.
“My love for the symphony started when I was in elementary school,” shared Brown. “I went to a performance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The music was grand and I was hooked!”
Ruthie Chafin, founder of Interior Network and current owner of Redlands-based Ruth Chafin Interior Design, is a general contractor and interior designer specializing in kitchen and bath remodeling. A longtime member of the Symphony’s volunteer Guild, the San Bernardino native is a recent recipient of the League of Women Voter’s Citizen of Achievement Award.
Greg Flynn is Vice President of Sales at Naviti Health. He holds an Economics degree from UCLA and his varied career includes work in the financial industry, telecom, start-ups, commercial equipment and health. Flynn spent his youth on the beaches of Southern California, lived in beautiful Colorado for four years, and now resides in Rancho Cucamonga with his wife and fellow Symphony Board Member, family law attorney Angelique Bonanno. They are avid travelers, golfers, and enjoy numerous other outdoor activities such as tennis, biking, hiking and walking their dogs.
Dr. Jessica Getman, Assistant Professor of Music at Cal State San Bernardino, is a film musicologist, with emphasis in television studies and science fiction media. Her PhD dissertation at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, was on music and social discourse in the original series of Star Trek, and she has published on George Gershwin, mid-twentieth century television advertising, amateur music-making, music in science fiction, and women composers in film.
Marisol Inzunza is a philanthropic professional, with over 17 years of experience in grant making. She has an unwavering passion for community and public service, as demonstrated by her years of experience advancing initiatives for underserved communities. She has a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. In her previous role, she led Operations and served as the Program Officer for one of the largest funders in San Bernardino and was integral in the formal development of a widely recognized Tribal Government charitable giving program, which has been replicated across the U.S.
“It is important that we make music more accessible to our communities, especially underserved communities,” emphasized Inzunza. “Far too long, the lasting image has been that classical music is an elitist art form, and this must change. Beautiful, complex music has the power to captivate anyone who hears it.”
Jessica Marzullo is a returning board member having served prior to attending University of California Hastings College of the Law where she earned her JD. She is also the Symphony’s first second generation board member as her mother, Wendy Marzullo, served for many years. Marzullo and her family recently relocated to California where she is now a Managing Attorney with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.
The seven join a highly diverse board representing regional leaders in the fields of education, finance, law, non-profit management, transportation, and philanthropy.
Concluded McVay, “Former Board President Gresham is quoted as saying one should never join an organization unless willing to serve as its President. Time will tell whether these new board members seek presidency, but there is no doubt each has outstanding abilities to advance our organization in new and exciting ways.” To know more about the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra, visit its website www.sanbernardinosymphony.org.