Speaker Bios


Adrienne McGraw

Adrienne has served as director of education for several history museums and historic sites in California. She was previously the executive director for Exhibit Envoy, a statewide non-profit that develops traveling exhibitions for small museums. Throughout her career, Adrienne has promoted museum-community engagement and believes in the power of museums to shape civic life and promote a sense of place for all people.

Session: Audience Development
Friday, June 24, 2016 @10:30am


Alison Bruesehoff

Biography coming soon!


Session: Leadership Development
Friday, June 24, 2016 @10:30am


Avi K. Pai

Avi K. Pai is a founding partner of Provence Wealth Management Group. He graduated from UC Riverside with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and received his Certificate in Personal Financial Planning from UC Irvine. He has earned the designations of Certified Financial Planner, Accredited Investment Fiduciary, Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor and Accredited Wealth Management Advisor.

Session: Financial Responsibility
Friday, June 24, 2016 @10:30am


Brian Dervin Dillon, Ph.D.

Brian Dervin Dillon is a 5th generation Californian, an archaeologist, and both the son and the father of historians. All three Dillon generations were educated at the University of California, Berkeley.   Brian’s Ph.D. in Maya archaeology was at age 25, the youngest in the history of the department.  A Phi Beta Kappa and Fulbright Fellow, for the past 40+ years he has done archaeology all over California, in every part of Guatemala, and in three other Central American countries. He has published over 130 articles, monographs and books on archaeology and history, and written more than 300 unpublished California contract archaeology studies.  His Camanche story was published in the California Territorial Quarterly in two parts (No. 97, Spring, 2014, and No 98, Summer, 2014) and was awarded a Westerner’s International Coke Wood Prize for Best Journal Article published in 2014.

Session: Camanche: California's Forgotten Ironclad
Saturday, June 25, 2016 @9:00am


David Shearer

David Shearer is the Executive Director for Claremont Heritage.  In his twenty year career, he has curated and produced over 100 exhibitions relating to decorative arts, architecture, design and photography.  He has worked with many artists, designers, curators and collectors to achieve the highest level of integrity in both content and presentation.  As a design educator, he has conceived and coordinated competitions, seminars, symposia and documentaries.  As the director of a nonprofit organization that travels exhibitions to museums, he has managed projects that cross both personal and logistical boundaries to achieve positive results for both the institution involved as well as the viewer.

Session: Innovative Programs
Friday, June 24, 2016 @9:00am

Session: The Staff and Board Relashionship
Friday, June 24, 2016 @3:30pm


Elizabeth Pomeroy

Elizabeth Pomeroy graduated from Stanford University and holds a Ph.D. in English from UCLA. She served on the staff of the Huntington Library for ten years and also worked at the W.M. Keck Foundation in Los Angeles. Living in Pasadena for the past thirty-five years, she has been a Board member of the Pasadena Historical Society, Pasadena Sister Cities Committee, and the Sierra Club, among other groups. She is a writer and contributed a weekly column on historic places entitled “Lost and Found” for the Pasadena Star-News and San Gabriel Valley Tribune. In 2000, she established Many Moons Press, which publishes books on Southern California history and nature.

Historical Research and Publishing
Friday, June 24, 2016 @9:00am


John Lenau

John spent over 40 years as a construction electrician in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 11. During this time, he was on many committees, including the Bylaws and Apprenticeship Committees. He has been a leader in Wrightwood Historical Society since 1999 and CCHS since 2008.

Session: Governance & By-Laws
Saturday, June 25, 2016 @9:00am


Julie Bartolotto

Julie Bartolotto is the Executive Director of the Historical Society of Long Beach, administering all functions and activities of the institution.  She has held this position since 1996.  She graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a Master's Degree in Oral History and Women's Studies, and a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology.  Ms. Bartolotto has directed many projects and exhibitions including: The Long Beach LGBT History Project, "Long Beach Works," Long Beach Community Studies Conference, "Long Beach Remembers Pearl Harbor," the Annual Historical Cemetery Tour, among others.  She was awarded the Long Beach Rosie the Riveter Foundation's "We Can Do It Award" and was named Long Beach Post's 40 Under 40.  She is an alumni of Leadership Long Beach.

Session:  Innovative Programs
Friday, June 24, 2016 @9:00am


Julie Dobrick

Julie is the senior grant writer at AltaMed Health Services.  She has raised over 150 million dollars in her career through grants and other sources in both large and small organizations.  She will discuss what your fundraising expectations should be as a Board member.

Session: Fundraising!
Friday, June 24, 2016 @2:00pm


Kit Carson: Charles Rea

Richard Dana Henry: Bob Minty

When not portraying famous individuals from California's past, Charles Rea works as a realtor in San Juan Capistrano.

Bob Minty is a historian from San Clemente.  He is also part of a reenactment group focused on the 1880s that travels the country performing.  He has presented to groups at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point as well as many other historical gatherings.

Session: Kit Carson and Richard Henry Dana
Friday, June 24, 2016 @3:30pm


Kevin Bash

Kevin Bash is a graduate of UC Riverside (BA) and UC San Diego (MFA) and works as an actor (television, commercials and Regional Theater), as well as owning businesses in his home town of Norco. Mr. Bash has written several books and articles detailing the history of Norco, the Norconian and the Navy in Norco and has appeared in several documentaries, including "California's Gold" with Huell Howser. Kevin currently serves as Mayor in his second term as a Norco City Councilman.

Session: The Politics of Preservation: The Battle to Save the Norconian, US Naval Hospital Corona and the Cold War Missile Laboratories of Norco
Saturday, June 25, 2016 @10:30am


Kris Payne

Kris Payne is a member of the Conference of California Historical Societies (CCHS) Board of Directors, as well as sitting on CCHS Trust Fund Committee. He is CCHS's Regional Vice-President for Regions 38 (El Dorado County) and 16 (Amador, Calaveras, and Tuolumne Counties). Kris is the President of the El Dorado County Historical Society, the El Dorado County Museums Foundation and the Placerville Downtown Association (Main Street merchants). As the Chair of the Historical Committee, he and many volunteers have been instrumental in bringing the World Gold Panning Championships to El Dorado County for 2016. Under his leadership, the Placerville Downtown Association has taken responsibility for coordinating the Parade of Nations as part of the opening ceremonies of the Championship.

Session: Community Partnership
Friday, June 24, 2016 @2:00pm


Michael Otten

Michael Otten is the Second Vice President of Conference of California Historical Societies and the Immediate Past President of the Placer County Historical Society.  Michael started as a copy boy for the Sacramento Union in 1957 before finishing high school.  He eventually became a newspaper reporter, covering the courts and political beats for most of his four decades as an award-winning journalist. Now retired, he volunteers as a registered tax preparer for low- to moderate-income taxpayers, as well as his work with historical societies.

Session: Communication
Saturday, June 25, 2016 @9:00am


Paul Rippens

Paul was born and raised in Southern California and worked for the County of Los Angeles Fire Department for 37 years before retiring in 1995 as a Division Chief.  After retirement, he spent eight years as archivist for a local historical society and served as president of the Associated Historical Societies of Los Angeles County (AHSLAC).  He continues his involvement with AHSLAC as Vice President and as their Communications Chairman producing their newsletter and overseeing their website and Facebook page.

Paul has been a board member of the Southern California Association of Foresters and Fire Wardens for 38 years and continues his work for the organization as their newsletter editor.

He has written three books regarding Los Angeles local history and produced a book on the history of San Dimas for their historical society.  He has written several articles for the California Territorial Quarterly, the Los Angeles Corral of Westerners, and for publications in Nevada.

Session: Communication
Saturday, June 25, 2016 @9:00am


Paul Spitzzeri

Paul Spitzzeri is the Assistant Director at the Workman Temple and Family Homestead Museum, where he has worked since 1988. He has a B.A. and M.A. in History from California State University, Fullerton and has written on California history for such publications and anthologies as Southern California Quarterly, Journal of the West, Law in the Western United States, and Icons of the American West. His biography on the Workman and Temple families is an Award of Merit winner from the American Association for State and Local History. Paul has also worked as a volunteer and a consultant for the Historical Society of Southern California, California Council for the Promotion of History, San Bernardino County Museum, and the California State Parks Foundation, among others.

Session: Battle in a Box Canyon: The Lugo Case of 1851
Friday, June 24, 2016 @10:30am


Phil Brigandi

Phil has been researching and writing about Ramona for almost 40 years now, and for many years served as historian and museum curator for the Ramona Pageant in Hemet.  He is the author of two dozen books on the history of Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties.

Session: More Than Just a Love Story: Southern California's Ramona Myth
Friday, June 24, 2016 @ 2:00pm


Ralph Thomas

Ralph H. Thomas is the CCHS Regional Vice President for Region 29, which includes the East San Gabriel Valley. He has served as the President of the San Dimas Historical Society and has over 35 years of experience in strategy and tactical plan development and strategic plan execution.

Session: Community Partnership
Friday, June 24, 2016 @2:00pm

Session: Strategic Planning: How to Achieve Your Vision
Friday, June 24, 2016 @9:00am


Randi Peshkin

Randi started her career as a software designer in Manhattan, living in a cube and walking a different path daily to remain unseen.  Marriage, Girl Scouts, and relocation changed all that.  She found herself as a Program Manager for a Girl Scout Council, teaching first aid and camping skills.  A transfer to high-unemployment eastern Pennsylvania sent her back to school, which led to a decade as a paramedic. Relocation to California was an opportunity to extend from a mastery of stain glass into learning to blow hot glass, and The Black Cat Gallery was born.  Having a business in a historic town drew Randi into the story of the area and got her involved in historical reenactments.  This year, she was offered the opportunity to play Madame Mojeska, one of the best-loved California stage actresses.

Session: Community Partnership
Friday, June 24, 2016 @2:00pm


Kerith Dilley

Kerith is a nonprofit leader whose fundraising work includes restructuring unprofitable events into profitable ones and using quantitative analysis to raise more private funds. She has worked in-house for nonprofits in Los Angeles, raising funds through private foundation grants, individual donors, and events. She also works as a consultant for nonprofits throughout the country developing individualized donor segments, identifying prospective donors, and training volunteer and professional leadership to solicit major donors.

Kerith received an MBA from Wharton and a BA in History from UCLA. She is the Board President of the New Star Family Justice Center and a volunteer for 4GIRLS. She lives with her husband, Addison, in downtown Santa Ana.

Session: Fundraising
Saturday, June 25, 2016 @9:00am



Details coming soon...

Session: Leadership Development
Saturday, June 25, 2016 @10:30pm