Board Connection

Meet the Arts & Learning Conservatory Board.
Debora Wondercheck

Debora Wondercheck

Founder and CEO

Debora Wondercheck (MFA) is the Founder and CEO of the Arts & Learning Conservatory (A&L), an inspirational arts education program now celebrating 10 years of influential growth in Orange County. Starting with only four performances a year and growing to over 35 county-wide, Debora expanded A&L’s reach in just a decade, from 21 students to over 1,500, and its audiences now extend to 10,000 annually. Debora also currently serves as Director of Music at the Waldorf School of Orange County (unanimously superior rated orchestra of SCSBOA). She is the founding conductor of the Bellagio Strings Youth Orchestra of OC. Debora is an accomplished Master teacher of string pedagogy having taught at Vanguard University, Irvine Unified School District, and Newport Mesa Unified District.

As for awards, on behalf of A&L, Debora is a recent winner of the Outstanding Arts Organization Award from Arts Orange County for the creation of effective arts and education programs to youth. Earlier in 2014, Debora was presented the Distinguished Woman of Substance Award of Orange County. In 2012, Debora received the Links Incorporated Woman of Service Award, for Exemplary Community Service to youth for her After School Arts Programs. Debora has also received the Teacher of Excellence Award from the Newport Mesa Unified District.

Debora embraces her community with participation on various arts commissions like the Cultural Arts Committee for the city of Costa Mesa, the Arts Alliance of California, and the Orange County Music and Arts Administrator Association. Debora always counts it a high privilege to serve children, their families, and our community with inspiring programs that develop confidence and creativity for life.

Ruth DeNault

Ruth DeNault

Secretary

Ruth DeNault has lived in Orange County since 1953, and has been involved in many organizations serving children and young adults in her community, her church and in higher education.

She has served on the board of Arts & Learning Conservatory for many years, pleased to seeing it grow in outreach to new communities and schools. Also, she is on the Board of Trustees of Jamestown University in North Dakota and on the Foundation Board of Trustees at Concordia University Irvine, California.

When Casa Romantica Cultural Center & Gardens in San Clemente was founded in 2000, she was a founding trustee and is currently president. The organization serves children and families with a wide variety of programs.

With her husband they established De Nault’s Hardware in San Clemente, with five retail stores and a commercial division. With her four sons, she continues to be active in the business, now celebrating its 60 th anniversary. She earned her MBA degree from Concordia University in Irvine.

Bob Martinez

Bob Martinez

Treasurer

Bob Martinez is Vice President and Branch Manager for Farmers & Merchants Bank Newport Beach Office. Bob has served most recently on the board for the Pacific Palisades/Malibu YMCA, Torrance Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce He has over 30 years of volunteer board experience. Besides Bob’s 30 years of banking experience, he is also a writer has worked as the national sales manager for a publishing company, and a basketball coach for over twenty-years. Bob is a graduate of the Western States School of Banking at the University of New Mexico. Bob gained a greater appreciation for the arts when his youngest son, Brett, attended Rolling Hills Preparatory School and who is now attending PACE University in New York City.
Chineta Goodjoin

Chineta Goodjoin

Committee Chair

Chineta Goodjoin is the organizing pastor of New Hope Presbyterian Church in Orange, California. Known for her strong organizational leadership, Chineta has helped to establish a church with strong missional outreach and social justice advocacy for families, youth, and children. The church continues to build its reputation as a community of prayer, praise and faith where all people matter.
Mary Lyons

Mary Lyons

Board Advisor

As committed, generous and enthusiastic Orange County art supporters, Phil and Mary Lyons have provided significant financial support, extraordinary leadership and countless volunteer hours to many OC arts programs. They are major donors to public broadcasting and particularly to KOCE-TV. In 2002 when public broadcasting was struggling politically, Mary Lyons flew to Washington D.C. and presented the value of KOCE public television to the Orange County congressional delegation. The Lyons are responsible for the ArtSmart segment of KOCE programming. As a board member of the Pacific Symphony, Phil Lyons championed the construction of the Symphony’s home, the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. The League of American Orchestras designated Pacific Symphony as one of the five most innovative orchestras in the nation and the Lyons played an enormous role in shaping the institutional identity. Phil continues to serve on the Symphony’s Executive and Investments Committees. Phil and Mary have been among the Symphony’s top donors for decades, contributing to both the annual and endowment funds. Deeply involved in the Pacific Chorale where Mary is a singer, the Lyons have helped ensure that professional choral music is performed and recorded at the highest standards. Mary chaired the Chorale board in the 1980s and presently serves as its VP of Education and Programs. The Lyons give annual gifts, support commissions of new work, and contribute to the Chorale’s endowment fund. Mary Lyons, a founding Board member of Arts Orange County, Orange County’s arts council, has served as that organization’s president and worked to bring the Imagination Celebration of Orange County under its aegis and expand its programming. Phil and Mary Lyons were awarded a Cultural Legacy Award by Arts Orange County in 2008 and continue to be generously involved.
James Melton

James Melton

Board Advisor

Dean of the School of Communication and the Arts at Vanguard University, Professor of Music, and Director of Choral Activities, D.M.A., Arizona State University. M.M., Arizona State University.

In addition to teaching in the areas of music education and conducting, Dr. Melton directs the 90-voice University Concert Choir and the Vanguard Singers & Band, a select ensemble of 22 vocalists and instrumentalists. Each of these ensembles present major concerts throughout southern California and the western United States and tour each year, both nationally and internationally, most recently in the People’s Republic of China and South Korea, as well as Portugal, Spain, and Belgium. As a guest conductor for Carnegie Hall in New York City, he has recently conducted Vivaldi’s Gloria, and G.F. Händel’s Coronation Anthems for Carnegie Hall and Mid-America productions. His University Concert Choir has also presented command solo performances at Carnegie Hall and is frequently featured on the Crystal Cathedral’s Hour of Power. He recently conducted the Mädchenkantorei ensemble of southern Germany. His various ensembles have ten recording projects to their credit.

Dr. Melton earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree (DMA) in Choral Music from Arizona State University (1987), as well as the Master of Music degree (MM) in Conducting and received his Bachelor of Music Education degree (emphasis in piano and voice, BME) from Oklahoma Baptist University. While at OBU he won several artist scholarships and awards in addition to performing with the Oklahoma City Symphony. Dr. Melton has teaching experience in schools from high school through the college/seminary level, as well as over 25 years of experience leading music in churches of various denominations and sizes. He has composed and arranged music for several publishing companies including Brentwood, Tempo Music, and the John W. Peterson Music Company. Dr. Melton also produces sacred choral recordings for Hal Leonard Publications, Fred Bock Music and Pavane Music Companies. He recently served as a contributing editor for Barry Liesch’s (Biola University) new edition of The New Worship: Straight Talk on Music and the Church published by Baker Books.

Dr. Melton has a passion for cross-cultural teaching, teaching at East China Jiaotong University in Nanchang, China, and in several schools in Hong Kong where he has served as a guest lecturer and clinician. Summer, 2004, he was the keynote speaker for the International Worship Symposium held in Lisbon, Portugal. Dr. Melton is a frequent choral clinician and has served as guest conductor for California regional and district festivals as well as directing all-state choirs in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Texas.

Andrew Horowitz

Andrew Horowitz

Board Advisor

Andrew Horowitz is a twenty-year telecommunications entrepreneur and founder of Office Telephone Management (OTM), a voice and date shared-service provider to tenants of multi-tenant office buildings in Southern California that he started in 1983 and sold in 1995. Mr. Horowitz has since pursued an assortment of domestic and international telecommunications consulting engagements, mentoring activities, and investment opportunities involving local telecom and other startup companies. He joined the Orange County chapter of the Tech Coast Angels in 2000 and is invested in more than 25 angel startups. From 2002 2007, Andy served as Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Venture Finance Institute of the Claremont Graduate University. He is a founding partner of the Los Angeles chapter of Social Venture Partners, and a former board member of the Social Enterprise Institute. He is currently Advisory Board Chairman of Chapman University’s Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics.
Chris Jones

Chris Jones

Board Advisor

Bio Coming Soon
Colin Severn

Colin Severn

Board Advisor

Bio Coming Soon

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Arts & Learning Conservatory
151 Kalmus Drive, Suite G-3
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Phone: 714-728-7100