Board of Directors
Mia Matusow, President
Mia Matusow has been happily involved with YMA since 1980, when she first attended as a camper. She went on to become a YMA counselor and later served on the Session 1 faculty as the saxophone instructor. Mia passed along her love of YMA to her two sons, both of whom now build their summer schedules around camp. For 20 years, she was the co-owner of Blue Line Writing & Editing, which she ran together with her former YMA roommate. Mia and her husband have been YMA volunteers for years, and she joined the board in 2015.
Emma Pelzner, Vice President | Organizational Development Consultant, Oregon Health & Science University
Emma is a former YMA camper and counselor who has spent much of her adulthood wishing she could return to camp. She works as a nonprofit consultant, helping organizations tackle questions about their strategy and people management. She is currently an Organizational Development Consultant at OHSU, where she helps leaders and teams work together more effectively. Emma earned both a BA and MBA from Yale, and recently moved home to Portland where she is having fun introducing her husband and toddler son to the amazing hiking and food in the Pacific Northwest.
Martha Gazeley, Treasurer | Accountant, Martha Page Gazeley, CPA
Martha has been a CPA in Portland Oregon for 20+ years and currently has her own business as a sole practitioner. Her daughter, now a YMA counselor after many years as a camper/CIT, considers the camp her “happy place,” which is why Martha devotes time to serving on the YMA board. She has previously been active on boards for the Multnomah Athletic Club, Oregon Society of CPAs, YWCA and Portland Women’s Foundation. She loves to ski, travel, attend music and dance performances, and spend time with family and friends.
Traci Fordham, Secretary | Chief of Staff, Portland Community College
Traci has over thirty years' experience as a Communication, Arts, and Diversity educator--as a professor, department chair, faculty development specialist, and organizational consultant. She became a YMA enthusiast and supporter via colleagues who have taught for YMA and as a parent of a very happy YMA camper. Traci received her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Communication from the University of Wisconsin and her Doctorate in Social Sciences - Intercultural Studies - from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She herself is an artist and performer, currently fronting a classic rock/rhythm and blues band. She works in the Office of the President at Portland Community College and lives in Portland’s Montavilla neighborhood
Jack Dekovich | Attorney, Willamette Family Law
Jack lives in southeast Portland with his wife Emily and their two cats. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Jack, a first-generation American, has always been fond of music and education. Initially, while attending Michigan State University, Jack planned on being a high school teacher. Upon graduation Jack moved back to Detroit to teach at his old high school, The University of Detroit Jesuit. Before starting law school, Jack spent a summer in Kan, Cameroon, a small secluded village, teaching French for the non-profit Wellspring of Hope. In 2012, Jack graduated from Willamette University College of Law, got married, and started his legal career. Currently, Jack works as a family law attorney for the Portland firm Landerholm Law, LLC. Jack contributes to the community through his work with several non-profit organizations involving law, education, human rights and music. In his precious free time, Jack can be spotted at several local bars playing music with the band “The Four Hot Kings” or playing ice hockey.
Richard Flores | Senior Software Engineer, Intel Corporation
Richard is a graduate of the University of California Davis, where he studied computer engineering. He is a software engineer at Intel and is active in Intel’s Latino Network, which supports local community projects to enable the Latino community. While at the university, he developed his passion for dance and performance art by participating in Baile Folklorico and other dance programs. In his spare time Richard enjoys the outdoors and practices his developing skills on the piano.
Bobby Fouther | Performing & Visual Artist
Bobby Fouther’s career spans over forty-five years of artistic expression in the Northwest. Filling the roles of producer, director, performer, designer, exhibitor and teacher, his work has influenced thousands of students, peers and audiences in communities throughout the United States. For many years, this former Portland State University faculty member and instructor for Oregon Ballet Theatre’s Outreach Programs has served as an artist‐in‐education for statewide artist residency programs sponsored by the Oregon, Washington and Idaho Arts Commissions and the National Endowment for the Arts. Mr. Fouther has also served on curriculum development committees for the Children’s Museum, The World Affair’s Council of Oregon, Portland Public Schools and White Bird Dance. Mr. Fouther is currently the Children’s Program Director & Co‐Artistic Director for the Kemba Shannon Dance Center
Diana Kerman | Retired, Co-founder Portland Reading Foundation (Reading Results)
Diana has been involved with YMA for over 40 years as a parent and a grandparent of students. She is knowledgeable and passionate about equity inclusion, having taught high-needs students in inner-city schools for over 28 years. When she retired, Diana was the co-founder of the Portland Reading Foundation now called Reading Results. Starting this nonprofit gave Diana grant writing skills which have now benefited Young Musicians & Artists. In her spare time, Diana travels—she has walked both Hadrian’s Wall through England and El Camino across northern Spain. Diana is delighted to continue her long relationship with YMA.
Laura Moen | Owner, Moxie Northwest
Laura attended Young Musicians & Artists between 1973 and 1989, and both her son and daughter have been campers at YMA over the last several years. After graduating from Pitzer College with a bachelor’s degree in political psychology and art, she biked across the U.S. with fellow YMA alum Emily Harris. Laura went on to be the box office manager at Intiman Theatre in Seattle, Washington, and owner of a small handmade and hand-painted housewares business called Just Art. She then served as soft goods product manager for Gregg’s Cycles, where she was named Employee of the Year, and ultimately opened her own small business, Moxie Northwest, which concentrates on sales and service in biking, running, and other outdoor industries.
Tom Muller | Music Director & Associate Director of Bands, David Douglas High School
Tom Muller has taught music for more than 20 years and is the Associate Director of Bands at David Douglas High School and the Music Supervisor for the David Douglas School District. He has also served as the President of the Oregon Band Directors Association and has been a member of the Oregon Music Educators Association (OMEA) Board of Control at various times since 1998. Mr. Muller is the current Past-President of the Oregon Music Education Association after serving two years as President. He is also the current Chair of the OSAA State Solo Championship, maintains an active playing career, and has an extensive French horn studio in the East Portland Metro area.
Claire Stolowitz | Customer Support Specialist, Cozy Services, Ltd.
Claire is a former YMA student and senior counselor who lives in Portland. She works in the tech industry as a relationship management professional; she has also worked as an educator and academic consultant around the country. Claire is also a frequent community volunteer and artist.
Nita Van Pelt | Interlude Orchestra Conductor, Metropolitan Youth Symphony
Nita enjoyed 14 years as faculty (clarinet +) at YMA. Many lifelong friendships began there and so many memories of wonderful musical experiences. Nita retired in 2016 after teaching orchestra and band in public schools in Elyria, Ohio for 5 years and in Lake Oswego, Oregon for 30 years. She continues her work with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony and continues as Principal Clarinet with the Tilikum Chamber Orchestra. She also plays clarinet with the Oregon Symphonic Band. Nita is very happy to be part of YMA again.
Rebecca Wood | Program Coordinator, Oregon Coalition for the Responsible Use of Meds/Lines for Life
Rebecca is a former YMA camper and counselor who currently works for the Oregon Coalition for the Responsible Use of Meds/Lines for Life. She is also a social work student.
Monica Hayes | Education & Community Programs Director, Oregon Symphony
Amy Jacobsen | Director of Communications, Peter Jacobsen SPORTS
Anna Peterson | Former Mayor of Salem
Traci Rossi | Executive Director, Innovative Changes
Tomas Svoboda | Composer, Conductor, and Professor Emeritus, Portland State University Music Department