Artown Board of Directors | Artown

Artown Board of Directors

The all-volunteer Artown Board oversees the organization and provides a welcoming festival for residents and visitors alike. 

Christopher Galli - Chair | Dickson Realty

Christopher Galli is a fifth generation Reno native who is deeply passionate about the Reno area and the quality of life it has to offer. Chris joined Dickson Realty in 2010, and has been consistently ranked as a top performing broker/salesperson in northern Nevada. He is the broker of their downtown office, and works with local and national corporate clients on their relocation efforts as the Vice President of Relocation. He loves getting new members of our community connected and engaged with all the incredible opportunities and resources Reno has to offer.

He also currently serves on the board for the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Nevada, is an ambassador for Northern Nevada HOPES, and is chair of the board for the Lilley Museum of Art. Chris recently established the Christopher Galli Art Acquisitions Endowment for the purpose of supporting the acquisition of works of art for public display and to enhance the permanent collection of the John & Geraldine Lilley Museum of Art.

Chris holds a bachelor of arts in economics from Vassar College. In addition to his love of the arts, Chris loves home design, and enjoys rehabbing and investing in homes around the area. He also is one of the co-founders and owners of Parlay 6 Brewing Company, with a great taproom in Midtown Reno.

Meredith Tanzer - Vice Chair | Northern Nevada Hopes

Meredith Tanzer has made a huge impact on her adopted home of Reno, Nevada. Upon arrival from San Francisco, arriving in Reno, she established the award-winning La Bussola boutique, a one-stop creative retail space and buzz center in downtown Reno for delightful art oddities. The boutique helped support and develop artists who would eventually make art their fulltime livelihood. Meredith opened the HeartSpot Gallery, Deuce and Tree House Lounge. But it is Meredith’s numerous civic contributions that have been most profound, and through her efforts at the SPCA of Northern Nevada, Washoe County Homeless Youth Point in Time Count and Eddy House. Meredith helped to both improve and save the lives of our most vulnerable citizens. An award-winning gay rights activist, Meredith was a vital part of the capital campaign that opened Our Center, a vital community outreach, education and drop-in center for the underserved and at-risk LGBTQAI+ community, where she served on the board for nearly 10 years. Meredith, a resident artist at 1995 Dickerson (Sierra Arts), serves on the Board of Directors at Artown and is a part of the Northern Nevada HOPES family in downtown Reno. She considers herself a community connector with a unique combination of entrepreneurial mentality, nonprofit thoughtfulness, and corporate strategic planning experience.

Abigail G. Stephenson - Immediate Past Chair | Renown Health Foundation

Abbey Stephenson, JD, is a planned giving officer at the Renown Health Foundation. After spending ten years practicing law—primarily in the areas of estate planning and business law—she is happy to return to the non-profit sector where she started her career as a fundraiser. At Renown, Abbey is responsible for building the planned giving program and will also have the opportunity to increase general community knowledge about estate planning, about which she is passionate. In addition to serving as Vice Chair of Artown, Abbey serves on the board of directors for the Planned Giving Roundtable of Northern Nevada. She served as Secretary of Northern Nevada HOPES for roughly five years.

Abbey is an avid arts supporter and enthusiast. The daughter of a custom goldsmith and two skilled musicians, she was fortunate to grow up surrounded by beautiful art and creative people, both of which she finds in abundance in Reno. She enjoys sharing the arts and nature with her husband and two children.

Roberto García - Treasurer | CNM LLP

Mr. Garcia is the current Artown Treasurer and a long-time Reno/Sparks resident. He currently works at CNM LLP as Director in their Technical Accounting Group. With over 16 years of work experience, he provides accounting and consulting services to clients in a variety of industries. He also serves as Treasurer for the Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Nevada with the mission to advance the prosperity, equality of LGBTQ+ and allied businesses through referrals, education, and networking opportunities. Roberto is an avid supporter of local art and artists and is grateful to assist Artown with its financial needs in order to keep the organization’s July festival free for the community. He is a graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Information Systems and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Nevada. Roberto was born in Lima, Peru and is fluent in Spanish.

Melody Brown - Secretary | Community Member

Melody found that one of her primary interests was the arts and she has become an ardent supporter of local arts and creators and looks to find opportunities for those seeking to display, promote and market their arts to the northern Nevada community. In her capacity as Secretary, Melody will oversee Artown Board meetings and provide input as to how Artown can continue to serve and promote local artists during the annual summer festival.

Zelalem Bogale, JD | Berkshire Hathaway Energy

Zelalem BogaleZelalem Bogale is a first-generation American born and raised in the Reno area. He is an award-winning lawyer and former prosecutor licensed to practice in Nevada and California. He is also an award-winning Adjunct Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno where he teaches ETS (Ethnic Studies) 350: Topics in Race and Racism—Race and Law, CRJ (Criminal Justice) 320: Courts in Criminal Justice, and CRJ 420: Jurisprudence. Currently, he is Environmental Justice Policy Attorney at Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE) where he provides legal advice and business strategy and policy recommendations on how to maximize environmental justice and sustainability, and ensures that no population—regardless of race, color, gender, national origin, sexual orientation or income—bears a disproportionate share of negative environmental consequences resulting from BHE's commercial operations. Zelalem serves on the Northern Nevada Judicial Commission, which evaluates and recommends candidates for the federal bench, after being appointed by U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen. He is deeply involved in the civic education community in Nevada and across the nation, having coordinated the We the People program in Northern Nevada from 2013-2020 and served as a National Finals judge. Zelalem is an avid hip-hop fan (not just the 90s!), lyricist, and musician. In his spare time, he loves listening to and playing all kinds of music, working out, playing hoops, coaching soccer, and eating Ethiopian injera.

Khalilah Cage | Business Owner/Artist

A long-time Reno resident and University of Nevada Alumni, Khalilah has a broad and diverse background in sales, promotions, and customer service in the real estate, mortgage lending, and restaurant industries. Khalilah is a mother, entrepreneur, community connector, and songstress, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from the University of Nevada, Reno, serves on the Artown Board of Directors, and is co-creator and host of the 'I am Her' and 'Let the Kids Speak' podcasts.

Pat Cashell | Sky Tavern

Pat Cashell is a native Nevadan who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is currently the CEO of Sky Tavern, America's oldest non-profit ski and snowboard learning center. Prior to Sky Tavern, Pat served nearly ten years as Regional Director for Volunteers of America. In addition to his non-profit work, Pat has a passion for commercial and residential real estate with a focus on raising capital and consulting services. 

Pat was the manager and co-founder of Reno Works, a workforce development program that provides homeless shelter residents with an opportunity to transition into the workforce and permanent housing. Pat’s past community service includes work as a volunteer and Advisory Board member for the VOA; a board member of Quest Counseling and Consulting and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. He was a founding board member for Safe Talk for Teens. He also helped form a parent support group for Join Together Northern Nevada aimed at providing support to parents who struggle with kids battling addiction. 

Pat’s passion for community service comes from his own experience with homelessness and addiction. Today, with over eighteen years of recovery under his belt, Pat harnesses his experience and knowledge in providing insightful solutions to complex matters with regard to mental illness, homelessness and addiction. Pat believes that by sharing his story, he’ll inspire hope in those struggling as well as help shed the stigma surrounding these issues.

Michon Eben | Reno-Sparks Indian Colony

Michon Eben (BA, MSW) is a member of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony (RSIC) of Reno Nevada where she is the Cultural Resource Manager/Tribal Historic Preservation Officer. Within this role, she seeks to preserve Native American ancestral cultural sites by participating in government to government consultation with federal and state agencies. Michon is dedicated to expanding the appreciation, understanding and preservation of Native American cultural resources and history within the traditional Nevada homelands of her ancestors. Michon is a Co-Founder of the all Native American Woman Drum and Singing Group The Mankillers.

Gabrielle Enfield | Washoe County

David Lan | Focused Computing

David Lan is a dedicated community advocate with an unwavering passion for uplifting non-profits and championing the underdog. As a recent addition to the Artown board, David brings his fervent support for the arts, coupled with his extensive experience in technology and entrepreneurship. His background includes serving as a board member for organizations such as the Renown Regional Medical Center, Secret Witness, and Artech. David's entrepreneurial spirit has led him to establish various businesses, such as Focused Computing, Next Best Thing Corp, and Capstone Compliance while also working with more global entities such as Intuun Medical and Terra Essence International. His nonprofit past includes helping the SPCA, the National Automobile Museum, the Fourth Ward School, Doors to Recovery, and of course Artown!

David also helps wrangle technology out in Gerlach Nevada for Burning Man. Some of his most meaningful moments have been bringing Art out to playa and providing support for international teams who bring out art as well. As a member of the Artown board, he hopes that his enthusiasm and expertise will continue to enrich the Nevada arts community, inspire others, and create lasting, positive change.

Patricia Meidell | American Wealth Management

Patricia Meidell is a Certified Financial Planner equipped with decades of experience in finance, education, and counseling.   Pat received a BS from Idaho State University, a master’s degree from the Northern Arizona University, and has done post graduate work in counseling.  Before becoming a financial advisor, Pat taught high school classes for 17 years.  After earning her first securities license in l972, Pat went on to open her own financial services business in l982.    She moved her practice  to Reno in in l992.  She is currently the Chairman of the Board of American Wealth Management. 

Pat has been involved in the community in numerous capacities.  She is the recent past president for the Nevada Interfaith Association.  She serves on the NIA Coordinating Council and is the acting treasurer.    She has been actively engaged in creating and  promoting the NIA Youth Leadership  Conference for area youth over a three-year period. She has been actively involved in Community presentations such as the NIA Prayer Breakfast, NIA Thanksgiving Prayer Service, and the commemorative Martin Luther King Event. For over ten years she served as a Director for the Renown Health Foundation.   She successfully matched donors to vital medical needs in the community.   She was instrumental in the Renown Spiritual Center remodel and redesign to more closely reflect our diverse spiritual community.

Pat is looking forward to serving on the Artown Board.  She loves the performing arts and is delighted to be part of this vibrant, creative part of our community, anxious to lend her support to all the possibilities.

Rick Thomas | Nevada State Bank

Rick Thomas serves as Executive Vice President and Northern Nevada Executive for Nevada State Bank, leading a team that specializes in meeting the needs of businesses in the unique northern Nevada market. A banking professional with more than 30 years’ experience Rick has worked with clients in many different corporate sectors, with special emphasis on gaming loans. His experience includes commercial finance, corporate banking and treasury management for businesses, and wealth management for individuals. As a resident of northern Nevada for more than 36 years, Rick enjoys giving back to his community. He concurrently serves on the board of directors for the Nevada Bankers Association. Whenever possible, he takes advantage of Nevada’s world-famous outdoor lifestyle, including camping, hiking, fishing and motorcycle riding. He also enjoys traveling to other parts of the world. Rick’s education includes a bachelor’s degree in managerial sciences and finance from the University of Nevada, Reno.