Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors represents the diversity of museums in California, which vary greatly in size, discipline, geographical region, and mission. CAM board members are elected to serve a two-year term and are eligible to serve a total of six years (three two-year terms). Nominations are reviewed by the board’s Governance Committee.

Current members of the CAM Board of Directors:

Milena Acosta, Associate Director, Community Engagement, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Lauren Baines, Assistant Director, de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University (CAM Secretary)
Carolynn Birilli, Curator, Museums of Lake County
David Burton, Executive Director, Grace Hudson Museum (CAM Vice President)
Horacio Correa, Jr., Chief Financial and Operating Officer, Fleet Science Center (CAM Treasurer)
Karen Crews Hendon, Senior Curator, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
Joe D. Horse Capture, Vice President of Native Collections and the Ahmanson Curator of Native American History and Culture, Autry Museum of the American West
Tomoko Kuta, Chief Operations and Experience Officer, San Diego Botanic Garden (CAM Chair of Governance)
Katrice Lee, Senior Director of Philanthropy, San Diego Natural History Museum
Elaine K. Mah Best, VP Community Relations, Santa Barbara Zoo
Devin Malone, Director of Public Programs and Community Engagement, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Kevin McGarry, Associate Director for Public Engagement, Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
Kristen Mihalko, Director of Operations, Balboa Park Cultural Partnership
Rick Noguchi, President and CEO of California Humanities
Delta Pick Mello, Executive Director/CEO, Sacramento History Alliance (CAM Vice President)
Lisa Prochazka, Director of Finance and Operations, Monterey Museum of Art 
Kalie Sacco, Director of Member Strategy at the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)
Solimar Salas, VP of Content, Innovation and Outreach, Museum of Latin American Art (CAM President)
Leah Van der Mei, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Government Affairs, California Academy of Sciences
Vicki Wawerchak, Exhibit Curator, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
Laurinda Willard, Chief Operating Officer, Turtle Bay Exploration Park


Milena Acosta

(Associate Director, Community Engagement, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County)

Milena Acosta is a marine biologist and science communicator, with 20 years of experience working in out-of-school learning institutions. Milena joined the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County in 2015 and currently serves as the Community Engagement Manager. In her role, she fosters relationships with community-based organizations and implements a comprehensive community engagement strategy for creating community partnerships and programs in Los Angeles County. She oversees several collaborative programs and works with staff and community stakeholders to ensure inclusive and authentic partnerships are aligned with the Museum’s mission and community aspirations. Milena holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Loyola Marymount University, and a Master’s in Museum Studies and Nonprofit Management from Johns Hopkins University.


Lauren Baines, CAM Secretary

(Assistant Director, de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University)

Lauren Baines holds over 13 years of experience in the non-profit arts sector, including roles with university museums, art centers, artist residencies, performing arts companies, and professional associations. She currently serves as the Interim Director of the de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University, stewarding the museum through its first DEAI Roadmap / JEDI strategic plan, and serving as the co-coordinator of university-wide Indigenous initiatives. Baines previously held positions with Montalvo Arts Center, Palo Alto Arts Center, and several Bay Area performing arts companies with experience in education, programs, project management, strategic planning, marketing, fundraising, and curation. Prior to joining CAM’s Board, Baines served for eight years on genARTS Silicon Valley’s Steering Committee, a program of SVCreates dedicated to emerging arts professionals. Baines received BA and BS degrees from Santa Clara University in Art History, Theatre Arts, and Psychology and an MFA from Mills College.


Carolynn Birilli

(Curator, Museums of Lake County)

Carolynn Birilli is the Curator at the Museums of Lake County and currently a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University pursuing her MA in Cultural Heritage Management and a Certificate in Digital Curation. Since 2008, she has had experience in small regional Museums throughout Northern and Southern California as both a volunteer and a paid worker. She has acquired a wide range of skills while working at these small sites, knowing the impact that small museums can have in their local communities. Using her history and graphic design background, she has done a variety of museum work from fundraising and outreach to exhibit design and collections management.


David Burton

(Executive Director, Grace Hudson Museum)

David Burton has been a museum professional for over 25 years, 13 of those in senior management and executive leadership. Prior to becoming the director of the Grace Hudson Museum in 2017, he led the Yakima Valley Museum in Yakima, Washington, and before that spent 16½ years in progressively senior roles at the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, including director of government affairs and senior director of the Autry’s research institute. David has served on the boards of Arts for LA (regional arts advocacy), the Cante Sica Foundation (documenting the stories of Indian boarding school survivors), and two small theater companies. He is a founding board member of the Greater Ukiah Business and Tourism Alliance.


Horacio Correa, Jr.CAM Treasurer

(Chief Operating Officer, Fleet Science Center)

Horacio Correa Jr. joined The Fleet Science Center in 2017 and oversees all administrative areas. Previously, Horacio was the Vice President of Operations and Chief Financial Officer at Partners of the Americas in Washington, DC. Horacio has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of finance and accounting, auditing, government grants and contracts, and information technology (with particular emphasis on upgrading IT infrastructures). With a deep understanding of the mechanics of both for-profit and non-profit, Mr. Correa has also acquired substantial expertise in administration and human resources, including the areas of compensation, benefits, insurance, and facilities. A Gulf War veteran, Mr. Correa spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps and received an honorable discharge. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Systems from Washington Adventist University and an Associate Degree in Accounting from Montgomery College. 


Karen Crews Hendon

(Senior Curator, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes)

Over the past 20 years, Karen Crews Hendon has worked as a museum curator and educator in California institutions, private collections, and universities. Prior to working at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, she served as Interim Gallery Director and Adjunct Faculty for the Museum Studies program at CSU Fullerton, Curatorial Advisor to the MAW Collection of Mexican and pre-Columbian Art, Chief Curator of the Monterey Museum of Art, and Associate Curator at the American Museum of Ceramic Art. Crews Hendon holds her MFA degree from CSU Fullerton with a specialization in Exhibition Design and Curatorial Studies and attended the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, Jalisco, México and CSU Long Beach for her undergraduate BA degrees in Foreign Language, Studio Art, and Music Performance.


Joe D. Horse Capture

(Vice President of Native Collections and the Ahmanson Curator of Native American History and Culture, Autry Museum of the American West)

Prior to joining the Autry, Horse Capture’s previous appointment was as the first Director of Native American Initiatives at the Minnesota Historical Society in Saint Paul, MN. He is an enrolled member of the A'aniiih Tribe of Montana and has more than 25 years of museum experience, including his time as an Associate Curator of Research and Documentation for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian and 15 years as a curator of Native American Arts at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.


Tomoko Kuta, CAM President

(Chief Operations and Experience Officer, San Diego Botanic Garden)

Tomoko Kuta joined San Diego Botanic Garden in April 2021. In her role as Chief Operations and Experience Officer, she oversees public and student programming, visitor engagement, earned revenue opportunities through admissions and the Garden’s membership program as well as fundraising through grants, individual donors, and sponsorships. Previously with The New Children’s Museum from 2011 to 2021, she contributed to that organization’s tremendous growth. Tomoko began her career over twenty-five years ago while living in Japan and has continued her career in art museums and non-profit organizations in the US. She has a B.S. from Cornell University and an M.A. from the University of Chicago where she studied the visual arts through the lens of society’s broader culture and history. At the Garden, she leads a multi-faceted and talented team dedicated to sharing plant wisdom and healthy stewardship of our planet. 


Katrice Lee

(Senior Director of Philanthropy, San Diego Natural History Museum)

Katrice Lee has been a fundraising professional for over 15 years and has been at The Nat for six years. Prior to her current role, she worked in university development securing research funding for UC San Diego and Northwestern University. Katrice is a founding member of The Nat’s committee on inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. This important work builds upon her past service as a board member of the UNCF San Diego Council, and as a member of the UC San Diego Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women. Katrice received a BA in English from Spelman College and an MA in Writing from DePaul University.


Elaine K. Mah Best

(VP Community Relations, Santa Barbara Zoo)

Elaine K. Mah Best began her nonprofit career in 2000 with a focus on fundraising, public relations, and community building and joined the museum community in 2009 with a role at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Today, she is the Vice President of Community Relations and has raised more than $40 million in support of the Santa Barbara Zoo’s operations, priority projects, and education outreach programs. Mah Best currently serves on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Government Affairs Committee, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties Chapter Past Presidents’ Council, and as the Annual Fund Campaign Class Captain at Laguna Blanca School. She was honored as the “Fundraiser of the Year” by the AFP, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties Chapter (2017), as “40 under 40” up-and-coming business leaders (2011) by the Pacific Coast Business Times, and League Rose Recipient (2004) by the Junior League of Santa Barbara.


Devin Malone

(Director of Public Programs and Community Engagement, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)

Devin Malone (they/them) is the Director of Public Programs and Community Engagement at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF). They have produced education programs at Dia Art Foundation, The Museum of Modern Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and more. Recent projects include public programming and engagement strategy for exhibitions by Kehinde Wiley and Faith Ringgold at the deYoung Museum. Previously, they co-curated a film series coinciding with the installation Carl Craig: Party/After-Party, managed the Dia Teens program, and piloted the Dia Art Foundation’s Education Fellows program. Malone holds an MA from the University of Illinois Chicago and a BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They are an alum of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Museum Education Practicum, a member of the Midwest Art History Society board of directors, and a contributor to the 2023 edition of Walker Art Center’s How-to Kit for Educators.


Kevin McGarry

(Associate Director for Public Engagement, Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation)

Kevin McGarry holds advanced degrees in history and education, and has worked in the field of education for over fifteen years—first as a high school history and social justice teacher, and later as Director of Education at the Holocaust Museum of Los Angeles. At the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP), Kevin oversees the Visitor Experience, Programs, and Curatorial departments, as well as the Presidio Research Center’s archives and library. He is managing editor of the SBTHP’s publication, La Campana, and recently helped craft and implement SBTHP’s Strategic and DEI plans. Kevin also serves on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Creative Project (a nonprofit affiliate of the Santa Barbara County Office of Education) that brings arts education to over 50,000 students in the Santa Barbara area each year.


Kristen Mihalko

(Director of Operations, Balboa Park Cultural Partnership)

Kristen Martinez Mihalko is the Director of Operations for the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, where she manages internal operations and oversees several collaborative programs, including the Parkwide IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility) Working Group. An advocate for career development and personal growth, she currently serves on the board of Western Museums Association and Balboa Art Conservation Center. Past service includes: Treasurer and Secretary, Rising Arts Leaders San Diego; President, San Diego Emerging Museums Professionals; and Secretary, National Emerging Museum Professionals Network. She has a Master’s Degree in Strategic Communications from National University and leadership certificate from University of San Diego. 


Rick Noguchi

(President and CEO, California Humanities)

Rick Noguchi is the president and chief executive officer of California Humanities, which connects Californians to ideas and one another in order to understand their shared heritage and diverse cultures, inspire civic participation, and shape the future of the state. He most recently served as the chief operating officer at the Japanese American National Museum where he oversaw the strategic direction, from 2015 to 2023.  With more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, he has worked at The James Irvine Foundation, the California Community Foundation, the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, and the Arizona Humanities Council. He served on the recently completed Advisory Committee for the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Cultures’ Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative and has served on the Steering Committee for the Asian American and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy—Los Angeles Chapter. He received an MFA from Arizona State University and an MBA from Pepperdine University, and is the author of two collections of poetry and a children’s book.


Delta Pick Mello, CAM Vice President

(Executive Director/CEO, Sacramento History Alliance)

Delta Pick Mello manages the Sacramento History Museum, Sacramento Living History, Old Sacramento Visitors Center and the popular Old Sacramento Underground Tours, as well as provides support for the Center for Sacramento History. She has been in the Museum Management field for nearly 30 years having worked as Marketing and Community Relations Director for the Sacramento Zoo, Membership and Development Director for the California State Railroad Museum Foundation and Executive Director for the California Automobile Museum. She is passionate about Sacramento, its history, and its Museum community and she is currently the Chair for the Sacramento Area Museums which produces Sacramento region’s annual Free Museum Day.


Lisa Prochazka

(Director of Finance and Operations, Monterey Museum of Art)

Lisa Prochazka commenced her twenty-five-year career at The Jewish Museum in New York City, with continued administrative, financial, and human resource roles at independent schools in New York and California. Her expertise in nonprofit accounting and business functions includes data collection and analysis, statistical benchmarking, and the assessment of organization financial metrics. Prochazka currently serves as Director of Finance and Operations at the Monterey Museum of Art, guiding strategic planning, financial management, and human resources. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University, a Bachelor of Science from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and a Master of Business Administration from California State University Monterey Bay. She currently serves on the board of the Carmel Music Society. Prochazka enthusiastically supports accessibility to the visual and performing arts for the enjoyment, enrichment, and celebration of our richly diverse communities.


Kalie Sacco

(Director of Member Strategy at the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC))

Kalie Sacco is the Director of Member Strategy at the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), the international membership organization for science museums and science engagement professionals. In this role, she oversees all ASTC member activities including its annual conference. Previously, she was Associate Director of the Lawrence Hall of Science (UC Berkeley's public science center), where she led cross-organizational work and contributed to research, evaluation, and policy projects related to STEM learning in out-of-school environments. Prior to The Lawrence, Kalie held a variety of roles at organizations that supported the informal STEM learning field including the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) and Coalition for Science After School. She is an active member of several professional associations, including CAM and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). She holds a Master's in Public Affairs from UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy and a Bachelor's in Anthropology and Classics from UC Berkeley.


Solimar Salas, CAM President

(VP of Museum Content, Innovation and Outreach, Museum of Latin American Art)

Solimar Salas has worked on 100+ exhibitions in different aspects including bilingual content development, interpretive programming, and web content management. She oversaw the successful creation of a bilingual online database for Puerto Rican artists at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. Solimar served as the Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Association of Museum of Puerto Rico and as part of the National Program Committee for the 2015 AAM Annual Meeting held in Atlanta, GA. She also participated in the Smithsonian Visiting Professional Program and has spoken on diversity in museums and technology. Solimar holds an MA in Museum Studies from the Johns Hopkins University, an MBA in Management of Information Systems from the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon, and a BA in Biological Anthropology from Swarthmore College.


Leah Van der Mei

(Chief Operating Officer and Head of Government Affairs, California Academy of Sciences)

Leah Van der Mei joined the Operations Division at the Academy in 2008 during its grand reopening in Golden Gate Park and oversaw operations to welcome more than 1 million guests each year. She founded and secured initial funding for Museums4Inclusion, an inclusive museum career development program and toolkit for individuals with disabilities and secured initial funding through the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation. Her deep commitment to inclusion has propelled the Academy to become a leading Bay Area employer for individuals with disabilities. She is also a leader beyond the Academy, serving as vice chair of San Francisco Unified School District’s Parcel Tax Committee and board vice chair of The Arc San Francisco.


Vicki Wawerchak

(Exhibit Curator, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium)

Wawerchak’s passion for ocean science and conservation has been a driving force of her 20-year career at aquariums along the coast of California. Currently at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro, Wawerchak works on exhibit design and fabrication, and creates content and media for interpretive experiences that support the Aquarium’s exhibits. Previously she was with the Monterey Bay Aquarium in various capacities including public programs, guest experience, and the Seafood Watch program. Prior to that time, she was with Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium in education and director capacities.


Laurinda Willard

(Chief Operating Officer, Turtle Bay Exploration Park)

Willard has held positions of increasing responsibility during her eight years with the park, including education, programs, and now in the COO role, where she oversees guest services, education, animal care, exhibitions, and development. Before joining the Turtle Bay Exploration Park, she was an instructor and later promoted to Assistant Program Director with the Catalina Island Marine Institute.