Volunteers are a crucial part of everything we do. In fact, they keep the Center running. Their dedication and contribution of time enable us to offer our diverse selection of programming. Learn more about a few of our amazing volunteers below—our Program Leads. You can get involved by joining our team of volunteers. Sign up to volunteer by filling out our online application. We’ll get back to you promptly.

Sharon Gibson


Sharon Gibson is co-lead of the Clay Program where she has been working with clay and volunteering at the studio since 2013. Sharon manages some of the day-to-day operations of the program and represents the program on the Hoffman Center Board. She enjoys the opportunity to grow a thriving clay community while literally getting her hands dirty.

Steven Gibson


In 2013, after many years practicing medicine, Steven Gibson retired. Within a week, he took his first class at the Hoffman Center. He had thought for years about making pots as a creative outlet and felt so fortunate that the center was in the neighborhood when he finally had the time. Since that first life-changing moment of touching clay, he has spent many hours creating functional ceramics at the wheel, managing the kiln, and volunteering in many capacities at the Hoffman Center and the clay studio, where he co-leads the clay program.

Marcia Silver


Marcia Silver has been enjoying Manzanita for 25 years, but it wasn’t until she became a full-time resident that she discovered the Hoffman Center and its creative opportunities: the Writers’ Series author events, Writing Lounge, and most recently poetry classes. Her involvement in the visual arts is recruiting and organizing volunteers who serve as gallery hosts, occasionally hosting herself for the chance to spend an afternoon surrounded by the work of local artists. She taught writing for many years at the graduate and undergraduate levels and as an associate of the Northwest Writing Institute with Kim Stafford. She supports the Hoffman Center for both the opportunity to be a student of the arts and the sense of community an arts center provides for our little village.

Mary Roberts


Mary Roberts joined the Hoffman board in Nov. 2017, after becoming an active volunteer and participant in the Clay Studio and overseeing improvements in the Center’s Gallery. Mary earned a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in management from Portland State University. From 1995 to 2005, she served as CEO of Rejuvenation Inc. in Portland. Prior to that, she was Chief Operating Officer for Hanna Andersson, also in Portland. In the non-profit world, Mary has served on the boards of the Women’s Foundation of Oregon, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, the Natural Step Network, Transition Projects, Artist’s Repertory Theater, the New Rose Theater, and Northwest Business for Culture and the Arts – an organization that helped found the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Toni Zenker-Greening


Toni Greening began volunteering at the Hoffman Center in 2017. Her time is spent working with artists to create workshops that reach artistically diverse audiences. She finds the coastal community rich in talent and generous in sharing time and skills. She spends about half of her life in Manzanita and the other half in Portland, which is sometimes confusing to her dog Porter. She feels fortunate to have found a rewarding outlet for her twenty-five years’ experience in executive management, and nonprofit leadership.

Bonnie Kost


Bonnie Kost is co-lead of the very busy Visual Arts program and sees her role as assisting her partner in providing the community with the types of workshops that are popular, interesting and well taught. Her goal is to make sure the workshops run smoothly and participants are comfortable in their time at The Hoffman Center. After vacationing in Manzanita since the early 1970's, Bonnie and her husband moved to Manzanita full time in 2016.

Ketzel Levine


Ketzel Levine helped create NPR’s Morning Edition, put legendary broadcaster Red Barber back on the air, covered baseball, classical music, climate change, and as an NPR senior correspondent, reported from places as varied as Britain, South Africa and Brazil. Because of her passion for plants and horticulture, Ketzel became NPR’s gardening expert, the “Doyenne of Dirt” and talked plants on Saturday mornings with Scott Simon for ten years. She moved to Portland in 1996 and is now setting down roots locally with her Golden, Milo, who doesn’t do laundry but does entertains guests at their airbnb Sea, Sit, Stay! atop Neahkahnie.

Vera Wildauer


Vera Wildauer has been involved with the Hoffman Center since 2008 and helps bring authors, publishers, and writing instructors to our area. As co-founder of the Manzanita Writers' Series and North Coast Squid literary journal, she is delighted to bring opportunities for learning and community to local and visiting writers. Prior to moving to Manzanita full-time, she had 20+ years experience as a marketing professional and non-profit board member.

Phyllis Mannan


Phyllis Mannan has a memoir, Torn Fish: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and Their Shared Humanity and is about to publish her first poetry chapbook. Her poems and nonfiction pieces have appeared in The Oregonian, Rain Magazine, StringTown, Willow Springs, and other publications. Her years of connection to the Portland poetry community and her love of poetry are put to work producing the periodic poetry events and managing the Poetry Kiosk in the Wonder Garden. She lives with her husband in Manzanita.

Emily Ransdell


Emily Ransdell divides her time between Manzanita and Camas, WA. Her poems have appeared in Timberline Review, The Cortland Review, Rattle, and elsewhere. She was featured on Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. After years of marketing work for HP, she recently completed her MFA in Poetry and teaches poetry classes at the Hoffman, along with volunteering.

Andy Barker


Andy Barker taught creative writing as a high school English teacher before retiring two years ago. He splits his time between Manzanita and Portland. His years as an advisor to an award-winning student journal are being put to work as editor of the North Coast Squid Literary Journal. His stories have appeared in journals including the North Coast Squid and Rain Magazine.

Ellis Conklin


Ellis Conklin is a longtime journalist who has worked primarily as a political reporter at several news organizations, including the Anchorage Times, United Press International, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He retired a few years ago and, after decades of vacationing on the Oregon coast, settled in Manzanita with his wife Lynn and Piper, their ocean-loving Australian Shepherd.

Lynn Steinberg


Lynn Steinberg has worked as a high-school teacher, journalist and communications executive over the course of a long and varied career. After years of city life up and down the West Coast, she recently retired from The Boeing Company and moved to Manzanita full-time with her husband Ellis.