Our Program Leads
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.
Clay Program Co-LeadSharon 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.Clay Program Co-LeadIn 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.Film Series Program Lead
David Dillon has been involved with the Hoffman Center since its creation in 2004 and was a friend of Lloyd and Myrtle Hoffman. He is a cinema aficionado and appreciates the power of storytelling using moving images and sound. He started The Manzanita Film Series in 2009 to spotlight short and feature-length narrative and documentary films created by artists around the Pacific Northwest, while occasionally exploring the world of international short films.Gallery ManagerDave Holt is proud to be a part of Manzanita’s creative community and appreciates the opportunity to both help promote and inform North Coast artists. As the manager of the Hoffman Gallery, he strives to provide professional and respectful art exhibits. Dave’s involvement with art began at an early age and has provided him with many opportunities to support artists over the years. His experience includes the management of the Italia Gallery in Seattle, serving as a Seattle Arts Commissioner, and on boards of several non-profit art organizations - including the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland.Hoffman Gardens LeadKetzel 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.Visual Arts Co-LeadToni 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.Visual Arts Co-LeadBonnie 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.Manzanita Writers’ Series Program Co-LeadVera 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.Manzanita Writers’ Series Program Co-LeadKathie Hightower has been involved with the Hoffman Center since 2008. As co-founder of the Manzanita Writers' Series, she loves creating a robust writing community at the coast. Before moving to Manzanita full time, her years in advertising sales, ad agency marketing, Army Reserve Public Affairs, and international speaking, built up skills that come in handy with the program marketing and presentation.PoetryFest Program Co-LeadPhyllis 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 annual PoetryFest. She lives with her husband in Manzanita.Word & Image and PoetryFest Programs Co-LeadEmily 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’s turned her energies to completing her MFA in Poetry.North Coast Squid Lead and Word & Image Co-LeadAndy 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.Community Writes Co-LeadEllis 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.Community Writes Co-LeadLynn 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.