2022-2023 Candidates for the CBA Board of Directors
Please read each candidate’s statement below and get your vote in by the deadline:
October 15, 2022 at 2pm PDT
Read Steve’s statement
Read Andrea’s statement
Read Ted’s statement
Read Phoebe’s statement
Read Robin’s statement
Read Lani’s statement
Read Pete’s statement
Read Johnny’s statement
Read Dave’s statement
Karen Celia Heil
Read Karen’s statement
My name is Pete Ludé and I’m completing my third year as a member of the CBA board, and second year as Chairman. It’s been a rewarding experience to work with so many talented and dedicated CBA volunteers toward fulfilling our mission. During this last year, we’ve seen the return of the Father’s Day Festival and many local concert and jam events. We’ve launched new programs to spread the word: Bluegrass Bridge – a program bringing Bluegrass to California State Prisons, and Global Connections – a platform for connecting Bluegrass fans around the world. The Youth program has expanded with a new CBA iPad app called “Bluegrass Campout” as well as a on online Music Instructional program “Bluegrass Academy”.
Behind the scenes, we’ve continued to improve our website and communications platforms, and made a major upgrade to our membership management system. While this may sound boring, keeping in close communication with our members, and being responsive to their needs, is vital to CBA’s continued relevance. We’re now very well set up to do that. We’ve also had excellent financial results, by keeping administrative expenses in check, while managing financially successful events and exceeding our fund-raising goals for the year.
There is still much to do, including improving our outreach and acknowledgement of our dedicated volunteer base and continuing improving our communications, promotion and event management activities. Most importantly, CBA is dedicated to finding ways to preserve and promote Bluegrass and Old Time music, including finding new fans, expanding our Youth outreach, supporting artists and instructors and building a strong community. I will appreciate your vote for another term on the Board to continue these objectives.
During my past several years on the CBA board I have participated in the redesign and maintenance of the website, helped develop and now oversee the Zenfolio CBA photo archive, designed and edited the Bluegrass Breakdown newsletter, and served as a CBA Photographer. I would like to continue as a board member for another year as our world emerges from the Covid stranglehold.
I know many of you through the years of my presence in the Bay Area and beyond, attending jams and festivals and performing in bands. I grew up in a Bluegrass family, with my Dad being from Kentucky and his Dad being from Nashville, TN. They were both bluegrass fiddlers, so my brother, Jimmy Campbell and I fell right in there at an early age, with my brother being six years older than me he was already inspired to play fiddle and encouraged (forced) me to play backup guitar for him. He and I were very influenced and inspired by Bill Monroe and the fiddling of Kenny Baker as well as The Stanley Brothers, The Osborne Brothers, Jimmy Martin, Jim & Jesse and many of the forefathers of bluegrass music. Family gatherings were centered around our jams, with everyone (Grampa, Dad, Uncle, Brother) switching instruments. It was always a big part of our holiday events.
Fast forward, I came to the Bay Area in ‘95 to weld in the refineries and went to every jam and festival I could find, including the Grass Valley Father’s Day Festival for many years. I met countless friends and fans that have grown to become lifelong bonds. Meanwhile, my brother Jimmy went on to play fiddle with Bill Monroe as well as Jim & Jesse. He preformed with Jim & Jesse at GV in ‘88, so when I look back on my first year at GV, I feel like it added to my reception by many, as my brother had paved a way for me. Around 2000 I transferred my Union Card to San Jose and started working in the South Bay and hitting the festivals down there, like The Brookdale Lodge, The Good Old Fashioned and Parkfield. I became friends with Eric Burman and was invited to play in his band the Birch Lake Ramblers and played for several years with them. In 2010, I joined Windy Hill and played with them for several years until I formed my own band Johnny Campbell Band.
Through the years I have maintained a home base in Nashville, TN while continuing to work in the Bay Area. I’ve worn many hats, side musician (Windy Hill, David Davis & the Warrior River Boys, James Monroe, Peter Rowan and Chris Henry), band leader with my own band, traveling full-time as a musician, producing CDs and creating merchandise to support my bluegrass habit. I feel like I have a lot to offer on the CBA Board as a result of my experiences developing a career in bluegrass music. Some of my favorite things are encouraging and influencing and it’s my turn to be that inspiration that I felt from Bill and those previously mentioned forefathers. With that, I want to be more involved with the CBA and the events that they promote. I’m ready to put my years of bluegrass knowledge to work for you on the CBA board.
Hi! I’m Phoebe Leigh-Suelflow and I’m running for a seat on the CBA Board of Directors. You may know me from my articles in the Breakdown or from volunteering at the Father’s Day Festival (wasn’t it great to be together again???). Like you, I love our music, because bluegrass and old-time is music to be shared. It’s about community. We like to get together to hear the music, to play music together, to be with other people who enjoy this music, and to invite others to join us in sharing our music. The music brings me closer to other people. I especially love listening to the stories you tell me — how you discovered the music, how you love to play the music, what you like to listen to, and how your lives have been changed by music. That’s what I like to write about.
Community is so important that my goal on the Board is to make our community even better by communicating and inviting everyone in. Communicating involves listening, as well as keeping everyone informed. We can do this with the Breakdown, the CBA website, and targeted special interest and geographical emails that you can sign up for (such as news about happenings in your area). It also involves getting your ideas on what the CBA should be doing. More jams? More concerts? More on-line events? More educational content on-line? Community also means coordinating with regional directors, and working with local groups with similar interests, like Camp and Strum, and other bluegrass associations so that we can combine our efforts.
Our community gets even stronger when we volunteer. Volunteers contribute to making events successful, and volunteering is a great way to meet the very best people — other volunteers like us —- and to encourage new people to join us. I’m inviting everyone to get as involved as much as they want to be. Don’t be afraid — it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or special skills — we want you as you are! Your skill may be hosting a jam, or (like me) baking goodies for a jam, spreading the word about events, helping at the CBA table at a festival and talking with people about what we do, or welcoming a new member. A big part of my job is to make the volunteer experience as rewarding as it can be! I’ve been listening to you, and we will do some amazing things in the future.
Here is my background: Currently I write for the newsletter and I’m taking on the volunteer coordinator position (with a big thank you to the great people helping me to make that transition!) I started the L.A. Bluegrass History Project Facebook group because I wanted to preserve our bluegrass heritage. We now have almost 700 members. I’m active in the Dog Park Bluegrass Jam, and I keep us in touch through emails and a Facebook group. My husband Gerry and I co-host the Dog Park Jamkazam, which has been jamming twice a week for at least two years, and we’re part of the Wernick Jamkazam. During Covid I sewed masks, and one of my masks was on exhibition at the Country Music Hall of Fame as part of the Sister Sadie exhibit. I love to bake and I bring high calorie goodies to the Signal Hill Soup Jam. Despite the valiant efforts of others, I remain a not-so-good fiddle player. In a previous life I was an attorney, ran a consulting firm, was part of a corporate team that came in 5th in the L.A. Marathon, and published a few books as the Silver Bird Press. I got to see the Beatles twice at the Cow Palace (twelfth row!). Yes, they were that good!
Please vote for me. And keep in touch – [email protected].
My name is Dave Gooding and I am running for re-election to the Board of Directors of the California Bluegrass Association.
It has been an honor and a labor of love serving on the board these many years. I have strived to represent you and your interests in this fine organization. If re-elected I will continue to work with your interests in mind
There have been many changes in the past few years. The Board has worked very hard (remotely) to keep interests going. Two TYRO broadcasts and the Jam a thon were great successes due to the hard work of many volunteers at the direction of the Board. Thanks to all that made these online events happen.
As we go forward I think we must stay current with the times we live in. Music evolves and as time goes on and newer more progressive sounds become a part of the Bluegrass world. I think we as an organization need to embrace these changes, while firmly attending to keeping the traditional sound alive, remembering where we come from. I truly believe there is plenty of room for both traditional and more progressive Bluegrass styles
I am in full support of our youth programs. The California Bluegrass Association has the finest youth programs in the country, you should be proud of that! I believe kids learn so much more than the music in our programs. They learn to interact with people from all socioeconomic classes and age groups. Studies prove grades in school improve with young musicians. Bottom line if they are around good folks, they learn good habits. Please continue to support all our youth programs.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Make sure to vote, it’s YOUR CBA.
Greetings CBA Members!
I’m seeking my 3rd term as a CBA Board Member. During the first part of my 2-year tenure on the board, the CBA board of directors had to pivot and find new ways to carry out the mission and goals of the CBA and to keep the bluegrass and old-time communities engaged when live music was not possible. I took the opportunity during this “down time” to work with the Communications Strategy Committee to oversee the development of a new CBA Website and put strategies in place to collaborate and share with members, artists, and other like-minded music organizations without regard to physical boundaries. Now as live music is starting to come back, we must pivot again, dust off our instruments and get back to making live music happen!
Some of my goals for the coming year are:
- Continue to collaborate with other like-minded music organizations and CBA Regional Directors in the diverse Southern California region to establish more programs, jams and events and encourage participation among all levels of pickers and grinners, especially young people.
- Continue to expand the CBA Photo Archive.
- Continue working with our newly formed CBA Global Connections program team to unite the community of bluegrass and old time musicians, fans, and promoters by exchanging stories, music, and information about events and activities worldwide.
Thank you for your consideration.
Long Beach, CA
As Summer 2022 comes to a close, our CBA board and volunteers continue to connect with and serve our CBA members by holding live gatherings and events, as well as by outreach online and in print. The board works to be even more relevant and engaging by keeping its stellar ongoing programs afloat, while creating additional projects into the future. This board has done impressive work! And there is more to be done.
As an Old Time musician/fiddle/guitar teacher residing in San Francisco, I have been involved in the California & West Coast Old Time communities and festivals for years. I bring this community’s voice to the board. Through my travels, I also consider myself a member of the Old Time music community in the Southeast, as well as in the greater U.S., and bring this wider connection to the Board.
I will continue my work as board liaison to the CBA’s Summer Music Camp, where I have worked for many years as an assistant and as an instructor, and helped steer the Camp through its leadership transition in 2022. I’ve been involved in many CBA San Francisco Chapter events, benefits, and dances. I am on the Board of the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention, and before covid, was involved in our thriving Square Dance scene. The CBA has work to do with diversity, equity and inclusion that I intend to be involved in as well.
I am a member of the Old Time band, The Bucking Mules, a multi- generational band with members living in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and me here in California. Local bands I play in are Plaid Strangers, the Knuckle Knockers, and KC & the MooNshine Band.
My interests on the board include furthering the co-mingling and working relationship between the Old Time and Bluegrass communities by giving a voice to Old Time, promoting diversity and awareness of such in the CBA, creating a statewide network of Old Time musicians to further collective communication and Old Time participation in the CBA, promoting live music in communities, creating workable licensing scenarios for small venues in order to stop ASCAP/BMI predatory practices. Thank you for your support in the past and in the future!
I’m Ted Kuster and I’m asking for your vote to continue on the CBA Board. In my first year on the board, I’ve been helping the CBA develop and implement a comprehensive data management strategy to support fundraising and membership growth. We’re making steady progress, and this is going to remain the main focus of my board participation if you re-elect me.
I’ve been a CBA member since 2008. I served as San Francisco Area Activities VP for several eventful years and now I’m the statewide coordinator for the Area VPs.
I believe that developing the love of bluegrass and old-time music, both listening and performance, among a broad spectrum of children and younger adults, is the central aim that all our activities should be measured against. I’m very excited about all the breakthroughs in organization, funding, and outreach that we’ve achieved in my first year on the board, and I look forward to a lot more.
Hello again to my CBA family!
We did it! We were able to get back to doing what we all love. The Fathers Day Festival and Music Camp are back!
I hope that you were able to be there to enjoy wonderful live music and the pleasure of jamming with your Bluegrass and Oldtime friends.
I am proud to have been part of the festival team.
I am again running for the board of directors and hope to enjoy serving our musical community over the next year.
Our organization is moving forward with plans for the upcoming Golden Old-Time Campout, the Fall Campout, the South State 48 for 2022, and the Great 48 in January.
It takes a lot of teamwork to get these events up and running. The board members, as well as our many wonderful volunteers are working hard to create memorable experiences for our community.
I encourage all of you to become more involved. There are many way to volunteer. Let’s keep it rolling forward!
I’m Lani Way and would appreciate your vote for a third term on the CBA Board. It’s an optimistic time for the CBA as we come back together as a community, and it’s been wonderful to have the chance to listen to your comments and suggestions in person at events like Father’s Day Festival.
I attended my first Bluegrass festival over 30 years ago. Throughout the years, I’ve attended music camps, played bass in the family band and raised children in the CBA youth programs. Creating the space for kids and young adults to develop the love of Bluegrass and Old Time through listening, playing and performing is embedded in the mission of the CBA. I’ve watched our youth develop as musicians, mentors, and community members. I’ve seen our pickers and professional musician help cultivate the next generation of bluegrass musicians. It is the strength of this multigenerational community that inspires my participation.
This year I’ve held various board positions and directed my efforts towards different areas of the organization. I am the acting Secretary, Chairman of the Fundraising committee, IBMA coordinator, and Chairman of the DEI committee. For the second year, I have secured substantial state funding to support our organization. These grants give us the opportunity to engage in community programs in more far-reaching ways.
I negotiated a new sponsorship agreement with the International Bluegrass Association and increased CBA’s support and visibility with the Kids on Bluegrass program in Raleigh, NC. We are proud that five of our young musicians have been selected to participate in IBMA’s KOB this year.
For Father’s Day Festival, I secured a new stage vendor, added new stage banners, and made sure that the backstage was handicap accessible. I also worked on festival promotion with outreach to DJs, print and online listings. It’s great to find ways to be useful in big and small ways.
This is a very active time for the CBA Board as we build our capacity to take on new initiatives and broaden our reach. I would be honored to have your vote.
Greetings CBA members,
My name is Andrea Zelones and I’m running for my first term on the CBA Board of Directors. I have been a member of CBA for a few years now. I’ve Volunteered for Summergrass, Huck Finn, Lighting in a Bottle, Bluegrass Day at the Fair, CMSA Conventions, Classical Mandolin Camp, Red Barn events, and many more musical events. Since 2018, I’ve attended many bluegrass festivals, jams, camping events and developed relationships with local bluegrass and old-time organizations, mostly in Southern California. I also started a mixed jam at my home in late 2017. In 2018, I created the YUkulees YUkulele Camp where we teach Ukulele and hold open jams at Regional Burning Man events.
I’m a current Member of CBA, San Diego Bluegrass Society (SDBS), North County Bluegrass & Folk Club (NCBFC), Southwest Bluegrass Association (SWBA), Songmakers, San Diego Mandolin Orchestra (SDMO), and Classical Mandolin Society of America (CMSA).
I hold board positions with NCBFC as Secretary, Campout Coordinator, and songbook writer, Summergrass as Gate Manager, SDMO Auxiliary as Secretary, created and maintain the website, and I was recently a Committee Member for the CMSA Host Committee.
I have 30+ years of experience in IT, Executive Admin, and Team Management. I handle constant change with great flexibility and love the update trainings involved. Before the pandemic, I had been working with numerous clients via the web for almost 30 years. Online work is one of my high points. I’ve been helping with online jams, rehearsals, and meetings and I even volunteered and created a few websites from scratch. As a hobby, I plan and lead camping trips of all sorts.
Some of my goals are:
- Proactively promote CBA, bluegrass, old-time, and gospel music throughout California.
- Work together with bluegrass and old-time organizations in cross-promoting events.
- Encourage K-12 participation at local jams and events for the continued growth of bluegrass and old-time music.
- Diversify events in California to increase membership and participation in CBA.
Thank you for your consideration.
San Diego, CA