BOARD OF DIRECTORS

KAREN WILSON, CHAIRMAN

Karen began her life-long passion for the non-profit world in high school and college, bringing her volunteer experience to both Special Olympics and PTA as she raised her family. When Karen “retired” in 2002, she took some time off to play – she learned to surf and golf, and spent time traveling the globe with her husband and friends.

In 2009, Karen co-founded Impact Giving, a women’s collective giving organization, dedicated to having 1,000 women collectively award $1 million per year to non-profits organizations locally and globally. That same year, Karen joined the Board of The Laguna Dance Festival, a unique company bringing world-class dance to the small stage venue. Karen is currently enjoying her work with The Laguna Dance Festival and Impact Giving, and spending time with her grand-twins.

DEB SCHLESINGER, SECRETARY

Deb always loved ballet. She studied dance and musical theater from childhood until she had her son at age 30. To be pragmatic, Deb formally studied something “practical” in the event her musical, dancing and acting career did not materialize. Alas, it did not, and she spent the next twenty-five years in a career involving various aspects of healthcare.
Deb and her husband Rob are active supporters of arts and music. The Schlesingers are members of the Laguna College of Art and Design’s Presidents Council, were members of the Laguna Art Museum’s Advisory Circle and supporters of Laguna Beach Live!, where Rob currently serves as a member of the board of directors. Deb was also a member of the Laguna Playhouse Women as well as serving as the president and member of the board of the Southern California Association of Healthcare Risk Management. Deb and her husband Rob live in Laguna Beach with their cat Fenway. They love to travel, and have grown children and grandchildren scattered in various places from the east to west coasts. Deb is excited to be a part of the Laguna Dance Festival and looks forward to supporting dance performance in Laguna Beach.

WARD BUKOFSKY, TREASURER

Ward has over 40 years experience as a practicing CPA and business executive, including over 15 years as a senior partner in a Beverly Hills CPA firm and the large regional firm into which it merged; and eight years as COO/CEO of a boutique financial services firm in Irvine.  He currently works exclusively with one family as their “financial consigliere” overseeing all aspects of their financial lives.

MARI BUKOFSKY

Mary began dancing at an early age.  She graduated from the UCLA dance program with a B.A. in choreography. Having an interest in psychology and the therapeutic aspects of dance she obtained her masters degree in Dance/Movement Therapy and went on to practice in clinical and residential settings. Mari then obtained an MFT before establishing a private practice. She continues to mentor and supervise Dance/Movement Therapy students.

Mari and her husband Ward have raised two daughters and they are now thrilled to have become grandparents. After moving to Laguna Beach in 2008, Mari has enjoyed the practice of yoga, the care of canines and travel. She is excited to leap from her love of dance to being a part of the Laguna Dance Festival board.

KATHY CONWAY

Kathy and her husband Michael have lived and worked in Laguna Beach for 35 years. They have a CPA firm and Kathy ‘s clients are many local businesses. They have 4 children, 8 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. They love sports, especially tennis and the Lakers, her rose garden and traveling especially to Big Sur and New York City.

She was the treasurer of Laguna Art Museum for 12 years, chamber of commerce for nine years, the Woman’s Club and various other wonderful non-profits. For the past few years she have really enjoyed being part of the Laguna Dance Festival.

She has had the pleasure of experiencing the Joffrey Ballet, ABT, City Ballet, Complexions, and many other dance Companies. It is so exciting to be able to bring them to Laguna Beach.

MARY DAWE

A California native, Mary has lived in Laguna Beach with her husband Michael, an attorney, for forty years. A recently retired speech pathologist, she is a lover of dance, particularly contemporary and modern ballet. She is a past board member of School Power and long time member of the National Charity League. She is a welcome addition to the Board.

SUE FREEMAN

Sue moved to Laguna Beach from Atlanta, Georgia over 30 years ago where she founded the first singles magazine. She and her husband, John were very involved in local philanthropy and she served on the board of the Friendship Shelter. Sue was in the vacation rental business for many years.  She is a yoga enthusiast, a patron of the arts, loves to travel and spends lots of time with her four kids, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

STACY HAGEN

Stacy has been involved in dance her entire life. She danced from a very young age through college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where shestudied Business and Accounting. After several years with KPMG in San Jose, she started a financial consulting practice then spent some years working from home while raising her two daughters. She is currently the owner of a dance studio in Rancho Santa Margarita, South County Dance, Stacy is also a partner in an app company, Dance Apps Inc. Using her financial background, Stacy is a national volunteer for her sorority, Sigma Kappa, as the West Coast Finance Coordinator. She thoroughly enjoys mentoring the next generation of female leaders. A lifelong lover of dance, Stacy is thrilled to be supporting dance and dance education as a Board member of Laguna Dance Festival.

RYAN KINGSLIEN

Artist, motivational coach, and teacher, Ryan is the founder of the first online school for digital arts: Zbrushworkshops and Uartsy. He’s an enthusiastic lifelong learner and shares his passions in webinars, writings and video lessons, while also devoting time to digital art and programming. Ryan’s studio is on Coast Hwy in Laguna Beach.

SONIA KINGSLIEN

Sonia is from New Delhi, India and an avid advocate of dance as an essential form of art that depicts society. She herself had a short stint of learning Indian Classical dance “Kathak” by Birju Maharaj and Shovana Narain at a very young age of 5. Since then she is deeply connected with dance and very passionate in organizations and groups that teaches and brings dance to the community.
Sonia has background in Architecture and has managed projects ranging from $30 million to $300 million in the past. She now oversees business development and operations of her online school and recently opened Sonia & Co., a new art gallery in Laguna Beach. She has worn many hats from project management and programming to marketing something that comes with owning your own business. Sonia has travelled to many countries and also lived in many before settling in Laguna Beach with her husband Ryan and their two children, Aisha and Aditya. She thinks her search is over and she will be in Laguna Beach for many years.

NANCY MEYER

Nancy is active in many non-profits including Laguna Dance Festival, United Way of Orange County and the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine at UCI. Bringing the arts to the people of Orange County has been one of her primary passions for many years. Nancy is a partner of Buttoned Up, Inc., a company that produces a line of products for getting all parts of your life organized. She lives in Laguna Beach with her husband Michael, where they raised their four children.

AMANDA PARAQUELLOS

Amanda is an attorney, mother of two and a ballerina in her own right. She was accepted to dance with the Joffrey out of high school but the timing was not right so she went on to college at the University of Michigan and then attended the University of Iowa College of Law.  She is now a Laguna Beach resident, partner in the law firm of Sugg & Paracuellos, LLP and still takes two ballet classes per week.  She brings to the Board 20 years of experience as a business lawyer as well as her enthusiasm and extensive knowledge of dance.

ROBBIE PREPAS

Robbie has a passion for dance and has been a supporter of Laguna Dance Festival for years. A Nurse Practitioner and Nurse midwife, when not delivering babies, Robbie is most likely hiking, doing yoga, playing with her four grandchildren or walking her dog Hanna on the beach. Robbie and her husband Steve, an ophthalmologist, founded a medical foundation called Project Repair the World. For years now they have been traveling around the world to developing countries performing free eye surgeries. Robbie is also a member of the Disaster Medical Assistance Team that deploys to areas stricken by natural disasters. She has served in Haiti, Texas after Katrina, and most recently spent 2 weeks working in New York after Hurricane Sandy.

EDIE TONKON

Edie has experience fundraising for several organizations: SchoolPower, Friendship Shelter, Jewish Family Services as well as the Laguna Playhouse where she has served on the board. Presently she is on the board of the Kevin Armstrong Foundation, which sets up extracurricular sports programs for the middle schools in Santa Ana. Additionally she is the Trustee of the Melvin J. Tonkon Memorial Scholarship for Laguna Beach High School. Ms. Tonkon is also a past teacher and trained as a career counselor for college.