Mary J. Velazquez, J.D., Chairman
Prior to attending law school, Mary worked for the largest healthcare system in Western New York for 24 years. Here she gained experience in many areas including payroll, human resources, risk management, physician accreditation, diet and nutrition, organizational development, and special event planning. Mary returned to college in 2004 as a single parent of two young children while still working full time. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Medaille College in Buffalo, New York. After moving to Texas and then Southern California, Mary obtained a Juris Doctor degree from Chapman University School of Law and was admitted to the California Bar. In January 2012, Mary moved to Spokane, Washington and was admitted to the Washington State Bar later that year. Mary has been active in the communities where she has lived and since moving to Washington has done volunteer work for several organizations including the Center for Justice, City of Spokane’s Mayor’s Office Department of Local Government and Multi-Cultural Affairs, Spokane Symphony, Christ Clinic, Community Colleges of Spokane, Spokane International Academy and its Foundation.
Mary lives in Colbert with her husband, Frank, and their son, Kevin, who is a graduate of Spokane Community College. Their daughter, Alexandria, lives in Spokane and is a graduate of Whitworth University.
Jerry Searfoss, Treasurer
A lifetime immersed in economics and finance and teaching hungry, young minds. Jerry has a PhD in Accounting, an MBA, a Bachelor of Science, and is a CPA. He was a partner at Deloitte & Touche for more than a decade, held a professorship at the University of Utah, and taught at Arizona State. Jerry also served on the Board of UBS Bank USA and has been a member and served in multiple capacities for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Dedicated to community service, Jerry has served on many community Boards and Committees in Spokane, Salt Lake City, and in Connecticut, including: President/Member, Spokane Dinner Club Board- 2010-15, Member, Spokane Symphony Events Committee - 2011- 2013, Member, United Way of Spokane Community Impact Committee - 2011- 2013, Board Member/VP Finance, Spokane Symphony Associates – various years, Member, Spokane Club House Committee - 2010-2012, Board President, Treasurer, Board and Member of the Executive Committee, Guadalupe Schools, 1998-2008, Chairman, Finance and Administration Committee, United way of Greater Salt Lake, Treasurer, North Stamford association (Connecticut).
Bill Heaton, Secretary
Dr. Bill Heaton is a retired physician and urologist who enjoys volunteering for several organizations, acting as groundskeeper and carpenter for The Coop’s outreach, a voting member of the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Association, representative to the Spokane CA Land Use Committee, and member of Christ Our Hope Bible Church.
His special interests include automotive technology, mechanics and restoration, traveling, cycling, and skiing. He has supported the arts in Spokane with the goal of growing a passion for the arts in the Inland Northwest. He believes opera is needed because of the spectrum of music and emotion which reaches and enriches the public. Furthermore, opera tells timeless and fundamental lessons and stories needed today.
Joel has been actively involved in US Corporate and global business through employment/consulting for 25 years specializing in global income tax, mergers and acquisition, and financing activities through a number of US public Companies and professional service organizations.
Joel has served on the board for four years and is the chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee.
Franklin SnodgrassInland NW Opera
Rev. Dr. Mike Bullard, D.Min. is a Retired Presbyterian Pastor, speaker and author who has spent ten years organizing disaster recovery across the country. An avid chorister, he has performed in 25 States and 7 countries, including Carnegie Hall and Coventry Cathedral, has been in several musicals and in 2005 and 06 did the grandparents dance in Nutcracker performances. A former board member, board chair and chorus member, he has performed in every fully staged opera since the beginning of Opera Plus, Opera CdA, and INO. His wife Betsy plays violin in the CdA Symphony where they live, and they have two adult sons.