ABAE Board


Renee Grube

Renee Grube, President

Renee Grube is the Executive Director of the City of Eugene Library, Recreation and Cultural Services Department. As the department’s Executive Director, Renee leads the City’s cultural services activities, including the operation of the Hult Center for the Performing Arts and Cuthbert Amphitheater, the Eugene Public Library, and the city’s recreation activities, including the operation of six community centers, three public swimming pools and multiple community and cultural facilities. Renee is involved with a variety of community boards and steering committees including Travel Lane County Board, Travel Lane County Sports Commission, and the TrackTown USA Steering Committee.

Irene Alltucker

Irene Alltucker, Vice President

Irene Alltucker is a broker with Evans, Elder, Brown & Seubert Commercial Real Estate. She has been involved in visual and performing arts since moving to Eugene in 1989. Notable activities include founding Executive Director of Oregon Festival of American Music, establishing First Friday Art Walk with Fred Crafts, and working as Executive Director of the Relief Nursery. Irene has been active in the community having served as a past member of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Oregon Community Foundation Silva Endowment. She currently serves on the Oregon Community Foundation Arts for Western Oregon Advisory Committee.

Alan Evans

Alan Evans, Vice President

Alan is the Founder/President of Evans, Elder, Brown & Seubert Commercial Real Estate, the largest firm by market share in the metro area. He has previously served as President of Eugene Opera, Chair of the Arts Foundation of Western Oregon and vice chair of the Oreegon Bach Festival. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of Summit Bank.

Dave Hauser

Dave Hauser, Treasurer

Dave Hauser is the President of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, a private nonprofit association of business and professional firms committed to promoting a healthy local economy. He has served in that capacity since September of 1991. Since 2008, the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce has served as the contract administrator for Downtown Eugene, Inc. Mr. Hauser has spent nearly 30 years as a Chamber professional. Prior to his arrival in Eugene, he served Chambers in Grinnell (Iowa); Ames (Iowa) and Boulder (Colorado).

Sara Brandt

Sara Brandt, Secretary

Sara Brandt brings 31 years of experience in development, grant making, and charitable gift planning to her position as Regional Director-Southern Willamette Valley for The Oregon Community Foundation’s, where she has been employed since 2002. Her prior development and arts experience includes positions with the UO’s College of Education, Oregon Bach Festival, and School of Music; Mid-America Arts Alliance in Kansas City, MO and the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, and as a grant panelist and site visitor for the Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She starting singing at age four with her five sisters and mother, and is has been a member of an a cappella vocal ensemble, The Motet Singers, since 1996.

Kari Westlund

Kari Westlund, Past President

Kari began as President and CEO of Travel Lane County in 1996. She is a past chair of the Oregon Tourism Commission, past president of both the Oregon and Western Associations of Convention &Visitors Bureaus, and past president of the Oregon Track Club. She has three decades of hospitality industry experience, including hotels, restaurants, tours, museums, retail and destination marketing.Kari currently chairs the statewide Tourism & Hospitality Consortium, and is active on several local committees, including the Cultural Services Advisory Committee for the City of Eugene, the Lane Economic Committee, the Florence Events Center Committee and the Oregon Covered Bridge Festival planning committee.

Doug Blandy

Doug Blandy, Board Member

Doug Blandy is Professor and Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Oregon. His research and teaching addresses art education experiences in community based settings that meet the needs of all students within a life long learning context. Research and teaching also concentrates on the relationship between art, education, community and place. Blandy’s research has been published in Studies in Art Education and Art Education among other journals in the field. He has co-edited five anthologies addressing topics in art education. Blandy is principle co-investigator of ChinaVine, a primarily web based project associated with interpreting China’s cultural heritage in partnership with Chinese scholars and institutions.

Mitra Chester

Mitra Chester, Board Member

Mitra Chester is the owner of Deluxe local, resale and vintage clothing boutique at 1331 Willamette in Eugene, Oregon. She is a clothing, jewelry and accessory designer and co-producer of Eugene Fashion Week, an event intended to promote local apparel designers and network them and other local businesses with the Eugene community.

Fred Crafts

Fred Crafts, Board Member

Fred Crafts—the City of Eugene’s Ambassador for the Arts—has an extensive arts background. As a journalist, he covered the arts as the Fine Arts Editor of the Los Angeles Times, an anchorman at the CBS Radio Network owned-and-operated KNX Newsradio in Los Angeles, and Arts Editor of the Eugene Register-Guard. As an artist, he founded Radio Redux, a heritage radio theater company. He can often be found emceeing arts events and giving arts speeches.

Dee Etzwiler

Dee Etzwiler, Board Member

Dee Etzwiler is a commercial artist and Principal of her firm, a+a Studio, where she designs custom artwork for commercial and residential clients. Dee earned a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Oregon and has designed custom houses, consulted on planning studies for the State Capitol, and was an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon, teaching architecture design studios. Dee is an award-winning artist who received the Mayor’s Choice Award and the People’s Choice Award at the 2011 Eugene Mayor’s Art Show. Dee is currently the Vice President of the Board of The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts and is a past Board President and board member of the Eugene Education Foundation.

Jane Scheidecker

Jane Scheidecker, Board Member

Jane Scheidecker has hoed sugar beets in Montana and provided entrepreneurship and tax advice in Siberia. After three decades of fundraising and administration including a decade as Director of the Business Development Center at Lane Community College, she left the work world to continue her harp lessons and metalsmithing. She has served on the Sister City Committee and Foundation, the Riverfront Research Park Committee, and the Rotary Peace Committee, among others. You can see her jewelry work at https://www.etsy.com/shop/TiarasNJewels

Dana Turell

Dana Turell, Board Member

As president of Turell Group, Dana Turell brings to ABAE more than 20 years of marketing experience, well-honed instincts and an unending passion for making a difference. In addition to being on the board of ABAE, Dana is board chair of Oregon Cancer Foundation, a board member of Travel Lane County and Angel Hair Foundation and a leaders forum member of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Lane County.

John Barry

John Barry, Managing Director

John Barry is Managing Director of the Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene. Previously he was Senior Vice President of Global Government Affairs and Public Policy at Visa Inc. and Senior Economic Advisor to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Majority Leader. A native of Dayton, Ohio, John earned his B.A. in economics and government from the University of Notre Dame and his Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University. In addition to his role with ABAE, John serves as Vice President of the Coburg Community Charter School Board of Directors. John and his wife, Sylvia, live in Eugene with their two children and he enjoys spending time in the great Oregon outdoors particularly fly fishing, camping, and hiking.

ABAE Board