Board of Trustees 2017-03-29T12:44:04+00:00

Board Members

As President of the Board of Trustees, I speak for the entire Board in saying it is our privilege to help CPA continuously evolve and grow, while also staying true to the founding values that date back to the Friends of Photography. We balance the past and future so that we can continue educating and informing photographers, and our many members, about the rapidly changing medium we care so much about.

As stewards of this responsibility I am happy to report that this Board is uniquely configured to insure the success of this important mission. For the 1st time in our history we have a Board composed in equal number of photographers, artists and curators, and seasoned business executives with extensive backgrounds in leadership, development, best management practices and human resources. As you read their bios below, I am sure you will join with me in thinking that CPA is truly strengthened by their active advice and engagement. Together we all strive to make CPA the leading focus of photographic achievement and enjoyment.


Brooks McChesney
Board of Trustees

Brooks McChesney: President

Brooks McChesney has been an entrepreneur and senior executive in technology companies spanning multiple vertical markets and industries. Currently he consults with a variety of venture funds and start-up companies, providing management and consulting services and helping them secure funding and develop successful sales and marketing strategies.  He is also a member of the Stanford Alumni Consulting Team which provides pro-bono management consulting to Central Coast non-profit organizations.  He is also a member of the Naval Postgraduate Foundation in Monterey, CA; a member of the Advisory Board of the California CleanTech Initiative; a member of the Board of the Start-Up Challenge Central Coast Business Plan Competition; and Founder of the Continuing Education Committee for the Friends of the Monterey Museum of Art.

Gifford Lehman: Treasurer

Giff Lehman moved to the Monterey Peninsula in 1997 from New York City.  At that time he started an independent financial planning and investment advisory firm, Integris Wealth Management, providing comprehensive financial planning and investment advisory services to affluent families.

He tries to give back by donating his time to local non-profits in ways that leverage his professional skills and experience.  Among those is helping non-profits advance their mission by nurturing planned giving within their donor and volunteer communities.  His current and recent past non-profit involvement has included serving in various board or committee capacities at Pacific Repertory Theater, Monterey Peninsula College Foundation, CSU Monterey Bay Foundation, Monterey Museum of Art, and now the Center for Photographic Art.

Outside of work, he tries to take a “lifelong learning” approach to life and is interested in history, performing and visual arts, photography, wine, and nature, which he and his wife, Pam, pursue through hiking, reading, lectures, and travel.  Being a very amateur photographer, he hopes to perhaps learn something about the art by rubbing shoulders with the talented.

Rick Thau: Secretary

Rick Thau is a consultant/mentor/advisor, and investor in early stage information technology companies. He is currently (since 1999) Managing Director of The Thaught Process; a consulting firm providing “C” level executive support and coaching for early stage companies.

From 1990 to 1999, Mr. Thau was CEO and a founder of FullTime Software (formerly Qualix Group, Nasdaq: FTSW) the market-leading provider of Reliability and Availability software. Previously, he was CEO of Micro-MRP (the leader in Manufacturing Planning Software), and held VP, Divisional President, and General Management positions in computer graphics, information appliance, and information services businesses.

Mr. Thau holds a Bachelors degree in Engineering Sciences from Stony Brook University, and has attended the MBA program at Santa Clara University. He has been an avid Photographer for several decades.

Helaine Glick

Helaine Glick is an independent curator and writer. She grew up in San Francisco and graduated with a BA in Art History with honors, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She worked at the Monterey Museum of Art for fifteen years as Curatorial Assistant and Assistant Curator. There she curated numerous exhibitions including the photography exhibitions, In Sharp Focus: The Legacy of Monterey Photography and Bob Kolbrener In Real Time: Celebrating Fifty Years in Photography. She is currently an Art Archivist for the Monterey Bay Aquarium and curatorial advisor for the Winfield Gallery, Carmel. Her essays have been published in Carmel Magazine and Art Ltd.magazine as well as in small art publications and catalogs, most recently for the exhibition Susan Manchester: A Contemporary Lineage. At CPA, Helaine serves as a member of the Programming Committee and curated the recent exhibition: Jane Olin + Elizabeth Opalenik: On the Edge of Chance. She continues to focus on independent curatorial projects.

Shelby Graham

With an MFA in photography, Shelby Graham is the Director/Curator of the Sesnon Art Gallery at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). She has collaborated on projects with the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz, CA; the San Jose Museum of Art; Gallery Ef in Tokyo, Japan; galleries in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain; The Center for Photographic Art, in Carmel, CA; and the Craft & Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles, CA. Graham has been director of the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery since 1999 and is on the planning committee for a new interdisciplinary Institute of the Arts and Sciences at UCSC. She has taught courses in photography, contemporary art and museum practices at UCSC; San Jose State University; Cabrillo College; and Seinan Gakuin University in Kyushu, Japan. A selection of her curatorial works include Raymond Saunders: Black is a Color; Tom Franco: Co-Lab, 2015; Alternative Lineage, 2014; The Dinner Parties: art and agriculture; The Harrison Studio: On Mixing, Mapping and Territory,2013; Katerina Lanfranco: Natural Selection, 2012, Lewis Watts: New Orleans Suite,2012; Xiaoze Xie: Resistant Archeology, 2011; Some Assembly Required: race, gender and globalization, 2009–2010; Interruptions of Hierarchies, 2008; Image as Object,2006; Hank Willis Thomas: Signifying Blackness, 2006; and The Rhetoric of the Pose: Rethinking Hannah Wilke, 2005; Binh Danh, Immortality, The Remnants of the Vietnam and American War, 2002.

Shelby Graham has a 30-year career as an educator and fine art photographer, including solo and group exhibitions in the United States from California to Philadelphia and international exhibitions in Japan and the Czech Republic. Graham earned her MFA in photography from San Jose State University and specializes in alternative and experimental photography with innovative curatorial praxis. She is currently co-curating an international exhibition, “Unique Multiples,” with Enrique Martinez Leal in Cuenca, Spain, and she is working on a future traveling exhibition on Okinawa with Alan Christy and UCSC history students.

David Keaton

David Keaton has been passionately involved with photography for more than 35 years. Growing up on the Monterey Peninsula, he was exposed to the deep weave of local photography through the work of the Westons, Adams, Baer and many others. These photography related experiences helped guide him to his own photo adventures in the high mountains, including ascents of both the continental and fifty state highpoints and first ascents of more than fifteen unclimbed summits in the High Arctic, and Asia.

David’s non-profit experience includes work as the Interim Director of Development for the Monterey Museum of Art, Director of Development for All Saints’ Episcopal Day School, and exhibition committee and curatorial work for the Monterey Museum of Art, the San Jose Museum of Art, the Fresno Art Museum, and the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. David received his Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and History from the University of California, Berkeley, and attended the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Rachael Short

After picking up her dad’s camera at the age of twelve, Rachael Short was hooked. Photography became her passion and still is today. After graduating from Carmel High School in Carmel, California in 2000, Rachael studied at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California. She had a thriving wedding photography and portraiture business for ten years, which ended in 2010 when she was in a car accident that broke her neck, leaving her a quadriplegic. Before that, she didn’t even know how to spell quadriplegic. Rachael now spends most of her time doing physical therapy and capturing images with her iphone. Her recent projects consist of platinum prints of her iphone images. In 2009, along with a fellow photographer, Rachael opened EXPOSED, a photography gallery in Carmel, California, which also keeps her busy. Rachael resides in Carmel, California.

Sarah Spencer

Sarah was born in Minneapolis and received her B.A. in French and Art History, Phi Beta Kappa, from Northwestern University. She worked as a photography intern/archivist at SFMOMA under Diana DuPont and Van Deren Coke, 1981-84. Between 1990-1999 she worked in the field of gallery management and sales at Weston Gallery and served as Assistant Director of the Winfield Gallery, Carmel, from 1999 – 2008. Sarah was also the Assistant to the Director of CPA, in 1993 and ‘94. In 1995, she published Linda Connor: Luminance in association with CPA, followed by the 1996 publication of Ruth Bernhard: Gift of the Commonplace. She served as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Monterey Museum of Art, 2000-2005.

John Talley

As a child John Talley bounced between Tennessee and the Bay Area until his family finally decided to sink their roots in Morgan Hill.  His entire family was involved in real estate development and so John followed suit.  By starting his career at such a young age he was also afforded the luxury of retiring early.  However, John immediately joined Fung Collaboratives (FC) as Executive Director.  FC is a curatorial organization that curates and realizes large and small scale Contemporary Art exhibitions in the public realm.  John’s husband is a curator and initially founded the company in 2003 after closing his commercial gallery in SoHo.  In 2015, John founded FC Projects, an arts non-profit, with the goal of working with the local community to bring high level arts education and exhibitions to the Bay Area.

John and his husband spend their time looking at art, hosting numerous events, and always aspire to elevate their friends and neighbors interest, understanding and support in Arts.  They feel blessed because their local community in Woodside, CA is very supportive of the arts and now that they have a home in Carmel-by-the-Sea they hope to meet the local artists and patrons as well.

As an avid landscape photographer, John immediately sought out the CPA and began visiting the space.  He realized the historic institution was still relevant and had an amazing program and team.  After of year of studying and experiencing the CPA, John felt it was time to roll up his sleeves and lend a helping hand by joining the Board.    

Tracy Valleau

Tracy Valleau began photography in San Diego, CA, in 1957 where he built his first darkroom at age 10. He now has over 50 works in the permanent collections of museums and foundations.

Tracy attended UCSD and SDSU, served in the Army during the Vietnam era and moved to Monterey in 1972. He began computer programming in 1978 and is a certified Mac Consultant. His clients have included Apple, Disney, Sony, National Geographic, McGraw-Hill, PBS and others.

He currently builds and hosts websites (including this one) edits video, provides IT support and practices his own fine art photography. Tracy is a past instructor in the Graduate School of Photography at Academy of Art University and is a member of the ImageMakers of Monterey. 

Robin Venuti

Coming from the San Francisco Museum of Art, Robin moved to the Monterey Peninsula in 1982 to take a job as Membership Coordinator with the Friends of Photography at a time when they were growing ten-fold in membership. While there, she was completing her Master’s thesis on the history of the Friends and as such, had full access to archives and interviews with many of its founders. Upon their departure to the Bay Area, Robin continued a career of development positions in the Monterey Bay area. She has also served as a Regional Representative for what is now Bonham’s and later, as an Associate and Consultant to the Fine Photographs department at Sotheby’s. Robin is a life-long learner and collector of photography.

Brandon Wehman

Brandon Wehman attended Cal State Monterey Bay and majored in Business and Accounting. Upon graduation, he received his CPA license and began working for a regional accounting firm as a senior auditor and tax accountant, specializing in nonprofits. In 2013, Brandon followed his creative vision and love for photography by pursuing wedding photography full-time. Brandon looks forward to adding his talents in photography and accounting to further strengthen the foundation of CPA.

Chris Winfield

Chris Winfield was born in Paris, France, and since 1989 is the director of the Winfield Gallery, Carmel. He holds a BFA from Washington University, St Louis, MO and his paintings have been included in many solo and group shows at prestigious venues including the Triton Museum, Santa Clara, the Crocker Museum, Sacramento and the Monterey Museum of Art. Aligned with his carefully curated work represented in his multi-media gallery, Chris lends a fresh and diverse direction to exhibition possibilities at CPA.