Board of Directors


The scope of responsibilities will be determined based on experience but will likely include:

  • Regularly attend Board meetings, which are usually held monthly and last about two hours.
  • Chair a committee and/or actively serve on at least one committee.
  • Take an active role in reviewing VAC’s operating and capital budgets, monitoring budget execution through monthly financial statements, and reviewing the annual audit.
  • Actively participate in the planning process by identifying and clarifying specific organizational goals and actions needed to achieve these goals.
  • Be active in personally contacting donors in major fundraising campaigns.
  • Make a yearly cash donation beyond annual membership dues according to the member’s means.
  • Attend a one-day Board retreat each Spring.
  • If possible, volunteer to participate in at least two Volcano Art Center activities each year.
  • Attend, observe, and provide feedback on at least two additional Volcano Art Center activities each year.
  • Provide adequate resources and support to the Executive Director to carry out the day-to-day operations of the organization.
  • Assess whether you meet your Board responsibilities during the year.

Click here for the downloadable application form! Please email the completed form to


Volcano Art Center Board of Directors


President Lynn Melena brings to our board a wide variety of skills and experiences to share as a co-founder of a mainland Hawaiian civic club as well as serving as a governing board member of the Volcano School of Arts and Sciences. She is also a member of the Friends of VSAS. As a civil servant for 31 years, Lynn brings organizational expertise as a former contracts manager with the US Department of Interior. Lynn has a PhD. In Education with a specialty in Learning, Instruction, and Innovation.  A native of Maui, Lynn’s interests are in all aspects of Native Hawaiian culture, especially hula, travel, and family.

Vice President Jesse Tunison is a professional photographer, cinematographer, director, and producer based on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Since 2008, Jesse has worked on dozens of film, TV, and commercial advertising campaigns for businesses in multiple mediums in Hawai’i, the U.S. Mainland and international markets.  Jesse has also worked alongside many of Hawai’i’s recording artists from traveling on the road with musicians, to working for smaller commissions with private clients. Jesse has greatly assisted the VAC website development team with photography and designs and VAC promotional materials.

Secretary Barbara Dunn is a retired Administrative Director and Librarian of the Hawaiian Historical Society in Honolulu. She holds a BA from Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, and a Masters in Library Studies from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She has taken coursework in the Pacific Islands Studies Program and the Art Department at the University of Hawai‘i and has studied at the University of Wisconsin, Madison,  The Sorbonne in Paris, and Oxford University in England. Barbara has served on boards of professional organizations including the Hawai‘i Museums Association, and the Association of Hawai‘i Archivists, and on the board of the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and the Mauna Loa Estates Road Maintenance, Inc. board. She has served on Advisory Committees for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the State of Hawai‘i Records Advisory Board, the Pacific Regional Conservation Center at Bishop Museum, and the U.S. Newspaper Project. She is currently Recording Secretary of the non-profit Volcano Community Foundation board. She joined the Volcano Art Center board in 2017. Barbara is a longtime member of the Volcano Art Center and moved to her Volcano home full-time in 2017. She enjoys volunteering at the Art Gallery in the Park, taking watercolor classes, and bird watching. She facilitates a Hawaiian History Reading Group that has been meeting since 1996 and is currently a Volunteer Librarian at the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Library in the Visitors’ Center.

Treasurer Doug Wilson spent over 45 years in the trust business. He was a senior vice president in First Hawaiian Bank’s Trust & Investments Division until his retirement in 2004 when he moved to Volcano. Doug currently provides consulting services to executors and trustees through his firm, Trustee Consulting, LLC. He received his MBA from Pepperdine University and a BA in economics from the University of Hawaii. He participated in the advanced program Leadership and Decision-Making in Organizations through the Yale School of Organization and Management – Advanced Management Studies at Yale University and is a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School (Trust) at the University of Washington. He received his certification as a financial planner (CFP) from the College for Financial Planning in 1985 and is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA), a designation conferred by the Institute of Certified Bankers. Doug currently serves as President of the Hawaii Tax Institute Foundation, is Treasurer of the Pacific Health Research & Education Institute, and is the Incident Commander under the Volcano Emergency Response Plan. Doug has served on the boards of Diamond Head Theatre (Chairman), Hale Kipa (President), Pacific Health Research Institute (Vice-Chair, Treasurer), Honolulu Symphony Society, Hanahauoli School (Treasurer), Hawaii Institute for Orchestra and Ensemble, Royal School, Hawaii Head Start Association, PlannedParenthood, City and County of Honolulu Pension Board, Volcano Art Center, Hawaii Island United Way, Big Island Amateur Radio Club and Hawaii Society of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners.

Christiane Friese has been an active volunteer supporting annual fundraising events such as Love the Arts. She is an active member of the Hawaii real estate community on Oahu. She is planning to permanently relocate to Volcano to continue working in our arts community.

Joan McDonald is a retired professional educator and past CEO of Girl Scouts of Maine and Central California. Ms. McDonald brings to VAC a strong background with specific non-profit organizational education from Harvard Business School in accounting, volunteering, and fundraising.  Ms. McDonald is also active in our Volcano community as a member of the Volcano School of Arts & Science board of directors.

Deborah Melvin-Oakley has had a lifelong commitment to community service and volunteerism. Deb spent her small kid years growing up in many places in the US and abroad; however, her secondary and college years were primarily on O’ahu.  After working in San Francisco, New York City, and Rome as a writer, editor, appraiser, auctioneer, and director of an Italian not-for-profit organization, she returned to Hawai’i in 2002.  Needing to care for family members on O’ahu, Deb commuted weekly between islands while building her home in East Hawai’i. Her extensive nonprofit experience includes involvement with the Hawai’i County Democratic Party, Hawai’i Island Board of Realtors, Businessman’s Paddling Competition, Hawai’i Numismatic Association, ‘Iolani Palace, San Francisco Pride (president/fundraising, PR, event coordinator), International Association of Pride Coordinators Executive Board. Deb holds a B.A. and a masters’ degree in Pacific History, Journalism, and Writing as well as certifications in Ayurveda, Yoga, and Meditation. Even as a realtor, Deb’s commitment to serving others is evident in her efforts to assist local families. She is interested in the support of present and future creatives as well as local art venues and organizations.

Zachary (Zach) Mermel is design director of Ola Design Group, an ecological design/build business. He has designed and planned for numerous private businesses, the University ofHawaiʻi, local municipalities, and US AID. Zach has conducted hundreds of farm/homestead consultations at local and governmental levels throughout Hawaiʻi, the Continental US, and internationally (most recently, in the Dominican Republic and Armenia) since 2008. His teaching credentials include instruction at Hawaii Community College, La’akea Community, UH-Hilo, and UH-Manoa. VAC members may also know Zach as the instructor for edible and medicinal mushroom cultivation workshops, among other offerings. Zach has presented at a wide variety of conferences and has published several articles on ecological design to promote community resilience. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science at Humboldt University in 2007, and his master’s degree in Ecological Planning + Design at the well-known Conway School of Landscape Design in 2011. In addition to numerous awards and certificates in his field of expertise, he has volunteered for the Hawaiʻi Organic Farmers Association and Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United. As someone born and raised in Volcano, Zach feels he will bring a useful perspective as a VAC Board member.


William “Buddy” Norwood born in Honolulu a long time Kaamanania brings to our board an extensive non-profit background, most recently as president of the Kona Historical Society. He remains an active member of the Hawaii Board of Realtors.

Vicki Penney Rohner was involved with VAC for over 12 years, serving on the VAC Board, several committees as well as teaching classes. Due to her past participation, Vicki possesses in-depth institutional knowledge of VAC.  In addition, she has been involved with other nonprofit organizations such as East Hawaii Cultural Center (past president), YWAM, Christ for the Nations and Verba Da Vida in Brazil. She has taught art for 23 years in Hawaii and overseas. Her skills and experience, just to name a few, include finance, management, education, policy development, and grant writing. As an artist, Vicki was recognized for her work by the State Foundation for Culture and the Arts; one of her paintings is part of the State permanent collection and on exhibit in the House of Representatives.  She was an artist-in-residence for 6 years at Fairmont Orchid Resort. Vicki worked in the family business, Koehnen’s Interiors in Hilo, for over 20 years. She currently owns and operates Rohner’s Interiors in Kailua-Kona. Vicki is a strong supporter of VAC and would like to be involved again as a board member.

 Jay Robinson– After 36 years of service, 26 at Hawaii Volcano’s National Park Jay retired from National Park Service.  As an active community member in the Volcano Rotary Club, Volcano Community Association with interests in special events, fundraising, public relations, communications and outreach.














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