Michael A. Nelson, Chief Executive Officer
After several years with Walt Disney organization, Ringling Bros., Radio, Television, and various Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, Mike became the Managing Director of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood California while serving on the host committee of the Hollywood 100th anniversary celebrations. While Managing Director, Mike leads the operating and construction teams through a $30 million renovation while continuing operations within the hotel. Shortly after Roosevelt’s grand reopening, Hilton Hotels Hawaii offered the position to relocate to Hawaii as Director of Marketing for the rebranding of the Hilton Hawaiian Village and opening of the Ali’i Tower.
Upon arriving in Honolulu, Mike embarked on repositioning the Hilton Hawaiian Village; the opening of the new Ali’i Tower, and oversight for three other Hilton properties in Hawaii which led to an opportunity with his own event-destination management company providing meeting and convention services and producing special events. Mike has worked with a variety of partners in the Hawaii travel industry, producing events such as the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament in Kona, Ko Olina Triathlon, and working with the Ko Olina resort master developer’s multimillion-dollar plans for a world-class resort.
After years of traveling to and from Volcano, Mike commenced building a home with plans to become an active member of the Volcano community. Joining the Volcano Art Center team is truly an excellent opportunity to support the many varied artists in Volcano while contributing to the center’s future.
Emily Catey Weiss, Director of Development and Galleries
Emily has years of experience coordinating public art programs and exhibits. She earned a B.F.A. from Ohio State University in 2000, which paved the way for Emily Catey Photography, LLC, which she ran successfully in Hale’iwa on Oahu’s North Shore before moving to the Big Island in 2009. From 2004 to 2009 she was involved in various civic, business and state organizations in the revitalization of Honolulu’s Arts District. She also served as President of the Hale’iwa Arts Festival. She joined VAC as Program Director in 2009. Since then, she has held various positions within the organization. Her philosophy is grounded in the belief that cultivating, sustaining, and celebrating the arts is essential to a vibrant community.
Jenette Goss, Program Manager
Jenette grew up in Honolulu spending a great deal of her time building her small business. In the late 1980s, her business brought her to Hilo. Owning her own business provided her with the opportunity to meet many people, travel, and experience a variety of world cultures throughout the USA, Asia, and Europe. She joined the VAC staff in 2015 and her ability to adapt has afforded her the opportunity to become proficient in several VAC positions. As of February 2021, she is the VAC’s Program Manager, responsible for the coordination, and marketing of the community educational programs, classes, and workshops. She also updates the VAC’s website, advertises VAC services in a variety of media outlets to include but not limited to local news and tourist informational sources. Jenette enjoys working and meeting people. She manages the membership, sales, and inventory of the Rainforest gallery, and assists with VAC’s special programs and functions.
Claire Nolan, Sales Associate
Claire was born and raised on the East Coast but has been a Hawai’i resident since the 1980s. She has always possessed a great appreciation for art and artists. On her travels in Southern France and Italy, she recognized how the natural landscapes inspired the masters. She joined VAC’s gallery sales team in 2001, shortly after moving to Volcano from Maui. She especially enjoys sharing the inspiration behind the artwork with residents and visitors.
Shelby Weitz, Sales Associate & Inventory Specialist
Shelby’s love for fine arts began in college where she decided to take an oil painting class as an extra-curricular course. This class planted a seed of passion that has blossomed into a deep love and appreciation for all forms of artistic expression. In 2018 she graduated from Cottey College with a Baccalaureate degree in English and a Minor in Fine Arts and headed back to her home in Hawaii. Shelby joined VAC in March 2020 and currently works as a gallery sales associate and also monitors and controls inventory in the gallery location and online at VAC’s website. Shelby enjoys working in an environment that encourages local artists to use their artistic expression to perpetuate the beauty and importance of Native Hawaiian culture.