The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is pleased to announce the election of the newest members of the museum’s Board of Trustees: Patricia Aoyama, Gwen Baker, Audrey Fisher, Martha Gabbert, John Gardner and Diane Sullivan.
In addition, SBMA would like to recognize re-elected officer vice chair John Bishop, and newly elected secretary Susan Bowey, who will work under the continued leadership of board chair Kenneth Anderson.
The terms of the newly elected trustees officially began July 1.
Aoyama earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and worked as a hardware design engineer on radar simulators, flight computers, inertial navigational systems and wireless networks, until retiring in 2004.
Beginning in the late 1990s until present, Aoyama has actively invested in the financial and real estate markets and is currently a principal in AOK Land Company LLC.
She supports a variety of local nonprofits, and has served on the boards of Shelter Services for Women and Crane Country Day School. She currently serves on the board of Direct Relief.
Baker grew up in West Virginia, graduated from Marshall University and did graduate work at the University of Rochester in New York. Her professional experience includes working as a geriatric social worker in private institutions.
While living in Los Angeles, Baker was active in the Junior League, where she chaired a major fundraiser. She served as a docent at both the Getty Villa and the Getty Center, as well as at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Upon moving to Santa Barbara, Baker became active at SBMA as president of the Women’s Board, chairwoman of Friends of Asian Art, and touring the museum’s collections as a member of the Docent Council.
Audrey Hillman Fisher
Fisher, a native of Pittsburgh, joined the Santa Barbara community in 2000. She attended The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., and graduated from the University of Denver with a bachelor's degree in sculpture. She is a fashion designer and recently retired as president of Westminster Designs, a custom couture clothing boutique located in Shadyside (Pittsburgh).
She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System, the UPMC Shadyside/UPMC Presbyterian Joint Board of Directors, the Beckwith Institute, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, and is a vice chairwoman of the Shadyside Hospital Foundation. In addition, she has been involved for many years with Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania, the Women’s Center and Shelter, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Fisher previously served on the SBMA Board of Trustees for two terms, 2005-08 and 2008-12.
Gabbert, a Minnesota native, attended the University of Minnesota and Macalester College. She founded Deephaven Montessori School and also spent 20 years on the board of the Walker Art Center.
She is currently active on the Walker’s National Board and Walker Campus Planning Committee, and has served on the board of the American Civil Liberties Union Minnesota chapter, the Ripley Foundation, the Minnesota Women’s Campaign Fund and the University of Minnesota Continuing Education Advisory Board.
She is currently managing partner of R&B Properties, which develops the real estate nationally for the family business. She and her husband, John, are vice chairs and founding members of the SBMA’s curatorial support group, The Museum Contemporaries.
Gardner attended The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey and earned an undergraduate degree from Yale University in philosophy and an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
His professional experience includes work at Arthur Anderson, Harris Trust & Savings Bank and William Blair & Company in Chicago, where he was a partner from 1981 to 2006. He has been active on the boards of the Chicago Lung Association (now Chicago Chapter of the American Lung Association) and the Newberry Library in Chicago.
A native of Northern California, Diane Sullivan attended Foothill College in Los Altos, Northeastern University and California State University-San Jose before starting her professional career as a sales associate at C. Thomas Ruppert & Associates Commercial and Industrial Real Estate. She held a similar position at Revell Demorest & Associates Publisher’s Representatives in Los Angeles, then moved into a manager position at DeVille Galleries Inc. in Los Angeles, specializing in 19th- and 20th-century American paintings.
Sullivan relocated from the Vail Valley in Colorado to Santa Barbara in 2000, was on the Board of Directors of the Music Academy of the West, and is currently on the One Hundred Committee at Girls Incorporated.
— Katrina Carl is the public relations manager for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.