Board of Trustees


  • Leila Sackfield
    Chair; Community Volunteer Leader

    Leila dedicated over 30 years to serving the Escondido community as a teacher, school administrator, and Deputy Superintendent. Her passion for music, cultivated through studies at Cal State Northridge and San Diego State University, extends into her regular participation in musical groups, such as the Trinity Episcopal Church choir and the Escondido Choral Arts Foundation. A key figure in the development of the California Center for the Arts Escondido, Leila served on the Mayor’s Advisory Council, contributing to the envisioning of the Center’s community impact. Her role as the founding principal of Reidy Creek Elementary School saw the initiation of the Fine Arts Volunteer Educator program (FAVE) and the annual FAVE Festival, showcasing student art and performances. Leila’s extensive community involvement includes leadership positions in organizations like the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum and the Escondido Rotary Club, reflecting her enduring commitment to community service.
  • Rick Dudley
    Treasurer (Finance Chair), Community Volunteer Leader

    Rick is a retired Municipal Manager. He is a native San Diegan and has been a resident of Escondido for over 36 years. His career spanned for 35 years in local government including 23 years with the City of Vista, 10 years with the City of Murrieta (as City Manager) and until January 2023, Rick served as interim CEO of CCAEF. Rick likes to spend his free time woodworking, traveling, doing photography and grandparenting. He has been married for 42 years and is a father to three children and grandfather to two.
  • Cynthia Weir
    Vice Chair; Community Volunteer Leader

    Cynthia Weir, President of The Cynthia & George Weir Family Foundation and retired owner of the Weir Asphalt Construction Group, has long been a dedicated supporter of community and faith-based charitable organizations. Formerly Vice President of the Board at a private school in Escondido, she and her husband have significantly contributed to the City of Escondido through initiatives like the “Do Something!” Pothole Patrol and the establishment of The Escondido Heritage Garden. Cynthia’s lifelong passion for the arts, spanning visual, creative, and performing domains, led her to teach watercolor at adult education venues and undertake notable construction, interior design, and landscape projects. A founding member of The California Center for the Arts, Escondido (CCAE), Cynthia has actively served on the Board of Trustees since 2012, including a four-year term as Board Chair. Her commitment extends to chairing the CCAE Charitable Trust Oversight Board and co-chairing CCAE’s Women’s Arts Council, embodying her strong belief in the center’s mission through enthusiastic sponsorship of various performances, exhibits, and community events.

  • Melba Tirado
    Secretary; CEO/Founder Novoa Communications/NovoArts

    Melba is a seasoned communications professional, accomplished artist, producer, and director with a diverse range of accolades. Her artistic achievements include receiving awards such as the Eagle Award, Impact Award, National American Scene Awards, and the Gold Medal for productions spanning various media. Formerly a producer/director at Family Theater Productions in Los Angeles, Melba played a key role in the success of the 52 Weeks of Science initiative for the Fleet Science Center in San Diego, fostering STEAM education in the community. Engaging in numerous artistic projects, from the Fringe Festival and Del Mar Fair to Art Walk San Diego and New Plays Festival, Melba is a versatile contributor as an actress, dancer, choreographer, director, and producer in regional productions. In her capacity as a communications professional, she collaborates with local municipalities, educational institutions, and water districts to facilitate equal access to resources, community engagement, project management, and outreach. Holding both a B.A. and M.A. in Communications Management from the University of Southern California, Melba brings a wealth of expertise to her multifaceted roles.


  • Sara Matta
    Immediate Past Chair

    Sara, a passionate advocate for social justice, art, and jazz, has called the Escondido area (San Pasqual Valley) home since 1986, despite her frequent travels. Originally from Scotland, she arrived in the US in 1969 for graduate studies in community organizing, earning Masters Degrees in Social Anthropology and Social Work. With a forty-year career dedicated to enhancing community care systems for the underprivileged, Sara worked with the United Way in Los Angeles and San Diego for over three decades, ultimately becoming the CEO of 2-1-1 San Diego. Instrumental in establishing the 2-1-1 community information service not only in San Diego but also across North America, Sara retired in 2007. Following the destruction of her home in the Witch Creek Fire, she devoted time to its reconstruction and rekindled her passion for art, particularly painting and fiber art. Sara, a jazz enthusiast, enjoys music with friends and explores new destinations in her travels. Married to David Matta for thirty years until his passing in 2012, Sara joined the California Center for the Arts in 2015 as a Museum Docent and later became a Board member, serving as Board Chair from 2020 to 2023.

  • Bob Will
    Community Volunteer Leader

  • Jose Jaimes
    Tierra Caliente Academy of Arts

    With a robust background in the Visual & Performing Arts, dance productions, administration, digital design, and non-profit development, Jose Jaimes currently serves as the Executive Director of Tierra Caliente Academy of Arts, a 501c3 nonprofit established in 2014. Additionally, he holds positions as the Performing Arts committee chair on the Board of Trustees at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido Foundation and as the President for Folklore San Diego Alliance. Jose boasts a 25-year dance career, including 15 years as an instructor and 8 years as a director. A prominent community leader and advocate for Cultural Arts, particularly among youth, he has danced for the “Mexico esta de Fiesta” Dance Company in Mexico City and introduced Folklorico Dance programs in Vista and San Marcos Unified School Districts over the last 5 years. With a 9-year membership in the Route 78 Rotary Club, Jose is deeply involved in his daughter’s school, serving on various committees and as PTA president. He has directed numerous productions and festivals, including “Mexico vive su Folklor,” “De Colores Youth Dance Production,” and “Folklore San Diego Dance Competition.”

  • Dr. Belinda Zamacona
    Community Volunteer Leader

    Dr. Belinda Zamacona assumed the role of Deputy Chief of Staff at VC EDI in 2023, bringing over 16 years of experience in the education sector. Her UC San Diego journey, which began in 2009, included roles in the Office of the VC – Student Affairs, Parent and Family Programs, and as the inaugural Director of the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program (CASP). During her tenure with CASP from 2014 to 2023, she expanded the program, establishing resources and infrastructure to support over 2,100 CASP scholars. In her current capacity, Dr. Zamacona oversees human resources, finance, pre and post-award grant management, and physical operations. Additionally, she leads and supports the VC EDI central office team, handling communications in collaboration with UC San Diego Communications. Dr. Zamacona has earned various awards, including the César E Chávez Staff Award, the Student Affairs Division Equity Matters award, the UC San Diego Inclusive Excellence award, and the Spirit of Preuss School award. Her academic background, marked by published scholarly work on class identity and support for marginalized students, includes undergraduate and master’s degrees from San Diego State University and a doctoral degree from the joint UC San Diego & CSU San Marcos program in Educational Leadership.

  • Roy Ray – Community Volunteer Leader
  • Rebecca Raymond – Community Volunteer Leader