For Immediate Release: The California Center for the Arts, Escondido Appoints Four New Board Members

Escondido, California — :

The California Center for the Arts, Escondido’s Governance Committee appointed four new members to their Board of Trustees at the annual meeting on Thursday, September 24. Halicia Perkins, Judith Hamilton, Rorie Johnston and Steve Nelson each accepted a three-year term. Halicia, Judith, Rorie and Steve will join Board Chair Karen Jobe, Vice Chair Cynthia Weir, Treasurer Andy Washburn, Secretary Christin Hodous, Chris Cochran, Barbara Fischer, Robert Will, and Robert Dudley.

Halicia Perkins is President and Management Consultant at Hypress Enterprises, which she founded in 2000. She was named Urban Banker of the year in 1995 and received Union Bank of California’s Community Service Award in 1996. In 1978, she graduated from University of Nevada-Las Vegas, where she received her Master’s in Public Administration and specialized in Urban Planning. Halicia is a native of Louisiana and relocated to San Diego County in 1986, and has been a resident of Del Mar/Rancho Santa Fe since 1995. She has performed internationally as both jazz and gospel singer and authored an illustrated children’s book entitled, “Gino the Giant Slayer,” currently available on

Judith Hamilton, originally from Georgia, attended San Diego State University, graduating with distinction in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She continued her education at San Diego State and received her Masters of Business Administration in 1977. In 1980 Judith founded Hamilton Accountancy Corporation. The company name was changed to Hamilton Tharp, LLP in 2010. She was the first recipient of the San Diego “Women who Mean Business” award in accounting. She also has been an instructor/lecturer at San Diego State University and Mira Costa College in Financial Accounting, Cost Accounting, Taxation for Individuals, and Taxation for Corporations, as well as a frequent speaker for various events.

Rorie Johnston, a California native, spent most of her youth in Oklahoma and Arizona. She moved back to North County with her husband in 2005. She was the first female in the history of Kelly Paper to attain the role of a District Manager, where she oversaw six locations in San Diego. Her experience with business management for large corporations and small family owned operations has prepared her for the role of CEO and President of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce. Involvement in the community is of high importance to Rorie; this is where she lives, shops, plays and worships.

Steve Nelson is an Independent Counsel at Steve Nelson Lawyer, where he has worked since January 2009. Previously, he was employed as the Associate Director and General Counsel at The Classical Academies from February 2009 through January 2015. He also was the Assistant City Attorney at City of Escondido from August 1996 through April 2009. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1996. Steve is a part of the Education Abroad Program in Barcelona and speaks both English and Spanish.

About the Center

With a mission of bringing people together to discover, create and celebrate both the visual and performing arts, the California Center for the Arts, Escondido is the cultural center of North San Diego County.

The Center’s unique campus includes a 1,523-seat concert hall, a 404-seat theater, a diverse art museum, art and dance studios, and a full-service conference center with meeting and banquet facilities. The Center also runs an extensive education program and produces free community events, such as the Jazz Jam Sessions, Holiday Tree Lighting, Day of the Dead, 4th of July and WOW First Wednesdays performances.

The Center is located at 340 N. Escondido Blvd. in Escondido. The Ticket Office can be reached at (800) 988-4253. Tickets can also be purchased online. To learn more, including performance dates, times and ticket information, visit



About the California Center for the Arts, Escondido 

A 501(c)3 charitable organization, the Center’s creation was sparked by a civic vision—one that recognized the vital role that the arts play in strengthening and uniting the community. Our commitment to enriching lives and improving access to the arts, especially for low-income individuals and families, is exemplified through our extensive educational programming and robust series of free community events. The Center is guided by an enthusiastic Board of Trustees and passionate staff who are dedicated to furthering arts education and access, and to creating programs that provide cultural enrichment for residents of North County and beyond.

You can join this inspiring mission by becoming a donor.  Visit or email to start a conversation about how you or your company can make a difference right here and right now in your arts community.


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