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Music Academy Board of Directors Appoints Seven Members

Music Academy of the West Board of Directors Appoints Seven Members in 2022

A dynamic representation from the Santa Barbara community welcomes multi-faceted perspectives

DOWNLOAD PDF The Music Academy of the West is honored to announce the addition of seven members to its Board as it launches its 75th anniversary. These community leaders encompass a broad profile, representing well-known corporations and nonprofit entities nationwide. This is a movement towards increasing diverse viewpoints within the Academy’s leadership. The directors comprise Music Academy Women’s Auxiliary Chair Judy Astbury, attorney and entrepreneur Mally Chakola, arts curator and non-profit executive Ashley Woods Hollister, UC Santa Barbara professor Heejung Kim, Phd, Luria Company and Foundation president Kandy Luria-Budgor, former Aspen Art Museum National Council Chair Danner Mahood Schefler, and Sonos CEO Patrick Spence. They join the ranks of 18 returning board members, led by chair Eileen Sheridan, to support the Music Academy’s core values and guide the organization forward locally and globally.
The Music Academy’s directors are responsible to approve the overarching goals and values for the organization. They support the administration through the service of multiple Board committees. This team creates opportunities for the Academy’s growth and expansion while taking responsibility for fiscal oversight. Their meetings take place four times annually. They also embark on a bi-annual excursion nationally or internationally to strengthen relationships with institutional partners and learn about best-in-class practices. The Board supports the Academy’s fundraising events. Each year the members enjoy a special performance and dinner as well as a luncheon with Emeritus Directors.

About the Board Members

Judy Astbury* was born in Mumbai, India where she grew up loving classical music. She relocated to London where she graduated from the School of Hotel Management. Throughout her residencies, she always engaged in the community through entrepreurship and volunteer work. Judy has been involved in the Santa Barbara Newcomers group, launched a club, Epicurious, focusing on Food and Wine, and serves as the Food and Wine Chair for the Santa Barbara Social Club. Judy now serves as chair of the Music Academy’s Women’s Auxiliary, where she has been an active member since 2015. * Chair of the Music Academy Women’s Auxiliary
Mally Chakola* is a disciplined, tenacious attorney and entrepreneur with a track record of employing vision and judgment to create actionable plans amid complex challenges. A member of the bar in two states, she began her career practicing mergers and acquisitions in New York City. Mally then joined her family’s building materials conglomerate as General Counsel and Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs of Maryland Paper Company L. P. She has also founded and launched wholesale product and consumer goods brands. Mally has served as the volunteer executive of a non-profit organization supporting mothers of young children. She is an accomplished musician and dancer. * Governance Chair of the Music Academy Women’s Auxiliary
Ashley Woods Hollister* is touted as an arts champion and curator, and supporter of the Santa Barbara nonprofit community. Ashley served as the Executive Director of The Squire Foundation in Santa Barbara for 12 years, promoting entrepreneurship for the public good in education and the arts. As an entrepreneur, Ashley co-founded T.W. Hollister & Co., a handcrafted Vermouth company, with her husband, Kyle. Ashley has served on the boards of Explore Ecology, on the Santa Barbara Mental Wellness Center since 2007, and recently joined the board of the Foundation for Climate Change Action and Peabody School. * Member of the Music Academy Women’s Auxiliary
Dr. Heejung Kim, originally from Seoul, Korea, is a Professor at the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at UC Santa Barbara. Heejung’s research interests are in cultural psychology and examining how culture influences psychological processes to understand why and how people engage in a range of everyday behaviors. She has served as an editor for a number of academic journals, and has received multiple research grants from the National Science Foundation. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University. Heejung’s college-age son and teenage daughter are classically trained musicians who have performed frequently in Santa Barbara.
Kandy Luria-Budgor and her husband Dr. Aaron Budgor have lived in Montecito for the last 15 years, with family roots in the community since the mid-1950s. Her career has spanned counseling and psychology to real estate. She now runs The Luria Company and the Luria Foundation. Kandy returns to the Music Academy Board of Directors, having previously served for nine years, in addition to Chair of the Academy’s Building, Instruments, and Grounds Committee. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Ms. Luria-Budgor is now completing a Master’s degree in Contemporary Art with Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
Danner Mahood Schefler attended the University of Alabama where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Marketing. As a volunteer, Danner has served on the awards committee for the Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, as a founding board member for Housing Works Thrift Shops, as acting National Council Chair for the Aspen Art Museum, as Vice President for Les Dames d’ Aspen, on the director’s council for the Museum of Contemporary Arts, and used her deep knowledge of classical music in several board roles with the Aspen Music Festival and School. Currently, Danner serves on the Museum Contemporaries with the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the Birnam Wood Golf Club’s Women’s Association.
Patrick Spence is the Chief Executive Officer and serves on the Board of Directors for Sonos. He joined Sonos as Chief Commercial Officer in 2012. He has played a central role in the development and launch of some of the company’s most successful products. Prior to joining Sonos, he spent over 14 years at RIM/BlackBerry in a variety of roles, ultimately transitioning to the role of Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In 2007, Patrick was named one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40. He holds an Honors Degree in Business and Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

About Music Academy of the West

Music Academy of the West is a performance-based training center and incubator that empowers musicians to positively impact society. The Academy welcomes everyone from across all generations, cultures, and backgrounds to experience the transformative power of music. Based in Santa Barbara, California, the Academy presents the preeminent full-scholarship Summer School and Festival for classically trained fellows ages 18 to 34. They study and perform with more than 50 exceptional faculty and teaching artists, while forging close connections with the community. The Academy’s commitment to long-term collaborations and exchanges with leading orchestras and opera companies results in unparalleled mentorship and career-advancing prospects. The Innovation Institute spearheads entrepreneurial training and ventures through seminars, residencies, and the Alumni Enterprise Awards, substantial grants given annually for a wide range of creative projects. Launched in 2018, Sing!, a free, after-school choral program for local elementary students inspires personal growth and expression. For more information, please visit   Kate Oberjat (she/her/hers) Director of Marketing & Communications Music Academy of the West 805‐695-7908 /

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