Santa Barbara Symphony Welcomes New Board Members and Sets Course for Strong Future

(October 14, 2019) – Santa Barbara, CA. – The Santa Barbara Symphony has added seven new board members since January, combining new and fresh perspectives with tremendous experience to set a new course for a strong sustainable future with artistic excellence at its core. Renee Grubb, Catherine Remak and Steve Thompson join the Symphony Board as the newest members, following the addition of Janet Garufis, Dan Burnham, Allen Mask, and Sarah Chrisman. The Symphony’s Board works to support the organization’s mission and to ensure the Santa Barbara community has the benefit of concerts produced for this community by a Maestro Nir Kabaretti and musicians who have worked together for more than thirteen years.

“This is an exciting time for the Symphony Board with these 7 new members joining forces with the existing committed board members to build a new future for this community treasure,” said Dr. Robert Weinman, Board Member.

The seven new board members join Jon Greenleaf, Chris Harris, Pam Johnston, Don Gilman, Mashey Bernstein, Stephen Erickson, Daniel Hochman, George Konstantinow, Kate Parker, Michelle Richardson, Stefan Riesenfeld, Howard J. Smith, and Robert Weinman.

In addition to the new members, the board has taken the action to update the organizational structure by naming Janet Garufis the Chair of the Board, Kevin A. Marvin the President and CEO, and Blaine Inafuku as the Vice President of Artistic Administration. This team works with the 10 dedicated staff members who support education, marketing, community engagement  and fund development at the Santa Barbara Symphony.

“The recent work by the board of directors to add new directors, update the organizational structure and dedicate time to solidifying our vision is just one step in many you can expect from this group of dedicated volunteers who understand the value of symphonic music and our very own regional symphony,” said Janet Garufis. “It is an exciting time of change and growth at the Santa Barbara Symphony and I look forward to having the Santa Barbara community at our side to make sure we serve this community for many more decades to come!”

Renee Grubb founded Village Properties in 1996 with a business partner, with the goal of creating a community-conscious real estate agency committed to excellence, integrity, and teamwork. Village Properties has a solid reputation for maintaining the highest quality business practices earning them the respect of the community. Grubb, a pioneer for charitable giving in Santa Barbara, established the award-winning ‘Teacher’s Fund’ to help local public and private elementary, junior high and high school teachers buy  supplies and resources.

Steve Thompson is a local business owner and supporter of the visual and performing arts in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Dallas, Texas. Thompson and his family moved to Santa Barbara in 2002 and shortly thereafter designed and built the Cabana Home store in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, specializing in interior design, home furnishing and lighting. 

He is the author of Design Guy, an interior design, home and lifestyle blog, and his projects have been featured in shelter media from local, regional, and national to international. Thompson focuses on supporting the visual and performing arts in Santa Barbara and in the local public schools.  

With nearly 3 decades of experience in radio broadcast, Catherine Remak has one of the most recognizable voices in the Santa Barbara community. Catherine co-hosts the long-running radio show, “Gary and Katherine in the Morning” on KLITE, where she has been on the air for over 25 years. 

Catherine is known as a champion for nonprofits, collectively volunteering thousands of hours as a board member, volunteer, emcee, and auctioneer at countless events for so many local organizations. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including Congressional recognition for using her career in broadcast to better the community.  

Catherine has lived in Santa Barbara since 1967 and attended Santa Barbara City College and UC Santa Barbara. 

To learn more about supporting the Santa Barbara Symphony, please contact Vice President of Advancement, Anais Pellegrini at or by calling (805) 898-0107.

The Santa Barbara Symphony looks forward to sharing the upcoming season of thrilling and inspired programming with the community and visitors alike! For more information on the Santa Barbara Symphony, or its programming, visit

About The Santa Barbara Symphony

Now in its 71st year, The Santa Barbara Symphony delivers artistic excellence, outstanding music education stewardship and programming, and community collaboration – all through symphonic music. Under the artistic leadership of Maestro Nir Kabaretti as Music & Artistic Director since 2006, The Symphony is one of the region’s premier cultural institutions. Through his charismatic leadership, this globally admired conductor and Santa Barbara resident invigorates audiences and musicians alike through his passion, creativity, and vast experience. As the only music education program tied to a professional symphony orchestra in the region, The Symphony serves more than 4,000 students annually throughout Santa Barbara County. While The Symphony continues to evolve, bringing joy, engagement, and connection remain steadfast pillars of its mission and were evident in the organization’s ability to thrive during the pandemic including the historic announcement that board chair Janet Garufis and President & CEO Kathryn R Martin join Nir Kabaretti in making a five-year commitment to serve in their roles. For more information, visit

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