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Our Board of Directors

Board, Italian American Arts and Cultural Association of San Diego (IAACASD)
Victor Laruccia
Executive Director

Retired Telecommunications Administrator & Station Manager/Director of Video and TV production, City of Pasadena.  Former film professor, Brown University & UCSD (joined 1st UCSD undergrad class in 1966; UCSD BA, 1973; Ph.D, 1975).  Board Member: House of Italy. Board Member: Italian Cultural Center. Board of Providence, R.I., Italian Settlement House.  Founding member of the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena.  Founding member of IAACASD.

Carolynn Crooks-Mueller

Carolynn Crooks-Mueller joined the Board of the IAACASD in May, 2016. She has over 30 years of Executive Management experience in corporations in the Human Resources and Job Placement industry, serving the last 10 years in the Retirement Industry. Her Italian heritage and the interest in the Italian language and film were the reason for joining the IAACASD Board. Having a B.A in Sociology, minor in Art History (UCSB) and a Masters in Library Science (CSU, Fullerton), she has been on many San Diego nonprofit boards. She is currently an Art Consultant for Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery in La Jolla.

Ron Sahmel
Treasurer, Certified Public Accountant

Ron Sahmel began his accounting career in 1977 at Considine & Considine in San Diego and became partner there and managed the tax department.   From there he went on to work as the Chief Financial Officer of a real estate construction and development company in La Jolla. In 1993 Ron joined Nick Oliva and Tom Goddard to form Oliva, Sahmel and Goddard, a CPA firm in San Diego. Ron managed the tax department and provided expertise in accounting, taxation, tax planning, and business consulting. Ron founded Sahmel & Associates in January 2008 and is committed to partnering with his clients to provide excellent, on-time, comprehensive taxation, accounting, and financial services. Ron has served on numerous for-profit and non-profit boards over the years.

Sandra Silverstein
Vice President

Sandra Silverstein met “film” at the Film Society of the University of Wisconsin where she received a BA in History and an MSW. After 25 years dealing with children in trouble, she turned to the arts in retirement. She is a curator for the San Diego Jewish Film Festival and its Community Partners Chair and Co-chair of CJC Presents, the performing arts series at the Center For Jewish Culture, Lawrence Family JCC.

Sandra met Italy when her husband received an appointment at the Universitá di Padova where her family spent two and a half incredible years.

Saundra Saperstein
Board Member

Saundra Saperstein is the Chair of SD Jewish Film Festival. Saundra has an extensive film background as an Instructor at the University of Utah Theatre Department; Marketing Director for the State of Utah Film Commission; Media Director and Event Producer for Sundance Film Festival; and Media Consultant for the Maui Film Festival.

Ron Miriello
Board Member

Ron Miriello is the founder and director of Miriello Grafico in San Diego and a founding member of the San Diego Chapter of the AIGA and an AIGA National Fellow. He is the creative inspiration behind the San Diego Italian Film Festival brand.

Miriello divides his time between the new Miriello Grafico design warehouse located in the Barrio Logan neighborhood of San Diego, California and Tuscany where he develops his own projects away from the world of clients, deadlines and budgets.

Paola Richard
Board Member

With a University degree in Marine Biology, Paola became an expert in environmental communication and media relations, working in Italy as a journalist, information officer and campaign coordinator for national and international organizations.

She specialized in publishing about health, food, environment and wildlife, for the National Geographic Italian website, The Huffington Post and the main Italian news website La Repubblica. She currently owns Gaia Gelato in Carlsbad, in partnership with her cousin Cristina Amoroso.

Linda Giase-Froese
Board Member

Linda is an advocate for the arts and a supporter of dreams.  Her home has been a resting stop for many a travelling troubadour and weary pilgrim.  She’s served on the strategic planning committee for the San Dieguito H.S. district, the San Dieguito Academy Foundation Board, and her church board.

Clarissa Clò, PhD
Board Member

Associate Professor, Italian and European Studies; Director, Italian Program, SDSU.  Ph. D from UCSD.  Native of Modena, Italy.  Research in feminist, migration, postcolonial studies, film, music and popular culture.  Published articles in all these areas.  Founding member of the IAACASD.

Anthea Beletsis
Board Member

Former pilot for Trans World Airlines and a member of the pilots’ union negotiating committee.   J.D. degree from Stanford Law School.   Former business consultant with Mercer Management Consulting,  an international consulting firm.  Member of several arts and philanthropic organizations in San Diego County and City.  Founding member of the IAACASD.

Jose Alonso
Creative Director

Creative Director, Managing Partner and film aficionado. Jose leads the team of creatives at dcba, a brand strategy firm in San Diego. Jose has also lead the brand and visual communications for the San Diego Italian Film Festival for the past 7 years.