Board of Directors

Laura Abrams, Chair

Currently Senior Producer of Artist Residency and Community Platforms, Laura Abrams has worked at Cal Performances since 1991, where she  served for 14 years as the Director of Education and Community Programs.  As a producer, her favorite events have included a horse ballet, the biennial Berkeley Festival and Exhibition of early music, Fall Free for All (a free day-long event for the community), and The Nile Project—a collection of musicians from 11 Nile basin nations who make music and advocate for peace and equitable sharing of natural resources together.

An alum of UCLA (Art History) and New York University (Performing Arts Management), she has spent a career in the non-profit performing arts, beginning as director of the student art gallery in college, then variously fundraising, producing, presenting and publicizing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Universal Jazz Coalition, City Center, the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York International Festival of the Arts. Committed to the value of arts education, she currently volunteers at Oakland School for the Arts, Big Ideas at UC Berkeley, and MOCHA, and has also served on the Alameda County Office of Educaiton Alliance of Arts Learning Leadership; Creative Impact—A Consortium of Bay Area arts educators; Berkeley Arts Education Steering Committee and Berkeley Cultural Trust; and Redwood Day School.

Laura draws constantly and makes jewelry and paper quilts and shadow boxes as an active weekend artist

Lucas Mast, Secretarymast 3

Lucas is VP of Corporate Social Media at Visa, managing their corporate social strategy across key platforms and communities.   A graduate of Stanford University and the University of San Diego School of Law, Lucas is excited to help develop stronger ties between kids, art and the Bay Area technology and business community.

Maria Castel, Board Finance Officer

Nina Walker, Ricoh USA

NinaNina has been on the board since 2007. As a native of Oakland, she was a MOCHA kid as a teenager. Walker is a Kiwanis member of the Oakland chapter. She also serves as the team mom for her daughter’s basketball team. Her previous profession was in Sales for a technology company. She has been a stay at home mom for the past two years.

Michelle Lewis, Artist & Educator

Michelle Lewis, a veteran teacher of 35 years, has inspired children through Art, Dance, and Yoga. Formerly, Michelle was a professional photographer, weaver and macrame artist. Though she studied to be a Dance Therapist, Michelle taught English on an isolated First Nations Reserve in Canada in 1978. This led her to continue teaching in underserved communities. Her career took her to rural Ontario, Mexico, Ohio and Oakland, California. Michelle specialized in literacy, elementary education and most recently, art instruction for primary school students. In the last three years, Michelle has worked on two social justice murals, both publicly displayed in San Francisco, and one school mural in Oakland. Michelle joined MOCHA as a Board Member in 2016.

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Randolph Belle, Support Oakland Artists

Randolph Belle is a partner at RBA Creative, a public affairs firm, providing management, consultation, communications and graphic design services. He has launched four commercial arts facilities, a nonprofit arts organization called Support Oakland Artists and worked to encourage economic development and community participation in the arts.  Present affiliations include, Board of Director membership of the Oakland Film Society and Advisory Board membership of the Crucible.

Marion Fredman, Arts Consultant

Jabari Gray, Youth Radio

Bianca Mallory, The Allen Group, LLC

Laurie Shakur, Gracenote

Jason LaBarberajason board

Jason LaBarbera is the founder and CEO of T3.am, a global recruiting company specializing in placing talented professionals with clients such as Cloudera and NVIDIA. Bringing more than 20 years of recruitment and entrepreneurial experience to T3.am, LaBarbera helps top companies move from disorganized, reinvent-the-wheel job searches to a more streamlined, universal metric. In his off hours, LaBarbera’s adventurous spirit has found him climbing mountains, sailing, swimming with the sharks, and taking glass-blowing classes. He has shared his lifelong passion for art with his three children, including his design school-bound eldest daughter. LaBarbera considers it both a duty and an honor to join MOCHA’s mission in giving children in the East Bay area rich opportunities to create and experience art.

Hilmon S. Sorey III

Hilmon works with Bay Area CEO’s and business owners to develop highly effective managers and top-producing sales teams. He is passionate about the link that art education provides to the social, academic and creative growth of children.