Board of Directors
Dennis Smith, Esq., has worked with public and nonprofit agencies for nearly twenty years as a director, general counsel, and financial analyst. His experience across the sectors includes business planning and financial analysis, budget projections, financial monitoring and auditing; legislative and regulatory analysis and policy development; fraud and employment discrimination investigations; legal and risk analysis; program design and implementation; and personnel and contract management. Dennis has consulted with nonprofit organizations on topics such as federal and state nonprofit incorporation, mergers, asset/liability acquisitions, and corporate dissolutions.
Dennis served previously as Procurement Manager at the Oakland Private Industry Council where he had responsibility for administrative and financial oversight of over $8 million in annual contracts from the U.S. Department of Labor, State of California Employment Development Department, and the City of Oakland. He was also responsible for programmatic planning, compliance monitoring, and the provision of technical assistance to over 50 community-based non-profit agencies. Most recently, Dennis was Director of Operations at the Youth Employment Partnership, Inc. (YEP), an award winning, youth employment program in Oakland. In twelve years, Dennis helped grow YEP from a single service program with an annual budget of $200,000 to a multi-service organization with an annual budget of over $4 million. The program currently serves 1,000 youth each year.
Dennis has served as a trustee for various arts and human service organizations, and as a member of several commissions and community collaboratives. He received his BA in Legal Studies/Jurisprudence from the University of California, Berkeley, and his JD from the University of San Francisco. Dennis is also a professional recording and touring bassist specializing in jazz and world music.
Board Vice President
David Riemer is one of the leading marketers in the Internet industry. He spent the last decade developing and bringing great products to web users worldwide. Following his career as an ad agency President with J. Walter Thompson, David brought his strategic and marketing leadership to two start-ups and an internet titan, Yahoo!. In various roles at Yahoo!, David managed marketing for virtually all of Yahoo!’s products across their customer base of 500M users. David is now advising emerging Internet and consumer technology companies and serving as an executive in residence at the Haas Business School. He earned his undergraduate degree from Brown University, and an MBA from Columbia University. David was introduced to Destiny through his children Taryn (a dancer) and Jesse (a martial artist). David leads the External Committee for the Destiny Board (Marketing, PR and Fundraising).
Josh Harrington joined the Destiny Arts Center Board of Directors in 2012 after volunteering for nine-months through the UC-Berkeley Board Fellows Program. Josh focuses on financial sustainability, investment initiatives, and operational best practices as Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance and Operations Committee. He is currently the Director of Research for RBO & Co., an investment management firm in St. Helena, CA. Previously, he worked as an independent investment consultant to hedge-fund, mutual-fund, and private equity clients. He spent 6 years as an analyst and portfolio manager at TIAA-CREF, a not-for-profit investment management firm serving the educational and non-profit industries. Josh began his career as an equity research associate at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York City. He earned an MBA from the Haas School of Business in 2012 and undergraduate degree in Finance and Banking from the University of Missouri– Columbia. Additionally, he is a CFA charterholder.
Zoanne Nelson joined the Board in 2012 after attending and being inspired by Destiny’s annual performance and Friendraiser events for several years. Zoanne has over 20 years of project management experience and is currently the Program Director at the University of California Office of the President in Oakland, where she is managing an initiative with the Procurement Office to save $200 million annually. Zoanne was previously the Associate Director of the University of California San Francisco Program Management Office, where she led a number of systems implementation projects to reduce costs, create efficient processes, and improve compliance. She started her career at UCSF as the Deputy Director for the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies which is the world’s largest research center dedicated to social, behavioral, and policy science approaches to HIV. Prior to moving to the Bay Area, Zoanne was a Senior Manager for Price Waterhouse in Washington DC, where she led a number of projects in developing countries for the US Agency for International Development, including a 3-year assignment in Russia following the fall of the Berlin wall. Zoanne has an MBA from American University and undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Delaware.
JoAn McClendon joined the board in 2009 energized by a previous working relationship with Destiny Arts. She has been an East Bay resident with her husband, Marvin, since 1982. JoAn retired from Chevron Corporation after 30 years of experience in Sales and Marketing, Learning & Development and Organizational Capability where she specialized in Leadership Development. JoAn served as Director of the Young Adult Ministry and chaired the Trustee Board for two years at Beebe Memorial Cathedral in Oakland. Her greatest joy comes from helping others, particularly those who are less fortunate. She currently enjoys spontaneous consulting as well as mentoring and coaching opportunities that help others make a difference in their lives. JoAn is a member of Allen Temple Baptist Church where she is enrolled in the Leadership Institute’s two-year certificate program in biblical studies. She is an avid supporter of UNCF, World Vision, Women of Faith, and Wardrobe for Opportunity.
Rick Butler is a four time Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker with over 35 years experience as a director and cameraman for a broad range of network television, corporate, documentary and philanthropic projects. He has directed four documentary films for KQED (San Francisco), documentary content for five Pixar DVDs and traveled to five continents in the course of pursuing his goal of making films that help make the world better. He has two documentary projects currently in production. Rick and his wife, Shakti, have been either a parent, foster parent or grandparent to five Destiny kids over the past 15 years and have thus, directly and profoundly benefited from the programs and community that make Destiny such a valuable community asset. Their oldest grandchild was a member of the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company for 3 years and their youngest is a Destiny Teddy Bear. Rick feels proud and fortunate to be a member of the Destiny family. Rick also serves on the Board of World Trust Educational Services, Inc., an organization dedicated to creating social media that builds transformative pathways towards a more just and equitable society.