board of directors


DANA LESLIE
Founder & CEO

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Dana is a native of Austin, Texas, and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Communication from St. Edward’s University. She has a professional background in corporate event planning and high-end real estate sales. 

“Chico is a city with tremendous history and life running through its veins. As a visitor, it beckons your return… that’s why we moved here after only one visit. As the mother of a young child, I quickly recognized the opportunity to enrich the childhood experience in this unique and education-based city, through a hands-on, minds-on ‘wonderland’ of sorts. In other cities, they call such places 'Children’s Museums,’ although they certainly aren’t just for children, and they’re quite non-musuem-ish.

Dana came to Chico with a mission to fuse her professional and philanthropic lives, by making "giving back" her profession. She took a full year, in 2013, to absorb her new city, learn about the community, and see what was needed most. She joined forces with North Valley Community Foundation, and the Chico Children’s Museum seed was sown. 

She is Mom to an 8-year-old daughter, and is an active child and animal advocate in her community. Just before her move to Chico, Dana was proudly named Austin’s Philanthropist of the month for February, 2013 in INSIDE Austin Magazine. She was also recognized on ABC’s Live with Kelly & Michael as one of America’s Unstoppable Moms, and featured in People Magazine and Family Fun Magazine. She has volunteered for the Butte Humane Society, served as an Ambassador for Citizen Generation in Austin, volunteered for The Austin Shelter for Women & Children, The Seedling Foundation, The Center for Child Protection, and was a tireless rescue aide for Austin Pets Alive (fostering over 60 puppies and kittens throughout her young daughter’s life). 

Her commitment to children is shining bright as the museum team reaches its 2.5 year mark and boasts the amazing transformation of the 300 block of Downtown Chico. Our team can assure you, this mom is still UNSTOPPABLE!

 

JOVANNI TRICERRI  
Chairman

Jovanni

Jovanni is the father of 2 boys, 5 and 7 years old. With them, his hobbies include building Hotwheels race tracks, creating with Legos and throwing around Nerf footballs.  He currently serves as the Director of Community Engagement for North Valley Community Foundation, with a focus on developing civic engagement in fostering community transformation.

His philanthropy knows NO bounds... literally. He is often found in remote parts of the world giving his heart and manpower to those in need.

Jovanni received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA and has a Master of Arts degree in Communication and Leadership from Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA.

Nicknamed "Chico's non-profit GURU," Jovanni has moved mountains for CCM's development. Every museum needs a Jovanni. 

 

VICTORIA STAPLES  
Co-Founder & Treasurer

Victoria

Victoria grew up in a farming family and has lived in the Chico area for nearly 40 years. She has worked in the AG industry for 22 years and is currently the Controller/Manager at Capay Farms, Inc. 

She has two children, Seth (18) and Emily (14).  In addition to being a working mom, she is a constant source of inspiration to our team through her overwhelming energy and enthusiasm for her philanthropic efforts. Our community's most common question to Vicki is "HOW do you do SO much?" 

For the past four years she has served as the Director of Sponsorship and Scholarship on the Board for Durham Youth Football and Cheer. She's a devoted supporter of the Boys and Girls Club of the North Valley, and has served on multiple other committees/chaired many fundraisers for the Chico Elks Lodge.  

Victoria is passionate about children’s causes, and leads by example in her efforts to cultivate a sense of camaraderie and excitement about the project goals when working with youths. Her unwavering motivation is simply contagious.

 

ASHLEY DEKELLIS  
 Secretary

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Ashley is a true California Native. She spent her childhood in Los Angeles and the Central Coast then moved back down to Orange County to study Fashion at CSULB. In 2005 she moved to Northern California and eventually landed in Chico!

Ashley has the “entrepreneur” bug and has founded 3 companies... currently running a Chico interior design and staging company, Heirloom Fox. Ashley's successes have received recognition from media including Travel + Leisure, Forbes, Bridal Guide, SF Chronical, LA Times and The Grammys and Oscar Swag Bags.  Although she loves the thrill and challenge of being at the helm of a company, her favorite job is being Mom to her 6-year-old son, Lane.  Spending her days caring for Lane, dog “Bru”, kitty "Sugar", fish, snail and snake are full of joy, love and never ending entertainment.

Bringing her knowledge of marketing, social media and community outreach, Ashley hopes to spread the word about the Chico Children’s Museum to the surrounding areas as well as creating an online presence for all to enjoy.

 

LEE HAMRE

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Lee Hamre is the owner of Hamre Heavy Equipment in North Chico. It's not uncommon for him to be in 3 countries in 3 weeks. He brings a very useful skillset to our board with his familiarity in global transport and cross-cultural communication. Lee is very business savvy and keeps us connected in the world of Agriculture, which is a HUGE focus for the Chico Children's Museum!

When you sit in our interactive Dentist Chair at the museum one day, you can thank Hamre for guiding it across the globe and into our doors. 

 

KELLY REYNOLDS - STEPHENS

Kelly

After spending the first 18 years of her life on a farm in Colusa County, Kelly moved to the “big city” to study Liberal & Civic Studies at St. Mary’s College.  These early experiences instilled in her a strong sense of community, deep ethical values and habits of social responsibility.  She strives to make a positive and lasting impact on the communities in which she lives and is especially passionate about programs that motivate and excite children in the community.  

Kelly is a freelance small business bookkeeper; a path that allowed her the flexibility to relocate while her husband, Adam, earned his dental degree.  She provides her services to several small business in the area and also donates her time to many non profit organizations.  She has been married to a local Chico boy for 12 years and they keep busy raising three fantastic kiddos.  

 

ASHLEY SMITH

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Ashley is best known around NorCal for her work as the owner of North State Events (an extraordinary event planning company). Less commonly known amazingness about Ashley is that her professional background includes over fifteen years of corporate marketing for Chipotle Mexican Grill. During her tenure with them, she created successful marketing campaigns, coordinated large-scale corporate events, scheduled media appearances and oversaw the management of five restaurants. Ashley is a native Californian, raised in San Luis Obispo, located along the Central Coast. She attended Chico State graduating in 2006 with a degree in Public Relations and Management. Upon graduation, Ashley decided to make Chico her home. She got married in 2012 and is now the proud mother of two young daughters. She enjoys her family life and friends, working out at Orange Theory and has become an avid photographer. 

She looks forward to lending her event planning expertise to the Board by assisting with the creation and coordination of upcoming fundraising events. Ashley fully realizes how important the fundraisers are to the success of the opening of the museum. In addition, fundraising will continue to be crucial to the ongoing operations and maintenance of the museum, allowing it to thrive and grow.

 

SAGE BOWMAN

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Sage Bowman is so many things to our team but first and foremost she is Mom to two amazing children. 12 years ago she and her husband Justin opened their hearts and welcomed their adopted daughter, Mason. Their little boy Cruz joined the party 4 years ago. Sage is a passionate advocate for children and animals; she is a previous board member for the B&G Club of Chico and is always rescuing (and sometimes adopting) animals. Professionally, she's a design PRO! Sage grew up in the interior design business, working with her mother who designed for clients throughout Northern California. After earning her degree in art at CSU, Chico she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the film industry. Set direction had been her aim until Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher discovered her many talents. Within a few years Sage returned to Chico and began apprenticing under her mother, Nan Tofanelli; a well-respected designer and owner of Nantucket Home.

Bowman now brings over fifteen years of experience in the field. She is best known for her enthusiasm for creating eclectic and functional spaces. 

Bowman feels fortunate to have so many outlets where her creativity can flourish and we are VERY lucky to have her talent on our board.