Board Bios

Find out a little bit more about your team.

Tokeli Baker

Tokeli has a rich history in multiple disciplines of the arts: Managing Director (Mariner Theatre Company, La Jolla Stage Company, SD Black Ensemble Theatre, and Diversionary Theatre; Producer/Choreographer for Sarabanda Dance Company in Boston, MA. After her work with non-profit theatres, Tokeli lived in Los Angeles for 8 years, working in television development for Rich Frank (Disney) and Will Smith (Overbrook Entertainment); she then returned to San Diego County to run two Performing and Fine Arts Departments--Mar Vista High School (a Title 1 high school in Imperial Beach), and Dehesa Charter School (K-12 charter in San Marcos). As a musician, her vocal jazz album "Where Do You Start?" (International tour) received Jazz Album of the Year nominations from San Diego Music Awards and Los Angeles Music Awards. As a painter, Tokeli’s solo exhibitions include Poway Center for the Performing Arts, and group exhibitions at Oceanside Museum of Art, Escondido Arts Partnership Municipal, Escondido Art Association Gallery, Brooks Gallery, among others. Her B.A. in Theatre from UCSD has an emphasis in Directing/Producing. Her Masters degree from Tufts University in Boston, Mass. is in Literary Drama. Tokeli looks forward to serving the EAA and the arts and culture community of Escondido.

Steve Hart
Interim 1st VP Programs

Steve's passion for art has been a driving force throughout his life. Born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia, he joined the US Navy in 2004 and has been stationed in various states along the east coast before settling in California, where he currently lives with his family in Escondido. Despite his demanding military career as an LCAC Craftmaster and instructor based out of Coronado, Steve has always made time for his artistic pursuits. Self-taught in mediums ranging from acrylic and oil to graphic design, Steve enjoys exploring a variety of subjects, with recent focus on landscapes and military themes. He is continually refining his style and technique. He has completed numerous commissions, including brand/marketing content as well as military apparel/merchandise. With only one year remaining in his military service, Steve plans to transition to a full-time career as an artist upon retirement. For him, art is not just a hobby or a side project, but a passion that drives him to continuously learn and grow as an artist. 

Janice Niles
2nd VP Membership

Art is Janice Niles’ passion. She’s been painting in acrylic and pastel for many years. Her style is a mixture of realism with a touch of fantasy. She paints all subjects, including portraits, but enjoys painting landscapes the most because she tries to convey a feeling of peace and tranquility. A love of nature is what motivates her, and painting gives her a sense of accomplishment, purpose, and most importantly, joy. Janice has had many shows at the Escondido public library and other local venues. Her artwork has been displayed at the Artists Gallery, where she has won numerous awards, and several times at the Del Mar Fair. It’s been a privilege for her to serve on the Escondido Art Assoc. board for the past 8 years.

Pavla Mrazkova

My name is Pavla Mrazkova. I was born in the Czech Republic. I am 58 years old, married to George with two daughters, Jessica and Theresa, both born in Escondido, which became our home, when we moved back to USA in 2011. I have worked in office and management jobs for most of my career in the field of science and in general business. I am happy to be part of the nice community of Escondido. I love meaningful work and communicating with people around me. It is an honor for me to be part of the Escondido Art Association.

Cathy Haven

Cathy Haven received her BA in Visual Arts at UCSD in 1977. After graduation she went to work at an international airline and had the opportunity to live and work in various parts of the world. After the birth of her son Cathy obtained a teaching credential and went to work as an elementary school teacher in North County San Diego. Since retiring she has returned to her first love, making art. She has worked in several media including drawing, painting, printmaking, mosaic and driftwood sculpture. Cathy has exhibited her work at the San Diego County Fair, COAL Gallery and the Artist Gallery in Escondido. Nature is often the subject in her art and inspires her creative spirit.

Christine Spencer,
Interim Fundraising Director

Christine has been a professional fundraiser for 20 years specializing in grants, individual and corporate major gifts, annual giving, and special events, and is currently the Director of Grants and Impact at Coastal Roots Farm. She grew up in North San Diego County and has called Escondido her home for ten years, owning a home in the Old Historic Escondido District. Christine has a passion for the arts, being an artist (playing viola) herself, and helping others in the community gain access to all the beauty and benefits of the arts and cultural activities Escondido has to offer. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Texas Christian University and a Master of Public Administration specializing in Public Policy from the University of Colorado at Denver. Christine has been married to her husband and best friend, Derek, for 17 years and has two children, ages eight and fifteen, both attending local Escondido schools.

Annette Johnson,
Interim Marketing Director

An early pioneer of online advertising, Annette has been a marketing professional for over 20 years, specializing in market research, product launches, PR and advertising. She is currently the Publisher for Metro South Real Producers and BeLocal Magazine coming soon to Escondido. Annette first came to San Diego as a student at SDSU where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Business and after living in Northern California for a time, has spent the last 11 years in Escondido. Becoming a volunteer art teacher at her children’s school, Annette reconnected with her love of art and has worked for years as a volunteer, PTA President and as the Bernardo Family Liaison to expand art for all students. While there, she was essential in growing the participation of Hispanic families on campus and hopes to do the same in her role as interim Marketing Director at EAA. Annette and her husband Ben have 3 children, 2 daughters in college and a son at Escondido Charter High School.

Suzanne Nicolaisen, Ambassador

Suzanne Nicolaisen is a self-taught artist and has been a member of the Escondido Art Association (EAA), since 2007. She has held many different EAA board positions during her tenure. Her work can be found in several countries around the world. She was born in South Africa, lived in Switzerland, now residing in California, USA. More than 20 years of blending art with her love for everything living, Suzanne enjoys volunteering her time to support the community by combining her love for people, the arts, nature, and her surroundings. Suzanne's love for Escondido is expressed in her "Zanniki's Escondido" series of downtown Escondido paintings. She has never experienced a second of boredom in her life.

Pat Hunter
Past President Advisor

Growing up in Greater Chicago, I visited the Art Institute often and credit these early art encounters as the basis for my desire to be an artist. My studies include years of adult ed classes as well as on-going studies with local art master. My preferred medium is oil. Landscapes, Pet Portraits, Wildlife are my favorite subjects.