Board of

Executive Board

Meghann Oakes Rust


Meghann (Oakes) Rust has over 30 years of dance experience, particularly in ballet. She grew up in the Walnut Creek area, dancing under the Artistic Direction of Richard Cammack and Zola Dishong Cammack. She was a member of the Contra Costa Ballet’s pre-professional Company for 5 years. During her dancing career, she performed in Balanchine’s Serenade and Stars and Stripes, as well as prominent roles in The Story of the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Paquita, Etudes, as well as works by Charles Anderson. Meghann also trained with a variety of instructors, including Suki Schorer, Michael Smuin, and Pascale Leroy.

Meghann graduated from the University of California, Irvine, where she earned a BA in Dance and a minor in Education. During her final year at Irvine, she trained under Diane Diefenderfer and received her Pilates Certification from Studio du Corps, Pilates Center of Orange County. She then graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine where she earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Meghann now works as a dancemedicine physical therapist in Walnut Creek, CA and specializes in combining the principles of movement system impairment syndromes (MSI) with Pilates-based physical therapy to treat young athletes, particularly dancers, to aid in their return to sport. She lives in Pleasant Hill with her husband and 2 dogs.

Meghann joined the Vacaville Ballet Company Board of Directors in 2013 and assumed the role of President in 2016.


Kristen Suihkonen Pucher

Secretary - Treasurer

Kristen (Suihkonen) Pucher was one of the original company members when the Vacaville Ballet Company was founded in 1994 continuing throughout high school and even returned to perform with the Company her senior year in college.

After graduating from Vacaville High School, Kristen attended UC Irvine where she received a BA in Dance & Economics and minored in accounting. Kristen then put her minor to good use and, following in her parents’ footsteps, became a CPA. She is currently a senior tax manager at a business management firm in Sherman Oaks and lives in Burbank, CA with her husband (Mike), son (Teddy) and poodle (Penny).

Kristen is thrilled to be on the Board of Directors for the Vacaville Ballet Company and give to the community that was such an important part of her life.



Andreya Arevalo


Bio Coming Soon

Jean Elias

Director of Marketing & Outreach

Jean (De La Torre) Elias was raised in Vacaville and performed as a VBC Soloist during the 1994 – 1995 season.  After graduating from Will C. Wood, Jean attended Stanford University where she earned her BA in economics and performed with the Stanford Ballet.  During her time at Stanford, Jean expanded her dance education to encompass modern, ballroom and Afro-Brazilian disciplines as well as choreography coursework.

Jean is currently the VP of Marketing of a non-profit credit counseling agency focused on assisting consumers facing an array of financial difficulties. She is happy to serve on the Board of Directors and bring her digital marketing background to promote VBC productions through online media.

After living over a decade on the East Coast Jean returned to Vacaville with her husband, Bassem to raise their two children.  She also serves on the Cambridge Elementary School PTA Board as Art Reflections Chair to promote involvement in the arts.


Andrea Hofmann-Miller


Andrea Hofmann-Miller is a native of Germany and has lived in California since 1989. She attended University of Regensburg (Germany) where she earned a degree in economics and Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, where she earned an M.A. in Translation and Interpretation. She has dance experience with several folk dancing groups in Bavaria (Germany) and is an avid ballroom dancer. Besides German (her mother tongue), she speaks English and French fluently.

Andrea has been a Graduate School Professor since 1994 and has been working (among other interesting assignments) as a simultaneous interpreter for the Olympic Games since 1996. She was PTO President at Bethany Lutheran School and serves currently on the Library Board at Kairos Public Charter School in Vacaville.

Andrea has lived in Vacaville since 1998. She and her husband, Don, have three daughters who have been involved with the Vacaville Ballet Company since 2002. Andrea joined the Vacaville Ballet Company Board of Directors in 2019.

Beth Lofthus

Director, SMAT Coordinator

Beth (Gidney) Lofthus has been involved in the Vacaville community in a variety of capacities for the past 20 years. Beth grew up in Vacaville, attended Vacaville High School, and is a graduate of UC Davis, where she earned a BS in Human Development. She is passionate about serving and contributing to her community. Beth spent 3 years coordinating Leadership Vacaville with the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce. A program that ensures local community leaders have an in depth understanding of Vacaville’s local government, business community and non-profit world. Beth has served on the Superintendent Parent Advisory Board for Travis Unified School District, served as the President of the Foxboro PTA, and both the Foxboro and Golden West Site Councils. She worked for five years as a Recreation Coordinator with the City of Vacaville’s Recreation Department coordinating the City’s
before and after school programs and summer camps. She currently enjoys working part-time at Visit Vacaville.

Beth joined the Vacaville Ballet Company Board of Directors in 2018 and assumed the role of SMAT Coordinator, organizing VBC’s student matinee performances as part of our community outreach mission. Learn more here.

Katie Long

Director, Prop Supervisor

Katie Long joined the VBC Board in 2016 bringing with her over a decade of experience serving on non-profit boards within the Vacaville Community including the Brown’s Valley PTO and the Jepson Music Boosters.

A highly-experienced fundraiser, Katie has organized and executed charitable events such as triathlons,  harvest festivals and a USO Style show at  Willis Jepson Middle School. In her work with VBC, she has successfully spearheaded innovative fundraising events such as “VBC Egged My House”.

Katie is a graduate of UC Davis holds a BS in Human Development along with a multi-subject teaching credentials.   She taught math at Orinda Intermediate school prior to having children.

Lynda Malech


Bio Coming Soon

Vilma Miller

Director of Fundraising

Carolyn Riley


Bio Coming Soon

A message from the President

Thank you for joining us this evening and welcome to our 2019/2020 Season! This year’s production of Nutcracker marks our 5th and, with a cast of 110 performers, our largest ever! Each year, we have added new choreography, new set pieces, and new costumes, turning this into a really beautiful presentation of the holiday classic. I hope it puts you in a festive spirit and kicks off your holiday season.

Our non-profit organization has continued to see continued growth and, this year, I am proud to announce we have been able to support all of our Company Members through our Pointe Shoe Fund. As a former dancer, I know not just the exorbitant costs of a pair of pointe shoes, but also how many pairs of shoes a dancer will go through in the course of the year. Since I joined the Board, it has been our goal to increase this fund’s ability to cover all pointe shoe costs for our Company dancers. While we are not quite there yet, it is exciting to make this a possibility and see progress toward that goal. During this season of giving, I encourage you to consider a donation to our Pointe Shoe Fund. Any amount can make a huge difference for our dancers. 

On behalf of the Board, I’d like to thank you for your continued support of the Vacaville Ballet Company. These productions aren’t possible without the generosity of our volunteers, donors, and patrons. Enjoy the show and happy holidays to you and your families!


~ Meghann Oakes Rust