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.
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.
Director, Prop Supervisor
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.
Director of Fundraising
Director of Marketing & Outreach
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.
A message from the President
What an unexpected year this has been! With all the turbulence 2020 has brought, we hope you have managed to stay healthy and sane. As the holidays approach, we want to take a minute to wish you and your families peace and joy. During this time of year, the studios would normally be full of sugar plums and gingerbread children, with the music of Tchaikovsky flowing out of the doors. Costume racks would be bursting with tulle and giant Nutcrackers would be preparing to board a truck to the theater. The disappointment of cancelling both our annual productions has been curbed by the kindness and generosity of our Vacaville Ballet Company family, both past and present.
Through the holiday season, I encourage you to consider a gift to the Vacaville Ballet Company. My heart breaks at the severity this year has had on the arts community, especially our young dancers. COVID ruthlessly knocked the dancers off their feet and yet, they have shown their resilience, adapting to a virtual platform and physically distanced classes to continue their training. However, their souls ache for the stage. Your gift will help ensure VBC is able to continue offering young dancers a platform for artistic development and creative expression.
There are many ways to support the Vacaville Ballet Company. Enclosed is a donor form that can be returned with a check. Program advertisements included in the Gold, Platinum, and Diamond levels will be honored for the remainder of this Season as well as through the 2021/2022 Season. Donations can also be made online through our website: vacavilleballetcompany.org/support. From there, you can also learn about our other outreach and scholarship programs that your gift will support. Every donation will make a difference, regardless of size. The Vacaville Ballet Company is a California 501(c)3 non-profit organization and your donation may be tax deductible.
Thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity and your years of support of the Vacaville Ballet Company. This year has been tough on all of us physically, financially, and emotionally. Be sure to take time for yourself to breathe and show yourself gratitude!
~ Meghann Oakes Rust