Leadership and Staff

Executive Director

Anna James Miller

Anna James Miller is a former professional ballet dancer and dance teacher with over a decade of performing arts leadership experience. The daughter of four-time Grammy Award-winning cellist and composer Eugene Friesen, music has played a major role in her life since childhood.

Originally from the East Coast, Anna moved to the Seattle area in 2000 and worked for organizations including Seattle Opera, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Spectrum Dance Theatre, Icicle Arts, Icicle Creek Theatre Festival, Federal Way Symphony, Auburn Symphony, and Bremerton Symphony. Most recently, Anna worked in a communications role with Kitsap Community Foundation, organizing a regional day of giving which raised $2.2M for 337 local nonprofits, and assisting with the launch of a COVID-19 community relief fund and resource directory.

With a deep passion for education as well as the arts, Anna taught funding and grant writing for nonprofits at Olympic College’s Business and Technology Division and served as a teaching assistant for graduate and PhD courses in Gonzaga University’s School of Leadership Studies. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in arts administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a Master of Arts in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University, and professional certificates in advanced fundraising and grant and proposal writing.

Anna and her visual artist spouse Bryan, along with their young daughter Cassidy are excited to be in San Luis Obispo. She is thrilled to partner with Maestro Andrew Sewell and take the SLO Symphony to new heights, and bring her arts advocacy to aid SLO County’s cultural recovery during this economically uncertain time.

Learn more about Anna in the July 2020 edition of Central Coast Journal >

Board of Directors


Jill LeMieux, President
Director of Membership, San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce

Mark Sherman, Past President
Physician, Pacific Eye

Jim Walker, Secretary
Business Service, SESLOC

Jessica Hoffman, Treasurer
PLM Project Manager, Gas and Process Division
Atlas Copco Mafi-Trench Company LLC


Joe Benson – Senior Corporate Counsel, MINDBODY

Matthew Green – Director, Cuesta Sustainability Resource Center

Bob Gordon – Owner, Gordon’s Floral Design Studio

James Hathaway – Senior Vice President, Coast Hills Credit Union

Michael Johnson – Co-founder, CTO Doculynx


Robert Lin

Karen Loewi Jones – Compliance Manager, Midnight Cellars

Stefan Podell – Composer and Arranger

David Slade

Mike Zigelman


Honorary Life Member

Clifton Swanson

Symphony Staff

Andrew Sewell
Music Director

Anna James Miller
Executive Director

Jenny Beddy
Office Manager

Kristen Hintz
Communications Manager

Thor Larsen
Production Manager

Emelia Banninger
Education Coordinator

Richard Dobeck