2023 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mary Velazquez, J.D., President & Chair
Governance Committee Chair, Finance Committee, Education Committee, Gala Committee
Prior to attending law school, Mary worked for the largest healthcare system in Western New York for 24 years. Here she gained experience in many areas including payroll, human resources, risk management, organizational development, and special event planning. Mary returned to college in 2004 as a single parent of two young children while still working full time obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Medaille College in Buffalo, New York. After moving to Texas and then Southern California, Mary obtained a Juris Doctor degree from Chapman University School of Law and was admitted to the California Bar.
In January 2012, Mary moved to Spokane, Washington and was admitted to the Washington State Bar later that year. Mary has been active in the communities where she has lived and since moving to Washington has volunteered for several organizations.
Bill Heaton, Secretary
Dr. Bill Heaton is a retired physician and urologist who enjoys volunteering for several organizations, acting as groundskeeper and carpenter for The Coop’s outreach, a voting member of the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Association, representative to the Spokane CA Land Use Committee, and member of Christ Our Hope Bible Church.
His special interests include automotive technology, mechanics and restoration, traveling, cycling, and skiing. He has supported the arts in Spokane with the goal of growing a passion for the arts in the Inland Northwest. He believes opera is needed because of the spectrum of music and emotion which reaches and enriches the public. Furthermore, opera tells timeless and fundamental lessons and stories needed today.
Rev. Dr. Mike Bullard, D.Min. is a Retired Presbyterian Pastor, speaker and author who has spent ten years organizing disaster recovery across the country. An avid chorister, he has performed in 25 States and 7 countries, including Carnegie Hall and Coventry Cathedral, has been in several musicals and in 2005 and 06 did the grandparents dance in Nutcracker performances. A former board member, board chair and chorus member, he has performed in every fully staged opera since the beginning of Opera Plus, Opera CdA, and INO. His wife Betsy plays violin in the CdA Symphony where they live, and they have two adult sons.
Education Committee Chair
Randi has spent the last ten years in public schools working as a music educator for grades Kindergarten through 12th grade.
Much of her passion lies in helping provide community members of all ages with an excitement for education and learning, and an appreciation for arts and culture. She has special interest in providing learning opportunities and experiences in the arts to underserved and impoverished communities and individuals.
Owen is a retired Professor of Chemical Engineering and Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and former Air Force Chemist who enjoys constructing and flight-testing experimental aircraft designs. He earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley before working as a Professor at UCLA where he still meets with UCLA graduate students to review their research as Professor Emeritus. Owen was on the All USAF Rifle Team while in the Air Force, where he held two national records and was a member of the Palma Team representing the USA in Australia in 1988. He also established a 501c3 foundation to support back-country aviation projects in 2014. Owen is an avid bridge player, and he has been a substantial supporter of INO since 2015. He also supports Opera Santa Barbara.
Education Committee, Gala Committee
Lori passionately loves opera and its music, its stories, its emotions, its vibrancy; as a teenager, attending a Met touring production of Don Giovanni changed her life. Originally from the Black Hills of South Dakota, Lori brings to the Board broad experience as a vocalist, private voice teacher, public school choral director, office manager for the University College London History of Art Department, and board member of the Ladies Musical Club in Seattle.
Lori holds a B.M.E. from the University of New Mexico, and an M.A. in Vocal Performance from the University of Illinois.
Her roles include Desdemona (Otello), Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor), Juliette (Romeo et Juliette), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Manon (Manon), Ilia (Idomeneo), Cendrillon (Cendrillon), Sister Angelica (Suor Angelica), Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte) and Lady with a Hat Box (Argento’s Postcard from Morocco). Her opera and concert repertoire around the country and abroad includes a performance with cellist Dale Henderson, founder of Bach in the Subways (Seattle); Messiah (Federal Way); Messiah and Brahms Liebeslieder Walzer (Everett); Brahms lieder (International Johannes Brahms Competition in Pörtschach); Mozart recital (Neue Residenz in Salzburg); guest soloist work (West Yorkshire, UK); choral work with Seattle Opera; Opera North, UK; the premier of Alban with Alban Opera Company (London).
Since settling in Spokane in August 2022, where four generations of her family now live, Lori performed with the Spokane Symphony Chorale in the Holiday Pops concert and Beethoven’s Ninth on New Year’s Eve. Lori is honored to be serving on the INO Board, where she can support INO as it shares the life-changing power of opera within the community.
Development Committee, Gala Committee
Tami Gillman recently relocated to Spokane in November 2021 with her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter having lived in Seattle for 40+ years. She brings sales and marketing as well as fundraising experience to the INO Board from both the private and public sectors having owned a business and also managed several businesses on the west side. She migrated from the private sector to the nonprofit sector in 2011 deciding to utilize her sales and marketing expertise, serving as a Development Director for several nonprofits in the Seattle/Kirkland/Bellevue market. She also served as the Development Director for two nonprofits here in Spokane having semi-retired in December 2022. She continues to write grants for nonprofits in the Spokane region as she is passionate about helping vulnerable populations.
Tami has a strong background in the performing arts having sung in choirs, madrigals and performed in many musical stage productions. She is an avid duplicate bridge player, enjoying playing in tournaments throughout the country; she teaches intermediate and advanced duplicate bridge in her spare time and serves on the BOD for the Spokane Unit - American Contract Bridge League. She is a member of the Spokane Miniature Society, a devoted miniaturist having built and furnished a three-story Victorian Dollhouse that is worthy of showcasing in a museum; and is a member of the Spokane Falls Needlework as she has a passion for Japanese and Chinese silk embroidery. Another pursuit for Tami is genealogy research. She volunteered for the Washington Adoption Reunion Movement (WARM) for many years helping adoptees discover who their biological parents were. She has served on other boards and tirelessly spent 20+ years raising funds for both private and public educational institutions.
Deanna Hanley, Treasurer
Finance Committee Chair, Gala Committee
Deanna Hanley has over 25 years in the financial industry, and she is currently Vice President of Spokane City Credit Union. She has served as the VP of Finance for PrimeSource Credit Union, and most recently as the Director of Finance for Northwest Autism Center. Deanna is a Class of 2021 Leadership Spokane Alumni, that was an incredible experience that allowed her to deepen her connections with Spokane outside of banking and credit unions. Deanna spent many volunteer hours as part of the East Spokane Business Association where she worked with the community, other volunteers, businesses, and the City to help revitalize the East Sprague corridor.
She also has spent many hours at the Civic theater supporting her son during his time as a child actor. Deanna is excited to be a part of the Inland Northwest Opera Board supporting this incredible organization and its mission.