We look forward to hearing from you.
Laura Rafaty is an experienced nonprofit arts leader, producer and writer, and also brings decades of both nonprofit and for-profit business and legal experience to her position as Executive Director. A veteran of local nonprofits including the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater, Friends of the Cameo Cinema, and the Napa Valley Opera House, as well as nonprofits in New York and Palo Alto, she is a Tony-nominated theatrical producer and founder of NapaShakes, and a former retailer selling limited editions and originals by artists including Lowell Herrero and Aaron Foster. Laura lives in Saint Helena with a dog and a particularly opinionated cat, and leads with sparkle and silliness – plus a propensity to email the staff at all hours – ensuring that there is never a dull moment at the Museum.
Finance & Administrative Manager
Cindy Taylor, Finance Administrator, brings 25 years of bookkeeping experience, a sassy attitude, and a bright smile to her position running the Museum’s finance and administrative functions. Cindy has lived in Napa for 19 years working as a bookkeeper and financial administrator for a variety of businesses including Thomas Bartlett Interiors. She studied early childhood development at Napa Valley College and has two children, Luke and Megan, with whom she loves to enjoy the outdoors, camping and fishing. Cindy also enjoys travel, loudly streaming her eclectic mix of music (from Rap to Salsa to Soft Jazz) at her desk, and sweetly bossing everyone around – earning her the nickname: “cupcake.”
Exhibitions & Programs Manager
Ariel Loraine, Exhibitions & Programs Manager, is originally from Canada. She completed her BFA in Theater Design at Concordia University and has worked with many independent theater companies and festivals in Montreal and Toronto, as well as with corporations handling event production, and exhibit and display design and manufacture, including display design and fabrication for Urban Outfitters. She is an accomplished designer, woodworker, artist, and technician, as well as a set designer and painter, who has created sets for the Cafeteria Kids musicals at the Lincoln Theater, and served as Production Manager for Napa Shakes. Ariel designs and builds our exhibits, and manages the Museum’s programs and events, relying on her inventive and transformative aesthetic, along with her unnervingly superhuman physical strength (her muscles have earned her the nickname “Guns”), to get the job done.
Education & Visitor Outreach Manager
Eden Chung came to us in 2017 from the delightful Children’s Museum at La Habra in Orange County, bringing a passion for STEM education, multiple subject teaching credential, and extensive experience developing engaging educational trunk shows, tours and curricula. A graduate of Cal State Fullerton and Los Angeles, she also studied at Seoul National University in Korea, has a background in finance and insurance, and has been known to grab a power drill and build an exhibit! This multi-talented multi-tasker heads up our education program, oversees our outreach activities, and ensures that all of our visitors have a museum experience that is fun and inspiring. Eden is already wowing teachers and students with her engaging Museums in the Classroom programs, so here’s a tip for any aspiring “teacher’s pet”: Eden loves chocolate, chocolate and chocolate!
Mike Cabral, Facilities Manager, is a native Californian who has owned numerous successful businesses. When not working (which happens rarely), Mike enjoys music and the outdoors. Having staffed the Napa Valley’s best venues, including the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater and the Napa Valley Opera House, he now supports events at the Uptown Theater in a supervisory capacity. Currently the only male member of our staff, Mike spends most days completing his multiple “honey-do” lists, as well as managing his own numerous projects that keep the Museum humming. You’ll see a number of succulents and cactus now thriving in front of the Museum, thanks to Mike’s green thumb.
Visitor Services Coordinator
Katelyn Huss, Visitor Services Coordinator, serves as the friendly face of the Museum to our Members, Volunteers and Visitors, helping to create and maintain a happy, safe and secure Museum environment. You will see Katelyn four days a week staffing the gallery’s front desk, and after her graduation from Sonoma State University (with a degree in Art History) on May 19, you will see her whenever the Museum is open: Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 to 4. A native Napan, Katelyn went to New Tech High, and graduated from Napa Valley College with a A.S. in Natural Science & Mathematics. With a passion for Historic Preservation, she spends her free time drawing, antiquing and restoring old antiques (furniture, singer sewing machines, typewriters, telephones, upholstery), watching old movies, visiting Museums and reading and expanding her knowledge about artifacts and history. Stop by the Museum and say “Hello” to Katelyn soon!
Liz comes to us with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications/ Journalism with a minor in Art History from UC Berkeley.
Here are her faves:
“I love traveling— My favorite places in the world are Phuket, Thailand; Barcelona, Spain; and Istanbul, Turkey. I love visiting places for extended amounts of time to immerse myself and to try to learn about the culture. I spent 1 month in Thailand, and studied abroad for 3 months in Sussex, England. I just got back from living in Turkey for 5 months, working as an English tutor.
And her hobbies:
I love running, (Really) amateur painting, Reading books about the history of the English royal family. I’m obsessed. You can ask me anything about the War of the Roses. I love camping/outdoors. and I love volunteering—I will also be working with the adult literacy program at the Napa Valley Library.”