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.
Associate Director, Operations
Cynthia joins the team to lead the Museum’s operations, including our Membership and Volunteer programs. Cynthia is a 2ndgeneration lifelong local of Napa who has worn many hats during her working career. She learned so much in her youth working 20 years with a local rock, mineral and fossil company. She shifted gears nearly a decade ago, and went into the music entertainment world where she was part of the grand re-opening of Uptown Theatre learning box office, artist hospitality and so much more. She initiated and handled their membership program, and also went on to become Executive Director. From there she helped launch and open a new Napa venue, Blue Note, in the historic Napa Valley Opera House. There, she put her years of working knowledge to good use on a daily basis, becoming a core centric person in the operation and added Talent Booking to her dynamic repertoire. She loves spending time with her family and their 2 dogs and 3 cats. She advocates for eco-friendly living, and enjoys cooking, reading, history, music, touring museums, traveling, gardening, attending plays and concerts (avid U2 fan!), whale watching, vintage cars and fashion, and watching movies.
Jonathan “JON” Fetzer
Museum Gallery & Store Manager
Jonathan “JON” Fetzer joins the team as our new Museum Gallery & Store Manager. JON is a multi-disciplinary visual artist. musician and producer who received his B.A. in Music Industry Business. A local guy who attended New Tech High, he has worked in several talent agencies as well as a Box Office and House Manager for the Blue Note in Napa. As a musician, he has worked at many festivals and events, and his work garnered a feature in the Napa Register.
Please come say Hi to JON at our front desk when you next visit our galleries and our Museum Store.
Kathleen Stewart, Collections Registrar, brings with her a degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Printmaking as well as a minor in Art History and Museum Studies from Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Oregon. Kathleen says it best: “Combining a lifelong love and appreciation Fine Art, History, Science, and Museums prepares me well for the research, preservation, and care of artifacts. Working as a printmaker for several years in Oregon, making copper plate etchings, gives me an understanding of the craft of art disciplines. I look forward to continuing working in Collections as a Registrar as I have been volunteering in Collections and the Gallery for the past several years. I am excited to join the staff at Napa Valley Museum Yountville and look forward to serving the community on Thursdays and Fridays.”
Bruce made the decision to discontinue his 20+ year career as a professional photographer, and continue with his legal document processing and notary work. Also enjoying hands-on building projects and landscaping, he signed on as our Facilities Manager in 2019. Community minded, Bruce coached a total of 21 years in the Napa Junior Girls Softball League; Napa Valley Express and Roadrunners travel softball, and the Napa Youth Soccer League. His hobbies include Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, Biking, Gardening, Working out, and Home Improvement Projects.