The Board of Directors and Officers
John Pillsbury, President
John Sanborn Pillsbury has been a student of the works of Manly Palmer Hall since the age of fifteen, and a continuous supporter of PRS throughout his adult life, serving in many different capacities. John also serves as president of a private philanthropic foundation, and is co-founder, producer and secretary of the Ventura County Gilbert & Sullivan Repertoire Company. He is about to enter his fifth decade of service to these and other nonprofit organizations.
Amy Grat, Treasurer
Amy Grat is Chief Executive Officer of EXP – The opportunity engine, a Southern California-based nonprofit organization. EXP helps young people gain experience, unlock doors and build the confidence they need to succeed in school, career and life. In 2021-2022, EXP supported 6,350 high school students at 11 Southern California high schools. By bringing schools and industry together, EXP is creating new ways of learning, knocking down barriers and bringing genuine opportunity to every student they can reach.
Michael Pearce, Secretary
Michael Pearce is a dynamic writer, exhibit curator, and art critic. He is an active and enthusiastic participant in the conversation about 21st century art and its roots, especially contemporary imaginative realism. He has published dozens of articles about art and artists, and wrote a book about art and neuroscience titled Art in the Age of Emergence. He is a champion of art that emerges from popular culture and shapes the spirit of the age. His book Elephant - the story of the invention of the American avant-garde - will be published later this year. He is Professor of Art at California Lutheran University.
Lana Shaughnessy has volunteered at PRS since 2013. She assisted in the digitization process of the PRS library catalog. She served also as a special assistant to former PRS President–the late Dr. Obadiah Harris, her father. Lana is retired from the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C. She is married for 50 years to Dr. Timothy Shaughnessy. They have two daughters. Lana has a Masters Degree in Education from Arizona State University and she is an enrolled member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma.
Steve Mahr is a Senior Executive in the printing, mailing & communication industry, a Husband, and a Father. He is also a Freemason, having served as Past Master of Hollywood Lodge #355 California F&AM and Treasurer / Charter member of The Downtown Masonic, #859, California F&AM. Steve's Masonic journey is one stop on a lifelong quest for wisdom and knowledge - a journey often fueled by the writings of Manly P. Hall and the curated teachings and collections found at the PRS. Steve also serves on the Board of Directors of "Sea of Clouds," a multi-disciplinary practice that protects important coastal places and enlists communities to care for our public coasts.
Dennis Bartok, Executive Director
Kelly Carmena, Deputy Executive Director & Librarian
Aster Tsegay, Director of Operations
Matthew Taylor, Director of the School
Amanda Brass, Site Manager
Michelle Song, Publications & Media Manager
Alex Burden, Bookstore Clerk