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.
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.
Ann Burckle is a real estate investment strategist with experience in developing impact analysis, highest and best use analysis, and valuation opinions. A native Californian, she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of Redlands. She is currently a principal with West Coast Appraisal Service. Her community involvement is extensive as she is a member of the Southern California Leadership Network, a fellow with the Leadership LA and Leadership Southern California programs, and a docent with the Getty Center (architecture and garden guide). Additionally, she has guided architectural tours for the Los Angeles Conservancy, USC Black Alumni and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She has held volunteer leadership positions with Pasadena Heritage including the chairperson of the Craftsman Weekend event, and member of the Development and Education Committees as well as a former Board member. She is also a former Board member of EXP (formerly known as International Trade Education Program).
John Bucher is a mythologist and story consultant who has been featured on the BBC, the History Channel, in the LA Times, and on numerous other international outlets . He serves as Executive Director for the Joseph Campbell Foundation and is a writer, podcaster, storyteller, and speaker. He has worked with government and cultural leaders around the world as well as organizations such as HBO, DC Comics, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, A24 Films, and Atlas Obscura. He has served as a producer, consultant, and writer for numerous film, television, and Virtual Reality projects. He is the author of six books including the best-selling Storytelling for Virtual Reality, named by BookAuthority as one of the best storytelling books of all time. John has worked with New York Times Best Selling authors, YouTube influencers, Eisner winners, Emmy winners, Academy Award nominees, magicians, and cast members from Saturday Night Live. He holds a PhD in Mythology & Depth Psychology and has spoken on 6 continents about using the power of story and myth to reframe how individuals, organizations, cultures, and nations believe and behave.
Events Manager & Programmer