Network 9 - Art, Design, and Music

Thursday, January 26, 2012, 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Colt Hall Forum


Date:  Thursday, January 26, 2012

Time:  5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

5:00 p.m. ~ Check-in

5:30 p.m. ~ Panel Presentation

6:30 p.m. ~ Networking Time

Location:  Colt Hall Forum


Ursula Rothfuss
Manager of Graphic Design
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Ursula Rothfuss was born and raised in Germany. In 1993, she received an MFA equivalent degree in industrial design from the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste (Academy of Fine Arts) in Stuttgart, Germany, where she studied under Richard Sapper. After obtaining her degree, she moved to New York in 1995, and held positions with Knoll, the furniture design firm; and the Guggenheim Museum New York, where she designed exhibition graphics, printed collateral and developed a design concept for the Guggenheim Magazine. In 2003, Ms. Rothfuss joined the communications department of University of California Los Angeles, where she designed and produced brochures, invitations, ads, signage and other university related materials.  She was involved in the editorial design and redesign of the UCLA Magazine, as well as art directing photography and illustration.

Ms. Rothfuss is currently the Manager of Graphic Design at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. In this role, she is the lead in the concept development, design and production of the Museum’s printed materials, exhibition graphics, donor recognition and building signage, while maintaining the integrity and consonance with the Museum’s overall identity. She also trains, supervises and provides art direction for junior designers.

In her leisure time, Ms. Rothfuss loves to read.  She also enjoys spending time with her family and friends living in San Diego, New York City, and Germany.

Bennett Peji
Bennett Peji Design

Bennett Peji has been a brand consultant and designer for 24 years.  He leads and manages a civic branding firm, Bennett Peji Design.  He has taught the senior branding systems course at San Diego State University. Mr. Peji is passionate about how design can make visible the cultural richness of a city, and utilizes his "Form Follows Culture" process to revitalize organizations, cities and cultures.

Mr. Peji has served as local chapter President and on the national board of the AIGA, the world’s largest communications design association, with headquarters in New York and chapters in 67 cities. He was one of the co-founders of the AIGA Center for Cross-Cultural Design and is San Diego’s first AIGA Fellow honoree.

Mr. Peji is inspired by multi-faceted businesses, communities, and cities. He serves as a Commissioner of Arts and Culture for the City of San Diego and was the 2009 Chairman of the Asian Business Association of San Diego. He serves on Mayor Jerry Sander’s Civic Leadership Team and the Boards and Commissions Advisory Group.  Mr. Peji is a director of the Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce. He also is a co-founder and regent of the Baja California Missions Foundation, founded to renovate and preserve the historic missions in Mexico.

Mr. Peji is the recipient of the Arts, Business and Culture Award from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Outstanding Professional of the Year Award from the Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce, and the Asian Heritage Award for Cultural Preservation from Asia Media. Besides business and community service awards, he has received over 200 national design awards.  He was a featured speaker from the USA at the 2010 ICOGRADA World Design Congress in Madrid, Spain and has spoken at over 40 conferences worldwide.

April Ellefsen
Piano Instructor
Springtime Music Studio

April Ellefsen has been a Music and Piano Instructor for more than 13 years. She has been teaching in the Ocean Beach area of San Diego for over 6 years.

Ms. Ellefsen is driven by her passion to reach kids with the gift of music in a way that is geared specifically to each student. Her vision is to share this passion with teachers and create a studio that is ideal to meet each learner where they're at and let them grow to their musical potential!

Zack Nielsen
Business Director, Content & Events

Zack Nielsen obtained a degree in business and public relations from Pepperdine University.  From high school and beyond, he has always been supporting underground artists.

When Mr. Nielsen moved to San Diego in 2004, Sezio was already an art collective comprised of his high school friends who relocated to Ocean Beach.  He was able to turn his love of sharing music, and eventually, art, into a career.   In January of 2008, after collaborating with illustrator Justin Skeesuck, and programmer Chad Lansford, Mr. Nielsen officially launched Sezio. It is a clean, well-designed destination full of artist profiles, photo essays and videos.  As the business director of the nonprofit website, he and a small group of collaborators uncover their favorite up-and-coming San Diego visual artists and musicians. For Mr. Nielsen, Sezio has been the most interesting social experiment of his life.

In his leisure time, Mr. Nielsen enjoys surfing in the Pacific Beach area.

Matt Kirkland
Owner & Designer
Brand New Box Web Design

Matt Kirkland studied a different branch of design in college, called Industrial Design.  The basic principles still apply to his work today.  The full extent of his web training has been self-taught or on-the-job.

At Brand New Box Web Design, Mr. Kirkland manages the design and user experience side of the web projects.  He is also involved in strategic planning for clients.  He is involved with external relations in gaining new projects for the company and oversees their finances.

Mr. Kirkland enjoys reading really old books, sailing, and playing outside with his children.  

Tim Butler
Owner & Operator
Quality Letterpress

Tim Butler has been running letterpresses for over 30 years.  He served as an apprentice and slowly moved up in the press room.  He believes it was more about having a mentor than any ‘official’ training’.  He was able to accept direction and listen to feedback.  Now, as the owner of Quality Letterpress, he calls himself the CEO – Chief Everything Officer!  He manages all client meetings, sends emails, makes the phone calls, does the pick-ups, deliveries, machine maintenance, and repair, as well as running every press run on every press.

Mr. Butler obtained his AA in Music from The Grove School of Music.  He has multiple record credits and touring experience.  He travels with his band, Sha Na Na, and enjoys seeing the country. 

During his leisure time, Mr. Butler actually restores the old machinery in his shop and takes his dog for walks at the dog parks.  

Angela Neve
Music Therapist and Co-owner
The Music Therapy Center of California

Angela Neve, NMT, MT-BC, is a board-certified neurologic music therapist and co-owner of The Music Therapy Center of California. She received her bachelor’s degree in Music Education / Music Therapy from Wartburg College, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She has received additional training in neurologic music therapy from Colorado State University (CSU) and is currently pursuing her Masters in Music, with an emphasis in neurologic music therapy from CSU as well.

Ms. Neve has been a music therapist in the San Diego area for over seven years working with children, teenagers and adults with autism. She has published several products including the In Harmony program, an educational product targeting speech and social skills through music. She is the music director of Kibbles Rockin' Clubhouse and stars as Miss Angela. She currently serves as the Phase 3 Early Intervention Director for the Autism Tree Project Foundation in which she trains preschool teachers on inclusive music strategies. She also serves as the entertainment director for Autism Speaks. She has presented locally and nationally for organizations such as Kids Included Together, the Autism Education Network, and the American Music Therapy Association. As a sibling of a brother with special needs, Angela has seen the power of music in making changes in her brother, Luke's, life, and is dedicated to bringing that passion to the clients and families that she serves.

In 2004, Ms. Neve was featured as an author in Provider magazine for a research article on the benefits of music with older adults in a year-long research study funded by Yamaha. She also serves as a consultant for Yamaha Corporation of America with the "Passport to Music" course on Crystal Cruises. As an instructor for this course, she traveled to Italy, Croatia and France in 2006 and most recently to England, Scotland and Ireland in the summer of 2008.
David Conover
Studio Conover

David Conover was born in Pittsburgh, PA.  He earned his BFA in Graphic Design from Arizona State University.  He has worked as an ad agency art director, print shop designer, type-house production artist, publication designer and video game artist.  In 1985, he and his wife, Cecelia, started the company, Studio Conover.   As the co-owner of Studio Conover, he is the art director and salesman, as well as the manager of the design strategy.  He is a member of AIGA.

In his leisure time, Mr. Conover plays drums in a local jam band and attempts to play the acoustic guitar.  He enjoys skiing, bike riding, and listening to a lot of music. 

Amy Jo Levine
Principal, Creative Director
Visual Asylum

Amy Jo Levine obtained her B.F.A. in Graphic Design from The Kansas City Art Institute.  She is currently the Principal, Creative Director at Visual Asylum.  In this position, she designs both for print and environmental design as well as oversees client meetings and general office management.

Ms. Levine is a leader in the design community.  She has a refined sense of the art of fine typographic design as well as exposure to fiber arts and product design that influences the work of Visual Asylum.

Ms. Levine teaches Advanced Typography at City College and is the President of the Board of the San Diego Chapter of the AIGA, the world’s largest communications design association, with headquarters in New York and chapters in 67 cities.

David Gereghty
CEO / Co-Founder / Business Manager
Leslie Gereghty
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Recreational Music Center

Leslie Gereghty has a wide breadth of experience as a pianist and keyboard player for several jazz, rock and praise bands and yet remains uniquely dedicated to the classical repertoire. Most recently, she traveled to Australia as a guest artist, teaching and performing the works of American composers.

Mrs. Gereghty’s long résumé of teaching posts are as varied as her performing experience, from private studio teaching, performing arts and community music schools, to the collegiate level. She has served as an instructor at the University of Texas and adjunct faculty member of Concordia University River Forest. In addition, her interest in early childhood music led her to train for Suzuki, Kindermusik, and Harmony Road teacher certification programs. Mrs. Gereghty has published articles in professional trade journals, and served as an educational consultant and senior editor on dozens of publications for various educational music publishers, and is in frequent demand as a speaker at a variety of conferences, from music education to music ministry, throughout the United States.

David Gereghty has been in the music industry since 1995 and first began playing music at the age of eight. He has had extensive experience in instrumental and print music retail sales, wholesale distribution, as well several years as the national sales manager for the Neil A. Kjos Music Company, a large educational music publishing company in San Diego. Prior to pursuing a career in the music publishing industry, Mr. Gereghty studied recording engineering and was the founder of Gereghty Records. He plays the guitar, bass, drums, and has led worship in a variety of settings. 

Stephen Simpson
Stephen Simpson Inc. Photography

Steven Simpson obtained a bachelor’s of arts degree in English, and a Masters degree in Philosophy and Law.  He has no formal education in photography, but he considers himself to be visually voracious.  It is similar to making the transition from film to digital – it is important to find a lot of different ways to educate yourself.  Mr. Simpson states that the formal education has served him best in terms of verbal and written communication as well as social skills.

Mr. Simpson is the owner and president of Steven Simpson Inc. Photography.  He specializes in taking photographs of people in either business or lifestyle scenarios.  Mr. Simpson’s work has been featured just about everywhere – from ads in national magazines, to products in grocery stores, and to billboards on busy highways. Authenticity, clean composition and a rich color palette define his style, not to mention the importance of humor and play.

For the past 25 years, Mr. Simpson has been a member of ASMP and other organizations.  Most recently, he is a member of MOPA since their inception.
Judy Shufro
ARTS – A Reason to Survive

Judy Shufro obtained a B.F.A. from Boston University where she majored in Art Education and Painting.  She then completed her M.A. from New York University majoring in Painting and Art Education.

After obtaining her degree, Ms. Shufro moved to New York City and taught at Trinity School for over 20 years.  She introduced her students to ceramics, created a shop/fine art program, and purchased the first kiln for the school.  She also assisted her high school students with their portfolios, which very often resulted in advanced placement at schools such as Princeton and RISDI.  Ms. Shufro also has many doctoral credits.  Her education continues on a daily basis as she synthesizes what she sees and considers how to incorporate it into her art and teaching.

Ms. Shufro then relocated to San Diego and taught as an artist-in-residence at a variety of schools including the Athenaeum, City College, and Riford Center.  At the present time, she is volunteering her time teaching Art to high school students at ARTS, Arts, A Reason to Survive.  The students at this center have a history of challenging backgrounds.

Ms. Shufro has always painted.  She has shown and sold her work internationally.  She has a permanent museum representation at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina.


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If you have any questions, please contact Debra Lively at or 619.849.2446.