Staff & Board

National Steinbeck Center Staff

David Butler, Director of Finance & Administration

David ButlerDavid joined the NSC in 2008 and is responsible for all accounting and HR activities. He was the Chief Accountant at the Natividad Medical Center from 1988-1995 before leaving to become a controller for AdvantaCare, which was a partnership of local hospitals that provided home infusion and home medical equipment. Between 2005-2006, he worked briefly as the Staff Accountant for Kasavan & Pope, a local CPA firm, and then from 2006-2008 as the Controller for Saroyan Construction, and architect and real estate company managing residential and commercial properties.

David is a licensed CPA in Arizona and holds a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration from Arizona State University.

Elizabeth Welden-Smith, Curator of Education and Public Programs

Elizabeth 2013Elizabeth joined the National Steinbeck Center in October, 2011 as the Curator of Education and Public Programs. She received her Master’s in Museum Studies from the Australian National University and her Bachelor of Arts in European History and Film Studies from Mills College in Oakland, California. A Monterey County local, Elizabeth returned to the peninsula after spending four years in Australia.

She has worked with international museums including the National Gallery of Australia, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian, and the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian. She has also worked for the Sydney based cultural nonprofit, International Cultural Exchange, on community pride building programs for Sydney’s Western suburbs.

Lori Wood, Grants Officer and Campaign Manager

Lori Wood HeadshotLori has over 20 years of experience raising funds for non-profits and educational institutions and creating programs in the arts and education fields. Lori was the Curator of Education and Public Programs at the National Steinbeck Center from 2007-2008, and curated Steinbeck Festivals 2010, 2011 and 2012, initiating the Steinbeck Festival International Fringe Fest. She led the community conversations, literary landmarks and Blueprint for a City of Letters projects for the Salinas Public Library during the two-year collaboration between the National Steinbeck Center and the Library, among other projects. Lori initiated and coordinated an international series of 18 residencies for the Arab writers honored by the Hay Festival’s Beirut39 prize, in association with the Alliance of Artists Communities. She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, an M.A. in Management and International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and the Lauder Institute and an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School.

Diane Arellano, Volunteer Coordinator

Diane Arellano

Jesse Banda, Performing Arts and Events Sales Manager

Jesse BAnda