National Steinbeck Center Staff
Colleen Finegan Bailey, Executive Director
Colleen Finegan Bailey joined the National Steinbeck Center in April 2008 as the Director of Community Engagement and Learning and has served the organization as its Executive Director since October 2009. Her accomplishments at the Center earned her the distinction as the 2010 Newsmaker of the Year from the Salinas Californian. Before working at the Center, Colleen was an arts educator and administrator in schools in Central and Southern California and Colorado. She has won numerous awards for her teaching, including Who's Who Among American Teachers (2000) and the National Society of High School Scholars Class Novel Educator of Distinction (2007).
Colleen is a graduate of the Stevenson School and has an undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California, a graduate degree from Northwestern University and has completed the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. Colleen is a member of the Rotary Club of Salinas and The Alternative Board (TAB) and serves on the boards of the Rancho San Carlos Education Foundation, Sacred Heart School, the Non Profit Alliance of Monterey County, the Central Coast Tourism Council, the Salinas Valley Tourism and Visitors Bureau and the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Colleen is a proud native and current resident of Salinas.
David Butler, Director of Finance & Administration
David 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.
Deborah Silguero-Stahl, Curator of Exhibitions & Collections
For more than 30 years, Deborah has served in the museum field as a curator and manager of exhibitions and collections, senior art preparator and conservation technician for a number of museums. She has worked for such notable institutions as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where she created key exhibitions, the J. Paul Getty Museum’s Decorative and Antiquities Conservation departments, and in the permanent reinstallation of the Henry E. Huntington Art Galleries & Library in San Marino, to name only a few.
Upon moving to the Central Coast, Deborah served for eight years as manager of collections and exhibition for the Monterey History & Art Association. She brings her wide-ranging expertise of exhibition design, development and conservation to the Center, where she began working in a full-time capacity in 2008. She is also a part time lecturer at California State University, Monterey Bay, teaching museum studies in the Visual & Public Art Department, and she manages the museum studies internship program for the university within the Center.
Esmeralda Montenegro Owen, Curator of Marketing and Community Engagement
Esmeralda joined the team in Fall 2011 with a focus on engaging the media and local communities with the Center’s vision to educate through the exploration of culture, issues and the arts relevant to our times. She is an Adjunct Professor of Broadcast Journalism at Gavilan College in Gilroy. Previously, Montenegro-Owen worked as a News Anchor for Univisión 67 in Monterey County, where she earned various community recognitions, including an Emmy nomination for investigative reporting.
The California Teachers’ Association acknowledged her dedication to issues in education presenting two Certificates of Merit and the John Swett Award for excellence in education coverage in the State of California. She has worked with the Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast and the GEAR UP Program at UC Santa Cruz; in these organizations, Esmeralda created workshops and programs for young girls and adults. She graduated with a dual degree in Broadcast Journalism and Spanish from the University of Southern California (USC), and a Master of Public Administration from Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU). Esmeralda volunteers for organizations like LULAC and enjoys participating in ‘Careers Days’ at local schools.
Elizabeth Welden-Smith, Curator of Education and Public Programs
Elizabeth 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
Diane Arellano, Volunteer Coordinator
Elia Gonzalez, Education Coordinator
Jesse Banda, Performing Arts and Events Sales Manager
Matthew Madron, Facilities Coordinator
Phillip Saldana, Museum Store & Guest Services Manager
Sandra Silva, Development & Membership Manager