MSA Foundation


About the MSA Foundation

The Marin School of the Arts Foundation provides resources and funding, beyond that which is financed by the public school district, to support, enhance and sustain the quality of education for all Marin School of the Arts students.

The MSA Foundation Board meets monthly during the school year to plan and implement fundraising activities which are representative of the student and faculty within the Marin School of the Arts.

MSA Foundation Board activities include:

  • Major performance events,
  • Donor cultivation,
  • Grant writing,
  • Business partnership development,
  • Corporate sponsorship support,
  • Foundation outreach and,
  • Community awareness projects.

The foundation works closely with the MSA administration and the Novato Unified School District to create lasting partnerships in support of arts instruction in public education.

Learn how you can support Marin School of the Arts Foundation.

The Marin School of the Arts Foundation is a registered Non-Profit Tax Exempt 501(c)(3) corporation.
Tax ID Number 51-0490730.

The MSA Showcase is the foundation's largest annual fundraising event, presenting opportunities to support the high caliber of art education.

The MSA Showcase is the foundation’s largest annual fundraising event, presenting opportunities to support the high caliber of art education.

The Foundation supports other major fundraising efforts, including Divine Wine & Food Extravaganza produced annually with Harbor Point Charitable Foundation. The event raised $50,000 for MSA in 2015.

The Foundation supports other major fundraising efforts, including Divine Wine & Food Extravaganza produced annually with Harbor Point Charitable Foundation. The event raised $50,000 for MSA in 2015.

The Marin School of the Arts Foundation Board

The Marin School of the Arts Foundation Board of Directors meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 6pm in the Novato High School Library to discuss and vote on issues related the MSA Foundation. The primary role of the MSA Foundation is to support MSA programs through ongoing fund raising, donor development and marketing to increase awareness and support of MSA.

MSAF Board Executive Committee

Matt Meblin, President

Maija Threlkeld, Vice President

Scott Warner, Immediate Past President

Don Bialkin, Treasurer

To contact an MSAF Executive Board member click here

MSAF Board Directors

Anne Adiksson

Jay Alexander Weisberg

Wendy Buscaglia

Don Bialkin

Lisa DiLauro

Marla Fields

Sarah Finegold

Lynn Gasser

Jennifer Land

Leigh Nikolaieff

Amy Oclassen

Yvette Preute

Bruce Wilcer

To contact an MSAF Board member click here!

Meet the MSAF Board

The MSAF Executive Committee

MSAF-Matt_Meblin_newMatthew Meblin, President

Matthew B. Meblin is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of WellCycle, a Novato-based software company providing technology solutions to the oil and gas industry. For over 30 years, Meblin has been a technology entrepreneur, in his early career helping Symantec Corporation to achieve it’s 1989 IPO, and then moving on to found numerous other software companies, including SME Corporation, Project InVision and WellCycle.

Meblin stays active with community organizations including serving on the boards of the Downtown Novato Business Association and the University of San Francisco Alumni Association. He also gigs periodically as a professional musician and has extensive experience staging and directing musical events. Meblin earned his undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University and his MBA from the University of San Francisco.

Maija Threlkeld, Vice President

Maija Threlkeld is a seasoned marketing and brand strategist with over 20 years experience working with businesses from fledgling start-ups to Fortune 500 companies to position and leverage their brands. She shares her interest in the arts with her family and has presented her writing in local events including Litquake. Ms. Threlkeld holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Ms. Threlkeld is an active member of her community and has served on committees supporting local public schools and community services. Ms. Threlkeld and her husband Brett are raising their three children in Lucas Valley. Their oldest child attends MSA in Creative Writing and Visual Arts and is set to graduate in 2018.

MSAF-Scott-WarnerScott Warner, Immediate Past President

Scott D. Warner is an internationally recognized hydro-geologist and environmental consultant who grew up in the southern California suburb of Downey taking guitar lessons from the same teacher who also taught the famous brother/sister duo of Richard and Karen Carpenter (aka The Carpenters).  Warner received his MS and BS degrees in Geology from Indiana University and UCLA, respectively, and his work has been featured in the New York Times, in a live interview on WABC Radio in Adelaide, Australia and in a technical book on environmental clean-up by Oxford University Press. He is President of the Board of the Bay Planning Coalition, a large non-profit membership-based organization whose primary purpose is to ensure that the Bay and Delta are sustained, and enable sound economic development, conservation and public use. Complimenting his professional work, Warner loves teaching (and playing) his 12-string guitar. He has guest lectured at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, the University of Ferrara, Italy, the University of Sheffield, UK, and in several Marin County public schools. Mr. Warner has lived in Novato for nearly 20 years with his wife Susan and two daughters, both students of MSA. His eldest studied Instrumental Music, Creative Writing, and Cinematic Arts and graduated in 2014, and the other currently studies Vocal Music and Fine Arts and is set to graduate in 2018.

MSAF Board Directors

MSAF-Don_BialkinDon Bialkin, Director

Don Bialkin has been in the real estate mortgage field for 28 years and is currently a senior loan officer with Argent Bank. Active in many community organizations throughout the years, Mr. Bialkin  has served on school PTA boards since his children started elementary school.  In addition to his affinity with numbers, Mr. Bialkin has long enjoyed being involved with the arts and enjoys using the creative side of his brain.  He strongly believes in the benefit that all  of the arts bring to young students.  For six years, he and his wife put on the talent show at their children’s elementary school, which became a very large production. They saw how important and special it was for children to have an opportunity to perform in front of a live audience, as many have gone on to continue performing.

Mr. Bialkin lives in Novato with his wife and two daughters; his eldest graduated from NHS in 2014, studying in the MSA Dance Department  and the other currently in MSA’s Vocal Music Department set to graduate in 2017.

Lisa DiLauro, Director

Lisa DiLauro is the Director of Training and Development at Akamai Technologies and is responsible for the design & delivery of training and education programs associated with Akamai Technologies’ products and services to support the business’s objectives in driving growth through increased productivity.  Ms. DiLauro has tenured experience in training and development, client management, and communications, to drive the implementation and delivery of global training and learning programs to maximize sales performance, client satisfaction, and revenue.

Ms. DiLauro has served as a member of the Marin School of the Arts Foundation board for the past two years.  Her son, Ryan, is currently in his fourth year Cinematic Arts and is looking to pursue a career in this field after graduation. Ms. DiLauro lives in Novato with her husband Steve, four teenagers Ryan, Sydney, Joe, Amie and their rescued greyhound Bebe. She is a Raiders fan, “attempts” golf, and loves to spend time in Lake Tahoe with family and friends.

MSAF-Sarah_FinegoldSarah Finegold, Director

Sarah Finegold graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a B.A. in Economics and a minor in Mathematics. Upon graduation, she started working in the Investment Banking and Stock Trading industry. She worked on the Options Trading Floor of the Pacific Stock Exchange for three years before becoming an Institutional Equity Trader/Market Maker for Montgomery Securities/Bank of America Securities. She left the industry to become a stay-at-home mom to her three children and has filled numerous treasurer and auditor positions on different PTA Boards for the past 12 years. She presently works as an office manager and auditor’s assistant at Bunker & Company, LLC, which specializes in audits for non-profit entities.

Ms. Finegold presently has a daughter in MSA’s Instrumental Music Department, whose siblings hope to join MSA in the future. Arts are in her heart.

Leigh Nikolaieff, Director

Leigh Nikolaieff is Head of People Success at Serena & Lily, Inc. based in Sausalito. She has over 24 years of Human Resources experience in both large and small companies. Ms. Nikolaieff brings multi-channel specialty retail, creative/visual effects and internet/web solutions industry knowledge to her position at Serena & Lily. Her prior experience includes leadership HR roles at Williams-Sonoma, Inc., Industrial Light & Magic, a division of Lucasfilm, Ltd. and LiveBooks, Inc.

Prior to joining the MSAF Board, Ms. Nikolaieff served a two-year term on the Novato High School Site Leadership Team. She has been an involved Brandeis Marin School parent volunteer for 12 years. Ms. Nikolaieff also held the position of Co-President of the Parent Association for the Bernard Osher Marin Jewish Community Center – Early Childhood Education Preschool as well as held numerous volunteer roles over the course of her kids’ preschool years.

Ms. Nikolaieff also serves as a volunteer Employer Supervisor for the San Francisco/Marin Jewish Family and Children Services’ Youth First Summer Internship Program. She has a BS in Psychology with a minor in Art History from San Francisco State University. She lives in Novato with her husband, Greg and their two teenage sons, Reid and Simon. Reid, class of 2017, is in the MSA/NHS Product Design and Photography programs. Simon is part of the incoming class of 2020 MSA/NHS (auditioning for Vocal Music and Product Design programs).