Board of Directors

Penelope DiGennaro – President
penelope digennaroPenelope DiGennaro was in the education field for 35 years as teacher and principal. She recently retired and has now focused her attention on art, specifically pen and ink drawings. Penelope draws every day and her work can be found in Gallery One. She also enjoys playing the piano, gardening, walking, traveling, viewing art, and spending time with friends and family.

Melissa Hayes - Treasurer
melissa hayesMelissa Hayes has been on the GPMA board for two years and is currently board treasurer. Melissa was raised in Grants Pass and attended Rogue Community College as an Art Major transferring to the University of Oregon to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree in Interior Architecture. She began her non-profit career in Seattle as a board member for the Washington State Dental Association. She has been on several boards and committees, excluding West Seattle Rotary and as a contributor to the West Seattle Arts Museum prior to moving back to Grants Pass in 2014. She is currently an SBA Lending Specialist for Evolve Bank and Trust and has been working in banking since 1997.

Laura Acosta
laura acostaLaura moved to Grants Pass in 2014 leaving a life of fabulous weather. However time schedules had to revolve around traffic and millions of people. Love the smaller town aspect and beauty of Oregon. Having lived the rural life in New Hampshire, her reason for moving was a town with sidewalks, neighbors and city amenities.
She worked for 37 years in high tech in procurement for commercial and military companies. She has for 53 years and we raised three great kids. The Museum was a wonderful surprise to me on my first visit. The level of talent in this area of Oregon is amazes her and she hopes that everyone who enters the museum enjoys the ambience and diversity of art as much as she does.

Kate Bortells
kate bortellisKate works for the City of Grants Pass at the Welcome Center on the corner of 6th & G Street. Her enthusiasm to make the City of Grants Pass a destination for tourist and future residents is a true passion.
Her family history in Oregon started in 1841 when her ancestors arrived in the Applegate Valley. Kate’s love for gardening has made her the perfect chairperson for Art on the Garden.

Cal Kenney
cal kenneyCal has been a board member for a very long time. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Chico State College and was in the Peace Corps in St. Vincent and the Grenadines from 1981-1983. He was employed by Greenleaf Industries for 25 years in Grants Pass. He has participated in Frog-O-Faire and is on the Committee on Public Art (CoPA) for the city. He originated and has facilitated the museum’s Second Friday Poetry Sharing which is in its 11th successful year. He enjoys woodworking, crafts, travel, gardening (including flowers), reading, politics and more. He sells some of his art in Gallery One as well as the Arts and Crafters Market on Saturdays.

Nancy Yonally
nancy yonallyNancy Yonally, writing as Carol Coleman, lives with her husband in Southern Oregon. She is an accomplished technical writer and a published poet. She is a graduate of Marylhurst University. Her book ‘Almost Heaven’ is a stroll through a quaint coastal village in Maine where life goes up and down in spite of the idyllic setting. Nancy is a community activist in Josephine County involved in the Sobering Center, the Warming Center, Foundry Village and more. She is a past president of the museum board.


Hyla Lipson – Executive Director
hyla lipsonThirty five years ago, Hyla took a class at the University of Oregon on how to run a museum. Thirty five years later, she is the executive director of the Grants Pass Museum of Art.
In between she owned a property management company, a retail nursery, and for 35 years was the co-owner of Fiberoptic Lighting, a manufacturing firm in Grants Pass.
Hyla has been involved in nonprofit organizations for years. She was a trustee for the Carpenter Foundation, a trainer for the Ford Family Foundation, a board member of the Women’s Crisis Support Team, Barnstormers, the Asante Foundation, and is a field representative of the Oregon Community Foundation.
She is happy to be working at the museum. She has many goals and hopes to see them completed before she retires (which she has no current plans to do).

Kristen O’Neill – Administrative Assistant
kristen oneillOriginally a volunteer for GPMA, Kristen has been the Administrative Assistant since 2016. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio from the School of Art Institute of Chicago, where she also worked for the Department of Exhibition and Events, earning the Connecting Communities Leadership Award. She has volunteered for the Bemis Center of Contemporary Arts, and the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. Kristen led an overhaul of the records and cataloging of the museum’s history, exhibition history, art book library, and Permanent Collection. She enjoys teaching at the museum and has taught over 1500 students of all ages. She is the Volunteer Coordinator and program leader of the 5th Grade Field Trips program. Kristen is also a mother of two, a painter, and has her artwork in Gallery One.