Board of Directors
Wayne Austin, Gina Richardson, Jennifer Jenkins, Lori Semeniuk, Dr. Hugh Bialecki, Chris Levister, Dr. Ernest Levister, and Mike Kahrs (Front)
Chris Levister | president
Chris Levister co-founded the Blue Jay Jazz Foundation in 2006. She has served as Foundation President since 2007. Chris oversees the core functions of the organization to enable it to achieve its mission and long-term vision. Areas of focus include: strategy, finance, board management, fundraising, and program delivery. She developed a passion for music and jazz in particular during college where she worked as an on air radio personality. Chris is a former national news correspondent and on air anchor. She is a freelance journalist for various national and international news agencies. Chris holds a doctorate in law and dual masters in English and Philosophy.
Dr. Hugh Bialecki | vice president
Dr. Hugh Bialecki has practiced preventive, cosmetic, restorative and implant dentistry in Lake Arrowhead since 1989. He is a member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, Tri-County Dental Society, International Academy of Sports Dentistry, and an alumnus of the Pride Institute. Dr. Bialecki currently lives in Lake Arrowhead with his wife Lori, and son Drake. His sons Gavin and Nick attend college in Southern California.
Wayne Austin | treasurer
Wayne Austin is well known in the Lake Arrowhead community. A past General Manager of the Arrowhead Lake Association and its current Administration Supervisor, he was General Manager of the Lake Arrowhead Resort for seven years, General Manager of the Arrowhead Country Club, and President and CEO of the San Bernardino Convention and Visitors Bureau. He brings a strong background in management, finance, customer service, employee relations and business growth to his role as Treasurer of the Blue Jay Jazz Foundation Board.
Wayne received his Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He currently serves as Chairman of the San Bernardino Police Officers Foundation. Wayne is a past member of Lake Arrowhead Rotary and served on the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce Board for many years.
Wayne’s love of Jazz began at South Torrance High School, where he sang in the elite stage choir as a sophomore, winning best male vocalist his senior year. The choir’s main focus was jazz, winning several awards including a trip to the Hollywood Bowl for the Battle of the Bands. Howard Rumsey’s Concerts by the Sea was a favorite hang out back in the late ’70s with that West Coast Jazz. He is a big fan of Jazziz Magazine and highly recommends it to all jazz lovers.
Lori Semeniuk | secretary
Lori Semeniuk has lived in Lake Arrowhead for more than 25 years, raising three sons in the public schools here and assisting her husband in his dental business. An Environmental Activist on Board of Directors of Save Our Forest Association, a group founded to protest the US Forest Services divesting itself of three properties in area. The Eagle Ridge property was sold three times, Strawberry Peak was retained as was a property in Valley of Enchantment by Forest Service.
Lori has been active in the Arrowhead Arts Auxiliary for 12 years, having first worked as a volunteer coordinator of The Blue Jay Jazz Festival. She began working more than 22 years ago at Mountain Thrift Shoppe in Blue Jay, including working to benefit The Arrowhead Arts Association for the past dozen years, and worked for the San Bernardino Land Trust for more than 12 years.
With a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art Lithography and Printmaking from UC Santa Barbara and a Masters in Medical Illustration from UC San Francisco, Lori has been a member of the Board of the Rim Education Foundation since 2010. “I strongly believe in art education being available to students in our public schools,” she says.
She is just as dedicated to the Blue Jay Jazz Foundation’s mission.
“I have always appreciated live music in many forms and have been astonished by the range of musical styles that have been performed at Blue Jay Festival events,” she says. “Chris Botti and band were here in 1998. Cultural happenings are crucial for our mountain residents and guests.”
Dr. Ernest Levister
Dr. Ernest Levister is a practicing physician and chemical engineer. He is a product of Harlem, New York. His love for jazz took root at New York’s famous Apollo Theater. He brings to the BJJF leadership and board experience in the military, the US Diplomatic Corps, state and national organizations and foundations. He serves as a mentor to aspiring engineering and pre medical students.
Gina Richardson is a Relationship Manager at Bank of America in the Lake Arrowhead village. She has lived in Lake Arrowhead for over 30 years and has always loved serving her community. From her many years at the Lake Arrowhead Resort arranging special events for the arts and community to her new role at the bank, working with our beloved community has always brought her joy. Blue Jay Jazz has always had a special place in her heart. From the beginning with Pat Welsh, when she would attend concerts with Chris and Kim King above Rite Aid, to 2015 when her son Alex was honored by the Foundation with a scholarship, and up to 2020 when she returned to the Board of Directors, she remains eager to give back to the foundation through service.
Jennifer Jenkins has served as a Blue Jay Jazz Foundation Director since 2020.
She is a long time resident of the San Bernardino Mountains and attended Rim High School in the 70’s. She was raised in a very musical family. Both parents played the trombone in college and her Mom taught piano. Jennifer loves jazz, big band music, singing harmonies and has performed with various church choirs. She started playing flute at 10 and performed in marching band in competitions and performed with Victor Valley College Symphony Orchestra.
Jennifer retired after 30 years with the US Forest Service. She worked in Recreation Management and Human Resources, organizing annual Deep Creek Basin clean- ups, leading Elder hostels in trail surveys, working with Opportunity LA, and Water Distribution Operator in Campgrounds and Fire Stations. She is married with adult children, resides in Arrowbear CA.
She believes music is an essential component of a well rounded education. She is committed to building community based music appreciation and is excited to pay it forward to the kids who desire to learn and play music!