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  • Diane Pickell-Gore

Staff Profile: Samantha Dueñas

Raising money is a critical function for any nonprofit organization. Cultivating relationships with individual supporters and writing grant proposals is the primary role of our Director of Development and Communications Samantha Dueñas. Here’s a little Question and Answer exchange to introduce her to you!

Q: Where are you from originally?

A: I was born in Guam where I lived until I was 14. Q: What’s the makeup of your family? A: I have a brother who is three years older. He is a pilot in the Navy and lives in San Diego. I also have a brother who is 17 years younger than me. He lives with my mom and stepdad in San Rafael, less than two miles from where I live. I am very close to all of my family. I also have a fiancé named Will and a fur baby named Osita. Q: Where did you receive your education?

A: I graduated from Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley. I have a BA in Anthropology from Sonoma State University. Q: How did you come to be at Bread & Roses? A: I started working at Bread & Roses Presents in early 2021. During the lockdown, I decided it was important to be a part of something meaningful, and Bread & Roses seemed to check all the boxes. Music has always been a huge part of my life. Growing up, both my parents always had music playing in the car, or at home in the background. My older brother and I bonded over different artists and we were always so excited when we could get a new CD at the mall. I still remember my first concert in Guam - a Hawaiian band named Kalapana came to the island and it was a big deal for any artist to come do a show there at that time. I still listen to that CD today.

Music has impacted my life in so many ways, so I was really excited about the Bread & Roses mission: bringing the healing power of music to isolated individuals who don't have access to the joys of live music. As a side note, about a week before my Bread & Roses interview, my mom gave my stepdad a Joan Baez gicleé of Bob Dylan, so the stars were aligned. Q: What’s the best part of working at Bread & Roses? A: The community! The staff, volunteer performers, donors, board, everyone. The mission attracts some amazing people who have a passion for music and giving back to the community. Plus, with the organization's almost 50-year history, there are some people who have been involved for decades. It's so fun to hear stories about the early days of Bread & Roses - especially the benefit concerts in the 70s and 80s. But mostly, it's incredibly inspiring to be surrounded by a group of people who want to uplift others who need it most.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not raising money for B&R? A: I love spending time with my family exploring the beautiful hikes, fun neighborhoods, and amazing restaurants in the Bay Area. Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?

A: I also teach Hot Pilates at Red Dragon Yoga in Mill Valley & San Rafael!

Post by Diane Pickell-Gore.


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