Meet Our Team

The team at Focus is small but mighty. Each of our three full-time staff wear many hats and juggle a variety of roles. We rely on a dedicated group of volunteers and artists who generously lend their time and attention to our cause.
Learn more about the staff that keeps this organization humming along.

Donna Granata

Donna Granata

Founder & Co-Executive Director

In addition to her ongoing lecture series for Focus on the Masters, Donna teaches classes for the Road Scholar Elderhostel International including an Introduction to the J. Paul Getty Museum and Getty Roman Villa. Special lectures trace the careers of LIFE photographer Horace Bristol and painter John Nava, creator of the tapestries commissioned for the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, CA. In addition, she has lectured at UCLA on the ethics of photography. She was named Teacher of the Year in 2005 by Elderhostel International.  Among her most recent awards is the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts from the City of Ojai, CA.

An accomplished artist in her own right, Donna Granata is an internationally published and award winning painter turned photographer.  Her photographs have been displayed across the United States.  Selected works from her FOTM portrait series are housed in the Smithsonian’s Archive of American Artists; in the photographic Collection of the George Eastman House, Rochester, New York and other public institutions that house the personal archives of the artists documented.

Donna received a Bachelor’s of Art Degree and Honorary Masters of Science Degree from the Brooks Institute of Photography where she was an adjunct professor in the Portrait Department. She received a Master’s Degree in Arts Journalism from USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. Granata is listed in Marquis Who’s Who of American Women.

Aimee French

Aimee French

Learning to See Education Director

Aimee French is a lifelong artist whose earliest memories are of being fascinated by shapes, edges and textures. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and drawing from The Ohio State University. Having explored and worked in a wide range of mediums, a painterly quality marks much of her work, even when using the hardest materials. It is process oriented, and symbolism is often used. After many years of painting on silk and with oil, her current mediums are assemblage, felted wool and encaustic.

Aimee joined Focus on the Masters as the Learning to See Outreach Education Director in January 2011. Her extensive arts education experience includes class instruction, program development and management serving populations from all ages, socioeconomic backgrounds and learning levels.

Her experience in museum education, certification as a Social/Emotional Arts Facilitator and 7 years working in humane education has given her a broad insight into the importance of how and what we learn manifests in a student’s life. Her goal is to nurture inspiration and trust in one’s unique creative voice.

Focus on the Masters Board Members

Virginia Furmanski

Board President

Artist; Art Therapist/Educator, Retired
Community Affiliations: Ink Spots, American Art Therapy Association, The American Association Gerontologist

Martin Furmanski, MD

Pathologist, Retired
Community Affiliations: Sponsor, 643 Project Space; American Medical Association

Mary Ellen Herrera


Quint Payroll and Employee Services
Community Affiliations: Meditation Mount; Holy Cross School; Nourish America Foundation

Richard Franklin

Hospital Architect, Retired, Artist/Ceramist
Community Affiliations: American Institute of Architects; Ventura County Potters’ Guild; Ojai Art Center; Ojai Studio Artists

Yvette Franklin

Board Secretary

Management Analyst, Dept. of the Navy, Retired; Artist/Ceramist
Community Affiliations: Past President of Ventura, County Potters’ Guild; Santa Barbara Museum of Art; Museum of Ventura County; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; American Ceramics Society, Southern CA; Ojai Art Center

Michael Rohde

Bio Chemist, Retired; Artist/Weaver
Community Affiliations: Board Member Studio Channel Islands; Board Member, Textile Council of the Fowler Museum, UCLA; Co-director American Tapestry Alliance; Textile Art Council DeYoung Museum; Textile Society of America; American Crafts Council; Ventura County Handweavers and Spinners Guild; Santa Barbara Fiber Art Guild; Southern California Handweavers Guild, Los Angles; California Fibers, Oceanside; Designing Weavers, Manhattan Beach Board of Directors & Staff 

Gerald Zwers

Past President

Artist, Owner Northwind Studios & Public Art Services
Community Affiliations: Ventura Film Society; Ventura County Medical Center; The Coastal Community Cancer Center; Santa Paula Society of the Arts; Santa Clara Valley Hospice; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County; Santa Paula Museum; Ventura Hillsides Conservancy; Ventura County Arts Commission;

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Reed Foundation
Hilton Foundation
California Humanities
City of Ventura
Ventura County
Museum of Ventura County
Image Source
Ventura Picture Framing
BofA Performing Arts Center
Custom Printing
California Arts Council
The Breeze