There are six members on the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame Advisory Board.  In order to select those members, a twelve member Steering Committee was formed from local people with various music backgrounds.  The Steering Committee then set the criteria for electing the first Advisory Board, then nominated and elected the first Advisory Board Members.  Each Advisory Board member will serve a term of 4 years.

There is currently no limit to how many terms an Advisory Board Member can serve. The subsequent Advisory Board Member will be nominated and elected by the members of The Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame.  The primary function of an Advisory Board Member is to help set policy for the Hall of Fame, and to nominate potential inductees into Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame.  The Music Hall of Fame Members will then elect by vote, those inductee/inductees from those nominees.

Advisory Board

Rick Kreiser – A native of Bakersfield, Rick has been actively engaged with a number of civic organizations for most of his thirty-eight year business career – always with the goal of helping to make our region a better place to live and work.  Among those he has served in leadership roles are the Rotary Club of Bakersfield West, Friends of Mercy Foundation, Kern Economic Development Corporation, Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, and the Bakersfield College Foundation.

Rick is the co-founder and current President of Carney’s Business Technology Center, helping Kern County enterprises achieve optimum performance from their IT investments.  Family owned and operated from the beginning, Rick is proud to have his sons, Chris and Jeff, at his side as the company transitions to a third generation.

Rick and his wife, Lorie, live in east Bakersfield with Ubu (the Wonder Dog).  Daughter, Katie, is an architect with a local firm.  Rick and Lorie are proud grandparents to three boys and two girls – truly the light of their lives.

Music has always held a special place in Rick’s heart.  His efforts to introduce Kern County to the finest guitarists in the world through Guitar Masters @ Studio A concert series, has been a particularly gratifying endeavor – one he hopes to continue through the loyal support of his patrons and sponsors.

George F. Martin is “Of Counsel” to the statewide law firm of Borton Petrini, LLP, where he served as Firm Managing Partner for more than a quarter century. George is AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is a business litigator, land use and real estate attorney. He obtained his B.A. degree from California State University, Sacramento, and his J.D. from the University of California, Davis, School of Law. He is still keenly interested in education, having served as dean of California Pacific School of Law, and was chairman of California State University, Bakersfield, Foundation’s Board of Directors.

George has served on the board of directors for many professional
organizations, including the Association for California Tort Reform, the California Defense Counsel Association, the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (Past President), Automobile Club of Southern California Advisory Board, and is the current Chairman of the Witkin Legal Institute Advisory Board. He has lectured for various organizations throughout the state, including the State Bar of California, the California Judges Association, Hastings College of Trial and Appellate Advocacy, the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, and the Association of Northern California Defense Counsel, to name a few. He has written numerous legal articles, including the defense portion of the California Education for the Bars Proposition 51 book and has served as Editor-in-Chief for the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel’s Verdict Journal of Law and California Defense magazines. He also is the editor of the Insurance Bar List annual summary of California law.

George has received many awards in recognition of his founding and organizing the Bakersfield Business Conference, including Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellowship, Kiwanis Citizen of the Year, CSUB’s honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge National Award, CSUB President’s Medal of Honor, and the Kern County Bar Association Bench & Bar Award among others.

George believes that his involvement in local business associations and civic affairs is very helpful to his litigation, business and real estate practice. He has served on many local boards, including the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (Past President) and the Kern County Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors. He also has served on the Boards of Directors of Greater Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, the Bakersfield Heart Hospital and the Central California Heart Institute, where he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

George is married to Linda Martin, and they have two sons, Bry and Brandon, both of whom are practicing attorneys.

Andrea Hansen is from Bakersfield, California, where she began her formal dance training with the Royal Academy of Dance based in London, England. Andrea received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance, with a concentration in Teaching/Choreography, and a minor in Political Science from Mercyhurst University and her Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Arizona in Choreography. She has trained at the American Ballet Theatre in New York City, the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and the Royal Academy of Dance Summer Intensives. Andrea has danced professionally with the Lake Erie Ballet in Pennsylvania, Ballet Concerto in Texas, 32 Flavors Dance and Scorpius Dance Theater in Arizona. She has performed Giselle, Don Quixote, Raymonda, Sleeping Beauty, George Balanchine’s Concerto Barrocco, Jiri Kylian’s Whereabouts Unknowns, Lisa Starry’s A Vampire Tale, CATWALK and 10 and has danced soloist roles Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Pas de Quatre, Paquita, Peter and the Wolf, Symphonie Italienne and The Nutcracker.

In addition to her dance training, Andrea has presented her research, The Evolution of the Royal Academy of Dance’s Vocational Graded Examination Syllabus from 1920 to the Present, to audiences at the National Dance Education Organization’s Conference and the Hawaii International Conference on the Arts and Humanities. She holds the title Miss Kern County 2000, Miss Tucson and Miss Arizona Semi-Finalist and Talent Award Winner 2006.

Andrea has served on the board of the Arizona Dance Education Organization, worked as a lobbyist for the Americans for the Arts on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and has served as a Grant Proposal Reviewer for the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Andrea previously worked as Development Associate and Performing Arts Coordinator for the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Art and the Scottsdale Cultural Council in Arizona.

Andrea has taught in higher education for over ten years and has taught at the University of Arizona, Scottsdale Community College and Paradise Valley Community College. Most recently, she held the position of Dance Program Director at Glendale Community College in Glendale, Arizona and Artistic Director for VERVE Dance Co., the GCC Resident Dance Company. Andrea continues to teach online Dance Humanities courses for Glendale Community College and Mercyhurst University.

Andrea Hansen is a certified Burn at the Barre© instructor and teaches regularly at Poise Pilates + Barre. She currently serves on the Fox Theater Foundation Board of Directors and directs the California State University, Bakersfield Dance Team.

Ms. Shari Claudette Fortino has over 45 years of experience in dance performance, instruction and choreography. Among her many achievements, perhaps the most significant has been carrying the torch left by her father, John Soiu, as she furthers his legacy of both the Debonaire School of Ballroom Dancing and the Debonaire Special Dancers, a social dance program for special needs students. Shari co-narrated a short documentary about the Special Dancers with Jack Lemmon that was nominated for an Academy Award in 1987. 

Shari is the former producer, choreographer and co-owner of the Bakersfield Melodrama Theatre. She has collected seemingly unending credits in performance and choreography. She is also the former owner of the Vaudeville Express Singing Telegram Company, performing singing telegrams and vaudeville shows to the delight of Kern County audiences for the past 35 years.

Recently, Shari leads a senior dance and drama group from Rosewood Community that performs regionally. Shari and her husband Michael Smothers write songs and perform together in a folk duet as well as the Bakersfield Swing Time Orchestra and their church band, Spirits on High. She has been a member of the band Chesterfield King for about 30 years, currently performing throughout Kern County and southern California. 

Shari is serving on the Executive Advisory Council for the School of Arts & Humanities at Cal State University, Bakersfield, is the president of Dancers De Classes and Bakersfield Laf-A-Lot Dance Club, and is very honored to be asked to serve on the Advisory Board for the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame. 

Robert Price is the executive editor of The Bakersfield Californian and a former entertainment reporter who has written extensively about Bakersfield music and history. Price is the author of “The Bakersfield Sound: How a Generation of Displaced Okies Revolutionized American Music.” He is the father of two 20-somethings, Jill, a singer, and Ben, a writer.

Bob Bender born and raised in Bakersfield California, Bob Bender’s career in the entertainment business started almost immediately upon graduating from Bakersfield High School in 1975, finding employment as a production runner for a local concert promoter. Working his way up the industry ladder over the next several years, Bender eventually went on to produce over 300 concerts and festivals in the Central California region over the next 20 years. He worked as a promoter representative for such companies as Avalon Attractions, Bill Graham Presents, East/West Concerts, Luckenbach Productions, Papa Productions, and Rock N’ Chair Presents.

Between 1983 and 1997, Bender also worked in the capacity of Road Manager on tours that included Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band, Billy Preston, Dwight Twilley, Lisa Lisa & the Cult Jam, Rick Derringer, Edgar Winter, A Flock of Seagulls, Mark Lindsay (of Paul Revere & The Raiders fame), New Kids On The Block, and Gene Pitney, just to name a few. He has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Mexico.

In 1997 while on the road with “The Smokin’ Armadillos” Bender saw an opportunity to move to Nashville. “I was offered the position of radio promotions coordinator for a record label” Bender indicated, “which in short order turned into becoming Manager of Artist Development for the company.” Soon afterwards, Bender found himself back on the road touring with such artists as Tim McGraw, LeAnn Rimes, Jo Dee Messina, and Hank Williams Jr. Bender worked as label liaison between the entertainers, radio, television, and various concert promoters. By late 1999, he was handed the reins of the Christian retail division for the label, becoming Director of Sales. Bender took charge of a department that was producing revenue in the mid 6 figures, and developed it into a million dollar division for the label.

In 2004, Bender left the label and opened the doors of his own company, Bob Bender Productions, which initially provided consulting for independent artists. In 2005, he began working with country legend Michael Martin Murphey. During this time, Bender had Murphey re-release his 1970’s hit single “Wildfire” as a new mix with the popular country group “Lonestar”. With Bender’s direction, Michael once again appeared in mainstream radio, with over 400 country stations playing his song, along with appearances on television, including CBS’s “Late Night with David Letterman”.

In 2008, Bender went on to oversee the television promotion and info-mercial marketing campaigns for various country, pop, and Christian artists, working with networks as diverse as TBN and QVC. He has produced, co-produced or marketed numerous concert DVD projects, including Tommy Cash’s “Fade To Black” concert, Eric Durrance’s “Turn It Off” video (which climbed to #17 on GAC’s “Country Countdown”), and recently with the Bakersfield based Rick Copus Band’s “Don’t Give Up On Me” music video, which one “Music Video of the Year at the inaugural Outside of the Box Film Festival in 2013.. Bender was also heavily involved with the “Celebration for Young Americans” television concert special for George H. Bush’s presidential inauguration originally filmed in 1989. Other television & video projects Include “Billy Preston Live in Atlanta” concert (1988), along with the USO’s “Operation Homecoming” television concert special filmed aboard the USS Ranger (1991).

Bob has produced numerous album projects including a live in concert CD for the Grammy award winning artist Billy Preston, Americana act Steven L. Smith Band (which was a Grammy nomination for Americana of the Year), country recording artist Whitney Wattenbarger, and the punk/pop act “Grant My Wishes”. Coming full circle, Bender is once again also producing shows in the San Joaquin Valley.

Bob has served on the CMTA Board of Directors for the Gospel Music Association (GMA), was one of the founding members on the Board of Directors for the Bakersfield Jazz Festival, and has been a guest lecturer at Belmont University in Nashville, speaking on the business aspects of the music industry. He currently commutes between Nashville TN, and his home town of Bakersfield California where he resides with his wife Debbie, along with their dogs Buddy Lee, Ricki, and Lucy.