Fountain Blues Foundation has used its 36-year legacy to build a Board with strong community relationships and deep industry connections. The Board fundraises year-round and continues to add new Board Members who bring even more expertise and fundraising efforts to help get all booking, marketing and promotional efforts started sooner each year. All Board Members are willing and ready to leverage their networks and resources for the good of the Festival and have over 200 years of combined event production experience. They include:
TED GEHRKE is the Board and Festival founder, has been the Director of the Festival since its inception in 1981 having booked such legends as John Lee Hooker, Etta James and Bo Diddley. The first 30 years were with the help of the Associated Students Program Board of San Jose State University (SJSU). Gehrke’s known as the “Elder Statesman of Blues” in the Bay Area, but his love for music history and diverse genres extends beyond the blues. With mostly OCA, NEA & AS backing, Gehrke created New Sounds SJ from 1978-81, which brought such musicians/composers as Phil Glass and Steve Reich in concert, participating in FREE discussions and master classes in San Jose. All of the FBF Board Members will tell you that the reason they are so passionate about keeping the blues alive, and volunteering on the Board, is due to the shared passion that Gehrke possesses and the legacy he has built.
BOB GONZALEZ is the Board President and music industry veteran. He has been a musician for 5 decades, most notably with Syndicate of Sound, whose Nationally acclaimed 1965 hit “Little Girl” sealed them a record deal and place in Bay Area rock history as one of the first, successful “garage bands.” In addition to his duties as the Syndicate’s bass player and managing partner, he plays with a number of blues and rock bands in the Bay Area and fronts his own Bob Gonzalez Band. He also serves on the SVBS Board as their Treasurer, as well as Treasurer/Past President of Blossom Hill Homes Assoc. Inc. He manages the FBF budget and Festival band contracts, as well as liaison to Silicon Valley Blues Society and outreach to Bay Area blues musicians, promoters and media partners.
BONNIE MARGARET ROSS is the Board Vice President & General Counsel for the FBF, and a partner with the law firm of Robinson & Wood, Inc. Ross incorporated the FBF, authored the corporate governance documents and helped put together the Board. Her 20+ years of experience in putting on numerous civil and criminal trials corresponds directly to the event-production side of the FBF mission. She is a tried and true blues fan who travels to festivals year round, and has been a supporter of the Festival as a cash sponsor for years. Her professional skills and passion to see this festival continue to grow make her a key sponsorship solicitor and fundraiser for the organization.
DAN ROSS is the Board Treasurer. As former SJSU Associated Students Program Board Director, he worked with Gehrke to book the 2nd and 3rd Fountain Blues Festivals and has returned as a volunteer since 1983. He’s built a successful 26-year mortgage career and has been a cash sponsor of the Festival for years. A drummer, Dan has backed bands in the Bay Area since 1995, and frequents numerous festivals. Dan contributes by raising funds/sponsorships, and outreach to local schools and universities to increase youth participation in this longstanding community event.
NED KRAFT is Board Secretary and has been an operations leader and executive in the Silicon Valley High Tech industry for over 20 years. He brings years of operational experience in both business AND music to the Board. He has booked and managed corporate events at Hewlett-Packard, National Semiconductor, among others. He works on educational outreach, manages the ticketing and leads a weekly FBF music class to help teach the blues and mentor local musicians.
JAY MEDURI is founder of Poor House Bistro. He received his degree from SJSU while working for various restaurants in the Bay Area, but blues music always held a special place in his heart. In 2005 he opened the Poor House Bistro, which serves New Orleans cuisine accompanied by live blues music almost every night of the week. Meduri has worked with Gehrke on the Festival since it’s early days at SJSU and holds multiple FBF fundraisers at the Bistro. He assists in talent bookings and caters food for the Festival, as well as manages and staffs all of the Festival’s beverage sponsor/vendor relationships.
BRUCE LABADIE has over 40 years of experience in performing arts management and festival production. He directed all programs at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga for 18 years, was performing arts director at Montalvo Arts Center for 12 years, has helped book Music in the Park (26 years) and FBF (13 years), and is the founder and festival director of the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest (since 1990). His main duties with the FBF are helping with artist bookings, securing craft and food vendors, and lending assistance in logistics and vendor management.
AMY ANDERSON has been Events and Promotions Manager at SJDA for 12 years, producing over 100 events annually, with high safety records. Prior to SJDA, she spent a combined 6 years with Live Nation and Bill Graham Presents concert promoters/producers. She began as a volunteer for – and fan of – the Festival, then later assumed the role as lead production manager when SJDA became the key fiscal partner 2011- 2013. She oversees all logistics for the Festival, including: coordinating the permits; managing vendors/contractors and sponsor fulfillment and set up and strike. She also assists with writing grants, trafficking ads with media partners and leveraging media/promotional partnerships.
DAVE GORAY is a Blues DJ for KSCU 103.3 and longtime Bay Area musician, who has also been a cash sponsor of the Festival for years. He recruits and manages the backstage crew at the Festival, and is key in helping with FBF fundraisers, as well as outreach for FBF’s numerous radio partners.
BRADYN MILLER is Marketing and Event Director at the SJSU Associated Students and has had her hand in assisting with website maintenance, merchandising, logistics, back of house production and managing band hospitality for over 11 years.
JIM CARRICO began working with the Festival during his 10+ years working at Metro Newspapers (the Festival’s main presenting sponsor since its inception). He brings decades of marketing/promotions experience to the Board. Jim manages the merchandising and raffle for the festival.
DAN ORLOFF is Chief of Staff at Hope Services following a successful 25-year career as founder of San Jose-based Orloff Williams Marketing Communications. Music is in his DNA. Dan’s father was inducted into the Harmony Hall of Fame in Nashville. Dan’s cousin is Bob Dylan. Dan plays drums and guitar and sings harmonies in classic rock cover bands. He also founded San Jose Rocks and Bay Area Rocks – orgs whose mission is to celebrate our area’s unique role in rock and all forms of music and music technologies.