San Francisco, CA—Thursday, June 10, 2021—California College of the Arts has elected Lorna Meyer Calas as chair of the CCA Board of Trustees, effective July 1, 2021, for an initial three-year term. Calas—managing director with Merrill Lynch's Private Wealth Management Group—has been a CCA trustee since 2001, most recently serving as secretary of the board. She succeeds Arthur Gensler, who was board chair from 2017 until his death in May 2021.
During her 20-year tenure on CCA’s Board of Trustees, Calas has chaired both the finance and investment committees, heading the investment committee longer than any other individual in the college’s history. In recognition of her exceptional service, which includes establishing an endowed student scholarship and contributing to the capital campaign for CCA’s campus expansion, Calas was CCA’s 2020 Gala honoree.
“It is a great honor for me to follow in the footsteps of our revered CCA Board Chair, Art Gensler and the extraordinary leadership and vision he provided to the college,” says Lorna Meyer Calas. “I’m looking forward to carrying on Art’s legacy of making CCA a beacon of excellence in higher education in the arts and design, not only on a national scale but internationally as well. It is a historic time for the college as we consolidate our campus in San Francisco and build our reputation as a major force in the educational and cultural life of the city. There couldn’t be a more exciting time for CCA.”
“Lorna’s longstanding commitment to the success of CCA’s students, her important philanthropic work in the arts and education, and her deep financial expertise will be invaluable assets to the college as we move forward from the pandemic and work to unify and expand the campus in San Francisco,” says Stephen Beal, CCA president. “She’s been a dedicated member of the CCA community for over 20 years, and we’re incredibly fortunate to have her as the new chair of the Board of Trustees.”
Lorna Meyer Calas, chair of the CCA Board of Trustees
Lorna Meyer Calas is a managing director-private wealth advisor with Merrill Lynch’s prestigious Private Wealth Management Group in San Francisco. She joined Merrill in 2001 to provide comprehensive wealth management services to executives, venture investors, and ultra-high-net-worth families. Calas has 45 years of experience in the financial services industry and oversees a group of seven experienced professionals with more than $3 billion under management.
Prior to joining Merrill, Calas was a managing director at Hambrecht & Quist (now JP Morgan) and Alex. Brown and Sons, currently a division of Raymond James. During her fifteen-year career at Alex. Brown, Calas worked closely with the investment banking team to help establish Alex. Brown’s highly acclaimed Corporate and Executive Services Group. In conjunction with this work, Calas developed the first Cashless Stock Option Exercise Plans for Silicon Valley corporations. This business model provided a unique service to some of the most important technology companies that had recently completed initial public offerings (IPO’s). These programs were directly responsible for raising billions of dollars for the wealth management division of Alex. Brown.
Forbes has recognized Calas as one of the top 250 wealth advisors in the nation and one of the top 25 women wealth advisors nationwide. Barron’s also has recognized Calas for many years as one of the nation’s leading financial advisors, ranking her among the top 25 advisors in California and top 10 woman advisors nationwide. Additionally, San Francisco Business Times has named Calas the number one “Woman Wealth Advisor” in the Bay Area and honored her as one of the “Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business.”
Lorna Meyer Calas is dedicated to philanthropic work in both the arts and higher education. She has served on the Board of Trustees of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco for over 20 years and is currently the president of the Foundation of the Fine Arts Museums (DeYoung and Legion of Honor).
In addition, Calas is the co-chair of the advisory board of the newly founded Manetti-Shrem Museum at U.C. Davis. The museum program highlights the university’s legacy artists, including internationally acclaimed artist Wayne Thiebaud.
Calas is co-founder and president of the San Francisco Advocacy for the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA). The Advocacy is a support group for the museum serving Northern California. NMWA is located in Washington, D.C., and she serves on the museum’s advisory board.
Calas was a trustee of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for more than ten years and chaired the investment committee during her tenure there.
Educated at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio from 1963–1966 and the University of Toledo from 1966–1967, Calas earned a bachelor of arts degree. She lives with her husband Dennis Calas in San Francisco and has three sons and seven grandchildren. She is also a significant collector of the work of California artists.