Board & Staff

Photo of Charli Daniels

Charli Daniels
Board Member

I arrived in Bellingham in 2007 to join my wonderful English husband, John, who arrived here a year earlier. John had discovered the Bellingham Festival of Music, and we were overjoyed by our new retirement community. But alas, the year I arrived in Bellingham the Festival went kaput! John said I should go sign up to help it return from the ashes. And that was my introduction to the many wonderful friends and musicians I have met through the Bellingham Festival of Music — relationships I cherish to this day. I have served on the Festival board since 2014.

I was born in Florida. After graduating from Florida State University I moved to California where I worked for the San Diego Schools, later moving to Germany for work with the U.S. Government. I returned to California to marry John, who had been a professional pianist performing in India, the middle East, and Great Britain, and who now had a career in aerospace and defense. After our marriage, I attended the University of California, Irvine, and Pepperdine Law school and earned an MA in planning and a certification as an adjudicator and mediator. My career took me from city planning to real estate and finally to a position as executive director for a family trust. During this time I spent many years volunteering as an adjudicator and mediator and doing general volunteer work in my church and community. For fun, John and I became avid boaters, sailing the Pacific Ocean in and around the Channel Islands with our son for 14 years.

For years, my passion was travel. I have visited over 60 countries, touching 6 continents but barely scratching the surface of this amazing world. The exposure to many countries, their culture, history and music has been thrilling.

John’s passion was music, and this was a keystone in our family. Our focus on music led us to support many young local musicians, our symphony orchestras and chamber groups, and for 15 years the New West Symphony. We have loved supporting emerging musicians, encouraging them to find their goals and seeing them become proficient in music. Many of them made music their lifelong careers while others morphed into science, medicine, and engineering — work that required the skills, discipline and drive needed for successful careers and contributions to mankind.

After John passed in 2015, I expanded my volunteer work to include the Bellingham Music Club and the Bellingham Symphony. While I have been called a worker-bee, I have received more from volunteering than I have ever given!