The TDMA Board is made of business owners with a passion to preserve and extol
our unique history as well as to promote our lively and varied business community.
Each Board Member holds true that historic downtown is the “Heart and soul of Truckee”.
HEATHER RIVER, executive committee - PRESIDENT
Heather grew up in the hills of Sonoma County and opened her first shop when she was just 16. After attending school in San Francisco for fashion design in 2002, she opened a design studio in Point Reyes, CA where she worked as an artist making custom clothing and alterations. Heather moved to Truckee in 2004 and has since worked with other local artists to help cultivate a vibrant arts community in Tahoe. Bespoke is Heather's third business in Truckee, Atelier her fourth and they are both the realization of her dreams.
MIKE PREASEAU, executive committee - VICE PRESIDENT
For 40 years, The Cooking Gallery has been a staple in the North Lake Tahoe area. Over half of that time, 21 years to be exact, the The Cooking Gallery has called downtown Truckee, home. With experience and passion, they provide the right tools to inspire the seasoned or fresh home chef. Owner Mike Preaseau works around the clock to stock hard-to-find gadgets, specialty foods, cookware, beautiful linens, home decor, popular cookbooks, bar and BBQ supplies, gourmet coffee and tea.
"Being a member of the TDMA helps promote my business. The organization is very
active in creating and maintaining a beautiful and vibrant downtown. This is not only a
benefit to my business but also the community at large. Businesses downtown know of
the special needs and responsibilities that come with our location. By working together as one voice we are more productive. Being on the board gives me the opportunity to be
more engaged in the process."
ALYSSA THOMAs, executive committee - TREASURER
Alyssa grew up on the East coast relocating to California to attend Law School. After graduating, instead of taking the bar (exam), she opted to pursue an opportunity in Lake Tahoe and purchased one instead. In the restaurant and bar industry for over twenty years, Alyssa has owned The Tourist Club in Historic Downtown Truckee since 2000. She has been an active board member since 2005, serving as either President or Treasurer. Part of a core group of board members who in 2008, created Downtown Truckee's signature event - Truckee Thursdays, she continues to help produce the event each summer. Alyssa is passionate about the historic downtown, loves travelling, her kids and of course, her two cats.
Donna wood, executive committee
Originally from Los Angeles, Donna and her husband Jerry moved to Truckee in 1989 and opened the White Buffalo. Donna's family has been in the “Native American jewelry, arts, and crafts” business since 1970, and Donna and Jerry have continued the tradition in the wonderful town of Truckee, where their children grew up and where they enjoy the beautiful mountain community as a family. The White Buffalo offers Native American goods from the Southwest, and through the years has evolved to add giftware, clothing, accessories, photography, hot sauces, home decor and so much more! We strive to buy and sell products made in the USA.
Michelle Erskine, executive committee - Secretary
Michelle Erskine has been an active part of the Truckee community, serving as a Chamber of Commerce ambassador for 12 years and now also on the TDMA board. She is the owner of Michelle Erskine Entertainment, co-owner of Erskine Photography and co-owner of Art Truckee Gallery. She is dedicated to help create a more vibrant downtown through the arts and local history. Being a business owner, a performer, an artist and an athlete, Truckee is her favorite place to live.
Stefanie Olivieri, founding BOARD MEMBER
Since the day Stefanie Olivieri was born on the kitchen table in her family home behind what is now the Pfeifer House restaurant in Tahoe City, she has had a single driving purpose: to make Truckee the best town it can possibly be. “It was really run down when I was growing up,” she said, “although it had real charm.”
Now when she drives into town in the morning on her way to Cabona’s, the 100-year-old Truckee clothing store she has owned and managed since she bought it from her mother in 1967, she thinks, “This is what I always dreamed it would be, and here it is.”
Selling the durable provisions of mountain life - fishing tackle, gasoline, tires and general merchandise - made Dave Cabona's Dry Goods Emporium a success from the day it opened in 1918. As Truckee grew and citizen standards evolved, Cabona's did likewise, bringing discernible elegance to Sierra Nevada style as a clothier of renown. (We simply could not allow our patrons to dress in plain fashion just because they were in the mountains.) Today, Cabona's remains the oldest retail establishment in the region and is still run by the Cabona family. It remains in its original location in the center of historic downtown Truckee.
Cabona's offers timeless and casual elegance with a personal touch. Today we carry the latest in casual sportswear for men and women from Pendleton, Tommy Bahama, Bugatchi, Woolrich, Kuhl and Levi plus a full line of Brighton handbags and belts, small leather accessories, jewelry, watches and sunglasses.
Cabona's very much believes in returning the support we have enjoyed from the Truckee mountain community these many years. That's why we make an annual contribution of discontinued merchandise to Tahoe Forest Hospice Thrift Store and donate to many local non-profit organizations.
Cabona's supports the work of and makes significant contributions to the Truckee and Tahoe City Rotary Clubs, Truckee Donner Land Trust, Mountain Area Preservation Foundation, Truckee Soroptimists, Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe and more than 50 other small, local and regional non-profit organizations.
Content from Moonshine Ink, Marianne M. Porter, 2015
Julie Huck, board member
Julie’s business, Gratitudes Gifts & Home Decor began as a Gift Basket Venture in 1996, owned and operated out of their homes by Mother/Daughter team Sue Moule & Julie Huck. Due to the high demand of their offerings, the two ladies quickly diversified and opened their whimsical storefront in 1998 with its plethora of gifts, customizable luxury furniture, decor collections and expert decorating services. Gratitudes Gifts & Home Decor has become a well-loved establishment in Historic Downtown Truckee. Julie is a longtime Truckee local who has raised her family here. She takes pride in contributing to the economic success and growth of her beloved little town, as well as being an active member in its close-knit community. Julie grew up in Tahoe City and is honored to still be so involved in the region that is so close to her heart.
JoAnne Pohler, board member
Joanne moved to Truckee, from Los Angeles, in 1977, with her husband Randy and their 2 children, Julie and Greg. She love the mountains and small town atmosphere that Truckee has to offer. She opened her first location in Bricklletown (with Truckee River Sash & Door Co.), in 1979. Her current, 4th location (for the last 20 years) is at the Rex Hotel Building in Downtown Truckee. In the gallery you will find beautiful, unique gifts, with the emphasis on glass. At her home/studio, she has created, along with her crew, many original pieces for her store. The store specializes in stained/leaded/beveled glass and sandblasted “etched” glass windows. They also create fused glass pieces and teach fusing glass workshops 4 times a year at the studio. She has been a board member of the TDMA (on and off) for the last 30+ years and a business owner in Truckee for the last 40+ years.
Wrenn cavallo, board member
Wrenn Cavallo and her husband are the owners of the Tahoe Sports Hub and are also partners in the West River St, restaurant, The Station. Wrenn heads up marketing efforts as well as accounting and human resources at Tahoe Sports Hub. A native New Englander, Wrenn moved to the Tahoe-Truckee area in 2004 with a degree in public relations and worked as an Alpine Meadows ski coach and restaurant manager before moving into the public relations field. Wrenn worked for a Truckee P.R. agency and as the marketing manager for a local construction company before purchasing the Tahoe Sports Hub in 2013. When Wrenn is not at the Tahoe Sports Hub she spends her time skiing, mountain biking, volunteering, and sharing her love for Truckee and the Sierra outdoors with her young daughter.
Amy norman, Board member
Originally from Washington State, Amy moved to Tahoe for a winter to ski and still resides here 31 years later. She absolutely loves living in Truckee because of the outdoor life, four distinct seasons and especially the sense of community. Truckee has been an amazing environment to raise a child, her son who is now in high school and she enjoys giving back by being on the TDMA Board.
Lisa haley, board member
Lisa Haley, fulfilled her childhood dream of owning a women's boutique with ela chapman. Growing up in the Midwest, she learned from her father how to run a small business. She then developed a love for design and fashion. Shopping with her mother, she discovered that when you like what you wear, you feel confident, and confidence is happiness. "It goes beyond the clothing, it's your personality, who you are or want to be. Life is a canvas...paint it well." Lisa studied fashion and design in the Midwest, New York and Italy. She followed her dream of living in California. Lisa has fallen in love with Truckee, this is her home!
Cassie hebel, executive director
TDMA’s Executive Director Cassie Hebel has 20 plus years of non-profit work and 18 years of affiliation with a long standing retail business in Downtown Truckee. Her work experience has ranged from advocacy; program development; facilitator; collaborative work and coordination of special events. As TDMA’s Executive Director, she works as a team player utilizing a comprehensive approach in collaboration. In her own words “It is an honor to advocate for Truckee Downtown Merchants in all the multifaceted ways needed to ensure the beautification, development and sustainability of Historic Downtown Truckee.”
Jen Larose, membership & marketing programs coordinator
Originally from Georgia, Jen LaRose has a Bachelors of Fine Art from the University of West Georgia with a concentration in Photography. When arriving to Truckee, she was immersed in downtown with the help of husband and wife team Heather River and Brian Hess while working at their flagship store Bespoke. She enjoys connecting with the Truckee Downtown businesses and marketing TDMA events such as the Truckee Follies and Art & Soul.