Tacoma Events Commission


Tony LaStella, CEO and President

Tony La Stella is the Founder and Managing Director of La Stella Foundation, a 501(c)(3) and Washington State Charity since 1990.  Over the last 30 years, La Stella Foundation has benefited upwards of 150 Non-Profit Organizations in the Northwest supporting veterans, children, animals and other worthy causes.  Tony has an extensive background in Tax Law, Estate Planning, Business Management, Development and Venture Capitalization, Marketing, and Production.  His company C&A provides business consulting for Non-Profits and small businesses.  An active member of The Rainier Club, Tony also serves as an Advisory Board Member of  Music Aid Northwest.  Since 2011 Tony has produced the Veteran Park “Camp Patriot” within the Tacoma Freedom Fair for the benefit of Veterans and Active Duty Military.  He is currently President & CEO of the Tacoma Events Commission which produces the annual Freedom Fair, the third largest July 4th Events in the USA with annual attendance of 125,000.   He is a Major Shareholder and Co-Host of  West Coast Italian Radio, Inc.  An accomplished entertainer, Tony does 200 shows a year with appearances in Night Clubs, Concerts, Television, Motion Pictures, Broadway Musicals & Opera throughout North America, South America, and Europe…and has over 100 recordings to his credit.   Through his performances and production work Tony raises over $250,000 annually for charity.

 Joe Anderson, Vice President

Joe is the General Manager of the Silver Cloud Inn in Tacoma.  He is also the Commissioner at Tourism Promotion Area- Pierce County.  Accomplished in the hospitality industry, Joe’s professionalism and leadership experience is an integral part to our team.

Dave Maestas, Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Dave Maestas is the CEO of Maestro Strategic Solutions, a marketing company.  He is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces “Green Beret” and Airborne Ranger having reached one of the highest ranks and leading his own Special Forces Teams in Afghanistan.  His focus was on mentoring foreign leaders on governance, security and development.  Since retiring he is an entrepreneur with interests in the West Coast Italian Radio network.  He has co-produced Camp Patriot and other events in the Puget Sound.  He is the co-producer of Armed Forces Icon.  Finally, he works diligently in the Veteran non-profit arena as the Director of the NW Region of the US Army Ranger Association, Director of Puget Sound Veteran Business.com and advises Veteran businesses other non-profits in the area.

 Gary W. Grape, Executive Director 

Gary retired from Pierce County Public Works in 2000 as Road Maintenance Supervisor after 30 years of public service. Since then he has served on the TEC Board of Directors as Entertainment Director, Vendor Director, Vice Chairman and Chairman. He is currently the Executive Director. With Gary’s vast knowledge of event management, he has been an integral part of the Tacoma Events Commission and has contributed to the success of each event for 17 years. Contact info: Office 253-507-9357 — Cell 253-230-6851   gwgrape47@comcast.net

Carole Lail, Board Secretary & Director of Operations

Carole began her volunteer career with the TEC & Freedom Fair with a 4-hour shift helping with the VIP reception in 1993.  Since that time, she has taken on responsibilities as the Volunteer Coordinator, then joined the board as Secretary.  She received a Certificate in Volunteer Administration in 2004, wrote the book, The Essential Volunteer, in 2006, and is in demand in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho as a speaker on topics such as volunteer recruitment and retention, event development, and project management. Carole ultimately was elected as the TEC president in 2008, and held that position until 2013, when she left the TEC for a sabbatical, which ended this year.  She returns as the Director of Operations and Secretary of the Board this year, and is looking forward to once again working with the incredible volunteers who make Freedom Fair a success.  Contact her at c.lail@comcast.net.


Dan Hilger, Board At-large

Dan Bio


Michael Freeman, Board At-large

Michael Freeman, a Board member since February 2014, is an active business owner in the local community. His background is in manufacturing of Marine electronics since 1970. He diversified his talents in 1978 and expanded to software development. In 1996, he utilized his physical challenge in life to embark on an additional business of selling and renting wheelchair ramps. He is a well-known area proprietor of mobile covered stage rentals for events. Freeman has volunteered since 2012 in a variety of capacities with the Tacoma Events Commission. He provides extensive experience along with problem-solving skills and management to the Board.

Jeanne Nacarrato, Board At-large

Jeanne bio.



Chuck and Linda Worthy, Board At-Large





Sherrie Wilson, Development

Wilson joined the Tacoma Events Commission with the goal of providing direction and support in the areas of marketing and development. Wilson has over 25 years of experience in nonprofit and event management. She has worked for multiple notable and national organizations including the US Olympic Committee, USA Judo, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, the Dan Gable Museum and multiple others. She also serves as Vice President of Marketing for the national franchise Phenix Salon Suites. Her expertise and current focus is in brand management, capital campaigns, long-term giving and development.

Reginald Rutherford – Development

Rutherford joined the Tacoma Events Commission in 2016. He has an immense background in television and event production. His impressive resume includes award-winning television shows such as Extra, Soul Train, the Rosie O’Donnel Show, Oprah and the Steve Harvey Show. He also has extensive award and event show experience with properties such as the Superbowl, the Grammy’s and the Soul Train Awards. His festival experience is broad and includes the mega music festival Coachella. Rutherford brings a vast wealth of production and development experience to the Tacoma Events Commission with his focus set on the Freedom Fair.

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