Board of Directors


Board of Directors

Delia
Delia Akao
Board Role Founder, Executive Director
Bio
After becoming a foster parent in 2013, Delia realized that these children and their families could benefit from greater community support. In 2020, she founded The Art of Love to help raise awareness about the needs children in the community have and to encourage them through the use of art. By exposing children to the many types and benefits of art she hopes to provide them with ideas and opportunities they might not normally receive. Delia’s work is driven by compassion and was motivated by the wonderful people she has learned from and volunteered with through the years. Delia is an ASU graduate and substitute teacher. She enjoys writing, small business, working on her home and exploring the outdoors with her family. 
Matt Akao
Matt Akao
Board Role Founding Member, Chief Financial Officer
Bio
Matt Akao is a California native that has lived in Arizona for the last 15 years. Matt has over 20 years of experience in the Automotive Industry, with a focus in Business Administration and is currently an owner of a local construction company. When he is not working, Matt enjoys woodworking projects, and watching Niners games from the comfort of his West Valley home while spending time with his wife and 5 children.
Sankhya Amaravadi
Sankhya Amaravadi
Board Role Development Director
Bio
As Development Director, Sankhya supports The Art of Love with donor tracking, financial tracking, and fundraising. Sankhya is a current medical student at A.T. Still University, with extensive volunteer service, and has experience as Data Coordinator through AmeriCorps for a non-profit in Chicago. Sankhya is passionate about mental health, creative arts, and service work. She hopes to become a compassionate physician with a focus on underserved populations. In her spare time, she enjoys reading literary fiction, creative writing, yoga, and embroidery.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Melissa Barnett
Melissa Barnett
Board Role Founding Member, Secretary
Bio
Melissa was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and has developed a strong commitment to her community through educating it’s youth and serving on multiple committees that focus on helping students grow and reach their highest potential. With over 20 years in Education, this U of A alumna is currently a Principal in Phoenix, who has recently received her Masters in Leadership from Walden University.  She is also an active mother of 5, who has been happily married to her best friend for 22 years. 
Wynton Barnett
Wynton Barnett
Board Role Founding Member
Bio
Wynton, who has lived in Arizona for most of his life, has shown up for his community in a variety of ways the past 30 years. Whether he was working as the Dean of Students at school, or as the Director of the Boys and Girls Club; he put his heart into serving the hundreds of children that crossed his path. Wynton received his BS in Child Development, followed by his MS in Communications at Walden University.  He is currently teaching, and while he loves the work he does, he is the happiest when he is spending time with his wife of 22 years, and their 5 children.  
Sarah Bedient
Sarah Bedient
Board Role Vice-Chair
Bio
Sarah is a mother of two children. She works for her church as a charitable event organizer. Born and raised in central Illinois, she entered the Air Force Security Forces in 2000. While serving, Sarah was a D.E.F.Y. (Drug Education For Youth) mentor on base, and completed D.A.R.E. officer training. After serving honorably in Operation Enduring freedom, she returned home to reunite with and marry her childhood friend. Graduating from Eastern Illinois University, and building on her experiences overseas, Sarah felt a calling to serve children who have experienced trauma. She and her husband fostered children in Illinois and Arizona; adopting two kiddos. Sarah loves teaching her kids vegetable gardening, cooking, sewing, crafting, and studio art projects. Art therapy has helped aid the children in her home to self-regulate emotions. Sarah loves teaching kids new skills and seeing their posture change from doubt to self-confidence.
Angel Calderon
Angel Calderon
Board Role Founding Member
Bio
Angel, an Arizona native, grew up playing summer ball in Laveen. She has over 20 years experience in the financial services industry, ranging from Project Management, Business Transformation to Risk Management. She’s a strong quality assurance professional with a Bachelor of Science (BS) focused in Business/Project Management from the University of Phoenix. In her free time, Angel enjoys training Muay Thai with her partner, and is always up for an adventure. She also enjoys entertaining loved ones in her fun-loving, eclectic home that’s filled with music, artwork and accessories that she has acquired while supporting local artists through the years.
Jeana Garza
Jeana Garza
Bio
Born Into a military family, where constant change and flexibility is a way of life, Jeana acquired a passion for embracing and giving back to her community. She was born in Plattsburgh NY, experienced life in 5 different states within 7 short years, and finally settled in San Antonio Texas.
Jeana married her husband of now 21 years and together they journeyed to Arizona to start a new adventure. Jeana developed her career within the USAA and now enjoys her job as the director of life enrichment in a senior living community.
Her passion for children extends from not only having her own 4 children but also her charity work with children throughout the years. Jeana provides support for The Art of Love by assisting with social media efforts and capturing the charity’s impact through photography. She enjoys filling her days spending time with her family, going to the movies and venturing out to see all the things Arizona has to offer.

Jaa'von Johnson
Jaa’von Johnson
Bio
Jaa’von Johnson was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois but moved to Arizona at 13 years old. Currently, Jaa’von is living in San Francisco, California to finish pursuing his Masters degree at the University of San Francisco. Jaa’von is a behavioral therapist and has experience working with foster and adopted children; but more specifically working with children with autism and/or children with emotional disabilities or mental disorders.
Christa Okerlund
Christa Okerlund
Board Role Founding Member, Dance Instructor
Bio
Christa is currently a dance teacher in Prescott, Arizona. She attended Calvary Chapel School of Ministry where she studied dance, and later became fluent in Spanish. She taught High School Spanish for several years, and studied midwifery to became a Certified Birth Educator and Labor Support Person. She has worked with women and children in many churches and has done a lot of local and global missionary work. Christa has a heart for orphan care ministries, and has recently organized events to help bring awareness to the public about sex trafficking. She and her husband of 19 years recently built their dreamhouse together, where she continues to homeschool her 6 children, and share her love for Jesus.