Sarah Jesse, Director, Academy Art Museum: Sarah Jesse steps into the Director role at the Academy Art Museum from the Orange County Museum of Art where she has served as Deputy Director as well as Interim Director and CEO. Sarah Jesse brings 17 years of experience to the job having held significant positions at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art; Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Orange County Museum of Art.
Erika Cameron, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs of Palo Alto University: Dr. Cameron comes to PAU from the University of San Diego where she has served in progressive administrative and leadership capacities since 2009. She earned her Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. She also holds a master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Hawaii. Dr. Cameron has written about Multiculturalism and Social Justice in Counseling, Counselor Professional Development, and Individual Psychology. She is an active member of the American Counseling Association, the Association of Counselor Education and Supervision, the American School of Counseling Education.
Christian Schörnich, Chief Operating Officer of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: Schörnich brings over 20 years of management experience in both the non-profit and private sectors. Most recently, he served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, where he successfully led an organization-wide redesign while implementing the Symphony’s ambitious strategic goals. Prior to the Symphony, Schörnich followed his passion for international affairs with more than ten years of service at the United Nations as an advisor on business operations for the UN Secretariat in New York and co-authored several Secretary-General reports on the progress made in the UN reform process.
Aubrey Merriman, Chief Executive Officer of LifeMoves: Prior to joining LifeMoves, Aubrey served as the CEO at Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County, where he led the agency through a period of unprecedented growth. Aubrey moved to the Bay Area in 1999, accepting the ED position with Camp Fire USA, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties. Aubrey then became the founding Silicon Valley Regional VP for Special Olympics Northern California & Nevada where he spent over 12 years, eventually becoming Chief Development Officer. Aubrey then became ED of Summer Search Silicon Valley, building the most diverse team throughout the national footprint of Summer Search.
William (Bill) Smith, Chief Executive Officer of May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust: Bill has over twenty years of experience working in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Most recently, he served as President & CEO of the Santa Fe Community Foundation in Santa Fe, NM, guiding the Foundation through an unprecedented expansion in its grantmaking and assets. Bill also provided thought leadership and developed funder collaboratives around affordable housing, community health, and statewide emergency response efforts to address the early challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior, Bill spent two decades in Washington, DC working in the nonprofit policy and advocacy sector across a broad range of health issues.
Erika Burnett, Executive Director of Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga: In 2018, Erika Burnett, alongside business partner Nicole Kemp, launched the Women of Color Collaborative, demonstrating a strong commitment to advocating, empowering and securing the resources for women and girls to work, play and build together. Before starting her consultancy, Burnett served the community in a variety of leadership roles at the Center for Nonprofit Management (Nashville), Communities in Schools of Tennessee, Leadership for Educational Equity and Hands On Nashville. Burnett is a graduate of New Leaders Council and of Nashville Emerging Leaders, as well as a long-time member of the National Council of Negro Women.
Justine MK Schmidt, Chief Content Officer of UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina: Schmidt has twenty-five years of experience working in the broadcast industry where she most recently served as a Content Development and Acquisitions Consultant for Showtime (ViacomCBS)/Smithsonian Networks. She is an award winning filmmaker in media, communications and conservation who has led programming, content sourcing, development and production projects internationally; clients include the Smithsonian Channel, National Geographic, Discovery Communications, CNN and The Ocean Foundation. She served as a key member of various linear and digital global network launches including M Media, Alhurra TV, Ecology TV and the Ocean Channel.
Patrick Sims, Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost of University of North Carolina School of the Arts: Sims spent over fifteen years working as an administrator and faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he most recently served as the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity. Sims also worked as Vice Provost for Diversity and Interim Vice Provost, and founded the Theatre for Cultural and Social Awareness (TCSA). Before joining the faculty at UW Madison, Sims was a company member at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and a faculty associate in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. There he served as a founding member and Artistic Director of the Human Experience Theatre (HET).
Rachel Seff Koenig, Director of Human Resources of The Houston Ballet: Koenig is a strategic executive bringing the Houston Ballet over twenty years of experience in human resources, recruitment, and marketing, most recently serving as Vice President of Human Resources at Steward & Stevenson LLC. She also previously served as the Manager of Leadership Recruitment & Selection for the Houston Independent School District. She holds an M.S. in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University and an Ed.D. in Educational Administration & Educational Leadership from the University of Houston.
Julie Leadbetter, Chief Program Officer of Episcopal Community Services: Julie brings more than 20 years of experience in homeless services, affordable housing, healthcare, and community development. She most recently served as Director of System Coordination at EveryOne Home where she was instrumental in establishing Alameda County’s coordinated housing crisis response system. She was the Founding Director of San Francisco’s first Navigation Center and started her career at Mission Housing Development Corporation. Julie managed Strategic Initiatives and Legislative Affairs for the New York City Housing Authority, the nation’s largest provider of public, affordable housing, and has also consulted for Portland Public Schools.
Frederick J. Ferrer, CEO of Child Advocates of Silicon Valley: Ferrer has three decades of leadership in mobilizing stakeholders and staff toward change through groundbreaking nonprofit and public policy initiatives, programs and systems reforms. Most recently, he worked as President and Principal Consultant at Manzanita Solutions. Prior to this, he served as CEO of the Health Trust for nine years. Ferrer is Vice Chair of the Santa Clara University College of Arts and Science Leadership Advisory Board. Additionally, he serves as a Dean’s Executive Professor of Public Health at Santa Clara University and adjunct instructor in Child Development and Education at De Anza College.
Clark Halvorson, President & CEO of United Way of Anchorage: Halvorson brings to UWA thirty years of experience working to overcome social, health and environmental challenges at the nonprofit, local, state, tribal and national levels. He has worked for the Washington State Department of Health for the last ten years, most recently serving as Assistant Secretary of Emergency Response and Preparedness leading the state’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He holds a B.A. in Geology with an emphasis in Hydrology and a minor in Environmental Studies from Pacific Lutheran University.
Ed Reyes, CEO of River LA: Reyes brings two decades of experience working in the public sector. During his tenure on City Council, Reyes chaired the Council’s Planning and Land Use Management committee where he expanded Los Angeles’ affordable housing stock. Further, he led efforts to strengthen the city’s rent control ordinance making living more affordable for everyone. As chair of the Los Angeles River Ad Hoc Committee, Reyes brought a renewed focus to the once-ignored Los Angeles River and secured more than $3 million to create a neighborhood-driven plan that included enhancing water quality, environmental protection, increasing open space and improving flood control.
Dawn Hogh, Executive Director of Cancer CAREPoint: Hogh previously served as Deputy Director of Cancer CAREpoint and brings a combined 35 years of experience of high tech marketing and business development coupled with non-profit growth and fundraising to Cancer CAREpoint. She previously served as the Senior Director, Development and Marketing at Hope Services and member and Chair of the Board of Directors of Rebuilding Together, Silicon Valley.
Anne Quaintance, Executive Director of Conard House: Quaintance, a 4th generation San Franciscan, comes to Conard House after a decade with Meals on Wheels SF where she’s held executive-level operations and program roles, most recently as Chief Government Affairs Officer. Previously she was senior analyst with the City and County of SF Human Services Agency , and earlier was with the SF-Marin Food Bank for nearly 10 years. She is founder and chair of the SF Board of Supervisors Food Security Task Force and co-chair of the Mayor’s Long Term Care Council.
Shawn VanDerziel, Executive Director of National Association of Colleges and Employers: VanDerziel served as Chief Human Resources Officer at the Field Museum and Chief of Staff for the museum’s 85-member Board of Trustees; was previously Manager of Recruitment at Norrell Corporation; and was Associate Director of Student Enrollment at National-Louis University. A past-president of NACE and long-time leader in the organization, VanDerziel is a graduate of Michigan State University, a Senior Certified Professional through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and a Senior Professional in Human Resources through the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) .
Jennifer Colgan, Director of Marketing and Communications of Opera Colorado: Colgan is an arts marketer with 14 years of experience retaining and growing audiences through innovative sales and promotional initiatives. She began her career as School Administrator at Ballet Chicago before joining the marketing team at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 2007-2016. In 2016, Colgan transitioned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she grew from Senior Marketing Manager to her current position of Director of Sales and Advertising.
Charles Hirschhorn, President of Otis College of Art and Design: Hirschhorn adds to Otis leadership over two decades of experience working as a media executive and producer in motion pictures, television and animation, most recently serving as the President of AEG Television. He has also served as a trustee of the Berklee College of Music, on the advisory board of USC’s Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, and on the advisory committee for Harvard University’s Office of the Arts. Established in 1918, Otis today has an operating budget of $42 million and about 960 full and part-time faculty & staff serving close to 1,200 BFA and MFA students.
Jilliann Rodriguez M’Barki, Director of Development of Ten Strands: Rodriguez M’Barki brings Ten Strands twenty years of development experience working in education, most recently serving as the Director of Development in the College of Letters & Science at the University of California, Berkeley. She also served at Columbia University for fifteen years as she evolved from the Annual Fund Assistant for the Columbia Law School to the Director of Alumni Events and Programs for Columbia College. She received an Ed.M. in Higher and Postsecondary Education and an M.S. in Fundraising and Nonprofit Management from Columbia University.
Anne Farrah, Director of Development of Palo Alto University: Anne has extensive knowledge of the Bay Area philanthropic landscape. Her career has been dedicated to supporting schools and nonprofit organizations for over 25 years, and she brings a long-standing record of leadership, achievement, and success in the nonprofit sector. Anne most recently served as Chief Advancement Officer for Mercy High School, and before that as Director of Development for the School of Nursing and Health Professions at University of San Francisco.
Lori Klein Brennan, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania and Delaware Chater of The Nature Conservancy: Brennan brings TNC over twenty years of experience working as a fundraising, marketing, and communications professional, most recently serving as Senior Director of CCS Fundraising in Philadelphia. She also served as the Director of Marketing and Communications at the University City District. Prior to that she was the Director of Communications and Marketing for the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.
Paul Hepfer, Executive Director of Project Open Hand: Hepfer brings more than 20 years of experience in community health and wellness services. For the past 13 years he served as Senior Vice President of Programs for The Health Trust in Santa Clara County. He is a member of the California Food is Medicine Coalition Leadership Team. Prior to joining The Health Trust, Hepfer was Chief Operating Officer at Via Services, and Executive Director of Wellness and Education for the Pueblo of Sandia Native American Reservation in New Mexico.
Susan Fruchter, Deputy Director, Museum Operations & COO of The Royal Ontario Museum: Fruchter was instrumental in a growth and progress of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History over the last two decades as she evolved from an Associate Director of Operations when she joined, to serving as the Museum’s Deputy Director. Fruchter also served at Nature Serve, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Aeronautics Space Administration. She has a double B.A. in Political Science and Russian from Tufts University and an M.A. in International Affairs from the Columbia University.
Robert Tufel, Executive Director of Scleroderma Research Foundation: With a 25+ year career in the nonprofit sector, Rob has been the Executive Director of Cancer CAREpoint since 2013. Previously he was the founding ED of The Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation, led adult services for Jewish Family and Community Services, and was ED (and earlier Director of Patient Services) for the National Brain Tumor Foundation. A graduate of Oberlin College, Rob earned a Master of Public Health from UC Berkeley. Professionally and as a volunteer, he is dedicated to strengthening organizations to help them achieve their mission.
Joanne Gold, Director of Development of Scleroderma Research Foundation: A fundraising professional with over 25 years in the nonprofit sector, Joanne most recently was Chief Development Officer at Family House where she was instrumental in significantly increasing contributed revenue. Previously she was with Common Sense, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and City of Hope. Joanne joins SRF with the skills and sensibilities to build out a robust development function in order for the organization to grant more toward research.
Carlos de la Rosa, Executive Director of Lindsey Wildlife Experience: De La Rosa brings LWE 20+ years of experience in fundraising, advocacy, education and conservation, most recently serving as the Director for La Selva Research Station at the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica (the largest such institute in Central America) and previously was the Chief Conservation & Education Officer for the Catalina Island Conservancy and Director of TNC’s Disney Wilderness Preserve. He received a Ph.D. in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Pittsburgh.
Kelly Tweeddale, Executive Director of San Francisco Ballet: Tweeddale has a 30-year career leading arts organizations throughout North America, in the process building audience engagement, driving sustained revenue growth, and creating environments that foster innovation. She previously held executive positions at Seattle Opera and is stepping down as President of the Vancouver Symphony and VSO School of Music. San Francisco Ballet was founded in 1933 as the first professional ballet company in the United States, and is one of the world’s leading classical ballet organizations.
Dale Hedding, Vice President for Development of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA): Dale Hedding comes to the CSOA with 25 years of leadership experience and fundraising accomplishments at nonprofit arts, culture and education institutions. Most recently he was the Managing Director for External Affairs and Patron Engagement at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Hedding was Vice President of Development for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He also served as Director of Development at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Phoenix Symphony, as well as the Manager of Development at the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Tommy Phillips, President and Artistic Director of The Philharmonic Society of Orange County: Tommy was Director of Artistic Planning at the San Diego Symphony for eight years before leaving to consult with the San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and Mainly Mozart Festival. In addition, Phillips is the co-founder of Black Cats Production Company, which arranges pieces for Chinese and American musicians to perform in each other’s countries. His list of clients includes violinist Joshua Bell, the Shanghai Quartet, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and France’s Malandain Ballet Biarritz.
Deana Haggag, President & CEO of United States Artists: Haggag is a dynamic leader in the arts sector. Before joining United States Artists, she was the Executive Director of The Contemporary in Baltimore , where she led the museum for nearly four years during a significant period in its history. At The Contemporary, she commissioned four award-winning, large-scale art projects, created a new speaker series, and hosted a national artist retreat, growing the institution exponentially during her tenure. She has taught courses at Towson University and the Maryland Institute College of Art and has also led multiple curatorial projects across Newark, Baltimore and Minneapolis.