Jenenne Whitfield, Director of American Visionary Art Museum: Prior to joining the American Visionary Art Museum, Jenenne served as the President & CEO of Detroit’s acclaimed Heidelberg Project, a mostly outdoor museum spanning three city blocks that was founded in 1986 by the artist Tyree Guyton, and is one of the most influential art environments in the world. Jenenne has led the Heidelberg Project for 28 years and grown it into a $1.4 million organization of international prominence which has won impressive accolades.
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.
Jenny Mann, President and Executive Director, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra: Jenny steps into the role of President and Executive Director at the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra from over a 15 year career as the Executive Director of the Tuscaloosa Symphony in 2014 and principal bassoonist of the orchestra since 2006. She is also the Associate Professor of Bassoon and Music Management for the Arts Administration Degree at The University of Alabama. Prior experience includes Director of Ensembles and Scheduling for the Hot Springs Music Festival, Chamber Music Coordinator and Editor of Alabama Music Notes magazine for The University of Alabama.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Frederick J. Ferrer CEO, 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.
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.
Kate Landon, Strategic Engagement Director, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens: Landon previously served as New York Women’s Foundation’s Vice President of Programs and Institutional Advancement, as the LEAP Program Director at AmeriCorps and in Nicaragua as Executive Director of the New Haven/Leon Sister City Project, where she worked with rural communities facilitating civic engagement and leadership development. Landon will be a fundraising relationship builder setting up the New York office of the Ban Ki-moon Centre based in Seoul and Vienna.
Valerin Lopez DeFrank, Chief Development Officer, Bloom Our Youth: Valerin has many years of experience supporting nonprofit organizations in fundraising and operations, most recently serving as Business Manager of World Affairs Council of Atlanta. She has worked extensively in community outreach and special events for organizations such as the American Red Cross, JSC Ventures, and the Arthritis Foundation. Immigrating to the United States from a rural farming town in the Dominican Republic, Lopez graduated from Tufts University and the American University of Paris.
Paul Rose, Chief External Relations & Communications Officer, San Francisco General Hospital Foundation: Paul has two decades of experience and expertise in public affairs/government relations, communications and marketing. He has spent the past two years as a Partner at Lighthouse Public Affairs where he expanded their media and communications practice. Before Lighthouse, Paul spent nine years at San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MUNI) as the Chief Spokesperson, Lead of Media/Social Media and Customer Service. Previously, Paul worked for Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Governor Gray Davis.
Jeff Ryder, Managing Director, Virginia Stage Company: Ryder has held several jobs at the Cleveland Playhouse over the last 8 years, and was mentored by the late Managing Director Kevin Moore there. Jeff served as Associate Managing Director, Director of Foundations and Major Gifts, Operations Manager, and Ticket Services Representative at Cleveland Playhouse over the course of his tenure, learning every area of theatre operations. In addition, Jeff is adjunct theatre faculty at Cleveland State University. Virginia Stage Company (VSC) is Southeastern Virginia’s leading non-profit theatre.
Camille Gonzales Kennedy, Vice President of Philanthropy, LifeMoves: Camille got her start in nonprofit work when she joined the team at the Boston Living Center, a community center for people living with HIV/AIDS. Prior to LifeMoves, she served as Senior Director of Advancement Strategy at the Ms. Foundation for Women, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Avenidas, and Executive Director of Random Acts of Flowers, Silicon Valley. Previously, Camille was an urban planner in New York and California. She holds a Master’s in Urban Planning from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and is an appointed member of the Menlo Park Planning Commission.
Toni Wood, Head of Marketing and Sales, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: Wood has a 17-year career of building an international reputation of programs and events in marketing, media buys and planning, public relations, executive communications, and branding at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Toni will manage and drive outreach to the region’s diverse audiences, oversee branding and marketing positioning, maximize exhibition, program, and event attendance. MFAH functions as an integrated visual arts experience and is counted among North America’s most prominent museums with a newly redeveloped main campus encompassing 14 acres in the heart of Houston’s Museum District.
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).
Eric Lind, Vice President of Philanthropy, Tucson Symphony Orchestra: Lind has for the past 9-years as Director of Advancement at Florentine Opera, Milwaukee and more than twenty years of progressive experience as a social entrepreneur, senior development professional, and managing director with expertise in community organizations, the arts and education. Eric will design and manage a robust, systematic program to increase contributed revenue to develop and cultivate sustainable individual, corporate, foundation, and other philanthropic operation. The TSO is the first professional symphony in the southwest and the longest, continuously performing arts organization in Arizona.
Margaret Williams, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, Brevard Music Center: With a 20-year career leading critical growth initiatives for a broad spectrum of nonprofit performing arts organizations across the U.S, Margaret has provided marketing and communications leadership for the Colorado Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, Opera Colorado, Omaha Performing Arts Association, Bravo! Vail, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Rocky Mountain Arts Association. Margaret will maximize ticket sales revenue, create brand awareness, engage audiences and diverse ticket buyers, increase student applications, and promote Parker Hall.
Meredith Gale, Chief Resource Development Officer, The American Foundation for the Blind: Gale was most recently National Director of Development for Glaucoma Research Foundation, and successfully closed a $25 million dollar campaign in the midst of the pandemic. Her time working closely with board volunteers and donors in the neurodegenerative and low vision fields from coast to coast will be an asset to the American Foundation for the Blind. Gale brings with her significant national nonprofit leadership experience including as a fundraiser with the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association, becoming their Vice President for Social Events fundraising for the greater Palm Beach area.
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.
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) .
Abby Buell, Managing Director, San Diego Repertory Theatre: Ms Buell co-created and branded the Schimmel Center for the Performing Arts in lower Manhattan, became the Director of Marketing at The Joyce Theatre in New York, and then the Senior Account Director for all of producer Scott Rudin’s Broadway shows at SpotCo. Since then, she served as Senior Director at RWS Entertainment Group — a full-service production company that produces live shows worldwide including Antonio Bandera’s’ all Spanish version of ‘A Chorus Line’ on Broadway — the first ever all Spanish production to come to Broadway.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.