Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance Elects Seven New Board Members for 2016

2/16/16

Julia Marciari-Alexander

The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) board of directors announced today the election of seven new members, as well as the appointment of Julia Marciari-Alexander (Executive Director of the Walters Art Museum) as President, and the appointment of Sheri Parks (Associate Dean for Research, Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Programming, University of Maryland) as Vice President.

The 2016 GBCA new board members are:

Chuck Adkins, Chief Financial Officer, Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts
Chuck Adkins serves as Chief Financial Officer at the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, the official arts council of Baltimore. He has worked in nonprofit finance for over 15 years, first at Maryland Nonprofits and in subsequent positions including Chief Operating Officer and Director of Finance at Episcopal Community Services of Maryland. Adkins holds an M.A. from the University of Maryland, where he is an adjunct professor teaching graduate courses in nonprofit management.

Kevin Apperson, Chief Information Officer, Maxim Healthcare Services
Kevin Apperson serves as Chief Information Officer at Maxim Health Care, where he supports Maxim's strategic initiatives and manages business risks from an information technology standpoint. A thiry year veteran in the information technology field, Apperson’s previous leadership roles include ten years as chief information officer at Allegis Group. Apperson has also been recognized by Career Communications Group’s as one of the “most important blacks in technology” during the annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards for four consecutive years. He serves on the Board of Trustees at Baltimore Clayworks and Board of Directors for the St. Francis Neighborhood Center. 

Randi Benesch, Senior Managing Director, Gordon Center for Performing Arts 
Since 2012, Randi Benesch has served as the Senior Managing Director of the Gordon Center for Performing Arts at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Randi has worked as a programmer and fundraiser at theaters and performing arts organizations including the Edison Theater in St. Louis, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Columbia Festival of the Arts (Maryland), and Center Stage in Baltimore. 

Navasha Daya, performing artist, Co-Founder/Director, Youth Resiliency Institute
Navasha Daya is a singer, songwriter, producer, performing arts curator, certified holistic wellness practitioner, and spiritual and cultural arts activist. As a singer, Daya has performed all over the globe sharing the stage with artists such as South African jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela, Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo, Japanese pianist Hajime Yoshizawa, and American artists such as Joan Baez, India Arie, Michael Franti, and Roberta Flack. In 2010, with educator/musician/organizer Fanon Hill and two youth mentees, Daya co-founded the Youth Resiliency Institute (YRI), a social benefit organization that provides arts and cultural-based training, workshops, services, and mentorship to children, youth and young adults in Baltimore. Daya is a member of the Baltimore Arts Education Coalition Steering Committee.

Hana S. Sharif, Associate Artistic Director, Center Stage
Hana S. Sharif is has worked as a director, playwright, and producer for over fifteen years and is currently the Associate Artistic Director at Center Stage.  Previously, Sharif was part of the artistic staff of Hartford Stage for nine seasons, holding positions such as Associate Artistic Director, Director of New Play Development, and Artistic Producer. Sharif served as Program Manager of the ArtsEmerson Ambassador Program, as well as Producer and Tour Manager for Progress Theatre. Her regional and international directing credits include: Pride and Prejudice (DCArts: Best Director/ Best New Play); Gem of the Ocean (six Connecticut Critics Circle nominations); and Gee’s Bend (Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Best Ensemble). Sharif is the recipient of the 2009-10 Aetna New Voices Fellowship for her work as a playwright and director as well as the Theatre Communications Group (TCG) New Generations fellowship. 

Lee Kappelman, Principal, m/Oppenheim Associates
Lee Kappelman has a 30-year career focused on nonprofit management, executive search, fundraising and organizational consulting with a strong emphasis on art, media and culture. She currently is a Principal with m/Oppenheim Associates, a national executive search firm. She previously headed the search and fundraising practice at Arts Consulting Group and led fundraising efforts at the Baltimore Symphony, held executive positions at CBS Television and King World Entertainment, and was a literary agent with Agency for the Performing Arts and Renaissance Literary Agency in Los Angeles and New York. In 2012, Kappelman formed a healthcare non-profit, Caring On, selected by Points of Light Foundation as an incubator project for capacity-building investment.

Ron M. Melton, Chief Operating Officer, Visit Baltimore
Ronald M. Melton has served as Chief Operating Officer at Visit Baltimore since September 2012, where he oversees administrative, information technology, research, human resources, accounting, finance and hospitality operations. An established leader in the hospitality industry, Melton has 25 years of experience, including previous leadership roles such as: Executive Vice President of Services and Operations for Travel Portland; Director of Finance for the Conference Meeting & Assistance Corp. (CMAC) in Dallas, Texas; Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau; and Director of Finance and Administration for the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. Melton has served as the chairman of the Host Committee for the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners.

The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) nurtures and promotes a vibrant, diverse and sustainable arts and cultural community embraced by all as accessible, relevant, and essential to the region’s quality of life. GBCA connects artists and groups to one another and to resources, and advocates for the continued visibility and financial strength of the sector while addressing strategic issues facing the cultural community.

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