News Release: Community leaders join the Eiteljorg Museum Board of Directors and Board of Advisors

News Release: Community leaders join the Eiteljorg Museum Board of Directors and Board of Advisors

Seven new advisors, four new directors will provide valued perspectives

INDIANAPOLIS – As the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art moves forward with its summer exhibitions and programs, seven civic leaders have joined the museum’s community Board of Advisors, while four past advisors have now moved to the museum’s Board of Directors.

The Eiteljorg relies on its community Board of Advisors members who offer important perspectives to museum staff and the Board of Directors. Seven new advisors recently were appointed, and their terms began July 1:

  • Felica Ahasteen-Bryant (Diné) is director of the Native American Educational and Cultural Center at Purdue University. For more than 20 years, she has worked in the education field, with an emphasis in student engagement, leadership, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and student recruitment and retention. A member of the Navajo Nation, she holds a master’s degree in secondary education, and previously served as an educator in New Mexico and at IUPUI.
  • Leslie Bozeman, Ph.D., is director of curriculum internationalization at IUPUI and previously served at Virginia Commonwealth University. With more than 20 years of experience in higher education, she has taught seminars on global education and global engagement. She is president of the Indiana Chapter of the Fulbright Association.
  • Neal A. Brackett is an experienced trial lawyer who is a partner at Barnes and Thornburg. He has served as board member for Susan G. Komen Central Indiana, is a member of The Penrod Society and a volunteer with the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Ask a Lawyer program.
  • Marquisha Bridgeman is community relations manager at STAR Financial Bank and holds a master’s degree in strategic leadership design. She previously served as senior director of community engagement at Mind Trust, director of marketing and communications at Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana, and held positions in the administration of former Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson.
  • Benjamin Cox is vice president and wealth management advisor at Fifth Third Bank. He has previous experience at JPMorgan Chase in private banking, assisting high net-worth individuals, families and foundations. He is an active participant in many nonprofit organizations.
  • Nathaniel Vezolles is vice president of development at Chatham Park Development where he focuses on real estate development, construction management and property management.
  • Roberta Witchger is a civic leader who has actively supported the Eiteljorg’s Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale. A retired licensed clinical social worker at St. Vincent Stress Center, she has volunteered for the North Group of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Association for more than 30 years, and supported the ISO through event planning, fundraising and direct service.

“In its important work as an arts and cultural institution with a national reputation for excellence, the Eiteljorg for more than 32 years has been guided by a diverse group of civic leaders with expertise in the financial world, education, marketing and nonprofit organizations who volunteer their time with the Board of Directors and Board of Advisors. Their leadership, insights and diverse perspectives have helped the Eiteljorg engage with its communities and launch important projects that will strategically position the museum for the future,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said.

The 34-member Eiteljorg Board of Directors oversees the nonprofit museum’s finances and sets policy. The four new directors’ terms also began July 1; and all four previously served on the Board of Advisors before moving to the Board of Directors:

  • Gloria L. Griesinger, MBA, is a senior treasury and corporate finance executive and has worked at Fortune 500 company Cummins Inc. since 2005 in various executive positions, including most recently as assistant treasurer of global pensions and merger and acquisition support. Before that, she worked in senior financial management at several other companies in the U.S. and Brazil. She serves on the Eiteljorg’s Finance Council and Investment Council.
  • Kelly M. Masoncup, after retiring as a partner in a Chicago CPA firm, returned to her love of arts and volunteering in her community. She is past chair of the SullivanMunce Cultural Center and volunteers her accounting services there. An art collector and philanthropist, she has volunteered in several capacities for organizations in Zionsville, Ind. She co-chairs the Eiteljorg’s Development Council.
  • Virginia “Ginger” Merkel is a financial advisor and certified financial planner professional with more than 35 years of experience in the financial services industry. She is the past chair of the American Red Cross of Greater Indianapolis, Indianapolis Women’s Rotary and the Business Unit Group of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. She also served as trustee of the Louisville Presbyterian Seminary and as board member of Conner Prairie and the American Red Cross, and on several other nonprofit boards. She is a member of the Eiteljorg’s Development Council.
  • José Samperio, MBA, originally from Mexico City, is strategy leader of the Engine Business Unit at Cummins Inc., the largest segment within Cummins, and his career has involved leadership roles in Beijing, China, and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Holding multiple master’s degrees, he also volunteers as a board member at the Butler Tarkington Neighborhood Association, as a member of the Race and Culture Committee at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church and School, and at Exodus Refugee Immigration Inc.

As the new Board members took their seats July 1, four other directors began their second year as Board officers: L.G. Edwards, Board chair, Pat Anker, vice chair, Sue Back, treasurer, and Fred Green, secretary.

About the Eiteljorg Museum
A cultural pillar for 32 years in downtown Indianapolis’ scenic White River State Park, the Eiteljorg Museum seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the Indigenous peoples of North America and of the American West by telling amazing stories. Located on the Central Canal at 500 West Washington St., the Eiteljorg is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. It was named one of the USA Today Readers’ Choice 10 Best Indiana Attractions.


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