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News Release: New members join Eiteljorg Museum Board of Directors and Community Board of Advisors

Five new directors, eight new advisors bring diversity and experience to museum

June 20, 2023:

INDIANAPOLIS – The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art welcomes five new members to its Board of Directors and eight new members to its Community Board of Advisors. With their wide range of experience in business, law, academia, health care and the arts, the new board members and advisors will provide valuable guidance to the museum. The terms of all new members begin July 1.

“In its important work as an arts and cultural institution with a national reputation for excellence, the Eiteljorg for 34 years has been guided by a diverse group of civic leaders with expertise in finance, the legal world, education and nonprofits who dedicate their time to the Board of Directors and Community Board of Advisors,” Eiteljorg President and CEO Kathryn Haigh said. “Their leadership, insights and diverse perspectives help the Eiteljorg to engage with its communities and launch important projects that strategically position the museum for the future.”

This group of new directors join a 35-member board that provides oversight of the Eiteljorg Museum’s finances and sets policy. The five new directors have been elevated to the Board after having previously served on the Community Board of Advisors:

  • Felica Ahasteen-Bryant (Diné), director of the Native American Educational and Cultural Center at Purdue University, has more than 20 years of experience in the education field with an emphasis on 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 in admissions and outreach at IUPUI.
  • Leslie Bozeman, Ph.D., serves as director of curriculum internationalization at IUPUI with more than 20 years of experience in higher education. She has taught seminars on global education and global engagement, and is the president of the Indiana Chapter of the Fulbright Association.
  • Neal A. Brackett, a trial lawyer with more than a decade of experience in law, 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.
  • Ben Cox is vice president and wealth management advisor at Fifth Third Bank, where he has worked for 11 years. He is a certified private wealth advisor and an active volunteer, with years of board member experience serving for The Villages and GiGi’s Playhouse Indianapolis.
  • Benny Ko, M.D., is a nuclear medicine radiologist, radiation oncologist and longtime Eiteljorg supporter. A graduate of the Indiana School of Medicine and the University of Utah Health, Dr. Ko is a member of the Indiana Association of Chinese Americans, the American Board of Nuclear Medicine and the American Board of Radiology.

The Eiteljorg Community Board of Advisors provide important insight and context to museum staff and the Board of Directors. Eight civic leaders have been appointed as new advisors:

  • Tammy L. Cooper, Ph.D., is program chair and assistant professor of business administration at Ivy Tech Community College, where she is also a member of the Ivy Tech Black Faculty and Staff Executive Board. Since 2007, she has been involved in community education regarding Juneteenth, and currently supports Indy Juneteenth Festival, as well as the Eiteljorg’s annual Juneteenth and Jazz Community Celebration.
  • Bowman Elder has a background in commercial real estate after more than 15 years working with Vernick & Associates, Ltd in Chicago, where he was vice president for 10 years before moving home to Indiana to raise a family with his wife, Lauren. Elder is president of his family business, Southern Indiana Commerce Corporation, and serves on the Plum Lake Golf Club board and the University Club of Indianapolis board.
  • Ryan Fisher (Muscogee Creek Nation) is account executive for Google Cloud’s enterprise organization with 25 years of experience in the technology industry. An advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, she is a member of Google’s Aboriginal and Indigenous Network. An active member in the Indianapolis community, Fisher volunteers her time to various organizations, including the Children’s Museum Guild.
  • Bryn Jackson has partnered with several artists and organizations, including Newfields, to address issues of gender- and race-based violence and environmental injustice. An interdisciplinary artist and curator whose work has been exhibited in multiple cities, Jackson is an inaugural member of the Association of Art Museum Curators’ Professional Alliance for Curators of Color, serves on the Eiteljorg Museum’s Collections Council, and is a board member for Step-Up, Inc.
  • Eduardo S. Luna is an artist and advocate who has more than a decade of experience curating events featuring Mexican identity and Latiné artists for cross-cultural audiences. He is the co-creator of the Eiteljorg’s Día de Muertos Community Celebration, an artist for Big Car Collaborative and founder of Arte Mexicano en Indiana, a nonprofit organization with a mission to encourage and promote Mexican art, music and culture in Indiana.
  • Eduardo Nieto works for OneAmerica as diversity, equity and inclusion director, with experience in hospitality, retail, supply chain, life sciences, real estate and financial services sectors. He strives to create meaningful employee engagement and is a youth mentor.
  • Dominique Norton is assistant vice president of real estate at USI Insurance Services. He is actively involved in volunteer initiatives that focus on affordable housing, homelessness and community development, and he serves in various nonprofit organizations and boards and service projects. He is an avid art collector with a deep appreciation for the arts.
  • Allison Taylor, an attorney, is Medicaid director for Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration, where she oversees the Medicaid program. A graduate of the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series, she studied art history at DePauw University and law in the Robert H. McKinney School of Law at Indiana University, before working as a health law attorney and for FSSA. She was named to the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” list in 2019.

Four current Board of Directors members are completing their terms and on July 1 will rotate onto the Community Board of Advisors: Steve Cagle, Karen Glaser, Sandy Hurt and John Timothy, Jr., M.D. (Muscogee (Creek) Nation). The museum thanks them for their board service.

The current officers of the Eiteljorg Board of Directors are starting the second year of their two-year terms:  Pat Anker, chair, Fred Green, vice chair, Sue Back, treasurer, and Don Woodley (Ojibwe), secretary.

“It has been an honor to work with members of the Eiteljorg Museum Board of Directors and Community Advisory Board and their predecessors,” said John Vanausdall, who is retiring June 30 after nearly 27 years as Eiteljorg president and CEO. “Their combined knowledge, generosity and civic-minded willingness to serve has benefitted the museum and all our communities, and I am grateful for their advice and counsel. A key to the museum’s and my success over my long tenure has been the dedication of our Board members and their support of our staff.”

Image credits
Photographs of the new members of the Eiteljorg Board of Directors and Community Board of Advisors are attached. Images are courtesy of the Eiteljorg Museum.

About the Eiteljorg
A cultural pillar for 34 years in downtown Indianapolis’ scenic White River State Park, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the arts, histories and cultures of the Native 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.

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