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News Release: New members join the Eiteljorg Museum Board of Directors and Advisory Board

Jasmin French of Cummins is now a director; L.G. Edwards appointed Chair of the Board

Jasmin N. French

INDIANAPOLIS – As the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art moves forward with its summer reopening, the museum Board of Directors has appointed a new member, accomplished attorney and civic leader Jasmin N. French. A longtime member of the Board of Directors, L.G. Edwards, has moved up to become chair of the board; and six other community leaders have been selected to serve on the museum’s Board of Advisors.

French is an ethics and compliance Senior Manager at Cummins Inc. and previously was an Associate in the Employee Benefits Group at Ice Miller LLP. She currently works with a team of ethics professionals around the world to enhance Cummins’ global corporate ethics and compliance program. An award-winning graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School and Duke University, French is an appointee to the Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority, a member of the Duke Energy Indiana President’s Advisory Council, and a graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy and Women’s Fund OPTIONS Class 19.

A longtime supporter of the Eiteljorg, French previously served on the Board of Advisors and as president of the museum’s young professional auxiliary group, AGAVE.

The Eiteljorg’s Board of Directors oversees the nonprofit museum’s finances and sets policy.

“For more than 30 years, the Eiteljorg has been fortunate to be guided by a civic-minded board well-versed in the financial world and nonprofit organizations. We are pleased to welcome Jasmin French to our Board of Directors, as her expertise and that of other board members will provide valuable insights to the Eiteljorg as the museum develops plans for 2021 and beyond,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said.

“When I relocated to Indianapolis from Chicago ten years ago, I actively sought out ways to plug in to the Indy arts community. I was drawn to the Eiteljorg because of its reputation for showcasing artists whose stories aren’t always highlighted,” French said. “From past exhibits such as Guitars to the groundbreaking Red/Black exhibit which explored the shared history of Native Americans and Africans, I am so proud to be associated with the museum and I’m honored to serve on its Board of Directors.”

In addition to French’s appointment to the board, longtime board members assume new positions as board officers:

L.G. Edwards

  • L.G. Edwards, who previously served as vice chair, has become chair of the Board of Directors, succeeding Mary Beth Braitman. Edwards is a retired president of Capital Bank and Trust. A member of the Eiteljorg Museum since 2001, Edwards also serves on the museum’s Development Council and Executive Committee.
  • Fred Green will become secretary of the Board of Directors. The president and chief operating officer for Cripe Architects and Engineers, Green previously served as vice president on both the Andrew J. Brown Charter School board and the Indiana Architectural Foundation board. A member of the American Institute of Architects, Green also currently serves on the Eiteljorg’s Facilities Council.

Along with the Board of Directors, the Eiteljorg Museum also relies on a community Board of Advisors that provides advice and counsel to the museum staff and directors. Six new members recently were appointed to the museum’s Board of Advisors:

  • Afshan Paarlberg is an attorney and nonprofit professional currently serving as director of compliance and strategic engagement at Obat Helpers Inc., and as vice president of the Board of Directors at Exodus Refugee Immigration Inc.
  • Frances Kelly is retired as executive director for the National Chimney Sweep Guild, previously served in state and local government and currently serves on the advisory board for the IU Eskenazi Art Museum. She previously served on the boards of The Center for Excellence in Licensing and Legacy House, and served as an advisory board member for the Bill and Melinda Gates 1st Candle National Crib Campaign and on other advisory boards.
  • Gloria 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; before that, she worked in financial management at several other companies. She has served on the Eiteljorg’s Finance Committee and Investment Committee.
  • Jose Samperio-Casco, MBA, originally from Mexico City, currently serves as the strategy leader of the Engine Business Unit at Cummins Inc., and is a board member at the Butler Tarkington Neighborhood Association and a member of the Race and Culture Committee at Saint Thomas Aquinas.
  • 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 currently serves as a trustee of the Louisville Presbyterian Seminary and as board member of Conner Prairie and the American Red Cross, and has served on other nonprofit boards.
  • Martha Tynan is a supporter of arts organizations. Originally from California where she was a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, Tynan moved to Zionsville, Ind., where she works in her family business and is an equine enthusiast.

While French is joining the Board of Directors and six new members are joining the community Board of Advisors, each board also is losing a member: Chad Slaughter has resigned from the Board of Directors due to a relocation and Jose Sanchez has resigned from the Board of Advisors due to a relocation.

The new appointments became effective July 1. The Eiteljorg Museum has reopened to the public and has implemented face mask and social distancing protocols, per state and local requirements, for the health and safety of guests.

About the Eiteljorg Museum
A cultural pillar for 31 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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