Pelham Art Center Announces New Board Members and Board Committees
Pelham Art Center is pleased to announce new members to the Board of Directors and Gallery Advisory Board in 2021. Alicia Carmona, Brenda Denham Harms, and Gretchen Koback Pursel are the newest members of the Board of Directors; Susan Saas and Rebecca Mills join the organization’s Gallery Advisory Board. The five women each bring a unique background of expertise and devotion to the arts.
Alicia Carmona has over 20 years of experience in academia and the nonprofit world. Her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology focused on immigrant community and identity. Subsequently, she has provided research and analysis on immigrant communities for a number of organizations, including Lehman College, Catholic Charities and Sesame Workshop. Recently, she has tackled the issue of legal identity issuance as a founding member of ID2020 and as Research Lead for the World Identity Network. She is also currently on the board of several nonprofit organizations that provide low income housing and social services in New York City. “I am excited to contribute to the Pelham Art Center as a board member. Throughout my years in Pelham I’ve seen firsthand how it offers a unique space for diverse communities to come together to share experiences and make meaning through art. As a society we need these spaces more than ever. I look forward to doing what I can to support its vision and help it stay the dynamic, welcoming, creative presence in Pelham that I’ve come to know.”
Brenda Denham Harms: Board of Directors
Brenda Denham Harms is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of Arts and New York Law School. As a 30 year resident of Pelham she has been a long time patron of Pelham Art Center and a dedicated student in its adult classes. Brenda brings to the board a background in Nonprofit management as well as a love for the arts.
Gretchen Koback Pursel: Board of Directors
Gretchen Koback Pursel is chief human resources officer at Tiffany & Co., the world’s premier jeweler and America’s house of design. In this capacity, she is responsible for developing and executing global human resource strategy in support of the overall business plan and strategic direction of the organization.
Ms. Koback Pursel joined Tiffany & Co. in June 1997, and progressed steadily through a broad range of both specialist and generalist roles in the Global Human Resources division, including new retail ventures and acquisitions in the early 2000s. She was promoted to vice president in 2012, and was responsible for overseeing HR corporate groups, internal communications, and Europe & Middle East. Ms. Koback Pursel was promoted to her current position in May 2017.
Ms. Koback Pursel holds a bachelor of arts degree from Lafayette College, a human resources certificate from Cornell University’s Industrial & Labor Relations School, and an MBA from Fordham University.
Susan Saas: Gallery Advisory Board
Susan Saas is a milliner, freelance illustrator, and craftsperson living in Pelham, New York. She received her BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and her millinery certificate from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Her illustration work has appeared in a variety of publications from the New Yorker to the Irish Times.
Unable to shake an obsession with hats and headwear, Ms. Saas enrolled in the Millinery Certification program at F.I.T. Upon completion of the courses, she eventually became design assistant to Rod Keenan of Rod Keenan New York- an award winning member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Susan has also worked as a freelance studio assistant for Arnold S. Levine Theatrical Millinery and Craft-lending and honing her skills sewing and crafting hats and props for a variety of Broadway shows including Mary Poppins, The Lion King, and the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. Susan enjoys working with a variety of materials from wood and cardboard to fabric and felt. For her, there is a constant communication between fashion and art and life.
Rebecca Mills is a Westchester based artist & arts professional. Her studio is a part of the Highbrook Artist Collective, and her artwork is focused on Blackness, Queer Identity, and femininity in relation to the Universe. She is an employee with the Katonah Museum of Art and Arts Westchester teaching artist. She also holds an adjunct position with Monroe College. Rebecca is an alumnus of CUNY Lehman College, where she majored in painting and minored in creative writing.
Pelham Art Center invites its community to meet members of its board and gallery committee at its spring fundraiser, the Art Happening, on April 24, 2021, and at other public events scheduled for the spring and summer.
New Board Committees at Pelham Art Center
Pelham Art Center has established four new board committees in 2021 aimed at identifying and pursuing opportunities for the organization’s growth and community engagement. The four committees are: Institutional Advancement; Building & Facilities; Governance; and Community Engagement. The Community Engagement board is also open for members of the public who are passionate about activating the arts in Pelham and surrounding communities. If you are interested in volunteering with Pelham Art Center, contact Executive Director Charlotte Mouquin: [email protected].