Congratulations to our 5 newly appointed board members!
This year, 23 members of the community applied to fill five vacant seats on the MCN board. The Nominating Committee reviewed all applications against our current stated needs, as well as the strength and merit of each application, and shortlisted a slate of the five candidates it considered best suited for the role and organizational needs. The proposed selection was presented and discussed at July 2017 board meeting, followed by a vote to appoint the following five candidates as MCN Directors: Samantha Diamond, Susan Edwards, Desi Gonzalez, Mitchell Sava and Keir Winesmith (see their bios below).
Their three-year term will start this November. Please join me in congratulating them on their appointment.
We also want to extend a sincere thanks to all the other candidates who, driven by their passion for MCN and a desire to serve this community, also took the time to apply this year. Don’t let this discourage you from applying again in future years: often the choice between two candidates is timing and context. Many of our current board members applied more than once before being nominated.
So if you weren’t selected this time around, we want you to know that MCN is your community, and we encourage you to stay involved. This past year, the board has started to roll out a comprehensive Professional Development program aimed at engaging everyone member of the MCN community by providing pathways for professional growth throughout their careers in museums. There are many ways to get involved in addition to serving on the board, and we invite you to look into an opportunity that’s right for you. We are always looking for volunteers to join the Program Committee, as well as those interested in helping MCN develop inclusive practices and diversity. In many cases, a candidate’s demonstrated commitment to MCN will put them in good stead for a board role. For any questions about Professional Development opportunities, email us at ProfDev@mcn.edu.
We also want to let you know that the board appointed Elizabeth Bollwerk as Vice President/President-Elect effective November 2017. Beth was appointed to the board in 2015, and will lead as President in 2019 after Suse Anderson’s tenure as President next year.
I hope you will join us in Pittsburgh for MCN 2017, and we look forward to seeing you there.
2017 Nominating Committee
- Carolyn Royston, President
- Suse Anderson, Vice President
- Nik Honeysett, Director
- Matt Tarr, Director
- Eric Longo, Executive Director
Samantha is CEO of CultureConnect, an award-winning technology company delivering beautiful and meaningful digital experiences to the museum, arts, culture and heritage sector. CultureConnect has caught the attention of national press including NPR, FOX, CNBC, and Hyperallergic and produced award-winning mobile and digital experiences with clients from the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Kimbell Art Museum to the New-York Historical Society and the Marine Mammal Center.
Samantha frequently speaks and consults as an expert on technology, culture, and design. Recent industry talks include CultureSummit Abu Dhabi, American Alliance of Museums, MuseumNEXT, Museums and the Web, Museum Computer Network, and the Southeast Museum Council.
Prior to CultureConnect, Samantha was on the executive team of 20×200, a VC-backed art e-commerce startup where she helmed double-digit growth of new business and oversaw company-wide operations. Before earning an MBA at Columbia Business School, Samantha developed expertise in strategy & operations at McMaster-Carr Supply Company’s leading management development program.
Samantha studied International Relations at Tufts University and began her career in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq for the State Department, USAID, an international health NGO and KBR. Her field research on political art in the DRC was later presented at academic conferences – an early step in a life-long passion to unite the arts, culture and politics.
Associate Director, Digital Content, The Hammer Museum
Susan Edwards is a digital content producer and strategist who has worked in museums for 20 years creating digital solutions for online and on-site visitor experiences. Since 2015, Susan has been Associate Director for Digital Content at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, where she oversees the website, social media, and video production, and helps guide the museum’s digital strategy. Previously, she worked at the J. Paul Getty Trust since 2001, where she collaborated with curators, scholars, and educators to develop online digital experiences for users. These included some of the first digital games in museums, the Getty Research Institute’s first experiments with digital collaboration tools for scholars, and digital publications. Susan began her museum career at the Seattle Art Museum, where she had five jobs in four years, including visitor services manager and curatorial associate.
Susan has been active in the museum technology community for over 10 years. Between 2013 and 2017, she was a board member for the American Alliance of Museum’s Media & Technology professional network. And in 2017 she served as co-chair of MCN’s #MCN50 Planning Committee. Susan has presented and led workshops at many museum technology and games conferences over the years, and served on the editorial boards of several journals and blogs. Susan holds an MLIS from San Jose State University and an M.A. in art history from the University of Michigan.
Manager of digital engagement, The Andy Warhol Museum
Desi Gonzalez writes, researches, and makes things at the intersection of art and technology. She currently lives in Pittsburgh, where she leads digital engagement at the Andy Warhol Museum. Before that, she designed educational tech at La Victoria Lab in Peru, developed interpretive experiences at the Museum of Modern Art, and managed a kids website at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Gonzalez has presented internationally about her work on design, technology, and engagement in museums. Her writing has has been featured in publications including Art in America, Art Papers, Indiewire, and The Brooklyn Rail.
She holds a B.A. in art history and linguistics from Emory University and an M.S. in comparative media studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
VP of Innovation and Engagement, Museum of Life and Science
Mitch Sava is the Vice President of Innovation, Learning, and Engagement at the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, where he has been since 2016. In this role, he helps drive the development of new services and partnerships – on and offline – for the museum to reach new audiences, create new revenue streams, and help the Museum achieve its mission of nurturing critical thinkers of all ages.
While he may be new to the world of museums, he has spent much of his career in the worlds of digital and innovation. He has over two decades of innovation experience across sectors, working with executives, social entrepreneurs, and policy-makers on how to unleash our innovative potential, and apply design thinking and digital forces to the way we live, work, and create value for others and ourselves.
He has helped establish innovation labs for government agencies, consultancies and companies, tried to reimagine the future of industries from insurance to beer, and worked with firms from pharmaceuticals to phones to avoid becoming the next “Blockbuster Video” of their industry. He has created and run initiatives to help start-ups, launched [barely successfully] a start-up of his own, and generally nudged various giant companies to act a bit more like start-ups themselves. Mitch has pushed policy with think-tanks, drafted resolutions for the UN, helped social innovators stay innovative, and designed new services with some of the most creative minds in business and the social sector. He has succeeded in various efforts, and failed in more.
Mitch holds an MPA in innovation and entrepreneurship policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, an MSc in Technology and Human Affairs from Washington University in St. Louis, and a BS in Computer Science from the College of William & Mary. He is a founding member of the Innovation Work Group, and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Advancement of Arts, Manufacturers, and Commerce, where he led their project on “The Glory of Failure”. Mitch is an amateur winemaker, a lover of things cooked slowly, and a father often in quest of sleep.
Head of Digital, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Keir is the Head of Web + Digital Platforms at SFMOMA and co-founder of SFMOMA Lab. He is a digital strategist, producer, writer and creative technologist who is committed to making change, and telling engaging stories, using technology. He’s led, and collaborated on, a number of award winning digital projects in Australia, Europe and the United States.
Keir hold a Ph.D. in new media, and degrees in Computer Science and Physics. He writes and speak frequently on in the intersection of digital and the arts, in particular the role of digital as an agent for organizational change. Most frequently at conferences and forums such as South by Southwest (SXSW), AIGA, Museums and the Web (MW), Nation Digital Form (NDF), and the Museum Computer Network (MCN). He, and his work, have been profiled in The NY Times, WIRED, SF Chronicle, National Public Radio, Australian Broadcasting Corporation and, most recently, the Waco Tribune.
And he loves museums.