The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts has appointed four new members to the board of trustees: Mike Marquez, Odell Nickelberry, Rebecca Smith, and Mary Olive Stephens.
Chaired by Van Tilbury, the AMFA board of trustees supports the institution through initiatives that aim to engage the community, raise funds, and support the museum’s mission. The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts hosts a collection of art as well as performing arts experiences, and an innovative art school.
“AMFA welcomes these board members and looks forward to working with each of them. Each member’s perspective and expertise brings an enormous value to our board,” said AMFA Executive Director Dr. Victoria Ramirez.
Mike Marquez is a senior vice president and global institutional consultant at Merrill, which he joined in 1999. Marquez stated that he seeks to “bring the expansive solutions of a global firm up close to address the unique investment and advisory needs of his philanthropic clients.” He is a Certified Financial Planner and the Certified Investment Management Analyst. Educational prerequisites for the CIMA were completed at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Ouachita Baptist University.
Odell Nickelberry is the vice president of human resources at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, where he is responsible for human talent strategy and the overall administration, coordination, and evaluation of Human Resources policies and procedures. Nickelberry earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Lake Forest College in Illinois and his master’s degree in human resource development from Edgewood College in Madison, Wisc. He has been certified at the senior level in the human resources profession since 2005, and is past president of the Human Resource Management Association (HRMA) board of directors.
Rebecca Smith is a sales associate at The Janet Jones Company, a position she has held since 2003. As a result, Smith has extensive knowledge of Little Rock’s businesses, neighborhoods, schools, churches, and community activities. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Little Rock.
Mary Olive Stephens is a graduate of Washington & Lee University. Stephens began her career as the manager of special events at Barneys New York. After five years with Barneys, she moved to London and was named associate director for the contemporary art platform, Exhibit A London. After her time with Exhibit A, she helped launch a New Orleans style cold brew coffee company where she served as Chief Operating Officer and was responsible for production and logistics. She is a Little Rock native and recently returned home.
The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts is currently undergoing a complete remodel and is expected to open in the fall of 2022. The 133,000 square foot building transformation is led by architect firm, Studio Gang. The new design aims to increase gallery space by 15 percent (totaling close to 20,000 square feet) and showcasing the museum’s permanent collection and exhibits. In addition to the expanded galleries, a museum store, restaurant, and other community-focused areas will complete the renovated space. Landscape designing company, SCAPE, have provided an 11 acre landscape plan surrounding the museum, as well. AMFA hosts a collection of art as well as performing arts experiences, and an innovative art school.