Release Date: June 23,2020

Celebrating 5 Years, ArtsNow Announces New Board Members

AKRON, OH (June 23, 2020) – ArtsNow will welcome three new Board Members to join in the work of advancing the arts and culture sector in Summit County. Lisa King, Steve Millard, and Georgia Nix Miller begin their first term as trustees July 1, 2020, the same day as the organization's 5-year anniversary.

“The board of ArtsNow has always been one of its strongest assets,” said Nicole Mullet, Executive Director of ArtsNow. “The addition of these community champions will continue to push and challenge the organization in growth and service in the months and years ahead.”

Outgoing Board President, Howard Parr Executive Director of Akron Civic Theatre has been involved in the work of the Summit County Arts and Culture Assessment, funded by GAR Foundation and Knight Foundation, that resulted in the creation of this new nonprofit in 2015. “The community told us that an organization was needed not only to pull the arts and culture sector together countywide, but to ensure it was fully realized as a vital part of the region’s social and economic vibrancy,” said Howard Parr, Executive Director of Akron Civic Theatre. “While I won’t be the one holding the gavel in the new year, I look forward to continuing to support and champion the work of ArtsNow.”

And there is, indeed, a gavel. When Founding Board President Gregg Mervis stepped down from that role in 2018 he commissioned a glass gavel from Jack Baker and Akron Glass Works. The gavel, along with the work of Board President, will be transitioned to Kendra Williams for her presidency.

“I’m honored to step into this leadership role as we celebrate one of many milestones for ArtsNow,” said Kendra Williams, Senior Manager at Meaden & Moore and incoming Board President. “I want to thank founding board members and staff who have passionately worked to make the organization what it is today. The addition of these strong, thoughtful leaders will continue to ensure the organization grows and evolves in service to our community.”

New Board Members include:

Lisa King, the first woman executive director of Summit Metro Parks, serves the community by leading and directing the organization to ensure financial viability, short and long-term growth, and stability. King has been an employee of the parks since 1998, and is a state-registered landscape architect, a champion of sustainable design, and a certified parks and recreation professional through the National Recreation and Park Association.

Steve Millard is President & CEO of the Greater Akron Chamber, focusing on the chamber’s efforts to drive jobs and investment in the Greater Akron region and advocating for the needs of the business community in the region. Millard is a certified chamber executive, serves on several not for profit and for profit boards, and is a frequent adviser to businesses

Georgia Nix Miller brings passion for the arts, education and community service to the board of ArtsNow along with a strong background in both private and non-profit sectors, founding Family Crisis Services of Northwest Mississippi and serving as CEO of the American Red Cross in California - San Joaquin Chapter and taking part on countless boards and committees across the country. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to serve Akron and Summit County as an ArtsNow Board Member, said Georgia Miller, incoming Board Member. “We are in such a unique time and a deep understanding of our arts community and diverse culture are more important than ever.”

These members will take the seats of four founding board members who have served the organization since its inception in 2015: Mark Auburn, Olivia Demas, Howard Parr, and Deb Yandala.

Returning board members include Jon Fiume, Justin Hilton, Sean Joyce, Rob Lehr, Gregg Mervis, Dominic Moore-Dunson, Leianne Neff Heppner, Cassie Testa, Kendra Williams, and Shane Wynn.

For more information on staff and the newly appointed and existing board, please visit https://artsnow.org/staff/.

ArtsNow works to leverage the arts and culture in Summit County to support and strengthen the region’s economic and social vibrancy. Learn more at www.artsnow.org.com.