New Board, New Directions

National Emerging Museum Professionals Network announces 2020 board, new direction for the future

National Emerging Museum Professionals Network announces 2020 board, new direction for the future

New York, NY (Oct 13, 2020)—The National Emerging Museum Professionals Network (NEMPN) today announced the selection of seven new board members, along with a renewed global vision for the organization and its role in providing guidance and support to new and growth track professionals in museums, cultural organizations, and other informal learning institutions.

After stepping into the role of co-President in July 2020 Sierra Van Ryck deGroot and Sierra Polisar have developed a vision for NEMPN that the pair say requires a strong team with the drive and determination to get the job done.

“NEMPN is poised to do some really big things this year and in the near future. We wanted to create a Board that is not only representative of the communities we serve, but also willing to get right to work with some of our big picture dreams for the upcoming year,” said Van Ryck deGroot, who also serves as the Education Programs Manager at Poster House in New York City. “We have quite a few goals and we needed the support of individuals who were ready and willing to get the organization where it needs to be.”

Those goals include fundraising to develop initiatives to support the EMP community, advocacy work both in and for museums, a museum salaries transparency project, and developing international resources and support networks for museum professionals at all stages of their growth and emergence. “We are excited to revitalize our resources and turn them into something more than just a place to ask questions related to the field,” said Laura Santoyo, returning Board member and newly appointed Board Secretary, and Curator of Collections at the Schingoethe Center of Aurora University. “We want NEMPN to be more than just a static, one-way resource. We want it to be a part of the community.”

The Board welcomes back the following returning members in their new roles: Treasurer—Chloe Doucette of Idaho Falls; Secretary—Laura Santoyo of Aurora, Illinois; and Director of Resources—Michelle Reynolds.

Along with new top leadership, the 2020/2021 Board welcomes four new regional directors and a new director of communications.

Director of Communications, Emily Esten (Digital Humanities Coordinator, University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania)

Regional Director-Northeast, Kelsey Brow (Executive Director, King Manor Museum, New York)

Regional Director-Southeast, Cassandra Cavness (Development Assistant, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Alabama)

Regional Director-Midwest, Dianne Choie (Youth and Family Programs Coordinator, Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin)

Regional Director-Southwest, Amy C. Oliver (Visitor & Science Center Manager, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Arizona)

Regional Director-West, Jesse Dutton-Kenny (Museum Preparator, SFO Museum, California)

Regional Director-International/Multi-Location, Madeline Smolarz (Museum Assistant, City of Kingston, Ontario, Canada)


The National Emerging Museum Professionals Network envisions communities in which museum professionals make meaningful connections within and across backgrounds, disciplines, and institutions by providing leadership, responding to changing needs, enriching experiences, growing capabilities, and sharing resources. NEMPN is a registered 501(c)3. For more information:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *