ArtsBuild welcomed five new members to its Board of Directors on June 13. New members are Nicole Brown, Xavier Cotto, Olga de Klein, James McKissic, and Marcus McKamey.
Nicole Brown is a native of Chattanooga. She received a B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University in Mass Communications: Radio/TV and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She currently works for UTC as the academic advisor, adjunct faculty and co-internship director in the Department of Communication. Ms. Brown was a professional broadcaster with Brewer Media Group for over 15 years. Over the years, she has served in leadership roles on numerous boards in Chattanooga. Her service to the community includes Chamber of Commerce Downtown Board/VP of Education and Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, Inc. Board/Secretary. Brown has also served on Mayor Berke’s Council for Women and Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute Board of Directors. In 2012, Brown graduated from Leadership Chattanooga through the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.
Shortly after earning a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico in in 2010, Xavier Cotto obtained the opportunity to move to Chattanooga and work for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Mr. Cotto serves as an ambassador of Latino culture and has worked to leverage the resources available to him for the betterment and growth of services and opportunities for other Latinos. In 2014 he was selected as champion of the TVA Hispanic/Latino employee resource group called TVA Amigos. Soon thereafter, he created XCeed Events, an event production company hosting several great cultural events for the Latino community in Chattanooga. He’s an active member and drummer at City Church of Chattanooga and serves on local nonprofit SoundCorps’ Programs Committee. He is a cultural ambassador through Chattanooga State and active in local cultural events such as Latin Festival and Culture Fest.
A native of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Olga de Klein has lived in Chattanooga since 1987. Previous places she has called “home” include Mexico City, Acapulco, and Cancun, as well as Cali, Colombia, and Willemstad, Curaçao. A professional artist, Ms. De Klein’s paintings initially focused on oil portraits. Her work has since morphed into abstraction and textiles, with an unmistakable vivid color palette, which she attributes to her years of living in Mexico and South America. In 2011 she participated in the 10 x 10 creative works showcase where she “yarn-bombed” the trees in front of the Tennessee Aquarium. In February 2013 Ms. De Klein created a life size trolley, as part of the “Better Block on Glass Street” event. She received her B.F.A. (Painting and Drawing) from UTC.
James McKissic is the Director of the City of Chattanooga Office of Multicultural Affairs. He is a native of Cleveland, TN and has worked in the nonprofit and public sectors for more than 20 years. James holds a B.S. in secondary education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a Master’s of Public Administration from the Robert F. Wagner School at New York University and an executive certificate from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. James is passionate about empowering communities and changing lives. He is also a committed arts advocate, community volunteer and artist, serving on the boards of the City of Chattanooga Public Art Committee, Hunter Museum’s Acquisitions Committee, La Paz, and the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga. James is also one of the founders of Jazzanooga, Chattanooga’s April festival of jazz, and the Hunter Museum’s Friends of African American Art affinity group.
Marcus McKamey is a Tennessee native and a senior vice president and commercial banking client manager at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He is a huge advocate for the arts, animal lover, and active volunteer. Mr. McKamey currently serves as a board member for Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Chattanooga Ballet and Outlook Chattanooga. For the past 13 years he has served on Bank of America’s volunteer network and was appointed chairman for two consecutive terms to ensure the bank met its strategic volunteer goals. He has served on previous boards for the Chattanooga Theatre Centre and Stella Parton’s Red Tent. Mr. McKamey is a 2006 Leadership Chattanooga graduate, a 2015 Holmberg Arts Leadership Institute graduate and serves as a panelist for ArtsBuild’s Community Cultural Connection grants. A 20-year veteran of Bank of America, Mr. McKamey works with mid-to large size companies to grow, improve cash flow, manage payments and invest for the future.
“I am delighted to have these talented leaders join us on the ArtsBuild Board,” said Dr. Roger Brown, Chair of the ArtsBuild Board of Directors. “Each of them brings a unique perspective and passion for furthering our mission of building a stronger community through the arts. This is an exciting time for ArtsBuild and for the arts in Chattanooga.”