Meet the Board

Board Member

Felix Sanchez is the Chairman and Co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA), a veteran media and communications expert, who consults regularly on Latino programming and content.  NHFA was launched in 1997 by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton.  NHFA co-founders include:  Jimmy Smits, Sonia Braga, Esai Morales and Merel Julia.  NHFA ambassadors include:  Melissa Barrera (Starz’s VIDA) and Ryan Guzman (Fox’s 9-1-1).

Felix has created a number of impactful programs focused on creating diverse content and a new generation of diverse content creators. He launched the NHFA scholarship program with eight esteemed universities: NYU, Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Northwestern, USC, UCLA and UT Austin; created the PitchNY program with Governor Cuomo’s Office of Motion Pictures and Television, NBCUniversal and industry leaders to cultivate the talent of higher ed students throughout New York. Developed PitchDC - a content pitch program--made possible through a community grant from the D.C. Mayor’s Office of Latino Affairs. Created PitchLA with VIACOMCBS to connected development executives at CBS, Showtime and C.W. with NHFA’s Artists. Collaborated with Connecticut Public Television & Radio to develop PitchCT and The State of Latinos in Media 2020, which aired last May. 

As a response to COVID 19, Felix created InformGente, a web talk series aimed at bringing current and relevant information to the Latino community on topics like the pandemic, floods, wildfires, earthquakes and other natural disasters.  InformaGente, was created in association with Gov. Newsom’s Office of Emergency Services and LULAC, the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Felix also launched: “Coctelitos con Rita Moreno and then-Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Joaquín Castro, D-TX;” along with a program highlighting emerging high school talent in a homage to the play: “In the Heights.”

Felix, as NHFA Chairman, led the fight to desegregate the honors and awards programs of major cultural and entertainment institutions. His work resulted in major administrative and personnel changes at the Kennedy Center, and yielded new Latino honorees for Kennedy Center Honors, along with the induction of 22 new Latino members into the Association of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (Oscars). He was also the force behind convincing NBC’s Saturday Night Live to hire Melissa Villaseñor, the first Latina cast member ever in the show’s then-47-year history.

Felix Sanchez was a legislative assistant to then-U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, D-TX, with principal responsibilities for issues arising from the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.  Felix has been an advisor to numerous Democratic presidential and corporate campaigns.  Felix served as the first National Deputy Campaign manager to the Paul Simon for President campaign.  Felix went on to work on the Dukakis/Bentsen campaign as the head of the inaugural Hispanic Outreach office and originated the first Latino celebrity engagement/outreach campaign effort.  Felix duplicated this role in the Clinton 1992, 1996 and Gore 2000 campaigns.  Felix created a signature Florida campaign event with former President Clinton, then-Presidential Candidate Obama and former TV POTUS Jimmy Smits (The West Wing). Felix’s work on behalf of NHFA has been honored by the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), (Advocacy Award), and the Government of Mexico (Ohtlí Award its highest national honor presented to Mexican American and Latino philanthropy leaders). 

Felix serves on a number of advisory boards: the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Latino Jewish Leadership Council; the Kennedy Center Latino Advisory Board, the El Rey Network’s Diversity Council (Robert Rodriguez’s streaming platform); the Creative Thread Foundation and Storytelling Unbound.  He also advises the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Multicultural Media Caucus; and the Congressional Caucus for Advancement of Studio, Talent (CAST) on diversity and inclusion issues in the entertainment industry. 

Felix is a CNN opinions contributor. Felix has a B.A. in Child Psychology and an M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction from The University of Texas at Austin; Felix also holds a J.D. in International Law from the University of Houston Law Center. Felix’s daughter, Isabella is a 2018 sum cum laude graduate of Boston University and his son Philippe is a 2020 West Point graduate, currently stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska. He developed PitchDC—a content pitch program—and PitchLA with ViacomCBS to connected development executives at CBS, Showtime, and CW, with NHFA’s artists. In June, PitchTexas with TelevisaUnivision will launch in Houston.

Board Member

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, arts leader and visionary is Vice President for Cultural Affairs for Arizona State University and Executive Director of ASU Gammage. She has artistic, fiscal and administrative responsibility for the historic Frank Lloyd Wright designed ASU Gammage, ASU Kerr Cultural Center, with responsibility for Sun Devil Stadium and Desert Financial Arena for non-athletic activities. She oversees the activation and transformation of Sun Devil Stadium into a year-round hub of cultural activity as ASU 365 Community Union. Colleen was also appointed by ASU President Michael Crow to co-lead the Advisory Council on African American Affairs. The council will enhance diversity, growth and opportunity for Black undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff. https://president.asu.edu/sites/default/files/the_lift_report.pdf

She serves on The Broadway League's Executive Committee and Board of Governors; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee; Government Relations Committee; Labor Committee; and co-chairs the Legislative Council and Road Presenters/Intra-Industry Committees. She is Arizona's only Tony voter. Colleen is a founding and current member of the Creative Capital Board and Senior Advisor to Women of Color in the Arts, former Association of Performing Arts Professionals board president, served on the National Council on the Arts at the bequest of President Clinton and is a Life Director of the Fiesta Bowl. She is a consultant to universities, international governments and a featured speaker at conferences. In 2020, she has served on multiple panels addressing human rights, justice, diversity, equity and inclusion and the future of Broadway; including interviews with W. Kamau Bell and Tony Awardâ director Kenny Leon related to the pandemic of racism; and participated in the TheaterMakers Summit on getting Broadway touring productions back on the road. Colleen was part of the summit with Black Theatre United and The Broadway League on the creation of A New Deal for Broadway. She currently serves on the Black Theatre United 7G Committee addressing EDIAB issues. https://www.blacktheatreunited.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/BTU-New-Deal-For-Broadway.pdf

Colleen is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2021 City of Tempe Arts and Culture Community Impactor, 2020 National Coalition of 100 Black Women Education Legend, 2019 Valley Leadership Woman of the Year, 2019 ASU West Pioneer Award, National Society of Arts and Letters Medallion of Merit, Valle del Sol’s Mom of the Year, APAP Fan Taylor Award, Black Philanthropy Initiative Honor, The Broadway League's Outstanding Achievement in Presenter Management and Arizona's Governor’s Arts Award. In 2012, The Arizona Republic recognized Colleen for Arizona’s 100th Anniversary as one of the individuals who had the greatest impact in the era.

Former dancer and choreographer, Colleen is married to Dr. Kurt Roggensack, volcanologist at Arizona State University, and the proud mother of Kelsey, an All-American swimmer, a graduate of Williams College, two-time Fulbright Scholar, who earned a master’s degree from Harvard University and currently pursuing a PhD at Cornell University.

Board Member

Patrick Brien has been the Executive Director of the Riverside Arts Council for the past 17 years. In addition to conducting capacity building workshops and providing private consultations throughout Riverside County, he has developed programs that include art as therapy for dementia patients and arts in corrections within the state penitentiary system. Sporting a long list of acting, directing and producing credits that span from Hawaii to Germany, Patrick ran theatre companies in various parts of the world before entering the local arts agency field. On the side, he is Founder and Artistic Director of The Gestalt Theatre Project, where he has directed and produced several regional and West Coast premieres. The numerous boards he serves on include the Riverside Downtown Partnership, Californians for the Arts and California Arts Advocates. He is also the President of the Inland Theatre League and serves on the executive committee of the United States Urban Arts Federation. Patrick is a graduate of Chapman University with a BA in Theatre and in Film. 

 

Board Member

Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, is a former U.S. Army General and serves as chair of the National Leadership Advisory Council, the National Initiative for Arts & Health Across the Military (NIAHM); military community advisor for the National Endowment for the Arts Military Healing Arts Network’s Creative Forces program, and senior Policy Fellow on Arts & Military.

Bivens is president of Leader Six, Inc. and has executive leadership experience delivering successful results for public, private sector, and nonprofit organizations with $1B (+) in annual revenue, including strategic business development and sales at the VP level for a top four defense corporation, General Dynamics Mission Systems. A retired U.S. Army Brigadier General, he’s held leadership and staff positions from company through Army and Joint Pentagon Staff and U.S. Combatant and Special Operations Command levels. He has testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, and co-chairs the National Leadership Advisory Committee for NIAHM. He has been guest speaker for national nonprofit conferences, the Aspen Seminar for Leadership in the Arts; and is a contributing writer for the Smithsonian Institution, HuffPost, and American for the Arts’ social media.

Bivens holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from South Carolina State University, a Master of Science in Management from the Naval Post Graduate School, and a Master of Science in National Security and Strategic Studies from the National Defense University.

Board Member

Capitol Counsel LLC, the premier bipartisan and bicameral lobbying firm in Washington, DC will add to its growing list of Republican and Democratic advocates with the addition of veteran telecommunications lobbyist Lyndon K. Boozer as Partner.  Boozer will join the firm’s growing Communications and Technology Practice and focus his work on the House Democratic Leadership and the House Energy and Commerce and Judiciary Committees. 

As a senior federal advocate for AT&T for over two decades, Boozer focused on issues ranging from broadcast spectrum incentive auctions to privacy, net neutrality and mergers and acquisitions, including the purchase and integration of DIRECTV and Time Warner.  As VP for Federal Affairs at BellSouth, Boozer successfully spearheaded passage of legislation in the House to expand video competition and broadband access (H.R. 1542, the Tauzin-Dingell Broadband Deployment Act).  He also served as a liaison to the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

 

Board Member

Ken Fergeson has been a major contributor to the banking industry and playing key roles in his community and state as the chairman and CEO of NBC Oklahoma.  He has chaired a number of boards and councils at local, state and national levels in both the banking arena and in his personal area of interest of supporting and promoting the arts. He is a past chairman of the American Bankers Association.  He has chaired the Oklahoma Bankers Association, Oklahoma State Chamber and Creative Oklahoma, Inc.  He also serves on the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority Board and the Associate Board of Directors of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Mr. Fergeson continues to be a presence for arts education and is on the boards of various arts associations, including the Oklahoma Arts Institute and the Mid-America Arts Alliance served as the chair of the Board of Americans for the Arts.  His local involvement has benefited the Altus Chamber of Commerce, the Shortgrass Arts and Humanities Council and the JCMH Health Care Corporation. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Heritage Hall of Fame 2009 and has been honored by the Oklahoma Education Association for outstanding service for public education and received the Governor’s Arts Award in 1994 and 2000. He was the recipient of the 2001 Business in Arts Leadership Award by the Business Committee for a Arts, Inc., and Forbes Magazine. He and NBC have been responsible for six pieces of public art, all of which has been used to raise money for charitable and school organizations. Mr. Fergeson continues to search for ways to give back to his community, state, nation, and profession. He and his wife, Mary Ann, are the parents of a son, Jarrod and a daughter, Casey.

Board Member

Ben Folds is widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of our generation.

He’s created an enormous body of genre-bending music that includes pop albums with Ben Folds Five, multiple solo albums, and numerous collaborative records. His last album was a blend of pop songs and his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra that soared to #1 on both the Billboard classical and classical crossover charts.

For over a decade he’s performed with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras, and in 2017 was named as the first ever Artistic Advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.

In addition to touring, Folds is currently writing his first book, described as a collection of interrelated essays and anecdotes about art, life, and music. Release is slated for late summer of 2019.

He is also no stranger to television, having been featured for five seasons as a judge on NBC's critically-acclaimed acapella show "The Sing Off," and continues to appear in cameo roles on cable and network TV shows.

An avid photographer, Folds is a member of the prestigious Sony Artisans of Imagery, completed an assignment in 2017 as a photo editor for National Geographic, and was recently featured in a mini-documentary by the Kennedy Center's Digital Project on his photographic work.

An outspoken champion for arts education and music therapy funding in our nation's public schools, in 2016 Ben held the distinction as the only artist to appear at both national political conventions advocating for arts education and has served for over five years as an active member of the distinguished Artist Committee of Americans For The Arts.

Board Member

Mike Kopp has over 30 years of strategic marketing and communications expertise honed on the front lines of both politics and business, with clients that have included Members of Congress, publicly traded and privately held corporations, the NFL and the NBA, as well as numerous regional companies and institutions. A veteran of more than 250 political campaigns on the national and local levels, he served as press secretary to Al Gore for nearly a decade.

In addition to his current role as manager for multi-platinum selling artist Ben Folds, he serves on the Board of the Americana Music Association, is a member of the Recording Academy, and was the founding President of the Music Industry Coalition, Nashville’s first grass roots organization to serve as a voice for working music industry professionals on issues that impact our music heritage and culture.

He also continues to informally advise political, and currently edits and distributes a political/public policy news aggregator for music industry influencers called Backline.

Board Member

Dorothy Pierce McSweeny is Chair Emeritus of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, serving as Chair from 1999-2007 and as Vice Chair from 1996-1999, and as Past Chair of the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. Mrs. McSweeny received the NASAA Distinguished Public Service Award in October 2012, and was elected to the Washington, DC Hall of Fame Society in 2010. In 2007, she received the Mayor's Arts Award Lifetime Achievement. Additionally, she has been honored with Laura Phillips Angel of the Arts Award, the DC Youth Orchestra Lifetime Achievement Award, National Capital Philanthropy Award, Patron of the Arts Award by the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington and was named Washingtonian of the Year in 1995. She is active as founder, officer and trustee of numerous organizations including The John F. Kennedy Center, National Symphony Orchestra, The Washington Ballet, DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, the Federal City Council, DC Chamber of Commerce, National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Explore! Children’s Musuem, and Washington Episcopal School.

Board Member

Ann Sheffer is a volunteer, advocate, and patron from Westport, CT and Palm Springs, CA. She is the Secretary/Treasurer of the Betty R. and Ralph Sheffer Foundation, a small family foundation devoted to the arts, education, and community care, now involving a third generation in thoughtful, targeted philanthropy.

In addition, Ann has been deeply involved in private, foundation, and government funding for the arts, on national, state, and local levels. She is currently a trustee of the Palm Springs Art Museum and Chair of the Palm Springs Public Arts Commission. Ann was also the founding Chairman of the Board of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund and PAC.

Board Member

Steven Spiess served as the Chief Operating Officer of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. A founding Americans for the Arts board member, he served previously as chair and treasurer, sits today on many committees, and was a member of the board of the National Coalition of United Arts Funds, which Americans for the Arts oversees. He is a past winner of the Michael Newton Award for Excellence in United Arts Fundraising. Mr. Spiess served as a board member and treasurer of the American Council for the Arts (ACA), and was a member of the team responsible for managing the formation of Americans for the Arts through the merger of ACA with the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies. Mr. Spiess also served as chairman of the board of The Cravath, Swaine & Moore September 11th Relief Fund, and was actively involved in coordinating volunteer relief efforts at Saint Paul’s Church in the wake of the September 11th attacks. Today, he is involved in community service projects in the New York metropolitan area, working regularly with The Fresh Air Fund, Everybody Wins!, and New York Cares, among others. Previously a board member and treasurer of the Arts Council of Rockland (NY), he helped found the Arts Fund for Rockland, a united arts fund benefiting the county’s major arts organizations. He was also a co-founder of the Clarkstown Collegiate Players, a summer theater program for college-age students in Rockland County, NY.  He has long harbored a passion for the arts, with particular interest in music and theater, and has played trombone since an early age.  Mr. Spiess resides in Denver, CO.

Board Member

Michael Spring serves as director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, where he is responsible for supervision of a public arts agency with an annual budget of $33 million and a staff of more than 100. He represents the Department on numerous cultural and civic committees including service as Secretary of the board of directors of Americans for the Arts, a founding board member and officer of Americans for the Arts Action Fund,  member and past President of the United States Urban Arts Federation, chairman of the board of the Florida Cultural Alliance, chairman of the 5-county regional arts alliance, the South Florida Cultural Consortium, director of the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council and member of the board of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. In 2004, he helped lead the work to pass a referendum for the Building Better Communities bond program, dedicating more than $450 million for building the next generation of Miami-Dade’s cultural facilities, ranging from major new art and science museums to theaters and neighborhood arts centers. In 2007, he assumed the additional responsibility of leading Miami-Dade County’s Art in Public Places program. In 2011, the Department of Cultural Affairs opened the new Arquitectonica-designed, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay, a campus that includes a 966-seat theater, lab and studio theaters, an activities and classroom building, and outdoor concert lawn. In conjunction with a major re-organization of Miami-Dade County government, the Department also assumed responsibility in 2011 for operating three cultural facilities, formerly managed by the Parks Department: Miami-Dade County Auditorium; Caleb Auditorium; and African Heritage Cultural Arts Center. Operating and programming cultural facilities constitutes a major expansion of the Department’s role in the community and the development of additional, Department-managed facilities is underway. Michael Spring has helped build Miami-Dade County’s cultural community into a more than a $1.1 billion annual industry comprised of more than 1,000 non-profit cultural groups and thousands of artists. Mr. Spring received his B.A. from the University of Miami and his M.A. from New York University.  He and his wife, curator Regina Bailey, reside in Miami, FL.

Board Member

Nancy Stephens has lived in Los Angeles for 35 years with her filmmaker husband, Rick Rosenthal, and their three adult children. Nancy transitioned seamlessly from a long and successful acting career and member of the prestigious Actors Studio to being a full time advocate for both Environmental Sustainability and the Arts. She’s been on the Board of Directors of the Union of Concerned Scientists since 2001, where she is one of just four citizen activists among a host of esteemed scientists and Nobel Laureates. She also serves on the Board of Americans For The Arts, as well as the LA Arts for All Pooled Fund and The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

Nancy has been an Executive Producer on a number of Whitewater Film projects with her husband, including the Sundance and Indie Spirit award-winner MEAN CREEK and together they have supported many documentary projects such as the award-winning film THE SQUARE and the Academy Award nominated short OPEN HEART, full length documentary CARTEL LAND, THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS, 2017’s BENDING THE ARC about Dr. Paul Farmer and Partners In Health, and 2018 executive producer of WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR and DARK MONEY.

Nancy is a frequent and active advocate for strong scientifically based Environmental Policy as well as a passionate advocate in all areas for Federal and State funding for the Arts on every level, especially the crucial inclusion on arts in public school education.

For the last 25 years Nancy has been an active political fundraiser in Los Angeles for Progressive Democrats and consequently has many strong allies in the Senate and the House. Nancy is often the liaison between the Senators and their policy people and the Union of Concerned Scientists and Americans for the Arts.

She is currently on a mission to have every Senator become a member of the Senate Cultural Caucus and every Congressional person a member of the Congressional Arts Caucus.

On the international front, through her family foundation, Nancy supports and raises awareness for two brilliant young women Conservation Biologists who are working with the Maasai in Kenya and Tanzania, in a creative and innovative program called Lion Guardians.

Board Member

Ann Stock served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) from 2010 through September 2013. ECA promotes international mutual understanding through a wide range of academic, cultural, private sector, professional, youth, and sports exchange programs. The exchanges engage youth, women and girls, artists, athletes, and emerging leaders in the United States and in more than 160 countries. Alumni of ECA exchange programs comprise over one million people around the world, including 77 Nobel Laureates and more than 390 current or former heads of state and government.

From 1997 to 2010, Mrs. Stock was Vice President of Institutional Affairs at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where she oversaw the center’s expansion of its national and international profile. She also managed the center’s international arts management programs, and its government relations office, press office, and office of institutional affairs. Mrs. Stock was the Chief of Protocol, served on the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees (Assistant Secretary) and ran the Community Advisory Board.

In January 1993, Mrs. Stock was appointed Deputy Assistant to President William Jefferson Clinton and Social Secretary at the White House. As the Social Secretary, she was responsible for planning and implementing all events and special projects initiated by President and Mrs. Clinton at the White House.

Prior to working in the White House, Mrs. Stock was Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for Bloomingdale’s Department Stores nationwide. During the 1980 and 1984 Presidential election campaigns, Stock was Deputy Press Secretary to Vice President Walter Mondale. She started her career as the Press Office Manager for Vice President Mondale at the White House.

Mrs. Stock is currently a trustee of: The Women’s Foreign Policy Group (Chair), The White House Historical Association (Retail Advisory Chair), IREX, Meridian International (Co-Chair Development), and Americans for the Arts (Public Sector Task Force Chair).