CCP Leadership



Suzanne Ishee, brings over 40 years of experience of professional artistry and artist advocacy.  A multi-award winning producer, actor and playwright, and small business owner, she has performed on Broadway and in symphony halls worldwide.  She has produced at Carnegie Hall, for international music festivals and Inaugural Balls all of which support her expertise in team building, creation and implementation, marketing and promotion and negotiation. Additionally, she is a real estate consultant, trainer and investor with broad-based knowledge of the residential and commercial markets, distressed properties, redevelopment, realtor tools and resources, asset identification and management, and opportunities for community engagement.   As an original member of Sustainable Jersey’s Arts Task Force, she continually provides significant contribution to the development, training and promotion of action steps which communities may take to infuse the arts and culture into their planning processes.   A member of the PPS Placemaking Leadership Council, Western Highlands Scenic Byway board, Stewardship Council of the Scenic, Wild Delaware River Geotourism Initiative, Morris Canal Redevelopment Working Group, co-chair of the Livable Task Force for Together North Jersey and guest blogger for the National Association of Realtors, she continues to contribute to thought leadership, planning and advancement of the field of Creative Placemaking.  Suzanne developed the curriculum and is Instructor for the Certificate in Creative Placemaking course of study at NJIT/Continuing Professional Education.


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Alexis Telyczka is an intern who works with the Center for Creative Placemaking to market the Center and promote the field of Creative Placemaking through digital media. She has interned in the Promotions and Marketing Department at Magic 98.3 FM and has worked as an Assistant Event Planner for the Newark Improv Festival. She currently works as a social media assistant for NJIT’s Theater Arts and Technology Department. Alexis is a junior at NJIT studying Theater, Science, Technology, and Society, and Communications.



Advisory Team:

Barbara L. Heisler, is a seasoned nonprofit executive, coach, consultant and trainer. Beginning with her work as the founding Executive Director of the South Orange/ Maplewood Community Coalition on Race, a community development organization; and, later as Executive Director of Fund for an OPEN Society, Barbara became interested and explored the social impact of the arts particularly as they add to the stability racially and economically of communities; and began utilizing the arts extensively in her work in intentional integration.

Barbara currently serves as the Executive Director of GlassRoots, an innovative youth-serving organization in Newark NJ using the arts to increase educational successes, drive personal transformation, encourage entrepreneurship and bolster the community’s economy. Ms. Heisler has led major fundraising campaigns, guided strategic plan development and led strategic communication efforts. She conceived of and published the acclaimed journal Integral focusing on an aspect of community development, and has written about philanthropy for the Huffington Post.  Barbara serves on several boards, including that of the NJ Center for Nonprofits. Barbara holds an M.Ed in Organizational Development.

Patricia O’Connor, PhD is professor and Lorraine Walker Distinguished Chair in Psychology and chair of the department of psychology at The Sage Colleges. She has extensive experience and expertise in conducting program evaluations in local, statewide and national organizations, including local and state-based governmental agencies. Her intervention work focuses on systems change and assisting agencies across the community spectrum (social, economic, health, service, and education), facilitating collaborations and coalition-building efforts. Dr. O’Connor, trained as a community psychologist, focuses on ensuring that participants are a significant part of any evaluative or intervention effort. Dr. O’Connor has served in leadership positions on numerous professional and community-based boards and organizations. Dr. O’Connor completed her undergraduate degree at St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, and her graduate degrees at New York University.

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