Suzanne Ishee, brings over 30 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 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.
Stuart Koperweis, is one of the premier individuals in the economic development and revitalization field. He has participated in the phenomenal revitalization of such cities as Jersey City, Asbury Park, Belmar and Keyport by combining the Arts with Economics.
As Senior Vice-President at Millennium Strategies, LLC Stuart has been instrumental in developing alliances and partnerships with numerous statewide organizations; as well as assisting municipal governments by providing financial incentives and economic development / impact analysis. He is regularly called upon for his experience and expertise in Commercial Real Estate, contract negotiations, real estate development, affordable housing, zoning and land use. He also works on behalf of diverse private sector clients regarding programs offered by the New Jersey State Economic Development Authority, HMFA, DOT and others to support respective client projects.
Known as one of the foremost authorities in the State of New Jersey and the New York metropolitan region on the effective workings of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) he continues to live by the mantra: Create Growth; Do Public Good; Uplift Human Spirit; Revitalize Communities.
Duda Penteado is a multimedia artist who lives between the United States and Brazil for almost 20 years and works with : performance , video – installations , murals , sculptures , paintings and other visual practices. In recent years Duda has devoted much of his work on important issues of : peace , globalization , diaspora , dual citizenship and other geopolitical and social phenomena of the twenty-first century .
Active in Brazil and the USA, as well as in Europe throughout the 1990s and the early 21st Century, he showed in the ; Museu Afro Brasil , SP, Brazil, Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, N.J.; Biennale Internazionale Dell’Arte Contemporanea, Florence, Italy, Monique Goldstrom Gallery, NYC; The Museum of Art and Origins, Harlem, NYC (NY); BACI-The Brazilian American Cultural Institute, Washington, DC; Museo de Las Americas, Denver, CO; CITYarts 272nd Mural, “Nature is Love on Earth”, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, The St. John’s Recreation Center, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NYC, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY, New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ, Kean University, Union, NJ; Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ; Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ; Drew University, Madison, NJ; Middlebury College, Vermont; UFES- Universidade Estadual do Espírito Santo, Vitoria, ES; UNESP-Universidade Estadual Paulista, SP, and SESC – SP.
Duda also was President of the Artist Certification Board, Jersey City, NJ, until 2010. His awards and recognition from various institutions in the United States include: Urban Artist Fellowship Award, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT; Goldman Sachs StudentArt Project Grant, Jersey City, NJ (2006, 2007, 2008); Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, Claremont, CA; Special Guest forArtistic Achievement & Commitment to YMCA Greater, NY-Youth, NYC; American Graphic Design Award, Interactive Multimedia Installation, NYC; Humanitarian Award from the Hudson County Chapter of the American Conference on Diversity, Jersey City, NJ, and received a Kappa Pi International Honorary Art Fraternity Award, Eta Rho Chapter, New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ., ” The Jewel of JK ” Juscelino Kubitschek Award at United Nations – CICESP , NYC. Along with Mario Tapia and Dr. Carlos Hernandez, he has been at the helm of the We Are You Project since 2005.
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.