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NOPA Announces Nine New Board Members

Incoming and retiring Board members meet at the NOPA Gallery. From top left: Julie Verlinden, Natasha Sanchez, L. Kasimu Harris, Eric Whitaker, David Rae Morris, Amy Dailey Williams, Megan Koza Mitchell, Thom Bennett, Edna Lanieri, Lisa Cates, Jennifer Williams, Russell Lord, Arthur Severio, Jennifer Shaw.

On June 1, NOPA welcomed nine new members of the community to our Board of Directors. NOPA’s success in supporting photography in our community has been the direct result of the tireless work and leadership of individuals who have served on our Board and committees since our inception twelve years ago.

In addition to the new members, Lisa Cates will assume the role of President. Lisa was previously the Board Secretary and chaired the Gala committee in 2015 and 2016. She is a photographer and has worked with National Geographic and Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. Todd Rennie and Eric Whitaker will continue on the Board in At-Large positions and Eugenia Uhl will continue in her role as Treasurer. Jennifer Shaw will continue her leadership of PhotoNOLA as our Artistic Director.


L. Kasimu Harris, a writer and photographer, is also the Assistant Director of Communication and Marketing at Dillard University. Harris joins NOPA as the Communications Chair and will be responsible for oversight of the organization’s marketing and publicity campaigns. Join NOPA’s communication team here.

Edna Lanieri is the Director of Programming at the Longue Vue House and Gardens and teaches photography at Xavier University. Lanieri joins NOPA as the Education Chair overseeing workshops and community education programs. Join NOPA’s education team here.

Russell Lord is the Freeman Family Curator of Photographs, Prints, and Drawings at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Lord is an At-Large member of the Board of Directors.

Megan Koza Mitchell is the Director of Operations of Prospect New Orleans. She has extensive experience in arts administration and photography. Mitchell joins NOPA as Vice President.

David Rae Morris is a photographer and filmmaker and has been involved with NOPA since its inception. Morris joins NOPA as Secretary.

Arthur Severio is a photographer, gallery owner, and performer. Severio will serve as the Development Chair providing oversight of NOPA’s fundraising events and campaigns. Join NOPA’s development team here.

Zack Smith is a photographer and educator. Smith has been a long-standing volunteer and invaluable member of the NOPA organization since it’s founding. He joins the board as the Grant Program Chair with oversight of the Michael P. Smith Fund for Documentary Photography and the Clarence John Laughlin Award. Join NOPA’s grantmaking team here.

Julie Verlinden is a photographer with extensive experience with event and exhibition production. Verlinden joins NOPA as the Program Chair with oversight of NOPA’s schedule of photography programs and events. Join NOPA’s programming team here.

Jennifer Williams is Deputy Director for the Public Experience at Prospect New Orleans. Previously, Williams was the Director of the McKenna Museum in New Orleans and has extensive project management and exhibition experience. Williams joins NOPA as the Exhibition Chair where she will produce and lead the curatorial and production team for the organization’s gallery. Join NOPA’s exhibition team here.

Also joining the organization is Carrie Lee Schwartz as the organization’s academic advisor and liaison. Schwartz is the Senior Professor of Practice, Media Arts/Digital Design at Tulane University in New Orleans.