Princess E. Crump, President
Princess Crump is a season nonprofit professional with thirty-five years of experience in various positions overseeing accession and exhibit installation, marketing, grant writing, fundraising, special events, facility rentals and volunteer management, fiscal budget administration, and program curriculum development in the non-profit field. And in her career has overseen the budgetary control of 6.3 million in capital grants, $536,000 program grants and special events, and $745,000 in annual operating budgets
Miss. Crump has served on various civic and social organizations such as the Board of Directors of the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, the Pointe Community Association HOA, the Arizona Historical Society Central Arizona Chapter, and the Orpheus Male Chorus. Her current civic and socialinvolvement includes serving on the Arizona Community Foundation’s Black Philanthropy InitiativeCommittee. The other organization’s that Miss Crump served on involved the Arizona Commission On The Arts – Education Grant Committee Panel, the Phoenix Arts Commission – George Washington Carver Public Art Sculpture Panel, Fiesta Bowl Parade as Volunteer Chair, Drowning Prevention Coalition of Central Arizona, Glendale Community Council Committee – Children, Youth & Families, Director of Volunteer Agencies (DOVIA), Tempe Community Council – Youth Forum Committee, Phoenix Pride Commission – City of Phoenix former Kids Pride Award Program, The League of Women Voters – 75th Anniversary of Women Suffrage Planning Committee, The Governors Division of Children – March for Children Against Violence Planning Committee and on the Arizona Supreme Court – Foster Care Review Board
Princess received her Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation Management specializing in Non-profit Management and Human Service Administration from Arizona State University in 1985 and has completed a certification program from the University of Phoenix in Human Resource Management in 2001.
Henry Watkins, Vice President
Joseph Benesh, Treasurer
Since July 2019, Joseph Benesh has worked as the Executive Director of Arizona Citizens for the Arts – the only statewide arts advocacy nonprofit organization. In his community work, Mr. Benesh currently sits on the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Commission, and boards of the Greater Phoenix Chamber, and George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center. Prior to joining Citizens, he worked for eight years as the Director of Phoenix Center for the Arts. Previously Benesh worked for ten years in arts management at Phoenix Theatre, Theater Works, and Stagebrush Theater. In 2011 he managed the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center In New York City, where he obtained his M.A. from NYU. Prior to this Benesh developed and lead community outreach programs in group homes, shelters, and other community centers that serve inner city children. He wrote and directed Night of the High School Dance, the Musical for One Step Beyond – an organization that serves developmentally disabled young adults. As a professional artist, he directed for the stage at Phoenix Theatre, Space 55, Black Theatre Troupe, the Okoboji Summer Theater, and many more. He is committed to advocating for arts & culture and their deep impact on individual lives, local culture, and the greater economy. M.A. New York University.
Brenda Thomson, Secretary
Brenda Thomson has served as the Executive Director of Arizona Humanities since March 2010. Thomson brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Arizona Humanities, specializing in executive management, fundraising, human resources, public speaking, community relations, and strategic planning. She is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion through the humanities, and is inspired by the rich history of the people and places of Arizona. Prior to joining Arizona Humanities, Thomson directed The Center for Law Leadership and Management at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU; and was also the Executive Director of the Maricopa County Bar Association. In addition to Carver, Brenda serves on the national board of the Federation of State Humanities Councils, Phoenix Burton Barr Library Advisory Board, and Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame. B.A. English, Yale University, J.D. Yale Law School.
Lois Brown, Board
Lois Brown is an ASU Foundation Professor of English and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Arizona State University. She is a public historian and a scholar of African American literature and culture whose groundbreaking research reshapes our understanding of race, class, gender, faith, and place in America. Professor Brown’s current projects include biographies of James Mars and of the enterprising traveler Nancy Prince, a study of Liberator editor William Lloyd Garrison, and a book on African Americans in 18th and 19th century Concord, Massachusetts. Brown’s first academic love is 17th century British poetry and this continues to inform her work on early American writing, landscape, and narratives about loss, redemption, and triumph. Brown was featured on the acclaimed PBS documentary The Abolitionists and has curated and collaborated on exhibitions for the Museum of African American History in Boston and the Boston Public Library. Brown is an award-winning teacher whose courses include Writing on the Land of Freedom: The Pastoral in African American Literature, Slavery and the Literary Imagination, and Reel Black: African American Life in Film. Ph.D. Boston College, B.A. Duke University.
Gene Fortenberry, Board
Roberto Frietz, Board
Roberto Frietz is employed as a Neighborhood Specialist for the City of Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department since 1995. Mr. Frietz has extensive experience in implementing and coordinating comprehensive community engagement initiatives such as Weed and Seed, Neighborhood Initiative Areas and Neighborhood Fight Back Programs. He also has previous experience working in homeless services and youth programs. Mr. Frietz has previously served as a board member for New Pathways for Youth a nonprofit organization that provides mentoring opportunities to Phoenix area youth and was a volunteer coach for the Phoenix Suns Nite-Hoops basketball prevention program serving young men ages 18-25. He currently sits as a board member for the Creighton Community Foundation and the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center.
Chad Gestson, Board
Dr. Chad E. Gestson has served as superintendent of the Phoenix Union High School District since the fall of 2015. Under his leadership, Phoenix Union has launched five new schools, from a Gifted and Talented academy, to a college preparatory academy in one of the city’s most underserved communities, to the Phoenix Coding Academy. The district has seen tremendous increases in graduation rates, scholarship totals, and college matriculation rates. Prior to being named superintendent, Gestson was the district’s director of school leadership. In that role, he supervised principals and developed future principals and assistant principals through an Aspiring Leaders program that he created. Before joining Phoenix Union, Gestson was a middle school principal and elementary school assistant principal in the Isaac School District. Prior to his work in education, Gestson was a commercial construction superintendent in Seattle, Wash. B.A. English, University of Washington, an M.Ed. curriculum and instruction from Arizona State University, and an M.Ed. in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University (NAU). Ph.D educational leadership, NAU. Broad Academy Fellow.
Jerald Goode, Board
Michael Neal, Board
Paul Alan Taliercio, Resident Curator
Dynamic, organized, and innovative curator with 10+ years of sharpening executive skills in hospitality, retail, finance and business development industries. Excellent interpersonal relationship skills that drives growth and maintains high attention to detail and accuracy.
The Sapien Musuem of Anthropology & Natural History | Director, Chief Curator
Founded a new virtual exhibition project in 2018 to collect, research, preserve, and plan exhibitions tell the stories of our human evolution through time, geopolitical changes, and environmental adaptations. Projects include: George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center, Project Curator to restore and modernize exhibits that tell the stories of the first segregated school in Arizona.
Compass CBS Foundation | Board Member
Founding board member since 2018 for the Compass CBS Foundation, which organizes educational events and workshops in the valley for bilingual professionals who want to succeed with the support of our partners. Through our learning events and consulting, Compass CBS Foundation provides the right tools, expertise and strategies for multicultural professionals and small businesses to thrive, and in turn, contribute to Arizona’s economic and social growth.
Compass CBS | Vice President, Marketing & Research Manager
Vice President to the premier bilingual employee learning and executive leadership training provider to Fortune 500 companies in the United States and Latin America. We work with large groups in many highly regulated and demanding environments such as banks, government agencies, mining operations, medical institutions and more. We are based in Scottsdale, Arizona and have been serving business leaders since 2011.