Press RoomPhoenix Art Museum hosts high-powered Women’s Leadership Workshop with top Valley entrepreneurs, business executives

Phoenix Art Museum hosts high-powered Women’s Leadership Workshop with top Valley entrepreneurs, business executives

Mar, 13, 2024

Special Events and Programs

Phoenix Art Museum hosts high-powered Women’s Leadership Workshop with top Valley entrepreneurs, business executives

On April 4, women leaders from the electronics, construction, legal, strategic-communications, higher-education, nonprofit, art, and food-service sectors meet in conversation to share insights on building successful careers

PHOENIX (March 13, 2024) – On Thursday, April 4, 2024, Phoenix Art Museum presents Women Powered: The Choices That Define Leaders, a two-part professional-development workshop that connects community members with dynamic women leaders based in Arizona. At 5 pm, the Museum will host a Sip+Share ‘speed-dating’ style networking opportunity, during which individuals who seek to blaze a path in their own careers can meet with and ask advice from women entrepreneurs and business executives from across a range of industries. A digital resource packet will be shared with attendees following the event. Admission to the Sip+Share portion of the evening workshop is FREE with an RSVP.

At 6 pm, the Museum will then present a women’s leadership panel, featuring top Valley entrepreneurs and business executives who will provide deep insight into the choices they made throughout their career journeys that propelled them forward. Panelists include Sheryl Palmer, CEO of Taylor Morrison, and Beth McMullen, Senior Vice President for Global Operations at Avnet, among many others. Tickets to the women’s leadership panel are $15 for the general public, $10 for PhxArt Members and college students with an active ID, and $5 for youth 17 and under. Paid admission to the panel also includes access to special-engagement exhibitions Barbie®: A Cultural Icon; The Power of Pink; Expanding Darshan: Manjari Sharma, To See and Be Seen; and Laura Aguilar: Nudes in Nature.

Tickets for Women Powered: The Choices That Define Leaders are available here.


April 4 // 5 – 6 pm
Tickets: FREE with RSVP // Cash bar available

Network with dynamic women entrepreneurs and executives during this ‘speed-dating’ style professional-development opportunity. A digital packet with professional-development resources, including recommended books, podcasts, trainings, seminars, workshops and more, will be shared with participants following the event.

Sip+Share made possible through the generosity of My Sister’s Closet, Bell Bank, and Austin Commercial, L.P. 

Laura Franco French // Director, State Government Relations, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.
Mara Gerst // Principal, Gerst Grants & Nonprofit Consulting
Cathy Graham // Executive Vice President, Desert Financial Credit Union
Ann Ocaña // Chief Marketing Officer, Shamrock Foods
Desirae Outcalt // Vice President Commercial Banker, Bell Bank
Christian Ramírez – Cohn Assistant Curator of Contemporary and Community Art Initiatives, Phoenix Art Museum
Nadia Rivera // Chief Impact Officer, Arizona Coyotes
Liz Shabaker // Co-Chief Executive Officer, Versant Capital Management
Jennifer Villalobos // Associate, Cushman & Wakefield
Laura Wenzel // Senior Director of Collections and Exhibitions, Phoenix Art Museum
Ritta Yee-Fagain // Chair, St. Joseph the Worker

Women’s Leadership Panel
April 4 // 6 – 7:30 pm
Tickets: $15 for the general public // $10 for PhxArt Members and college students with an active ID // $5 for youth 17 and under

Includes access to special-engagement exhibitions Barbie®: A Cultural Icon; The Power of Pink; Expanding Darshan: Manjari Sharma, To See and Be Seen; and Laura Aguilar: Nudes in Nature

Join PhxArt for a riveting discussion with a panel of dynamic women leaders based in Arizona, who will give deeper insights into their own journeys through their careers and the choices they made along the way that propelled them forward, or, at times, caused them to stumble.

Panel made possible through the generosity of Desert Financial Credit Union

Moderator: Vanessa Ruiz // Vice President, Arizona State University
Vanessa Ruiz is Deputy Vice President, Educational Outreach, within Educational Outreach & Student Services at Arizona State University. In her current role, Ruiz leads several teams creating a vision to develop and implement strategic engagement and partnerships with students and families, K-12 schools, foundations, non-profits, corporate partners, and other community stakeholders to increase the educational attainment and economic opportunity for diverse communities across Arizona, impacting more than 100,000 students every year. Previously, as Director for Diversity Initiatives and Community Engagement, Ruiz led ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s strategy and tactical planning for recruiting and retaining diverse faculty, staff, and students, as well as first-generation college students. She also served as the lead instructor for all ethics and diversity courses while designing ongoing professional development and leadership pathways for faculty and faculty associates in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. As a three-time Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist, Vanessa also currently serves as an anchor for PBS NewsHour West, the Western U.S. broadcast of the PBS NewsHour, focusing on stories and issues with an origin and special interest in the western region of the United States. Prior to joining the Cronkite School in 2017, Ruiz was the main evening news anchor at KPNX, the NBC affiliate in Phoenix. Her dedication to her community and the arts has led Vanessa to currently serve as board member for Phoenix Art Museum and CALA Alliance, a Latinx arts organization based in Phoenix that collaborates with artists and arts organizations to nurture artistic talent, focusing on artists from the Latin American diaspora. Ruiz studied part of her elementary and high-school education in Mallorca, Spain. She graduated from Florida International University with a B.S. in Communications and a minor in International Relations and holds a Master’s in Liberal Studies, with distinction, from Arizona State University.

Dr. Damita Kaloostian // Interim Vice President of Student Affairs at Scottsdale Community College
Damita Kaloostian is a collaborative leader committed to student success and the mission of community colleges. Kaloostian serves as Interim Vice President of Student Affairs at Scottsdale Community College and has worked for the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) for over 20 years in various positions at both the system and college levels. As a champion for higher education, she has strategically supported system-wide initiatives such as the Seamless Student Experience, Program Integrity (Gainful Employment), Strategic Planning, Emergency Preparedness, Strategic Enrollment Management, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. At the college level, she has a comprehensive leadership background anchored in Student Affairs and Institutional Research. Her professional experiences also include leading grants, alumni, development, and marketing. Her platform as a leader encourages care for students and staff, institutional optimization, and innovative systems-thinking. Her leadership has contributed to the development of one-stop enrollment models, reimagining core student enrollment processes, division stabilization, dedicated practices to address food and related insecurities, institutional brand redesigns, and successful accreditations. Kaloostian is committed to leading diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. She has extensive experience working at Hispanic and Minority-Serving Institutions. Her role at Scottsdale Community College represents one of the only public community colleges in the country to be situated on tribal land. She has an unyielding commitment to transformative work that develops future leaders, builds sustainable systems, and expands student success opportunities. She recently completed a Ph.D. in the Innovation in Global Development program at Arizona State University.

Beth McMullen // Senior Vice President, Global Operations, Avnet, Inc.
Beth McMullen is Senior Vice President of Global Operations at Avnet, Inc. In this position, McMullen is responsible for driving consistent and efficient execution of global strategy, including leadership of Global Logistics, Global Programming, Global Quality, Environmental, Health, and Safety organizations, the Salesforce Global Center of Excellence, Global Data Analytics, and the Global Program Management Office. McMullen joined Avnet in 2010 as part of the Global Information Systems (GIS) team, where she was responsible for leading a technology program for the legacy Electronic Marketing team and related technical teams and building the GIS Project Management Office. In the time since, she has continued to play a critical role in the Avnet global initiatives and transformations, holding leadership positions in Global Logistics & Operations, the Transformation office, and Global Operations for Core. Prior to joining Avnet, McMullen held senior leadership positions at DP DHL and Arthur Andersen, LLP. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a Master’s in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Bettina Nava // Co-Founder And Owner, Nexus Strategy Group
Bettina Nava is a co-founder and owner of Nexus Strategy Group, working with blue-chip and emerging clients to achieve their communications goals in diverse markets. Prior to co-founding Nexus Strategy Group (formerly OH Strategic Communications), Nava was a partner at FirstStrategic Communications and Public Affairs, leading the firm’s community and business relations, strategic relationships, and marketing efforts. She also worked in various capacities for the office and presidential campaign of Arizona Senator John McCain. As the Southwest campaign manager for the McCain 2008 presidential team, she was in charge of hiring, managing, and implementation of campaign tactics, strategies, and communications, and prior to that, she was director of fundraising for the McCain 2008 Presidential Committee in Arizona. During McCain’s tenure as Arizona Senator, Nava served as state director, leading three state offices and driving community outreach efforts. Nava also previously worked for Governor Fife Symington as director of community relations and boards and commissions. In addition to her volunteer service on the PhxArt Board of Trustees, Nava serves as a member of Greater Phoenix Leadership, Board chair for the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association Government Relations Committee and on the Multi-Cultural Board of ONE Community. Previously, she has served on the boards of the Valley of the Sun United Way, Child’s Play AZ, MISS Foundation, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Southwest Human Development. She also has received numerous awards, including the community service award from Valle Del Sol in 2014.

Sheryl Palmer // Chairman and CEO, Taylor Morrison
Sheryl Palmer is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Taylor Morrison, a leading national homebuilder and developer based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Since 2006, Palmer has overseen a highly experienced leadership team in several key national homebuilding markets and has led Taylor Morrison into the top ranks as America’s fifth largest public home builder. Additionally, in 2024 the company was named America’s Most Trusted Home Builder for the ninth consecutive year by Lifestory Research. Palmer was winner of the 2021 Hearthstone Builder Humanitarian of the Year, and the company was recognized as BUILDER Magazine’s 2020 Builder of the Year, named one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune Magazine in 2019 and 2020, and recognized as a repeat member of Bloomberg’s Gender Equality Index (GEI) for transparency in gender reporting and advancing women’s equality in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Her passions extend beyond homebuilding and enter the many realms of leadership and diversity; supporting veterans; solving for homelessness; and health and wellness. She currently serves as Chairman of the Building Talent Foundation, an organization that partners with homebuilders to address the vast trade labor shortage. She also served as the Chairman of the National Board of Directors of HomeAid America from 2019 to 2021, is on the Board of Directors of Offerpad., and is an Executive Committee Member of the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) Policy Advisory Board at Harvard University.

Kimberley Rimsza // President of S&K Rimsza Family Office
Kimberley Rimsza is a multifaceted leader known for her exceptional business acumen, unwavering commitment to empowering women in the business world, and her inspiring journey as both a dedicated mother and the former First Lady of Phoenix during her husband’s, Skip’s, mayoral tenure ending in 2004. With a rich background in business, Rimsza’s most recent experience includes serving as the Executive Vice President of the West Region at TriMark. In this role, she led initiatives to enhance organizational efficiencies, set divisional goals, and drive profitable growth. Her strategic vision and innovative approach have made a lasting impact on the food-service equipment and supplies industry, both within her own business and across the sector. Prior to TriMark, Rimsza served as the CEO of her business for over 15 years, overseeing its growth and success before its acquisition by TriMark in 2007 as part of a private equity roll-up strategy. Beyond her professional achievements, Rimsza embraces her role as a mother of triplets, as well as stepmother to her husband’s two children. Her ability to balance career and family commitments showcases her resilience and time management skills. Rimsza strongly believes in leading by example and demonstrating to her children, both boys and girls, that women can succeed as successful businesswomen, wives, mothers, and friends. A lifelong learner, Rimsza values personal growth and finds enrichment through travel and exploration. She approaches each new experience as an opportunity for growth and understanding, embodying a philosophy of continuous learning and self-improvement. Through her leadership and mentorship efforts, Rimsza is dedicated to creating opportunities for women to thrive in the business world. She believes that women can achieve anything they set their minds to and is passionate about empowering women to reach their full potential.

Jordan Rose // Founder and President, Rose Law Group pc
Jordan Rose started Rose Law Group pc leasing space for just herself in another lawyer’s storage room and has, in 24 years, grown the firm to the largest woman-owned law firm in Arizona history. Rose Law Group is also the first full-service law firm on the metaverse for metaverse-based businesses and the first law firm in the world to employ blockchain developers, coders, and 3D architects working with lawyers to take a Web3 project from legal due diligence, through to design and construction. Rose practices in the areas of business consulting, government relations, municipal issues, land use, zoning, sports law, Web3, administrative law and lobbying. Jordan was named amongst the “20 names to know in real estate” by The Phoenix Business Journal and listed in The Business Journals as one of the top 100 national “Influencers in law” – amongst just three from Arizona. She also has been named among the “Top 100 party hosts in America” by The Salonniere. Rose serves as President of Pinal Partnership, a member of Barrow’s Neurological Institute Board; a member of American Cancer Society’s CEOs Against Cancer board, a board member at the Phoenix Art Museum; a member of YPO Scottsdale Integrated and YPO Arizona Gold; Executive Board and Facilities Committee Chair for Phoenix Country Day School; an 8-year mentor for the Urban Land Institute’s Partnership Forum; and Co-Chair City County Committee for Greater Phoenix Leadership. Rose is the proud mother of two teenage boys.

Olga Viso // Selig Family Chief Curator, Phoenix Art Museum
Olga Viso is the Selig Family Chief Curator at Phoenix Art Museum, where she leads the Museum’s curatorial division, overseeing curatorial staff across all collecting areas, the collections and exhibitions management teams, and the departments of education and engagement. A specialist in modern and contemporary art and a seasoned arts leader, curator, and scholar with a focus on Latin American/Latinx contemporary art, Viso has more than 30 years of experience working both as a curator and a museum administrator. In addition to her work at PhxArt, Viso acts as senior advisor at ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, where she develops academic partnerships for the university with art museums. She also supports the ASU-LACMA master’s fellowship program in art history, a collaboration between the university and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that invests in the advancement of museum professionals of color already working in museums. Before joining the Museum, Viso served as executive director of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and director and curator at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC. She has organized and curated numerous landmark solo and group exhibitions, with major monographic artist surveys including Juan Francisco Elso: Por América (2022); Everything, a 30-year retrospective of work by Guillermo Kutica (2010); Ana Mendieta: Earth Body, Sculpture and Performance 1972–1985 (2004); and Jim Hodges: Give Me More Than You Take (2013). Viso has also held positions at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. In 2013, she was appointed by President Obama to the National Council on the Arts. Viso is an emeritus member of the Association of Art Museum Directors and was an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Fellow in Residence 2019–2020. She served on the Board of the Andy Warhol Foundation from 2008-2016.

For more information about this event, contact the Communications Office of Phoenix Art Museum at

About Phoenix Art Museum
Since 1959, Phoenix Art Museum has provided millions of guests with access to world-class art and experiences in an effort to ignite imaginations, create meaningful connections, and serve as a brave space for all people who wish to experience the transformative power of art. Located in Phoenix’s Central Corridor, the Museum is a vibrant destination for the visual arts and the largest art museum in the southwestern United States. Each year, more than 300,000 guests engage with critically acclaimed national and international exhibitions and the Museum’s collection of more than 20,000 works of American and Western American, Asian, European, Latin American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. The Museum also presents a comprehensive film program, live performances, and educational programs designed for visitors of all ages, along with vibrant photography exhibitions made possible through the Museum’s landmark partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. To learn more about Phoenix Art Museum, visit, or call 602.257.1880.

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