Press RoomPhoenix Art Museum names three community leaders, business professionals to Board of Trustees

Phoenix Art Museum names three community leaders, business professionals to Board of Trustees

Jan, 20, 2019

Phoenix Art Museum names three community leaders, business professionals to Board of Trustees

Ruben Alvarez, Maria Harper-Marinick, and Donald Opatrny join the Museum’s 35-member board in 2018–2019 fiscal year

PHOENIX (January 16, 2019) –Phoenix Art Museum announces the appointment of three community leaders to the Museum’s Board of Trustees: Ruben Alvarez, co-founder and managing partner, Molera Alvarez; Maria Harper-Marinick, PhD, chancellor, Maricopa County Community College District; and Donald Opatrny, former partner and managing director, Goldman Sachs. The new appointees join the additional 35 members of the Board of Trustees, which serves as the Museum’s governing body and plays a key role in setting strategic goals and ensuring fiduciary responsibility in collaboration with Amada Cruz, the Museum’s Sybil Harrington Director and CEO. The appointments of Alvarez, Harper-Marinick, and Opatrny support the Museum’s strategic priority to leverage the professional leadership experience of its board through the recruitment of corporate and community leaders and aligns with its continued initiative to ensure the Museum’s board, staff, and collections reflect the diversity of its surrounding community. Alvarez and Harper-Marinick were elected to the Board, effective December 20, 2018; Opatrny was elected to the Board, effective October 25, 2018.

“We are privileged to welcome Ruben Alvarez, Maria Harper-Marinick, and Donald Opatrny to the Board of Trustees of Phoenix Art Museum,” said Cruz. “Each of our new Trustees brings with them a diversity of experiences in finance, law, government, higher education, and non-profit leadership, and they will play an integral role in guiding the Museum as we celebrate the milestone of our 60th year and prepare for future success. In addition to their professional expertise, each shares the same passion as our current board members and staff—to increase access to the arts and arts education for people of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds in our city, state, and region.”

As the Museum celebrates its 60th anniversary in November 2019, the milestone offers a period of reflection and planning for the next decade to come. Since transitioning to its first chief executive officer following the retirement of museum director James K. Ballinger after more than three decades of leadership, the Museum has continued to collaborate with its Trustees and staff to professionalize internal processes and expand long-range strategic and financial planning. This focus has informed the recruitment and selection of the three new Trustees. Donald Opatrny, retired managing director of Goldman Sachs, brings a wealth of insights from the financial sector. Through their expertise in governmental relations, non-profit leadership, and higher education, Ruben Alvarez, co-founder and managing partner of Molera Alvarez, a Valley business development and consulting firm specializing in lobbying and governmental advocacy; and Maria Harper-Marinick, PhD, the first woman to serve as chancellor of the Maricopa County Community College District, bring an added dimension to board leadership in these key areas that will help shape the future of the Museum.

Along with their professional experiences, Alvarez and Harper-Marinick bring shared experience as advocates and leaders within Arizona’s Latino community. Along with his extensive work locally, Alvarez currently serves as treasurer on the national board of the Latino Leaders Network, based in Washington, DC. Along with her community advocacy, Harper-Marinick helms the Maricopa County Community College District, designated a Hispanic-Serving System/District with six of 10 colleges designated as Hispanic-Serving Institutions, defined by Title-V as districts and colleges that serve student bodies whose total enrollment is at least 25% Latino. Their membership on the board aligns with the Museum’s ongoing commitment to ensuring the diversity of its staff, board, collections, and exhibition programming.

“Through Amada’s leadership, we have seen a tremendous increase in the diversity of the Museum’s staff and executive leadership, as well as in the types of exhibitions and programs the Museum offers to deepen engagement with people in our communities of all backgrounds and identities,” said Jon Hulburd, chair of the Board of Trustees of Phoenix Art Museum. “But it was important to Amada, my fellow Trustees, and myself to ensure the makeup of our Board of Trustees also reflects the diversity of our community, with dimensional voices that will help guide us in our decision-making as we continue to become a museum for all people. The appointment of leaders such as Ruben and Maria is a step forward in realizing those goals, especially as representative leaders of more than 2 million Latinos in our state. We look to continue recruiting and appointing new leaders who will amplify the voices of underrepresented individuals and populations within our community, and by doing so, make us stronger.”

With Alvarez, Harper-Marinick, and Opatrny, the Museum’s Board of Trustees now consists of 38 members, who represent the top tier of civic and business leadership in the Valley. Board members may serve a maximum of three 3-year terms before rolling off the board for one year, as stated in the Museum’s governing bylaws. For more information about Phoenix Art Museum and its Board of Trustees, contact the Marketing and Communications Office of Phoenix Art Museum at 602.257.2105 or

About Ruben E. Alvarez

Ruben E. Alvarez is co-founder and managing partner at Molera Alvarez. Applying his extensive political experience and strategic business expertise, he has led a wide range of Fortune 500 companies, non-profit groups, and governmental entities in pursuit of their business development and legislative goals. Prior to forming Molera Alvarez in 2003, Alvarez worked in the State of Arizona’s Executive branch for 12 years. Notable is his role as the Governor’s Policy Advisor for Mexico and Hispanic Affairs. In this role, he managed the state’s relationship with Mexican federal, state, and local government officials and provided leadership direction on key bi-national issues, cross-border trade activities, and initiatives targeting the needs of the Hispanic community.

In addition, before becoming policy advisor, Alvarez served as the Governor’s Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, where he was responsible for implementing and overseeing outreach efforts to develop greater communication links between state agencies and underrepresented communities to disseminate information on contracting and employment opportunities.

Given his extensive understanding of how government operates, Alvarez’s expertise is in formulating strategies that impact policy-making decisions, resolving bureaucratic challenges, and creating business development opportunities for clients. He also has vast experience establishing partnerships between corporate entities and community-based organizations to align shared values and mutual interests in the enhancement and development of local communities.

Alvarez graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Arizona State University, where he received ASU’s Hispanic Convocation’s Undergraduate of the Year Award. Among his many involvements, he currently serves on the Arizona Commission on the Arts; is chairman of CALA Alliance (Celebración Artística de las Américas – Artistic Celebration of the Americas); is a board member and treasurer of Latino Leaders Network based in Washington, DC; is a board member of Valley of the Sun United Way; is chair of Phoenix Community Alliance’s Public Affairs Committee; serves on ASU President’s Advisory Council on Inclusion and Success; is the past chairman of the Arizona Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; and is the past chairman of the Arizona Chapter of the American Lung Association.

About Maria Harper-Marinick, PhD

Maria Harper-Marinick, PhD, is chancellor of the Maricopa County Community College District, the largest community college district in Arizona and one of the largest community college systems in the nation, serving more than 200,000 students with the support of 10,000 faculty and staff members across 10 colleges. A national leader in higher education and a strong advocate for access, equity, and student success, she serves on the national and local boards for various organizations and institutions, including the American Council on Education, American Association of Community Colleges, Excelencia in Education, League for Innovation in the Community College, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, and Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She is also chair-elect of the Board of Valley of the Sun United Way. Throughout her career, Harper-Marinick has received numerous awards and recognitions. She was named one of the 2017 Most Admired Leaders in the Valley by Phoenix Business Journal and was the recipient of the 2017 Valley Leadership Woman of the Year award, the 2016 Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce ATHENA Award—Public Sector, and the 2015 Woman of the Year award from the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Harper-Marinick moved to Arizona in 1982 as a Fulbright Scholar to complete graduate work at Arizona State University, where she earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in education.

About Donald Opatrny

Donald Opatrny is a former partner and managing director of Goldman Sachs. He serves as vice chairman of Cornell University and is on the Advisory Committee of the Johnson Museum, the National Committee of The Whitney Museum, the Investment Funds Committee of the State of Wyoming, and the Multi-Asset Board of BlackRock. Previously, Opatrny served on the investment committee of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the boards of Artstor, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (chair), and the Center for the Arts (chair) in Jackson, Wyoming. He and his wife, Judy, collect contemporary art and Czech and European Avant-Garde photography, and through The Opatrny Family Foundation, they support various arts organizations. Opatrny received his Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University and his MBA from The University of Chicago.

About Phoenix Art Museum

Phoenix Art Museum has provided access to visual arts and educational programs in Arizona for nearly 60 years and is the largest art museum in the southwestern United States. Critically acclaimed national and international exhibitions are shown alongside the Museum’s permanent collection of more than 19,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. The Museum also presents festivals, a comprehensive film program, live performances, and educational programs designed to enlighten, entertain, and stimulate visitors of all ages. Visitors also enjoy vibrant photography exhibitions through the Museum’s landmark partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. To learn more about Phoenix Art Museum,, or call 602.257.1880.

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