On May 30, the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts (GFA) elected a new slate of leadership for 2023-2024. The Voting Board had to choose from a highly qualified list candidates for new Board members, and then select from its members the new leadership team.
Replacing the outgoing Officers, President Diane Buckley-Altwies, Vice President Tara Knauss-Wilga, Treasurer Karen Price, and Secretary Erika George, was no easy task considering that they, Board members, and the numerous committee leaders and volunteers realized one of the most successful GFA Festivals in the organization’s history in 2023. Because of the accomplished list of interested Officer applicants to choose from, GFA has chosen a new slate that promises to help this 54-year-old non-profit have an even greater impact on the arts in Tampa Bay.
GFA announces the following newly elected Officers.
Karen Price – Re-Elected Board Member and Incoming Board President:
Karen was GFA’s Treasurer in 2022-23 and has been an invaluable member of the Board since 2021. Her dedication to detail and process-oriented approach has enriched her understanding of all facets of GFA during her three-year tenure. With a successful career as a CPA, Karen brings a wealth of experience in business advisory and tax planning solutions to the organization.
Clay Hollenkamp – New Board Member and Incoming Board Vice President:
Clay is a passionate advocate for GFA, having served as the Festival Co-Chair for the 53rd annual festival. He has been involved in non-profit arts administration and development for over a decade and recently became a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). Clay’s contributions to the arts extend beyond GFA, as he has been actively involved in the arts community through various roles, including being a board member at the Arts Council of Hillsborough County President of the Board of Directors of Make Plant City and co-founder of Periphery Media, which presents art exhibitions for local emerging artists.
Sandra Sroka – Incoming Board Secretary:
Sandra’s appreciation and involvement in the arts have been significantly enriched by her experience with GFA. With over 40 years of administrative experience in the health and disability fields, both in the public and private sector, Sandra brings a wealth of expertise to her role on the Board. She has been instrumental in ensuring compliance with disability rights laws and now serves as the Adult Program Coordinator for Arts4ALL Florida, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting arts education for individuals with disabilities.
Joy Jansen – Re-elected Board Member and Incoming Treasurer:
Joy’s deep appreciation for art stems from her upbringing and her mother’s influence. With 30 years of finance and management experience, including executive leadership roles, Joy is well-equipped to handle the financial responsibilities of the organization. Her focus on building relationships and creating positive impacts aligns perfectly with GFA’s mission. Currently, she serves as the Vice President of Finance for Amalie Oil Company.
GFA also welcomes its new Board members.
Bernadette Casey brings extensive experience working with nonprofit Boards of Directors and currently serves as the Development Director for the Pace Center for Girls in Hillsborough County. Her expertise in fundraising and development will be invaluable to GFA. During her tenure as the Development Director for the Tampa Museum of Art, Bernadette successfully secured support from major donors, oversaw exhibition openings, and managed a large budget.
Patricia Fosnaught – Past and Returning Board Member:
Patricia Fosnaught’s dedication to GFA spans over 30 years, making her one of the longest-serving supporters of the organization. As an experienced art educator, she has contributed significantly to the promotion of emerging artists and has played key roles in various GFA initiatives. Her focus on Festival rules and bringing in qualified candidates for Festival judges has been invaluable. Notably, she served as the Anniversary Committee Chair for GFA’s 50th Anniversary, overseeing multiple special events and exhibitions.
Derek Johnson’s passion for art was instilled by his grandmother, who nurtured his creativity and appreciation for artistic expression. In his professional life, he has excelled in business development and finance, generating substantial revenue for the firms he has worked for. Derek’s strong background in sales and relationship-building will assist in GFA’s development efforts.
Alexis Mootoo, PhD, MBA
Alexis Mootoo is deeply committed to the transformative power of the arts in bridging gaps between diverse communities. Her leadership positions at the University of South Florida and her involvement with the Straz Performing Arts Center demonstrate her dedication to fostering community engagement through the arts. Alexis brings extensive strategic leadership experience and a passion for empowering students and the community.
Jeffrey Nader is a passionate designer with a deep-rooted love for the arts. For the past 16 years, his affinity for the arts has been a driving force in his career, stemming from his innate desire to create and craft that began at an early age. He is also a culinary artist. In 2020, he joined GFA as a Festival committee volunteer, and ultimately rose to the position of Festival co-chair for the 53rd Annual Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. GFA’s mission fits well with Nader’s desire to showcase the transformative power of the arts and foster a sense of community and inspiration.
About GFA: The Gasparilla Festival of the Arts is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to producing an annual, premier juried outdoor art festival for the enjoyment and education of patrons, artists and guests as well as for the enhancement of the Tampa Bay area’s cultural arts. The non-profit organization relies on support from sponsorships, on-site retail sales, and corporate and individual gifts to fund its programs and events. To learn more, visit GasparillaArts.com.