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Staff and Consultants
Bronx Children's Museum Staff at 3rd Annual Gala

Bronx Children’s Museum Staff at 3rd Annual Gala, May 7, 2019

Left to right: Takisha Dozier, Cole Hawkins, Carolyn Schwartz, Natalie Wood, Carla Precht, John Boudreau, Thu-Nhi Nguyen-Petit, Nicole Wallace, Troy Thompson

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Bronx Children’s Museum Staff Party, June 2019 - Back Row: Troy Thompson, Sarah Jane Witchell, Carolyn Schwartz, Derek Cereola, James Montalvo, Shatevia Wilkins, Yosie Sosa, Middle Row: Takisha Dozier, Takisha’s daughter, Thu-Nhi Ngyugen-Petit, Carla Precht, Renee Pena-Lopez, Nicole Wallace, Sandy Shalleck, Fionia Amara, Haqikah Abdullah, Lilli Genovesi  Bottom Row: Natalie Wood, Lorien Wallace, Lena Lopez, Jamal Richards, Luss Nigliaglioni, Marina Williams, Mona Dreher, Dominic Genovesi 

CARLA PRECHT, Founding Executive Director

 

Founding Executive Director Carla Precht joined the Bronx Children’s Museum in January 2010. An innovative manager of not-for-profit programs for children and families throughout the New York area, she knows and loves the Bronx.

For 10 years Ms. Precht served as Executive Director of Riverdale Neighborhood House in the northwest Bronx where she extended the reach of the agency, revamped its development program and revitalized its services for teens, seniors, families and young children. Ms. Precht was the founding Executive Director of the first Horizons academic enrichment program for low-income children at Brooklyn Friends School. She spent five years as Deputy Director and then Acting Executive Director of Youth Action Program in East Harlem, she was a program officer for one of the city’s leading literacy-focused after school program foundations, the Robert Bowne Foundation, and she served for nine years as Community Service Director for the Brooklyn Friends School.

Ms. Precht has trained and provided technical assistance to foundations, countless community-based organizations and after school and day care providers through Lutheran Medical Center, Child Care Inc, and Interface.

She began her career as an art teacher at Union Settlement House in East Harlem. From 2006-2009, Ms. Precht co-produced and co-directed an award winning educational documentary film about body image called Beauty Mark (www.beautymarkmovie.com) which was released in 2009.

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TAKISHA DOZIER, Special Assistant to the Executive Director & Community Liaison

 

Takisha has been part of the Museum family since 2010, when she came across the Museum while searching online for things to do in the Bronx with her then infant daughter. Since then she has served the Museum in various capacities such as Volunteer Community Outreach Coordinator, Museum Advisory Board member and part time consultant before joining the Board of Directors in 2015 and now as an official team member. 

 

A Bronx native and proud mother of two who is passionate about parents being their children's first teachers and advocates, Takisha believes in the importance of education, exposure to opportunity and inspiring curiosity about the world to foster a lifelong journey of learning for both parent and child. 

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THU-NHI NGUYEN-PETIT, Deputy Director of Operations and Finance

Thu-Nhi Nguyen-Petit joined BxCM in January 2019 as Deputy Director of Finance & Operations.  She oversees finance, operations, facilities management, human resources and information technology. Most recently, Thu-Nhi was the Director of Grants and Healthcare Administration at the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center for Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. She has spent her 15-year finance and administration career in the nonprofit sector, focused on improving the lives of underserved populations, from HIV/AIDS patients to people living with developmental disabilities. She managed complex, multi-million dollar grant portfolios for large institutions such as Mount Sinai Health System and Columbia University. She also oversaw the finances of NGOs specialized in global health and human rights issues (HealthRight International and Vital Strategies). French born Vietnamese, she holds an Executive Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from Columbia University.  After becoming a Mom and exploring cultural institutions with her two young children, Thu-Nhi was greatly inspired to transition to the Museum field. Joining BxCM is bringing her steps closer to accomplishing her childhood dream of becoming an Artist..

 

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BRIGID BARKLEY, Director of Human Resources

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MICHAEL HUXFORD, Operations Manager

Michael Huxford joined the Bronx Children’s museum in 2021. In his position as Operations Manager he oversees the day to day operations of the museum’s new location in the Powerhouse at Mill Pond Park, specifically facilities, maintenance, safety, and security. Michael comes from a theatrical and events background, with 15 years of professional experience in those fields, most recently as the Stage Supervisor for the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, MA. A California native, he holds a BA in Theatre Arts, with an emphasis in Technical Direction, from California State University, Fullerton. Upon transitioning to New York City, he made the decision to apply his previous experience working in cultural institutions to the field of museum management.  

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NATALIE WOOD, Deputy Director of Arts and Exhibits

 

Natalie Wood joined the Bronx Children’s Museum in July of 2010. She began her work in the Bronx community in 2004 at the Bronx Veterans Hospital in the Maxillofacial Prosthetic Training Program. Since then she has exhibited at the Bronx Museum of the Arts and has worked as a teaching artist in the South Bronx with Creative Classrooms.  


Ms. Wood manages the Waters On the Go! Exhibit in the Museum on the Go bus, the What is Art? Program, the Little Friends of the Museum Program, the Dream Big Summer Program, and the Dream Big After School Program. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree from Herbert H. Lehman College in the Bronx.

 

The New York Times - July 24, 2015:

How Natalie Collette Wood, Program Director of the Bronx Children’s Museum, Spends Her Sundays

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CHRISTOPHER GOMEZ, Arts Program Manager

Christopher Gomez joined the Bronx Children's Museum in October of 2019. He is a New York-based cartoonist and illustrator who has been working as a teaching artist since he graduated from The School of Visual Arts in 2014. He creates comics and children's books with the purpose of educating and entertaining youths from every walk of life, and believes that art is a fantastic vehicle for delivering information and culture to children of all ages.

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NICOLE WALLACE, Director of Education & Public Engagement

Nicole obtained her B.A. in Classical Civilizations from UC Berkeley in 2006 and immediately began working in museums, first at an archaeological site in Israel and then at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. She has lived in the Bronx since 2011, when she began working for the Bronx Children's Museum. She has an M.S. in Education from the Leadership in Museum Education program at Bank Street College of Education. Nicole is a National Geographic Certified Educator and an American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Education Mentor.

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ADRIANA BURKINS, STEAM Program Manager

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CAROLYN SCHWARTZ, Development Director

 

Carolyn brings three decades of experience as a marketing, branding, and development professional to the team. Her career has spanned both book publishing and the nonprofit sector. As Vice President, Director of Advertising and Promotion for the Random House Publishing Group, she developed and implemented plans for fourteen imprints, and spearheaded brand marketing strategies for numerous bestselling authors, including Dean Koontz, Lee Child, George R.R. Martin, Danielle Steel, and Dr. Christiane Northrup. Afterwards she led marketing and development for World Book Night US, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to promoting reading by engaging 25,000 volunteers to distribute 500,000 free, specially-selected books to teens and adults nationwide. She worked closely with their Board of Trustees, made up of industry leaders from publishing houses, the American Bookseller Association, and the American Library Association. Ms. Schwartz has been associated with the Bronx Children’s Museum since 2015. She gives back by assisting numerous nonprofits through her work with the Taproot Foundation. She received her BA from The Johns Hopkins University.

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RAESHA CARTAGENA, Grant Writer/Development Manager

 As a native New Yorker and a resident of the Bronx, Raesha has proudly served her community for nearly two decades and continues to be a social agent of change in the communities she serves. She began her career working in media communications as a print journalist for publications such as NY Newsday, The Hudson Reporter of NJ, El Aguila Newspaper in Westchester County where she worked as a reporter covering education, immigration, local politics and community relations. She then continued her work as an event producer for venues such as the Discovery Channel, The Apollo Theater, The Joyce Theater and Avery Fisher Hall @ Lincoln Center. Transitioning into the non-profit sector as a Development professional in 2005, she was part of the original team on the capital building project for the Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education opened in 2009, and managed fundraising initiatives for organizations such as The Brotherhood SisterSol, Hispanic Federation, and NYC Mission Society that addressed the need to improve afterschool programming and arts education in our local NYC schools, increased funding for program development and cultivated partnerships with other community-based organizations in Harlem and the Bronx.  Raesha holds an MBA in Media Management from the Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY), a BA Degree in Communications from the City College of New York (CCNY), and has a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the Baruch College School of Public Affairs. 

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JOHN BOUDREAU, Director of Marketing and Communications

John Boudreau has more than 26 years experience in the creative services, graphic design, web development, marketing and publishing industries. Designing and producing a wide variety of materials from promotional brochures, magazines, media kits and catalogues to children’s books, event graphics, exhibit design and websites, John began his career as a Magazine Designer in trade publishing at Keller International Publishing followed by Brand Manager for 17 titles at VNU eMedia. In 2003, John opened Boudreau Design as a freelancer graphic designer and creative communications consultant with clients in the educational, legal, financial, construction, real estate and art industries. Clients included Teachers College, Columbia University, Standard & Poors, Hoff-Barthelson Music School, Westchester Golf Association, Yula Corporation and Agent of Change Events. John began working with Bronx Children’s Museum in 2010 as a designer and consultant and joined the team full-time as Director of Marketing and Communications in January 2019. John holds a Masters Degree in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music and was formerly a concert pianist

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KRISTIN SCAROLA, Early Childhood Education Specialist Consultant

 

Kristin Scarola is a museum educator and consultant who provides experiences for museum visitors that are accessible, engaging and informative with an emphasis on the power of creativity to enliven, transform and inspire. Kristin specializes in early childhood and family programming, while working with a range of audiences including school groups, special needs, educators and school and museum administrators. She has taught at numerous cultural institutions including the Brooklyn Museum, MoMA, the Met and the Newark Museum. She has partnered with many institutions through Cool Culture to support families in visiting museums including the Rubin Museum of Art, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art and Storytelling and El Museo del Barrio. Kristin supports pre-service teachers at the Borough of Manhattan Community College as an adjunct professor.

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SARAH JANE WITCHELL, Visitor Services Consultant

Sarah Jane is our Visitor Service consultant working directly with Nicole Wallace to integrate a visitor service infrastructure, systems, assessment protocol, and culture into our day-to-day operations as we ready ourselves to conduct a soft opening by early 2020 and a grand opening by June 2020. Sarah Jane obtained her B.A. from Hofstra University and has worked in various roles throughout her career related to group sales, operations and visitor services.  She worked with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) as Director of Group Sales, where she oversaw all aspects of group sales and visitor services, and with Upsilon Ventures as the Group Sales & Membership Manager, where she project managed the integration of a new companywide ticketing system. She has also worked, on a consultant/seasonal basis, as the Director of Audience Services at World Science Festival, where she helped streamline and manage all aspects of ticketing and training of Audience Services Staff.

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SHARON KLOTZ, Exhibit/Capital Consultant

 

Sharon has been a museum professional for nearly two decades and has held positions at Discovery Place, SciTrek, The Tech Museum of Innovation and Brooklyn Children's Museum (BCM), where, as Director of Exhibitions, she was part of the leadership team that developed, designed and launched an $80M expansion and renovation, giving New York City its first LEED-certified museum. Recognized for its world-class collection and its central role as a cross-cultural community nexus, BCM created a suite of exhibits and programs that reflected Brooklyn’s diverse international community groups and encouraged ongoing, changing activities. BCM’s expansion project has served as a model and reference for many subsequent projects. In addition to leading exhibition research, planning and implementation, Sharon also led the Museum’s extensive visiting and traveling exhibits program. Following the grand re-opening of Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Sharon supported post-opening operations for a year and then launched a consulting practice to expand her work with emerging and transitioning museums. Projects include roles as: researcher and writer for an energy gallery at the new science museum in Calgary; strategic consultant and project coach for an emerging museum in Northern VA; and research and design consultant for Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Sharon holds a physics degree from MIT and, in addition to her museum experience, has also been a Wall Street finance analyst, a published science writer, a national corporate trainer, a theater producer and an organizational Board coach and facilitator. Sharon regularly serves the field as an advisor, grant reviewer, and conference presenter.

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Waters On the Go! Guides

 

Adam Algarin

Jessica Colon

Naa Pappoe

Renee Pena-Lopez

Teaching Artists

Dr. Valerie Capers

Christopher Gomez

Bobby Gonzalez

Ricardo Luss Nigaglioni

Yvette Martinez

Natalie C. Wood

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