ADVISORY COUNCIL

Director’s Advisory Council

The Director’s Advisory Council is a broadly representative, deliberative group that meets quarterly with the Director of the Memorial Art Gallery to advise him on diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion strategies that support, strengthen, and otherwise sustain the MAG and its community of staff, volunteers, guests, and visitors.


Kevin Beckford

Kevin Beckford

Kevin Beckford joined the University of Rochester in December 2017 as Senor Director, Staff Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In this role, Kevin provides strategy and direction to transform Staff Diversity and Inclusion at the University (31,000 employees).

Beckford has served in a variety of progressive operations roles in the corporate, banking, and health care industries. He has held roles in Call Center Operations, IT, Technical Communications, Supply Chain, and Purchasing at Kodak; Executive Operational leadership roles at Bank of America, PNC Financial, Bank of Montréal and Director of Nursing Operations (Interim) at Rochester Regional Health. Throughout these assignments Kevin has brought a focus on operational excellence, effectively managing change, and championing diversity, equity & inclusion in every aspect of the workplace.

Beckford is also active in the community, working on social justice, anti-poverty, and education initiatives for the poor. In November 2017, he was elected to the Pittsford, NY Town Board and is the first African-American to serve on the Pittsford Town Board in its more than 200-year history.

Beckford received a Bachelor of Science degree from Roberts Wesleyan College in Organizational Management. He is a life-long Servant Leader and feels he is at his best when he is serving others. He is enjoying serving in his University of Rochester and Government roles.


Chetna Chandrakala, CPA

Chetna Chandrakala

Chetna Chandrakala is the Senior Vice President of Finance & Compliance for GRIPA/Cognisight. GRIPA is a physician-led partnership between Rochester Regional Health and physicians helping to provide high-quality and high-value care. Chetna has over 25 years of experience in the fields of Finance, Accounting, Human Resources, and Compliance across different countries and industries including manufacturing, trading, power plants, insurance, and healthcare.

Chetna’s educational accomplishments and certifications include Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Executive Management Course from Graduate Business School, University of Chicago. She completed her undergraduate studies at Shri Ram College of Commerce, India and received her Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Delhi, India. She also holds the certification and has been a member of the three esteemed Institutes in India for Chartered Accountants, Cost Accountants, and Company Secretaries.

Chetna is very passionate about Community Service. She likes to help organizations by leveraging the intellectual capital of the Indian-American community and to foster cultural connections between the world’s largest democracies. She is currently the President of Hindu Temple of Rochester; Treasurer/Board member of the Mental Health Association of Rochester; Finance Committee member of the United Way; Board member and past chair of Development of Indian American Leaders (DIAL), and past chair of Professional Forum of India Community Center of Rochester. For several years, Chetna served the Pittsford PTSA in different capacities including Chair, Treasurer, and Website management.

Chetna was a recipient of PTSA Lifetime Membership award in 2015 and an Honoree of Rochester Business Journal Women of Excellence Awards in 2019.


Derrick Coley

Derrick Coley

Derrick Coley became a youth service coordinator at the Rochester Public Library in 2001. He is the founder of the Safe to be Smart Program. The program has seven staff members who mentor youth in the 7th through 12th grades after school and during the summer in teen spaces at six sites in neighborhood libraries. Under Coley’s leadership, Safe to be Smart has experienced enormous growth in both participation and in the usage of library material.

Coley first became involved in making a difference in the lives of Rochester youth through the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester, The Villa of Hope, Catholic Youth Organization, Community Place, and Hillside Work Scholarship Connection Program. Over the past 25 years, he has been involved in youth work and has worked as a volunteer or served as a board member for organizations such as the Genesee Valley Little League, Saving Our Youth, Facing Race Embracing Equity, and Greater Rochester Afterschool Alliance.


Adrian Elim a.k.a. Gatekeeper

Adrian Elim a.k.a. Gatekeeper

Adrian Elim is a Queer artist/activist currently residing in Rochester, NY. Upon graduating from the University of Rochester in 2013, they spent a few years working in the non-profit sector before venturing out to start their own production company, Brothahood Productions, in 2014. That same year, Elim co-founded BLACK (Building Leadership And Community Knowledge), an activist organization and affiliate of BLM, that worked to improve the lives of Black & Brown people in Rochester. Experiences from these endeavors would aid Elim greatly as they went on to create Rochester Black Pride, an annual LGBT/Queer & Trans festival that has centered on and catered to Black & Brown people since 2015. Through their work, Elim continues to make space for others, to be a fierce advocate, and a powerful community voice for all things Queer, Gifted & Black.


Fabeha Fazal

Fabeha Fazal

Fabeha Fazal is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, at the University of Rochester. Originally from India, she moved to Chicago in 1992. She relocated to Rochester in 2003 with her husband and three kids and has since been an active community member. She was a member of the Islamic Center of Rochester (ICR) Board from 2008 – 2018 and has served as the Vice President of ICR for two terms. At present, she serves on the Board of Trustees at Barakah Muslim Charity, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide social services to the broader community of upstate New York, serving people irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or creed. Their services include food, clothing, and financial assistance to underprivileged families. Fabeha is also a member of the Muslim Civic Engagement Committee, whose goal is to provide civic education and bridge the gap in the Greater Rochester Area both in political and non-political ways. Community service has been a lifelong passion for Fabeha, through which she has built an amazing circle of friends from diverse backgrounds.


Isobel Goldberg Goldman

Isobel Goldberg Goldman

Isobel Goldberg Goldman is a career graphic designer and longtime community organizer. She has held positions nationally as an art director with Significs Design Studio in Rochester, Aardvark Advertising Agency in Atlanta, and Polo Ralph Lauren in New York City. In recent years, Isobel has served as the Community Relations Director for the Jewish Community Federation and most recently as the Director of Grants and Programs with the Farash Foundation. Isobel is the Founder and CEO of The Crayon Project, an art and literacy program that has distributed thousands of Art supplies to Rochester City School children.

Isobel currently serves on the Boards of E3 Rochester and the Joseph Avenue Arts and Culture Alliance.


Deborah Hanmer

Deborah Hanmer

Deb Hanmer has dedicated her professional career to education and nonprofit leadership. Deb serves as the Initiative Director for the Greater Rochester Parent Leadership Training Institute, a civics and leadership training program for parents in Monroe County. PLTI helps parents become leading advocates for children, families, and their communities by embracing a cross-race, cross-class, and parent-informed, pro-social educational model. Deb is also the Founder and CEO of Breakthrough Leadership Consulting, a public sector consulting group that helps organizations stay connected to their mission while building the capacity of their teams, creating strong systems based on concrete goals, and building a culture of continuous improvement. Deb’s primary focus is on improving educational outcomes in urban communities.

Deb holds a Bachelors of Arts in History from Dartmouth College, a Masters of Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Cambridge College. Deb is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc and is active in a number of other civic organizations. Deb is an active member of her church community, enjoys gardening, reading, and outdoor time. Deb lives in Rochester with her husband and two sons.


Dr. Seanelle Hawkins

Dr. Seanelle Hawkins

In June of 2019, Dr. Seanelle Hawkins joined the Urban League of Rochester as its first female President and CEO. Dr. Hawkins joined the Urban League from her position as Executive Director of Sojourner Home. Her nonprofit executive leadership includes over 18 years in various executive leadership roles for nonprofits and program consultancies in New York and Washington, DC.

Dr. Hawkins received her Bachelor’s Degree from Syracuse University, Masters in Strategic Leadership at Roberts Wesleyan College, and in 2013 she completed her Doctorate of Education in the Executive Leadership Program at St. John Fisher College. She has been actively serving as a board member for the Child Care Council of Western NY and was most recently appointed as a board member of RochesterWorks!


Tabitha Jacques

Tabitha Jacques

Tabitha Jacques is the director of the Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Arts Center, located in Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology.

Jacques, from Baton Rouge, La., formerly worked as assistive communication technology program manager at the Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Washington State, and as an admissions counselor at Gallaudet University. Prior to that, she worked as an exhibit curator for the Gallaudet University Museum Project and as an adjunct professor. She was also a special project coordinator for the National Postal Museum at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. She earned a Master of Arts in art history and museum studies from Georgetown University. In 2018, Jacques was selected as a 2018 Forty Under 40 honoree by the Rochester Business Journal.


Abhas Kumar

Abhas Kumar

Abhas Kumar is a Senior Vice President at NIIT USA Inc., one of the world’s top five providers of Managed Training Services, and is also a director on the board of Eagle Productivity Solutions, based in Rochester. Abhas has an engineering degree from IIT Roorkee and an MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur, India. Abhas served on the board of the India Community Center of Rochester from 2010–12 and was Chair in 2011. At the ICC, Abhas founded the ICC Professional Forum and helped institutionalize KRHTPA, where kids raise funds for local kid-oriented charities. Abhas has also served on the board of SAATHI of Rochester and currently serves as a member of the Board at Bivona Child Advocacy Center. When not working or volunteering, Abhas’ other interests are photography, learning to dance, and theatre.


Debora McDell-Hernandez

Debora McDell-Hernandez

Debora McDell-Hernandez joined Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York in March 2018 and serves as Senior Director of Public and Community Affairs. She provides leadership in advocacy and public affairs. McDell-Hernandez also plays a key role in shaping public policies by enabling legislators, advocates and the public to understand and make informed decisions on issues that impact family planning and reproductive health choices. This includes legislative activities and relationship management; community partnerships, and public relations/media management.

Prior to Planned Parenthood, McDell-Hernandez worked at the Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) for 17 years and held several posts including Membership Manager, Coordinator of Community Programs & Outreach, Curator of Engagement, and, her final post, Engagement Manager. Before joining MAG, McDell-Hernandez worked at Chase Manhattan Bank in Rochester, New York as Community Relations Coordinator in Corporate Communications for six years and a Sales Officer in Retail Sales for three years.


Heather Newton

Heather Newton

Heather Newton was offered the privilege to serve as National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Rochester’s Executive Director in January 2019 and she is proud to lead this dynamic and critically important organization. She and her husband found NAMI several years ago when they were struggling to make sense of their son’s mental health condition. The support and education they received were invaluable to their family’s recovery.

At NAMI, mental illness is often referred to as an equal opportunity disease. One in five Americans, regardless of their age, race, religion, education or income, are living with a mental health condition. Often, the most challenging part of mental illness is how isolating it can be for individuals and their families. There is a stigma around brain illness that does not exist for illnesses that affect other organs in the body. Symptoms of mental illness, including substance use disorders and suicidal thoughts/actions, can exacerbate stigma and limit access to treatment.

Despite these difficult realities, NAMI Rochester is an organization full of hope and optimism. Each time a person has the courage to speak up and share their story, the shame and silence around mental illness is diminished.


Alma Omerhodzic

Alma Omerhodzic

Alma Omerhodzic came to the US as a teenage refugee after surviving the Bosnian genocide in the 1990s. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration specializing in International Business and MIS from Daemen College. After working for a few years then stopping to raise a family, she started volunteering at the Islamic Center of Rochester (ICR). At the ICR, Alma served in different capacities such as education, finances, community outreach, and interfaith work, and has served on its board of directors including as treasurer from 2016 to 2018. During that time, she also cofounded the Muslim Volunteer Network, which still supports local refugees. The group members share volunteer/service opportunities for refugees and cooperate with many local interfaith organizations that have a similar focus.

She also volunteers for Barakah Muslim Charity, which operates on Jefferson Avenue in Rochester and serves one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country. The organization provides food pantry, soup kitchen, refugee assistance, and other social services to help alleviate poverty. Alma has served on their executive board since 2018.

Because of her personal experience as a refugee and work with the refugee community, especially women and children, she was invited to serve on the board of directors of the Learning Links of Fairport. They are a volunteer, youth, and adult tutoring program. They operate under the umbrella of the Fairport Foundation and many of their clients are English language learners. Alma serves as the community liaison and Islamic advisor.

In her free time, Alma enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters, and traveling.


Angelica Perez-Delgado

Angelica Perez-Delgado

In 2018, Angelica Perez-Delgado was named the seventh President and CEO in the 50-year history of the Ibero-American Action League in Rochester, NY. Angelica had previously worked at the Villa of Hope, where she served as Chief Administrative Officer/Chief Compliance Officer. While there her responsibilities included: development; leadership and administration of compliance; quality; organizational development; human resources; information technology; facility operations, and strategic initiatives. She was key in growing the Villa of Hope to a $26 million operating budget with 450 employees.

Angelica has her M.S. in Health Administration from Roberts Wesleyan College and her B.S. in Community and Human Services from Empire State College. She is active with several community organizations including the CFC/Hillside Behavioral Health Collaborative and the Board of the Father Laurence Tracy Advocacy Center. Angela has also been very active as a community organizer in the Northeast part of the City of Rochester. In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends as well as riding motorcycles.


Doug Rice

Doug Rice

Originally raised in Rochester, NY, Douglas Rice moved to New York City in 1984 to pursue a career as a sound designer, returning to Rochester in 1992. Raised in a family that placed a high value on community service, he has always had a passion for the arts, particularly Public Art. Doug founded ARTWalk in 1998 as a natural outgrowth of the creative environment where he lived, the Neighborhood Of The Arts (NOTA).

Doug’s unique talent for coalition-building and leveraging the entire Neighborhood’s passion for bettering the community led to great improvements in NOTA. Mayor Bob Duffy declared September 14th, 2008 “Doug Rice Day.”

In 2009 Doug founded a unique community theater, the Multi-use Community Cultural Center, or “MuCCC,” in Rochester, for which he received the Theater Association of New York State’s Outstanding Community Service Award in 2009.

Photo: Annette Dragon


Daisy Rivera Algarin

Daisy Rivera Algarin

Daisy Rivera Algarin is the Director of The Neighborhood Service Centers (NSC) for the City of Rochester. In her role, Daisy oversees the operation of the four NSC offices in the Community. The primary focus is to provide focused customer service and improve the quality of life for all Rochester Citizens. In addition, she was part of the La Marketa Planning Team for the North Clinton Avenue revitalization project. She has served the City of Rochester since June 2000.

Daisy has also served in different capacities with Latinas Unidas. She was part of the founding team and has been the chair and now serves as Immediate Past president of the organization.

She was born in Bronx, NY and educated in Rochester. Daisy came to Rochester in 1971. She is married and has three children and two grandchildren.


Thomas Warfield

Thomas Warfield

Thomas Warfield is an award-winning international performing artist and has performed on stage and for television and film in over 100 cities worldwide; as a singer, dancer, actor, composer, choreographer, director, model, producer, educator, activist, and poet. His vast variety of performances includes: the Metropolitan Opera, dance and music concerts on Martha’s Vineyard for 17 years, a circus in Japan, solo concerts throughout Europe including Franco American Institute in France, a Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth in London, three U.S. prisons, and a North American tour of his original project AstroDance, combining dance and astrophysics funded by the National Science Foundation.

Warfield has been director of dance, senior lecturer, and an assistant professor in performing arts and social science at Rochester Institute of Technology since 1998, where he also chaired the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion. He holds a BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase (receiving the President’s Award for Excellence) and an MFA in Dance/Ethnology from the University of Utah, receiving a research fellowship and full scholarship.