Debra Kerr, Executive Director Deb Kerr comes to Intuit from a 17-year career at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, where she held progressively responsible positions, including executive vice president from 1999-2010. She is a past board member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and past chair and instructor for its Professional Development Committee and management courses, and past chair of the zoo and aquarium committee for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. She serves on the board for the Merit School of Music and on the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Leaders Council, and is a member of the American Alliance of Museums and a past board member of the National Veterans Art Museum. She is a frequent guest speaker on issues related to museum relevance, teen empowerment and activating the public for social good.
Alison Amick, Senior Manager of Exhibitions and Development, Chief Curator Alison Amick received her MA in Art History from Indiana University in 2002. Amick's interest in outsider and self-taught art led her to Intuit, where she began as a volunteer. Prior to joining Intuit in 2016, she served as a curator at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art for more than a decade.
Julie Blake, Marketing Associate Julie Blake joined the Intuit staff in 2017 as a marketing intern through the museum studies program at Oakton Community College. A life-long learner, Julie holds a bachelor’s in art from Northern Illinois University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. She brings direct experience in business development, strategic planning, customer relationship management, branding, marketing and public relations and loves collaborating in environments where she can combine her right and left brain functions. Julie has been creating visual and performing art since an early age, and is drawn to the power of outsider art and Intuit's mission to promote its awareness.
Jane Castro, Education Associate Jane Castro received her bachelor's degree from Northwestern University where she studied Anthropology with an academic concentration in cultural history and ethnographic methods. Jane's interest in public engagement and informal education led her to Intuit where she began as an education intern. She brings to Intuit past programming and museum experience from her time as the Field Trip Director for Supplies For Dreams, a non-profit dedicated to providing extracurricular experiences to CPS students. Jane is interested in how outsider art opens dialogues about underrepresented identities, regions and cultures.
Jamillah Hinson, Administrative Associate Jamillah Hinson received her bachelor’s degree in 2014 from Creighton University, where she studied art history and received a minor in social entrepreneurship. She has been involved consistently with the arts and cultural and heritage management for several years and continues to work in community arts in her free time.
Joel Javier, Education Manager Joel Javier received his BFA in studio art from Murray State University and an MA in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) as a merit scholar in 2011. He is an artist and art educator who gained his passion for art education and community arts teaching while working as the Wallace Grant Education Outreach Coordinator at the Speed Art Museum (2005-09) in his hometown, Louisville, KY. He has over 13 years of experience in art teaching and museum education. Recently he has worked at the Art Institute of Chicago as the lead instructor for Teen Lab, an After School Matters Program and as the Interim Associate Programs Manager at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. In the midst of his life as an art educator he has maintained a career as an artist and has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions. His work can be found in private and corporate collections, and on the walls at his home.
Alahandra Jones, Marketing Coordinator Alahandra Jones received her bachelor’s degree from University of Missouri where she studied journalism. She brings to Intuit diverse marketing experience, including nonprofit work at YMCA of the USA and Landmarks Association of St. Louis. A lifelong appreciator of art, she enjoys becoming deeply engaged in outsider and folk art.
Melissa Smith, Senior Manager of Learning and Engagement Melissa Smith received a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as a Merit Scholarship Recipient in 2005 and a MA in Teaching from Roosevelt University in 2011. She has also completed coursework in Museum Studies at Northwestern University. Prior to joining the Intuit staff in 2015, Melissa served as a high school art teacher in the Chicago Public Schools system and a teaching artist at various nonprofit organizations in Illinois. She is committed to making museums into places of vitality—fostering learning, discussion, connection and transformation—accessible to all. Melissa is also a practicing artist with a focus on mixed media works.
Christina Stavros, Collections and Exhibitions Assistant Christina Stavros received a BFA in Printmaking with a minor in Art History from Pennsylvania State University in 2014. Christina's life-long passion for the arts led her to Intuit where she began as an intern in the Collections and Exhibitions Department. Christina comes to Intuit with past gallery and events experience. She also continues to practice the arts through painting and mixed media works.