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.
Claire Fassnacht, Development Coordinator
Claire Fassnacht received her master’s degree in arts administration from Boston University in 2017. In summer of 2015 Claire co-facilitated the IntuiTeens summer youth program at Intuit, from which her exploration and interest for outsider art stemmed. While living in Boston, she was student services administrator with Boston Ballet School, responsible for website building, data management and customer relations. Claire holds a bachelor’s from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where she was introduced to traditional gamelan music of Bali, Indonesia, before going on to do a year-plus residency in Bali. In addition to dancing and performing with gamelan groups in the United States, Claire hosts lectures and public workshops about Balinese performing arts and culture.
Katherine Gorman, Graphic Designer
Katherine Gorman received her BFA in Advertising Art Direction from Columbia College Chicago, focusing on nontraditional imagery and the psychology of marketing. Her lifelong dedication to unearthing hidden gems led her to Intuit in 2016, where she began helping to paint its visual identity as a design volunteer. She directs a traveling gallery reissuing overlooked photography and volunteers as a designer at Project Onward. Katherine is interested in the way visual communications shape stigma and our understanding of mental health
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 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.
Catherine LaMendola, Administrative Associate
Catherine LaMendola received her BA in Art History from McGill University in 2017, and is now working towards a MA in both Arts Administration and Art History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she is the Mohn Family Fellow of Contemporary Art History. Previously, Catherine served as the Co-President of a Montreal student art gallery, as well as Editor-in-Chief of McGill’s Journal of Art History and Communication Studies. She is passionate about institutional accessibility and responsible curating.
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.
Annaleigh Wetzel, Marketing Coordinator
Annaleigh Wetzel earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Her academic emphases were reporting, strategic communications, as well as gender and women's studies. After working in public relations and writing, she was drawn to Intuit through her interest in creativity and community-focused programming.
Eva Stefanski, Archivist
Eva Stefanski holds a master’s of science in writing and cultural politics from the University of Edinburgh and a master’s in library and information science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has held positions in teaching, archiving and information management in corporate, public and academic environments for more than 15 years. In 2017, she completed a certificate in museum studies from Northwestern University and joined the Inuit staff, with which she aspires to facilitate connecting the creative and original voices of Intuit with the larger community through supporting preservation, research and access to the wealth of information and resources Intuit offers.