Thank you to our staff for their dedication and support.
Mark Harmon joins the A&H from the Washington County Museum in Hillsboro and Portland, Oregon, where he has served as Executive Director since May 2015. Previously, he was Executive Director of the historic Gaylord Building in Lockport, Illinois, and Museum Supervisor for the Downers Grove Park District, Illinois.
Harmon is a passionate executive with experience enhancing the long-term financial sustainability of institutions in Ohio, Illinois, and Oregon. He has supervised or curated more than two dozen exhibitions with 30 years of executive leadership experience at both private nonprofit and government administered museums. His background includes asset management, customer care, and managing educational opportunities. Mark brings specialized leadership skills as both a museum chief executive and a historic sites preservation specialist.
Mark earned his B.A. and his M.A. in History at the University of Akron, and holds a certification in preservation leadership from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Mark also served as the President of Illinois Association of Museums, with a membership of 300 institutions, from 1999 to 2003.
BRET E. FENDT
Director of Advancement
New to the Central Florida area, Bret joins the team at A&H following twenty years living and working from Las Vegas. Following a degree in hospitality, Bret’s private sector focus has been sales, marketing, and sponsorships working with start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, creating and promoting world class events and programs. An avid golfer, travel enthusiast, armature photographer, and father, he loves the journey his life has taken and leading him to his new home in Florida. In addition to his professional work, Bret support boating safety education and helped produce national publications for the US Coast Guard Auxiliary as a volunteer and national staff officer, and continues that support today.
Jennifer Grozio came to the A&H in 2016 with nine years of experience in nonprofit fundraising and grant writing. Originally from Niagara Falls, New York, she graduated from the University at Buffalo with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Spanish, with a minor in Environmental Studies. Jennifer also holds a Certificate in Proposal Writing from Rollins College. Her nonprofit career began in Orlando, and has granted opportunities to work with such organizations as Junior Achievement of Central Florida, the Orange County Regional History Center, the Adult Literacy League, and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. She currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors at Ten Thousand Villages Winter Park.
Karina Jimenez grew up in Broward County, Florida, beside the Everglades. She moved to Orlando in 2010 to attend UCF, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She taught an art history class at Rollins College Summer Camp, and was an educator at the Orlando Science Center. She returned to school in 2015, this time to study graphic and web design at Valencia College. In the meantime, she worked as the resource specialist for a literacy nonprofit and drove an ice cream truck! Outside of work, Karina serves on the board of directors for Orlando Roller Derby, where she is also a skater, and she is working on restoring a 1940 bungalow where she lives with her husband and their cat and dog.
Danielle moved from Cincinnati, Ohio to Lake Mary, FL with her family at a young age. She recently received her BA in Art History from the University of Central Florida. Prior to working at the A&H, Danielle learned her administrative and service skills from her 9 years at Publix. She began at the A&H as a dedicated volunteer, then became a Museum Educator, our Administrative Assistant, and now our Education Manager. She enjoys watching movies with her Yorkie, Caesar and cat, Cleo.
Becky Vlaming joined the Education team at A&H in March 2018. She studied Art Education at Western Michigan University and has over 15 years of teaching experience in various settings. Formerly a homeschooling parent, she has spent the last 10 years educating her own children, while staying active in the arts and culture scene of Orlando. She has volunteered with local organizations such as CREDO, teaching sewing to students at the John H. Jackson Center, and currently teaches a weekly after-school art class to the students at NewCity Parramore. She is passionate about creating engaging learning opportunities through experience and exploration. Becky believes that all children should have access to explore art, history and culture in their communities. As a transplant from the East Coast, she loves living in Orlando and exploring Central Florida with her family.
Semie Shin was born and raised here in Orlando, FL. She has recently graduated from UCF with a B.A in Visual Arts and Emerging Media Management. Graduating also with a minor in Digital Media. Before becoming the Collections Registrar, she was a long-term volunteer at the A&H, learning many things about the A&H and it’s beautiful collection. Her life long desire is to help connect people to art in any way possible.
Born in Tennessee, Marla Pickelsimer graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in history. After moving to Florida, she earned a specialist degree in education. For 36 years she taught History in Seminole County Public Schools. For the last seven years Marla has enjoyed being a Museum Educator at A&H and becoming involved in other local history projects.
Katie Benson – Weekend Manager
Danielle Thomas joined the A&H in 2016 and oversees the facilities and operational systems of the A&H’s two campuses. Her past experience includes supporting program operations at Full Sail University, as well as managing an educational program for Marshall Islanders on the island of Maui. She also has a strong background in retail management and events, and has acted as a community advocate for diverse cultural groups. She holds a B.A. in English and Anthropology from the University of Florida.
Kelly Young is originally from the Florida panhandle and came to Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida. She has a B.A. in Art History and served as the president of the Art History Club at UCF for 2 years. During her time at UCF she worked in the John C. Hitt Library as an Archives Assistant in Special Collections and University Archives and as Gifts Coordinator for the Acquisitions and Collection Services department. Kelly also has extensive experience in the hospitality industry and served as a wedding coordinator in Destin, FL for over 5 years. She enjoys reading, traveling, and Disney.
Originally from Long Island, Dan L. Hess received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in NYC and a Master of Fine Arts from Stony Brook University in New York. His elaborate video installations, drawings and photographs have been exhibited from New York to Shanghai, and can be found in private collections across the globe. Hess worked as both the Visual Coordinator for Christie’s Auction House and an Adjunct Professor of Art at Stony Brook University.
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