Overview

Women’s Association of NJPAC Annual Members Meeting

Please join us for a morning of networking and conversation with a trio of women who have taken the helm at some of New Jersey’s best-known arts organizations over the past year. Our panel includes Tanuja Dehne, newly appointed President and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; Linda Harrison, who became Director and CEO of The Newark Museum of Art in January 2019; and Taneshia Nash Laird, President and CEO of Newark Symphony Hall as of late 2018. Get a glimpse at the state of the arts in New Jersey from the women who are running the show.

Panelists include:

Tanuja M. Dehne, Esq.

Tanuja M. Dehne, Esq.
President and CEO, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

Tanuja Dehne is the President and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. As a public company director and former C-level executive of NRG Energy, Inc., a Fortune 250 power company,  Tanuja brings perspective and experience from her cross-discipline roles to the C-suite and board room. She is a purpose-driven leader, cultivator of talent, and proven strategist.  Tanuja is an award-winning corporate attorney, human resources professional, and community volunteer who thrives when making a positive difference in the lives of others.   Tanuja is frequently called upon to share her expertise across the globe from New York, Austin, San Francisco, Brussels and Davos, Switzerland.

Tanuja is a member of the Boards of Directors of Granite Point Mortgage Trust Inc. (NYSE: GPMT) where she serves as the Chair of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, and Advanced Disposal Services (NYSE: ADSW), where she serves as the Chair of the Compensation Committee.  She also served on the Board of Directors of Silver Bay Realty Trust Corp. (NYSE: SBY) from 2012-2017.

Tanuja is a Senior Advisor on corporate governance matters for The B Team, an NGO focused on mobilizing global leaders to drive a better way of doing business for the well-being of people and the planet.  She is an active member of her community, serving on several non-profit boards including the Board of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and as Board Chair of Young Audiences New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. Tanuja also serves on the Boards of the Forum of Executive Women in Philadelphia and NACD-NJ.

At NRG for 12 years, Tanuja served in various roles of increasing responsibility.  As Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and Chief of Staff, she oversaw NRG’s Human Resources (11,000+ employees), Information Technology, Communications, Sustainability and Corporate Marketing departments, the company’s charitable giving program, M&A integrations, as well as the construction of NRG’s sustainable, corporate headquarters in Princeton, N.J.  Prior to these positions, she led NRG’s Human Resources department and served as Deputy General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.  Tanuja previously practiced corporate law as a member of Saul Ewing’s business department.

Tanuja is a member of the Faculty of NACD’s Board Advisory Services.  She is also an NACD Board Leadership Fellow and was recognized as one of the “2018 NACD Directorship 100.”  In 2017, she was named a “Director to Watch” by Directors & Boards.  Tanuja is also a part of BigSpeak Speakers Bureau.

Ms. Dehne earned her undergraduate degree from Lafayette College, her Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and her Juris Doctor degree with honors from Syracuse University College of Law.  Tanuja is also a 200HR RYT certified yoga instructor.

President and CEO, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

Linda Harrison

Linda Harrison
Director & CEO, The Newark Museum of Art

Linda Corliss. Harrison was appointed eighth director and CEO of the Newark Museum in January 2019.  The Museum is nationally recognized for its collections, architecture, and historic commitment to education and access.

Ms. Harrison will build on the strong legacy of the Museum and continue its record of innovation, excellence, and impact. Working with the Board and staff, she will provide strategic vision, direction, and executive and administrative leadership for an organization that serves its community and has national and international influence—through its collections and programs.

Ms.  Harrison is the former Director and CEO of the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco, where she expanded the museum’s mission, advocating for contemporary art through its exhibitions, public programs and education programming, making it an anchor arts institution in San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area.

Ms. Harrison has overseen landmark exhibitions by notable and forward-thinking contemporary artists, including Toyin Ojih Odutola, Alison Saar, Mickalene Thomas, and Todd Gray.  Ms. Harrison, a Getty Foundation Fellow, is exceptionally skilled in organizational transformation and strategic planning. Under her leadership, social justice public and education programs, ignited diverse and inclusive conversations on race and culture in the arts.

Ms. Harrison’s is credited for the redesigned the Museum of the African Diaspora – with the assistance of the Gensler Architect Team – doubling the number of galleries. She increased fundraising by 60 percent and raised museum attendance by 25 percent. Additionally, she secured the first million dollar gift for MoAD, the largest in its history.

Ms. Harrison is equipped with over 20 years of leadership experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sector, including Senior leadership positions with Eastman Kodak Company, Business for Social Responsibility and Sotheby’s International

Ms. Harrison has garnered awards for her work on behalf of the Yerba Buena Arts district. Among other awards, she is a recipient of the 2017 Yerba Buena Center of the Arts 100 List and the 2017 Arts and Culture award from San Francisco’s Commission on the Status of Women and the San Francisco Business Times Top 100 Women in Business Award. Additionally, in her career as Realtor, she received numerous awards for her work with the City of San Francisco supporting affordable housing initiatives for low and moderate income residents.

Over the years, Ms. Harrison has served on Bay Area non-profit boards of directors, including San Francisco Travel, Yerba Buena Community Business District, Frameline, Horizons Foundation , the California Association of Realtors, the San Francisco Association of Realtors and the Chinese Association of Realtors. She is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago and The Getty Foundation Executive Leadership Program.  She currently serves on the American Alliance of Museums ( AAM), National Program Committee.

Ms. Harrison enjoys living in Newark’s downtown district with her wife, Ellen. They love attending film festivals and traveling on ships with funny names to faraway places.

Director & CEO, The Newark Museum of Art

Taneshia Nash Laird

Taneshia Nash Laird
President & CEO, Newark Symphony Hall

Taneshia Nash Laird is a seasoned community developer and leader with decades of experience in the nonprofit, government, and private sectors. Prior to her appointment as President and CEO of Newark Symphony Hall in November 2018, she served as Executive Director of the Arts Council of Princeton, notably as the first woman of color in this role. Taneshia has also served as Director of Economic Development & Acting Director of Housing Production for the City of Trenton (NJ), Regional Director of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and Executive Director of the Trenton Downtown Association where she created the award-winning arts, culture, and tourism initiative Destination Trenton.

As an entrepreneur, Taneshia is the founder of Legacy Business Advisors, a consultancy serving social entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and government agencies. She previously co-founded Legendary Eats in the Staples Center in Los Angeles with NBA legend James Worthy. With her late husband Roland, Taneshia also co-founded MIST Harlem, a popular entertainment center in New York City. Together they also co-authored the critically acclaimed book Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans.

A passionate advocate for the arts and heritage, Taneshia was a grants panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts during the Obama administration. She is on the boards of the Advocates for NJ History as well as Artpride NJ where she co-chairs the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee. She was recently elected the president of the board of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation which was founded in 1995 by siblings Russell, Joseph “Rev Run” and Danny Simmons. Taneshia is the first Black woman to serve as the organization’s president presiding over board members that include noted artist Kehinde Wiley, entrepreneur Kimora Lee Simmons, and television and film producer Stan Lathan, among others.

President and CEO, Newark Symphony Hall

Briana Vannozzi

Briana Vannozzi,
Correspondent for NJTV News (PBS)
Panel Moderator

Briana Vannozzi is a multiple Emmy-nominated correspondent for NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams. As a general assignment and “one-man-band” reporter for NJTV News, she shoots, writes, and edits daily stories from the field. Vannozzi began her television journalism career cutting her teeth on state house politics, first as an assignment editor/producer and later a reporter for New Jersey Network News. In 2011 she traded her camera for a microphone to join a seasoned group of news radio journalists at FM News 101.9 in New York City. There she covered crime, politics and daily life in New York’s five boroughs. Her work has earned awards from the NJ Society of Professional Journalists and the Philadelphia Press Association. She’s produced several public affairs programs, is a frequent community forum moderator and has a special interest in the health and medical beat. You can also find Vannozzi behind the anchor desk, filling in for Mary Alice Williams or lending her voice as a guest host for state and local programs including the March for Dimes and St. Joseph’s Hospital. She is a graduate of Ramapo College.

Correspondent for NJTV News (PBS)
Panel Moderator

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