Brian Kennedy has been president, director and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art since 2010.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Kennedy studied art history and history at University College in Dublin, earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. A strategic thinker and collaborative leader, he has overseen the development of a strategic plan for the Toledo Museum of Art that strongly integrates it into the community. The plan has focused on sustainability, especially through alternative energy sources, building staff capacity, introducing new technologies and developing an initiative to promote visual literacy. Diverse exhibition programming and significant art acquisitions have enhanced Toledo’s reputation.
From 2005-2010, Kennedy was director of Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, New Hampshire, which has one of the largest and finest art collections at an American college or university.
Prior to coming to the United States, Kennedy spent eight years as assistant director of the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin (1989-1997) and seven years as director of the National Gallery of Australia (1997-2004) in Canberra. While in Australia, he initiated a free admission policy, increased attendance through a series of major exhibitions and acquisitions, and oversaw a total building refurbishment as well as an expansion to accommodate major temporary exhibitions.
He is a past chair of the Irish Association of Art Historians (1996-97) and of the Council of Australian Art Museum Directors (2001-03). He is a trustee and treasurer of the Association of Art Museum Directors, a peer reviewer for the American Association of Museums and a member of the International Association of Art Critics. In 2003 he was awarded a Centenary of Federation medal by the Australian Government for service to Australian society and its art. In 2013 he was appointed inaugural eminent professor at the University of Toledo. Most recently, Kennedy received the 2014 Northwest Region, Ohio Art Education Association award for distinguished educator for art education.
Lynn Miller joined the Toledo Museum of Art staff in June 2013 as director of human resources. In July 2016, she was promoted to assistant director, where she is responsible for protective services and facilities as well as oversees all aspects of people resources, including diversity and inclusion initiatives. In 2018, Miller was promoted to assosciate director of TMA.
Prior to joining TMA, Miller was a senior consultant for the Hanover Insurance Group in Worcester, Massachusetts, where she collaborated and supported four regional presidents and 20 field offices across the business and specialty risk insurance lines. She previously worked in senior human resources roles at Thomson Reuters Tax and Accounting and Domino’s Pizza Corporation, both in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Bowling Green State University. She also holds a Human Resource Business Partner Certification from the Society for Human Resource Management, the leading national human resources professional association and accreditation organization.
Kristina Crystal graduated cum laude from Michigan State University with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. She was hired to fill a new position at the Museum, chief revenue officer, in 2018. In this role, Crystal is responsible for driving revenue growth by leveraging all revenue-generating departments, including marketing, visitor engagement, retail, and development. Crystal joined TMA from Deluxe Entertainment Services, a $1 billion media entertainment business based in Burbank, California, where she served as chief administrative officer of Deluxe and chief operating officer of the creative services division. Crystal is adept at defining and implementing integrated business strategies to deliver profitable growth and identifying strengths within her team. Crystal’s passion is leadership development and finding and cultivating the strengths in her teams to maximize output and deliver sustainable results. She is a Temperance, Michigan native.
Todd Ahrens was named director of development in October 2013. He has extensive experience in arts and educational fundraising, marketing and finance, and has held senior-level development positions at the University of Findlay, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, and St. John’s Jesuit High School and Academy. He was previously a staff member at the Toledo Museum of Art from 1997 to 2005, having held a variety of positions in the development department, including associate director of development and interim director of development. He began his nonprofit career with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Ahrens received his M.A. in German from Bowling Green State University and his B.A. in international business and German from Simpson College. He has served on boards for several organizations, including the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, Black Swamp Arts Festival, Ohio Museums Association, and Toledo Area Partnership for Philanthropic Planning.
Lauren Applebaum joined the Toledo Museum of Art in 2018 as a TMA leadership fellow. She brings over a decade of museum and art world experience to this position, which aims to cultivate membership of the next generation of museum leaders by providing direct experience in strategic planning, curatorial and program leadership, board engagement, donor stewardship, financial and resource management, policy development, and community engagement. Prior to accepting this position, Applebaum was the GSK curatorial fellow in American art at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh (NCMA), where she participated in significant museum exhibitions, acquisitions, and collection building projects.
Applebaum received her B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder, her M.A. in art history at Hunter College, CUNY, and her Ph.D. in art history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her doctoral research on the intersection between art and social technologies in the nineteenth century was supported by fellowships at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Huntington Library (Calif.), the Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In addition to her academic and museum fellowship positions, she also worked in New York City, both in art advisory and gallery roles, and in the executive office at Christie’s.
Mike Deetsch joined the Toledo Museum of Art staff in 2013 as assistant director of education. He was recently named the Emma Leah Bippus director of education and engagement, overseeing the docent program, art classes, and museum curriculum. Prior to joining the staff at TMA, Deetsch served as a senior museum educator at the Brooklyn Museum, the exhibition and programs director at the Lexington Art League, and the student programs manager at the Kentucky Historical Society. In 2012 he was selected to participate in the Getty Leadership Institute’s NextGen program. Deetsch received his M.S. in Art Education from the Pratt Institute and a B.A. in Art History from Hanover College.
Stephanie Elton received her B.A. in communication from Bluffton University. As director of communications at TMA, a role she was promoted to in 2018, Elton oversees the Museum’s comprehensive marketing, advertising, public relations, and branding strategy, with a strong focus on digital media tactics. She joined the Museum in 2013 as the social media and digital communications manager and became the marketing communications manager in 2017. Prior to her tenure at TMA, Elton worked for HART, a full-service digital marketing, advertising, and public relations firm based in Toledo, Ohio; Touch and Go Records, an independent record label and music distribution company previously based in Chicago, Illinois; and Lumberjack Mordam Music Group, a music distribution company formally based in Toledo, Ohio. She serves on the Board of Governors for the American Advertising Federation-Toledo chapter and volunteers with Girls on the Run of Northwest Ohio.
Andrea Gardner received her B.A. in classics from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and her M.A. in ancient art history from the University of Texas at Austin. In her role as director of collections at TMA, which she assumed in 2018, Gardner leads the logistical support operations of the care and display of the Museum’s collections. Her primary responsibilities include management of the exhibitions, conservation and registration departments; oversight of the risk management initiatives for the Museum’s collections; and increasing efficiency and implementing improved processes in the collections areas. Prior to her new position, Gardner was the registrar and assistant systems officer at TMA, where she has worked, beginning as an intern in the curatorial and registration departments, since 2006.
Alyssa Greenberg received her B.A. in art history from Oberlin College, her M.A. from the Bard Graduate Center with a concentration in the history and theory of museums, and her Ph.D. in art history from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She joined the Toledo Museum of Art in 2017 through the Leadership Fellowship Program, which aims to cultivate membership of the next generation of museum leaders by providing direct experience in strategic planning, curatorial and program leadership, board engagement, donor stewardship, financial and resource management, policy development, and community engagement. Greenberg brings knowledge and expertise to TMA, particularly in the area of diversity and inclusion, and its role in internal and external museum practices. She is originally from Brooklyn, New York.
James Meador received his B.A. in public safety management from Cleveland State University, and his M.S. in criminal justice with a specialization in behavior analysis from Saint Joseph’s University. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in performance psychology from Grand Canyon University. Meador was hired as the Museum’s director of protective services in 2017 and is responsible for the safety and security of TMA’s guests, staff, and assets. Meador has more than 18 years of criminal justice experience, which includes law enforcement leadership and management, law enforcement training, security management operations, SWAT, emergency response planning and execution, with special skills in vulnerability assessment and applied behavior analysis. Prior to joining the Museum, Meador was chief of police for Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital. He previously worked as a law enforcement training officer for the Ohio Attorney General’s office, and he has many years of experience as a state law enforcement officer in the Cleveland area. He is a U.S. Army Military Police combat veteran. Meador is from the Mansfield, Ohio area.
Jim Mohler graduated magna cum laude from the University of Toledo with a B.S. in Information Technology. He joined the Toledo Museum of Art as the Information Technology Manager in 2018. In this role, Jim is responsible for all information technology operations, setting technology strategy and initiatives across a broad set of platforms and identifying opportunities to enhance efficiency and communication using technology. After a distinguished information technology management career in the United States Air Force where he provided technical support for a variety of systems and applications, he continued to use those skills to lead information technology departments at several Toledo-area companies and nonprofits.
Lawrence W. Nichols is William Hutton senior curator of European and American painting and sculpture before 1900. He joined TMA in 1992 after being associate curator of the John G. Johnson Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A specialist in northern Baroque painting, his book The Paintings of Hendrick Goltzius, 1558-1617, A Monograph and Catalogue Raisonné was published in March 2012. He took his Ph.D. from Columbia University and received his B.A. from Dartmouth College.
Nichols has curated major exhibitions at the TMA including “Frans Hals Portraits, A Family Reunion”, “Manet: Portraying Life”, “Van Gogh: Fields”, and “Hendrick Goltzius, Dutch Master: Drawings, Prints, and Paintings”. He has been responsible for a number of important acquisitions including works by Hals, Guercino, Chardin, and Delacroix. He is the curatorial liaison to The Georgia Welles Apollo Society, TMA’s art acquisition group.
Nichols serves on the old master paintings vetting committee of The European Fine Arts Fairs in both Maastricht and New York, and chairs the International Indemnity Program Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition, he serves on the Art Advisory Committee of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. He was the Paul Mellon Visiting Senior Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, in 2017, and a visiting scholar at the Getty Research Institute in 2010 and at the Clark Art Institute in 1999.
Halona Norton-Westbrook received her B.A. from Mills College, her M.A. from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and her Ph.D. from the University of Manchester. Norton-Westbrook’s expertise is a distinctive intersection between art history and museum studies; her doctoral research centered on the history of collecting in American and British art museums and the development of the curatorial profession. As director of curatorial affairs, Norton-Westbrook oversees the Curatorial, Exhibitions, and Conservation departments; she is also the Associate Curator of Contemporary Art.
Patricia O’Toole received her B.A. in accounting from Miami University in Oxford, and her MBA from the University of Cincinnati. In her role as director of finance, O’Toole oversees the financial operations and investments of the Museum. Prior to joining the Museum in 2017, O’Toole served as the director of operations at Hospice of Northwest Ohio and the director of finance at Maumee Valley Country Day School, where she helped gain significant improvement in financial performance. Among O’Toole’s additional previous experience have been financial and administrative responsibilities on behalf of CBT Credit Services, Cincinnati Bell Telephone, and Deloitte and Touche. O’Toole is a Toledo native.
Kathryn Robinson received her B.A. in employee relations and M.A. in human resources and labor relations from Michigan State University. She also holds her Senior Certified Professional (SCP) designation from the Society for Human Resources Management and her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation from the Human Resource Certification Institute. Joining the Museum as the human resources business partner in 2016, Robinson is responsible for managing and directing the human resources function. She is a multi-disciplinary HR professional with experience in the manufacturing/technology, healthcare, and banking industries. Robinson re-located to the Toledo area with her family in 2015 and is a Michigan native.