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Key new leadership aims to continue drive to improve the Honolulu Museum of Art
Image of new chairman of the board of Trustees Vi Loo, on the left, and former chairman Lynne Johnson.

HONOLULU.- The Honolulu Museum of Art announced changes on its Board of Trustees and the addition of the new position of chief advancement officer. The key new leadership is set to help steer the museum as it continues its drive to improve the museum.

“The Board of Trustees stewards the museum so we can make Hawai‘i an even better place to live,” says museum director Stephan Jost. “Every member of the board makes a unique contribution to the museum and together they are a dynamic and thoughtful group who care deeply about art and culture.”

Violet Loo is the museum’s new chairman of the board of trustees. She replaces Lynne Johnson who served in the position for six years. Loo, who has an M.A. in Education from the University of California, Berkeley, was the president of the board of trustees of The Contemporary Museum for eight years when it merged with the Honolulu Academy of Arts in 2011. She joined the combined board as vice chairman. The integrated museum changed its name to the Honolulu Museum of Art in 2012. Loo also serves on the boards of Chaminade University, Hawaii Pacific University and the Institute of Human Services.

A devoted student of contemporary art, Loo says, “I look forward to helping others discover this exciting world and to lending a hand in building a world-class art center for our island community.”

Taking the position of vice chairman is Josh Feldman, president and CEO of Tori Richard, Ltd., the 56-year-old Hawai‘i-based manufacturer and retailer of iconic resort apparel. Feldman, who has been on the museum board since 2008, has been instrumental in changes at the museum as the chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee.

The board voted in three new trustees this month—Noreen Gilman Mulliken, Kelly Sueda, and Ruedi Thoeni—all of whom have long relationships with the museum.

Noreen Gilman Mulliken was an educator in the U.S. and Japan, as well as a dedicated community volunteer in San Diego before moving to Honolulu in 2009. She has been instrumental in the development of the museum's social media program.

Ruedi Thoeni is a professor of radiology at the University of California, San Francisco, and chief of abdominal imaging at the San Francisco General Hospital. He is also the vice-president of the board of directors of the Robert F. Lange Foundation, which has supported the museum’s Japanese art programs for nearly two decades and made possible the conservation and preservation of thousands of rare woodblock prints from the James A. and Mari Michener Collection. It has also funded a state-of-the-art storage system, digitization of the prints, and the creation of an online database that will make the museum's vast permanent collection available to the world.

Kelly Sueda is an artist and collector who has been a longtime supporter of the museum, helping to organize the Museum Collector’s group and chairing last year’s Kama‘aina Christmas and this year’s ConTempo gala benefits. Sueda was co-owner of the art consultant firm Fine Art Associates, which he sold in 2012, and continues to advise private clients. His work is in the collection of the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Bank of Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank, and Queens Hospital. Sueda is also a published illustrator of multiple books.

Hathaway Jakobsen joins the museum as chief advancement officer. This new position was created to spearhead fundraising, communications, marketing, and all visitor services including the museum’s Robert Allerton Art Library and Shangri La tours. Jakobsen comes to the museum from the Sundance Institute, where she was the director of individual giving. Before that she was the director of major gifts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

“I am thrilled to have the unique opportunity to live in Honolulu and work with the leadership of this extraordinary museum to imagine, create and build an entrepreneurial and dynamic fundraising initiative that will integrate branding, marketing, communications and awareness into all of our development efforts,” says Jakobsen.

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