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Expanded Board and progressive governance practices announced at Nelson-Atkins
Donald Hall, Jr.


KANSAS CITY, MO.- Following a year of dynamic conversation and exploration of best practices in governance, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art announced that the Board of Trustees has been expanded to better meet the complexities and needs of the future. Three new trustees have been added to the Board, which will be made up of 24 trustees by 2017. The changes in governance fulfill one of the museum’s six goals set forth in the Strategic Plan adopted in 2013.

“I am delighted that the Board of Trustees has embraced new governance practices that are more open and inclusive,” said Shirley Bush Helzberg, chair of the Board. “This allows us to build on the tremendous successes created by past leadership, and I am especially pleased to welcome our three new members to the Board.”

The newly installed trustees are Donald J. Hall, Jr., Ramón Murguía and Kent Sunderland. Alan Marsh has been named an Honorary Trustee.

Donald J. Hall, Jr. is chief executive officer of Kansas City-based Hallmark Cards, Inc. He also is vice chairman of the Hallmark Board of Directors and serves on the Boards of Directors for Crown Media Holdings, Inc., and Hallmark International. Hall, a grandson of company founder Joyce C. Hall, joined Hallmark in 1971 and has worked in manufacturing, customer service, product development, and sales. He has served as a member of Hallmark’s Board of Directors since 1990. Hall is active in the Kansas City community as a member of the MRIGlobal Board of Trustees, University of Kansas School of Business Board of Advisors, the win|win Board of Directors and the Kansas City Civic Council. He recently completed his term on the National Board of Trustees of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Ramón Murguía is a trustee and the current chair of the prestigious W.K. Kellogg Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States, and owner of Murguía Law Firm. He has served locally on the boards of the Francis Families Foundation, the Jacob L. Loose Foundation, the Wyandotte Health Foundation and the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. He also has served for many years as a member of the Board and as Chairman of the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund, which is a foundation established in 1983 to improve the quality of life of the Latino community in Greater Kansas City. On the national level, he served on the Board of Directors of the National Council of La Raza, a Washington, D.C.-based Latino civil rights organization, and as its Chairman of the Board. Murguía has committed his career to excellence, both professionally and through his highly committed sense of community service. Following his 1981 graduation from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting, he obtained his juris doctorate degree from Harvard University in 1984. He then began his career as an associate with Dietrich, Davis, Rowlands and Schmitt law firm (now Armstrong Teasdale), offering counsel to corporate clients on a variety of legal matters, including commercial loan transactions. In 1991, he founded his own practice, continuing to serve a broad range of small corporate clients in maintenance and counseling of small businesses and general real estate matters. He comes from a family of lawyers and is proud to call Kansas City, Kansas, his home. He lives in the Argentine community in the same neighborhood where he grew up.

Kent Sunderland is the vice-chairman and secretary of the Ash Grove Cement Company and has served on the company’s Board of Directors since 1993. He is president and trustee of the Sunderland Foundation. His current civic activities include serving on the Board of Trustees at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Midwest Research Institute, the Kansas City Symphony Board of Directors, and on the Board of Directors of the Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission and the Kansas City Sports Commission. Sunderland served a previous term on the Nelson-Atkins Board, from 2009 to 2015, and a member of the Executive Committee, chair of the former Building and Grounds Committee and the former Community Relations Committee. He has held been closely involved in maintaining and renovating the museum’s buildings and campus.

Alan Marsh has been named an Honorary Trustee. Marsh founded MarshMedia with his wife, Joan. Established in 1969 as Marsh Film Enterprises, Inc., the company specialized in educational filmstrips in health and guidance. In 1970, MarshMedia was the first publisher to develop filmstrips on drug education for elementary children, and in 1982 was one of the first filmstrip publishers to enter the computer software market. In 1990, the company produced its first live-action videos. Since then, MarshMedia has established a reputation for addressing tough issues such as teenage pregnancy, substance abuse and AIDS. Marsh is a retired financial advisor of UBS Wealth Management. An Honorary Trustee is named to reflect outstanding service, involvement or support of the museum.

As a result of governance changes, all Board members will have the same level of responsibility to the museum and the same decision-making powers, and the Board also will move to quarterly meetings. The three new trustees join these members of the Board: Shirley Bush Helzberg, Mary Atterbury, G. Kenneth Baum, Robert Bernstein, Paul DeBruce, J. Scott Francis, Bill Gautreaux, Richard C. Green, Jr., Neil D. Karbank, Julia Irene Kauffman, Sandra A.J. Lawrence, Bill Lyons, Greg Maday, Susan McGreevy, Louis Smith, Charles Sosland, Elizabeth Bloch Uhlmann and Maurice Watson.

The Board is also supported by Chair Emeritus Henry W. Bloch, Chair Emeritus Donald J. Hall, Chair Emerita Sarah F. Rowland and Chair Emerita Estelle Sosland.

“I am thrilled with the work the Board has done to bring Nelson-Atkins governance to this level,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, the Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell Director & CEO of the Nelson-Atkins. “It is a great achievement to fulfill this important goal from our Strategic Plan. Because of the Board’s openness to change, we will see benefits now and into the future as our institution pursues its mission and vision.”





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