Board  Members

 

Diana Velez (she/her)
Co-Vice President of the Board

Diana Velez is an artist and jewelry-maker from Anchorage, Alaska with family roots in Old Harbor, Alaska and Arecibo, Puerto Rico. She has extensive experience providing coordination and project management support for fundraising events such as Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s Raven’s Ball and the First Alaskan Institute’s Smokehouse Gala.

Velez has volunteered and served on committees for a diverse range of organizations including Alaska Start Up, First Alaskans Institute, Sealaska Heritage Institute, Salvation  Army and Koniag Inc., and is an alumna of Leadership Anchorage (Cohort 17) through the Alaska Humanities Forum.

She is completing her Master’s in Business Administration at Alaska Pacific University.

 

 

Mitra Shahnazarian (she/her)
Secretary and Co-Vice President of the Board 

Director of Education

Yassamin Mitra Shahnazarian has over a decade of experience working in education and youth programs. She taught middle school and high school science classes in California and Alaska, most recently at Mears Middle School from 2015-2018. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts from University of California, San Diego, and a Master of Arts in Education from Stanford University.

It was during her time at UCSD that Mitra had the opportunity to intern and later work at the New Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego. Her experience at the museum nurtured her passion for culture, the arts and education. She is thrilled to be a part of the movement for a children’s museum for the community of Anchorage.

 

Alexandra Nenahlo (she/her)
Treasurer 

Alexandra Nenahlo is a Civil Engineer with 7+ years of professional experience in the field, as well as 11 years of experience as a ballet instructor at the Children’s Dance Theater. A lifelong Alaskan with deep intergenerational roots in Alaska’s engineering community, she currently serves as a commissioner on the Municipality of Anchorage’s Urban Design Commission. Nenahlo holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from and is a registered member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). 

 

Monica Garcia-Itchoak (she/her)
Member At-Large 

Monica Garcia-Itchoak is a program officer for the Rasmuson Foundation and has more than 26 years of nonprofit and education experience, much of it with museums and other art organizations.

Previously, she has been at the Foraker Group, where she worked with nonprofits on sustainability. Garcia-Itchoak moved to Alaska in 2010 from New York to direct education and public programs at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center. Among other museum posts, she was the Director of Teacher Professional Development Strategic Partnerships in Chicago at The Field Museum, and the executive director of Wonder Works, A Children’s Museum in Oak Park, Illinois, and the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature in Mountain View. Monica has over 15 years of experience leading museums.

Garcia-Itchoak is an alumna of Leadership Anchorage (Cohort 17) through the Alaska Humanities Forum and the Catalyst for Nonprofit Excellence series at The Foraker Group. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio arts and Master of Education from the University of Illinois. She currently serves on the boards of the Pratt Museum and Vice President and board development committee chair for thread Alaska, a statewide childcare resource agency.

 

A smiling biracial Black woman with long, curly, black and gray hair. She is wearing a blue button down linen dress with white stripes.

Brennon Land (she/her)
Board President and Executive Director

Brennon Land is a writer and communications professional with over 5 years of agency experience in social marketing, culturally responsive communications, campaign planning and development, strategic planning, project management, conference planning and coordination, workflow management and business development. A former military kid raised in Anchorage, she considers Alaska home with deep gratitude and has been proud to work collaboratively alongside state, municipal, Tribal and non-profit clientele to create campaigns aimed at improving health and safety outcomes for all Alaskans.

Land is an alumna of Leadership Anchorage (Cohort 25) through the Alaska Humanities Forum and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative and Professional Writing from Alaska Pacific University. She also serves as the Board Vice President for the 3 Barons Renaissance Fair.