Ogunquit Museum of American Art Announces 2022 Board Additions


OGUNQUIT — The American Art Museum of Ogunquit has added six new members to its board of trustees with expertise including finance, fundraising, museum management and public relations. The Museum also made changes to its executive committee by appointing Carol Leary, PhD, chair; Edward J. Newberry Esq. as vice-president; Allyson M. Cavaretta as Secretary; and Alan Shepard, Esq. as treasurer. Leary, Newberry, Cavaretta and Shephard previously served on the Museum’s Board of Trustees.

The new board members are:

  • Ashley Benecchi
  • Richard Benefield
  • Elizabeth Cutler
  • Annie by Cossy Forsyth
  • Javier Marine
  • Karyn Sharf Morin

“I am delighted to welcome these six new members to our Board of Directors. Together, they bring a wide range of skills and experiences to OMAA, which is critical in this phase of museum growth,” said Amanda Lahikainen, PhD, Executive Director of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. “We have already experienced the collective energy these individuals will add to our exciting 2022 season.”

Profiles of new committee members:

Ashley Bridges Benecchi is an award-winning long-time editorial producer for ABC News, with its documentary unit and with the 20/20 series. She has editorially produced many long-running specials – with a particular interest in civil rights and true crime documentaries. Ashley developed a love for art as a student at Harvard University, while taking an art history class and volunteering with the Fogg Museum student art committee.

Ashley has a passion for service and has served as a board member and gala chair for the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine (acquired by UMDF) and has served extensively on various committees at Harvard College, both with development and engagement, over the past decade. Ashley has experience in narrative development, relationship building, and communications, and is also very interested in supporting OMAA’s educational engagement. Ashley holds a Master of Science degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard College.

Richard Benefield is Executive Director of the George Rickey Foundation and former Executive Director of the David Hockney Foundation. He was also Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco where he curated David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition and wrote the accompanying catalog. He is the founding executive director of the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco and served as deputy director of the Harvard University Art Museums; deputy director of the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design; and trustee of the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University. He has organized exhibitions on the work of Richard Neutra, Renzo Piano, numerous post-war American artists, as well as the 2016 retrospective of the work of couturier Oscar de la Renta. He has worked with living artists as diverse as Joan Snyder, Kiki Smith and Ursula von Rydingsvard, Ellsworth Kelly, Pierre Hyughe and David Hockney on exhibitions, publications, acquisitions and commissions.

Richard developed strategic plans for most of the institutions where he worked. In 2006, the strategic plan he developed and authored for the Harvard University Art Museums led to the decision by the Harvard Corporation to approve the renovation and expansion of the Fogg Art Museum and commit $100 million to the project designed by Renzo Piano. At Harvard, Richard was Financial Dean of Art Museums, the University’s largest allied unit, overseeing an endowment that grew from about $350 million in 1999 to more than $750 million in 2008. Richard has also conducted a planning study for the University of Arizona and participated in numerous planning processes as a member of the board of trustees.

Richard earned a Bachelor of Music and a Masters of Music from Baylor University. In 1995 he was awarded a Doctor of Musical Arts, the first ever awarded by the New England Conservatory of Music.

Elizabeth Cutler has over 30 years of management experience in research, consulting and event organizations. She has a proven track record of researching and identifying business areas that are timely, relevant, financially successful and demonstrate a clear customer value proposition.

Elizabeth is currently a Content Development Manager at IDG Communications, Inc. and Community Leader of ROAR. Elizabeth co-founded the AI ​​in Biopharma Summit and Digital Event Series while serving as Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Corey Lane Partners, LLC. Previously, Elizabeth was Managing Director, US Life Sciences and Pharma Verticals at Informa Connect. In this role, Elizabeth provided the vision, growth strategy and P&L management for an in-person and digital events business in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industry.

Believing that art and community involvement are key components of a fulfilling life, Elizabeth is a dedicated member of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art Circle of Partners, has served as Treasurer on the Board of Trustees of the Arlington Children’s Theater and is the head of the Rotary Club of Ogunquit’s public relations committee.

Annie de Cossy Forsyth’s career has focused on working in the nonprofit sector since her undergraduate studies. After years of institutional work, Annie founded Opus Advisors, LLC in Portsmouth New Hampshire in 2008 to align her experience and interests. With over 35 years of experience in the development and management of non-profit organizations, Annie has worked on national and international projects leading teams specializing in strategic planning, organizational assessments, feasibility, campaigns and major gifts. She has provided her clients with strategic direction in governance, management, fund development, communications and long-term planning.

Annie has served on the board of directors of the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire and the board of trustees of the Museum of Art at the University of New Hampshire. She is currently Chair of the Board of Nurturing Minds in Africa, which provides strategic oversight and funding for a girls’ boarding school in Tanzania. Annie received her bachelor’s degree in communications from Simmons College.

Javier Marin is an entrepreneur, investor and media owner. Javier founded El Planeta Media, Massachusetts’ largest Latin media outlet in 2004. In 2016, El Planeta Media purchased El Tiempo Latino, the largest Spanish news organization in Washington DC with national reach. The news organization has content partnerships with The Washington Post, Financial Times, WBUR, BBC and NowThis News. Marin also owns a majority stake in Campeon Soccer, a joint venture with Univision Communications that operates the e-commerce arm of the Univision sports network.

Javier is a graduate of Webster University in the Netherlands, holds an MSc in Management Science from Hult International Business School and is an alumnus of Stanford University’s Latino Business Action Network program. He is currently part of the 60th cohort of Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program.

Karyn Scharf Morin is senior vice president at Partners Bank, overseeing the branch network and commercial deposits. She spent her 30-year career in banking in the southern Maine and New Hampshire region, working for large and small banks. Karyn is also involved in the family business, Spring Hill, in South Berwick. Karyn has served on the boards of the Center for Wildlife and the Sanford Springvale Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Berwick Academy Alumni Council. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and graduated from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking with a Wharton Leadership Certificate.

Opened in 1953, OMAA was founded by Lost Generation artist Henry Strater. Closely linked to one of the first artistic colonies of the American modernist art movement, the OMAA today houses a permanent collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and photographs from the late 1800s to the present day. The museum showcases American art by holding seasonal programs of modern and contemporary exhibits from May through October. OMAA’s seaside landscape — a three-acre sculpture park containing 18 small gardens — complements its exhibits and overlooks Narrow Cove and the Atlantic Ocean. The museum is open from May 1 to October 31. More information at www.ogunquitmuseum.org.


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