Board of Directors
We are incredibly thankful for our wonderful board of directors. As a small organization, our board is hands-on and creative. If you are interested in serving as a Poverty and the Arts board member, please email your resume and short letter of interest to email@example.com.
We welcome artists, arts administrators, homeless advocates, business professionals, community leaders, and more to serve as board member for Poverty and the Arts. Our specific board member needs right now are marketing, finance, and mental health professionals.
MEET OUR BOARD MEMBERS
Jennifer Parker Konyn, President | Term: 2017-2020
Jennifer is a native Nashvillian who has had a heart for non-profits and volunteer work since she was in middle school, when she began volunteering at Saddle Up! in Franklin, Tennessee. While in college Jennifer began working at a non-profit, church-run camp during the summers. She completed a degree in Child Development from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University in 2011. During this time she continued to work as a volunteer at Saddle Up!, as well as other non- profit organizations in Nashville. Jennifer became involved with POVA in early 2017 through St. George’s Episcopal Church. Not long after she expressed interest in joining the board of directors, with a goal of transitioning from simply volunteering with organizations she is passionate about to taking a leadership role and actively helping them grow. Jennifer is self employed, but spends the majority of her time serving as a community volunteer.
Kimberly Ingram, Secretary | 2018-2021
Kimberly is an attorney with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, where she focuses on complex business litigation and appellate matters in state and federal courts. Prior to joining Bradley, Kimberly was an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in Palo Alto, California. Kimberly began her legal practice after earning her J.D. at Vanderbilt University Law School and two Bachelor of Arts degrees from Clemson University. During her time at Vanderbilt, she was a site coordinator at Room in the Inn for Street Law, an organization dedicated to educating underserved populations about their legal rights. Kimberly joined POVA to combine her passion for serving that population with her passion for the arts. An Atlanta native who grew up in a household rich in music, theater, and the visual arts, Kimberly is excited to be contributing to the development of artistic talent in her adopted home of Nashville.
Darrell Hawks | Term: 2016-2020
Darrell was POVA's board president from 2017-2019. He is the Executive Director of Friends of Mill Ridge Park and was formerly the Business Development Director at Project Return, a Nashville-based nonprofit working with people returning from incarceration. At Project Return, he led the employment development efforts—including the operation of a social enterprise—that serve more than 400 people each year. Darrell earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration from Belmont University. He joined POVA to combine a passion for serving the underserved with a professional experience in devising and implementing innovative commerce strategies.
Will Choppin | Term: 2017-2020
Will is a lawyer who serves as Assistant General Counsel at Metropolitan Development & Housing Agency (MDHA). Will is a lifelong Nashvillian who went to high school at Montgomery Bell Academy and college at Vanderbilt University. Will considers himself somewhat of a patron of the local arts scene with a special appreciation for local music and theater. Will is impressed with POVA’s commitment to community values, overcoming homelessness, and creating and developing artistic talent and marketable skills. Will is thrilled at the opportunity to serve on the board.
Lauren Dougall | Term 2017-2020
Lauren is the Development Director at Agape Animal Rescue and was formerly the Development Director and Executive Director at The Contributor, a Nashville nonprofit that provides economic opportunity to people experiencing homelessness and poverty through social enterprise. She holds a B.A. in Development and International Relations from London Metropolitan University, and a Diploma in Fundraising Management from the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Lauren has a passion for forward thinking, innovative nonprofits. She has 8 years of experience fundraising for an array of different causes; international humanitarian aid; mental health; mass incarceration and homelessness.
Kate McCarthy | Term 2017-2020
Kate was raised in the Chicago area, the daughter of a photographer and potter and granddaughter of an accomplished sculptor and poet. Early on, she found her own niche in the arts, and honed her painting, sketching and figurative art skills. While working to develop classroom curriculum at a local social service agency, Kate crafted an arts program for adults living with disabilities that enabled them to express themselves more thoroughly. Clients in this program enjoyed improved communication skills and balance through sensory development. In addition to other volunteerism, Kate served as a member of the board of directors of the Northwest Area Arts Council, an organization that connects artists and their community. She later led NAAC as president and chaired one of the largest women-only fine art shows in the nation, in addition to other juried exhibitions drawing artists entries from around the world. Kate is an artist at Kate Blake Fine Art.
Meghan Russell | Term: 2017-2020
Meghan has been a fundraising professional since 2008, primarily working in Higher Education Development, currently serving as Director of Development - Alumni at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Previously, she worked for Belmont University and The Ohio State University in a variety of fundraising and leadership roles, including Leadership Annual Giving and Major Gifts. Meghan holds a B.A. in Psychology and Neuroscience and a M.Ed. in Organizational Leadership from Vanderbilt University. Philanthropy has been a huge part of Meghan’s life ever since receiving an undergraduate scholarship, and she has made it a priority to find ways to pay it forward in the community with her time, energy, and resources. Her interests include ministry, music, theater, cooking, and crafting. A Wisconsin native, she enjoys southern living with her husband Jonathan, her dog Ryman, and her baby girl.
Kimi deMent | Term 2019-2022
Kimi deMent serves as the Pro Bono Coordinator for the Tennessee Supreme Court's Access to Justice Commission and liaison for the Tennessee Faith & Justice Alliance. Prior to her work for the Court, she worked as a Family Justice Attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands in Nashville, Tennessee, specializing in domestic violence relations and in the private bar as a Civil Litigation Associate for the firm of Kious, Rodgers, Barger, Holder & Kious PLLC, in Murfreesboro, TN. Kimi became an advocate for POVA while the non-profit was still in its infancy, and became more involved with the non-profit as she volunteered for the Gold Key Gala, held a legal resource training and clinic for the POVA artists, and participated in other programs and POVA fundraisers over the years. She joined the POVA board in December 2018, and began work on the Gold Key Gala Committee. In addition to her work with POVA, Kimi volunteers with Achilles International as a marathon guide for athletes with disabilities, serves as a small group leader with the West End Methodist Church Youth Group, and is active in numerous outdoor adventure communities across Tennessee. Kimi holds a Bachelors of Arts from Vanderbilt University, a Juris Doctor from the University of Tennessee College of Law, and a Master of Arts and Theology from the University of the South: Sewanee.
Jacob Giesecke | 2019-2022
Jacob Giesecke lives in Nashville, Tennessee where he is an attorney at Kaalberg Law. He routinely represents healthcare companies, financial services institutions, and specialty lenders in complex commercial finance transactions. Prior to entering legal practice, Jacob worked for Oxfam, an international aid and development charity dedicated to fighting global poverty. Jacob is excited about the impact POVA is having across the city of Nashville, in particular its unique combination of social-enterprise, creativity, and personal empowerment. He enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, and deep conversations. Jacob holds a B.A. from Georgetown College, M.Th. from Oxford University, and J.D. from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law.
Kelsey Oesmann | 2019-2022
Kelsey is an architect and the Design Initiatives Manager with Urban Housing Solutions, a local nonprofit affordable housing developer. Kelsey is passionate about using design to build more accessible and resilient communities by integrating creative resident and neighborhood engagement, public health, and sustainability. After earning her Bachelors of Architecture from Virginia Tech in 2014, she spent three years working in Washington, DC before biking across the country to raise funds and awareness for affordable housing. Kelsey currently serves as the chair of the Emerging Professionals Committee for the Middle Tennessee chapter of the American Institute of Architects and is an active member of the Urban Land Institute Housing Action Council. Originally from New Jersey, Kelsey maintains high standards for bagels and pizza, but has fallen in love with Nashville since moving to Tennessee in 2017. She loves coffee, dog parks, and triathlons, and never leaves home without a good pen.
Jackie Tingle | 2019-2022
Jackie is the Director of Community Education at Watkins College of Art, Design, and Film. She has a BFA from the University of Southern Mississippi and a MA in Art History from Savannah College of Art and Design. Before joining Watkins, Jackie was the Program Coordinator at Poverty and the Arts (POVA) where she created an artistic professional development curriculum, managed artwork as well as merchandise inventory and sales, and tracked artists’ progress within the program. Prior to her nonprofit work, she was a visual art teacher in local public schools. As a teacher, Jackie enjoyed the challenge of making connections between the arts and academic disciplines, all toward the goal of practical applications in our society. In addition to being an art educator and historian, she is an arts advocate and practicing artist herself.