Kristen Hardy, Chair

Kristen is an attorney at a Fortune 90 insurance company in Milwaukee. In addition to practicing law, she has held leadership positions on several non-profit boards and bar organizations, including as past-president of the Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers (WAAL), Chair of the State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors, and as a board member for the Milwaukee Public Museum. Kristen earned her J.D. from Marquette University Law School and B.A. from Seton Hall University.

Della Wells, Vice Chair

Della Wells is a self-taught artist whose creative process stems primarily from her personal experiences embellished through the art of storytelling into visual work. Wells’ work has been written about and has appeared in several publications. In 2011, an award winning play inspired by her life, ”Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Fly,” debuted in Milwaukee. It was read at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and has since been produced in Nashville, Tennessee and Charlotte, North Carolina. She has exhibited in various galleries, museums and art festivals all over the United States, Italy and Canada. Her work is in over 100 private, corporate and museum collections.

Terri Boxer, Secretary

Attorney Terri S. Boxer is the co-chair of the Trusts and Estates Section at vonBriesen & Roper, s.c. She practices in the areas of marital property, estate planning, and probate and trust administration. She earned her J.D. at the University of Wisconsin, and her B.B.A. from the University of Michigan. She was admitted to the Wisconsin and Illinois Bars in 1982 and is also a member of the American Bar Association.

Willie Smith, Treasurer

Willie Smith serves as Northwest Side Community Development Corporation’s (NWSCDC) Executive Director. He previously served as Director of Lending managing the organization’s business lending program and leading workforce development efforts. His experience with banking and economic development initiatives assists NWSCDC in developing its long-term strategy for Milwaukee’s northwest side. Smith is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) through the National Development Council.

Deborah Kern, Member

Deborah Kern is the Founder of the Bronzeville Center for the Arts, as well as a co-founder to both Black Box Fund and Salonga Conservation Initiative. Kern’s work goes beyond the scope of civic engagement, development and investment, as she is also the owner of MOD GEN, a modern general store, located on North Broadway in Milwaukee.

Freida High W. Tesfagiorgis, Member

Freida High Wasikhongo Tesfagiorgis is a distinguished arts educator, fine artist, and art historian whose work shapes national dialogue around Black art history and visual culture. High is an Evjue-Bascom Emerita Professor of African and African American Art History and Visual Culture in the Departments of Afro-American Studies, Gender & Women’s Studies, and Art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. High’s artwork has been exhibited internationally, from Chicago and New York to Palermo, Italy and Berlin, Germany.

Sande Robinson, Member

Sande Robinson began her career as a kindergarten teacher. She transitioned to higher education after receiving her M. ED in Student Personnel Administration from Kent State University. In 1986 she was appointed director of the Marquette University Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), a federally funded TRIO Program for highly motivated first-generation high school and college students. After serving as the Director for 30 years, Sande retired from Marquette University in 2010. She is a trustee at the Milwaukee Art Museum and President of Milwaukee Art Museum’s African American Art Alliance. In 2017, the City of Milwaukee recognized the African American Art Alliance with the Friends of the Arts Award.