Four join museum staff at Crystal Bridges

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 371 views 

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art recently added four members to the staff.

Dina Wood, of Springdale, will assume duties as the museum’s director of development. Suzanne Navarra, of Bentonville, has been chosen as manager of the museum’s guest services team. Barbara Tillman, of Bella Vista, joins the special events staff as outside sales manager. Chad Alligood of Perry, Ga., joins Crystal Bridges as assistant curator for special projects.

Wood worked in the administration of President William Jefferson Clinton, serving consecutive appointments in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the White House office of presidential personnel, and in the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) as director of the office of congressional and intergovernmental affairs, all in Washington, D.C.

She also served as assistant attorney general for the Arkansas attorney general and as attorney and director of special programs for the Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands. Most recently, Wood held the position of senior director of development and external relations for the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, a position within the division of advancement at the University of Arkansas.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to have Dina joining the Crystal Bridges team,” said Director of Advancement Jill Wagar. “Her proven track record in private gift support, coupled with her passion for the arts will help propel the museum’s ambitious initiatives.”

Navarra, guest services manager, came to the museum from the insurance business, where she has served several companies in client services and provider relations. Most recently, she served as account manager for Stephens Insurance Co. in Fayetteville. Prior to relocating to Bentonville, Navarra was with Principal Financial Group, serving as the client services director for sales offices in Dallas and Indianapolis. She has studied marketing at Indiana State University, and holds a real estate broker designation from Indiana University. At Crystal Bridges, Navarra oversees a team of 14 guest services associates to assure a positive and welcoming experience for museum visitors.

“Suzi leads the guest services team with enthusiasm and an emphasis on continuing the Museum’s excellence in customer service,” Wagar said.

Tillman, outside sales manager, has a long background in the hospitality industry that includes meeting planning for Walmart, Mary Kay Cosmetics and several hotels. Most recently she was the director of sales at the Holiday Inn Pinnacle Hills. At Crystal Bridges, Tillman is responsible for promoting and selling private events at the museum, and serves as a liaison between culinary, special events staff and clients to ensure successful events.

“We are excited to have Barbara on our special events team,” said Special Events Manager Nathan Pollet. “She brings a wealth of knowledge regarding the industry and is wonderfully connected to Northwest Arkansas.”

Alligood, assistant curator for special projects, is a Perry, Ga., native who earned his bachelor’s degree in history of art and architecture from Harvard University, his master’s degree in art history from the University of Georgia, and has completed his doctoral coursework at City University of New York (CUNY). After serving as adjunct professor of art history at Brooklyn College from 2010 to 2012, Alligood went on to become a curatorial intern for collections at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, where he provided research support for the development of large exhibitions of modern art in New York and abroad. He received the Kress Foundation Fellowship from Smith College Institute for Art Museum Studies, and comes to Crystal Bridges from Cranbrook Art Museum where he was serving as a Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections Fellow, preparing an exhibition titled What to Paint and Why: Modern Painters at Cranbrook, 1936 – 1974, which opened in early June.

At Crystal Bridges, Alligood will work with museum President Don Bacigalupi on a new initiative to develop a major exhibition program that will have both a national and international presence.

“Chad is the ideal curator to help shape Crystal Bridges’ new exhibition initiative,” said Bacigalupi. “His experience in research and organization for a range of exhibitions will serve us very well as we move forward with new projects.”