MSA Leadership

Ione Saroyan, President

Ione Saroyan is Director of Merchandise Operations at the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library. She has been a member of MSA for more than 20 years and has volunteered on multiple board committees including Membership, EAG, Finance and on the Conference committee where she works to develop meaningful volunteer opportunities for MSA members. Ione is deeply involved in the MSA North Atlantic Chapter where connections are made and relationships developed to further MSA initiatives. She is a frequent speaker at MSA national conferences, and at trade shows that offer MSA the opportunity to present to a wider audience.

Susan Tudor, First  Vice President

Susan Tudor is Manager of Visitor Services and Store Buyer at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida. She has been with the Museum for 17 years and prior to that worked for 12 years with Federated Department Stores in the Washington D.C. area. Susan has served twice as the President of the MSA Florida Chapter.

Blue Anderson, Second Vice President

Blue Anderson is the Director of Visitor Services for the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, OR. Blue has been a member of MSA since 2000 and is a past President of the Pacific Northwest Chapter. She is also a member of the Board Governance Committee and MSA’s Education Advisory Group (EAG). Blue’s passion is education and her outstanding commitment to advancing educational programs and opportunities will help MSA achieve its strategic goals in the future.

Karen McNeely, Treasurer

Karen McNeely is the Director of Retail Operations at the Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, WI.  Karen’s retail career started with Carson Pirie Scott, a Midwest department store. She held positions in both store management and the buying office during her 19 year tenure. In 2008, she started with the Milwaukee Art Museum.  Karen credits her MSA membership with helping her make a smooth transition to the nonprofit world.

Cathy Nagle-Ervin , Secretary

Cathy Nagel Ervin is the Great Lakes Regional Manager with Eastern National. A position she has held for the past 17 years and has been responsible for all the hiring, training, product development, merchandising, and inventory control for retail stores in seven states. A member of MSA since 2003, Cathy has been a consistent presenter at our conferences with many workshops related to recruitment and training of young staff and has discovered her passion for all things digital!

Jamie Cooper, Director at Large

Jamie Cooper is the Museum Shop Lead of the Museum of the Bible, Washington DC after nine years as the Museum Store Manager at President Lincoln’s Cottage. Jamie successfully transformed a small store operation into a destination hot spot for history aficionados and fair trade advocates.  Much of Jamie’s non-profit success directly correlates with his membership in MSA and numerous chapter and committee activities.  Most recently, Jamie assisted the MSA Conference committee, City sub-committee, and Events/Networking/Sponsorship sub-committee for MSA Next for the 2018 MSA Conference in Washington DC.

Patricia Sampson, Director at Large

Patricia Sampson is the Manager of Retail Shops & Visual Merchandising at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia.  Patricia’s career in non-profit retail began in 2006, however she has had a long career in for-profit retail working both in store line management and buying.  Patricia’s involvement with MSA began a year after joining The High. Her passion to give back to the MSA community lead her to a position on the regional board of the South Atlantic Chapter. Currently, she is active on the Policy and Procedures Committee and Advocacy Committee.

Kristen Daniels, Vendor Member Advisor

Kristen Daniels, President  of Kamibashi String Dolls, is the founding inspiration of our Buyers Vendors Friday Forum (BVFF), a forum that allows buyers and vendors to talk openly about merchandise without the formality of Shop Talk. More specifically focused on the buying and selling aspects of our association, the BVFF is a great place for vendors to ask each other advice about business, and also for buyers and vendors to have discussions about the best working relations that are unique to the museum industry.  A member  of MSA since 2005, Kristen is a weekly contributor to both Shoptalk and BVFF discussions by posting topics, answering questions, and being a champion of the MSA.

Ari Lowenstein, Vendor Member Advisor

Ari Lowenstein, owner of Emergent Workshop LLC, has been active in the museum merchandising sector for 20 years and a member of the Museum Store Association since 1999. Over the past 18 years, he has brought three companies to the MSA Expo: Made in Museum of Rome, Italy; Clear Solutions of Hinsdale, New Hampshire; and the Unemployed Philosophers Guild of Brooklyn, New York, which was MSA‘s Vendor of the Year in 2015. Ari’s new venture has him helping multiple manufacturers navigate the specialty gift industry when he isn’t chopping wood at his cabin in Vermont.