Living Arts is once again pleased to announce that we’ve added four new members to our Board of Directors: Kayana Sessoms, Veronica Marsich, Monique Harris, and Ulrike Hildebrand. “With the addition of these four highly skilled and accomplished women, Living Arts leadership continues to grow,” said Alissa Novoselick, Executive Director. “I’m excited they’ll bring their unique perspectives to further Living Arts work in Detroit.”
Kayana Sessoms works to empower people in cities through creating developmental programs that integrate creativity and provide exposure to the arts for people of all ages. Kayana oversees the vision, quality, and delivery of community programs and cultural production in Detroit and has worked nationally and internationally. She has served on a number of boards and advisory councils to promote community-based access to the arts. In addition, Kayana co-founded Action by Presence, an organization focused on increasing mutual respect among people of different socioeconomic backgrounds. In 2009, she founded Kids Heart Art, a healing arts program for youth, first implemented in Sierra Leone, Africa. Lastly, she has over 15 years of experience working as a leader to problem solve directly with at risk youth and families in the Metro Detroit area. She currently serves as Detroit City Deputy Manager, District 3.
Ulrike Hildebrand is a strategy-minded, process driven and collaborative executive with the demonstrated ability to lead change to transform teams and deliver results positively affecting a company’s success. Her professional background includes several years of human resources leadership and international sales. Her career spans pharma- ceutical, automotive and service industries.
As a German born national with US citizenship and a successful career in both countries she has a deep understanding of cultural differences and the importance of diversity. She holds a degree in economics from Carl-von-Ossietzky Universitaet in Oldenburg, Germany.
Ulrike has held the position as head of Human Resources overseeing all respective functions in both public and privately owned companies.
As a trusted advisor to the CEOs and their executive teams, she has successfully designed and delivered talent management strategies leading to reductions in turnover and higher internal placement rates due to succession planning. She has directed negotiations with external partners achieving significant cost reductions.
Ulrike began her professional career in sales, moving cross functionally to Human Resources after completing her education. She transferred from Daimler-Benz headquarter in Stuttgart to Mercedes-Benz USA in 2000, before moving to the automotive supplier side with regional responsibility for Human Resources in North America. She left there in 2012 and has since then led an HR team for a US subsidiary of AXA Group, a French insurance company, and is currently serving as Regional HR Director, North America for a service company.
Ulrike is currently working to develop a fashion product invention to bring to market under her own company. She is a co-author of a book “Handbook for Human Resources Management”, published by Springer Verlag and a member of the Society for Human Resources Management.
Ulrike enjoys helping others in their professional development. She lives in Rochester Hills, Michigan, where she also enjoys spending time with her significant other and her horse.
Monique Harris received a Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University in 2018. She is currently an Analyst in JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Commercial Bank where she works with Middle Market companies to provide a solution for all their banking and treasury needs. In her free time she enjoys drawing, painting with pastels, and spending time with her puppy Chicki.
Veronica Marsich, Esq. brings a unique combination of governance, merger & acquisition and financial expertise that has been vital in helping her drive the business in organizations. Respected as a credible voice in decision making, financial transactions, structuring and negotiating complex acquisitions, reorganizations and health care IT. Veronica earns a seat at the table wherever she serves. She also brings expertise in managing risk and maintaining compliance in heavily-regulated industries as well as legal, government affairs and business operations.
Currently Veronica serves as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for a $450M health care corporation. She recently led the organization successfully through an affiliation with a world class academic medical center which included substantial tax-exempt bond refinancing, and multiple layers of federal and state regulatory approvals. She is now spearheading all aspects of enterprise risk management and compliance for the organization and managing corporate governance for multiple boards and board sub-committees. Veronica serves on both the finance committee and audit and compliance committees of the board. She is also a key thinker and strategist for the organization as it navigates through significant growth of over 10% market share annually.
Previously, Veronica practiced law as an equity partner, serving as primary business counselor and advisor to for-profit, not-for-profit and professional corporations in various industries to include health care, technology and transportation. She worked closely with executive leaders and governing boards to define strategies for key affiliations and acquisitions. During her time in private practice she served on the firm’s managing board and its compensation committee, as well as serving as managing partner of the firm’s health care practice group, which experienced triple digit growth during her leadership.
Veronica is a member of the Finance Committee of Ann Arbor Spark, a leader in economic development focusing in hi-tech and health care. She is also a member of the Board of the Women’s Global Leadership Initiative, serving her strong passion to support and mentor to future women leaders. Veronica is a member of various business organizations including the American Health Lawyers Association where she chaired the Teaching Hospitals and Academic Medical Centers Practice Group. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois and both a BA and MHSA from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. Veronica participates in sponsorship of local arts events and patron of Broadway theater. She is an avid amateur photographer, adventure traveler and advanced scuba diver.