Maria de Lourdes Duke, President and Chairwoman
Mrs. "Luly" Duke is Founder and President of Fundación Amistad. She also serves as Executive Vice President of Boys Harbor, Inc., a multi-service organization for inner-city children in East Harlem, New York. In addition, she is also on the Board of Directors for the Child Study Center at New York University, the Cuba Policy Foundation, Americans for Humanitarian Trade with Cuba, Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children. Mrs. Duke also serves on the Advisory Board for MEDICC (Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba), and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations Cuba Task Force, and the International Rescue Committee Cuba Task Force.
Hortensia Calvo, Ph.D.
Dr. Calvo is the Latin American bibliographer of the Perkins Library at Duke University.
Michael Connors, Ph.D.
Dr. Connors holds a Ph.D. in the decorative arts from New York University and teaches and publishes widely in the field of Caribbean furniture.
Mr. Early is the Director of Cultural Heritage Policy at the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
Dr. Gail Furman
Dr. Furman is a Clinical Professor of Child Psychology, Child Study Center, NYU Medical School. Dr. Furman has served as the Chair of the Children’s Task Force of the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children. She is a member of several boards focusing on educational/emotional needs of children worldwide.
Ms. Garay served as Program Director for the Arts for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation from March 1998 until December 31, 2005. Reporting directly to the Foundation President, Ms. Garay has been responsible for the planning, design, management, and evaluation of the Arts Program, which provides approximately $13 to $20 million annually to leading performing arts organizations throughout the country, making it one of the largest national performing arts funders in the United States. Prior to joining the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ms. Garay was Director of the Cultural Affairs Department of Miami-Dade College, Wolfson Campus. In that role she supervised three art galleries, presented a performing arts series featuring the highest quality contemporary and culturally specific artists from this country and abroad, and directed the Center for Cultural Collaborations International. One of its most ambitious projects was producing a contemporary opera titled, “Balseros.” Ms. Garay was the Executive Producer of the contemporary opera that was commissioned by the Wolfson Campus, Florida Grand Opera and the South Florida Composers Alliance. Cuban American playwright, Maria Irene Fornes created the libretto that was based on real testimonies of Cuban rafters. Ms. Garay has been an avid supporter of Fundación Amistad and we are pleased to have her officially on board!
Jean M. Gath
Ms. Gath is a Partner and Director of Planning at Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates, an international architecture and planning firm located in New York and Los Angeles. Ms. Gath has worked with Fundación Amistad on the development of its projects with Casa de las Americas since 1999.
Mr. Gonzalez serves as the Global Art Director for the JP Morgan Chase Bank and serves on the Board of Directors of the Cintas Foundation.
Ms. Hess is a Managing Director of JP Morgan Chase Private Bank Global Philanthropic Services. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Theatre Wing, Guild Hall, Lenox Hill Hospital, and Women in Need, an agency to aid homeless women and their children. At the Museum of Modern Art, Ms. Hess is a member of the Curatorial Committee on Drawings, the Contemporary Arts Council, the Director’s Council, and the Chairman’s Council. She also sits on the Committee to visit the College of Harvard University and the Professional Advisory Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Elena Lord, Secretary
Mrs. Lord, a graduate of NYU, worked at Sotheby’s auction house for 14 years. She spent her first 6 years at Sotheby’s running their Palm Beach office and then moved to the New York office as Vice President and head of the International Department. For the last few years, she has been collecting Cuban art and has traveled to Cuba twice to pursue this new interest.
Ms. Lowinger is the founder of a Los Angeles based conservation practice with a specialty in conservation of architecture, sculpture, contemporary art, and ethnographic art. The main focus of the practice has been large-scale restoration projects and management of conservation for entire collections. Projects have ranged from restoration of individual sculptures to assessments and design of materials conservation matters in conjunction with architectural firms. Clients for whom I have managed projects have included: the Huntington Library and Art Gallery, the Armand Hammer Museum, the Eli Broad Family Foundation, the New-York Historical Society, Cypress Lawn Memorial Park (Colma, CA), Will Rogers State Park (Los Angeles, CA), Antelope Valley Indian Museum (Lancaster, CA), the Hawaii State Foundation for Culture and the Arts, and the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Honolulu, Inglewood, CA, Metropolitan Dade County Art in Public Places (FL), and Ventura, CA. From 1988-2000 I was the conservation consultant for the Watts Towers restoration project managed by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. I have also teamed with other conservation firms for major assessment and project development plans for the Jamaica National Trust, the Palace of the Governor (San Juan, Puerto Rico), and the City of Philadelphia’s outdoor sculpture collection.
Mr. Marano is currently the president of Ozymandius Realty Ltd., which specializes in the development and construction of residential condominiums, offices, and retail spaces in lower Manhattan.
Ms. Pessino is a director, producer, and actress. She has appeared in a variety of theatrical works off Broadway and on the East End. As founder and artistic director of Oddfellows Playhouse, she has spearheaded local theatre and numerous productions of the company.
Mr. Honerkamp is a businessman who is also the Manager of the Maidstoners softball team, which has played in goodwill exhibition games in Cuba against amateur Cuban teams. Mr. Honerkamp is a founding member of the East Hampton, NY – La Playa Sister Cities Association.
Silvia Fernandez Freyre
Ms. Freyre is a fashion consultant in New York City.
Mr. Muse, of Muse and Associates in Washington, DC, is a nationally recognized international law attorney specializing in Cuban issues.
Ms. Pisa is Vice President at Sotheby’s International Realty in New York City.