Lisa Vossler Smith, a longtime Coachella Valley resident, has been named executive director of Palm Springs Modernism Week, a non-profit organization that produces the annual festival.
Smith is the former senior director of administration and operations for the Palm Springs Art Museum, and will assume a position previously held by Nickie McLaughlin.
“Our goal was to find someone who could fill very big shoes without missing a beat. We received several impressive resumes from qualified applicants, and after meeting with Lisa, we knew immediately that we’d found the right person for this job,” said Chris Mobley, chairman of Modernism Week. “Lisa has extensive experience in working with the greater Palm Springs community, and she is acutely aware of our mission and knowledgeable about the inner workings of Modernism Week. She also has an amazing personality and brings a new level of excitement and passion for what we represent.”
Smith graduated from Indio High School, and attended the University of California-Irvine, receiving her bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning and Environmental Design. She developed her early career experience in event management in New Orleans, La., working with clients such as Microsoft, Computer Associates, and the American Dental Association.
Smith returned to the desert in 2000 to expand her career in the Coachella Valley and contribute to the community through volunteer participation. In her most recent position at the Palm Springs Art Museum, she oversaw the planning of major fundraising events, helped coordinate nine museum special interest councils, and assisted with the museum’s expansion into a satellite location in Palm Desert.
"This is an exciting time of growth for the organization, and I look forward to expanding on the great tradition of quality programs, events, and tours that has been established over the past eight years.” Smith said. “We are going to be very busy as we plan for the long-range future of the organization and its role in the community, and we expect to broaden our activities to involve more residents and visitors from throughout the entire Coachella Valley."
Smith and husband Phillip K. Smith, III are founding members of the Architecture and Design Council of Palm Springs Art Museum, and have been avid participants in Modernism Week activities for many years. Smith was named one of the top young influencers in the area in Palm Springs Life’s “40 Under 40” feature and “The A-List” by Desert Magazine.
The ninth annual Palm Springs Modernism Week will take place Feb. 13-23, 2014. For more information and updates, visit www.modernismweek.com.