“Authentic history provides a connection between past and present that has an intrinsic impact on the future”
For the past six years, LaNisha Cassell has served the community through her leadership at the African American Museum of Iowa, the only organization in the state focused solely on the experiences of African American Iowans.
Cassell joined the museum staff as deputy director in 2016, coming from roles in the nonprofit fundraising sector. A year later, she took over as executive director and has been guiding the organization ever since, reimagining the museum’s exhibits, navigating through the pandemic and now planning for the organization’s future.
Her role keeps her busy on many fronts, from answering emails and having regular team conversations about the next exhibit, program or project, to following up on meetings with community leaders, board members, and more. museum administration and museum members.
Cassell, a Washington, DC native, is also responsible for connecting with potential partners and donors. She oversees operations, develops fundraising initiatives, and works to expand the museum’s presence by cultivating partnerships, increasing visibility, and advancing museum programming.
“I am passionate about the mission of the museum, because educating people with an authentic story provides a connection between past and present that has an intrinsic impact on the future,” she said.
His community-focused work doesn’t stop at the museum.
Cassell also sits — and has served — on several volunteer boards. She currently serves on the board of the Cedar Rapids Metro YMCA, the Cedar Rapids Community School District Foundation, the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance’s Innovation Council, the Iowa Cultural Coalition, and the Marketing Committee of the Iowa Women’s Foundation.
“I love giving back using my skills and talents,” she said. “I provide my organizational skills, as well as my passion for connecting people and resources, when possible.”
She also managed to add a meaningful element to a favorite hobby: baking and cake decorating.
“I love baking wedding cakes. But I also volunteer with a non-profit organization called Cakes From the Heart, which is made up of people who donate decorated cakes for young and old people involved in organizations. local social services.
Business 380 spotlights HER’s Women of Achievement magazine, published by The Gazette. The awards were sponsored by Farmers State Bank.