Jan Rozenveld, Sue Torres Join Board of Directors of DecadesOut Arts Organization
DecadesOut, Inc., a nonprofit organization that develops and promotes programs that examine the intersection of the arts and science, has named a pair of high-visibility members to its board of directors.
Jan Rozenveld, managing director at the Ace Hotel, and Sue Torres, owner and executive chef at Sueños restaurant in Chelsea, have joined the board as the group moves into its second year. They will contribute to the direction of the organization and provide comments on new projects and programs.
"It's exciting to have input from a pair of such successful, connected New Yorkers as Jan and Sue," said Frank Kuzler, executive director, DecadesOut, based in lower Manhattan. "They provide a valuable combination of artistic sensibility and business sense, and we believe they will play an important role in shaping and building DecadesOut in the years to come."
Jan Rozenveld serves as managing director at the popular Ace Hotel NY, a friendly hotel that opened in May of 2009, where he was involved with the construction, development and all operational and financial aspects of the hotel, as well as setting up all of its PR, sales and marketing strategies. In recognition of his work, Rozenveld was recently named New York GM of the Year for 2010 by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI).
He has achieved distinguished veteran status in the luxury, boutique and friendly hotel industry, having opened, repositioned, renovated and managed properties including The Greenwich Hotel, Royalton, Paramount and St. Regis Hotels (all in New York), The Tides South Beach in Miami Beach, the Windjammer Landing Beach Resort in St. Lucia, the Westin Casaurina Resort in Grand Cayman, the Amanpulo Resort in the Philippines, The Chateau De Bagnols in France, the Stafford Hotel in London and others. Rozenveld also serves on the board of directors of The Brooke Jackman Foundation for children in need, and in 2006 won the Brookster Award for his dedication to the cause.
Best known for her delectable Mexican cuisine, chef Sue Torres is an expert on combining flavor, color, and texture through her culinary art. She has worked at some of New York's finest restaurants, including The "21" Club, La Grenouille, Isabella's, Lola's and Arizona 206 & Café. Torres became head chef at Rocking Horse Café Mexicano at just 23 years old, providing "the most exciting Mexican food in the city," according to The New York Times, and later started the restaurant Hell's Kitchen from the ground up. Sueños, her own restaurant opened in 2003, quickly became one of New York's favorite hideaways, featuring a variety of fresh Mexican dishes, authentic Mexican décor and stellar margaritas.
Over the years, Torres has received notable recognition from The New York Times, New York Post, Time Out New York, New York Magazine, Food & Wine, Working Woman's list of "20 Women Under 30" to watch, Bon Appetit's Best Cocktail List of 2004, Vogue's "Taster's Choice" 2004, and made guest appearances on "The Martha Stewart Show," "The Rachel Ray Show" and the Food Network's "Iron Chef".
DecadesOut takes its name from the inspiring words of President John F. Kennedy, who in 1961 said "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth." The organization was founded in 2009 as a nonprofit to create and promote works that raise public awareness of the impact and social relevancy that science has on the arts, culture and human expression. The group develops and produces works of fiction and nonfiction in film, theatre, visual arts and multimedia that look to transform the discourse between science and society through an artistic platform, and helps artists inspired by science to share their perceptions and explore socially relevant issues that speak to our existence.
Projects focus on social and artistic issues with a direct connection to a scientific principal or theme, and explore how that principal or theme enhances the human story being told. Among the initial projects is "New Land/New Life," a work-in-progress documentary film exploring the impact on our cultural identity of the mass migration from the Gulf Coast after the 2005-2006 hurricane season. Film crews interviewed some of the millions of people who left their homes -- and many who have since returned -- to examine how their lives have changed, and to explore the impact on the cultures of both the cities they left and their new hometowns.
"The film addresses the question of human migration patterns, internal displacement within our country, and the effects those factors have on our culture over time," said Kuzler, who developed the idea for the film after traveling to New Orleans just six weeks after Hurricane Katrina and meeting several evacuees who were returning to their new homes in other cities. "We've interviewed current and former residents, social service workers, artists, anthropologists and government officials to examine how you start over in creating a culture in those stricken cities, and how the culture of the destination cities and nation overall has been affected."
Other current projects include "Burning to Communicate," a multipart documentary film that traces development of the Off-Off Broadway theatre scene in New York from the 1940s to present day to provide a historical perspective on the origins and development of this revolutionary theater movement as well as its sociological impact on the arts and culture overall; "The Launch Pad" theatre development series in support of new plays by emerging and established playwrights with an eye toward integrating substance and theatrical form; and programs to give visual artists both online and event-based exhibitions for work that fits the organization's mission.
Other DecadesOut board members include Kuzler and Jennifer Larkin, who serves as director of awards programs for the Art Directors Club, the premier global organization for creatives and designers in integrated media.