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New 42 Announces Additions to Senior Team

New 42 Announces Additions to Senior Team

These additions expand New 42’s scope of leadership expertise as their mission to impact future generations through the arts becomes increasingly critical.

Today, New 42 announced the additions of Leroy Li, Michele Pagnotta, Amber Shavers, Russell Small, Vincent Taylor, and Aja Williams-Powell to their senior team. These additions expand New 42's scope of leadership expertise at a key juncture, as New 42's mission to impact future generations through the arts becomes increasingly critical.

"These exceptional individuals collectively draw upon decades of experience in many of the country's most renowned institutions, bringing a wealth of perspectives and talents that reflect New 42's multifaceted growth,"said Russell Granet, President & CEO of New 42. "I'm thrilled to welcome a group that has demonstrated such an extraordinary passion for the arts, and I'm certain that their appointments will help deepen our shared commitment to meeting the evolving needs of New York's cultural community."

More about the recently appointed members of New 42's senior team:

Leroy Li


Leroy Li, Director of Capital Projects and Real Estate, joins New 42 bringing with him over 15 years of experience in project management and real estate, with nearly half of them spent working with nonprofit organizations. His work experience includes serving as Director of Project Management at Think! Architecture & Design in Brooklyn; Vice President at Denham Wolf Real Estate Services, Inc. where he led projects for the Atlantic Theater Company, Baryshnikov Arts Center; Opera America and HERE Arts Center; and Design Project Engineer at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Mr. Li is a graduate of the Cooper Union with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and holds a MS in Real Estate Development from New York University. He is an active member of the Leadership Council of the Chinese American Planning Council and serves on his local community board.

Michele Pagnotta


Michele Pagnotta, Vice President, Finance, has over 16 years of experience as a finance leader in the theater and performing arts industries. She most recently served as Senior Director of Finance for The Apollo Theater for eight years. Prior to that, Ms. Pagnotta was the Director of Finance for Blue Man Group, overseeing financial operations for five North American theatrical productions, a domestic and international tour, a production company, and various real estate investments. Ms. Pagnotta holds an MBA and a BS in Finance and has earned an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership. Additionally, she is Treasurer for The Lehman Center for Performing Arts at Lehman College.

Amber Shavers


Amber Shavers, Chief of Staff, was a Co-Producer of "Let's Get This Show on the Street," New 42's once-in-a-lifetime outdoor celebration in Times Square in 2021 featuring performances from Sara Bareilles, Freestyle Love Supreme Academy, Bill Irwin and Dance Theatre of Harlem, among others. Ms. Shavers, originally from the midwest, grew up in the arts and attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison as a theater major but ultimately graduated with a BA in cultural anthropology with a focus on the music and dance of the African Diaspora. She holds a JD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she co-founded the Nebraska Entertainment and Sports Law Association. She has participated in two seasons of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland as both a performer and director. Amber is a member of the New York Bar and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA). Her first book, "The Little Book of Music Law," was published by the American Bar Association.

Russell Small


Russell Small, Director of Employee Engagement and Human Resources possesses more than 10 years of experience in employee engagement and human resources, with more than half of that time spent in nonprofit organizations. His work experience includes having served as Human Capital Senior Generalist at TeleTech Holdings, Inc., based in the Philippines. In an effort to increase his direct impact in the community where he lives, he joined Help USA as the Human Resources Manager, where he worked closely on employee relations initiatives and coordinated orientations for new hires, among other responsibilities. Russell holds a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Nova Southeastern University and is also a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Russell is not only a talented HR leader, he is also an artist. He has been singing and performing since childhood, recently serving as the director of a performing arts program.

Vincent Taylor


Vincent Taylor, Director of IT, Cyber Security, and Infrastructure, joins New 42 with over 15 years of IT experience in the technology landscape. Prior to joining New 42, he spent 10 years as the Director, Information Technology (IT) at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP). During his tenure at CEIP, Mr. Taylor oversaw the global IT operations of six Centers in six different countries (United States, China, Russia, Belgium, India, and Lebanon). Prior to making the jump to the IT Director's chair, he spent more than five years as an IT consultant with various clients, broadening his understanding of how Information Technology can work in tandem with a business and deepening his belief that IT has the potential to help any organization thrive and succeed.

Aja Williams-Powell

Aja Williams-Powell, Controller, is a finance professional with more than 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Prior to joining the New 42, Aja was a Senior Accountant with Lutz and Carr, CPAs, LLP specializing in audits and preparation of tax returns for nonprofit organizations. Aja graduated from St. John's University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Accounting.

About New 42

Under the leadership of President & CEO Russell Granet, New 42 is a cultural nonprofit whose mission is to make extraordinary performing arts a vital part of everyone's life from the earliest years onward. Driven by a deep commitment to performing arts access, New 42 connects people to world-class performances, essential education and employment programs, and creative communities that push culture forward. Through New Victory and New 42 Studios, the nonprofit serves artists, educators and New Yorkers of all ages with invaluable arts engagement and resources in and beyond the performing arts. Together with our supporters, New 42 opens new perspectives, incubates new works and creates new opportunities to move us all.




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