Meet the JAM FAM
Chad Smith has spent his career curating beauty and joy. Starting his career as a high-end fashion stylist, for the past 20 years Chad has been a luxury real estate photographer, overseeing art direction and styling for shoots from coast to coast. He now brings his creative vision to the JAMNOLA team—overseeing the merchandising and creative direction of this one-of-a-kind play space. Chad has a degree in cinematography and film production from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He lives in Bywater, New Orleans.
What started as one simple idea—to spark more smiles—has now become a reality. Jonny Liss is the visionary and Co-Founder of JAMNOLA (Joy-Art-Music/New Orleans). He began his marketing career in the beauty industry doing stints at Revlon, L’Oréal and Aveda in New York City. Jonny came to understand the relationship between happiness and well-being in his continuing role at Herbalife Nutrition. After spending more than 30 years in worldwide marketing, sales and events, Jonny and Chad came up with the idea of increasing and spreading joy through the experience of art, music and culture. He has a degree in marketing from Northeastern University and currently resides in Bywater, New Orleans.
Cat is the co-founder and creative director of Where Y'Art Works. Cat's passion for the arts is instinctual and stems from a lifetime surrounded by it. With her roots in New Orleans, to growing up having an artist for a mother, and living and working for the past 20 years as a graphic designer both in the corporate field, as well as running her own branding and design business, Mama Roux Studio; Cat's history and experience drove her to envision a website where local art is easily accessible to the people. Together with Collin, designed Where Y'Art Works; a platform wholly dedicated to ensuring a future for local working artists, while doing our part to build and sustain the New Orleans art community.
Collin serves as co-founder & managing director of Where Y'Art Works. Her love affair with New Orleans began at Tulane University, where she was torn between studying art and business. In 2011, after over six years overseas, she settled back in New Orleans as a visual artist and founded Birds of a Feather NOLA. She witnessed firsthand the difficulties of arts promotion and marketing aong her fellow artists, and at the same time was approached by Cat Todd about a platform for Nola artists. Where Y'Art was born.
Amber began her career in the beauty industry as a brand management professional recognized for her creativity and innovation at companies including Aveda, Avon and Rusk. An entrepreneur at heart, Amber founded popular NYC dating service, On Speed Dating, and also helped put rental car start-up, Silvercar, on the map which led to an eventual acquisition by Audi. She now brings her talents and experience to the JAMNOLA team overseeing all Marketing and PR initiatives. Amber earned her BBA in Business Marketing from the University of Texas-San Antonio and splits her time between New Orleans and Austin, Texas where she enjoys spending time with her daughter, Nola.
Joan has had an expansive career creating live event experiences in entertainment, art and sports developing dynamic partnerships with brands and non-profit organizations. She earned her BS of Marketing from The University of Arizona with additional certifications in Social Impact from Wharton. Having led the development of a wide variety of immersive event experiences and partnerships she has represented brands such as Netflix, Universal Studios and Toyota. Joan led the Experiential Marketing team at Saatchi & Saatchi creating integrated partnerships, artist installations, music festival activations, pop-up experiences, film premieres and community events.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Laura Ketteringham is and has always been a NOLA advocate, passionate about her city’s rich culture and heritage. With a background in Advertising Sales, Laura started her career working for New Orleans Magazine. Also possessing a Construction background managing both residential and commercial projects, Laura played a vital role in helping to oversee the build out of JAMNOLA. She now helps lead the day-to-day Operations.
Shawn Montgomery is JAMNOLA’s digital marketing whiz specializing in brand and social media marketing across digital platforms. She has put her diverse education chops–which include a B.A. in Mass Communications with a minor in Arabic from Tennessee State University and an MBA from The University of New Orleans–creativity, and expert knowledge of digital landscapes to good use in features for publications like Vibe magazine and for clients including Robert Glasper, Derrick Hodge and Second Son Productions. A born-and-bred New Orleanian, in her downtime, Shawn makes it a priority to share her hometown’s unique culture, traditions, and music with her daughter Calliope (whose name might not be pronounced how you’d expect).
Originally hailing from the Dominican Republic, at 6’6” JAMNOLA’s Customer Service lead, Juan Cabrera is hard to miss. A former MLB pitching prospect who sustained a career ending shoulder injury in highschool, Juan earned a Basketball scholarship and degree in Business Marketing from Lehman College in the Bronx. Juan started his career working at a Law Firm in Manhattan, did a stint in property management with Eanes Properties and eventually moved into event production before finding his way to JAMNOLA. When he’s not providing exceptional support to JAMNOLA guests, Juan produces Silent Discos for Quiet Events.