janice Yablonski

Janice Yablonski-Hickey


Janice Yablonski-Hickey is an executive leader in the arts with extensive experience developing income strategies for museums and cultural institutions. With more than 30 years’ experience working with arts organizations and 20 years in the digital arena, she is an expert in cultural commerce who specializes in creating future-focused business models and innovative revenue generation programs.

Janice has particular strengths in museum retail, visitor engagement, product development, ecommerce, and marketing programs. As a consultant, Janice has produced a wide range of research, evaluation, and creative development projects for cultural institutions, government agencies, and other nonprofits, including the National Gallery of Art, the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, New York’s Central Park Conservancy, Monticello, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the U.S. Department of State, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and the Texas Historical Commission, among others. Janice has extensive experience creating business plans and feasibility studies, conducting market assessments and competitive analyses, and developing revenue improvement plans that look synergistically across institutions’ varied departments and mix mission goals with sustainability.

Janice began her career at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she held roles in publishing, product development, and marketing. She was named the Met’s first head of ecommerce, and led the design, strategy, content, and technology of the online store, which grew to become a model in the field. Janice enjoyed a 23-year career at the Met, after which she established her firm, Arts & Culture Digital. At AC&D she redesigned and re-platformed ecommerce sites for a number of major museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Texas State Capitol, as well as directed cloud POS and other systems replacement projects. She launched Museum Revenue Partners in 2019 to meet the needs of arts organizations challenged by contracting budgets and declining grants and philanthropic giving, and has helped many institutions in their efforts to increase earned revenue.

Janice has an extensive background in design, content creation, data, and analytics, and in her marketing roles has developed email, paid search, social media, and direct mail campaigns. Her work has won awards including the American Alliance of Museums’ Best Institutional Website, NYC’s Big Book Award in Fine Arts, Advertising Age’s Best Ecommerce Site, Best Art Book from American Book Fest, and the Museum Store Association’s Best Web Presence. She holds a B.A. from Barnard College, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a Certificate in Arts Administration from NYU, with academic credentials in American history, art, and museum studies. Janice is a conference speaker and author, and has served on the Board of the Ridgewood Arts Foundation, where she was a Trustee, and Vice President of Strategic Planning. She also volunteers as a member of POLARIS, the museum mentor network.


Kathy Mucciolo

Senior Consultant

Kathy Mucciolo is an industry leading museum store design and development specialist, with broad experience in the areas of visual merchandising, retail planning, and creative interdisciplinary design. Her background includes work with both museum flagship stores and satellite locations, with particular expertise in special exhibition shops. Kathy has created hundreds of store designs over the course of her career, including new build outs, full remodels, store resets, and pop-up shops. Her work ranges from sophisticated stores that sell high-end museum reproductions and limited edition jewelry to souvenir gift shops catering to international tourists, children’s shops, holiday shops, and other themed stores. Kathy’s customer-focused designs and memorable, well-branded environments serve to both support a museum’s image and increase its revenue.

Kathy enjoyed a 30-year career at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she led a team that oversaw five permanent shops and three changing exhibition shops within the building, as well as 20 branch location stores in major shopping destinations such as Rockefeller Center, airports, and malls across the United States. As a consultant she has provided store designs for the Central Park Conservancy, Monticello, and the U.S. Department of State, among others. Kathy’s experience encompasses store concepts and branding, interior design, fixture design, fabrication and installation, signage, window design, visual merchandising standards, and maintenance. Kathy was the lead designer for the high-profile Costume Institute exhibition shops at the Met, including for the blockbuster Alexander McQueen show, working closely with the curatorial team and Anna Wintour. She also created an innovative blended art gallery/coffee shop installation at the Met Breuer location that combined key visitor amenities. Kathy has built open and closed displays, point of purchase units, changing seasonal and themed layouts, and custom fixtures for sensory oriented presentations including music, video, print on demand and product sampling. Her background also includes expertise in planogram development, inventory replenishment and back of house functions, customer flow and behavior, traffic analytics, register and technical operations, and personnel management.

Kathy has served as an adjunct professor in the Visual Merchandising Department at the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (LIM College). She was educated at The Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford, where she earned a B.F.A. in Printmaking and Art History. She received her management and leadership training at the Met, and was the recipient of the 2009 VMSD Magazine award for excellence in Visual Merchandising and Store Design in New York City. Kathy is a conference speaker, and also an avid baker who developed and launched her own baked goods business.

Simon Powles, Senion Consultant

Simon Powles

Senior Consultant

Simon Powles is an expert in cultural institution visitor dining, catering, and special events, with more than 25 years’ experience in the food service industry. He has developed and managed restaurants and advised museum and cultural clients across the country, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, the New York Botanic Garden, the Barnes Foundation, Carnegie Hall, the California Academy of Sciences, and the Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens, among many others.

Simon began his career after studying Food and Hospitality Management at University College Birmingham in England. He moved to the United States to launch his career in special event catering, restaurant, and food service management and immerse himself in major markets such as Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Dallas, Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. He held senior leadership positions with Wolfgang Puck, Compass Group / Restaurant Associates, Guckenheimer, and Washington D.C.’s top social caterer, Design Cuisine, where he achieved a career highlight in catering President Bill Clinton’s second inaugural lunch at the U.S. Capitol. In 2008, this self-described “entrepreneur at his core” co-founded the highly regarded Starr Catering Group with Stephen Starr, a Zagat Restaurateur of the Year. Despite facing one of the worst economic periods since the Great Depression, he led the company in achieving 100% retention of a marquee cultural client portfolio and double-digit organic growth, reaching $124M in 11 years. In 2015, he led the strategic sale of the company to Elior North America (ENA) and remained on as CEO to seamlessly transition the business. He later collaborated with ENA to acquire two additional businesses and was promoted to lead Elior’s Dining & Events segment as President of Systems.

In 2020, Simon established Action-Hospitality Advisers, a collaborative and hands-on boutique advisory firm exclusively serving cultural and leisure organizations seeking innovative hospitality solutions, and a contract dining and hospitality partner organization. His consulting work focuses on chef and operator selection, contract negotiations and operator contract compliance, restaurant concepts, formats, and design, benchmarking and KPI analysis for performance improvement, market research, and program management.

David Gerken, Senior Consultant

David Gerken

Senior Consultant

David Gerken is a retail design specialist with more than 30 years’ experience developing store environments for cultural institutions and specialty retailers. His work creates exceptional retail store designs that are optimized for flexibility, functionality, and to maximize the stores’ sales potential. David’s retail design career began by designing a variety of stores in every setting possible, which honed his skills across merchandise types and store styles. As a result of the explosive growth of the shopping center—and retail in general—he designed and produced hundreds of mall and street stores around the country.

In early 2001, his focus changed, and he began creating store designs for museums, historic sites, and science centers. David joined a fledgling retail company whose mission was to serve as retailers for cultural attractions. The small retail firm quickly grew over the next 14 years to become the highly respected multi-national enterprise known as Event Network. As founding design director, and in the role of VP of Store Design, David produced dozens of traveling exhibition stores for well-known shows such as “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition,” Star Wars, Treasures of the Vatican, Eternal Egypt, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Pixar. He also created exciting and successful retail stores for all manner of museums, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the American Museum of Natural History’s Dino Store, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the Henry Ford Museum, the Orlando Science Center, the Gettysburg Battlefield Visitor Center, the Alamo, the Mystic Seaport Museum, and many others. David’s unique position in retail environment design has provided hundreds of opportunities for him to exercise the highly creative skills and down-to-earth retail and construction expertise that characterizes his work.

Over the last fifteen years with his own firm, the Gerken Retail Design Company, David has brought his retail vision and unique skills to a large portfolio of significant science center stores as well as zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, and specialty museum store projects in North America and Western Europe. His work has received rave reviews from clients, the press, and most importantly, from the guests who shop in the stores, which is evident in the merchandise sales performance that comes as a direct result of the experience and inspiration brought to each project. David studied fine and commercial art at The William E. Gebhardt School of Art, now Antonelli College.

Elizabeth Stoneman

Elizabeth Stoneman

Senior Consultant

Elizabeth Stoneman is a museum merchandising and publishing professional with more than 30 years’ experience in the arts and culture sector. Her wide-ranging experience includes product development and production, rights, permissions, and copyright, consumer goods compliance, and cross channel sales metrics and analysis. Elizabeth has special expertise in the development of children’s books, conceiving of and executing book concepts that share art in new and creative ways. She was the editorial director for World Make Way: New Poems Inspired by Art from the Metropolitan Museum (2018) and I (Heart) Art: Work We Love from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2019) both published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, among other titles.

Elizabeth began her career at the publishing house Stewart, Tabori & Chang, where she developed expertise in high-end offset printing and worked with some of the finest printers in Europe and Asia.  At The Metropolitan Museum of Art she led the production of innovative and award-winning books, kits, and stationery for the gift market, among the first museum product development groups to source 3D elements for their publications from around the world, including Egyptian faience beads, gold flakes, and custom perfumes from exotic scents that expanded what was possible for museum retail. In her subsequent management roles at the Met she was responsible for Intellectual Property issues for the Merchandise department including licensing the museum’s assets and negotiation with artist rights associations and estates, product safety and regulatory compliance, and global importing and freight logistics. Elizabeth has deep experience with the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, Consumer Product Safety Commission certification, UBIT, and other merchandising standards.

Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Art History from SUNY Purchase, with a focus in 19th century French painting.  She is a volunteer with Reading Partners NYC, where she enjoys tutoring struggling readers. Elizabeth’s many interests include Islamic and pre-Columbian art, antique jewelry, and developing her own independent writing projects.


Cherisse Straw

Senior Consultant

Cherisse Straw is a specialist in the art and luxury retail arena with more than 30 years’ experience in the museum and cultural market. Her extensive experience includes buying and developing jewelry, home gifts, and sculpture, as well as selling to arts consumers and international clientele in exclusive New York locations. She is known for her product storytelling, which draws on art history, cultural inspiration, and the world of fashion. Cherisse’s consulting work has focused on diversity, equality, and inclusion perspectives for merchandise and retail, where she works to expand product lines to reflect art from under-represented groups and to increase cultural markets by seeking out and communicating with new arts consumers and groups.

Cherisse started her career at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she held roles in retail planning and allocation for jewelry and home décor items, and in the development of fine art jewelry reproductions. Her extensive experience includes inventory control, replenishment procedures, supply chain and product quality management, sales analysis, forecasting models, buying and product development, and store staffing and training. At the Met Cherisse developed enhanced vendor compliance guidelines, while at the same time diversifying the vendor base with age, ethnicity, and gender considerations, and including suppliers from Africa, Asia, Italy, and Spain. She also created the Met’s Artisan Jewelry line, which interpreted the museum’s encyclopedic collection for contemporary audiences. Cherisse has worked on groundbreaking jewelry reproductions for numerous special exhibitions, where limited-edition pieces were offered in store and online, among the first museum high-end assortments in the market.

Cherisse holds a B.A. in Business Administration and Management from Baruch College, and an M.A. in Liberal Arts and Humanities from NYU. Her many interests include international films and world music.

Jim Jacouzzi

Jim Jacouzzi


Jim Jacouzzi is a retail data expert, specialized in analytics for store planning and management, with deep experience in merchandise sales performance, inventory control, and visual merchandising. He has worked extensively with advanced reporting and analysis for product category effectiveness across various sales channels, for individual store locations as well as division wide sales planning. Jim uses retail data to inform store floor plans and shelf space plans, creating planograms and other retail schematics to enhance retail layouts, improve in-store sales, better organize customer footpaths, and optimize supply chain management. Jim has more than 25 years of retail experience focused on product display, inventory procurement, and operations. His expertise in retail store planning and oversight includes budgeting and sales forecasts, gross margin analysis, discounting and product exit strategies, vendor relations, customer service, and staffing. He has overseen retail systems upgrades and technology enhancements, managing multiple process transformation projects.

At The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jim led the Allocation department, with responsibility for the product lifecycles of the museum’s extensive and diverse merchandise line. He also oversaw the museum’s expansion into temporary pop-up stores, with a key location in New York’s Bryant Park. An early adopter of green policies, Jim launched the Met’s retail sustainability initiative, revamping product packaging to eliminate plastic and sourcing recycled materials and safe inks that were used division wide.

Jim holds a B.S in Business Management from Albertus Magnus College, and an A.A. in Art History from the Paier College of Art. He has special expertise in environmental issues, including native plant and wetlands conservation, and endangered species work with the Connecticut Audubon Society.


Kelly Steves Moody


Kelly Steves Moody has a distinguished background in event management and planning, corporate and private functions, and interior design, with 15 years’ experience in the event industry. She has held a number of senior roles at culturally-focused organizations, including as Director of Facility Sales and Service for the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio and head of venue management at the Historic Pearl, a 22-acre culinary and cultural destination with both traditional and contemporary event spaces. At the Pearl, Kelly oversaw a diverse group of highly successful corporate and nonprofit fundraising events that garnered press acclaim. She is also an interior decorator, providing remodeling and design transformations for retail, corporate, and residential locations. Kelly’s independent projects include the public and private openings for Ruby City, a contemporary arts center designed by Sir David Adjaye, and the international conference for theTexas Biomedical Research Institute. She has handled VIP attendees of major events, accompanying national political figures and foreign dignitaries, including Their Majesties, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain.

Kelly’s broad experience includes the planning of major events, includng galas, weddings, and product launches, management of rental contracts, attendee satisfaction surveys, vendor management, public relations, and social media marketing. She has extensive experience with event operations and logistics, catering, lighting, A/V, décor, staffing, security, and facilitiy maintenance. Kelly has led events with pandemic safety measures and is current with public-facing Covid-19 practices as well as ADA accessibility standards.

Kelly began her career at The McNay Art Museum, where she organized corporate and private events, and at the American Institute of Architects, San Antonio, where she developed the venue rental program and managed the facility and its advertising.

Kelly holds a B.A. in English and History from Texas A&M University. Kelly has served on the Young Leadership Board for the Design Foundation of San Antonio and is currently an advisor for several nonprofit organizations’ annual fundraisers.


Guillem Ventura


Guillem Ventura is a specialist in the cultural tourism industry with expertise in online ticket distribution, international audience development, and tourism marketing. Guillem led a wide range of cultural attraction accounts while in the Experiences Division of Booking.com, where he worked to expand the reach of partner museums, concert halls, performance spaces, and other destinations through their ticket sales to audiences worldwide. Guillem has broad experience with online travel agencies (OTAs), channel management platforms, commission structures, payment systems, analytics, and KPI reporting. He has extensive experience integrating museum admissions systems with ticket distribution services to control inventory and maximize exposure and sales. Guillem has created highly successful destination promotion campaigns utilizing multi-language translations, reviews, bundling with audio guides and tours, and other optimization techniques that increased institutional reach and program performance.

Guillem served as liaison to the Barcelona Tourist Board at Booking.com and managed ticket distribution platforms and other software in the Spanish, Portuguese, French, Belgian, and Dutch cultural markets. Guillem has experience with a variety of tourism technology platforms and data visualization systems. Earlier in his career Guillem worked at Juniper Networks, managing security and networking system sales, and at the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, where he increased membership through marketing automation and partnership development. Guillem is also a co-founder of the online fundraising platform will.world, which offers streamlined paths for communities to support the arts.

Guillem holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business and Marketing from Pompeu Fabra University (ESCI) Barcelona and a certificate in Product Strategy from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is also certified in Google Analytics. Guillem enjoys his longtime volunteer affiliation at the CAAD Castellbisbal animal shelter in Barcelona.

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