Board + Staff

Artists in
Residence in

Meet Our Staff

Sarah Michelle Rupert
Sarah Michelle Rupert
Executive Director
Sarah Michelle Rupert is an artist, educator and arts professional living and working in Miami, FL. She received an MA in Visual Arts Administration from New York University and a BFA in Creative Photography and Art History from the University of Florida. She works collaboratively with artists and organizations to build innovative and fun projects across artistic disciplines.
Deborah Mitchell
Deborah Mitchell
Artist Liaison
Deborah Mitchell is a Miami Beach-based visual artist and cultural producer whose practice explores man’s extremely precarious relationship with nature. The intersection of art and ecology flow through her experience-based works, highlighting the beauty of natural resources while igniting curiosity for cultural history. 
Giselle Heraux
Giselle Heraux
Communications Director
Giselle Heraux is a graduate of Florida International University with a masters in Mass Communication. She has worked with various organizations and businesses, fine tuning communication, writing, public speaking, event planning, grant writing, social media engagement, and non-profit management skills.

Board of Trustees

Current Board

Valerie Grace Ricordi

Tyler Emerson Dorsch
Vice President

Tracey Robertson Carter

Donna Fields

Lisa Fernandez
Tami Katz-Freiman
Akash Goel
Linda Levy Goldberg
Tommy Ralph Pace
Grant Smith
Esther Park

Current President
Valerie Ricordi
Valerie Grace Ricordi
Valerie Grace Ricordi has worked with non-profit arts organizations for over 35 years. She was on the staff of the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh and The Saint Louis Art Museum and has served on the boards of support organizations for the Diabetes Research Institute, Florida Grand Opera, and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and served for two-terms on the Coconut Grove Village Council.
Presidents Emeriti

BJ Sheffield,

Christy Gast,

Donna Marxer,


For the safety and well-being of our artists, community and collaborators, AIRIE has postponed all residency activity and programming in the Everglades. The AIRIE Nest Gallery inside the Ernest F. Coe Visitors Center is closed, as is the main entrance to Everglades National Park, until further notice.

The AIRIE Application for 2021 residencies has been postponed. The application window and new deadline will be announced shortly.

We know that you share our concerns during these uncertain times with the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and appreciate your understanding and support. If you have any questions, please contact us at with the link below.