Monday, April 15, 2024

Claire Bissell Named Executive Director for American Rose Society

by BIZ Magazine

The American Rose Society (ARS) proudly announces Claire Bissell as its new Executive Director, a testament to her exemplary leadership and dedication to the organization.

Bissell, who initially joined ARS as the Accounting Director in 2021, stepped into the role of Interim Executive Director in the last quarter of 2023. Her exceptional performance during this interim period earned her the permanent position, as confirmed by the ARS Board of Directors in early January.

Diane Sommers, President of ARS, expressed confidence in Bissell’s ability to lead the organization, citing her outstanding contributions as the Accounting Director and Interim Executive Director. Sommers emphasized Bissell’s role in advancing ARS’s initiatives in rose education, preservation, and enjoyment, both at the organization’s headquarters in Shreveport, Louisiana, and among its members nationwide.

With over 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, primarily focusing on accounting, grant-writing, and fundraising, Bissell brings a wealth of expertise to her new role. She is well-versed in working with nonprofit Boards of Directors, volunteer management, and program development.

On a personal note, Bissell is deeply involved in her community, serving in various capacities within her church. She and her husband Timmy are proud parents and pet owners, exemplifying a well-rounded and dedicated individual committed to both personal and professional excellence.

In addition to Bissell’s appointment, the American Rose Society welcomes two new staff members:


Kay Cheesman joins as Garden Director, leveraging her extensive horticulture industry experience to lead the care of roses at the American Rose Center. With a Master of Science degree and over 30 years of professional experience, Cheesman brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership to her role.

Felicia Kay assumes the position of Event and Volunteer Director, bringing over two decades of experience in stage, event, and production management to her role. Kay will serve as the primary point of contact for all events hosted at the American Rose Center, ensuring seamless coordination and execution.

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