MEET OUR TEAM
NWA Fashion Week Leadership Team
NWA Fashion Week is made possible by a group of dedicated individuals who have taken the lead to help coordinate all aspects of our organization. For each team leader there is an entire group of people working together to make our beautiful events and images come to life. We couldn’t do what we do without community involvement and we are always open to bringing new volunteers on board.
Robin Wallis Atkinson
// CEO and Creative Director
Robin Wallis Atkinson is a curator and arts organizer from Northwest Arkansas. One of the founding members of Art Amiss Inc., Atkinson has been an active participant in the Northwest Arkansas art community for more than a decade. After working in New Orleans, New York and abroad for several years, Atkinson has moved back to Northwest Arkansas and couldn’t be happier about it. She has worked on international arts exhibitions such a Prospect New Orleans, the ground-breaking contemporary art biennial that opened in 2008, collaborated with museums and galleries across Europe and in Asia, and has taught curatorial curriculum at the early college level in Manhattan. She holds BA in Art History from the University of Arkansas and a Masters of Curatorial Studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in New York.
Bianca Tessa Montoya
// Community Coordinator
Nomadic by nature Bianca Montoya, a Texas native, moved to Northwest Arkansas to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Currently Bianca works for Bentonville’s advertising and promotions team Visit Bentonville. Bianca’s extracurricular activities are deeply rooted with the development of Northwest Arkansas and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s affinity group Artinfusion. For three years Bianca has been involved with planning Artinfusion events such as Black Hearts Ball, Halloween in the Hollows, and incorporating local artists into the mix. In Bianca’s free time you can find her showing her support socializing at different community events, painting, or riding her Trek around town.
// Assistant Director of Production
Kim Pease is a nationally awarded talent placement agent, development coach, and Casting Director with a passion for the entertainment industry. Since moving to Arkansas, Kim has become a driving force for the growth of the industry in the community. Aside from being the owner of FIA Worldwide and her cosmetics line, Gobsmack’d, she is also the founder of the NWA Talent and Casting Center, the Executive Director of the Arkansas Movie Makers Organization, and the State Director for AGM Talent Productions. Kim has cast, crewed, & assisted filmmakers in over 300 local and national productions, and has assisted in placing thousands of actors in film and video productions. She has brought several industry professionals, including the head of casting for MGM Studios and producers from both New York and LA Fashion Weeks, into the area to scout for talent and film locations, as well as, to educate aspiring actors and models. Her ultimate goal is to continue to bring legitimate opportunities to our community, nurture the growth of industry with relevant information and training, and facilitate bringing the dream or vision of the filmmaker, actor, model, etc to fruition, be it on national or local platforms.
// Hairstyling Team Lead
Kate Stoner wants to help you be part of what’s happening behind the scenes of NWA Fashion Week. She recently returned to her hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas with her husband and Kate is excited to be NWA Fashion Week’s Production Coordinator. Whether she’s talking with people about getting involved with NWAFW team through social media, editorial photo shoots, event production, marketing (or assisting in those areas herself) Kate is so excited to support the incredible creative community in North West Arkansas through NWA Fashion Week.
// Aesthetic Consultant
Payton Rosenzweig Bridewell is a native of Fayetteville. After graduating from Tulane University in New Orleans, she spent five years working for Procter & Gamble on the CoverGirl and Olay brands. Payton has always been a fashion-enthusiast and was one of the original organizers of the NWA Fashion Week events. She has been recognized for her style by local boutiques and publications. Payton, also known as The Window Shopper, has an affinity for vintage, a vast hat collection and an adventurous outlook on style. She’s been featured, Citiscapes, hello luvvy, Celebrate Magazine, At Home in Arkansas, and At Home in Arkansas Weddings. She has collaborated with many of NWA’s favorite boutiques including Lola, Maude, Savoir Faire, Two Guys in Bow Ties and Grey Dog Vintage, as well as Walmart Corporate.
// Production Coordinator
Kathleen Gonzalez began her modeling career at age 12 in Los Angeles, California, where she was born and raised until Her family moved to Mexico at age 14. There she became fluent Spanish speaker and learned the culture and had a great deal of classical music training.
She moved to Arkansas in 2005 to attend The University of Arkansas where she was a student of architecture. She is currently getting her MBA in Leadership and Consumer Insights from John Brown University. Kathleen is a sales support analyst for in the supplier world. She has a creative side but also loves fashion, business, and people, making her a great addition to our team as Production Coordinator. She has been involved with NWA Fashion Week since 2013 as a model and has worked along side Jaqueline Manhattan as assistant Model Coordinator. She is very passionate about the development and growth of Northwest Arkansas as she also has a role on the Board of Advisors for Crystal Bridges ArtInfusion. With all her work and involvement, she loves to spend time with her son and loved ones as they have all show a great deal of support towards her work.
// Creative Director of Photography
Tanja Heffner is her name but most call her Tanj. A professional photographer focusing on fashion and lifestyle photography, she has been shooting editorials with NWA Fashion Week since its reboot in 2016. Tanj says we started from the bottom and now we are here. Her favorite thing about photography is that it constantly pushes her to become better. She even chased it all the way to Liverpool to find her own sense of style. Back in the states for a few years now, Tanj joins the NWA Fashion Week team with a vision of pushing aesthetics in NWA to a new level. She loves collaboration and thrives when bringing creatives together and shooting with new people.
Kristin Von Dietrich
// Creative Director of Makeup
Kristin Von Dietrich is a professional beauty and special effects makeup artist. Kristin spent her childhood between Arkansas and Italy, soaking up fashion and culture from around the globe. When she isn’t flying to Australia and other far off locations, Kristin likes to transform her clients with dramatic special effects worthy of the big screen. She joins the NWA Fashion Week team with a mission to build a talented group of collaborative makeup artists that will set the bar high for beauty in Northwest Arkansas.
// Creative Director of Videography
Jessica Whalen is an NWA native currently living in Bentonville. She graduated from John Brown University with degrees in Digital Cinema and Intercultural Studies, both of which fuel her fire to tell the stories of the world and people around her. She is currently the Digital Media Producer for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art as well as the co-owner of a Truebadours, a videography company dedicated to telling visually crafted stories. She runs Truebadours with her husband James and loves working as a team with him. When she’s not creating videos she’s searching the Internet for new and creative music, but Beyonce holds the #1 place in her heart. She is inspired by finding the strange and the beautiful in the everyday lives of people. She is thrilled to be involved with NWAFW as a way to connect deeper to the creative community of her home and to help tell the stories of the people making really great work here.
// Boutique Coordinator
Meredith is a NWA native, and fashion enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelors in Business, and currently works for Maude Boutique as the Assistant Buyer & Web Manager. Meredith is excited to join the Fashion Week team this year to showcase just what NWA has to offer in fashion and art. As the Boutique Coordinator, she hopes to bring awareness of the eclectic selection of local boutiques and designers in our community. While fashion is the main emphasis in her career and hobbies, Meredith also focuses her time on the animal welfare of this community. Helping animals in need has always been her passion, as it shows, with her full house of three dogs, one chameleon, and a small backyard farm of chickens & ducks.
// Model Coordinator
Brianna is a Missouri native and University of Arkansas Alum. Brianna graduated from the U of A with both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education. She has held previous roles with Teach For America, The University of Arkansas, and Razorback Athletics. Brianna is a lefty with a knack for organizing and brings her love for fashion, social engagement, and community to the model coordinator role. She is currently a Grants Manager at the Walton Family Foundation. Her personal mantra is “Go above and Beyonce”.
// Modeling Coach
Jacqueline Manhattan has been a part of Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week since the very beginning, working underneath Founder Jade Terminella. She has coordinated the model auditions, as well as the Model Bootcamps for NWA Fashion Week for several years running. She has taught modeling to all ages for the last 8 years, and was a semi-finalist on America’s Next Top Model thus meeting Tyra Banks in 2011. She is currently enrolled in Beauty College, to further a career in the fashion industry. She is a mother to an 11 year old beautiful son that keeps her creativity flowing. Jacqueline is very passionate about giving back to her community, and making people feel comfortable on the runway, which is why she is so excited so be a part of the NWAFW team again this year!
Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week started as a series of fashion shows put on by individual boutique owners and clothing designers in order to raise money for local non-profit organizations. NWAFW’s Founder, Jade Terminella, had a vision of uniting the individual efforts into a collective show that would generate a much larger audience and a greater amount of support for their charities. In the Spring of 2012, Jade organized NWAFW’s first show in Fayetteville marking the beginning of Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week.
Fashion Week remained true to the original mission of the individual show by continuing to raise money for charity and encourage volunteerism in Northwest Arkansas.
The newly reorganized NWAFW will focus on supporting local designers and the design community by developing scholarships and fellowships for young designers and creating resources for creative producers to use towards building a robust fashion community
NWAFW remained in Fayetteville for 2013, but ventured north to Bentonville in 2014. During those years, NWAFW experienced immense growth in popularity and impact in Northwest Arkansas. In response to this growth, NWAFW has retained a fiscal sponsor for 501c3 giving opportunities and will pursue 501c3 status in 2017.
NWA Fashion Week continues to grow, and aims to be a pillar event each in Northwest Arkansas. Starting in 2017 NWAFW will hold events in many parts of Northwest Arkansas, creating a diversity of opportunities for cultural engagement.