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February 27, 2017

The Center Board Elects New Chair  


The Center’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Valerie Brown was elected as the organization’s new chair at the board meeting held on February 23, 2017.

Ms. Brown will take the reins in September when presiding board chair, Don Opatrny, completes his final term, giving the board leadership an ample transition period. Mr. Opatrny has served as chair of The Center board since December 2012 and has been an active member of the board since 2011. Following his departure, Mr. Opatrny has committed to serve on The Center Board’s Development Committee until 2018. The board’s executive cabinet will be comprised of Patty Lummis as vice-chair, Jenny Felsinger as secretary, and Bill Waterman as treasurer.

“The Center has evolved into a vibrant, financially-stable home for arts and culture under Don Opatrny’s five years of leadership. The positive impact of his dedication to The Center will continue to resonate for many years to come. Valerie is an exceptional choice as our new leader. Her extensive experience with nonprofit arts organizations will be instrumental for our organization,” stated Martha Bancroft, Director of The Center.

The Center’s Board unanimously elected Ms. Brown as the new chair following an extensive succession planning process during which a number of qualified candidates were considered. This leadership transition comes at an exciting time for The Center, which is celebrating the ten-year anniversary of the facility’s completion.

“I am honored to support an organization that plays a vital role in making Jackson such a wonderful place to live. The Center is truly thriving thanks to the dedication of the board and staff,” remarked Ms. Brown.

Raised in Pocatello, Idaho, Ms. Brown has been coming to Jackson since 1962 and relocated here with her husband in 2014. She has been actively involved in charitable arts organizations with emphasis on the performing arts. Ms. Brown has an extensive professional background in finance and she currently serves as the Executive Chairman of Advisor Group Holding Company, a former subsidiary of AIG. Prior to Advisor Group Holding Company, Ms. Brown served as the Chief Executive Officer of Cetera. She is a member of C200, an invitation-only membership organization of the world’s women business leaders. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Oregon State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University.

As we look forward to the future of the Center Board, we are proud to announce several new board members who will help shape the organization going forward, including, Mack Mendenhall, Maureen Brown, Sam Zuckerman and most recently, Casey Kalishman, who joined the board this month.

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