DHR Global – President and CEO, Broward Center for the Performing Arts – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
President and CEO
Performing Arts Center Authority (volunteer citizens that governs the Broward Center); Work closely with the Board of the Broward Performing Arts Foundation (a private, nonprofit fundraising organization)
CFO, VP External Affairs, VP Strategic Planning & Analysis, VP Human Resources, VP Programming & Marketing, and VP Development, who also serves as President, Broward Performing Arts Foundation
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Mission: The Broward Center builds community through the arts by delivering quality entertainment, educational opportunities and memorable moments that engage and inspire audiences, nurture collaboration and drive economic vitality.
The Broward Center for the Performing Arts was established in 1984 when the Florida Legislature created the Performing Arts Center Authority (PACA) as part of a plan to develop a downtown performing arts center in Fort Lauderdale. Seven years later, on February 26, 1991, the Center opened its doors with the premiere performance of the first Broadway touring production of The Phantom of the Opera. “Phantom” ran for three months to launch the Broward Center’s inaugural year and the Center has been one of the top performing arts centers in the country ever since.
Created as a public-private partnership between Broward County, the City of Fort Lauderdale, the School Board of Broward County, the Downtown Development Authority and the Broward Performing Arts Foundation, the Broward Center is a world-class, multi-theater complex which has earned an international reputation for presenting world-class performances, serving an increasingly diverse audience base, and broadening the connection between South Florida’s cultural organizations and the region’s business and philanthropic community.
The Broward Center offers audiences a theatrical experience on a par with the finest venues in the country. It consistently ranks in the top ten theaters in attendance nationwide. averaging more than 700,000 visitors and 700 events annually; in 2021 it was nominated for “Theatre of the Decade” by Pollstar. Mission-driven from the start, the Broward Center has opened access to the arts for broad segments of the local population, provided a stimulus for economic development, and serves as the anchor of a vibrant cultural district in a dynamic and evolving city. Through a $60 million renovation completed in 2014, the Center returned the theaters to state-of-the art, added innovative hospitality spaces including the Club Level, Intermezzo Lounge and New River Bistro and increased community access with the Riverview Ballroom and a dedicated Arts Education Center.
The Broward Center’s commitment to exemplary artistic practice is reflected in its local partnerships with both major cultural institutions and emerging organizations and as a presenting organization of national and global artists. While widely known for bringing the best of touring Broadway to South Florida audiences, a range of innovative programs such as Arts Access, Arts for Action and a Sensory-Inclusive Series have opened the doors to local artists and audiences in unique ways that connect the Center deeply to the community.
Education is at the core of the Center’s mission. The unique partnership between the Broward Center and the Broward County School District dates back to the opening of the Center and the launch of the Student Enrichment Through the Arts (SEAS) program which annually allows more than 100,000 students to participate free of charge in educational experiences tied directly to classroom curriculum; the Amaturo Theater serves as a designated outside resource classroom of the district and the addition of the dedicated education center a decade ago has allowed the partnership to evolve. This award-winning program has served well over 3.5 million students to date. The education facility also allowed the Center to launch year-round classes in the performing arts for students of all ages which continue to flourish.
The Broward Center is a major economic driver in Broward County, generating approximately $130 million in local economic impact annually, nearly double the original investment to build the Center more than 30 years ago. Through a robust affiliated venue management program, the Broward Center manages, and programs and presents activities in The Parker in Fort Lauderdale, the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center on the campus of Nova Southeastern University in Davie, and the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center in Aventura. Through participation in a wide variety of civic and business organizations, the Broward Center has a seat at the table as an advocate for the arts and its impact in building community in a dynamic and fast-growing region.
The Broward Center is a public authority led by the Performing Arts Center Authority, a thirteen-member board of appointed members from partner agencies, including representatives from the board of the Broward Performing Arts Foundation, a private nonprofit fundraising entity. The VP Development, who also serves as President of the Foundation, reports to the President and CEO of the Broward Center. The total annual operating budget is approximately $60 million, with over 85% earned income; the Broward Center’s debt of approximately $9M is fully collateralized by private pledges and government grants. The Broward Center also has a substantial cash reserve. In the last dozen years approximately $100 million in renovation, restoration and new facilities have been completed.
Scope and Responsibilities
The current President and CEO will step down in March 2024 after an incredibly successful 25 years at the Broward Center, including the last 14 years as President and CEO. Kelley Shanley, the President and CEO, along with the board and staff, have built an organization that is financially stable, has strong relationships in the community, offers one of the largest arts education programs in the country, and continues to expand in the service of its multiple stakeholders. For over twenty-five years, the Broward Center has been a community-minded, entrepreneurial, groundbreaking institution, and its next President and CEO will continue that trajectory.
The President and CEO will guide the Broward Center into its next phase of institutional and artistic growth and excellence. He or she will partner with the board in shaping a variety of long-range strategic options, including a master plan to significantly expand the Broward Center’s footprint on a large adjacent property.
Specific responsibilities will include:
- Work with the members of the Performing Arts Center Authority to create a vision for the future of the organization and create and implement strategic plans to realize that vision.
- Serve as the public representative of the Broward Center among audiences, donors, city and county government agencies, the school board, the arts and cultural community, other local and regional arts organizations, business associations, and representatives of the tourism industry.
- Drive synergies among the various organizational components (presenting, real estate development and management, venue management, arts education, community engagement) leading an operating model that optimizes outcomes and ensures long-term sustainability.
- Ensure the Broward Center continues to build on its many strengths and assets to ensure its prominent and relevant position in the South Florida arts ecosystem.
- Deepen and broaden employee engagement and DEIA initiatives and proactively work with stakeholders to ensure the Broward Center is a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible resource in the community.
- Ensure that the Broward Center’s presentations are exciting, engaging, relevant to, and compelling to its multiple audiences.
- Develop strong, effective relationships with the Broward Center’s resident companies, Broadway Across America, and other artistic and community partners.
- Continuously strengthen the Broward Center’s arts education programs.
- Engage the Greater Fort Lauderdale community to promote and support local artistic talent. • Optimize and nourish beneficial business relationships with the Broward Center’s multiple vendors, including touring Broadway, agents, artists, and contractors.
- Represent the Broward Center at APAP, ISPA, PACC, and the multiple industry and community groups with which it interacts.
- Enhance the profile, image, and reputation of the Broward Center; enthusiastically communicate the unique contributions made by the Broward Center to the performing arts world and to regional development to the community at large, as well as key stakeholders, media, arts, and arts education leaders in South Florida and nationally.
- Explore and pursue new trends in performing arts programming, including immersive programs and the further use of technology.
- Partner closely with the Foundation in developing a robust fundraising infrastructure.
- With the support of the Authority and Foundation board and the President of the Foundation, co-lead the fundraising activities by identifying, cultivating, and soliciting gifts from individuals, foundations, and corporations.
- Maximize ticketing, rental, self-presentation, and ancillary income while balancing the artistic vision and purpose of the organization.
- Proactively identify and develop additional revenue sources in alignment with the institution’s vision and goals.
- Work closely with the Performing Arts Center Authority, providing support to facilitate its plans and policies.
- Manage and strengthen relationships with Broward County, the City of Fort Lauderdale, the School Board of Broward County, the Downtown Development Authority, and the Broward Performing Arts Foundation.
- Maintain policies, procedures, operational and communication protocols that promote the organization’s purpose, mission, core values, vision, and culture.
- Lead a highly functional executive leadership team; direct, evaluate, enable, and inspire a group of arts professionals to help achieve the purpose and full potential of the organization.
- Forecast and manage operating and capital activity against budget; evaluate business performance by analyzing and interpreting data and key performance indicators.
The President and CEO will be a visionary, entrepreneurial leader – a performing arts executive who is able to think creatively and strategically, build consensus among the board and various stakeholders, and deliver on short- and long-term initiatives. He or she must be politically savvy, an expert relationship builder with a keen sense of how public-private partnerships operate successfully. He or she must have a high level of business acumen – maximizing earned income, managing budgets, and executing strategies to ensure the sustainable, long-term success of the enterprise. He or she must be a skilled manager, able to evaluate and motivate teams to perform to their highest potential. He or she must also be committed to fundraising, dedicating the necessary resources toward building a robust infrastructure and comfortably building relationships and soliciting gifts from various sources.
Ambition, vision, and excellent business skills and entrepreneurial drive, combined with a deep respect for the arts and non-profit culture, are essential characteristics of the successful President and CEO. The Broward Center, as a leading, successful national organization, is continually exploring the future of the performing arts business. The President and CEO will have the creativity, passion, and desire to push the boundaries of what is possible.
The ideal candidate will have:
- Leadership skills and behaviors demonstrating self-awareness, empathy, the ability to analyze complex management situations, and the ability to lead, influence, and build consensus on a range of topics among multiple constituents.
- Experience working in a presenting or performing arts organization with a proven ability to design and control a sustainable financial model and continually improve the bottom line through increased income generation and expense management.
- Experience developing and implementing strategic plans and master plans for arts organizations.
- The ability and desire to engage major donors, corporate supporters, individual donors, and governmental leaders and partners in supporting the Broward Center’s goals.
- Proven ability to manage, mentor, and motivate a professional staff.
- An analytical approach to business development, with the ability to gather and synthesize data and to make calculated business investment decisions based on the data.
- The ability to assess and account for risks of all types, including business risk, security risk, cyber risk, etc.
- Proven ability to effectively manage immediate challenges and problem solve in unexpected and/or urgent situations.
- A demonstrated sense of marketing, with experience increasing earned income from ticket sales, licensing, facility rentals, and creating new opportunities for earned income.
- An advanced understanding of and demonstrated commitment to employee engagement and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access.
- Exceptional and effective communication skills, verbal and written, and the ability to publicly communicate to a variety of audiences.
- Demonstrated ability to convey complex ideas in a simple and concise manner that achieves understanding and inspires action.
The ideal candidate will have gained and demonstrated the above skills and experiences through:
- Career path of increasing responsibility as CEO of a presenting or performing arts organization; or
- Ten or more years of increasing responsibility at the C-suite level in a major performing arts organization that relies on a combination of earned and contributed income; or
- Ten or more years of experience in a leadership role within the commercial live entertainment sector, with a demonstrated understanding of the important role of arts and culture in a thriving city.
- Experience reporting to or participating in a board of a nonprofit organization or government agency.
- Experience with new building projects, real estate development, and contemporary developments in the live arts is a plus.
Personal / Professional Attributes
- Unwavering personal integrity
- Diplomatic acuity and high emotional intelligence
- An aspirational visionary with demonstrated strategic execution.
- Self-motivated with relentless enthusiasm and high energy.
- An entrepreneurial approach and sense of urgency coupled with a calm, confident demeanor, especially under pressure.
- Inspirational leadership style.
- Passionate about the performing arts and a personal alignment with the Broward Center’s mission, purpose, and values.
The Nonprofit Practice of DHR Global has been exclusively retained by the Broward Center to assist with transition planning and the executive search. Although the current President and CEO plans to step down no later than March 2024, DHR will begin conversations immediately with individuals who are interested in learning more about the opportunity and the process. Please direct all inquiries, nominations, and recommendations to DHR (see contact information below). Preliminary conversations regarding the search will be considered confidential. Ideally, the successful candidate will interview with the Broward Center’s search committee by October 2023, and a successful candidate will be selected by November 2023, thus allowing time for the incumbent to transition from their current role.