Interim Management Leads to Success at Marathon Center for the Performing Arts
Arts Consulting Group (ACG) congratulates Marathon Center for the Performing Arts (MCPA) in Findlay, Ohio on the opening of its new facility and the launch of its inaugural season. The opening night of this premier performing arts center was a tremendous success thanks to the dedicated organizational, planning, and fundraising efforts of the board of directors as well as the generosity of many individuals and corporations, spearheaded by lead donor Marathon Petroleum Corporation.
Only weeks before its grand opening, MCPA was managing the unexpected departure of its Executive Director, a building still under construction, and a season yet to be finalized. With an opening gala and first performance on the horizon, MCPA enlisted ACG’s interim management services, appointing ACG Vice President Jenna Deja as Interim Executive Director. With Ms. Deja at the helm, she moved MCPA from assessment to action, bringing the focus that the organization needed to prioritize last minute construction tasks, engage and reassure staff and board members, and finalize plans for donor recognition, front-of-house procedures, and marketing. Eight weeks later, MCPA and ACG completed the tasks at hand and opened the venue with a sold-out house and a spectacular gala celebration.
During Ms. Deja’s 13-month tenure, and in partnership with the staff and board, she created the infrastructure for the new MCPA, setting in place its culture and vision while leaving room for the newly appointed Executive Director to build upon this solid foundation. To ensure that booking agencies and performers were aware of MCPA’s offerings, Ms. Deja also attended the Association of Performing Arts Presenters conference in New York. By mid-January 2017, MCPA was operating at full capacity. With audiences and the Findlay community thrilled with the new space and performance experiences, MCPA and ACG began programming for the 2017-2018 season.
“Arts Consulting Group provided the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts excellent guidance during a transition of leadership,” said MCPA Board Chair Dr. Katherine Fell. “ACG sent us the amazing Jenna Deja as Interim Executive Director. Under her leadership, the board and staff learned vital lessons in governing and running a state-of-the-art performing arts center. Jenna set us up to thrive!”
The organization again engaged ACG’s interim management services upon the departure of MCPA’s Marketing Director in April 2016. Joining as Interim Marketing Director, ACG Vice President Ronda Helton helped create membership packages, a robust pricing model, and an effective and economical season ticket campaign. MCPA’s first season ended with a large increase in both its membership program and tickets sales, with ticket revenue for the 2015-2016 season totaling more than $400,000. Year-to-date total ticket revenue for the 2016-2017 season currently exceeds $475,000, a 17 percent increase from the previous season with several months to go.
Using experienced and passionate interim leaders who listened to and quickly recognized the needs of the organization, MCPA has achieved massive success. With the board of directors acknowledging the value and importance of interim management, MCPA worked with ACG strategically to establish deliverables and provide strong leadership during this crucial time of transition. Congratulations to one and all!