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Marcus Performing Arts Center

Marcus Performing Arts Center

Vice President of Finance and Administration


Established in 1969, the Marcus Performing Arts Center (Marcus Center) is the premier performing arts community gathering space in Southeastern Wisconsin. As a Milwaukee County-owned facility (managed and operated by the Marcus Performing Arts Center nonprofit organization), the Marcus Center’s mission is to act as an energizing force that connects the community to the world through collaboration, innovation, social engagement, and the transformative power of live performing arts. The Marcus Center is home to Milwaukee Ballet, The Florentine Opera, First Stage, and Black Arts MKE and is also a dedicated veterans memorial in Milwaukee.

The Marcus Center has four state-of-the-art performance spaces, three theaters inside the building and an outdoor theater, and lawn and plaza area adjacent to the Milwaukee River. As the first phase of its Campus Master Plan, the Marcus Center has undergone several major upgrades, including renovation of the seating area of Uihlein Hall (Marcus Center’s largest venue with 2,128 seats), installation of live streaming technology, and renovation of its outdoor performance areas.

Serving more than 500,000 audience members annually, the Marcus Center presents a diverse mix of cultural arts programing, including touring Broadway shows and the world’s best in contemporary dance, jazz, global music, and live music. The Marcus Center provides high-quality arts education and engagement experiences and is committed to racial equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI) focusing on representation, inclusion, and investment to build bridges between diverse members of the community.

The Marcus Center has a 20-member board of directors led by Chair Ray Wilson. Kendra Whitlock Ingram serves as President & CEO. The projected 2022 budget is $17 million, with 86 percent earned revenue and 14 percent contributed revenue including County funding.


Wisconsin’s largest city, Milwaukee is located along the southwestern shores of Lake Michigan. The city sits on traditional Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, and Menominee homeland along the southwest shores of Michigami, where the Milwaukee, Menominee and Kinnickinnic rivers meet and the people of Wisconsin’s sovereign Anishinaabe, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Oneida, and Mohican nations remain present. Home to nearly 600,000 people, Milwaukee is a diverse and vibrant city with a cost of living that is 15 percent below the national average. Known as a “big city of little neighborhoods,” Milwaukee’s East Side, Historic Third Ward, and Bay View are just a few of its great locales, each with its own unique personality. Offering rich cultural diversity with mixed-use areas that are simultaneously historic and hip, the region attracts young professionals and families.

Milwaukee is at the center of a seven-county metropolitan area with a robust economy, ranked in the top 20 on MarketWatch's 50 best United States metropolitan areas for business and one of the 25 best places for doing business by Inc. magazine. Seven Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the region, including Northwestern Mutual, ManpowerGroup, Kohl’s, and Harley-Davidson. Higher education institutions based in the city include the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, and Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. Milwaukee also offers extensive options for public transportation, including streetcar, bus, and commuter rail networks. General Mitchell International Airport is the largest airport in the Wisconsin region, offering nonstop flights to more than 35 destinations coast-to-coast and more than 200 international destinations with just one connection.

Recreation and leisure activities abound in Milwaukee. The city’s park system is ranked among the top 30 in the United States by the Trust for Public Land, with 90 percent of city’s residents living within a 10-minute walk to a park. The Oak Leaf Trail has more than 125 miles of trail for cycling, rollerblading, walking, birding, and running around Milwaukee County. Sports fans can catch the MLB Brewers at American Family Field, considered one of the best ballparks in America. Home to NBA Finals champions the Milwaukee Bucks, Fiserv Forum is a 17,500-seat arena and a world-class venue for large national and international entertainment artists. The city has a vibrant food and drink scene, with many modern craft breweries that maintain the city’s historic and cultural ties to beer.

The city’s climate is typical of the Midwest, with four distinct seasons. Winters are snowy and cold and summers are pleasant and warm. Milwaukee is located two hours south of Green Bay, Wisconsin, home of the Green Bay Packers and Door County, which is a scenic getaway destination located on Lake Michigan. It is also located 90 minutes north of Chicago, the fourth largest city in the United States.

Milwaukee’s cultural vitality is a major factor in the region’s quality of life, with both nationally acclaimed anchor institutions and a growing cadre of emerging and mid-size organizations that reflect the city’s diversity and cultural heritages. The Milwaukee Art Museum, an architectural landmark designed by Santiago Calatrava, is one of the city’s most iconic buildings. The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has restored and renovated the historic Warner Grand Theater as its new permanent home and the Milwaukee Public Museum will develop a new facility for its expansive natural history collections and interpretive programs. The Milwaukee Youth Arts Center houses the biggest children’s theater company and youth symphony orchestra in the nation. Supporting this stellar arts scene is the United Performing Arts Fund, established in 1967 to raise funds collectively for the performing arts sector.


Position Summary

Reporting to the President & CEO, the Vice President of Finance and Administration (VPFA) will be a key Executive Team member at the Marcus Center. An involved, pragmatic manager, the VPFA will guide financial policy and direction with the staff, senior leadership, and board. As a central figure in the organization’s business infrastructure, the VPFA will be integral in the planning, control, coordination, and organization of the Marcus Center’s administrative services, which includes leading financial administration, business planning, and budgeting. They will mentor, model, and motivate staff in an inclusive and collegial manner while developing realistic goals and accountability measures. The VPFA will play a critical role in the Marcus Center's success, securing the foundation for the organization to expand its artistic vision and continue to build sustainable growth over time.

Roles and Responsibilities

Financial Oversight

  • Proactively provide strategic recommendations to enhance the financial performance of the Marcus Center.
  • Recommend short- and long-term financial goals and execute strategies to achieve those goals.
  • Guide the preparation and approval of all financial reporting materials for the organization and board of directors and prepare and communicate monthly and annual financial statements.
  • Ensure that the financial records are maintained in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and sound internal controls are in place and being adhered to.
  • Comply with applicable federal, state, and local regulatory laws and rules for financial and tax reporting.
  • Direct all finance and accounting functions, including financial forecasting, budget preparation, financial reporting, cash management, and annual audit and tax preparation.
  • Serve as a member of the negotiating team in the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and the International Union of Operating Engineers and assist with other negotiations as needed.
  • Serve as plan sponsor and plan administrator for the Marcus Center’s 403(b) plan.

Strategic Vision and Leadership

  • Foster an environment that embraces inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility through respect, collaboration, and intentionality.
  • Collaborate with the Executive Team to establish priorities based on financial analysis and projections, cost identification and allocation, and revenue/expense analysis, creating action plans to achieve organizational strategic goals.
  • Evaluate the impact of program and operational planning in conjunction with other members of the Executive Team to identify their needs, offer a full range of business solutions, and advise on the financial implications of business activities.
  • Lead with integrity, transparency, and appreciation.
  • Demonstrate creative, thoughtful problem solving designed to result in defined solution paths.

Management and Operations

  • Direct and oversee all human resources and payroll functions to ensure compliance with employment laws.
  • Supervise the information technology department to ensure the overall strategic computer system, related processes, communication, and disaster recovery initiatives are implemented, monitored, and maintained.
  • Oversee the negotiation and procurement of commercial insurance policies for the Marcus Center.
  • Manage external general/legal counsel on corporate matters, including employment law, employee benefits, risk management, and business continuity matters, along with general insurance coverage and claims.
  • Represent the Marcus Center in business dealings with external entities, including banks, creditors, auditors, law firms, investment managers, insurance brokers and insurers, actuaries, and financial advisors.
  • Coach and manage direct reports through ongoing training and evaluation, resulting in motivation, recognition. and retention of high-performing employees

Traits and Characteristics

A transformational and highly accountable leader with strong prioritization and problem-solving skills, the VPFA will empower and lead an inclusive, results-oriented team motivated by collaboration, strong communication, and data-driven decision making. The successful candidate will be a highly diplomatic and strategic administrator who can create a financial vision for the organization with an intense focus on details and accuracy. The person filling this role will be a futuristic thinker and will demonstrate a desire for continuous learning, developing new revenue models and keeping abreast of financial and technological industry best practices to support the organization’s growth.

Other key competencies of this role include:

  • Personal Accountability – The awareness and humility to be answerable for personal and professional actions.
  • Conceptual Thinking – The acumen to analyze hypothetical situations, patterns, and/or abstract concepts to formulate connections and new insights in order to make decisions.
  • Planning and Organizing – The ability to effectively establish courses of action to ensure that work is completed thoroughly and efficiently.
  • Project Management – The aptitude to identify and oversee all resources, tasks, systems, and people to obtain results.


More than 10 years of experience in progressively responsible financial leadership roles, with demonstrated capability in leading all financial functions, and a bachelor of science in accounting or finance are required. CPA certification, nonprofit experience, and/or a master of business administration degree are preferred. A minimum of two to three years of human resource and information technology general business oversight and advanced technical acumen are needed. The ideal candidate will possess strong leadership skills with a high level of accuracy and attention to detail. Ethical character, exceptional interpersonal skills, and experience supervising staff are expected. A demonstrable commitment to racial equity, diversity, and inclusion is essential.

Compensation and Benefits

The Marcus Center offers competitive compensation, with a salary range expected between $145,000 and $165,000, and a generous benefits package that includes health, dental, life, and short-term disability insurance; a 403(b) retirement plan with matching contributions upon one year of employment; and paid time-off and holidays.

Applications and Inquiries

To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:

Jenna Deja
Vice President

201 West Lake Street, Suite 133
Chicago, IL 60606-1803
Tel       (888) 234.4236 Ext. 227

Click here for the downloadable PDF.

Marcus Performing Arts Center commits to creating a more racially representative and equitable community so that it may continue to build bridges between diverse members of the community through high-quality arts entertainment.

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