Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc Clearwater

Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc.

President & CEO


Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that manages and operates the Ruth Eckerd Hall (owned by the City of Clearwater, Florida), the Murray Theatre, the newly renovated ballroom known as the Margarete Heye Great Room, the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts, and the Capitol Theatre. It also operates as a concert promoter with Ruth Eckerd Hall on the Road. All of these incredible venues and amazing brands collectively make up the Ruth Eckerd Hall Experience—a trusted name where everyone expects an unrivaled, unforgettable, and ultimate experience.

Ruth Eckerd Hall was founded in 1977 when a 38-acre parcel of land was donated to the City of Clearwater by June Baumgardner Gelbart in honor of Richard B. Baumgardner, Sr., with the condition that the land be used for a performing arts center. Designed by the prestigious Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Ruth Eckerd Hall was completed in 1983. The 73,000-square-foot facility features a 2,180-seat auditorium, the 250-capacity Margarete Heye Great Room banquet facility, and administrative offices. Ruth Eckerd Hall’s current 35th season features a wide variety of performances by artists such as John Legend, The Illusionists, Bob Dylan, Vince Gill, Ghost, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Gladys Knight, Carol Burnett, Herbie Hancock, David Foster, John Mellencamp, and Cedric The Entertainer. The Florida Orchestra will also perform live to the Star Wars films A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Its Broadway series, in partnership with the Tampa Bay Times, includes Tony Award-winning musicals RENT, Spamalot, The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, Finding Neverland, and Legally Blonde, among others. The Adults At Leisure Series, which features value matinees, includes 111 Years of Broadway, Vienna Boys’ Choir, Tony Orlando, The Modern Gentlemen, and more.

The Capitol Theatre has been a vital part of Downtown Clearwater since its opening in 1921, serving as a cultural landmark that brings world-class entertainment to the most intimate of settings. The City of Clearwater purchased the building in 2009 and entered into a partnership with Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc. to manage and operate the facility. In 2013 the Capitol Theatre underwent a major renovation. In addition to becoming ADA accessible, it expanded seating to 750, including six private loge boxes, and added a larger lobby, an outdoor balcony that overlooks the beautiful Clearwater causeway, a VIP lounge, a rooftop terrace, and a Panel of Honor from World War I with the names of Clearwater citizens who served in the war. The 2018-2019 performances at the Capitol Theatre include Art Garfunkel, Los Lobos, The Zombies, Lewis Black, Michael Bolton, Wayne Newton, Michael McDonald, Petula Clark, and FRIENDS! The Musical Parody, among others.

Ruth Eckerd Hall on the Road is Tampa Bay’s premier entertainment provider, offering concerts and events throughout the area. Off-site events and concerts have included Blast Friday Clearwater, the Tampa Bay Rays Summer Concert Series, the PGA Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Golf Resort concert, and Friends of Music Member Appreciation Concerts. Additional events take place at off-site venues such as The Palladium, the Tampa Theatre, Coachman Park, and Amalie Arena. The 2018-2019 season currently includes the 39th Annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday starring Mindi Abair & The Boneshakers, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Sheila E. and Morris Day and The Time, the Doobie Brothers, Eddie Money, Brad Paisley, and Barry Manilow, among others.

The Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts at Ruth Eckerd Hall includes three studio classrooms, four private teaching studios, the Michael & Joan Kline Dance Studio, the Henrietta Campbell Rehearsal Studio, the Challener-Morrow Production Studios, a visual arts learning lab, and the 250-seat Murray Theatre. The Murray Theatre offers multiple seating configurations including theater-in-the-round, full cabaret, half cabaret, and mini cabaret. The school is one of the largest providers of arts education and outreach in the nation, reaching more than 41,000 students annually with programs that extend beyond its walls to 22 public and private schools and numerous social service organizations. The Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts is now in its sixth year as a GRAMMY Museum affiliate, where more than 100 aspiring musicians, singers, and songwriters have participated in an intensive program that includes instruction, performance, and mentoring with award-winning artists, directors, and composers.

Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc. is governed by a 29-member board of directors, with Frank Hibbard serving as Board Chair. Its administrative and production teams are comprised of approximately 90 full-time and 180 part-time employees, led by the President & CEO. Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc. has an operating budget of $25 million, including approximately 70 percent from programming and rentals, 25 percent from fundraising and special events, and 5 percent from other revenues. Ruth Eckerd Hall had gross ticket sales of more than $13 million in its 2017-2018 fiscal year, representing 374 ticketed events, including 125 sell-outs, and total attendance of almost 275,000 people. In 2018 industry publication Pollstar announced that Ruth Eckerd Hall was ranked fourth in the United States (sixth in the world) of the top theatre venues with 2,500 seats or less. The Capitol Theatre was ranked number one of the top Florida club venues (sixth in the world) and Ruth Eckerd Hall on the Road was ranked 33rd of the top concert promoters in the United States (53rd in the world).

Ruth Eckerd Hall recently surpassed $21 million in its $34 million Expanding the Experience capital campaign. Renovations will include a significant Grand Lobby expansion with stunning floor-to-ceiling windows, new live music locations at The Kate Tiedemann and Ellen Cotton Cabaret Theatre and Holt Family Stage, The England Family Welcome Pavilion, a two-story Dress Circle member lounge overlooking the Grand Lobby, the Raymond James Financial Ticket Office, and an expansive six-lane Grand Entry.


The City of Clearwater is located in the Tampa Bay Area, a dynamic community with a population of approximately three million people and a median age just over 42. The Tampa Bay Area is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the Southeastern United States. Coastal Living included St. Petersburg/Clearwater on its list of the 20 best places to live in 2017, calling nearby St. Petersburg an "upstart city on Florida's Gulf Coast." The magazine based its rating on its beaches, cultural attractions, and dining and entertainment options while saluting the area's "historic, small-scale neighborhoods" for balancing "big-city pleasures." Coastal Living also took into account the population, average high and low temperatures, median home price, area commutability, and average days of sunshine. Additionally, Trip Advisor named Clearwater Beach the nation’s best beach in 2018.


Position Summary

The President & CEO will partner with and report to the board of directors in advancing the programs, visibility, and impact of Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc. This includes leading strategic planning and community engagement activities, overseeing marketable and meaningful programs, spearheading revenue enhancement and capitalization efforts, embracing educational and outreach activities, cultivating employee commitment and longevity, and guiding overall business operations for long-term sustainability. As both an aspirational and inspirational public leader, the President & CEO will be the organization's primary spokesperson in clearly communicating the Ruth Eckerd Hall Experience, advancing its public image, and increasing brand awareness regionally and nationally. The President & CEO will identify key stakeholders, cultivate meaningful relationships, and exemplify an organizational culture embedded in collaboration and community service.

Roles and Responsibilities

Strategic Visioning and Program Oversight

  • Drive the creation of a new strategic plan and community engagement process, determine capitalization needs, and ensure a mission-based approach in achieving the overall vision.
  • Explore the Tampa Bay marketplace, political landscape, and demographic trends to identify a course of action that addresses future projects and programs.
  • Create collaborative alliances and partnerships that result in future services for an array of diverse and inclusive audiences.
  • Welcome opportunities to celebrate programs and support educational activities.
  • Embrace entrepreneurial approaches beyond traditional business models.
  • Perform other strategic visioning and program oversight responsibilities as needed.

Community Engagement and Board Governance

  • Communicate major initiatives and serve as the organization’s primary spokesperson to the community, donors, media, political leaders, and other stakeholders.
  • Collaborate with community influencers, government officials, and arts advocates in attaining beneficial community outcomes.
  • Convey relevant, concise, and timely information to the board so it can fulfill both its policy and decision-making responsibilities.
  • Collaborate with the Board Chair to support board members in fulfilling their governance roles and ambassador responsibilities for the organization.
  • Guide and support the talents and connections of the board, inspire their involvement, and ensure strong fiscal support for the organization.
  • Develop opportunities for board prospecting, cultivation, and recruitment in alignment with active participation and commitment to the organization’s mission and programs.
  • Guide board member orientation, education, and engagement with appropriate committee support to maximize their commitment.
  • Determine ways to celebrate the successes of individual board members and the collective board, recognizing their voluntary contribution of time and their investment in the organization’s future.
  • Perform other community engagement and board governance responsibilities as needed.

Revenue Maximization and Financial Resiliency

  • Lead the strategy for and oversee the implementation of how to best increase philanthropic annual, capital, endowment, and other financial resources.
  • Increase corporate sponsorships, foundation support, and government investment in Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc.
  • Oversee a marketing and communication strategy that maximizes ticket sales, rental revenues, paid tuitions, and other earned revenues.
  • Ensure effective short- and long-term financial plans with accountability for accurate budget development, reporting, and monitoring.
  • Advocate for arts funding and policy with elected city, county, state, and federal officials.
  • Perform other revenue maximization and financial resiliency responsibilities as needed.

Executive Leadership and Mentoring

  • Oversee, advise, and guide key executives in entertainment, operations, finance, development, marketing, and education and outreach areas.
  • Recommend staffing structures, facilitate employee retention strategies, and maintain an environment where diverse individuals provide various skills, abilities, and cultural competencies to achieve common goals.
  • Mentor an experienced team of professionals who deliver the high-quality Ruth Eckerd Hall Experience expected by audiences and artists alike.
  • Design management accountability measures that also address questions and concerns in keeping with a safe work environment.
  • Embrace equity, diversity, and inclusion as a key factor in future audience development, board participation, and workforce vibrancy.
  • Perform other executive leadership and mentoring responsibilities as needed.

Traits and Characteristics

The President & CEO will be a resourceful visionary who is energized by serving as the public face of Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc. A visible leader driven by service to others and receptive to new ideas and opportunities, the President & CEO will have a competitive yet people-oriented nature and will be insightful in how to best invest time, talent, and resources. The President & CEO will be an effective communicator both internally and externally and an influencer who can successfully mobilize social, economic, artistic, and intellectual energy. This individual will be motivated to identify and resolve challenges while embracing opportunities that advance the organization and the communities that it serves.

Key competencies of the role include:

  • Leadership and Decision Making – The dexterity to prioritize strategic initiatives while creating a sense of direction embedded in the active participation of a variety of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Customer and Collaborative Focus – The capacity to build rapport and effectively communicate and listen to a wide array of engaged stakeholders who sometimes have differing opinions and priorities.
  • Interpersonal Skills and Teamwork – The acuity to understand and respect others, treat them fairly regardless of personal biases or beliefs, and maintain positive and productive relationships to reach mutually beneficial outcomes.
  • Priority Management and Accountability – The agility to establish specific, realistic, and time sensitive goals while calculating the risks of various options and anticipating the human, financial, and technological resources needed to achieve extraordinary results.


A bachelor’s degree (master’s degree or equivalent experience preferred) in arts administration, business, public administration, or a related field is required. A minimum of eight to 10 years of related senior leadership experience focused on visible community engagement, inspirational philanthropic support, earned revenue maximization, and demonstrated fiscal accountability is required. A passion for the performing arts, commitment to arts education, and active participation in arts advocacy is needed.

Compensation and Benefits

Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc. offers a very competitive salary, commensurate with experience. Benefits for full-time employees include group health, dental, vision, and other optional supplemental insurance plans; 403(b) retirement; basic life and AD&D insurance; long-term disability benefits; paid time off; discounts on educational programs; a gym membership, and the quality of life that the Tampa Bay Area has to offer.

Applications and Inquiries

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and list of demonstrable revenue and other relevant accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred) to:

Dr. Bruce D. Thibodeau

ACG Contact Logo

292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel       (888) 234.4236 Ext. 201


Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that changes lives through
the performing arts. Those who share this mission and have a commitment to
excellence, diversity, and teamwork will find a rewarding place to work.


Click here for the downloadable PDF.