Derek Johnson Named President of Apollo Theater Foundation; David Rodriguez is Executive Director of Theater

Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from The Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc.

    NEW YORK, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc.
 announced today the formation of its new management team. Derek Johnson, a
 senior executive at AOL Time Warner, has been named President of the Apollo
 Theater Foundation, effective May 1st. David Rodriguez, the former Executive
 Director of the John Harms Center for the Arts in Englewood, New Jersey,
 assumes the same role at the Apollo Theater, effective immediately, reporting
 to Mr. Johnson.
     In making the announcement, Richard Parsons, Chairman of ATF's Board of
 Directors, said: "At the dawn of this important moment in the Apollo's
 history, we are fortunate to have two executives of Derek and David's
 capabilities. They each bring important skills and experiences to their
 respective posts, and together, make for the kind of energetic, dynamic and
 creative leadership this important challenge warrants. They are an ideal
 team." Mr. Parsons added, "I have every confidence that together we will
 realize the vision that we inherited from and share with Congressman Rangel:
 That a revitalized Apollo can be the catalyst for Harlem's economic and
 cultural renaissance."
     Echoing Parsons enthusiasm, ATF Vice-Chairs, Beverly Sills and Arthur Hill
 said: "We are thrilled to have attracted such capable and accomplished leaders
 in Derek and David. Not only do they embody the vision, talent and commitment
 the Apollo desperately needs, but their mix of business and creative expertise
 bodes well for our future. We know our colleagues on the Board join us in
 offering them our most ardent support."
     Mr. Johnson, 40, is a lawyer by training, and a seven-year veteran of Time
 Warner, the media and entertainment firm that recently merged with AOL. In
 addition to his entertainment and legal credentials, Johnson has an extensive
 background in government, politics and real estate and has long been
 associated with economic development initiatives in the Harlem community.
 Johnson holds a law degree, a masters in public administration and an
 undergraduate degree in political science from Columbia University. He and his
 wife, along with their two children, live in Harlem. Johnson will report to
 ATF's Board of Directors.
     Mr. Rodriguez, 38, is a seasoned executive in the performing arts
 community. During his three-year tenure at John Harms, Rodriguez oversaw the
 theater's renovation, and improved the Theater's artistic and financial
 standing. Prior to his affiliation with the Harms, Rodriguez was Executive
 Director of Aaron Davis Hall, a performing arts venue in Harlem, for seven
 years. Rodriguez has also produced concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center,
 the Smithsonian, Boston's Jordan Hall and UCLA. He is a graduate of Mansfield
 University where he studied arts administration. Rodriguez also studied music
 at the Eastman School of Music and actually performed at the Apollo during his
 days as a musician.
     Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Johnson said: "I am deeply honored, and
 humbled, by the confidence the Board has expressed in me. The Apollo is a
 unique institution, with a historical and cultural significance that is truly
 distinct, and a brand that is without peer. The opportunity to shepherd its
 turn-around is, without a doubt, the culmination of my professional
 experiences to date. I look forward to the challenge."
     Mr. Rodriguez said: "I feel there is a window of opportunity to make a
 difference at the Apollo, to both enhance its historic past while moving it
 into the 2lst Century, both programmatically and technologically. In that
 sense, this was an offer too important to refuse. There is no more historic
 shrine for the performing arts than the Apollo."
     The Apollo Theater Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation formed in
 1992 with a goal of embarking upon the preservation, restoration and
 revitalization of the World Famous Apollo Theater(TM). Located on 125th Street
 in the heart of Harlem, the Apollo is a long-established icon of Black
 American culture and entertainment. With roots dating back to the early
 1900's, the Apollo emerged over time as a "must-play" performance hall for
 aspiring Black amateur artists. Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, James Brown
 and the Jackson Five are just a few of the many legendary acts that performed
 at the Apollo as amateurs.
 
 

SOURCE The Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc.
    NEW YORK, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc.
 announced today the formation of its new management team. Derek Johnson, a
 senior executive at AOL Time Warner, has been named President of the Apollo
 Theater Foundation, effective May 1st. David Rodriguez, the former Executive
 Director of the John Harms Center for the Arts in Englewood, New Jersey,
 assumes the same role at the Apollo Theater, effective immediately, reporting
 to Mr. Johnson.
     In making the announcement, Richard Parsons, Chairman of ATF's Board of
 Directors, said: "At the dawn of this important moment in the Apollo's
 history, we are fortunate to have two executives of Derek and David's
 capabilities. They each bring important skills and experiences to their
 respective posts, and together, make for the kind of energetic, dynamic and
 creative leadership this important challenge warrants. They are an ideal
 team." Mr. Parsons added, "I have every confidence that together we will
 realize the vision that we inherited from and share with Congressman Rangel:
 That a revitalized Apollo can be the catalyst for Harlem's economic and
 cultural renaissance."
     Echoing Parsons enthusiasm, ATF Vice-Chairs, Beverly Sills and Arthur Hill
 said: "We are thrilled to have attracted such capable and accomplished leaders
 in Derek and David. Not only do they embody the vision, talent and commitment
 the Apollo desperately needs, but their mix of business and creative expertise
 bodes well for our future. We know our colleagues on the Board join us in
 offering them our most ardent support."
     Mr. Johnson, 40, is a lawyer by training, and a seven-year veteran of Time
 Warner, the media and entertainment firm that recently merged with AOL. In
 addition to his entertainment and legal credentials, Johnson has an extensive
 background in government, politics and real estate and has long been
 associated with economic development initiatives in the Harlem community.
 Johnson holds a law degree, a masters in public administration and an
 undergraduate degree in political science from Columbia University. He and his
 wife, along with their two children, live in Harlem. Johnson will report to
 ATF's Board of Directors.
     Mr. Rodriguez, 38, is a seasoned executive in the performing arts
 community. During his three-year tenure at John Harms, Rodriguez oversaw the
 theater's renovation, and improved the Theater's artistic and financial
 standing. Prior to his affiliation with the Harms, Rodriguez was Executive
 Director of Aaron Davis Hall, a performing arts venue in Harlem, for seven
 years. Rodriguez has also produced concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center,
 the Smithsonian, Boston's Jordan Hall and UCLA. He is a graduate of Mansfield
 University where he studied arts administration. Rodriguez also studied music
 at the Eastman School of Music and actually performed at the Apollo during his
 days as a musician.
     Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Johnson said: "I am deeply honored, and
 humbled, by the confidence the Board has expressed in me. The Apollo is a
 unique institution, with a historical and cultural significance that is truly
 distinct, and a brand that is without peer. The opportunity to shepherd its
 turn-around is, without a doubt, the culmination of my professional
 experiences to date. I look forward to the challenge."
     Mr. Rodriguez said: "I feel there is a window of opportunity to make a
 difference at the Apollo, to both enhance its historic past while moving it
 into the 2lst Century, both programmatically and technologically. In that
 sense, this was an offer too important to refuse. There is no more historic
 shrine for the performing arts than the Apollo."
     The Apollo Theater Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation formed in
 1992 with a goal of embarking upon the preservation, restoration and
 revitalization of the World Famous Apollo Theater(TM). Located on 125th Street
 in the heart of Harlem, the Apollo is a long-established icon of Black
 American culture and entertainment. With roots dating back to the early
 1900's, the Apollo emerged over time as a "must-play" performance hall for
 aspiring Black amateur artists. Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, James Brown
 and the Jackson Five are just a few of the many legendary acts that performed
 at the Apollo as amateurs.
 
 SOURCE  The Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc.