NJPAC Selects William J. Marino as New Board Chair

Dec 17, 2009, 17:00 ET from New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Arthur F. Ryan to Step Down After 10 Years in Leadership Role, Becoming Chairman Emeritus

Four New Directors Selected for Arts Center Board

NEWARK, N.J., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Arthur F. Ryan, a longtime member of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) Board of Directors, its co-chair since June 1999 and chairman since January 2008, has announced he is stepping down as Board chairman effective immediately. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield President and CEO William J. Marino, an NJPAC board member since 2003, has been selected to replace Ryan, who will continue to serve on the Board as Chairman Emeritus.

Additionally, NJPAC announced the election of four new members for its Board of Directors: Anne Evans-Estabrook, CEO, Elberon Development Company; Steven E. Gross, Chairman, Sills Cummis & Gross P.C.; John R. Strangfeld, Chairman, President and CEO, Prudential Financial, Inc.; and Michael A. Tanenbaum, Chair of the Firm, Sedgewick, Detert, Moran & Arnold.

"Art Ryan has been the kind of leadership volunteer they write about in how-to text books," said Lawrence P. Goldman, NJPAC's President and CEO. "In his straightforward but always keenly supportive way, he has inspired the Arts Center's Board and management to work hard, think smart, and be inclusive. His vision and profound achievements are evident in every corner of NJPAC."

"One could not ask for a better partner with whom to work than Art Ryan," said Raymond G. Chambers, Founding NJPAC Chairman. "The unique combination of his intelligence and sense of humor made my entire time as Co-Chairman of NJPAC with him truly enjoyable. There are not enough words to adequately thank Art for all he has done for NJPAC."

Under Ryan's leadership, NJPAC has received international recognition for excellence in programming, arts education, fiscal diligence, outstanding customer service, diversity in staffing and audiences, and historic fundraising. Most recently, Ryan served as Chair of the successful Campaign for NJPAC, which exceeded its goal, raising $182.7 million for the Arts Center's endowment, operations, capital and reserve funds.

During Ryan's tenure, NJPAC also made significant progress with a mission-driven real estate venture, Two Center Street, cited by Mayor Cory A. Booker as his key development priority for the City of Newark, which will create the first newly-constructed market-rate apartment building in downtown Newark in more than four decades. A developer, Dranoff Properties of Philadelphia, has been selected following a nationwide search, planning and design are underway, and groundbreaking for the development, which will include 300 units, street-level, high-quality retail, and parking, is anticipated in late 2010.

"Art Ryan's legacy of achievement is profound," said Mayor Booker, "not only at NJPAC, for which his leadership is legendary, but for his unflagging support of Newark, its institutions and people. He and his wife, Pat, made Newark their own deeply personal cause and we are a better, more compassionate and more inspirational community for their efforts."

"NJPAC will continue in exemplary hands with the selection of Bill Marino as its new Board Chair," Booker continued. "Bill has Newark in his heart and has been a treasured private sector partner in a litany of activities which have strengthened the character of the City, its residents, workers, and visitors."

William J. Marino is President, Chief Executive Officer and, as of January 1, 2010, Chairman of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state's largest health insurer, providing coverage for over 3.6 million people. Bill joined Horizon BCBSNJ as Senior Vice President of Health Industry Services in January 1992, responsible for all aspects of Managed Care operations in New Jersey, as well as Market Research, Product Development, Provider Relations and Health Care Management. He became President and CEO in January 1994. He has 30 years of experience in the health and employee benefits field, primarily in managed care, marketing and management. Before joining Horizon BCBSNJ, Bill was Vice President of Regional Group Operations for New York and Connecticut for Prudential, capping a 23-year career with them.

Bill Marino is no stranger to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, having joined its Board of Directors in 2003 and becoming Vice Chair in January 2008. "Bill and I became friends when we walked together a number of years back in the National Conference for Community and Justice walkathon in Newark," said Goldman. "He has since become a wonderful addition to the NJPAC inner family. He has such an upbeat attitude, brings thoughtful insight to our business, and engenders a can-do spirit. He has an accomplished history of leadership, and a true passion for the core of our mission. There will be no learning curve for Bill. He just gets what we are about -- arts, community, urban activism -- and he has already hit the ground running."

"I have a fond place for NJPAC in my heart," said Marino. "It has been wonderful for Newark and New Jersey and a key part of the City's revitalization. There is so much positive energy at the Arts Center. And the amazing thing is how it has sustained itself. So many things start out and capture enthusiasm, but somehow lose it along the way. With NJPAC, it's actually building, and that's a tribute to the leadership -- the board and management -- and the quality of the work being done there. I am very excited to play a role in helping the Arts Center build on its extraordinary achievements."

The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in the heart of a newly emergent downtown Newark, New Jersey, is the sixth largest performing arts center in the United States. Home of the Grammy(R) Award-winning New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, NJPAC has been widely cited as a catalyst in the revitalization of New Jersey's largest city, attracted over 6 million visitors (including one million children) in its first twelve seasons of operations.

Funding has been made possible through a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State and funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

NJPAC is a wheelchair accessible facility and provides assertive services such as TTY ticket purchase, designated seating, Sennheiser infrared listening devices and seat cushions.

SOURCE New Jersey Performing Arts Center