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Wexner Center Names Jim Lyski Board President

As the Wexner Center for the Arts prepares to embark on its third decade, the Wexner Center Foundation—a private, nonprofit entity established to provide governance and support to the arts center—is undergoing a change in its presidency for the first time in 10 years.

After serving as president of the Wexner Center Foundation board for a decade, C. Robert Kidder—chairman of Chrysler Group since 2009, a principal at 3Stone Advisors, and former CEO of Borden—has stepped down as president, although he will continue to serve on the board. Elected to assume the board presidency this year is James Lyski, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Nationwide, a Fortune 500 financial services and insurance company, based in Columbus.

Leslie H. Wexner, board chairman “We are enormously grateful for the many years of superb service that Bob Kidder has given to the board in the role of president,” notes Leslie H. Wexner, chairman of the Wexner Center Foundation board since the center’s opening in November of 1989. “A highly respected leader and strategic thinker, Bob has brought tremendous expertise to our ranks on all matters of institutional advancement over the last decade. And we’re delighted that Jim Lyski has agreed to step into the board presidency at this juncture. His management and marketing talents, coupled with his commitment to the center’s mission and programming and an already deep investment in the center’s strategic planning process, will serve us well in the coming years.”

Bob Kidder, immediate past board president and current board member

Kidder joined the Wexner Center Foundation board in 1997, and soon agreed to chair the strategic planning committee for the 2000 strategic plan. In 2000, he took the helm as the Foundation’s second-ever board president. “My years on the board have been tremendously enriching and gratifying,” says Kidder. “I’ve seen the Wexner Center grow in stature and scope in the last decade, raising its profile in the community and on the international contemporary arts scene in myriad ways. I look forward to continuing to serve as an active trustee, and am proud to pass the president’s baton to Jim.”

A member of the board since 2007, Lyski has been a crucial player in the center’s 2010 strategic planning committee that recently developed the next five-year strategic plan, which was approved by the board at its May meeting. Lyski has also been instrumental in garnering significant financial support for the Wexner Center’s programming.

Notes Lyski, “These past three years on the Wexner Center Foundation board have been illuminating and rewarding, and I am honored now to step into the role of president. The Wexner Center, an internationally recognized institution, is a true inspiration and laboratory for the contemporary arts. Art enthusiasts from throughout the world recognize the center for its commitment to displaying contemporary art and showcasing artists from a global perspective. With a vibrant leader in Sherri Geldin, a stellar staff, and a committed, forward-thinking board, the Wexner Center’s future is a bright one.”

Wexner Center Director Sherri Geldin Geldin, who has been the Wexner Center’s director since 1993, reflects on the change in leadership: “Bob Kidder has been a remarkable board president and governing partner, one that any museum director would relish having by her side. I’m delighted that he plans to remain an active member of the center’s board in the years to come. And, as the center ‘comes of age’ in our 21st anniversary season, I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Jim Lyski into the role of president. His professional expertise, together with his personal passion for all things Wex, has made him a magnificent asset to the center since joining our board.”

Also this year, the board is undertaking the reorganization of its committee structure to foster even deeper trustee engagement with the center and its programs, and to more effectively realize new strategic objectives. Resource Interactive founder and CEO Nancy Kramer will head the newly created Advancement Committee, and Michael Glimcher, CEO of Glimcher Realty Trust, will chair the Development and Campaign Committee.

Wexner Center for the Arts
1871 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43210

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