DBCFA hires new president and CEO


The Delray Beach Center for the Arts announced in August it has a found a new president and CEO to succeed longtime CEO Joe Gillie, who announced his retirement in 2014.

Rob Steele, who comes to the Sunshine State from Pennsylvania, officially started Aug. 24 to allow for overlap time with Gillie, whose last day is Sept. 30, the Center said.

For the last 10 years, Steele was the executive director of the Williamsport Community Arts Center, where he helped implement new practices into “one of the top venues on the Eastern Seaboard,” like event analysis and fee negotiations; marketing strategies and guest service enhancements; and an endowment campaign in 2010 that brought in more than $5 million in gifts and bequests.

“Rob knows the arts, and he knows the business of the arts,” said Bill Branning, board chairman. “With cultural facilities like ours, we’re constantly challenged to offer a wide range of cultural opportunities to the community while at the same time create sufficient revenue to maintain our financial stability. Rob has been successful in expanding the reach of cultural institutions while maintaining that balance.”

Steele said he is responsible for leading the Center’s staff in maximizing the fiscal, operational and artistic performance of the diverse and dynamic campus and venue.

“It is my expressed intention to continue the 25-year evolution of the DBCFA in directions that are driven by wishes, desires and capacities of the Greater Delray Beach community,” Steele said. “Joe Gillie and the talented staff of the Old School Square campus have engaged the community at a very high level for over two decades, and we will redouble our efforts to reach every corner of the community in years to come.”

One of the first things Steele plans on doing as the new president and CEO is developing a clear and thorough understanding of the community’s needs.

“We will be committed to expanding the programming available at Old School Square to provide something for everyone in the region,” he said.

Although Steele has already started, he will be introduced to the community at the Delray Beach Center for the Arts’ first Free Friday Concert Oct. 2. The concert will launch the Center’s 2015-2016 season.

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