Victory Gardens Receives Largest Individual Gift in its History
Victory Gardens Theater announces a generous $350,000 gift from Steven and Diane Miller. President of the Victory Gardens Board since July 2012, Steven Miller has been involved with the organization since the late 1990s, joining as a board member in 2008. His gift marks the single largest individual contribution in the Theater's thirty-eight year history.
Steven Miller, Principal and Co-founder of Origin Ventures, has structured his gift as a match to encourage and inspire long-time and new supporters to make philanthropic gifts to Victory Gardens.
Steve Miller comments, "Victory Gardens Theater is one of the most important companies in Chicago. Our focus on new works, new voices, and telling the stories of all Chicagoans resonates with Diane and me. We want others that feel as we do to join us in supporting this theater that means so much to Chicago. "
Artistic Director Chay Yew is delighted with the news of this magnificent gift, "Since becoming board president, Steve has been the most perfect partner. He not only understands the administrative and financial aspects of running a theater but he firmly believes we are building an institution that is committed to artistic excellence, cultural diversity and social dialogue. At our core, Victory Gardens champions exciting theatre work that reflects and represents the communities which inhabit this great city. Steve and Diane's gift underscores their passionate commitment to our theater. As we continue the artistic conversation with our audiences, we are incredibly grateful to have the leadership and generosity of Steve Miller.
Prior to co-founding Origin, Mr. Miller spent 10 years at Quill Corporation, the largest mail-order office supply firm in the country. When the company was sold to Staples in the 1998, he formed Origin Ventures. Origin Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in e-commerce, digital media, and software companies. In addition to serving on Victory Gardens' board, Mr. Miller serves on many non-profit boards and chairs the major gift committee of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. Mr. Miller received a B.S. in Business Administration/Marketing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1987, where he now serves on the Dean's Business Council and the board of the Hillel Foundation. He also provides the funding for the Steven N. Miller Entrepreneurial Scholarships and the Diane & Steven N. Miller Endowed Professorship in Business at the University of Illinois.