CoHo Productions Announces Election of New Board of Directors
Last Thursday evening, the CoHo Board of Directors conducted a meeting of reorganization, renewal and celebration as many long-standing board members retired from the board, two new members were welcomed into board service and the election of new officers was conducted.
Current board member Mary Blair was elected Board President and was joined by newly elected members Don Blair as Secretary/Treasurer and Philip Cuomo as Member-At-Large. The current Artistic Council, comprised of Mead Hunter, Karin Magaldi, Chris Murray, Liane Hilling-Shah, Laura Faye Smith and Stephen Weeks, remains unchanged.
Mary Blair has been a CoHo board member since 2011 and is a three-year member of the JAW Reading Committee at Portland Center Stage. As CFO of Nike, Inc., and a current board member at Portland Center Stage, Don Blair brings extensive business and financial experience to the Board. Finally, Philip Cuomo has been a member of the Portland theater community since 2003. He is an actor, an award winning director, a core company member of Third Rail Repertory Theater and the current Executive Director of Portland Actors Conservatory.
The retiring board members include President Scott Stephens, CoHo Co-Founder Robert Holden, Secretary Ruth Fredine, Treasurer Lee Kurtz and Leslie Houston. "We are so grateful for the guidance, hard work, and countless hours of time and resources dedicated to CoHo by Scott, Robert, Ruth, Lee and Leslie. They've all served as a vital resource to artists who strive to produce projects they are deeply passionate about and will be missed," said Artistic Council Member Laura Faye Smith.
"As a co-founder of the company, Robert Holden's contributions to CoHo have been immeasurable," said new Board President Mary Blair. Holden directed CoHo's very first production, Bodyhold, in 1995 at the Benson Hotel and was the co-producer/director for one of the company's most successful shows, William S. Gregory's Mary Tudor.
He was also instrumental in developing the acclaimed CoHo Theater, now in its 12th year. "It is fitting that as Robert leaves the board, he is returning to the director's chair where he began with the Company," said Blair. Robert Holden is directing the upcoming production of Bill W. and Dr. Bob.
"Leslie Houston, Ruth Fredine, Lee Kurtz and most notably Scott Stephens, must also be saluted for their invaluable service to CoHo," continued Blair. "Many in the community are well aware of the tremendous work all of these individuals have devoted to CoHo over the years, especially in this last season as we have operated without a Managing Director and all aspects of CoHo's operations fell to this truly "working board". The fact that CoHo still exists today is a credit to their tenacity and a reflection of the real passion each holds for CoHo. The Portland theater community is only richer for their gift of time and talent."
"As a new board, we are very optimistic about the continued success of CoHo. We have just signed a new lease on our theater and our near term priority is to build the financial and operational health of the Company while maintaining a strong commitment to CoHo's artistic mission," said Blair. Artistic Council Member Smith adds, "We are incredibly enthusiastic and energized about what the future will hold with Mary, Don and Philip on the Board. Their combined professionalism, intelligence, experience
and passion bode well for CoHo's ability to attract and support the best our artistic community has to offer."
CoHo's Productions' mission is to produce high quality and affordable theater in Portland in an intimate setting under a unique collaborative model known as co- production. CoHo invites local theater artists to propose plays for production to an Artistic Council, consisting of established Portland theater artists of all disciplines, who select three shows per season. CoHo provides the venue, funding and marketing support for the show, thereby freeing its co-producers to focus on the artistic and technical aspects in which they excel.