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Grand Rapids Symphony Announces Retirement of Mary Tuuk Kuras as President and CEO

Mary Tuuk Kuras, President and CEO of the Grand Rapids Symphony, has announced her retirement, effective December 31, 2022.

Grand Rapids Symphony Announces Retirement of Mary Tuuk Kuras as President and CEO

Mary Tuuk Kuras, President and CEO of the Grand Rapids Symphony, has announced her retirement, effective December 31, 2022. She plans to devote more time to her family and other personal interests. Mary met her husband Patrick in 2019 while both were singing in the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus. They look forward to spending more time with family and friends while they continue to make music, travel and take on new retirement projects.

Tuuk Kuras, originally from Grand Rapids, began her duties as Grand Rapids Symphony
President and CEO in January 2019. Prior to that, she served as Chief Compliance Officer/Senior Vice President, Properties and Real Estate with Meijer, Inc. Prior to joining Meijer in 2015, she had served Fifth Third Bank for 19 years in positions of increasing executive responsibility in Michigan and Ohio, including as Executive Vice President, Chief Risk Officer during the financial crisis of 2008. Tuuk Kuras is a classically trained musician who sings professionally, and also plays the organ, piano and violin.

"Mary has administratively led the Grand Rapids Symphony through a critical chapter, and we are grateful for her leadership," said Luis Avila, Board Chair of the Grand Rapids Symphony. "Her unique blend of business leadership experience, passion for the Symphony's mission, and love of people has propelled the Symphony to a bright future."

Upon retirement, Mary will remain connected to the Symphony in a transitional role for some time to ensure stability of artistic operations, continuation of strong financial performance and effective stewardship of donor support. The Board of Directors will immediately form a committee to search for Mary's successor. Renee Tabben, Chair-Elect of the Board, will chair the Search Committee.

"It has been an honor to pair my personal passion for music with my profession in my final
career stage prior to retirement," said Tuuk Kuras. "Serving the Symphony stakeholders and West Michigan community has been pure joy, and my heart sings as I look forward to the Symphony's future innovation, financial stability, and vibrancy. I am incredibly proud of our gifted musicians and talented administrative team, and ask the members of our Symphony family and West Michigan community to offer them full support and advocacy in this next chapter. I am also deeply grateful to our dedicated Board Members, Foundation Trustees, generous donors and loyal patrons for their tremendous support during the pandemic."

Some Grand Rapids Symphony Team Highlights during the tenure of Tuuk Kuras:
• Celebration of Symphony's 90th anniversary season, including a special event concert
featuring internationally renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman
• Immediate innovation during the pandemic to continue delivery of the Symphony's
mission to the West Michigan community, including From our Home to Yours, a
nationally acclaimed virtual production of the Hallelujah Chorus, creation of the virtual
Pathwaves concert series, Pop-ups in the Park and Sidewalk Serenades, virtual education
delivery, and expansion of the Neighborhood Concert Series
• Sold-out Symphony with Soul events featuring Black Violin, Terence Blanchard and Leslie
Odom, Jr.

"The Symphony would simply not have thrived as it did during COVID had it not been for Mary's steadfast and caring leadership. Personally, it has been an honor to work alongside her during these difficult years and to see firsthand how to be a true servant-leader. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we thank Mary for her leadership and dedication and wish her all the best as she pursues retirement," said Avila.

About the Grand Rapids Symphony
Organized in 1930, the Grand Rapids Symphony is nationally recognized for the quality of its concerts, the breadth of its educational programs, and the innovation of its initiatives to support diversity, equity and inclusion as well as to serve the wider community in non-traditional settings. Led by Music Director Marcelo Lehninger, and Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt , West Michigan's largest performing arts organization is affiliated with the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus and the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony. GRS collaborates annually with Opera Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Ballet and biennially with the Gilmore Keyboard Festival in Kalamazoo.

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