Hoyt Sherman Place Foundation Board of Directors Names Robert Warren Chief Executive Officer

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Monday, July 19, 2021

Hoyt Sherman Place Foundation Board of Directors Names Robert Warren Chief Executive Officer
Warren accepts a three-year contract extension to continue leading the arts and culture organization

DES MOINES, Iowa (July 19, 2021) — Current Executive Director of Hoyt Sherman Place, Robert Warren, has been named Chief Executive Officer of Hoyt Sherman Place, effective immediately, and has accepted a three-year contract extension to continue leading the organization. The title change is a reflection of the full scope of Warren’s responsibilities, as well as recognition of his demonstrated leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hoyt Sherman Place comprises a historic house museum, two art galleries, the Center for Artists and Education, and a 1,252-seat performing arts center. In the past year, Warren and his team have successfully kept the non-profit operational, despite restrictions on performances and the need to shut down tours of the gallery and mansion due to COVID-19 risks.

“Leading Hoyt Sherman Place is a large undertaking. Though it operates under one name, it is three entities under the same roof,” says Jeff Vorwerk, Hoyt Sherman Place Foundation Board Chair. “As the Board reflected on the incredible scope of responsibilities it entails, and in recognition of Robert’s leadership during recent expansion initiatives and the commercial success experienced by the organization since his arrival, we determined Chief Executive Officer is a title more fitting of the role Robert plays. The Board also sought to send a signal to community stakeholders that we are pleased with the direction of the organization and wish to keep the momentum going under Robert‘s leadership.”

In addition to being responsible for the operations of all three segments of Hoyt Sherman Place, Warren is the main interface between the organization and the Board of Directors, and he serves as the primary spokesperson for the venue. He leads a team of 11 full-time and 36 part-time employees.

Prior to the pandemic, he and his team successfully led a capital campaign that raised $5 million to construct the Center for Artists and Education, which was completed in March 2020. The new Center includes event and rehearsal space, modern dressing rooms with showers, a wardrobe room, additional restrooms to accommodate sold-out crowds, a VIP donor lounge, a covered loading dock and more.

Staff offices that had been housed in the mansion were moved to the new Center, freeing up the second floor of the mansion to become available for tours once again.

Recognizing the opportunity to use forced downtime due to the global pandemic, and to keep Hoyt Sherman Place employees working, Warren spearheaded a second capital campaign to raise funds to complete the renovation of the historic mansion. This project reestablished the historical significance to the residence including Hoyt and Sara Sherman’s bedroom, a bedroom dedicated to the memory of their daughter, Helen Sherman, and a Research and Archive Library.

Warren has been instrumental in strategically securing grants and donations to fund Hoyt Sherman Place operations while shuttered, poising it for the reopening. Shows are currently being booked and announced beginning this summer.

“Robert has done an incredible job of leading Hoyt Sherman Place during an intensely difficult time for arts organizations,” Vorwerk said. “He has demonstrated strategic planning and leadership skills, as well as passion, creativity and dedication. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are ever grateful for his contributions.”

Warren joined Hoyt Sherman Place in September 2015, after having served as Executive Director of Hartford Performs in Hartford, CT. His decorated career has also included positions such as Director of Education and Community Engagement at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota FL, Associate Producer at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. and Executive Producer for Creative Vision Entertainment Inc. in Washington, D.C.

About Hoyt Sherman Place
Nestled on the eastern edge of the historic Sherman Hill district in Des Moines, Iowa, Hoyt Sherman Place boasts one of Des Moines' most magnificent entertainment, banquet and meeting facilities. Built in 1877 by prominent pioneer businessman Hoyt Sherman, the elegant family home is graced with marble fireplaces, parquet floors and a carved mahogany entryway. Expanded over the years, the building also includes an impressive and elegant art gallery as well as grand and historic theater. For more than 100 years, Hoyt Sherman Place has served as a cornerstone for art, culture and entertainment in Des Moines. http://hoytsherman.org/


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