Overture Center Foundation Board adds new members
Membership composition and diversity has increased to 36%
As the highest level of organizational leadership and governance, the Overture Center Foundation Board knows it plays a critical role in prioritizing and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity. To that end, after appointing six new members in September, the Board is happy to report its composition and diversity has increased to 36% since 2014, according to Board Chair, Betty Custer.
“Having a board with diverse perspectives and backgrounds is critically important to Overture Center,” said Custer. “After being presented the findings from the 2013 Race to Equity Report by the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, the Board raised funds to employ a dedicated staff member to lead Overture’s equity and innovation initiatives. In addition, we developed a Racial Equity Initiative focused on several areas including diversifying the Board membership.”
More specifically, the four areas of focus for the Racial Equity Initiative include:
- Equity in Employment and Governance
- Equity in Community Access
- Equity in Programs and Education
- Equity in Purchasing
Overture Foundation Board members may serve two terms of three years each. Members are well-respected individuals from Madison and Dane County, representing a wide spectrum of professional and civic expertise. They provide governance and ensure the legal and moral health of the organization. New Board members include: Lynette Fons, Sarah Marty, Oscar Mireles, the Honorable Reverend Everett Mitchell, Frank Peregrine and James Yehle.
Lynette Fons is a certified compliance and ethics professional and attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and the State of Texas. Now a Madison resident, she is a frequent speaker on legal issues and the subject of compliance and ethics. She also has presented to groups in the legal profession, municipal government, the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work and Nonprofit Risk Management Center. Additionally, she has chaired Boards of Lone Star Legal Aid, Houston Volunteer Lawyers, Harris County Dispute Resolution Center and the South Texas College of Law Alumni Association.
Sarah Marty is an accomplished theater producer, artistic and program director, educator and mentor. She provides comprehensive artistic and administrative leadership for large scale campus and community events at Kohl Center, Overture Center, and Wisconsin Union Theater, including UW Varsity Band Show and productions by Four Seasons Theater. In addition, she teaches at both University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and University of Wisconsin-Madison and performs as part of the Swissconsin duo with her grandmother, Ruth.
Oscar Mireles is the executive director of Omega School, where he has been employed for the past 25 years. Mireles has worked on GED preparation and adult basic education services for thousands of Dane County young adults, who did not possess a high school diploma. Mireles was recently reappointed the Poet Laureate of the City of Madison for 2018-2020 after serving his first term in 2016-2018. Mireles is also a published poet and editor of three anthologies titled “I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos In Wisconsin.”
Honorable Reverend Everett Mitchell has been a member of the Dane County community for 14 years and is currently a Dane Country circuit court judge and Senior Pastor of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church. He is a dedicated advocate for justice for all, especially for the underserved and disenfranchised. He has received numerous honors for his efforts toward improving relationships, such as The Urban League of Greater Madison’s Young Professional of the Year Award, Outreach Inc., Ally of the Year Award and the 2017 City-County, and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award, to name just a few.
Frank Peregrine is an executive and entrepreneur with deep experience in business development, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions and product development. Peregrine has co-founded several ventures, including highly successful CustomCall Data Systems, Cambridge Winery and Lake States Communications, Inc. He is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management with an MBA in finance and managerial economics. In addition, he is a certified Wisconsin Master Gardner and a volunteer with many civic organizations.
James Yehle is the executive of Findorff and was a project manager at Overture Center from 2000-04. He has been involved with the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art for the past 13 years and is a current member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and University of Wisconsin Department of Orthopedics Advisory Boards. A graduate from the University of Madison with a degree in construction administration, Yehle is a long-time season ticket holder for the Overture Broadway Series.
Since 2016, Overture’s department of equity and innovation, led by Senior Vice President Ed Holmes, continues to expand the use of performing arts as a bridge to understanding and communicating with underserved communities. According to Holmes, several new programs, such as the Arts Career Exploration Spotlight and The Lullaby Project are in development to further support equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives.
“With a wide range of experience, expertise and perspectives on all levels, Overture Center is poised to make a significant impact both within the organization and in arts the community at-large,” said Holmes. “Having a diverse Board aware of cultural differences is going to help us attract and retain employees, volunteers, and patrons as well as establish a firm foundation on which to build a cultural identity that is inclusive of all the communities Overture serves.
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