The Great Lakes Center for the Arts continues to build its leadership team and develop its governance structure, as construction progresses on this new social and cultural hub in Petoskey, MI. The Center’s Executive Director, Jill O’Neill, recently announced the expansion of the Executive Committee of the Center’s Board of Directors; the addition of new members; establishment of new committees; and election of Board Chair and officers.

The Center is a nonprofit 501(c)3 that will open in July of 2018.

The Center’s board includes 12 members, with implementation plans to grow to 15 to 20 by the Center’s Grand Opening. In mid-February the Executive Committee of the Board was expanded from three to five members, with new members David Crouse, of Walloon Lake, and Annette Pocica, of Charlevoix.

“We are pleased to have board members from a wide variety of geographic and professional backgrounds,” said O’Neill. “It is important we are representative of the region that we serve, and it also helps staff to be able to draw on the exceptional knowledge our board members bring to the table. They are respected business, philanthropic and community leaders both in Northern Michigan and other communities throughout Michigan and beyond.”

Kathy OswaldBoard Chair Kathy Oswald (pictured) has served for the past nine years as the Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of the Henry Ford Health System and during her 28-year tenure with Chrysler, she became Chrysler's top female executive before retiring in 2000 as its Chief Administrative Officer.

“It has been both exciting and rewarding to be involved in the development of the Great Lakes Center for the Arts from the beginning stages. I’ve watched a first-class leadership team work with passion and enthusiasm to bring a new world of arts and entertainment to life for the Northern Michigan region,” said Oswald.

Board structure, committees announced

Along with electing Oswald as Chair, the Center’s Board also elected the following members as officers: David V. Johnson, Founding Chair; Carole Cobb, Secretary; Annette Pocica, Treasurer.

The Center’s Board also named leadership of several committees. They include: Development & Events, chaired by Carole Cobb; Finance, Audit & Investments, chaired by Annette Pocica; Education & Programming, chaired by David Crouse; Construction & Building, chaired by Dave Hamilton; and Governance, chaired by Bill Clements.

“With the Center’s Construction & Building Chair Dave Hamilton, a member of the Ferris State University Construction Hall of Fame; Finance Chair Annette Pocica, a retired Finance VP with the Public Broadcasting Service; and Programming Chair David Crouse, a multiple Emmy Award winning film producer, this is a truly talented group of leaders” said O’Neill

In addition to the Executive Committee and Committee Chairs, also serving on the Center’s board are: Deana Blackburn; Marilyn Crawford; Pamella DeVos; Jennifer Merriman; Jill O’Neill; and Elysa Roskam.

“As part of its implementation plans, the Center is growing its inaugural board carefully with a goal of 15-20 members by grand opening in 2018 and 25-30 members over the next five years that will by then represent diversity with respect to geography, performing and cultural arts interests, skillsets and various constituencies in the regional community and throughout Michigan,” said O’Neill.

For bios of the Board of Directors, please click here.