Toledo Symphony Announces Leadership Transition

Posted Apr 26th, 2010 by Kristen Celek  Category: Arts & Entertainment


The Toledo Symphony Board of Trustees Executive Committee enthusiastically and unanimously voted on Monday to appoint Kathleen Carroll as President and CEO effective July 1, 2010. Robert Bell, current President and CEO, will become President Emeritus and Chief Artistic Officer through the 2010-2011 season.

Robert Bell’s unprecedented role at the Toledo Symphony began in 1956, when he joined the orchestra as timpanist. Throughout his tenure the orchestra has grown from a part-time orchestra to one of the leading regional orchestras in the country. Bell was named Managing Director in 1984 and President and CEO in 1997.

In naming Carroll to the position of President and CEO, the orchestra builds on the strength of the existing collaboration between Bell and Carroll. A 22-year staff veteran of the Toledo Symphony and Executive Vice President since 1997, Carroll has the experience, community presence and skills to advance the Symphony’s mission of artistic quality and service. In 2006, she was selected to participate in the multi-year Orchestra Leadership Forum sponsored by the Mellon Foundation through the Center for Creative Leadership inNorth Carolina, where she deepened relationships with orchestra executives from across the country. She has raised millions of dollars to support the Toledo Symphony in her two decades of service, during which time the symphony’s endowment grew from $2 to $16 Million.

Carroll’s priorities as a leader mirror the values of the trustees, musicians and staff–community service, high artistic standards and financial stability—core components of the continuing mission of the TSO in the region.

“What we offer at the Toledo Symphony is art created by a group of individuals as a team,” says Carroll, “Leadership is vitally important to what we do, and what I hope to offer is a consistent devotion to the principals that have made us so successful. We are extending a great tradition of teamwork. We have a lot to look forward to together–Carnegie Hall is just one example.”

The transition plan was carefully considered by Bell and the Board of Trustees for the past several years. This is the first transition of executive leadership since 1984 when Bell was named Managing Director. The internal succession was put in place in order to provide a strong and seamless transition.

“Bob and Kathy have demonstrated unwavering devotion to the symphony’s mission of quality and community service,” says TSO Board President and CEO of Owens Corning Michael Thaman, “Our symphony has a well-earned reputation, which they have built together. Bob has enhanced the TSO’s great tradition of artistic excellence through innovative programming and guest artists—too many wonderful programs and people to name. We are extremely pleased that he will continue to work in this regard as President Emeritus and Chief Artistic Officer.”

The Symphony’s long 65-year history of service to the community is unique and well-reflected in the tenure of its leadership. The TSO is recognized nationally in this regard among its industry peers.

Bell will continue his role in artistic programming for the next few years. His ongoing responsibilities include sustaining dynamic relationships with guest artist management and production of series program plans, among other assignments. He is actively involved in TSO’s debut at Carnegie Hall in 2011.

Robert Bell, TSO President and CEO
Robert Bell was named Managing Director of the Toledo Symphony in May 1984, and President and CEO in 1997. A performer, teacher, and administrator, he was the Principal Timpanist for the Symphony from 1956 to 1984. Bell studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Michigan. He was Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Toledo, beginning in 1964, and continuing until his appointment as TSO Managing Director. Bell’s administrative responsibilities have ranged from stage manager, librarian, personnel manager, assistant manager, and associate director to interim manager. He has been an active performer regionally. During an interval in the 1960’s, Bell performed in Germany with the Deutsche Opera in Berlin and the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. Bellwas awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Toledo in 2007.

Kathleen Carroll, TSO Executive Vice President
Kathleen Carroll has been the Executive Vice President of the Toledo Symphony since 1997, having served as Director of Development beginning in 1988. Carroll is charged with bringing together the human and financial resources necessary to maintain and advance a quality music service for northwest Ohio. In her professional and volunteer careers spanning nearly forty years, Carroll has worked in public broadcasting, private and public education, museums, and health care. Recently she was selected to participate in a Mellon Foundation multi-year program for Executive Leadership developed by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), Greensboro, NC. Carroll is past president Greater Toledo Chapter NSFRE, now AFP. She serves as a trustee of St. Ursula Academy and is a member of the Rotary Club of Toledo.

The Toledo Symphony
The Toledo Symphony is northwest Ohio’s premiere performing arts organization, serving annual audiences of nearly 300,000 in 400 musical presentation of all sizes for 66 years. A highlight of the coming season is the invitation for the Symphony to perform in Carnegie Hall for the Spring for Music Festival in May, 2011. www.toledosymphony.com

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Kristen Celek - Toledo Symphony

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