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DCPA names Ritchie to succeed Seawell

[The following article is scheduled to appear in Daily Variety the week of October 15th and in Variety magazine the week of October 22th.]

Donald R. Seawell
Donald R. Seawell
Denver—The board of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts has officially appointed Daniel L. Ritchie, 74, to succeed Donald R. Seawell as its Chairman and CEO, effective January, 2007. The one-time CEO of Westinghouse Broadcasting, Ritchie has dedicated his retirement from corporate life to prodigious fundraising efforts, most recently as the Chancellor at the University of Denver.

Daniel L. Ritchie
Daniel L. Ritchie
Ritchie paid homage to Seawell, 94, who founded the DCPA in 1972 and has been the organization's only leader since then.

"Donald Seawell has created a cultural legacy in the Rocky Mountain West that is both undisputed and unrivaled," said Mr. Ritchie. "It is my great honor to succeed him and take The Denver Center for the Performing Arts to the next level "

Ritchie inherits an organization that includes the Denver Center Theatre Company (winner of the 1998 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre), Denver Center Attractions (one of the top-five presenters of Broadway tours in the country), the National Theatre Conservatory (a three-year graduate acting school), the National Center for Voice and Speech (the world's only voice research laboratory and clinic associated with a performing arts center), ten performance venues, and a host of classrooms, practice spaces, craft shops, condominiums, parking, and a grand ballroom.

Following the DCPA board's announcement, Ritchie emphasized his interest in expanding new play development and collaboration with other performing arts organizations, both locally and nationally.

At a time when the center is seeking to supplement its endowment and expand its programs, Ritchie's impressive experience as a fundraiser will be well employed. During his 16-year tenure at the University of Denver, Ritchie spearheaded two campaigns, raising $274 million for general purposes and $430 million for construction, including buildings for residences, business, science, law, and music education as well as centers for athletics, performing arts and scholarships. His personal contributions included a $50 million gift and a waiver of salary. He continues at DU as Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Chancellor Emeritus.

Ritchie's involvement with the DCPA began with his 2005 appointment to the board. He is also active in a number of other civic organizations, serving as president of Independent Higher Education of Colorado, president of the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation, and sits on the boards of the Central City Opera and the National Park System.

Ritchie's stint as CEO of Westinghouse Broadcasting spanned eight years before moving to Colorado in 1987. Previously he held executive positions with MCA, Inc. and Westinghouse. He holds undergraduate and MBA degrees from Harvard University.

Bob Bows

 

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