The Board of Directors of the Warner Theatre has announced today that, in view of the financial challenges facing the theatre, a Warner Recovery Team has been established that will focus exclusively on developing and executing a plan that will return financial success to the Warner Theatre and reestablish its well-earned reputation and standing in the industry.
In a letter presented to the Board on Monday evening, Board President Ken Merz recommended the immediate establishment of the Warner Recovery Team and pronounced the timing of a leadership change in the organization, both at the executive staff level and in its Board Presidency. His resignation as President was accepted with regret.
Following the acceptance of his resignation, the Board approved the appointment of Louisa Roraback to serve as interim Board President until June 30, 2013. Louisa has served on the Warner board since 2001, currently as Vice President.
The formation of a Warner Recovery Team is also a critical step for the organization, whose charge will be to develop a multi-pronged planning process that will address leadership, governance, finance and programming matters, and advise the Board on a strategic course to recovery and stabilization. The vote to establish this Team, comprised of an equal number of existing Board members and individuals external to the organization, was unanimous. The Team will be constituted over the course of the next week, but Chairs include Louisa Roraback of Goshen, CT and Brian Mattiello of Torrington, CT. A complete list of participants will be announced in the near future.
In the interim, Elissa Getto, a consultant hired through Arts Consulting Group, has been working with the Warner officials on a plan for the future and will continue to serve as General Manager for the Warner until key management personnel is in place.
In his letter Mr. Merz also stated: "For the past 16 years, I have worked in partnership with colleagues and friends to secure, restore and build a future for the Warner Theatre. I care deeply for the organization and continue to believe in its potential. With a combination of steady leadership from existing Board members and friends, along with new blood and new ideas, I am certain the best days of the Warner lie ahead."
In reflecting on Ken's 16 years of working with the Warner Mrs. Roraback stated "I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for the years of hard work and support Mr. Merz provided to the organization. Ken has been, and always will be, a valued member of the Warner family; he and his wife Betty have been true friends of the theater. We look forward to building on the legacy that people like Mr. Merz created, and securing the future of the theater."