The Van Wezel Sets Sights on Future

Jim Travers as its new chairman

The Van Wezel Foundation announced expansion of its board of directors and the election of chair Jim Travers. This new leadership sets the stage for the Foundation as it enters a new chapter and extends its mission: to create a world-class performing arts center that enriches the community, supports arts education and inspires young minds.

Established in 1987 as a public/private partnership with the city-owned Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the Van Wezel Foundation provides grants to underwrite arts education, Schooltime Performances, community access to the arts and capital support for improvements to the Hall. Since its inception, the Foundation has provided over $14 million to ensure arts education training for more than 400 teachers and arts education programming to more than 30,000 students and at-risk youth across four counties each year.

“Jim Travers has spent the last three years leading the board’s Strategic Planning Committee,” said Mike Martella, the Foundation’s immediate past board chair and current Vice-Chairman, and the CEO of Boar’s Head Provisions Co., Inc. “The committee was established to play a key role in helping shape the plan to create a public-private partnership with the City of Sarasota to build a world-class performing arts center at the heart of the Bay’s approved master plan. Because of his expertise, the board unanimously agreed that Jim is the perfect choice to lead the Foundation into its next chapter.”

Travers is a senior technology executive, having built high-growth technology companies in the public and private sectors over the course of his 35-year career. Most recently, Travers served as Chairman and CEO of Fleetmatics, Inc., a global software service company that was purchased by Verizon in 2016. He remains active with emerging technology companies, working with private equity partners as an investor and board member.

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