Next Story in this issue
News & Notices
News From:
Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
2010 -- The Next 50 Years

Carl Lefko
USITT President

It is finally here! The new year 2010 marks USITT’s 50th anniversary -- a pinnacle year that was only a distant vision for the Institute’s founders. This momentous occasion will be celebrated at our Annual Conference & Stage Expo in March in Kansas City, Missouri when USITT will honor our past and make plans to secure our future.

The success of any organization requires the ability to change and adapt to current trends as well as having vision for future opportunities. For the past five years, planning for USITT’s upcoming 50th anniversary celebration has been underway with USITT members and professional staff hard at work envisioning and planning an exciting celebration. Join us for a unique and exciting Annual Conference & Stage Expo during which the Institute’s past and future meet and celebrate a once in a lifetime experience.

If USITT’s notably successful first half-century of growth and development is to be followed by another 50 years, the Institute must strive to improve and to anticipate and meet the needs of future generations even as our industry strives to meet the entertainment needs of the future. USITT’s 50th Anniversary Annual Conference & Stage Expo will feature four blockbuster speakers, one each day of the conference, including Jennifer Tipton, a tribute to Oscar Brockett, Sally Struthers and Francois Leroux.

Mr. Leroux, Vice President, Walt Disney World Creative Entertainment, will explore his company’s strategies for setting the pace and being the trendsetter in this ever-changing industry. Enormously successful and enduring, Disney has been a major contributor in the entertainment industry for over 75 years. Much of its success is based on a willingness to change, adapt, and improve its product in order to remain relevant in an exciting and dynamic market. Of paramount importance is the Disney Corporation’s overarching concern for not merely preparing for the future but envisioning and creating it. As they say, “Tomorrow is just a dream away.”

Disney’s success suggests that adaptability, vision, and improvement are requirements for a healthy future, and USITT is busy making just such preparations. For the past three years, the Board of Directors has been actively engaged in self-assessment and exploring avenues to meet the needs of current and future members. Successful completion of these objectives requires vision, clearly defined goals, and thoughtful ,well-orchestrated action. Toward that end, in March, the Board of Directors voted to begin a search for an Executive Director and to revisit and revise its organizational model. The Board of Directors and numerous volunteers worked diligently to develop and chart a course that assures a sustainable and exciting future. Thoughtful and enlightening discussions at recent Board meetings further shaped plans for USITT’s reorganization and associated needs such as revised Bylaws, policies, and procedures.

Key outcomes of the Board’s recent discussions were:

  • a desire to develop a more structured method for mentoring new leadership;
  • a desire to move toward a single tier board with a stronger understanding of purpose and responsibility;
  • a desire to create stronger assessment measures; and
  • a desire to strengthen board oversight.

Sherry Wagner-Henry, chair; John Uthoff, Linda Essig, Jonathan Darling, and Lea Asbell-Swanger will pursue models for implementing these board recommendations.

Building on USITT’s successful past, the recent assessment process, and resulting changes toward improvement, the board is positioned to direct USITT toward an even brighter future.

To quote one of the USITT’s founders and second president, Dr. Joel E. Rubin, “Anniversaries are a time for good wishes and hopes for the future. My wish and hope is that we continuously reinvent the Institute, throw out the by-laws and rewrite the mission statement every few years, and honor those who would seek change. New dreams and new leadership are what keep us alive. Let’s reinvent in order to lead. The future is great! Let’s get to it!”

Please join us in March at USITT’s 50th Anniversary Annual Conference & Stage Expo as we honor our past accomplishments and secure the future for the next generation!

To Top