Jennifer Turner

NASHVILLE, TN —  The nonprofit Tennessee Performing Arts Center announces Jennifer Turner will be its next President and Chief Executive Officer starting May 2019.

Turner will follow Kathleen O’Brien, who will retire from TPAC in July, ending a 14-year tenure at the head of the arts center and 31 total years at TPAC. O’Brien, the first woman to lead TPAC in its almost 39-year history, started as Public Affairs Director in 1988.

“Our Executive Search Committee did an exceptional job vetting applicants in a national search and finalizing their recommendation of Jennifer. Her experience and expertise, as well as her vision for TPAC, makes her the ideal candidate for our new President and CEO,” says Tracy Kane, TPAC Board Chair. “Kathleen and her team have put TPAC in a healthy position, growing programs and services to an all-time level, and we are proud of their work. Jennifer comes in at the perfect time to continue that momentum, and Kathleen and Jennifer have already begun working toward a smooth transition and bright future for TPAC with Jennifer at the helm.”

“I am truly honored to become the next President and CEO of TPAC and work with its dedicated Board of Directors and talented staff. In the heart of a dynamic and rapidly changing community, TPAC is a vibrant organization and among the most admired in the performing arts field,” says Turner. “It’s my great privilege to be able to succeed Kathleen O’Brien, who I deeply respect, for her incredible leadership, and I am thrilled to lead TPAC into its next chapter. I’m extremely excited about the diversity of programming that TPAC offers, both on the stage and working throughout its community. I have visited Nashville several times and love the energy and sense of commitment that pervades both TPAC and its community. I look forward to moving to the beautiful state of Tennessee and immersing myself in all that the region offers.”

“For almost 31 years, I’ve been truly blessed with an amazing career at TPAC, including 14 as President and CEO. I’m so proud of the work we’ve accomplished and the fantastic team I’ve assembled to help me,” said O’Brien. “Our financial position is much healthier, and we are virtually debt-free. We’ve become independent Broadway presenters, which has strengthened our balance sheet as well as our position within the Broadway community, allowing us to develop new work for the stage. Additionally, we’ve brought our ticketing services in-house, again contributing to a strong financial position and customer service. And the cherry on top is that we’ve expanded from four to six education programs, so we are serving more within our community and in more meaningful ways.”

Turner currently serves as the Executive Vice President and Managing Director for Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Southern California. With over 20 years of experience in nonprofits arts, Turner previously was the Chief Operating Officer for the national historic landmark Auditorium Theatre in Chicago and held roles with Michigan Opera Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company and Harper College. Turner completed her undergraduate studies at Michigan State University and has a graduate degree from Roosevelt University in Public Administration, Nonprofit Management.