Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Young Named Chief Honcho

Count Basie Theatre Forms Foundation, Names CEO

The Count Basie Theatre’s Board of Directors recently voted to create the Count Basie Theatre Foundation, whose purpose is to raise the funds necessary to renovate and restore the theatre and to provide operating support to the theatre . The Foundation is pleased to announce that Rusty Young has accepted the offer of the Board of Directors to become the Foundation’s CEO.

“We are really excited about these changes at the Basie.” says Richard Struse, Chairman of the Foundation. “Over the past fours years the theatre has turned around operationally, now serving over 150,000 New Jerseyians annually. We have re-established the theatre as a destination, one that serves not only our patrons, but also one that provides customers to the many restaurants and businesses in Red Bank. Now we need to focus on the challenge of ensuring that the Theatre remains vital.”

Starting in September of last year, a CEO Selection Committee consisting of Board of Directors' members commenced a thorough, nationwide search process resulting in Mr.Young’s selection.

“As CEO of the Foundation, Rusty will be responsible for all fundraising for the Count Basie Theatre. First and foremost, this means raising funds for on-going operations through membership, special events and grants. In addition to the crucial task of operational fundraising, Rusty will develop and implement our capital campaign strategy, which is essential if we are to meet our long-term goal of completely renovating the theatre.” says Struse. “Rusty’s background is ideally suited to lead us in this effort. A lifelong resident of the Two River area, until recently he served as interim executive of the Community YMCA, and has been very active on volunteer boards, including serving as vice chairman of the Count Basie Theatre A well known figure in the community, he will also be a wonderful advocate for the Basie locally and in Trenton. “

Brian Leddin, Chairman of the Count Basie Theatre, Inc., agrees. “I am pleased and excited that Rusty has joined the Count Basie Theatre Foundation. He will provide terrific leadership as we work together to meet the immediate and long-term needs of the Theatre.”

“I am a believer in New Jersey, Monmouth County, the arts, and the Count Basie Theatre,” says Young. “We have a truly unique venue at the Basie, rich in history and tradition. The Theatre has been host to some of the state’s most memorable entertainment events over the past 80 years. We have an opportunity –an obligation, really-- to continue that legacy. I am really flattered, honored and excited to have been put in the middle of it all.”

Young will join the Foundation on March 13, 2006.