October 3, 2018 – Boston-headquartered executive search firm Arts Consulting Group (ACG) has placed Cecilia Rokusek as the new president and CEO of the National Czech & Slovak Library and Museum (NCSML) in Cedar Rapids, IA. She succeeds Gail Naughton, who has served in the role since 2002.
“The search committee was immediately impressed with Cecilia’s application, and this impression was magnified when we had the opportunity to talk with her at length about her passions and skills and the museum’s direction and future,” said Tom DeBoom, NCSML board of trustees member and search committee chair. “It’s a tremendous match. We especially value her experience in strategic planning and implementation, which will be crucial for us moving forward.”
Peter Mraz, associate vice president in the firm’s Chicago office, congratulated the many stakeholders involved in the search process who will benefit from Dr. Rokusek‘s expertise and passion for Czech and Slovak culture. “We are confident that she will help shape the dialogue on the organization’s strategic development in response to the evolving role of museums today,” he said. “We wish her and the entire team at NCSML all the best as the organization continues to inspire people from every background to connect to the Czech and Slovak experience.”
Dr. Rokusek has held top academic and administrative positions at numerous colleges and universities for more than four decades. She most recently served as the provost and CEO at Larkin University in Miami. In addition to serving as Florida’s Slovak Honorary Consul for the past 10 years, she has established many academic affiliations with institutions in the Czech and Slovak Republics, in several other European countries, and in South Korea.
Before that, Dr. Rokusek held various roles at Nova Southeastern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, Winona State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Governors State University, University of South Dakota School of Medicine and Mount Marty College. Such roles helped her gain considerable experience in fundraising at the local, state, national and international levels. Dr. Rokusek previously served as an international education consultant and has been involved in policy-making related to funding for geriatric care. She is fluent in the Czech and Slovak languages.
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“We are fortunate and gratified that someone of Dr. Rokusek’s professional stature, and with her breadth and depth of experience, was available for this extraordinary opportunity at the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library,” said George Drost, chair of the NCSML board of trustees. “She will be able to build on a very solid foundation of leadership here, and she has the vision to take this national organization into its next exciting stages.”
Dr. Rokusek described Cedar Rapids as a cultural epicenter, and said she was looking forward to becoming an active member of the community. “I am delighted to be joining the dedicated team of professionals, volunteers and board members of the NCSML as we work together to promote, develop and expand the museum and library,” she said.
Established in 1974, The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library is a museum and library of Czech and Slovak history and culture. Through exhibitions and experiences, the organization tells stories of freedom and identity, family and community, human rights and dignity.
Seeking Great Leaders
Arts Consulting Group provides interim management, executive search, revenue enhancement consulting, facilities & program planning, and organizational development services for the arts and culture industry. It has identified senior-level leaders for the Long Beach Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Chicago Opera, Stockton Symphony Association and Portland Baroque Orchestra, among others. The firm has offices in Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Halifax, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Tampa, Toronto and Washington, D.C.
Bruce D. Thibodeau founded ACG in 1997 and has been part of numerous projects in all practice areas to grow institutional sustainability, advance the arts and culture sector, and enhance communities served by the industry. He has guided hundreds of non-profit, university and government clients in achieving effective leadership transitions, planning cultural facilities, increasing revenues, developing dynamic institutional brands and messages, crafting strategic plans and business models, and revitalizing board governance practices.
Mr. Mraz more than 12 years of experience in arts and culture facility planning, marketing, broadcasting and digital media, financial forecasting, operations, and strategic policy design. He joined the firm in 2016 to expand its facilities & program planning and organizational development practices. Prior to joining ACG, Mr. Mraz worked at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media