Segerstrom Center for the Arts announces new board chair

Segerstrom Center for the Arts has announced esteemed board member, John Phelan, has been selected as the new chair of their board of directors. He will take over for outgoing Chairwoman Jane Fujishige Yada beginning July 1. Phelan has served as a dedicated board member since 2018 and is chair of the board development committee and serves on both the finance and long-range planning committees. Phelan has played a pivotal role as a dedicated member of the board of directors in shaping the Center’s strategic direction and growth, as well as fostering meaningful collaborations with the Orange County artistic community.

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Photo by Owen Scarlett

John Phelan

According to Phelan, “I am honored and excited to take on this role as chair of Segerstrom Center for the Arts. I am deeply committed to our mission and my passion for the arts stems from a strong belief that experiencing top-notch performing arts enriches the fabric of our community enhancing lives, while cultivating shared moments through artistic exploration to foster a united and culturally connected Orange County community. I look forward to working closely with our talented artists, staff, volunteers and students and leading our board of directors to further impact and reach our Orange County community.”

Jane Fujishige Yada, exiting chairwoman shared, “As I proudly pass the baton of leadership to our esteemed new chair, I am confident that his creative vision, dedication and passion for the arts will steer our Center towards new heights of artistic excellence and innovation. It has been an honor to serve as chairwoman for these past three years. As I step down from my role, I do so with a heart full of gratitude for the opportunity to serve this extraordinary Center. It has been a privilege to witness the transformative power of art in our community and I leave with the satisfaction of knowing that our collective efforts have enriched the lives, sparked inspiration, fostered a deep appreciation for creativity and have grown immensely a community of art lovers. I’m excited to see the new chair build upon our foundation and lead the Center into a vibrant exciting future.”

Casey Reitz, president and CEO of Segerstrom Center for the Arts, reflected on the invaluable contributions of outgoing Chairwoman Yada and looks forward to a new era of leadership. In a heartfelt statement, Reitz expressed deep gratitude for Yada’s unwavering commitment and visionary guidance, particularly during challenging times such as the pandemic. “Jane’s remarkable leadership has been pivotal in sustaining the Center’s artistic community and ensuring its ongoing impact on Orange County. While she will be sincerely missed in her role as chairwoman, her legacy will endure at the Center.”

Reitz warmly welcomed the incoming Chair, John Phelan. “I am confident in John’s ability to build upon the foundation set by his predecessor and lead the Center towards a future brimming with artistic innovation and potential. He is poised to lead and bring new heights of artistic excellence and community engagement,” said Reitz.

Phelan has served on the Center board for the past six years as the chair of the board development committee, as well as a member of the finance committee and the long-range planning committee. He was also a member of the search committee that hired President and CEO Casey Reitz. Phelan worked in finance for more than 45 years with roles as an associate partner at Andersen Consulting and various leadership roles in general management, information technology and customer service at Capital Group Companies, Inc., including vice president of Capital Research and Management. Phelan received his BS in mathematics from Notre Dame and his MA in management at Northwestern. He has previously served on the board for Capital Group Companies, Inc. and MIND Research Institute, a neuroscience-focused math education not-for-profit based in Irvine.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts applauds its corporate partner Kaiser Permanente, Official Health Care Partner.


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