Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) October 03, 2012
The board of directors of the Avenue of the Arts, Inc. (AAI) announced today that Paul S. Beideman has been named President and CEO of the organization. Correspondingly, Executive Director, Karen Lewis, has been named Chief Operating Officer.
Created in 1993, AAI is an independent non-profit organization created to coordinate and oversee the growth and development of the Avenue of the Arts, stretching from Washington Avenue on the south to Glenwood Avenue on the north. AAI works closely with district businesses along with arts and entertainment entities to promote the neighborhood as a center for tourism and commercial activities.
A Philadelphia native, Beideman spent the majority of his career in the banking industry, rising to Chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Region for Mellon Financial Corporation in 2001. He was named Chief Executive Officer of Associated Bank headquartered in Green Bay Wisconsin in 2003, a position he held until 2010. Throughout his career, Paul has dedicated his time to a number of not-for-profit organizations, serving on the boards of The Philadelphia Zoo, Widener University, The Philadelphia Academies and many others.
“Paul brings proven management and executive leadership to AAI, and his experience will help strengthen our operations and craft a visionary plan that is attainable in this economic environment,” said Board Chair Dianne Semingson. “It is time for AAI to build structural capacity and enable our organization to fulfill its mission of making the Avenue one of the most vibrant corridors of activity, excitement and innovation in Philadelphia.”
Next year marks the organization’s 20th anniversary. AAI is honoring this significant milestone by focusing on the next 20 years; working on several exciting projects and initiatives that will augment the districts visibility. For instance, a $14 million streetscape project is planned for North Broad Street, extending from City Hall to Temple University. The renovation project is expected to break ground during the first quarter of 2013, which will include new lighting fixtures, landscape components and other ocular enhancements. Additionally, the International Downtown Association recently announced it selected AAI’s Building on North Broad Street Initiative for its Merit Award, a recognition Philadelphia and the Avenue of the Arts were awarded over 76 other cities.
Many of the accomplishments and successes achieved by AAI have been attributed to Karen Lewis’ unwavering commitment to fundraising, ability to build a sustainable infrastructure and her tenacious spirit.
“We are delighted to see Executive Director Karen Lewis, who has been with AAI for 11 years, step into a new position and utilize her invaluable history and knowledge of the organization to build a strong foundation for the future. Karen and Paul represent a strong team, and together they will elevate AAI to reach its full potential,” stated Semingson.
AAI has played a vital role in the creation of several key performing arts venues and has advocated for the physical improvement of the district’s streetscape. It is the gateway to entering the City from the north or south, and is one of Philadelphia’s most important destinations for much of the city’s artistic, commercial and residential life.
About Avenue of the Arts, Inc.
The Avenue of the Arts corridor is a 3.5-mile section of Broad Street, including one block east and west, stretching from Temple University (Glenwood Avenue) in North Philadelphia to Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia. AAI serves as a catalyst for policies, programs and projects that encourage economic and cultural development on the Avenue of the Arts through marketing, beautification projects, and careful planning and research for sustainable growth. For more information, visit http://www.avenueofthearts.org.