Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 22, 2018

Convention center welcomes new board chairman

By Mark Cohen | Oct 16, 2014
Mark Cohen

To the editor:

It is an honor to be the new board chairman of your Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. I have previous board chair experience with other not-for-profits, and even served on the executive committee of a national charity. I’m excited to share my thoughts about the future of the center with you.

Before I do so however, I’d like to acknowledge and thank outgoing board chair Rob Steinberg for his service, and thank each of you for your support of the center.

Before my wife Laura and I moved our family to Fairfield, we researched everything we could about the town. To us, it was critical to have a facility like the center to attend shows and concerts. It was what we were used to at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts – a former client of mine. We purchased tickets to Way off Broadway’s first season before we even moved here.

After living in Fairfield for a little over a year, I was introduced to Rustin Lippincott, executive director at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. At that time, Rustin was creating the first Sondheim Center Artist Series and wanted to solicit sponsors. He asked if I could help him create a sponsorship program, and the rest is history. Since then, I’ve served on the board, and my wife and kids have served the Center in numerous ways.

It is an honor to be the board chair. I couldn’t imagine being in a better place at a better time. My years of involvement with the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center have consistently impressed me with the existence of such a marvelous facility in such a small town.

Following the vital work done by the chairs I’ve worked with – Bob Moore and Rob Steinberg – I feel my charge is that of revitalization. This facility has secured a very important position in our community, such that many can’t remember Fairfield without it.

There are days when every rentable space in the center is in use – from meetings and conferences in the meeting rooms to traveling Broadway shows in the Sondheim Center, to community band practice in the Expo Hall. There are also free and low-cost donations of space to the community that go unheralded and virtually unnoticed. In fact, Rustin helped the Lord’s Cupboard during its “Thanksgiving in July” fundraiser, enabling the Cupboard to hold a Trivia Night which raised hundreds of additional dollars for feeding the community’s hungry. Whenever he can, Rustin helps out other not-for-profits in the community.

These are only some of the stories that you will soon hear more about. These are the stories which you should be proud of. Your support of the center enabled Suzan Kessel and Sally Denney’s dream to take flight and contribute to the community in a manner few had dreamed possible.

We can hold our heads high when we talk about our Center, and I also know there’s always more work to be done. I have numerous plans I have shared with the board. If you love the center as we do, I invite you to apply for a board position by emailing me at MarkHCohen@gmail.com. In fact, feel free to email me at any time about the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center.

I feel as if I’ve been training for this all my life. I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I will. I look forward to working with Rustin, with the staff, and with you to revitalize the gem of Fairfield, the center of our community – your Fairfield Arts & Convention Center!


– Mark Cohen is the board chairman of the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center.

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