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Detroit Institute of Arts names Lane Coleman new Board Chair, first African-American board chair to lead a major US museum.

The Board of Directors of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) have voted unanimously to elect Detroit business leader Lane Coleman as the institution’s next Board Chair. Coleman will assume the position effective Jan. 1st, 2024, following a five-month transition period with Gene Gargaro, who announced his retirement as DIA board chair in May 2023

Coleman is the founder, president and chief executive officer of Strike Group LLC, a sustainment logistics and material supply-sourcing venture. An avid supporter of the arts, Coleman is a board member of the Detroit Institute of Arts and serves on the DIA’s Executive Committee, as well as the Finance and Audit Committee. He and his wife Leigh are also passionate collectors of African American art.

The search for a successor to Gargaro was conducted by the board’s Governance and Nominating Committee, guided by Committee Chair Bonnie Larson. The committee identified and vetted several candidates for the position, incorporating input and feedback from board members, as well as DIA leadership.

A chairperson for the museum’s board of directors is elected every three years and may serve up to three 3-year terms, according to the DIA’s current bylaws.

Over the past year, the committee led efforts to survey DIA board members, gathering input on important attributes for the museum’s next board chair. Nearly 80 percent of board members and half of emeritus members responded to the survey, highlighting proven leadership skills, experience with the DIA, and experience with collaborative team building and fundraising as among the most crucial qualities for the candidate to possess.

The Committee took all board member input into consideration, and it was clear from that feedback that the ideal candidate should hold a strong record of service to the DIA and the community,

Larson said.

Given the DIA’s long history in Detroit and the museum’s needs in the future, Lane’s background and qualifications make him the best fit for this position.

Committee members unanimously agreed that Coleman’s service to community and to the museum, connections in the Detroit business and philanthropic sectors, and proven business acumen made him the strongest candidate for the position. In addition, Coleman has a passion for the arts and commitment to advancing education — two pillars of the DIA’s mission.

A native Chicagoan, Coleman and his family reside in Detroit, where he serves on numerous local and regional boards, including the City of Detroit Water Commission, Henry Ford Hospital Health Network, and the Detroit Regional Chamber.

I am honored that the board of directors has entrusted me with the duty of leading the board for the next three years,

The DIA is a pillar of the Metro Detroit community and a gem appreciated by art-lovers around the world. As board chair, I look forward to advancing the museum’s mission and ensuring its longevity for generations to come.

Lane Coleman

Coleman will undergo a transition period over the next five months with outgoing board chair Gene Gargaro, who has agreed to help assist him until he assumes the position on Jan. 1, 2024.

Gargaro has headed the DIA’s board of directors for more than 20 years.

It has been an honor to guide our great museum on its mission and strategy for the past 20 years. The DIA’s future is bright, and Lane will bring the necessary leadership, business expertise and a deep appreciation of the arts to the DIA.

Gene Gargaro

About the Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), which is considered one of the premier art museums in the United States, houses more than 60,000 works of art that offer a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times to the 21st century. With a collection that features everything from the first Van Gogh painting to ever enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887) to Diego Rivera’s famous Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA is renowned for its quality, range, and depth.

The DIA has a clear mission: to provide every visitor with an opportunity to find personal meaning in art. Whether you’re an art expert or simply someone who appreciates beauty, the DIA wants you to connect with their collection in a meaningful way. You can find out more about this exceptional museum and its amazing collection by visiting their website at www.DIA.org.



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