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Denver taps Ritchie

Incoming CEO inherits a multi-part organization

DENVER — The board of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts has officially appointed Daniel L. Ritchie, 74, to succeed Donald R. Seawell as its chairman and CEO, effective January 2007.

The onetime CEO of Westinghouse Broadcasting, Ritchie has dedicated his retirement from corporate life to prodigious fundraising efforts, most recently as the chancellor at the U. of Denver.

Ritchie paid homage to Seawell, 94, who founded the DCPA in 1972 and has been the org’s leader since then.

Ritchie inherits a multi-part organization: It includes Denver Center Theater Company (winner of the 1998 regional theater Tony); presenting company Denver Center Attractions (one of the top five presenters of Broadway tours in the country); National Theater Conservatory (a three-year graduate acting school); National Center for Voice and Speech (the world’s only voice research lab associated with a performing arts center); 10 performance venues; and classrooms, practice spaces and craft shops.

Following the DCPA board’s announcement, Ritchie emphasized his interest in expanding new play development and collaboration with other performing arts orgs, both locally and nationally.

At a time when the center is seeking to supplement its endowment and expand its programs, Ritchie’s impressive experience as a fundraiser will be well employed. During his 16-year tenure at Denver U, Ritchie spearheaded two campaigns, raising $274 million for general purposes and $430 million for construction. He continues at DU as chairman of the board of trustees and chancellor emeritus.

Ritchie’s involvement with the DCPA began with his 2005 appointment to the board.