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Cultural Alliance Elects Opera Co’s David Devan as Chair. Welcomes 10 New Board Members

Philadelphia, October 10, 2012 -- The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is pleased to announce the election of its new Board Chair, Mr. David B. Devan, General Director of the Opera Company of Philadelphia. 

“We are honored to have David as our new Chair. He played a key role in the development of the Cultural Alliance’s new strategic direction and is emblematic of the new face of cultural leadership.” explained Tom Kaiden, President of the Cultural Alliance.  "As the head of the Opera Company, David has garnered global attention for Philadelphia through innovative audience engagement practices that have made opera available and accessible to everyone in the region.”

Mr. Devan has been the General Director of the Opera Company since 2011. He joined the company as its Managing Director in 2006, and was promoted to Executive Director in 2009.  Previously, he was Executive Director of Canada’s Pacific Opera Victoria and Director of Marketing and Development for Opera Ontario. Earlier accomplishments include four years as Director of Marketing and Development for Opera Ontario, Performing Arts Marketing Head for the Harbourfront Centre and Marketing Director for the Canadian Opera Company.

He has served as a member of the Board of Directors for Opera America and Opera CA (Canada), the national associations for opera companies, and held leadership positions with the Pro Art Alliance of Greater Victoria and Arts Action BC, two groups focused on advocacy and government funding for the arts.  A native of Canada, Mr. Devan attended Brock University in Ontario and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business Executive Program.

“I am honored to give back to the Cultural Alliance which gives so much to this community,” explained Mr. Devan, “Philadelphia is experiencing a cultural Renaissance and is now recognized as a truly world-class cultural destination. The leadership and advocacy of the Cultural Alliance is at the core of that success.”

Other newly elected officers include Vice Chairs Valerie Gay, Executive Director of Art Sanctuary, and Sean T. Buffington, President and CEO of The University of the Arts. [Photo files attached below]

The Cultural Alliance also welcomes ten new members to its Board of Directors:

  • Drew Becker, President of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
  • Catherine M. Cahill, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts
  • Danielle Cohn, Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Gregory Corbin, Founder/Executive Director of the Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement
  • Katherine L. Hanrahan, Coach with the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation
  • Virginia Logan, Executive Director of the Brandywine Conservancy
  • Sharmain Matlock-Turner, President and CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition
  • Elizabeth Murphy, Vice President of External Affairs at PECO\
  • Natalye Paquin, Esq., Chief Executive Officer of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania
  • Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia 

Full Board List:


David B. Devan, Chair; General Director & President, Opera Company of Philadelphia
Sean T. Buffington, Vice Chair; President and CEO, The University of the Arts
Valerie Gay, Vice Chair; Executive Director, Art Sanctuary
Patricia Washington, Vice Chair, Vice President of Cultural Tourism, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation
Michael Scolamiero, Treasurer; Executive Director, Pennsylvania Ballet Association
Virginia P. Sikes, Esq., Secretary; Partner, Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads


Drew Becher, President, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Romona Riscoe Benson, President and CEO, The African American Museum in Philadelphia
Ingrid E. Bogel, Executive Director, Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts
The Honorable Blondell Reynolds Brown, Ex-Officio; Councilwoman At-Large, Philadelphia City Council
Laura Burnham, Executive Director, Abington Art Center
Catherine M. Cahill, President & Chief Executive Officer, Mann Center for the Performing Arts
Verónica Castillo-Pérez, Executive Director, Raíces Culturales, Latinoamericanas, Inc.
Danielle Cohn, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
Gregory Corbin, Founder/Executive Director, Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement
Kevin Dow, Chief Operating Officer, Commerce Department, City of Philadelphia
The Honorable Dwight Evans, Ex-Officio; Member, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Eric Fraint, President, Your Part-Time Controller
Katherine L. Hanrahan, Coach, Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation
Gail Harrity, President and Chief Operating Officer, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Steve Highsmith, Director of Community Relations, PHL17
Peter Intermaggio, Senior Vice President for Marketing Communications, Comcast Cable
The Honorable James F. Kenney, Ex-Officio, Councilman At-Large, Philadelphia City Council
Glen Knapp, Executive Producing Director, Philadelphia Young Playwrights
Kelly Lee, Associate Principal - Community and Project Finance, Seslia & Company
Virginia Logan, Executive Director, Brandywine Conservancy
Sharmain Matlock-Turner, President and CEO, Urban Affairs Coalition
Leslie Anne Miller, Esq., Principal, Leslie Anne Miller, Esq., LLC
Amy Murphy, Managing Director, Arden Theatre Company
Elizabeth Murphy, Vice President, External Affairs, PECO
Natalye Paquin, Esq., Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania
Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director, Free Library of Philadelphia
Kim Sajet, President and CEO, Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Karen A. Simmons, Fiscal Administrator, Greater Brandywine Cultural Alliance
Gary P. Steuer, Ex-Officio; Chief Cultural Officer, Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, City of Philadelphia
Ed Tettemer
Thomas C. Woodward, Chair Emeritus; Pennsylvania State President and Philadelphia Market President, Bank of America

About the Cultural Alliance
Established in 1972, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is the region’s premier leadership, research and advocacy organization for arts and culture. Our mission is to, “lead, strengthen and give voice to a diverse cultural sector that is making Philadelphia a world-class region to live, work and play.”

The Alliance played a key advocacy role in establishing the Philadelphia Cultural Fund; helped preserve Philadelphia’s Percent for Art programs; was a catalyst in re-establishing Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy; and led the successful statewide battle in 2009 to defeat the proposed “arts tax,” as well as a proposed 70% cut to the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in 2011.

Today, 411 member organizations — which range from museums and dance companies to community art centers, historic sites, music ensembles, and zoos — and the region’s cultural community as a whole — count on the Alliance for research; marketing and audience development; policy and community engagement; and membership services. for more information on the cultural alliance please visit