Rebecca Ruben Smith, Managing Director, is a management generalist who brings a broad perspective to all search activities. She has been conducting senior level search assignments in nonprofit management, arts and entertainment, marketing, communications and consumer businesses since 1985.
Prior to entering the search business, Ms. Smith’s professional experience includes teaching, higher education, arts administration, and recruitment and training in cultural diversity. A former high school music teacher who also served as conductor of the Chicago Children’s Choir, Ms. Smith founded and served as Co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Arts Education program, housed at Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois. The program, now in its 30th year, explores the relationships between the arts and focuses on the creative process.
Ms. Smith also taught at Roosevelt University and served as Executive Director for the Hyde Park Teachers’ Center. Upon moving to Cleveland, Ohio from Chicago in 1980, she served as Education Director for The Cleveland Orchestra for five years. Her management experience coupled with proven creative leadership in education and arts management has made her a respected consultant in marketing, program development, fund development, and curriculum design.
Clients of Ms. Smith run the gamut of arts and cultural institutions, from art museums, orchestras, festivals, botanical gardens, and colleges and universities to performing arts centers. Regular clients include The San Diego Symphony, the Ojai Music Festival, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Newark Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Botanical Garden, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the Buffalo Philharmonic, among others. She has extensive experience recruiting at all levels in the disciplines of development, marketing, operations, finance, and senior administration. In her role as executive search consultant she has worked with key leadership and brought to consensus search committees whose members represent trustees, donors, patrons, artists, faculty and community leaders.
Ms. Smith serves on numerous Boards and volunteer committees. Board assignments have included the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, the Cleveland School of the Arts, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. She has chaired several panels for the Ohio Arts Council including the Multi-Arts Panel and Ethnic Arts Panel.
Rebecca Smith earned a B.M. and an M.M. from Chicago Musical College, and a Master of Philosophy in Teaching Humanities at Roosevelt University. She was named EPDA Fellow in 1971. Her interests include the visual and performing arts, knitting, and travel.