The New Year marks TRG’s 20th year as a consulting firm, and with it, the retirement of Joanne Steller, a founding member of the TRG Arts consulting team. Joanne will continue an association with TRG as Executive Emeritus. In this new role, Joanne will consult with TRG’s leadership on client relationship management, building on foundational practices she helped institute to acquaint arts organizations’ leaders with the best practice results TRG clients have achieved through the firm’s services.
During the final year of her 15-year tenure with TRG, Joanne helped originate a new department of Client Development, aimed at introducing and onboarding new clients to TRG’s services. Leadership of the new department will be assumed by TRG’s current Director of Consulting, Lindsay Homer Anderson under the direction of Jill Robinson, President and CEO. Rounding out the team are Director of Client Development David Seals, Director of Strategic Communications Amelia Northrup-Simpson, and Client Development Manager Linda Missling.
“Since its founding, TRG has been built on the gifts of extraordinary people,” President & CEO Jill Robinson said. “Joanne Steller is lead among them. Her sharp, strategic thinking, dedication to the field and to TRG helped build this company into the consulting firm it is today. She will be missed, but we’re thrilled to continue working with her as our first-ever Executive Emeritus. And to have Lindsay Anderson build on Joanne’s work—it’s like a dream come true! Lindsay worked closely with Rick and me, first as a client, then in her role as a Senior Consultant, then as Director of Consulting, making better all that we did. She’s perfectly experienced for this role—I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Since joining TRG in 2000, Joanne Steller has served scores of arts and culture clients as senior consultant. She also was a member of the TRG management team, led the firm’s consulting group, and created and managed TRG’s department of Strategic Communications. With TRG’s founder, the late Rick Lester, she began and was editor-in-chief of the firm’s blog, Analysis from TRG Arts. She and team associates have led the development and communication of insights, case studies, and conference presentations based on TRG’s client experience and ongoing study of arts consumer behavior.
Joanne began her career in 1970 as a newspaper, radio and TV journalist. She subsequently worked in public relations in Boston and Washington, DC where she directed special events and press for a leading local department store chain. During the store’s first Radiothon, a benefit for the National Symphony Orchestra, she met the NSO’s then-executive director, Henry Fogel. That led to her appointment in 1983 as the NSO’s marketing director and her first meeting at a symphony league conference with a fellow orchestra marketer, Rick Lester.
After the NSO affiliated with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Joanne directed advertising and then marketing for the Center. Her work began with promotion of the pre-Broadway run of Les Miserables, and continued for nearly two decades with annual subscription series in ballet, dance, theatre, music and performances for young people, numerous international festivals, celebration of the Center’s 25th Anniversary, and the opening of the Kennedy Center’s free performances every day on the Millennium Stage.
In retirement, Joanne is looking forward to spending more time in the arts audiences she has helped build while enjoying her passion for yoga, cooking, gardening, and her grandchild(ren).