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March 31, 2014

Great Lakes Theater Names New Director of Development

Don Bernardo joins the company’s six-member management team.
CLEVELAND, OH – Great Lakes Theater (GLT), Cleveland’s professional classic theater company, announced the appointment of Don Bernardo as the company’s new director of development today. As the head of GLT’s development department, Bernardo will oversee all individual, corporate and foundation fundraising efforts for the organization. Approximately $2M of the company’s $3.7M annual operating budget is generated from contributed income sources each season.
"Live theatre has been a passion of mine since I was very young,” said Bernardo regarding his recent appointment. “I am thrilled to join Great Lakes Theater's management team, and to have an opportunity to work with our dedicated board of trustees and many funders in support of one of northeast Ohio's cultural treasures." 
With more than twenty-five years of development and non-profit leadership experience, Bernardo arrives at GLT after overseeing foundation relations and annual giving efforts for the Achievement Centers for Children. He has managed united arts fundraising efforts in Binghamton, NY and Erie, PA, and served as managing director of Lyric Opera Cleveland for four seasons. Don has been a grants review panelist for state arts councils in NY, PA and OH, and has lectured in arts management at the University of Akron and Mercyhurst College. While living in Erie, PA, Don served on the board of The Warner Theatre Preservation Trust, a non-profit organization which raised $20M for the restoration of a 2,200-seat art deco movie and vaudeville house from the 1930's, now home to the Erie Philharmonic and a variety of live performances. A Cleveland-area resident since 2000, Don is a past board member of Dobama Theatre in Cleveland Heights, and has drafted capital fundraising plans for Dobama and the Chagrin Valley Little Theatre in Chagrin Falls. He is also active in the northeast Ohio’s community theater scene as a director and performer. Bernardo has a BA in Drama from the University of Toronto and an MBA in Arts Management from the State University of New York at Binghamton. Don lives with his wife Kate and their twin sons Lucas and Victor in Chagrin Falls.
“Don is an extraordinary addition to our team,” said Bob Taylor, Great Lakes Theater’s executive director. “I am confident that his significant experience and passionate advocacy will contribute in substantial ways to the overall growth of our theater company. We’re thrilled to welcome him to the GLT family.”

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