Sarah Sisser to be Executive Director & CEO of CreativeOhio
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The CreativeOhio (CO) Board of Directors announces Sarah Sisser as the organization’s new Executive Director and CEO following a national search. Sisser brings ten-plus years of experience as a nonprofit administrator, community planner, and advocate for funding of public humanities and cultural institutions at the local, state, and federal levels. The CO board vote to hire Sisser was unanimous.
The CO Search Committee unanimously selected and recommended Sisser to the board given the alignment of her leadership skills, organizational experiences, and advocacy successes with both the job requirements and CO’s strategic priorities.
“We are delighted Sarah will take the leadership helm of CreativeOhio and apply her many talents and expertise to our work,” says Elizabeth Brown-Ellis, President of the CO board, “She is uniquely qualified to execute our strategic plan, build organizational capacity, leverage our rebranding efforts to expand our membership, and create and sustain our local, regional, and national alliances and networks, all of which are needed to advance CO’s advocacy work on behalf of Ohio’s creative sector.”
Proven results in arts advocacy
Sisser joins CreativeOhio from the Hancock Historical Museum, a non-profit history museum serving Findlay and Hancock County, where she has served as Executive Director since 2013. During her tenure, she raised and stewarded $1.2 million in special capital projects; managed $3 million in annual operating and endowment budgets; implemented programmatic, fundraising, and marketing changes resulting in exponential growth in attendance and revenue; and cultivated collaborative relationships at the state and local level.
“I am honored to help lead this next chapter of organizational development for CreativeOhio, ensuring we provide the necessary support and leadership in advocacy to our community partners driving the creative sector in our state,” says Sisser, “Our creative industries collectively represent tremendous economic impact, while advancing quality of life for Ohio’s citizens.”
“Ohio’s creative sector has been uniquely challenged in recent years but has never been presented with greater opportunities than it is today,” Sisser states, “The state’s creative industries must continue to have a seat at the table with policymakers as we plan for Ohio’s economic, workforce and community growth and development.”
Deep leadership experience
Sisser’s leadership experiences also include serving on the board of Ohio Humanities (the state-based partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities) which she chairs. “Sarah has led Ohio Humanities through transformational change, including granting over $3M in state and Federal COVID relief funds to 250 organizations across Ohio, developing and implementing a new strategic plan, and creating a new organizational brand identity,” says Rebecca Brown Asmo, Executive Director of Ohio Humanities. “I’m excited to see the new and creative ideas she will bring to the table to support the rich cultural component of Ohio’s creative sector in communities throughout Ohio.”
In addition to Ohio Humanities, Sisser’s community leadership has included serving on the Hancock County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction, & Mental Health Services, the Findlay-Hancock County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and serving as President of the Findlay Rotary Club.
Personal and organizational recognition for Sisser’s work and accomplishments include the Scenic Ohio Award, Ohio Museums Association Emerging Professional of the Year, Greater Toledo 20 Under 40 Award, Ohio State Historic Preservation Office’s Public Education and Awareness Award, and the Findlay-Hancock County Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Hospitality Award.
Sisser earned a bachelor’s degree of Fine Arts in Historic Preservation at the Savannah College of Art & Design, and a Master of Community Planning degree from the College of Architecture, Design and Construction at Auburn University.