PARKERSBURG - A former Parkersburg resident with experience on stage and with non-profit organizations will take over the top position at Artsbridge.
Mark Lanyon is expected to be announced as the new executive director of Artsbridge, replacing John Hoffman who recently retired, at 4 p.m. today at the Blennerhassett Hotel. Lee Rector, president of the Artsbridge Board, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Lanyon, 44, is a 1986 graduate of Parkersburg High School. He attended the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and studied musical theater.
He also attended California State University where he is completing a degree in bio-medical engineering. He has performed on Broadway with parts in "Grease" and "Babes in Arms," was in a national touring production of "Grease" and has been in various performances in regional theater.
He spent the last several years working for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Los Angeles as the program director in its medical division doing outreach work. He created and directed the Early Intervention Program, identifying and helping newly diagnosed individuals access healthcare services.
He also devised a way to show how services were impacting patients and show the return these programs were having.
It demonstrated how the programs were lowering infection rates, increasing health benefits for the patients and raising revenues for the foundation.
Lanyon was a presenter at the North American Conference on AIDS in Chicago last year because of the success of the program.
Lanyon wants to bring what he has learned in California to Parkersburg.
"About four to five months ago I decided it was time to return home," he said. "I wanted to take the lessons I learned and bring that experience back here."
The Artsbridge board of directors has many important ideas that will need to be implemented, he said.
"One of my goals is to set those wheels in motion," he said.
Artsbridge is a cultural development organization for Wood and Washington counties.
He is planning to step into the position in early January and evaluate what needs to be done.
"Artsbridge has an important mission," Lanyon said. "The purpose of Artsbridge is to improve the quality of life in the Mid-Ohio Valley by promoting and supporting the arts through financial and technical support and arts education in our schools and community."