ashland.news
July 21, 2024

OSF announces appointment of interim executive director

Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Oregon Shakespeare Festival sign. Graham Lewis photo
June 1, 2023

Former Adobe executive, Ashland resident Tyler Hokama to lead business and financial operations effective immediately

Ashland.news staff report

A former top Silicon Valley executive who retired to Ashland in 2016 will take up the reins at Oregon Shakespeare Festival on an interim basis effective immediately, the company announced today, June 1.

Tyler Hokama takes over from an OSF board committee, which itself succeeded interim Executive Director Nataki Garrett, who added those responsibilities on top of her artistic director role with the departure of prior Executive Director David Schmitz on Jan. 11. Garrett’s resignation, announced May 2, was effective Wednesday, May 31.

Tyler Hokama

“Tyler brings to OSF exceptional leadership skills, finance expertise, business acumen, and turnaround experience in complex organizations,” says OSF Board Chair Diane Yu. “He has been active in the Ashland community, including serving on two regional theater company boards and advising local businesses for years. He will help us in numerous ways — to revamp our finance operations; develop a more sustainable business model; foster relationships with local businesses, audiences, and donors; and strengthen our fragile infrastructure.”

Hokama was senior director, chief of staff for technology and corporate development when he left Adobe in 2016 after nearly 10 years with the software colossus headquartered in San Jose, California. Prior that he was director for corporate development for mergers and acquisition integration, after serving as director of business operations.

That followed eight years with Hewlett-Packard as a director in customer operations, and shorter stints with Bank of America and T. Rowe Price.

Hokama earned a bachelor’s degree at Pomona College and master’s at Duke University.

He currently serves as a board member with Camelot Theatre and Rogue Theater Company. He was also a consultant and business advisor with the Southern Oregon University Small Business Development Center for more than two years.

“I’m a lifelong theater lover. In 2016, my wife and I decided to make the move and retire in Ashland, and we’ve now been coming to OSF for 19 seasons,” Hokama said in a statement released by OSF. “I’m committed to OSF because it deserves to thrive. The organization has some of the most talented and dedicated people that I know. However, OSF has grown up to be one of the largest regional theaters in the country without bringing along systems and processes to support it. We need to stabilize that so we can support our fundamental operations, as all businesses our size should. The other challenge is that we need to improve the business model so that it is viable for the long-term.”

Hokama’s appointment comes at a critical time for fundraising at OSF, the company said in the announcement. In April, a fundraising campaign called “The Show Must Go On: Save Our Season, Save OSF” launched with the goal of reaching $2.5 million to complete the 2023 season. Shortly after announcing the campaign, the Tykeson Family Foundation offered to match up to $500,000 in donations — an amount raised in only eight days following the match announcement, the release said. Thanks to the success of the campaign, the largely grassroots effort raised over $2.7 million and enabled OSF to kick off its season, with “Rent” and “Romeo and Juliet” playing to packed houses and rave reviews in the Angus Bowmer Theatre. The summer outdoor season launched this week with the return of the fan-favorite Green Show and the start of performances for “Twelfth Night” and “The Three Musketeers” in OSF’s iconic Allen Elizabethan Theatre.

With the first critical phase of the fundraising campaign complete, the company said it is now focusing on reaching its annual fundraising and ticket sales goals by the end of its fiscal year on Oct. 31. This will mean raising an additional $7.3 million, which will allow OSF to complete its season as planned.

Additional fundraising and ticket sales goals for 2024 will be announced following the annual budgeting process later this summer, OSF said.

Email Ashland.news Executive Editor Bert Etling at betling@ashland.news or call or text him at 541-631-1313.

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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