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Cathey McClain Finlon Named President of Denver Art Museum
Cathey McClain Finlon has been appointed museum president.
DENVER, CO.- In his first major administrative move, incoming museum director Christoph Heinrich announced today the appointment of Cathey McClain Finlon as museum president, effective January 1, 2010. Reporting to Heinrich, Finlon will oversee the Museum’s business operations including finance, development, marketing and human resources, while Heinrich will maintain direct oversight of the curatorial and programmatic functions. Finlon was named Interim President by board Chairman Frederic C. Hamilton in April 2009 with the charge of developing a strategic leadership transition process.

“We are fortunate to have in Cathey an experienced leader with a mind for business and a passion for art,” said Heinrich. “Her expertise and knowledge of the community will be an incredible asset in managing the expanded museum complex.”

Finlon, most widely known in Colorado as a business and non-profit leader, has a substantial history with the Denver Art Museum. As a member of the museum’s Board of Trustees from 1994 through 2009, Finlon worked closely with the board and museum leadership to establish the vision for and realize the new Frederic C. Hamilton Building. Finlon also acted as the museum’s first development director prior to her career with McClain Finlon Advertising.

“Cathey did a superb job guiding the Museum through the process of finding a new director, and I’m thrilled that she has agreed to move into a permanent position,” said Frederic Hamilton, the museum’s board chairman. “As a board member, Cathey was a source of great insight and energy and I look forward to working with her in this new role.”

The addition of Finlon heightens the museum’s ongoing commitment to prudent fiscal management and efficient operation, but also enables Heinrich to commit time and energy to program development including collections and exhibitions.

“With the explosive growth in the collection and physical complex in the last ten years, I believe adding the role of president enables the institution to move forward in the most positive way, with simultaneous emphasis on the growing operation and program,” said Heinrich.

“I am passionate about working on big things and the Denver Art Museum is doing big things for arts and culture,” said Finlon. “The chance to help build on Lewis Sharp’s legacy and be a part of the future with Christoph Heinrich is an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

As owner and CEO of McClain Finlon Advertising, Finlon ran one of the top 50 agencies in the country and one of the few woman-owned advertising agencies in the United States. She built the business from a small, 5-person shop into a team of more than 200. In its 26 years as a leading agency, McClain Finlon won numerous industry awards and served prestigious clients, including Dell, Sun Microsystems, Qwest Communications and top Colorado resorts. In addition to building her own successful company, she spent ten years in development with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences and the Denver Art Museum.

Finlon’s commitment to community is as evident in her personal as her professional life. She serves on many leadership boards in Denver, including the Denver Public Schools Foundation and The Children’s Hospital, where she is the incoming chairperson. She also has served in the past as chair of the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, the Alliance for Contemporary Art and Junior Achievement, and on the board of the Colorado Outward Bound School and the National Repertory Orchestra.

In 2009, Finlon was inducted into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame and also received the prestigious Leader Award from the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts.

Denver Art Museum | Cathey McClain Finlon | Christoph Heinrich |

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