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Municipal Art Society Names New President

vin-cipolla-largeThe Municipal Art Society recently named Vin Cipolla, a nationally recognized leader in the preservation, arts and business communities, as the new President of the organization. Mr. Cipolla will assume his position with MAS in January 2009. He is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Park Foundation and was formerly Executive Vice President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the country’s largest historic preservation organization. Mr. Cipolla will succeed Kent Barwick, current president of MAS.

“We are excited to welcome Mr. Cipolla to lead MAS as it enters a new period of growth and influence in New York City,” said MAS Chairman Philip Howard. “His outstanding expertise in both the private and public sectors will be critical to our efforts to promote good development while preserving the city’s character.”

Mr. Cipolla, who assumed leadership of the National Park Foundation in 2005, is credited with strengthening the Foundation’s operations and re-focusing its grants activity, including launching First Bloom, an urban youth program introduced by the Foundation’s Honorary Chair, Mrs. Laura Bush, in 2007. First Bloom kicked off its first New York City project in partnership with the Battery Conservancy, the Lower Eastside Girls Club, the New York Boys Club, and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildlflower Center this May.

Under Mr. Cipolla’s leadership, the Foundation also held the first-ever national symposium on national park philanthropy, which garnered wide attention. The National Park Foundation was founded by Laurence Rockefeller and Lady Bird Johnson, and was chartered by Congress in 1967 as the official national charity of the National Park Service. For nine years prior to that, Mr. Cipolla served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, overseeing the development of the institution’s new waterfront museum.

During his career, Mr. Cipolla has served on 14 non-profit boards, and has been the CEO of six companies, including successful start-ups where he raised millions in venture capital for new media, software, technology and marketing businesses. In New York, he serves as an officer on the Boards of Directors of the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy, and Ballet Hispanico.

“I’m honored to join the Municipal Art Society as it continues its role in the life of New York City,” said Mr. Cipolla. “The organization has guided growth in New York for more than a century and now faces an opportunity to offer direction and vision as the city responds to an expanding population and an increasingly important role as a model for urban success.”

Mr. Cipolla will succeed Kent Barwick, current president of MAS. In 2007 Mr. Barwick announced his intention to step down at the end of 2008. After a one-year sabbatical, he will return to MAS as President Emeritus.

“I have witnessed Vin Cipolla in action for many years and he brings enormous energy and creativity to everything he does,” said Mr. Barwick. “His tremendous record of accomplishment in the private and non-profit worlds is exactly what MAS needs as it takes on a larger role in the city.”

Mr. Barwick, a leading authority on planning and preservation, has had a long association with MAS, working with the organization three times. He served as Executive Director from 1969 to 1975, as President from 1983 to 1995, and returned as President from 1999 until the present. Mr. Barwick also was President of the New York State Historical Association, Chairman of New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, and Director of the New York State Council on the Arts.