New Executive Director Set to Lead the Clemens Center

October 19, 2015

(Elmira, NY) The Board of Trustees of the Clemens Center today announced that it has hired a new Executive Director to lead the area’s premier performing arts center. Surrounded by area media, regional arts professionals and Center Trustees, Board President Michael J. Wayne introduced Karen Cromer as the fourth Executive Director in the nearly forty year history of the Center.

“We are very excited to have Karen leading the Clemens Center team,” said Wayne, “her hiring comes as the result of a nationwide search and the Trustees are confident that she has the right experience, energy and leadership qualities to guide us to the half century mark and beyond.”

Mrs. Cromer, who started work in Elmira on Monday, comes to the Clemens Center from Butler University, where she most recently served as Director of Operations for Clowes Memorial Hall – a 2,200-seat, professional performing arts center on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“The board was impressed with the depth of Karen’s experience, during the nearly fifteen years she has been in the performing arts business,” Wayne said. “She’s a methodical planner, an experienced negotiator, her business acumen is extensive and her personnel leadership skills are exceptional,” Wayne said.

“It is with great pleasure that I accepted the position of Executive Director of the Clemens Center,” Mrs. Cromer said. “Prior to my starting this week, I have visited the community twice and was welcomed with open arms by the Center Trustees and the staff,” she added. “I look forward to working closely with the Clemens Center staff and the community to continue the great work that already exists, while bringing some new and different programming options in hopes of attracting even more theatergoers to our fabulous facility.

According to Wayne, the Center’s Trustees recently completed a new strategic plan, concurrent with the start of the search process. “The past success of the Clemens Center positions us well to create a future that will include an emphasis on audience engagement, continued support of our premiere facility, enhancing the financial strength of the Center’s operations and our endowment funds and managing our personnel needs to optimize the operation,” Wayne said. “The Trustees, with the assistance of many individuals and business leaders throughout the community, spent a great deal of time planning for the future; we are very excited to have Karen on board to lead the effort going forward,” he added.

“The Board is grateful to Tom Weidemann for leading us through the planning process to help ensure our future success,” Wayne said. Weidemann announced his retirement this past January and retired in September after 32 years of leading the Center.

A native of Indiana, Cromer is a graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington, earning a B.A. in Telecommunications, with an emphasis on Advertising and Broadcast Writing. She is married and her husband will be relocating to Chemung County, upon the sale of their home in Indiana. Mrs. Cromer has one adult child, who lives in California and works at UCLA.

Mrs. Cromer starts her tenure just as the Clemens Center’s 2015/16 Broadway series is set to begin its run in Powers’ Theater. Next week (October 20th & 21st) “The Producers” opens, the first show in the Center’s annual musical series. Tickets for the entire series, or single show tickets are available through the Center’s box office (607-734-8191) or through its website:


*Taken from the Clemens Center Website:*