M. John Richard

CATEGORY: Entrepreneurs
COMPANY: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

WHAT MAKES HIM HAUTE: The Adrienne Arsht Center’s first year and a half out of the gate were marred by budget shortfalls, empty seats, and negative public perception. Now, only two years later, the Center’s early stumbles seem like a distant memory as patrons pack the seats in record numbers, budget deficits become surpluses, and its programs earn critical acclaim week after week. By all accounts, the Adrienne Arsht Center has completed a 180-degree turnaround. Perhaps more so than any other factor, the Arsht Center’s success has been a product of its leadership. When Richard became CEO in October 2008, he immediately set a tone that the nonprofit organization would be run like a first-rate business, beginning with its management team. A series of bold moves, including the decision to pay off the Center’s remaining bank debt seven years early and a ramped-up commitment to hosting community and educational programs for children and families (despite a poor economy) have all been driven by Richard.

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