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Vice President for Strategic Communications and Engagement Interlochen, MI

Interlochen Center for the Arts has named Katharine Laidlaw as its vice president for strategic communications and engagement, effective May 2018. In this role, Ms. Laidlaw will be responsible for the strategic development and oversight of branding, marketing and content, advertising, customer insight and research, public relations, crisis communications, stakeholder communications and engagement, and customer service.

Ms. Laidlaw currently serves as the chief marketing officer at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). At UNCSA, she oversees marketing, communications, public relations, and brand management for the university. She has driven a comprehensive rebranding of UNCSA including creative direction, visual identity, messaging, and strategy. She is responsible for UNCSA's multi-faceted, award-winning advertising campaign, spanning digital and print buys for recruitment, institutional, and performance promotion for over 300 events a year. During her tenure, each of the five arts schools have been consistently ranked in “Top Ten” features in industry-leading publications such as The Hollywood Reporter, The Wrap, and Backstage. Ms. Laidlaw previously served as UNCSA’s first executive producer, with production credits that include producer/ general manager and marketing director of The Nutcracker, which nearly doubled its gross revenue during her tenure, and provides over $300,000 in annual scholarship and instructional support. She received an Emmy Award for the filmed production of Much Ado About Nothing, which was broadcast on UNC-TV and won Best Arts Program in the Midsouth Division in 2013. She also produced two of the most successful gala fundraisers in the school’s history.

Before joining UNCSA, Ms. Laidlaw was a commercial producer for Waxman Williams Entertainment and Fox Theatricals, serving eight Tony nominated productions and the Broadway premiere of a Pulitzer prize-winning play, in addition to several West End, Off-Broadway, regional productions and developmental workshops. She also has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, a member of the Corporate Cabinet for the Forsyth County United Way Campaign, and as a marketing consultant and developer of corporate sponsorships for Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. Her brand marketing experience includes positions with The Coca-Cola Company and Hanesbrands, Inc.

Ms. Laidlaw received her bachelor’s degree in English from Davidson College and a master’s of business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jack Gorman led this search with Elizabeth Neustaedter, Sarah Hecklau, and Michael Mozzicato.

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