New leadership on Board

Barry H. Ostrowsky and Steven M. Goldman named NJPAC Board Co-Chairs.


RWJBarnabas Health President and CEO Barry H. Ostrowsky and Steven M. Goldman, Esq., a senior partner in the Corporate Department at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, have been elected co-chairs of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center Board of Directors, succeeding John R. Strangfeld, retired chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc.

The co-chairmanship, effective July 1, brings together the leader of New Jersey’s largest, most comprehensive integrated health care delivery system, and one of the nation’s finest legal minds, to ensure a sound and smooth volunteer leadership transition of the state’s anchor cultural institution. NJPAC, opened in 1997, is the country’s most diverse performing arts center in terms of programming, audience and staff.

“From the time of its first imagining by Gov. Tom Kean and Ray Chambers, the Arts  Center has been blessed with extraordinary volunteer leaders. Their business expertise and civic activism have positively informed the exponential growth of NJPAC’s work and mission over a generation,” said NJPAC President and CEO John Schreiber. “I extend great gratitude to John Strangfeld for his service during the transformation of our business model over the last five seasons, and I look forward to partnering with Barry and Steve, who put wisdom and heart into everything they do.”  

Many of New Jersey’s most prominent corporate executives, public administrators and cultural leaders comprise the Arts Center’s Board of Directors.

Elected to the NJPAC board in 2017 and a current member of its Executive Committee, Barry H. Ostrowsky has championed a strong partnership between RWJBarnabas Health and the Arts Center for promoting wellness in the community.

“I’m incredibly impressed with NJPAC’s commitment and mission,” Mr. Ostrowsky said. “I think NJPAC’s greatest gift is its willingness to invest in the lives of the people who reside in the community, and it does so in a culturally competent way. Its program is led – and has been led – by people who are genuinely devoted to elevating lives.”

Mr. Ostrowsky cited arts education as a unique ingredient provided by NJPAC to engage students, families and educators.

“I think arts education discretely is terrific, but it has great enhancing powers when it is incorporated in general education,” he said. “NJPAC’s effective work in enhancing and transforming lives through arts learning is second to none.

“NJPAC’s mission and the mission of the organization that I oversee are not only very much complementary, but to a great extent overlap, obviously from a slightly different perspective,” Mr. Ostrowsky concluded. “I look forward to working with outstanding partners, Steve and John, to improve our community.”

Steven M. Goldman was an early advocate for the creation of the Arts Center, beginning about a decade before its opening in 1997. His nine-year tenure on the board includes chairmanships of the Operations and Finance Committee and of the Board of Managers of Theater Square Development Co., the subsidiary for NJPAC’s real estate projects. He also serves as assistant treasurer of the NJPAC board.

He identified some of the priorities on leadership’s agenda as: the growth and enhancement of arts education programs; the continued advancement of NJPAC’s five-year, $175 million capital campaign, and other redevelopment opportunities, building on the success of last year’s completion of the One Theater Square luxury residential tower on NJPAC’s campus. 

“In particular, I think a lot of the initiatives in arts education are very important. We can continue to expand the availability of these programs not only in Newark but around the state as we continue to develop the campus,” Mr. Goldman said, referencing a $20 million gift to NJPAC from the Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation for construction of an arts education and community center. “The center is going to be a great place for everyone in the city because it will have so many avenues of outreach in every age bracket.

“I’m really pleased that Barry Ostrowsky is going to be co-chair with me and I’m looking forward to working with him, John Schreiber and the rest of the management team to make certain that the Arts Center continues to be a national leader for cultural literacy.”     

Last year John Strangfeld announced his retirement from Prudential Financial, capping a four-decade career. Charles Lowrey, formerly executive vice president and COO of International Businesses of Prudential, succeeded Mr. Strangfeld as Prudential’s chief executive and will assume his role as a member of NJPAC’s board and Executive Committee.

Mr. Strangfeld joined the NJPAC Board of Directors in 2009. He and William J. Marino, retired chairman and CEO of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, were named co-chairs in 2013; Mr. Strangfeld was elected board chair two years later.

“I’m very confident about the continuity of quality leadership promised by the forward-thinking team of Steve Goldman, who has a long internal history with NJPAC, and Barry Ostrowsky, who’s a prominent and socially conscious member of the business community,” said Mr. Strangfeld. “The combination of these two individuals bodes exceedingly well for NJPAC’s future. I think the best is yet to come.”

June 26, 2019