Dec 11, 2014 View All News


Bobbie Arbesfeld, a senior staff leader since 1999, to retire as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Warren Tranquada promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; Executive Producer David Rodriguez named Executive Vice President and Executive Producer


Newark, NJ (December 9, 2014) – In the most significant restructuring of executive management at New Jersey Performing Arts Center since his arrival in 2011, NJPAC President and CEO John Schreiber announced a series of appointments to enhance the Arts Center’s status as one of the country’s leading performing arts centers, and a home to diverse programming and excellence in arts education.


Given the planned retirement of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bobbie Arbesfeld (pictured), the forward-thinking changes are being put into action between the completion of a three-year strategic plan and the commencement of a five-year plan which will reassess and articulate NJPAC’s mission and vision. This road map to the future signals an exciting time of growth and innovation for NJPAC.

“The business and the mission of the Arts Center demand an organizational structure that allow us the best chance to achieve our revenue and community service goals as effectively and efficiently as possible,” Schreiber said. “This carefully considered refreshing of senior management roles and responsibilities has been designed to accomplish that.”


Bobbie Arbesfeld, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, announced her retirement effective June 30, 2015. A resident of Gladstone, N.J., Arbesfeld arrived at NJPAC in 1999 as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, was promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2006, and was appointed to her current position in 2008.


“Bobbie has been an indispensable architect of the high standards of professional excellence that have set NJPAC in the top rank of its peer institutions,” Schreiber said. “Bobbie’s management of Finance and IT, Governance, Human Resources, Operations and Real Estate has enabled those divisions to operate thoughtfully, successfully, humanely, and efficiently.”


“It's been a privilege to engage with such supportive and generous leadership and a joy to work with such a creative and diverse team,” Arbesfeld said. 


In her place, two veteran NJPAC executives will share the title of Executive Vice President, effective Jan. 1, 2015. Executive Producer David Rodriguez will become Executive Vice President and Executive Producer. Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Warren Tranquada will be named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. 


NJPAC has retained Janet Albert of Bridge Partners, LLC to launch a nationwide search for a new Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, whose responsibilities will include oversight of the Finance and IT departments. Until the announcement of that appointment, Tranquada’s title will be Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Arbesfeld will then serve as Senior Advisor until her retirement in June.


The Vice President and CFO will report to Tranquada, as will the departments of Operations and Real Estate, Human Resources, Ticket Services and Special Events. Tranquada will continue to shepherd NJPAC’s strategic planning and assist with governance matters.


In his new role, Rodriguez will continue to supervise Programming, Broadcast, Marketing, and Performance Rentals, and will add the Community Engagement and Production departments to his portfolio.


In other senior staff changes, Ross S. Richards, Vice President of Operations and Real Estate, was promoted to Senior Vice President, Operations and Real Estate. Richards joined NJPAC as Production Manager in 1997, just prior to the Arts Center’s opening. He is a graduate of Ithaca College and received his master’s degree in fine arts from the Yale School of Drama. Before arriving at NJPAC, Richards worked at New York City Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, and off-Broadway.

About Bobbie Arbesfeld

Bobbie Arbesfeld became Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at NJPAC in 2008. As Chief Operating Officer, her responsibilities included oversight of NJPAC’s finances, human resources, technology, operations and real estate, rentals and special events, and leadership meetings. NJPAC’s annual operating budget is currently over $39 million.


Beginning in June 1999, Arbesfeld had served as NJPAC’s Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.  She was promoted to Senior Vice President in November 2006.

Prior to joining NJPAC, Arbesfeld was, from 1990-1999, Director of the Finance and Administration Division at the national headquarters of the Anti-Defamation League.

During her career, she has held the positions of Vice Director for Finance at The Brooklyn Museum, audit manager at Lutz and Carr CPAs, and Chief Financial Officer for WNYC Foundation, operator of New York City’s public radio and television stations. She spent five years at Associated Merchandising Corp., first as Director of Financial Planning, then as Controller and Assistant Treasurer. She also worked six years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the finance area.


Arbesfeld graduated magna cum laude from Pace University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. She attended Bennington College in 1968-69. She obtained her CPA license in New York State in 1986.


Arbesfeld has served on the Boards of the Kessler Foundation, the Greater Newark Conservancy and The Elder Craftsmen, Inc. She has been a guest lecturer in graduate and certificate programs at Seton Hall and Rutgers universities. In 2014, she received the Legacies & Legends Award from the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of Essex and West Hudson. She is a member of the Executive Women of New Jersey and received the organization’s Salute to the Policy Makers Award in 2006. Arbesfeld and her husband, Jim Morris, live in Gladstone.


About David Rodriguez

David Rodriguez joined the NJPAC senior management team as Executive Producer in 2012. A New Jersey native, Rodriguez is a nationally regarded producer and presenter of both live and televised events. During his tenure, NJPAC has expanded and diversified its programming, including serving as a home for broadcast for events with NBC, BET, HBO, PBS, NJTV and Comedy Central.


From 1990 to 2011, Rodriguez held the position of Executive Director at organizations including Harlem’s Apollo Theater, Englewood’s BergenPAC and Aaron Davis Hall at CCNY. Additionally, he previously held positions with Carnegie Hall, the Queens Museum, INTAR/Hispanic-American Theater Foundation, Museum of Natural History and Pro Musicis Foundation, Inc.


While at BergenPAC, Rodriguez oversaw more than 170 events each season. Under his leadership, BergenPAC also offered extensive educational outreach initiatives, which engaged over 40,000 young people annually. He initiated a program for national broadcast of live performances. Programs recorded at the venue with the Bennett Studios received six Grammy Awards, 15 Grammy nominations and two Emmy Awards.


In addition to producing over 300 events per year at the Apollo, Rodriguez also built a strong reputation of creating shows for broadcast, including NBC-TV’s Showtime at the Apollo (six seasons), AOL’s Rod Stewart Live at the Apollo, NBC-TV’s Apollo at 80, MTV’s James Brown at 70, Chris Rock with HBO and additional programs with QVC, HBO, Comedy Central, VH-1, and PBS’ Great Performances. In partnership with Time Warner/AOL, Rodriguez co-produced the earliest shows for AOL Live, including events with Eric Clapton, James Brown, Prince and Quincy Jones.


Rodriguez was a founding producer of New York’s Latin International Theater Festival (TeatroStageFest).  He has consulted on the Essence Festival held annually at the New Orleans Superdome, The Montreux Jazz Festival, and co-produced the 2012 Super Bowl post-game concert with Bon Jovi. 


Rodriguez received his BA in Arts Administration/Music Merchandising from Mansfield University with additional studies at the Juilliard School and Eastman School of Music.  A bassist, he has had a wide range of concert and recording experiences, including appearances with the Rochester Philharmonic, Tito Puente, Max Roach, Don Pullen and Chuck Mangione.

About Warren Tranquada

Warren Tranquada, a West Orange, N.J. resident, was named Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at NJPAC in 2009. His responsibilities include finance, IT, ticket services, risk management and strategic planning. Tranquada facilitated the development of the most recent strategic plan, which is in its third year, and is in the process of facilitating the next strategic plan.


Prior to joining NJPAC, Tranquada was a Partner and Co-Founder of Aperio, a leading social sector consulting firm. At Aperio, he worked with more than 100 organizations in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, primarily in the areas of earned income development, strategic planning, business planning, growth planning and shared services development. Tranquada is a frequent workshop facilitator, both at conferences and stand-alone sessions.


Prior to co-founding Aperio, Tranquada was a vice president in the small business group at The Chase Manhattan Bank, where he managed and created strategic partnerships. He also has consulting experience with Bain & Company, an internationally recognized strategic consulting firm.


Tranquada has an MBA from Harvard Business School (with distinction) and a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University (with great distinction). He was recognized by NJ BIZ magazine as one of its “Forty Under 40” (2007) and as CFO of the Year in the Large Nonprofit category (2014). Tranquada is the Board President at University Heights Charter School in Newark.



The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States and is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey – where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day.  NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city.  Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts.  NJPAC has attracted nearly 9 million visitors (including more than 1 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.  Visit or call 1-888-GO-NJPAC for more information.