2019 Nonprofit Leadership Excellence Award

David Janssen
Executive Director
Brucemore, Inc.

Twice David Janssen has left Iowa, and twice he has returned because of his commitment to Brucemore and the Iowa Cultural Corridor. David served as Brucemore’s Assistant Director from 1993 to 2001 and returned as its Executive Director in 2012. In the interim, he worked to build his skills in historic preservation leadership by holding positions at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House and the Detroit Historical Society.

As Executive Director, David has worked to honor the intent of Brucemore’s donor, Margaret Hall, that the property be preserved “for the enjoyment of the public.” He also works to fulfill the vision created by Brucemore’s founding Executive Director, maintaining the site’s status as a vibrant community cultural center. Brucemore now welcomes over 45,000 visitors annually to a wide variety of programs and events.

David has also worked to address critical infrastructure needs that make this programming possible, raising over $5 million and building a team of highly credentialed staff. This focus on culture, sustainability and professionalism has earned Brucemore three of Corridor Business Journal’s “Coolest Places to Work” awards.

Under David’s leadership, Brucemore has continued to be a valued collaborator in the arts community, working in partnership with organizations like SPT Theatre, Orchestra Iowa and Playtime Poppy. Hundreds of independent artists and performers are able to connect with audiences through self-produced events like Cabaret in the Courtyard, and Brucemore has received six awards from the Iowa Cultural Corridor Association for collaboration.

David was nominated for the award by the Brucemore board of directors. “David is highly effective in his role as model and communicator of Brucemore’s mission and values,” says Kay Hegarty, Board President. “David’s words and actions consistently model a high standard of professionalism.”