Tyler Hokama Named OSF Interim Director

Tyler Hokama Former Tech ExecTyler Hokama

ASHLAND, Ore. (June 1, 2023) – The Oregon Shakespeare Festival Board of Directors announces its appointment of Tyler Hokama as its new Interim Executive Director, effective today. Formerly a retired technology and business operations executive, the Ashland resident brings deep business expertise garnered while working in roles that required cross-functional coordination. These skills will be critical in his role as Interim Executive Director, where he will be charged with leading the overall business and financial aspects of the organization.

“Tyler brings to OSF exceptional leadership skills, finance expertise, business acumen, and turnaround experience in complex organizations,” says OSF Board Chair Diane Yu. “He has been active in the Ashland community, including serving on two regional theater company boards and advising local businesses for years. He will help us in numerous ways — to revamp our finance operations; develop a more sustainable business model; foster relationships with local businesses, audiences, and donors; and strengthen our fragile infrastructure. At the same time, he will adhere to the enduring values of OSF, including its artistic legacy and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Board of Directors is delighted that he will be joining OSF as Interim Executive Director, and are confident that he will be a great partner to all of us who love OSF.”

During his nearly decade-long career at Adobe, Hokama was responsible for Mergers and Acquisitions integration — managing the complexity of merging two companies and their respective functions into one. His career also includes working at several Fortune 500 companies as an executive in the tech industry, and, locally, as an advisor to Ashland’s small businesses as part of the SOU Small Business Development Center. Among his focus areas was setting up systems and processes for stability and growth. He has served on the boards of directors for two local companies: Camelot Theatre and Rogue Theatre Company.

“I’m a lifelong theater lover. In 2016, my wife and I decided to make the move and retire in Ashland, and we’ve now been coming to OSF for 19 seasons,” says Hokama. “I’m committed to OSF because it deserves to thrive. The organization has some of the most talented and dedicated people that I know. However, OSF has grown up to be one of the largest regional theatres in the country without bringing along systems and processes to support it. We need to stabilize that so we can support our fundamental operations, as all businesses our size should. The other challenge is that we need to improve the business model so that it is viable for the long-term. Many regional theatres face this real struggle, with rising costs and limited revenue growth opportunities. So, this is truly challenging work, but I believe that if we make a conscious effort to focus on some critical areas, we can continue to present our world-class art in perpetuity.”

“I am thrilled for Tyler’s appointment as the new interim Executive Director of OSF, both as a board member and a local business owner,” says Sachta Card, Vice Chair of the Board. “Tyler’s leadership will drive strategic financial planning, foster local partnerships, and enhance operational efficiency, ensuring a bright and sustainable future for our organization. I am confident that Tyler will inspire our team while engaging and strengthening our connection with the local community.”

Hokama’s appointment comes at a critical time for fundraising at OSF. In April, The Show Must Go On: Save Our Season, Save OSF fundraising campaign was kick-started with the goal of reaching $2.5M to launch the 2023 season. Shortly after announcing the campaign, the Tykeson Family Foundation offered to match up to $500,000 in donations – an amount raised in only eight days following the match announcement. Thanks to the success of the campaign, the largely grassroots effort raised over $2.7M and enabled OSF to kick off its season, with Rent and Romeo and Juliet playing to packed houses and rave reviews in the Angus Bowmer Theatre. The summer outdoor season launched this week with the return of the fan-favorite Green Show and the start of performances for Twelfth Night and The Three Musketeers in our iconic Allen Elizabethan Theatre.

With the first critical phase of the fundraising campaign complete, the company is now focusing on reaching its annual fundraising and ticket sales goals by the end of the fiscal year on October 31. This will mean raising an additional $7.3 million which will allow OSF to complete its season as planned. Additional fundraising and ticket sales goals for 2024 will be announced following the annual budgeting process later this summer.

“We understand how important this moment is for OSF and we are deeply grateful for the tremendous amount of support that the community has shown us since launching the Show Must Go On campaign,” says Kamilah Long, Interim Director of Development. “And as we all know, nonprofit theatres must always be fundraising, so the work continues so that, indeed, the shows can go on. This is an investment in the future of our culture and there is no better time to support OSF. All donations make an impact.”


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