Shannon Eadon was recently hired as the new president and CEO of Old School Square.
We had a chance to ask her some questions about herself and her new role.
Tell us about yourself and your background.
I am married to the love of my life, Gordon Eadon. We have two wonderful children, Logan 29 and Tucker 27. I am a corporate brat, and have moved 18 times in my life. I love to play pickleball, ski, run, travel, garden and read. I am passionate about my family and friends and love to be very social and involved in the community in which I live.
I started my career in advertising in New York City. I was a Sr. VP at Rosenfeld, Sirowitz, Humphrey & Strauss, a medium sized, highly creative ad agency working on amazing brands like Estee Lauder, Sharp Electronics, McDonalds and Smith Corona. I had the opportunity to launch major brands like Snapple and Swatch and traveling all over the world. I left advertising when I had my first child and spent the next 10 years serving on Executive Boards of local charitable organizations. I started my own event company producing large weddings and charitable events and when I started talking about returning to NYC, the local theater reached out to me and offered me the opportunity to work for them building and expanding their Development Department. I was hired by the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, NJ and it is there that I rediscovered my passion for the arts and arts education; I was an Arts minor in college. At the Basie I was given the opportunity to build the Development Department dramatically expanding their major gifts, corporate sponsorships, advertising, membership, grants and events. I was hired away from the Basie by the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC) in Englewood, NJ to rebrand their theater; write a strategic and tactical plan; hire and train a Development Team and design a Capital Campaign. I just wish someone would have told me my commute to Englewood, the last exit before the George Washington Bridge would take between 2-4 hours each way.
What attracted you to Old School Square and Delray?
I was found through a national search by the Arts Consulting Group. Old School Square is an amazing facility with huge potential for growth both in “the Square” and outside the Square! The Team in place is awesome and full of new and exciting ideas for change. The Board of Directors and Founder of OSS are supportive and enthusiastic. Best of all, OSS is located in the coolest city in Florida. Who wouldn’t want to live in Delray?
What early initiatives, plans or changes for OSS do you have in mind that you can you share with us?
We are going to launch educational and outreach initiatives. We are looking to partner with local schools, hospitals, nursing homes and veteran’s groups to bring art, music and the performing arts to them. We also plan to add a music, dance and performing arts academy to our already existing outstanding fine arts school. We are looking to expand our programming on both our stages so to do a better job at programming for all ages.
If you could bring any act to Old School Square who or what would it be?
Can I have two? Carrie Underwood and Bruce Springsteen! Carrie Underwood has the most amazing voice and tells a story with every song and who wouldn’t want to see “The Boss” on the Pavilion stage?
What is your all-time favorite performance or arts memory and why?
I attended my first live performance at the age of 6 with my parents. It was outside in the Boston Common and Arthur Fiedler was conducting the Boston Pops. He opened the concert by sitting down at the piano and played the Flight of the Bumblebee, I was mesmerized. The program that afternoon was a narrated symphony, Peter and the Wolf, still one of my favorite fairy tales.