Over 200 Kravis Center for the Performing Arts supporters gathered recently in the Kravis Center’s Gimelstob Ballroom for a special event honoring members of the Helen K. Persson Society. Held on March 29th, the luncheon celebrated the Endowment supporters for their confidence, trust and investment in the Kravis Center’s long-term future, which ensures that the cultural institution will be enjoyed for generations to come.  For the 8th consecutive year, the luncheon was sponsored by longtime supporters Bernstein Private Wealth Management.


Named for the Kravis Center’s ardent supporter, the late Helen K. Persson, the Society now has 139 members.  In the spring of 2014, the Center received a $5 million gift from the estate of Mrs. Persson. With that contribution, and recent new member gifts, the current market value of the Kravis Center’s Permanently Restricted Endowment Fund is $20 million.  Mrs. Persson was a Life Trustee, who served as a member of the Board of Directors from 1992 to 2007.


1_Evan Deoul, Judy Mitchell, Brian Wodar_IMG_5556“Today we honor and thank Persson Society members for their decision to make a gift to the Permanently Restricted Endowment Fund,” said Judith Mitchell, the Kravis Center’s CEO.  “As we celebrate our 25th anniversary season and look to the future, having a well-funded endowment will provide the fiscal stability to continue the world-class performances and arts education programs that make this organization a cultural beacon in our community. It will also ensure that our mission remains vibrant and relevant for many generations to come.”


Ms. Mitchell recognized Helen Persson’s niece, Denise Ghattas, as well as Jane Mitchell, immediate past Board Chair, now serving as Vice Chair, and Life Trustee Stanley Rumbough, Jr., all of whom were in attendance.


Ms. Mitchell then introduced the afternoon’s guest speaker Brian Wodar, Senior Managing Director of Bernstein Private Wealth Management. Mr. Wodar provided an overview of today’s capital-market investment environment entitled “Have Your Cake and Eat It Too,” focusing on how to successfully invest in Environment, Society and Governance (ESG) practices. He explained that socially responsible investing was once considered an efficient way to have a positive impact on the world, but at the potential cost of effective investment returns. Today, ESG practices have gained much more currency, and are now seen as offering similar risk-return trade-offs to traditional investment strategies.


Following the insightful presentation, Ms. Mitchell gave a special commemorative gift to new Persson Society members in attendance: Irwin and Gail Cohen, Denise Fox, Caryl Firth and Barbara Suflas Noble. Other Society members in attendance included Dorothy Adler, Ilene Arons, Doris Ball, Nettie Birnbach, Margaret May Damen, Debra Elmore, Maureen Gardella, Dr. Theodore Gerson, Denise Ghattas, Joan Gordon, Eileen Ludwig Greenland, Dr. Elliot and Fruema Klorfein, John Mike, Jane Mitchell, Rose Price, Irving and Barbara Reifler, Stanley Rumbough, Jr., Sandra Thompson and Charles Williams.


Members of the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts Helen K. Persson Society receive invitations to special events, acknowledgment in Kravis Center publications and other benefits based on level of commitment.  For more information about the Helen K. Persson Society, please contact Margaret May Damen CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CAP®, Planned Giving and Endowment Officer at 561.651.4230 or [email protected].


This season, the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts celebrates a quarter-century on stage. As the Center celebrates its silver anniversary, the Center renews its commitment to the community to present the gold standard of excellence in the performing arts.

The Kravis Center is a not-for-profit performing arts center whose mission is to enhance the quality of life in Palm Beach County by presenting a diverse schedule of national and international artists and companies of the highest quality, by offering comprehensive arts education programs, by providing a Palm Beach County home for local and regional arts organizations to showcase their work and by providing an economic catalyst and community leadership in West Palm Beach, supporting efforts to increase travel and tourism to Palm Beach County.


Fans and friends of the Kravis Center should stay tuned on the Kravis Center’s social channels throughout its 25th anniversary season for fun updates and surprises, including trivia contests, ticket giveaways and more. The Kravis Center is located at 701 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach, FL.


For general information about the Kravis Center’s performances, please visit the Center’s official website at kravis.org or call the box office at 561.832.7469 (561.832.SHOW). For information about the Kravis Center’s special events, contact the Development Office at 561.651.4320. Follow the Kravis Center on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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