The Toledo Museum of Art Board of Directors have elected Cynthia Thompson as chair, effective January 2016.
Thompson, a Museum board member and supporter for more than a decade, has a history of success in both industry and community service. Her long career includes roles as co-owner of automobile parts manufacturer Midwest Stamping and as former chair of the National Board of Directors of Girl Scouts of the USA, among others.
She follows Deke Welles, who was board chair from 2012 to 2015.
“When I look at the Museum’s boards and the past chairs who served before me, each one made significant contributions,” Thompson said. “I feel a real obligation to continue that legacy, working closely with the current board and staff.”
A native of Inkster, Michigan, Thompson and her husband Ronald acquired Midwest Stamping, a manufacturer of automobile parts, in Northwest Ohio in 1993. She was the company’s co-owner and vice president of human resources.
Her success in industry was matched by a commitment to philanthropic causes: Thompson has served on the boards of the St. Louis Science Center and the Missouri State Board of Education, and was appointed to the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri System by then-governor John Ashcroft. She has also served as a trustee of the University of Toledo.
“Cynthia’s experiences in the business and non-profit worlds give her a great deal of insight,” said Brian Kennedy, the Toledo Museum of Art’s director. “She’s seen amazing success as both an executive and an advisor. I believe both of those sensibilities will serve the Museum well as she guides us through the second phase of our 2020 strategic plan.”
Thompson earned a bachelor’s degree in literature, science and the arts from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and holds two master’s degrees, one in nutrition from Michigan State University and another in business administration from Washington University, St. Louis.
One of her focuses in her new role as board chair will be promoting the Museum to an even wider public.
“The Toledo Museum of Art is such an excellent institution, and I believe there are still many people that have not taken advantage of the Museum being free,” she said. “I would really love to see the community become even more engaged with TMA.”