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Chair Transition

Thanks to Scott C. Mueller and welcome to Ellen Stirn Mavec
December 22, 2022
Headshots of Scott C. Mueller and Ellen Stirn Mavec

The Cleveland Museum of Art’s board of trustees is thrilled to welcome Ellen Stirn Mavec as its new chair. Mavec, who has been a trustee since 1991 and an Executive Committee member since 1996, succeeds Scott C. Mueller, CEO of Dealer Tire, who became board chair in September 2019. 

During his three-year tenure, Mueller was instrumental in overseeing numerous CMA endeavors while simultaneously navigating the institution’s most challenging time during the pandemic. Such achievements include but are not limited to seeing the bequest of the gift and promised gift of Joseph P. and Nancy F. Keithley, assisting in the procurement of the payroll protection program and shuttered venues grant, introducing a new nominating process for board of trustee candidates, and founding the board’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. 

The CMA is profoundly grateful to Mueller for his invaluable leadership, volunteerism, and philanthropic commitment to the board and the museum. He will continue to serve as a member of the board of trustees.

A successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, known for her passionate nonprofit leadership throughout the Cleveland region, Mavec has been president of the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation since 1997. She established the foundation’s first independently staffed office to broaden the scope of giving with an intentional approach to better serve the community. Mavec and the foundation have served as visionaries for University Circle, giving more than $100 million to institutions to enlighten capital improvements and to encourage innovative programming for visitors and the local community.   

As a young professional, Mavec earned a bachelor of arts degree in art history from Northwestern University. She then joined the Womens Council and helped establish Young Friends of CMA (now Column & Stripe). Her interest in the decorative arts was enhanced with her two retail companies, Ellen Stirn Galleries and Potter & Mellen, Inc. Mavec has chaired the CMA’s Collections Committee, Development Committee, and Nominating and Governance Committee and cochaired the $225 million Transformation capital campaign. She has also served on the Architect Selection, Campaign Planning, Building Oversight, and Director Search Committees.

The board is composed of 38 local and national arts leaders who help guide and support the CMA in its mission, vision, and promise. Members are elected to positions in accordance with the museum’s charter and play an integral role in the life of the institution.