Graff appointed president, CEO of Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation announced the appointment of Stuart I. Graff to lead the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation as its new president and CEO.

Mr. Graff will assume this role on Feb. 1.

Stuart Graff

Stuart Graff

As CEO, Mr. Graff will be responsible for the overall direction and leadership of the organization toward the achievement of the Foundation’s mission: to preserve Taliesin and Taliesin West for future generations and enrich society through an understanding of Frank Lloyd Wright’s ideas, architecture, and design.

Trained in intellectual property law and with a stellar reputation as a business leader, Mr. Graff has demonstrated his ability to develop and execute cross-functional strategies that integrate organizations through strong and engaged teams.  His leadership resulted in rapid, sustainable turnarounds of the businesses he led, according to a press release.

Mr. Graff studied engineering at Northwestern, and received his JD from Loyola University and his MBA from Emory University. After practicing intellectual property law for many years, he became in-house counsel at Newell Rubbermaid in 1999, where he was responsible for protecting innovation and monetizing brand equity through licensing.

He was later promoted to Group Vice President and General Counsel of Newell’s largest global business group, and then moved to become General Manager of the Parker and Waterman fine writing brands, turning those businesses around in a matter of two years.  Since 2009, he has been a Vice President at Valspar Corporation, leading its Guardsman consumer division, the release stated.

In addition to his career activities, Mr. Graff has an extensive history of board leadership and fundraising, primarily for arts and social justice organizations.  Growing up in Chicago, he has a lifelong passion for 20th-century architecture – inspired by his first encounter with Frank Lloyd Wright’s work at age 8 – and cares deeply about the need for affordable housing and sustainable architecture in the 21st-century.

“We see in Stuart a business leader whose extensive experience in intellectual property law and project management and whose personal passion for Wright will move this organization forward as we advance Wright’s ideas for a new generation,” stated Alanna Mack, chair of the Foundation’s Board, in the release.

Mr. Graff will succeed Sean Malone, who has led the Foundation since 2012.

“The Foundation is confident that Stuart is the perfect choice to lead the organization to build on and expand this recent success – to continue to move the organization forward and to new heights,” stated Jeffrey Grip, chair of the CEO Search Committee and immediate past Board Chair, stated in the release.

“His experience, his passion for Wright, and his ideas will make Stuart a compelling and successful leader of the Foundation for a long time to come.”

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