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The Hyde Collection names John Lefner as New CEO

Posted: 2/9/2023 - 3-Minute Read

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The Hyde Collection names John Lefner as New CEO

In addition to celebrating 60 years with an exciting year of programming, The Hyde Collection also announced the election of a new leader this year.

Effective May 1, 2023, John Lefner will serve as The Hyde Collection's 16th Chief Executive Officer in its history.

The Hyde is one of the Northeast’s exceptional small art museums with distinguished European and American art collections.

Read more in this press release from The Hyde Collection below:

Glens Falls, NY — The Board of Trustees of The Hyde Collection announced the election of John Lefner as the museum’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Lefner brings new-generation leadership to The Hyde, which as one of the region’s most significant art museums, is renowned for its exceptional and broad-ranging collection. Lefner will replace retiring CEO Norman E. Dascher, Jr. on May 1, 2023.

"We are very thankful to Norm Dascher for his exceptional leadership during a difficult period for The Hyde Collection,” said Jason Ward, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “His vision and business acumen financially stabilized our organization, reducing expenses by creating a five-year capital replacement plan and instituting smart financial decisions to minimize monthly expenses for the organization. He established a successful new development program, implemented a new position for the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, updated hardware, software, and the security system, led the organization through a successful American Alliance of Museums Museum Assessment Program (MAP) review, updated the strategic plan, and so much more. The Hyde is very well-positioned for a leadership transition.”

Ward continued, “After deep discussions around future leadership for The Hyde, our Board has elected John Lefner as our new CEO beginning May 1," said Jason Ward, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “We believe John’s leadership will mark a new era of growth and civic engagement for the Museum. John is deeply committed to pursuing the vision to bring exceptional exhibitions and programming to The Hyde, like this summer’s premiere Songs of the Horizon: David Smith, Music, and Dance. He is poised to work alongside our three new, extremely talented curators to deliver outstanding art experiences for members and visitors alike. John is the leader we need at this transformational moment.”

An accomplished leader and community builder, Lefner currently serves as Chief Operations and Development Officer at The Hyde Collection, where he provides leadership to fundraising, relationship cultivation, marketing, and physical plant solutions for the organization. In the past two years, Lefner and his team have successfully exceeded fundraising targets, launched the campus Reimagine Project, executed two highly successful galas, and bolstered community confidence in the organization throughout the pandemic.

“I am honored to be leading The Hyde Collection, which I have long admired,” said Lefner. “With its internationally renowned collection, exceptional educational programming, and incredibly talented personnel, the Museum is one of the world’s most important cultural institutions. I look forward to working collaboratively with the Board, the internal teams, and our partners to enhance the Museum’s relevance and build on its success locally, nationally, and globally. I am driven by Mrs. Hyde’s mission and look forward to working strategically and collaboratively to propel the organization forward in a responsibly courageous manner.”

“John’s appointment comes at a moment of incredible transformation for The Hyde Collection, and his exceptional leadership experience will contribute greatly to further strengthening our mission and reach,” says Norman E. Dascher, Jr., current CEO of The Hyde Collection. “I have firsthand experience with John’s leadership and dedication to The Hyde. John has helped The Hyde through tremendous change, from helping navigate through the pandemic to raising funds for outstanding exhibitions and significant upgrades required to maintain a world-class museum. I am excited to continue to see the impact John’s leadership will have on the Museum and the community.”

Carl DeBrule, Co-Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, noted, “John’s record of excellence in non-profit leadership, strategic vision, and commitment to authentic collaboration impressed our entire Board. I offer my deepest thanks to Norman Dascher for his exceptional leadership for the past four-plus years and extend appreciation to our exceptional Board for the work that led to this superb outcome. I am excited to see all that John will accomplish for the organization alongside our remarkable team.”

This appointment marks a critical era for The Hyde Collection, whose world-renowned collection and regional legacy make it an important international treasure. Lefner will build upon the organization’s community-centered engagement and excitement, leading the Museum’s Reimagine Project and sparking a renewed creative energy around the unique cultural gem.

With a Bachelor of Arts from Champlain College, Lefner brings extensive experience in leadership and operations for mission-driven organizations, having previously served as District Executive Director at Capital District YMCA, Director of Operations at Saratoga Independent School, and Assistant Director of Operations at Double H Ranch.

Lefner has focused his career on developing the structure and management needed for organizations to meet their goals and live up to their values. During his career, he facilitated association-wide strategic plan priority areas of mission awareness and advancement. He also served as an organizational values steward in identifying the values and competencies that represented the organization. Lefner has shaped several nonprofits’ strategic plans and policy initiatives throughout his career and reorganized the operations and fundraising infrastructures for successful outcomes.

Lefner has provided expertise to non-profits as a consultant and volunteer, including the Spina Bifida Association of New York, The New York State YMCA Foundation, and Wellspring.

Lefner will assume the CEO role at The Hyde Collection on May 1, 2023, where he will become the 16th leader in the Museum’s 60-year history.

The Hyde Collection’s 2023 Season

Celebrating 60 Years & Reimagining the Future

 January 28 – April 23:

The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African American Art: Works on Paper

 May 6 – June 4:

Annual High School Juried Show

 June 24 – September 17:

Songs of the Horizon: David Smith, Music, and Dance

October 7 – December 31:

Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist: Works on Paper by the Artist and his Circle

About The Hyde Collection

The Hyde is one of the Northeast’s exceptional small art museums with distinguished European and American art collections. Comparable to that of a major metropolitan museum, the core collection, acquired by Museum founders Louis and Charlotte Hyde, includes works by such artists as Sandro Botticelli, El Greco, Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, Edgar Degas, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and American artists Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, and James McNeill Whistler. The Museum's Modern and Contemporary art collection features works by artists including Josef Albers, Dorothy Dehner, Sam Gilliam, Adolph Gottlieb, Grace Hartigan, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, George McNeil, Robert Motherwell, Ben Nicholson, Robert Rauschenberg, and Bridget Riley. Today, The Hyde offers significant national and international exhibitions and a packed schedule of events that help visitors experience art in new ways. Visit

Throughout the years, the Museum has expanded considerably from the historic Hyde home. It includes a modern museum complex with an auditorium, classroom, five galleries, and a state-of-the-art storage facility.

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