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Mount Vernon Ladies' Association Names Curtis G. Viebranz President and CEO

Tue, 09/11/2012

For Immediate Release
September 11, 2012
Digital image available

Media Contact:
Melissa Wood
(703) 799-5203
mwood@mountvernon.org

Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association Names Curtis G. Viebranz President and CEO

MOUNT VERNON, VA—The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association today announced the selection of Curtis G. Viebranz as president and chief executive officer of George Washington’s historic Mount Vernon estate. An experienced media executive and proven entrepreneur with a passion for American history and a long-standing commitment to community service, Viebranz will take the helm at America’s most visited historic home on September 17. He is only the tenth person to head Mount Vernon since the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association’s stewardship began in 1858.

Viebranz’s arrival comes at a critical time in Mount Vernon’s history as the estate prepares to open The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington in fall 2013. The Library will function as a presidential library for George Washington and a center for scholarly research and educational outreach.

“With the opening of this new library, we have an unprecedented opportunity to expand understanding of Washington’s life and legacy beyond the estate to people of all ages across the nation and around the world,” said Ann Bookout, the Regent, or chair, of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, which owns and operates the estate. “Curt is passionate about the mission of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association to preserve and educate, and his remarkable career promises to help bridge the past and the future. He recognizes the importance of scholarly research and is committed to helping us find new ways to advance the remarkable leadership of our first president.”

Viebranz brings to Mount Vernon more than twenty years of experience at major multinational Internet and cable enterprises, including a successful tenure as president of HBO International, the global arm of Time Warner’s Home Box Office unit. Prior to that, as Time Warner turned its attention to digital distribution strategies, Viebranz was tapped to serve as the first president of Time Inc. Multimedia. During his seventeen-year career at Time Warner and its predecessor company, Time Inc., Viebranz built an impressive resume, also serving as president of Time Inc. Europe and HBO Video.

After departing Time Warner, Viebranz helped to launch and grow several media-related start-ups, including Olé Communications, the Latin American partner of HBO, A&E and E! Entertainment, and TACODA, Inc., a digital advertising network. He joined AOL in 2007 following its acquisition of TACODA and served as president of Platform A, overseeing advertising sales and strategy for all of AOL’s owned and operated sites. He was a co-founder and most recently served as chairman of Korrelate, Inc., a firm that provides insights and analytics on web advertising.

In addition to his expertise in new and traditional media, Viebranz brings to Mount Vernon a strong intellectual curiosity and a passion for history and public service. He is active in the Boys & Girls Clubs movement and has held many leadership positions with the organization. He is also a long-time board member of the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation, whose collection of more than 200,000 items constitutes one of the nation’s greatest archives of Civil War photographs. He has served as president of the Middlebury College Alumni Association and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

“It is a great honor to have the opportunity to lead Mount Vernon,” said Viebranz. “Just as I am inspired by George Washington’s example of leadership, I am equally captivated by the efforts of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association over the past century and a half to preserve Mount Vernon and Washington’s legacy. Ensuring Washington’s relevance will require new ways of thinking and new initiatives, and I look forward to approaching this challenge with respect for the remarkable accomplishments that have been achieved here over the years.”

Viebranz succeeds James C. Rees III, who retired in June after a long and distinguished tenure as president and CEO. As president, Rees oversaw fundraising for more than $250 million in projects designed to bring George Washington into the national spotlight, including the construction of the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center, which opened in 2006. Under Rees’ leadership, Mount Vernon’s staff nearly doubled in size to 500 employees, its cadre of volunteers flourished from a mere handful to 400, and its endowment grew from $4 million to $125 million, and attendance now tops one million visitors each year.

Viebranz’s selection follows a comprehensive national search conducted by a search committee comprised of six Vice Regents, or board members, of the Association, supported by Russell Reynolds Associates. “This position drew a very strong response from a wide array of candidates with diverse experience and backgrounds,” said Barbara Lucas, who chaired the search committee. “Curt is a highly successful, entrepreneurial executive who has led major multinational businesses and understands both new and traditional media,” Lucas continued. “He knows how to take established organizations to higher levels of excellence and has a profound respect for the experience that Mount Vernon affords its visitors and for our preservation and collections mission.”

Born in Boston, raised in Larchmont, New York, and currently residing in Chester, New Jersey, Viebranz, 59, holds a BA from Middlebury College and an MBA from Harvard University. He and his wife, Cissy, will be relocating to Mount Vernon. They have two daughters away at college, Lillie Belle, 19, and Story, 18; and a son, Angus, 17, at boarding school.

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About Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens Since 1860, more than 80 million visitors have made George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens the most popular historic home in America. Through thought-provoking tours, entertaining events, and stimulating educational programs on the Estate and in classrooms across the nation, Mount Vernon strives to preserve George Washington’s place in history as “First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countrymen.” Mount Vernon is owned and operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, America’s oldest national preservation organization, founded in 1853. A picturesque drive to the southern end of the scenic George Washington Memorial Parkway, Mount Vernon is located just 16 miles from the nation’s capital.

Hours of operation: April-August, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; March, September, October, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; November – February, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Regular admission rates: adults, $15.00; senior citizens, $14.00; children age 6-11, when accompanied by an adult, $7.00; and children under age 5, FREE. Admission fees, restaurant and retail proceeds, along with private donations, support the operation and restoration of Mount Vernon. For more information about Mount Vernon, please visit http://www.MountVernon.org