Washington, DC— Folger Director Michael Witmore announced the election of Florence “Flo” Cohen (Delray Beach, Florida) to the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Board of Governors on April 4, 2017.
“Flo’s philanthropic passion has already proved itself invaluable to us,” said Folger Director Michael Witmore. “I look forward to working with, and learning from, Flo as the Folger continues to expand its role as a leader for Shakespeare and the humanities in the 21st century.”
A retired public relations and marketing communications leader, Cohen once headed the financial and professional services group at PR agency Weber Shandwick in Minneapolis, and before that, directed public affairs for Sandoz Nutrition. In New York, she worked for Burson-Marsteller public relations, and later, the pharmaceutical division of Miles Inc. (Bayer). In the not-for-profit sector, Cohen has worked with The University of Chicago Press, The University of Chicago Magazine, and the Associated Colleges of the Midwest. She is a recipient of the Public Relations Society of America’s Silver Anvil award for crisis communications. She is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and holds an M.A.T. in English from The University of Chicago and a B.A. from Saint Olaf College.
A past president of the Textile Council of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Cohen also has served on the boards of Chrysalis (now Tubman) in Minneapolis and the National Railroad Hall of Fame in Galesburg, Illinois.
“My love of Shakespeare came early, from family and teachers,” Flo said, “so I’m thrilled to help the Folger advance its outreach to students and teachers as well as scholars, conservators, and practitioners.”
Cohen traces her interest in Shakespeare to her English grandfather, who recited poetry on their walks together, as well as an aunt who gave her a Collected Works of Shakespeare and a teacher who encouraged her to enter her Romeo and Juliet parody in a local talent show.
On a childhood family trip to Washington, DC, Cohen visited—and never forgot—the Folger Shakespeare Library. Cohen has returned to the Folger for exhibitions and events, and she and her husband Neal, members of the Folger Gala Committee, were Major Sponsors for the 2017 Gala.
“I’m very pleased to welcome Flo to the Folger Board,” said Folger Board Chair Louis R. Cohen. “Her long interest in Shakespeare, her deep commitment to the humanities, and her professional experience will be wonderful resources as we pursue our mission to host the conversation between Shakespeare’s world and our own.”
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