Culver City Education Foundation Leader Steps Away to Take on LA Philharmonic

Another high level departure in local education will be leaving some extraordinary shoes to fill;  Culver City EducationFoundation Executive Director, Renae Williams Niles, has accepted a senior position as the Chief Content and Engagement Officer at the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Niles, who has previously guided gifts to both the Music Center and USC’s Kaufman School of Dance, will remain with the foundation through the end of the school year. 

A statement from the board of the the CCEF noted “In the year that Renae has been charting our course, she has elevated CCEF in many ways, from helping us create a distinct identity, to raising our profile in the community, to reaching more donors than we ever thought possible during this most challenging of times. Renae’s leadership will be missed along with her creativity, wit and charm. Her undeniable impact will endure for many years. Renae will assist with a transition of leadership over the coming weeks.”

Williams is the third director of the CCEF in the last four years, succeeding Melanie Mack in 2019, who took over from Leslie Adler in 2017. 

The foundation is a powerhouse fundraiser for the district, regularly bringing in millions of dollars in local business support and foundation grants that help the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts, Robotics, and many other extracurricular programs that the district offers. 

Elaine Behnken, President, Culver City Education Foundation said in her remarks, “On a positive note, since Renae is a CCUSD parent and calls Culver City home, she will thankfully still be part of our community.”

It might not be at all surprising to find some Philharmonic tickets to be available at a fundraising auction in the coming year. 

Judith Martin-Straw

photo credit LA Times


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