Charles Phillips Commits $1M Gift to Cultural Landmark Apollo Theater As New Chairman of Board
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Charles Phillips Commits $1M Gift to Cultural Landmark Apollo Theater As New Chairman of Board

The Apollo Theater has appointed a new chairman to its board of directors as it continues its mission to provide a cultural space for future generations.

This week, the Harlem landmark named Charles Phillips — a former board member and Vice Chairman for the nonprofit — as its new Chairman of the Board, according to a press release.

Phillips marked his new appointment with a generous $1 million gift to the theater’s Emergency Fund, which was created to ensure the theater’s continued financial stability amid its COVID-19 closure.

“From his work on the Board’s Executive Committee to his generous $1 million gift to the Theater at this critical time, Charles’ commitment to the Apollo has been immense,” said Apollo Theater President/CEO Jonelle Procope in a statement. “His support, coupled with additional donations from many donors, has enabled us to meet the Emergency Fund’s $4 million goal, allowing us to create dynamic, free events and education programs on the Apollo Digital Stage and ensuring that we continue to serve our community even though our physical doors remain closed.”

In his new role, Phillips succeeds longtime Chair Richard “Dick” Parsons, who has led the Apollo’s Board since 2001 and played an integral part in preserving its legacy of Black excellence.

“Charles has been a dynamic leader and indispensable colleague, and I know that with his commitment to the Theater the Apollo will continue to grow,” said Parsons in a press statement. “I am confident that his leadership will enable the Apollo to continue to expand and enhance the many audiences we serve in Harlem and across the U.S.”

Parsons will remain on the Executive Committee at the theater as Chairman Emeritus and senior advisor.

“Dick’s contributions to the Apollo are immeasurable and his ongoing support invaluable,” Procope added. “He anchored the turnaround of the Apollo Theater and set the institution on the path to success, and I am tremendously grateful to him for his leadership and dedication to the Apollo for over 20 years.”

According to a press release, Phillips previously served as the former CEO/chairman of global business software company Infor, president of Oracle, and managing director at Morgan Stanley.

He was also a former Captain in the Marine Corps and a member of former President Barack Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

Currently, Phillips serves on the boards of ViacomCBS as well as the Council of Foreign Relations and works as the managing partner/co-founder of investment firm Recognize — a tech-operating company that is creating the next generation of software-enabled services.

Phillips is excited to take on his new role and continue leading the resilience behind the Apollo Theater.

“The Apollo Theater has been the keeper of the culture and a vibrant platform for artistic innovation for over 86 years,” he said in a statement. “I am honored to partner with my good friends and great leaders, Jonelle Procope and Dick Parsons and the board of trustees for the next stage of growth and discovery at the Apollo.”

For more information about the Apollo Theater, visit its website.