Grand Rapids Symphony names Mary Tuuk as President and CEO

GRAND RAPIDS, MI, November 16, 2018 – The Grand Rapids Symphony has appointed Mary Tuuk, a longtime symphony leader and West Michigan business executive, as its new President and CEO. 

Tuuk, currently Chief Compliance Officer/Senior Vice President, Properties and Real Estate with Meijer, Inc., also is a classically trained musician who currently performs as a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus. She also plays organ, piano and violin.

A Grand Rapids native, Tuuk graduated from Calvin College with degrees in Business and Music and obtained her J.D./M.B.A. from Indiana University. While at Indiana University, she also studied organ with Larry Smith. She has studied voice with Diane Triplett Biser and Stanley Kolk. 

In the corporate realm, Tuuk has an over 20-year track record of leadership spanning executive and legal roles at Meijer and Fifth Third Bancorp. Prior to joining Meijer in 2015, she had served Fifth Third (previously Old Kent Financial Corporation) for 19 years in positions of increasing responsibility in Michigan and Ohio, including as Executive Vice President, Chief Risk Officer during the financial crisis of 2008, and as Executive Vice President, Corporate Services at the time of her departure. While at Fifth Third, Tuuk was named an American Banker Most Powerful Women in Banking “Woman to Watch” in the years 2008-2014.

Tuuk has served on the Grand Rapids Symphony board of directors since 2012, is current Chair-Elect, and co-chaired the search committee that selected Marcelo Lehninger as Music Director in June 2016. She was also chairing the search for the organization’s next President and CEO. Following a months-long national search, the search committee realized its best candidate was, in fact, Tuuk. The committee then went on to recruit, interview and unanimously recommend Tuuk for the position.

The recommendation was fully supported by the Catherine French Group, a Washington D.C.-based symphony recruiting firm contracted to assist in the search. The Symphony board approved Tuuk’s appointment at its November 15th meeting.

“Mary’s record of proven leadership, community connections and love for music make her the perfect person to lead the Grand Rapids Symphony into our 90th season and beyond,” said Chuck Frayer, Chair of the Symphony Board of Directors. “We were very fortunate to have a high level of interest in this position from around the nation, but ultimately realized that we had the best possible candidate in Mary.”

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