The new president of Oglebay Institute says she hopes to make Wheeling and the local arts scene "a destination place" for the Pittsburgh area.
Valerie Golik, a resident of Marshall Township, Pa., starts her new job Thursday. She most recently served as executive director of the Denis Theatre Foundation in Pittsburgh, and will be making the drive to Wheeling each day.
"It's not a bad commute, and that's an important factor," Golik said. "If it's easy for me to commute, it's also easy for people in the Pittsburgh area to come see offerings at Oglebay Institute. ... We don't often think of Oglebay Institute and Wheeling as a destination place, but those living just one, two or even three hours a way should think of it as a great place to go. This is one of the ways Oglebay Institute can change."
She added she will be meeting with staff in the coming days to develop and move forward with a strategic plan.
"It's hard not to like what is happening at Oglebay Institute," Golik said. "It's an amazing organization that's been around a long time. It has an amazing reputation in the arts community."
Golik will be Oglebay Institute's ninth president in its 83-year history.
Since 1930, the institute has grown to include six facilities throughout Wheeling, including the Mansion Museum and Glass Museum at Oglebay Park, the Stifel Fine Arts Center, Towngate Theatre and Cinema and the Schrader Environmental Education Center.
In her role as president, Golik will oversee all aspects of the organization and its employees.
These duties include fiscal management, fundraising and program development. Oglebay Institute employs more than 40 full-time and part-time workers.