President, MAG Board of Managers
Theresa Mazzullo’s involvement at the Gallery goes back to the 1980s, when she was a corporate campaign volunteer, but it wasn’t until a decade ago, when she joined MAG’s Corporate Advisory Subcommittee, that she began to play a major role. In the early days, she remembers, soliciting corporate support, particularly from large companies, was a routine matter. Then, the economic downturn brought about a paradigm shift. Drawing on her own extensive business experience, Mazzullo became an integral member and ultimately chair of the subcommittee, which was charged with developing new prospect lists and restructuring the corporate benefits package.
Mazzullo’s energy and enthusiasm made her an ideal candidate to join MAG’s Board of Managers. Since being elected in 2002, she’s gone on to serve as Advancement Committee chair and (for the last two years) as vice president. Then on July 1 she stepped up to the presidency.
As Board president, her focus will be on strengthening the Gallery’s financial position by growing earned income and campaign contributions. “The next two years are building years,” she says. “You can’t cut your way to greatness.”
Looking carefully at the earned income side is the newly created Events Subcommittee, a “great group of people” composed of Board and staff members. “We’re finally beginning to see a trend in the right direction.” One very positive development, now underway, is the installation of air conditioning in the M&T Bank Ballroom, a prime rental space that will now be available year-round. Another is the planned construction of Centennial Sculpture Park, which promises to make MAG an artistic destination.
Born in Bell County, KY, Mazzullo received a liberal arts degree from Spring Hill College, a top-ranked Jesuit college in Mobile, AL. But banking was in her genes. Her father, a bank president, made sure she got plenty of practical job experience during her summer breaks. She would go on to earn an advanced degree from Stonier Graduate School of Banking.
Marriage brought Mazzullo to her attorney husband’s hometown of Rochester. Here, she rose through the ranks as a trust and investment banker, ending as a senior vice president at First National Bank.
The next six years were spent as president of EPIC Advisors, a 401(k) retirement plan company. That company was sold in 2005, and in 2006 Mazzullo was recruited to head Excell Partners, a regional economic development partnership established in cooperation with the University of Rochester and New York State. The company’s mandate: provide pre-seed and seed-stage financing to high-tech start-up companies. For Mazzullo, this means helping finance scientists and entrepreneurs eager to patent and market new technologies and inventions. Currently, Excell manages venture funds for 24 start-ups at area educational institutions and not-for-profits.
Mazzullo’s many community activities include chairing the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency (COMIDA), and serving as a board member at ESL Federal Credit Union and a trustee of the New York State Lawyer’s Fund for Client Protection.
But MAG has a special place in her heart. “The Gallery adds a whole new dimension to the community,” she says. “I can’t imagine a life without art. It would be like a life without flowers.”
Photo credit: Theresa Mazzullo is a familiar sight at the Clothesline Festival, where for many years she has worked as a gate volunteer. Photo by Richard P. Wersinger.