WHEELING, W.Va. (February 3, 2015)- Wheeling resident Danielle Cross McCracken has been named president of Oglebay Institute, the regional nonprofit arts, nature and culture organization that operates six facilities in Wheeling, West Virginia.

With more than 20 years’ experience working in the arts, education and social service sectors, McCracken has expertise in fundraising and development, marketing and non-profit management and has a strong record of securing private and public grants and implementing annual fund and capital campaigns. Her efforts have contributed to generating more than 10 million dollars for organizations with which she has worked.

McCracken comes to Oglebay Institute from Wheeling Country Day School where she served as director of advancement for five years. During her tenure, annual giving and enrollment increased significantly, and the school exceeded its 1.8 million dollar goal for its capital campaign.

McCracken assumes the role of president of Oglebay Institute February 9 and will oversee all aspects of the organization and its employees, including fiscal management, fundraising and program development.

“My vision for Oglebay Institute is to continue to deliver the highest quality programs in arts and education to residents of the Ohio Valley. I look forward to working collaboratively with our talented and dedicated staff and board of trustees, donors, members and community partners to determine how we can expand upon these programs to best meet the needs of the Upper Ohio Valley as well as the hundreds of thousands of people who make Wheeling a destination for travel every year. I want as many people as possible to celebrate our rich, local history and to learn through our educational programs. Oglebay Institute offers so many opportunities for people of all ages, from toddlers to senior citizens. OI helps young people to develop creativity and the problem solving skills that will help them succeed in school and in life; we provide opportunities for artists to hone their crafts and for the public at large to pursue a new skill. I am grateful to the community for their overwhelming support that has allowed Oglebay Institute to thrive for 85 years, and I am honored to serve Oglebay Institute and the community in my new role. I believe that through working together, the possibilities for our future are endless,” explained McCracken.

Prior to joining Wheeling Country Day School, McCracken worked as a development consultant for the Wheeling Symphony Society. Previously, she worked in the advancement office at West Liberty University, serving first as director of major and planned gifts and later as director of development and regional development officer. Early in her career, McCracken worked as director of community relations at Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center.

McCracken has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in public administration from West Virginia University. She is very active in the community and has served on the board of many non-profit organizations including Elmhurst, Seeing Hand Association, Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley and the American Red Cross Ohio Valley Chapter. She is vice president of the Wheeling Rotary Club, is a member of the Women’s Giving Circle, Wheeling Symphony Auxiliary and a sustaining member of the Junior League of Wheeling. She has been a member of Oglebay Institute since 1994 and has served on its museums committee since 2011.

Chairman of Oglebay Institute’s Board of Trustees Milt Gutman said, “Danielle brings the ideal skill set to lead us to new and exciting heights. We are gaining a president with leadership, budgeting, fundraising and grant writing skills all with a focused, local understanding of the Institute’s role in serving the Ohio Valley and beyond.”

McCracken stated, “For as far back as I can remember, arts and education have played a key role in my life, both personally and professionally. Some of my best memories as a child include attending community theater, listening to and playing music, writing and exploring nature. I will be forever grateful to my teachers, parents and community who made those opportunities available. Those experiences helped me become the person I am today and have inspired my professional work in the arts and education. Since returning to the Ohio Valley after college graduation, I have been a member, patron, volunteer and program partner with Oglebay Institute. I am grateful to the staff and leadership who have delivered so many wonderful programs that have allowed me and my family to be entertained, educated and inspired. I am so excited to fill this role so that I can help perpetuate the important work that Oglebay Institute does in our community each day.”

Offering public programs, classes and camps, special events and school programs for all ages in art, dance, theater, environmental education and history, Oglebay Institute is the oldest arts council in the nation, incorporated June 24, 1930.

Led by a 21-member board of trustees, Oglebay Institute employs more than 40 full and part-time staff members and operates six facilities in the Wheeling area: the Schrader Environmental Education Center in Oglebay Park; the Mansion and Glass Museums, also in Oglebay; the Stifel Fine Arts Center and School of Dance, 1330 National Road; and Towngate Theatre and Cinema, located at 2118 Market Street as well as the Terra Alta Mountain Camp in Preston County, West Virginia.