Maria Van Laanen Recognized as Top Leader

December 21, 2022

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is proud to announce President and CEO Maria Van Laanen has been recognized by BizTimes Milwaukee in its first edition of Wisconsin 275: The States Most Influential Business Leaders. Through this 124-page publication, 275 prominent business leaders throughout Wisconsin across various industries including health care, sports, technology, education and entertainment are recognized and highlighted.

Maria Van Laanen became one of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center’s first employees when she was hired on in 2001 as director of marketing – a year before the local, nonprofit organization would open to the public. Since 2014, Maria has been serving as president and chief executive officer, taking part in more than 7,000 events at the Center. She has also helped welcome 39 Broadway Wisconsin premieres and been an integral part of the Center’s educational programs and initiatives including Frank C. Shattuck Performing Arts Touch the Hearts of Students (P.A.T.H.S.) Program and Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program. Maria has also overseen the launch of Family First Nights® and helped the Center raise $30 million for the Keystone Fund Endowment Fund.

As a valued voice in the community, Maria serves as a member for several groups, boards and committees including the YMCA of the Fox Cities board. Beyond the Fox Cities, Maria is also a Tony® voter of The Broadway League. As part of the league, Maria serves as a member of the board of governors, the National High School Musical Theater Advisory Board, the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Government Relations committees.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized by BizTimes Milwaukee,” said Fox Cities P.A.C. President and CEO Maria Van Laanen. “To be among so many influential business leaders of Wisconsin who display talent and dedication in their industries is humbling. Our communities can offer insight across diverse fields from all corners of this great state; thank you to BizTimes for highlighting that inspiration.”

See the full list of honorees in the 2022 edition of Wisconsin 275 by visiting

Written by Philomena Dorobek, Brand Storyteller
Fox Cities Performing Arts Center