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Minneapolis Institute of Art announces two new senior leadership hires

Lynn Farmer will join as Mia’s New Chief Audience and Engagement Officer and Benjamin Murray will be the new C. Curtis Dunnavan Chief Financial Officer, both to start this fall.

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MINNEAPOLIS— The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) announced Tuesday the appointment of its new C. Curtis Dunnavan Chief Financial Officer and Chief Audience and Engagement Officer.

Lynn Farmer, Mia’s new Chief Audience and Engagement Officer, will be coming to Mia from Twin Cities PBS, and will begin her tenure at Mia in September. Benjamin Murray, Mia’s new C. Curtis Dunnavan Chief Financial Officer, currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and will join the museum in November. Both Farmer and Murray will serve on Mia’s senior leadership team and report directly to Mia’s Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President.

“I am excited to welcome Lynn and Ben to Mia in their new roles as Chief Audience and Engagement Officer and C. Curtis Dunnavan Chief Financial Officer,” said Katie Luber, Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President of Mia. “Their exceptional skills and experiences at institutions of various sizes make them both outstanding choices for Mia. We look forward to working with them and know that they will help the museum fulfil its mission.” 

Chief Audience and Engagement Officer: Lynn Farmer

Lynn Farmer brings over 30 years of experience and deep knowledge of marketing and communications across industries. In her role as Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Twin Cities PBS, she was responsible for the management of social media, web content, email, internal and external communications, video promotion, graphic design and events, and also led the organization through a national digital transformation initiative.

Prior to joining Twin Cities PBS, Farmer served as Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Hamline University and had an extensive career at Target Corporation in merchandising and marketing, culminating as Senior Director of In-Store Marketing, Strategy and Concept Development.

Farmer holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from Howard University and a Masters in Nonprofit Management from Hamline University School of Business. She serves on the Board of Trustees at Minnehaha Academy and has previous board service as board chair for the Northside Economic Opportunity Network and strategic planning lead with the Phillips West Neighborhood Association. In 2022, Farmer was recognized as a Notable Leader in Marketing by Twin Cities Business Journal.

“I am eager for the opportunity to take a leading role in promoting one of the most engaging cultural institutions in Minneapolis,” said Farmer. “Mia continues to innovate and diversify the ways it reaches its audiences, and I look forward to helping further this work.”

C. Curtis Dunnavan Chief Financial Officer: Benjamin Murray

Benjamin (Ben) Murray comes to Mia with over 25 years of experience in nonprofit and for-profit and finance and accounting. In his role as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, he leads the finance, human resources, IT, institutional effectiveness, facilities planning and campus operations teams.

At Saint Mary’s, Murray collaborated on a capital campaign that raised over $72 million, administered implementation of the university’s campus master plan, and co-led strategic plan development and implementation with internal and external stakeholders. He has prior experience in public accounting with Virchow Krause and Company, LLP and Carver Moquist and O’Connor, LLC.

Murray holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He serves as a board member and Audit Committee Chair of the Christian Brothers Services Employee Retirement Plan. Murray also co-founded and served as both Director of Mission Advancement and President of San Miguel Middle School of Minneapolis, an innovative private school that operated from 2000-2011.

“Throughout my career, I have been dedicated to working with and supporting educational institutions in Minneapolis,” said Murray. “Mia plays a vital educational role in our community for visitors of all ages, and I look forward to joining the museum and supporting this work.”

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