Ringling College Library Association Town Hall Lecture Series With Michael Eisner

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The Ringling College Library Association (RCLA) presented Michael Eisner at the Town Hall Lecture Series on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at the VanWezel.


Chairman & CEO, The Walt Disney Company (1984-2005)

Founder & CEO, The Tornante Company

For four decades, Michael Eisner has been a leader in the American entertainment industry. He began his career at ABC, where he helped take the network from number three to number one in primetime, daytime and children’s television with such landmark shows as Happy Days, Barney Miller, Rich Man, Poor Man, and Roots. In 1976, he became president of Paramount Pictures, turning out hit films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Saturday Night Fever, Grease, and Terms of Endearment. This string of critically acclaimed and blockbuster films led the studio to become number one in box office and profitability in both theatrical movies and network television production.

In 1984 Michael assumed the position of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company and, in the ensuing 21 years, transformed it from a film and theme park company with $1.8 billion in enterprise value into a global media empire valued at $100 billion. For almost thirty years, companies that Eisner managed were either number one or number two at the motion picture box office.

In 2005, Michael began the “next act” of his career, by founding The Tornante Company, a privately held company that invests in, acquires, and operates companies in media and entertainment.

In October 2007, Tornante and Madison Dearborn Partners acquired The Topps Company, a leading creator and marketer of sports cards, distinctive confectionery, and other entertaining products for well over 50 years. Under Michael’s vision and leadership, the iconic company is transforming into a global sports media brand with relationships covering MLB, NFL, Premier League, Bundesliga, IPL, WWE, Star Wars, Facebook and Netflix. It launched a digital division, featuring 2 of the top 3 highest grossing sports apps in the Apple app store, as well as offices and businesses in Germany, India, Brazil and Argentina.

Michael is the author of Work in Progress, about his involvement in the entertainment industry, as well as Camp, about the life lessons learned during his formative years at Keewaydin summer camp in Vermont. Michael’s third book, WORKING TOGETHER: Why Great Partnerships Succeed, profiles several successful partnerships in the business world and beyond, including Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, Bill and Melinda Gates, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, and many more. The book was published by Harper Studio in September 2010.

The Eisner Foundation, founded in 1996 by Michael and Jane Eisner and their family, exists to provide access and opportunity for children and the aging in Los Angeles County. The Foundation gives philanthropic support and counsel   to exceptionally-run non-profit organizations working to create lasting positive changes in the lives of at-risk and disadvantaged seniors and children in the Los Angeles community.

Born March 7, 1942 in New York, Michael graduated from Lawrenceville School in 1960 and Denison University in 1964 with a B.A. in English literature and theater. He serves on the boards of the California Institute of the Arts, IAC, Denison University, American Hospital of Paris Foundation, the Aspen Institute, the Yale School of Architecture Dean’s Council, the Michael D. Eisner School of Education, the Eisner Pediatric and Family Medical Center, and The Eisner Foundation. He and Jane have three sons, Breck, Eric and Anders and three daughters-in-law, Georgia, Stacey, and Terena plus seven grandchildren Noah, Eloise, Grace, Easton, Scarlet, Michael Patrick and Rose Jane.


ABOUT  The Ringling College Library Association

The Ringling College Library Association (RCLA), established in 1975, is a not-for-profit organization independent of Ringling College dedicated to the ongoing development of Ringling College of Art and Design’s Verman Kimbrough Memorial Library and acts as a catalyst for the educational growth of students, faculty and community.

RCLA is a member driven organization and hosts one of Sarasota’s top fundraisers, The TOWN HALL Lecture Series. The series features the leading speakers of the day, from world leaders to opinion-shapers, artists and entertainers to sports figures, journalists and authors.

In it’s 30-plus year history, RCLA has raised more than $8 million, funding the purchase of books, periodicals, DVDs, hand-made artist books, research material and online-services for the Kimbrough Library and student scholarships. In addition, RCLA has pledged $3.75 million to the construction of a new library on the Ringling College of Art and Design’s campus.


The Ringling College Library Association (RCLA) is a local non profit dedicated to the ongoing development of the Verman Kimbrough Memorial Library at The Ringling College of Art and Design and acts as a catalyst for educational growth of students, faculty, and the community.

Every year RCLA hosts The TOWN HALL Lecture Series.The series features the leading speakers of the day, from world leaders to opinion-shapers, artists and entertainers to sports figures, journalists and authors. The series features the leading speakers of the day, from world leaders to opinion-shapers, artists and entertainers to sports figures, journalists and authors. This is the largest fundraising event  for the Ringling College Library Association (RCLA). Funds raised from the event go towards The Verman Kimbrough Memorial Library at Ringling College and student scholarships for students attending Ringling College.

RCLA offers a membership to our association which includes a benefit of gaining early access to purchase tickets to the TOWN HALL Lecture Series. Please visit the Join RCLA page for more information.


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