​ATHENS, 8 NOV 2012
Screenshot 2020-09-01 at 9.40.35 PM

The Benaki Museum in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy and the British Council are organizing a conference entitled “The Entrepreneurial Museum: Revenue and Capacity Building Strategies for Self-sustained Non-profit Institutions.” The program aims to foster a dialogue in two critical fields of interest for the museum community, and the arts and non-profit world in general, especially during a time of economic crisis. Topics of discussion include identifying and implementing innovative strategies and new methods of operations that will allow cultural and nonprofit institutions to reach their core audiences and engage their communities; and finding new funding and other resources to help those organizations become more self-sustaining.

Keynote speakers of the conference are Ryan French, Director of Marketing and Public Relations of the Walker Art Center; James R. Hackney, Managing Partner and Museum Fundraising Expert of the Alexander Haas consulting firm; and Marianne Rance, Head of Corporate Relationships of the London Science Museum. The conference also includes a presentation by Alexandra Palli, Secretary General of the Hellenic Network of Corporate Social Responsibility. Directors and representatives of major museums, cultural and non-profit institutions in Greece offer their comments and valuable insight at the conference.


Director of Marketing and Public Relations,
Walker Art Center
Managing Partner,
Museum Fundraising Expert,
Alexander Haas
Secretary General,
Hellenic Network for Corporate Social Responsibility
and Vice-President of the Eurocommerce
Head of Corporate Relations,
London Science Museum UK

Ryan French

Director of Marketing and Public Relations,
Walker Art Center

Ryan French joined the Walker Art Center staff as Director of Marketing and Public Relations over a year ago. French oversees the Walker’s strategic communications for its diverse multidisciplinary programs in the visual, performing, and media arts.
French was Director of Corporate Relations at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, where he engaged many local and national corporations in school activities, and secured funding for strategic priorities and capital campaigns. In addition, during a-three-year tenure at the business school, he served as Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, a period marked by a tripling of annual fund revenue and record alumni participation.
Prior to that, he was Director of Marketing and Business Development at Meld, a national nonprofit specializing in parent education for teens and immigrants (2004–2005), and Associate Director of Marketing and E-Commerce at the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (2000–2003). He is a member of several Arts Marketing associations in the U.S. and a frequent speaker in conferences on non profit management, marketing and audience development.
French received an MBA from the Carlson School and a BA in music from St. Olaf College. He sings with the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, a group acclaimed for its innovative explorations of new choral music; mentors students; and runs marathons.

James R. Hackney

Managing Partner, Museum Fundraising Expert,
Alexander Haas

As Managing Partner of Alexander Haas, Jim serves cultural clients all over the United States. In the past few years, Jim has helped clients raise more than $700,000,000. Chosen as consultant to the American Association of Museums in Washington D.C. and the American Craft Council, Jim is known as a creative strategist for projects with national impact.
He directed the Centennial Campaign for the Dallas Museum of Art that resulted in over $400,000,000 in donations of art and increased endowments. In Columbus, Georgia he conducted a unique campaign that joined nine cultural organizations in a unified fundraising effort that raised over $110,000,000 in a community of less than 200,000 people. For the State of South Carolina, Jim directed the successful campaign to build the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in a joint public – private partnership. In Santa Fe, Jim has helped to restructure the way the Museum of New Mexico Foundation serves its four museums and led them through a campaign that paid for the exhibitions of the New Mexico History Museum and raised over $25,000,000 on a campaign goal of $17,000,000.
He frequently participates in conferences as a speaker, trainer and presenter, including at the American Association of Museums (AAM), the National Park Service, the Association of Fund Raising Professionals (AFP), Art Museum Development Association (AMDA) and many others.
He graduated cum laude from Wofford College with a bachelor’s degree in humanities and earned a M.A.R. from Yale University Divinity School. He is currently on the Executive Committee of the Development and Membership Committee of the American Association of Museums and is past president of the Art Museum Development Association.
Prior to joining Alexander Haas in 1995, he worked at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, was Alumni and Annual Fund Director and then Director of Development for Wofford College and was the Director of Development and Marketing for the Mint Museum of Art where he also served as Interim Director for 18 months. Jim is an avid collector of studio craft.

Alexandra Palli

Secretary General,
Hellenic Network for Corporate Social Responsibility &

Alexandra Palli was born in Athens on July 17, 1967. She studied Business Administration in Athens. She speaks English and French fluently. Very good knowledge of German.
She is the Vice-President of the Eurocommerce since May 2010 as well as an elected Member of Eurocommerce Steering Committee since November 2006. She was elected as Vice-president of the Hellenic Network for Corporate Social Responsibility since March 2009 and at the elections on March 2012 she was elected Secretary General of the CSR Board with its new diversified activities.
In June 2006 she was elected as Secretary General of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry and remained at this position until November 2011. She has been consecutively elected as a Member of the ACCI’s Board of Directors from 1994 until today.
From 1992 to 1995 she was the Marketing Director of “PALLIS SA”, stationery, commercial enterprise, since 1996 she has been the Managing Director of “PALLIS SA” Graphic Arts Industry. Since 2008 is a shareholder of the Epic SA, Investment Services Company. Since July 2011 she is a shareholder and acting Vice-president of the company POLITY SA, Strategy and Communication Consultants.
She was an elected Member of the Athens Traders Association (ATA) from 1990 to 1997. She was a member of the Hellenic Foreign Trade Organization’s Board of Directors (HEPO) from 2004 to 2009. Since 2005 she had been appointed Secretary General of the Athens Tourism and Economic Development Agency and since 2008 remains a member of the Board of Directors.
She is member of the European Union of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises EUMU (Hellas) and a member of the National Chamber Network of Women Entrepreneurs.
She has served as a Member of the Central Committee of “New Democracy” political party, from 2004-2007. In June 2009 she was a candidate of the European Parliament elections for the “New Democracy” political party.
She is a certified open sea diver and skipper. Alexandra Palli’s website :

Marianne C. Rance

Head of Corporate Relations,
London Science Museum
Marianne studied Law and French Law at the University of London (King’s College) and the University of Paris (Sorbonne). Marianne then joined legal firm Linklaters and became a qualified solicitor having specialized in contracts and corporate law.
Following a leadership role as a volunteer while practicing law, on the ‘Red Nose Day’ City Committee 1997, Marianne moved to Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, Marianne worked for IMG, the International Sponsorship consultants and then moved to deliver the corporate fundraising strategy for the millennium projects for the Hong Kong Cancer Fund. Returning to London in 1998, Marianne joined the Science Museum, which forms part of the Science Museum Group. Between 1998 and 2005, Marianne managed all non-corporate fundraising for the Science Museum, raising seven figure sums for projects starting with the Wellcome Wing, then taking an extended career break to learn how to sing and look after three children, one puppy and a jail-breaking hamster.
Marianne returned in 2011 as Head of Corporate Relationships at the Museum looking after our high profile partners and leading (with a team of 5) the fundraising campaign to secure the Museum’s ambitious master plans from corporate funding sources. She sits on the TEDxFulhamWomen committee and has taught on the industry’s first sponsorship foundation course run by the European Sponsorship Association. Marianne still reads all the small print and occasionally sings a little at her desk.