One of the first speakers of the session was Joseph Ferlo, President and CEO of the Oshkosh Opera House Foundation and Director of The Grand Oshkosh since 2004. He advocated for horizontal leadership, stating that a presenting theatre is “more than the building, it is a state of mind that needs to reach out to the community”. He stated that for a regional theatre “word of mouth are how the things get done”, thus interacting with the community is very important. Although he was forced out from his theatre (emergency renovation) to go into communities successfully relocating almost all performances in the 2009 season, now he is greatly benefiting from these community relationships. He had to take shows out from the building to the communities that sometimes have never experienced the arts.