Mabie named WTTW board chairman

James W. Mabie

James W. Mabie

After 13 years on the board of trustees of Window to the World Communications, James W. Mabie was elected chairman Wednesday of the parent company of public television WTTW-Channel 11 and classical music WFMT FM 98.7.

Mabie, 78, also serves on the board and is a past chairman of Chicago Public Media, parent company of WBEZ FM 91.5, where a performance studio is named for him. He previously was on the board of the defunct Chicago News Cooperative.

As Window to the World Communications board chairman, effective July 1, he will succeed Norman Bobins, who has held the post since 2008.

“I am honored to be asked to oversee one of the city’s most treasured cultural institutions during a very exciting time in its history,” Mabie said in a statement. “As I look forward to this new chapter, I am grateful that I can count on the support of a very strong board and dedicated staff.”

The 58-member board is in the midst of a five-year strategic plan and a $75 million capital fundraising campaign. Calling Mabie “the perfect choice,” Dan Schmidt, president and CEO of Window to the World Communications, cited his “unique skills, valued experience, and longtime commitment to this organization.”

Mabie has been a partner in investment management at William Blair & Company since 1983. Before that he was managing director of A.G. Becker and Company.

Active in civic and philanthropic affairs, he also has served as trustee or director of Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Old Town School of Folk Music, Ravinia Festival, Thresholds, Chicago Workforce Investment Council and Chicago High School for the Arts.