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SALEM — Harlen Springer, the chair of the Florence Public Arts Committee as well as a founding member and past president of the Florence Regional Arts Alliance, has been appointed to the Oregon Arts Commission by Gov. Kate Brown.

Springer is a retired corporate executive with extensive experience leading artistic and consumer products companies including Portal Publications, Numi Organic Tea and Boing Designs. Prior to that, Springer held senior management positions at Fortune 500 companies such as Procter and Gamble, Clorox and Unilever.

As a founding member and the current Chair of the City of Florence Public Arts Committee, Springer has worked with city government, local utilities, civic groups and private individuals to complete 10 projects over the past four years, including sculptures, murals and youth projects. The group received the “Innovation in Business” award for 2018 from the Chamber of Commerce in recognition of their contributions to the city.

Springer also helped to found the Florence Regional Arts Alliance, which now has more than 175 members and sponsors, and operates a gallery where they conduct classes and workshops in all visual mediums, in addition to literary events.

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“Since his retirement, Harlen has devoted his time and significant business acumen to the development of the Florence arts community,” said Commission Chair Anne Taylor. “We are incredibly grateful to him and fortunate to enlist his energy in our statewide effort to enrich the lives of Oregonians through the arts.”

“I am honored and humbled by this appointment,” said Springer. “My work in Florence has given me the opportunity to interact with several current Arts Commissioners and it is clear the Commission attracts strong people with a passion for the arts combined with a practical approach to strengthening communities by utilizing the arts to stimulate economic vitality. I share this same passion and desire to have the arts touch the lives of all Oregonians.”

Springer holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Oregon and an MBA from Seattle University. He began his four-year term on Nov. 7.

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