Longstanding board member, arts advocate and patron Sara Jane DeHoff was elected the next board chair of the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA). DeHoff was most recently the vice chair of the board of directors and will serve up to four one-year terms.
DeHoff’s work with TMA dates to 1990 when she joined the Georgia Welles Apollo Society, a group that works with curators and pools their dues each year to purchase a work of art for the Museum collection. She has been on the board of directors since 1995, serving on committees dedicated to buildings and grounds, cultural diversity, finance, nominating and marketing and earned revenue. She has chaired or been the vice chair of the art, development, leadership and governance, executive and education committees as well as a member of the Founder’s Circle, President’s Council, Centennial Society, Art Travel, Libbey Circle and ambassadors. She was also instrumental in the founding of the TMA Glass Pavilion; the Second Century Campaign; and the Guest Artist Pavilion Project (GAPP) residency program, which she endowed.
“Sara Jane DeHoff’s passion for the arts, understanding of their societal impact and her commitment to the Toledo community have made her an invaluable member of the Toledo Museum of Art’s board of directors,” said Adam Levine, TMA’s Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey director and CEO. “Her professional and board experiences will make her an exceptional chair.”
In 2018, Ohio Citizens for the Arts awarded DeHoff the William R. Joseph Ohio Arts Advocacy Medal. This honor is given annually to an individual who has demonstrated exemplary effort and made a significant impact at the state and local level in the field of arts advocacy. She also received the 2001 Outstanding Philanthropist Award and the 2010 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award from the Northwest Ohio Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for her outstanding commitment, service and support to numerous organizations.
DeHoff is devoted to social and emotional learning and impacting 21st-century learning by improving reading and language comprehension. Recalling her days growing up in Iowa that sparked these passions and her interest in the arts, DeHoff said, "My background has animated my focus on making art and art education available to every child. The evidence that such access pays dividends for children and for society is clear, and no museum has a deeper or longer history of integrating art into its community than the Toledo Museum of Art."
Since moving to northwest Ohio in 1975, DeHoff has been a member of the Governor’s Ohio Arts Council Board and The Arts Commission for Greater Toledo; founded the Young Artists at Work (YAAW) and the Women's Initiative of United Way of Greater Toledo and served on the board or committees for the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, the Toledo School for the Arts and the Toledo Ballet. She has been active with the Valentine Theatre in Toledo, Maumee Valley Country Day School and the Black Swamp Conservancy among other organizations in Ohio.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from Northern Iowa University (Cedar Falls, Iowa) and a law degree from John Marshall Law School, now known as the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law (Chicago). In her career, she has developed expertise in social work, real estate, retail and serving in prosecutorial roles as an early lawyer for McDonald’s. Her experience also includes serving as a founder of S.J.’s Emporium (Perrysburg, Ohio) and as a board member and board chair for the Calphalon Corporation. Nationally, she has served on boards, including the Alliance of Artists Communities (Providence, Rhode Island); the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, the Lake Placid Land Conservancy and the Lake Placid Institute for the Arts and Humanities (Lake Placid, New York).
Outgoing President Randy Oostra served from 2019 to 2023 and will remain on the board. “I speak for the whole board of directors when I say that no one is better poised to lead the Museum’s board at this exciting moment than Sara Jane DeHoff,” said Oostra. “Her openness to innovation, deep institutional history and forward-looking perspective will help us accelerate our recent successes."
DeHoff survives her first husband, Ronald Kaspersak, and lives in Perrysburg with her husband Bill. She has two children, five stepchildren, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.