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jeff brown as new chief financial officer 1

Nov. 29, 2017

Navy Pier Appoints Jeff Brown as New Chief Financial Officer

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CHICAGO – Navy Pier, Chicago’s mission-driven cultural district, announced Jeff Brown as its new Chief Financial Officer effective November 15, 2017. Brown has been with the Pier since April of 2017, serving as Director of Accounting and Financial Reporting and Interim Head of Finance.

Brown brings a wealth of experience, nonprofit leadership and financial acumen to the organization. In his short tenure at Navy Pier, Brown and his team successfully negotiated the Pier’s Family Pavilion construction loan with Fifth Third Bank, implemented a new payroll system, created a new annual budget process and restructured the finance team. In his new role, Brown will continue to lead the organization in financial planning and record-keeping, promote a framework to drive financial accountability, and oversee the finance and accounting unit at the Pier, among other related duties and responsibilities.

Brown’s appointment comes as Navy Pier moves into its second century as a leading cultural hub, offering free, Chicagocentric programming to more than 9 million annual guests.

“Jeff has accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time at the Pier while keeping our mission at the forefront of his work,” said Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner. “A proven finance leader in the nonprofit sector, he is a fitting choice to head our finance division as Navy Pier continues to evolve as a mission-driven organization. I am thrilled to officially welcome him to the Pier’s executive leadership team.”

A registered CPA in Illinois, Brown has nearly 20 years of experience, including senior finance roles at United Way of Metro Chicago, Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He earned his MBA in Accounting and Human Resources from University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Bachelor of Music and Arts Administration from Indiana University Bloomington.

Click here for a photo.


Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder.


Visit our new website, This change is small, but impactful. We are excited to move in to our second century as a mission-driven cultural district, welcoming all and inspiring our more than 9 million guests.

Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is one of the top-attended nonprofit cultural destinations in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and welcoming more than 9 million guests annually. Opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. In 2017, Navy Pier continues to celebrate its centennial with a series of special events and programming, year-round rides on the Centennial Wheel and ongoing Pier-wide redevelopment efforts as part of the Centennial Vision. Navy Pier, as a nonprofit organization, maintains and manages the 50-acre pier that is being redeveloped as a contemporary, environmentally responsible urban space. More information is available at

About Navy Pier

Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder.

Since its reopening in 1995, more than 180 million guests have come to enjoy the Pier’s 50 acres of unparalleled attractions and experiences. In 2022, Navy Pier continues to evolve into an accessible, year-round centerpiece for Chicago’s diverse arts and cultural treasures.


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