Penn State University Park - Guest Speaker Steven Wasser

Activity Description

Former CEO and Owner of Powell Flutes will discuss real-world examples of arts marketing. Gain insights from Wasser’s 30 years of experience operating Powell Flutes, the Stradivarius of flutes.


Steven Wasser

Powell Flutes

Consultant and Former Owner & CEO
Steven Wasser’s professional career has been characterized by creativity and entrepreneurial activity, with extensive experience in strategy, the arts, and education.  

Wasser purchased Verne Q. Powell Flutes in 1986 and, over the next 30 years, re-established the firm as the Stradivarius of the flute world by improving quality and introducing innovative new products.

In 2017 Wasser was appointed full-time Lecturer at SUNY New Paltz where he teaches Entrepreneurship, Strategy, and Leadership to upperclass and MBA students.  Prior to that Wasser taught MBA students Entrepreneurship and Strategy as an adjunct at Hult International Business School.   

Wasser was a member of the board of directors for the Lyric Stage of Boston for eight years, and served as President of the board from 2012-2016.  He has also served on the Berklee School of Music Presidential Advisory Board, on the Board of Overseers for the New England Conservatory, and on the Fallon Health Advisory board. 

In 2017 Steven and Stephanie Wasser donated a substantial collection of paintings and prints by American Jewish artists, working primarily in the 1930’s, to the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State University.  The focus of the collection is how these artists view their new country of the United States. Several of the donated items can be seen at the Palmer in its permanent exhibition.    

One of Wasser’s interests is CEO peer groups.  He was a member of a Vistage group for 10 years, then founded a cooperative CEO peer group which ran from 2006-2016.  Wasser, in conjunction with SUNY New Paltz and Upstate Capital, is in the process of establishing a CEO peer group in the Hudson Valley area which he will facilitate. 

Wasser received his MBA from Harvard Business School with Distinction, and obtained his A.B. from the Cornell University School of Arts & Sciences
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