Executive director Wendy Brandon and her staff are making sure, It’s Happening at the Henegar


Last March Wendy Brandon assumed the role of acting executive director on a volunteer basis at the Henegar Center in Melbourne. “I think I brought good business practices to the Center, and made it easier to work with the community,” says Brandon, an attorney who owns and manages commercial real estate holdings with her husband Harry.  “I was very anxious to work with other nonprofits and cultural groups to be inclusive and invited their participation. We want them to use the facility for the benefit of the community. Once word got out that we were under new management and seeking to be inclusive things have really picked up.”


Marketing Director Kathy Kett has assumed the title of Operations Manager, “a position that makes much more sense for our organization,” and staff members have been added to assume administrative duties. The Foosaner Ballroom has been renovated to accommodate a small theater and the city of Melbourne and the Brevard County Tourism Development Council are helping fund a new roof for the building that was built back in 1919 to house the local high school. “They recognize that we are definitely an asset to the area.”


Brandon is particularly proud of Henegar’s children’s programs. A partnership with Places Please Theater Company yielded a highly successful run of “Aladdin Jr.” last fall. “It’s a relationship that will continue,” says Brandon. The Center has also assumed the summer fine arts program that the Brevard County School District was forced to abandon due to budgetary constraints. During the summer 50-60 10th through 12th graders took part in the program. “We even have students who have gone away to college asking of they can come back and participate.”


In 2010 at Brandon’s instigation the Center hosted the Harris Music Series in an effort to bring in more contemporary music. She established a relationship with Harris and Brevard Jazz Series director Roland Guilarte to bring in more performers that appeal to a broader demographic, “we recognize that the success of the Henegar Center is dependent upon broadening the scope of our appeal.”


Brandon, who serves as the Henegar Center Board of Trustees treasurer says she “truly wanted to make this a community center and I think we’ve succeeded. Everyone knows if they have a reasonable proposal we will work with them. I’m getting the biggest kick out of doing this and having so much fun.”