BRIEF BIO: Charles "Chas" Miller III is president and owner of Forward/Miller LLC, a consulting firm based in Rhode Island that provides management and consulting services on cultural travel, museums, philanthropy, and relationship building. His current work focuses on cultural travel and specifically working with two groups: Classical Excursions and Arrangements Abroad.
Before launching his firm of Forward/Miller in 1994, Miller worked at the National Trust for Historic Preservation (1985-1989, Headquarters and the Boston Office), the American Academy in Rome (1990-1995), Columbia University in the City of New York (2004-2008). Concurrent with ForwardMiller, he served for 14 years (until June 2018) as the Executive Director of Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation, a time when it generated transformational funding, growth, and support to the world’s oldest historic house museum. He also serves as Executive Director of his family’s foundation, whose focus includes the arts, education, healthcare, heritage, and preservation.
~ ~ ~.
St. Petersburg, Russia | Trinidad, Cuba | On the roof of Olana - Hudson, NY | Isfahan, Iran
FULL PROFILE: Chas Miller was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1960. He began his degree program at the American University in Paris, at which he spent two years prior to completing an Art History degree at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He subsequently held positions at three organizations dealing with issues of historic preservation and the arts: Preservation Action (a National Citizen’s Lobby) and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, both in Washington, D.C., followed by the American Academy in Rome, based in their New York office.
Following the American Academy’s Centennial Celebrations in 1994, Mr. Miller established the partnership of Forward/Miller & Co. Ltd., specifically to assist non-profits with fund-raising and special events. Over the course of the past twenty-four years, ForwardMiller has worked with more than 100 organizations, such as The Frick Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Botanical Garden, American London Symphony Orchestra Foundation, Museum of Modern Art, International Foundation for the Canadian Centre for Architecture, New York Horticultural Society, Lower East Side Tenement Museum and others. Forward/Miller has also assisted individuals with weddings, celebrations and special plans, including such high profile events as Chelsea Clinton’s wedding in July 2010.
At the same time, Chas worked concurrently with two other organizations – Columbia University in the City of New York and Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation. At Columbia, he served for five years as Senior Consultant to the Office of the President as well as to the office of University Development and Alumni Relations. In this role, he worked with a team on initiatives and events for President Lee C. Bollinger and other senior officials. Chas’s focus was on events that were international in scope.
For almost fourteen years until June 2018, Forward/Miller ran the operations of Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation with Chas serving as Executive Director for this New York City based organization. The foundation works to support London’s Sir John Soane’s Museum, the oldest existing historic house museum in the world, having opened its doors in 1837. The Foundation provides educational programs, annual fellowships for graduate students, and study trips abroad. During his term, they held their first of thirteen gala dinners, totaling more than $3.5 million, held more than 151 events, handled 39 study trips (Sweden, England, Ireland, Italy, Argentina, Turkey, Russia, Japan, Cuba), and transferred to the Soane Museum in excess of $5 million for support of conservation, endowment funding, exhibitions and other key areas.
Currently, Chas and Forward/Miller continue to provide consulting and project work. Chas started part-time for Arrangements Abroad and with their Museum Travel Alliance in 2018. The Museum Travel Alliance works with close to 100 museums and cultural institutions that provide specialized travel opportunities to their members and supporters. He serves as Tour Director for both domestic and international trips – pre-2020 journey’s included Cuba, Iran and Russia, and in the United States to Kansas City, Bentonville Arkansas for the Crystal Bridges Museum, the Berkshires of Massachusetts, Boston and more. In April 2022, Chas expanded his part-time work to include Classical Excursion - a firm also specializing in besopke travel programs focused often on architecture and gardens.
He is actively involved in philanthropy on several levels as he serves as Executive Director of his family’s foundation – the Charles A. and Lois H. Miller Foundation. The Miller Foundation provides support for health care, education, historic preservation, heritage and the arts.
In addition, Chas serves as Vice President and founding member of the Board of the Havana Heritage Foundation. There he also works as the volunteer coordinator for the Havana Heritage Foundation Traveling Grant for Cuban Architects to go to the UK to participate in a program with The Prince’s Foundation. He serves on the Board of the Newport Art Museum. With the Preservation Society of Newport County in Rhode Island, he serves on the annual Symposium Committee. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Historic Artists’ Homes & Studio program. is a He is a founding member of the American University of Paris President’s Alumni Advisory Council. Until recently, he also served as Vice Chair of International Art & Artists in Washington, D.C. He also is on the Emeritus Council of The Olana Partnership, an organization working to preserve the historic estate of Frederic Edwin Church, the 19th Century Hudson River School painter. Previously, he served as Chair of the Advisory Board for the Hudson Opera House in Hudson, New York, and was a Board member of the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council.
Chas resides with his husband, Birch Coffey, in Barrington, Rhode Island.