OPERA America Selects 14 Participants from the U.S., Canada and Latin America for its 2016 Leadership Intensive Program
Developing Future Leaders and Strengthening Opera Companies
OPERA America, the national service organization for opera and the nation's leading champion for American opera, is pleased to announce that 14 participants from the United States, Canada and Europe have been selected for its 2016 Leadership Intensive program. These future industry leaders were chosen through a competitive selection process focusing on candidates’ potential to make significant contributions to the opera field. This program is made possible by the generous support of American Express.
The Leadership Intensive exemplifies OPERA America’s long-standing commitment to identify and nurture leaders who will advance the creation, presentation and enjoyment of opera for years to come. This program identifies the most promising professionals in the field of opera administration and provides them with a unique experience designed to bolster their leadership capacity and advance their careers.
The 2016 Leadership Intensive participants are:
- Morgan Beckford, fellowship coach, Memphis Music Initiative;
- Michael Blais, director of administration, Manitoba Opera (Winnipeg, Canada);
- Vincent Connor, general director, Opera Orlando;
- Hannah Griffiths, head of participation and learning, GöteborgsOperan (Gothenburg, Sweden);
- David Lomeli, assistant artistic administrator and special projects, The Dallas Opera;
- Colleen Maybin, director, education and community engagement, Vancouver Opera (Canada);
- Chandra McKern, managing director, Pensacola Opera;
- Patrick Mühlen-Schulte, development officer, Houston Grand Opera;
- Michelle Myers, manager of constituent relations, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis;
- Claire Padien-Havens, assistant to the executive offices and board of directors, San Francisco Opera;
- Ashley Parks, director of development, North Carolina Opera (Raleigh, NC);
- Jennifer Rivera, director of artistic development, Center for Contemporary Opera (New York, NY);
- Sarah Squire, director of operations, Opera Memphis;
- Lydia Zodda, operations manager, Ash Lawn Opera (Charlottesville, VA).
This is the fourth class of Leadership Intensive participants to have been selected since the program’s inception in 2012.
OPERA America’s sister organizations, Opera.ca and Opera Europa, were responsible for selecting the Canadian and European participants, lending an international dimension to the program.
“American Express is proud to continue to support OPERA America’s Leadership Intensive as part of our commitment to providing world-class leadership training to the nonprofit sector’s rising stars," stated Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation. “With the skills acquired in the program, we hope participants can continue to create a thriving national opera community for audiences and artists now and in the future.”
As part of the Leadership Intensive, participants will convene at the National Opera Center in New York City from Friday, August 26 through Thursday, September 1 for a week-long learning program that will address strategic issues, build essential skills and foster strong professional connections. Upon completion of the program, these developing leaders will be prepared to apply new skills, share their learning with colleagues and demonstrate leadership that contributes to their local companies and communities. Building upon that week-long foundation, Leadership Intensive participants — including those from the previous three classes — will take part in additional professional development programs throughout the year, including regular group coaching calls, webinars with field executives and roundtable discussions at the OPERA America’s annual conference, making this a comprehensive professional development experience.
“As we welcome our fourth Leadership Intensive class, it’s encouraging to see the achievements of past participants who’ve leveraged the skills and relationships they gained through the program to further their careers and take on greater responsibilities,” stated Marc. A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. “The Leadership Intensive has proven to be a crucial training ground for a new generation of opera leaders who may not otherwise have access to such specialized learning opportunities or to an international network of peers. We are deeply grateful for American Express’ continued support of this program.”