Phillips Oppenheim Leading President Search for Saratoga Performing Arts Center

February 24, 2016 – Phillips Oppenheim, an executive search firm dedicated to the non-profit sector, has been retained by the Saratoga Performing Arts Center to lead its search for a president and executive director.

Marcia White, who rescued the Arts Center from the worst budget crisis in the organization’s history, plans to retire at the end of 2016 after serving for a dozen years. The search will be led by Phillips Oppenheim recruiters Sarah James and Becky Klein.

Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) is a large amphitheater located in Saratoga Spring, New York, on the grounds of Saratoga Spa State Park. It presents summer performances of classical music, jazz, pop and rock, dance, opera, as well as a Wine & Food Festival.

Phillips Oppenheim’s arts search practice group has worked with a number of prominent performing arts institutions, including Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Metropolitan Opera, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, and the Music Center in Los Angeles.

The firm has recently recruited senior leaders for other non-profit organizations, including Matthew Teitelbaum as executive director of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; Salvador Salort-Pons as director, president and CEO of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA); Linda McNeil Tantawi as CEO for the Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure; and Judge Judy Harris Kluger as executive director of Sanctuary for Families. The firm was recently selected by the Apollo Theater to lead in its search for a new executive producer. Executive search consultant Sandi Haynes is leading that search.


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As the economy continues to strengthen, hiring in the non-profit sector has been gaining momentum. In the past decade, employment in the sector grew by 17 percent. The non-profit sector has also become a hot area for corporate executives looking to switch careers. A recent article, ‘Profiting From Nonprofits,’ in United Airlines Hemisphere’s Magazine, said business managers and executives are turning to the non-profit world for employment in record numbers.

The sector is now the third largest employer in the U.S. Nearly two million non-profit organizations employ 10.7 million people and produce revenue in excess of $1.9 trillion.

Other reports have pointed out that Baby Boomers who spent the majority of their working lives in the private sector are looking to round out their working years serving a mission. Called the ‘encore career phenomenon,’ this often means switching to a non-profit organization or institution as a means of starting a second career.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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