Michelle Whiting & Associates Tapped to Find CEO for Pacific Chorale

September 20, 2018 – Michelle Whiting & Associates, which specializes in recruitment for non-profit organizations, has been selected to find the next chief executive officer for Costa Mesa, CA-based Pacific Chorale, a professional choir.

“The successful CEO will have an unprecedented opportunity to have a significant impact on the financial stability of a flourishing and increasingly high profile arts institution,” said the search firm.

Michelle Whiting & Associates will be working closely with a committee made up of Pacific Chorale’s board members, stakeholders and artistic director to find the new leader. The committee hopes to identify a candidate this fall and have the new CEO aboard soon afterward.

Pacific Chorale seeks an energetic, creative and experienced arts administrator to leverage the group’s artistic reputation and to elevate and expand board participation, said the search firm. The new CEO will be charged with significantly increasing regional and national fundraising strategies for operational, artistic development and endowment at this premier non-profit.

High Expectations

The organization is seeking a seasoned non-profit arts leader with the proven ability to grow a musical or performing arts organization and verifiable experience in launching fund development initiatives that support Pacific Chorale’s mission and the artistic director’s long range vision, said Michelle Whiting & Associates.

The CEO is expected to have extensive experience in creative development and fundraising, exhibit strong visionary leadership qualities and have a career path that includes top-tiered executive experience at one or more non-profit performing or cultural arts institutions.

The Chorale’s new leader is expected to work with the board of directors and artistic director to establish and implement a sustainable business model, develop strategic partnerships that enhance and grow the choir’s presence, membership, fundraising dollars, and earned income over the next phase of the organization’s development, said the search firm.


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This leadership position will hold the primary staff responsibility for fundraising, which is expected to make up about 75 percent of the CEO’s duties, followed by administrative (15 percent) and budget (10 percent) responsibilities.

Realistic Planning

Duties will include developing and executing realistic short and long-term plans for generating the funds to increase both earned and contributed income, building reserves, achieving long-range financial stability and laying the foundation for future growth, said Michelle Whiting & Associates.

The CEO is also expected to cultivate and strengthen new and existing relationships, collaborations and sustain effective relationships with board, staff, members, volunteers, donors, philanthropic foundations, community/political/and business leaders, peer institutions and other stakeholders, among other responsibilities.

Related: The New York Pops Turns to Greenwich Harbor Partners for Board Directors

A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required (though a master’s degree or higher is preferred), said the search firm. Candidates should have an appreciation of choral and classical music. The ideal candidate will have seven to 10 years of arts fundraising and administration leadership experience in the non-profit sector (preferably in choral, symphony or classical music) including performing arts groups and/or performance venues/presenters.

Founded in 1968, Pacific Chorale is internationally recognized for exceptional artistic expression, stimulating American-focused programming and influential education programs. The choir presents a substantial performance season of its own at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, CA, and is sought regularly to perform with the nation’s leading symphonies. Pacific Chorale is renowned for infusing an Old World art form with California’s hallmark innovation and cultural independence, developing innovative new concepts in programming, and expanding the traditional concepts of choral repertoire and performance.

World Renowned

Pacific Chorale is comprised of 140 professional and volunteer singers. In addition to its longstanding partnership with Pacific Symphony, the Chorale has performed with such renowned American ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and Musica Angelica.

Related: Alexander Whitehead Places Artistic Director at Arts Club Theater 

Education programs are central to Pacific Chorale’s vision of enriching and educating the community. Toward this aim, Pacific Chorale has produced innovative educational initiatives that have opened the door to the art of choral music and the magic of the creative process for thousands of students and adults annually.

Long Beach, CA-based Michelle Whiting & Associates, founded in 1994, has provided counsel to successful non-profit organizations in both the U.S. and U.K. The firm provides expertise in development assessments, design and implementation of fundraising plans, foundation relations and grant proposal development. Its efforts have assisted over 200 organizations in establishing, strengthening and increasing funding resources. Michelle Whiting & Associates has also become a recognized specialist in executive search for leadership positions focused primarily on fund development.

The firm works with some of the largest and most prestigious organizations in the U.S. and U.K. including the Joffrey Ballet, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Girls Incorporated, THINK Together, the Diana Princess of Wales Fund, Common Threads, American Friends of the Tate Britain, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Fulfillment Fund.

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Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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