After an eighteen month search process, the Helena Symphony is pleased to welcome Ginny Abbott as the new Executive Director.  After almost a year with Interim Executive Director, Pat Callbeck Harper, the Symphony has retired all long term debt, moved to new office space, and restructured much of the staff.   “This has been an extraordinary year of growth and institutional development,” explains President & Board Chair Barb Howe.  “The organization is at a point that allows the administrative leadership to complement the artistic vision of the Symphony.”

With equal excitement, the Symphony is pleased to announce that Pat Callbeck Harper will remain on the staff as the new Director of Patron Services.  “In addition to the Symphony’s Development Assistant, Emma Reilly, Ms. Harper’s leadership as the Director of Patron Services allows for Ms. Abbott to focus the majority of her time on the financial development of the Symphony,” says Ms. Howe.

“I was looking for a position in a well-respected non-profit institution that has a commitment to excellence, challenging goals, and a passion for a healthy quality of life,” says Ms. Abbott.  “My career has focused on building and rebuilding programs by finding creative solutions to institutional challenges, along with raising financial resources.” Ms. Abbott has developed a reputation of productive cooperation with boards, administrators, staff, donors, foundations, corporations, and volunteers.  Over her career she has raised over $100 million as part of and leading development teams.

Ginny Abbott relocated to Helena this month from Cleveland, Ohio.  With over twenty-five years of development experience, Ms. Abbott has served as a non-profit consultant and fundraiser throughout Ohio.  For nearly seven years, she served as the Director of Development for The Cleveland Music School Settlement.  There she raised over $7.5 million.  She increased annual unrestricted donations from $206,000 to $540,000 which resulted in balanced budgets for seven consecutive fiscal years after twelve years of deficit spending in excess of $1 million.  She raised $1.5 million for deferred maintenance and more than doubled the the endowment to over $5.5 million.   In addition, Ms. Abbott served as Director of Alumni Affairs and Assistant Director of Campaign Affairs for Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and was the Assistant to the Director of Development & Public Relations at Health Hill Hospital for Children.

“I am thrilled to be able to work with one of the leading arts organizations in Montana,” explains Ms. Abbott.  “It’s a privilege to work with the Board of Directors and the artistic and administrative staff who work with the 78 musicians of the Helena Symphony Orchestra and 90 singers of the Helena Symphony Chorale to bring music the Helena region.”

“It is wonderful to have Ginny so committed to the mission and artistic vision of the Symphony,” explains Maestro Scott.  “It is important for the Symphony, as well as supporters and subscribers, to have an executive director who understands, respects, and admires the incredible commitment the Helena community has for this organization.”

Please contact the Helena Symphony office for additional comments or interviews with Ms. Abbott, Maestro Scott, or members of the Board (406.442.1860).

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