Title Executive Director
Organization San Antonio Symphony
Closing Date
Location San Antonio, TX

The San Antonio Symphony (the Symphony) is one of the oldest orchestras in Texas and is a leading organization in the culturally diverse, vibrant, and growing Bexar County region. Soon to celebrate its 80th season, the Symphony’s home is the magnificent Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, a world-class venue situated along the banks of the San Antonio River in the heart of the city’s revitalized downtown.

The highly anticipated 2018-2019 season will offer a wide variety of performances, with 14 Classic Series concerts and six eclectic Pops Series concerts. Greats such as pianist André Watts and Grammy-winning violinist Augustin Hädelich will be featured. The programming will delight classical enthusiasts and includes all six of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, Mahler’s Symphony No. 9, and Tchaikovsky’s rarely performed second piano concerto. The Symphony’s education and community engagement programs include Young People’s Concert performances, which reached 45,000 3rd and 5th graders in the 2016-2017 season, free student attendance at Open Rehearsals, 5,000 free tickets to public school groups at Classics Concerts, and more than 200 offsite community outreach events, including two local high school residency programs. Additionally, the Symphony works closely with the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, teaching, coaching sectionals, and mentoring these young musicians, which also includes the annual side-by-side concert conducted by the Symphony’s Music Director.

After a challenging year, the Symphony has undergone a transformation that has galvanized its shared mission among the musicians, staff, and board. This revitalized collective spirit will propel the organization forward as it embarks on its future as “the people’s symphony.” Renewed civic confidence is also clearly demonstrated through the significant support from the City of San Antonio and Bexar County, which enabled the Symphony to reorganize under new leadership in early 2018 and successfully complete its season. A new collective bargaining agreement with the 72 musicians of the Symphony includes 30 weeks of program services and over 47 education and community engagement activities in recognizing that the Symphony is a key part of the culture of the region.

The Symphony is governed by a 26-member board of directors, with Kathleen Weir Vale serving as Chairman, and managed by Michael M. Kaiser as Interim Executive Director. The Symphony’s 2018-2019 budget will be approximately $7.67 million, with 55 percent from contributions and 45 percent from program services revenue.

Celebrating its tricentennial in 2018, San Antonio is both modern and deeply rooted in history and cultural history. It has been ranked the fastest growing city in the United States according to the Census Bureau and is the seventh largest city in the country. San Antonio’s population recently surpassed 1.5 million residents and continues to grow due to the attractive business climate and affordable cost of living. The city’s medical and bioscience professionals are recognized as some of the best in the country, developing cutting-edge treatments, devices, and pharmaceuticals. San Antonio boasts 31 institutes of higher education, including The Art Institute of San Antonio, The University of Texas at San Antonio, and Trinity University. Making significant strides in early education, the city’s Pre-K 4 SA program ensures that all children in San Antonio have access to Pre-K early education.

San Antonio provides a wealth of arts and culture experiences. In 2014 the spectacular Tobin Center for the Performing Arts opened on the banks of the San Antonio River Walk. In addition to the Symphony, this world-class performing arts facility is home to nine other prominent arts organizations, including the Ballet San Antonio, Opera San Antonio, and Youth Orchestras of San Antonio. In 2015 its five Spanish missions were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The arts economy in San Antonio exceeds $4.3 billion in revenues returned to the community each year as the flourishing creative arts are an integral part to the quality of life in this diverse city. As recently reported in the Rivard Report, “the City of San Antonio, in partnership with Bexar County, was just selected as one of 12 new international communities of practice as designated by the International STEM Learning Ecosystem Initiative, which aims to bridge STEM/STEAM learning across sectors by linking business, higher education, and informal learning with in- and out-of-school-time initiatives.”

As a forward-looking city, San Antonio is investing in the downtown area and revitalizing the former grounds of the 1968 Hemisfair. New apartments and condominiums line the San Antonio River Walk, giving the downtown area a decidedly urban feel. Both city parks and the beautiful surrounding areas are loved by outdoor enthusiasts. Ranked among the top 50 bike friendly cities by Bicycling Magazine, more than 50 miles of developed greenway trails are dedicated to biking, walking, and jogging. As home to Chef Johnny Hernandez, named as one of the top five Latino chefs in the country, and with a wide variety of quality restaurants, San Antonio has quickly become a new dining destination. San Antonio has become the second city in the country to receive UNESCO’s Creative City of Gastronomy designation. Additionally, sports fans can enjoy games from an array of local professional teams, including the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs and the NHL’s San Antonio Rampage.

The Executive Director will ensure the success of the overall artistic, operational, financial, and administrative management of the organization. This individual will generate and execute strategies and plans, manage the human and financial resources, and drive the Symphony’s mission to inspire and enrich the region through excellence in symphonic performances, educational programs, and community engagement activities. The Executive Director will be responsible for all aspects of the organization, including implementation of policies and key strategies as set by the board of directors. Reporting to the board of directors through the Board Chair, the Executive Director will serve as the chief executive officer of the Symphony.

Through the guidance of and support by the Orchestra General Manager and Artistic Planning Committee, the Executive Director will partner with the Music Director to ensure the Symphony’s artistic product is at the highest level. Working with the Education Director, this individual will embrace and bolster education and community engagement programs, ensuring strong promotion and robust attendance at the Symphony’s many concerts in ethnically diverse neighboring communities. Overarching responsibilities will also include an active role in strategic relationships and partnership agreements that are formed and nurtured with musical, performing, educational, and community organizations to advance deeper relationships throughout Bexar County and beyond.

The Executive Director will oversee the implementation of the marketing plan—which encompasses audience development, external and community relations, volunteer management, and advertising—by managing, guiding, and supporting the Marketing Director. A key role will include fundraising planning and execution as well as compliance with donor requirements in addressing the demographics and changing needs of a diverse community. Through the oversight, guidance, and support of the Development Director, the Executive Director will ensure that development activities are carried out successfully and in an efficacious manner, according to established philanthropic principles and best practices. Working with the Director of Finance, this individual will ensure that the Symphony’s financial resources are maximized in order to achieve and maintain fiscal health. The Executive Director will also mentor staff members to ensure they have thorough training in their areas of responsibility.

Roles and Responsibilities

Strategic Vision and Board Governance

– Play an active role in the generation and implementation of a short-term and long-term strategic plan to advance the mission, vision, and values of the Symphony.

– Partner with the board to establish timelines and performance measures that focus on the achievement of the strategic plan’s goals and regularly advise the board on how to best promote efficient and effective operations.

– Flexibly adapt to changing market, demographic, and social needs embedded in the strategic plan to effectively respond to the community served by the Symphony.

– Guide board prospect identification, cultivation, and recruitment by utilizing participation on board committees that develop future board members and leaders.

– Serve as ex officio member of all board committees; attend all board and executive committee meetings; and prepare and present reports for board, executive committee, and other committee meetings as requested by the Board Chair.

– Keep abreast of activities and developments in the orchestra industry and advise the board on matters that may be helpful to advance the Symphony’s objectives.

– Embrace other strategic vision and board governance responsibilities, as needed.
Community Engagement and Revenue Maximization

– Provide organizational leadership in all aspects of marketing and development by establishing personal relationships with key funders and audience members to support the Symphony’s capitalization goals.

– Identify and maintain strong relationships with key community partners to diversify and expand the organization’s individual, foundation, corporate, and government donor base.

– Broaden the Symphony’s public image and increase brand awareness for the organization, clearly articulating the mission, vision, programs, and impacts of the Symphony.

– Energize earned and contributed revenue opportunities with the board and development and marketing staffs to achieve annual and long-term goals.

– Cultivate new and existing donors for ongoing support while seeking new prospects to ensure a robust and diversified funding base.

– Guide marketing, branding, and public relations programs that highlight the Symphony’s impacts and reputation.

– Generate plans for effective mobilization and appreciation of the 320-strong San Antonio Symphony League and Maestro Society.

– Embrace other community engagement and revenue maximization responsibilities, as needed.

Artistic Administration and Program Planning

– Oversee the development, implementation, and monitoring of the Symphony’s artistic objectives, consistent with marketing, development, and financial capacity.

– Partner with the Music Director, General Manager, and Artistic Planning Committee in the selection of guest artists, conductors, performing groups, and programs that support the Symphony’s artistic objectives.

– Negotiate and ensure compliance of the master agreement with the musicians and the American Federation of Musicians to maintain excellent relations between the Symphony and its most treasured and valuable resource—its musicians.

– Facilitate the General Manager’s development of an annual master plan for orchestra operations, including rehearsal schedules, local and run-out concerts, program themes and ideas, special events, broadcasts, and audience development.

– Seek and recommend new opportunities for performances by the Symphony and its ensembles in consultation with the Music Director, Assistant Conductor, Artistic Planning Committee, and General Manager.

– Embrace other artistic administration and program planning responsibilities, as needed.

Financial and Organizational Management

– Develop, monitor, and report organizational financial performance and design an organizational structure that exceeds industry standards.

– Recruit, hire, and mentor key personnel and ensure that all employer responsibilities are met in compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations.

– Establish and monitor goals for each Symphony employee through the use of performance reviews according to the job’s goals.

– Maintain and update orderly personnel files, job descriptions, employee handbook, and employment policies.

– Develop, negotiate, implement, and monitor compensation and benefits programs.

– Embrace other financial and organizational management responsibilities, as needed.

Traits and Characteristics
The Executive Director will be driven by practical results in maximizing time, talent, energy, and resources to achieve extraordinary results. Instinctive by nature and receptive to new ideas, methods, and opportunities, this individual will embrace frequent communication and engagement with a broad array of stakeholders. Assertive, flexible, and versatile, the Executive Director will be people-oriented in valuing the artistic experiences of the many individuals and groups that interact regularly with the Symphony.

Other key competencies include the following:

– Leadership and Customer Focus – The ability to organize and motivate other people to accomplish goals, create a sense of order and direction, and gain active participation among a variety of stakeholders.

– Interpersonal Skills – The capacity to interact with others in a positive manner, listen carefully, and communicate in an open and honest manner.

– Negotiation and Diplomacy – The resiliency to embrace diverse stakeholder perspectives and set a course that balances organizational goals with individual needs.

– Project and Priority Management – The dexterity to develop and work within established timeframes and to ascertain top priorities for optimum productivity.

Qualified applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience. A minimum of five to seven years of related senior management experience in the nonprofit sector, with a preference for the performing arts sector, is required. Experience in partnering with artistic leaders and personnel, guiding community engagement, and building a diverse governance and volunteer structure is necessary. The successful candidate should have a passion for orchestral music as well as enthusiasm for the Symphony’s mission of excellence and access. Bilingual candidates (English/Spanish) will be greatly appreciated and embraced by the Symphony and the diverse community it serves. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential job duty and responsibility satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Compensation and Benefits
The Symphony offers competitive salary and an excellent benefits package that includes 403b match of 5.45 percent after one year of employment, generous paid time off, and parking, among others. These are complemented by the quality of life that San Antonio offers.

Applications and Inquiries
Please submit a letter and resume (electronic submissions preferred) with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments to:

Mr. Bruce D. Thibodeau, President
Arts Consulting Group
292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 201
Email SAS@ArtsConsulting.com

Website https://sasymphony.org/