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Case Studies

Ballet West Executive Director Search


The Challenge:
When a ballet company is ending a successful capital campaign, and entering into its 50th year as a nationally recognized hallmark of excellence, finding an Executive Director is easy. Finding the perfect Executive Director is much more difficult.

The Solution:
The Ballet West board of directors knew hiring an Executive Director with vision and the ability to raise the funds necessary to support a larger space, increased touring, and a growing academy of dance was critical. MW&A helped Ballet West articulate, hone and define the attributes and character needed for the position and brought the perfect candidate to the search committee. Scott Altman’s renowned background as both an arts administrator and as an artist, along with his proven track record of building support, reputation and programming, made him the ideal Executive Director for Ballet West.

In the year since his appointment to the position, Scott has successfully grown the budget revenue by $2M, opened another Ballet West Academy site (with a Park City location slated for 2015/16), launched a blue ribbon national board of trustees, and spearheaded the construction of Ballet West’ new home.


Pretend City Executive Director Search


The Challenge:
After a ten year capital campaign, Pretend City Children’s Museum opened its doors in 2009. The campaign had been long, difficult and was ending in the midst of the largest recession since the Great Depression. When the Executive Director position opened up, the board knew they would need a proven professional who knew the community, and could re-energize the board, donors, and staff.

The Solution:
The search committee engaged MW&A to establish a recruitment plan that would attract a new leader comfortable with the Orange County donor community, well versed in early-childhood programs, and able to reinvigorate the board, staff and donors.

Several excellent candidates had the majority of these attributes, but Sandra Bolton fit this profile perfectly. As the former Executive Director of Healthy Smiles for Children, Sandra brought an uncanny ability to immediately build fundraising, create programs and exhibits to ensure record attendance, and establish creative new partnerships that have become replicated by other Children’s Museums throughout the country.