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Park City Institute Begins Leadership Transition

Boot Up

Local performing arts nonprofit Park City Institute announced changes to leadership in the organization.

As we’ve reported Teri Orr, the executive director of Park City Institute for more than two decades announced in the fall she was stepping down from her role at the Institute in the Spring of this year. Effective March 1st, Orr will transition from her current role to a new one, as founder and director emeritus.

Stepping up to lead the organization will be Ari Ioannides who will serve as managing director. Ioannides says he’s already begun working at the Institutes office while awaiting the boards formal action. Ioannides says he and his wife, former Park City School Superintendent Ember Conley, have long supported the Institute.

“There's no better supporter of the variety of arts that we get through the Institute,” Ioannides said. “So, Teri and I have been speaking for a long, long time actually.”

“Yes, this isn't anything new for us,” Orr added. “It may be new publicly, but Ari and Ember have been supporters for a long time. As I started to transition, I reached out to Ari and Ember and asked for their advice and support. 

“You know Ember's been through several executive changes so it's something that I've seen a lot,” Ioannides continued. “Having been active with boards and executive directors and with several nonprofit I was a great sounding board for Teri. So, it really made sense. She's asked me several times to become more involved. Being here full-time now it just seems like the perfect time.”

Ioannides has worked as a tech entrepreneur, most recently founding BootUp, an education nonprofit which trains teachers and district coaches how to teach elementary computer science to students. Ioannides also serves as the vice chair of the board of directors for Recycle Utah. He says he hopes to use his knowledge from those organizations as well as other successful performing arts nonprofits to help bring additional financial stability to the Institute. In 2018 the Institute and Deer Valley failed to come to an agreement to hold the summer concert series at the Snow Park Amphitheatre which had hosted shows from the Institute for over a decade. Orr says the organization has improved their financial stability in the past few weeks.

“We've had a number of loans that have been forgiven,” Orr explained. “We've had an infusion of cash into the organization. So, I would say our position today is very healthy, still with work to do.”

“Yeah, I would say today sitting here the position of institute is better than it's been financially in three years,” Ioannides agreed.

Interim Board of Directors Chair Jason Owen said after considering options and consulting with other foundations and donors over a six-month period, the board feels their plan moving forward will ensure the long-term success of the nonprofit.

“We're extremely happy that we found a friend in Ari that is going to be stepping in and helping the Institute,” Owen continued. “Because our objective over this period of time was always to find solutions on how they institute could thrive in Park City and be a very valuable asset to the community for the arts over the next 25 years to build on what Teri’s done for the first 25 years.”

The Institute also points to recent renewed support from key community members as a positive sign for the organization.

“Michael Zaccaro at the St. Regis certainly is at the top of the list,” Orr said. “He is back in for I think this is his 11th season as the summer sponsor. So, there will be a summer concert series—whatever questions there were about that—and St. Regis will be the title sponsor. Ann MacQuoid, who of course hired me, is stepping back in to lend advice and support. She and Mac and her real estate firm have been supporters all along and there are a number of folks in the community like that.”

Orr will remain a paid employee once her new role takes effect on March 1st.

“I'll be stepping back or sideways or whatever language makes sense,” Orr explained. “I'll be there to help with agents, to help introduce people, to help massage the transition with major donors and minor donors. That's the role that we've worked out.”

The Park City Institute’s 2019-2020 Main Stage Season has several shows left include Nat Geo Live shows, dance performances and musical guests. You can find tickets at Park City Institute .org

KPCW reporter David Boyle covers all things in the Heber Valley as well as sports and breaking news.
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