PHOENIX, AZ–(January 4, 2011) The Phoenix Symphony Board of Directors and its Association today announced that business leader, Jim Ward, will serve as the interim President and CEO of The Phoenix Symphony effective January 4, 2011.
“Jim Ward is not only a classically trained musician but also a seasoned corporate executive with outstanding leadership and management experience,” said C.A. Howlett, Chairman of The Phoenix Symphony’s Board of Directors. “His keen business skills and his passion for music will be valuable assets to our long term strategic mission for the Symphony.”
“I am honored and excited to lead this talented organization into a new era,” said Jim Ward. “The Phoenix Symphony provides world class musical enjoyment and serves as a critical part of the cultural and economic vitality that is essential to the future of Phoenix and the state of Arizona. It is imperative that music and culture continue to thrive and I am eager to help in any way that I can.”
“I am thrilled to be working with Jim Ward to help him bring new energy and innovative ideas to every level of our organization,” said Michael Christie, the Virginia G. Piper Music Director. “His unique understanding of the creative process, his entertainment experience along with his business acumen are the perfect mix for helping us achieve our vision as a 21st Century orchestra.”
Ward is currently a venture partner in the venture capital firm, Alsop Louie Partners, focused on early stage evernet/cloud computing start-ups. Prior to joining Alsop Louie, Ward was President of LucasArts and Sr. Vice President of Lucasfilm, Ltd. where he led the business growth of the video game company and oversaw the planning, development and execution of global marketing and distribution programs for all of Lucasfilm’s theatrical, home video and television intellectual properties including “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones”.
Jim Ward was also an Arizona Congressional candidate in the recent 2010 election cycle. “He has demonstrated commitment for improving our community through economic and cultural development,” added Howlett. “Ward’s extensive relationships with business, government and community leaders are critical as the Symphony moves boldly forward in challenging economic times.”
Ward’s over twenty-five year business career began in advertising with Doyle Dane Bernbach in New York, then as Senior Vice President and General Manager of BBDO/Los Angeles and onto Worldwide Account Director for Wieden and Kennedy in Portland, Oregon. As an advertising executive, Ward has been involved in many major global product introductions including Apple Computer’s original PowerBook, Microsoft’s Windows ’95 with the Rolling Stones and Nike’s introduction of Tiger Woods.
Ward has served as Chairman of the Entertainment Software Association and was nominated for an Emmy in 2007 as Executive Producer for a Prime Time Non-Fiction Special. In addition he has been recognized as one of Advertising Age’s Top 100 Marketers, was EPM’s Entertainment Marketer of the Year in 1999, and has received Thunderbird’s Alumnus of the Year award. He is currently a member of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce serving on the Public Policy and Economic Development advisory committees, a member of the Tempe, Chandler and Arizona Chambers of Commerce and has served as an advisor to Arizona State University’s SkySong Innovation Center.
A native of Rockford, Illinois, Ward received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Hanover College and a Master of International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management where he met his wife Dawne. They have two daughters, Elizabeth and Caroline and reside in Scottsdale.
About The Phoenix Symphony: The Phoenix Symphony has been proudly serving the citizens of the Phoenix metropolitan area and Arizona since 1947. What began as an occasional group of musicians performing a handful of concerts each year (in a city of fewer than 100,000 people) today serves more than 300,000 people annually, with almost 200 concerts and presentations throughout the greater Phoenix area and beyond.
Under the artistic leadership of Michael Christie as the Virginia G. Piper Music Director and administrative leadership of Interim President & CEO Jim Ward, the orchestra is overseen by the non-profit Phoenix Symphony Association under Board Chairman C.A. Howlett.
The 66 member Phoenix Symphony presents an annual season from September through the beginning of June, featuring full-length classical and pops concerts at Symphony Hall in downtown Phoenix, as well as concerts in Scottsdale, Mesa, Prescott and throughout central Arizona. The Symphony performs for more than 65,000 students and children, helping to introduce music to new generations through a variety of education and youth-engagement programs.
The Phoenix Symphony’s 2010/11 Lead Sponsors are US Airways, APS, Target and The Arizona Republic.
The Phoenix Symphony’s 2010/11 Sponsors are US Airways, APS, Target and The Arizona Republic.