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Pasadena Symphony Turns to Crisis-Management Guru for Help

January 26th, 2009 by Temple City Tribune

The combined orchestras, the Pasadena Symphony and the Pasadena Pops Orchestra, now known as The Orchestras of Pasadena, hired a crisis-management consultant some time ago. Now,that relationship has matured. Paul Jan Zdunek, Resource Consultant to Principal/Owner Surale Phillips at Decision Support Partners, Inc. was named today [Nov. 21] by The Orchestras of Pasadena as its Chief Executive Officer.
Recent developments in the economy turned donations sour and the organization’s investment portfolio apparently suffered as well. Those two events led to the cancellation of a number of concerts that were to have been presented by both the Pasadena Symphony and the Pasadena Pops over several months.
On top of that, Tom O’Connor, Director of the Orchestras of Pasadena up until a few weeks ago left the symphony along with a co-director. Jean Horton assumed the reins on a temporary basis.
Zdunek has been appointed as CEO which presumably means he is the go-to guy on all matters concerning the two orchestras. Because he already is familiar with the Orchestras of Pasadena circumstances, he will immediately begin organizing a series of fund–and friend-raising meetings. He comes off a similar experience in Modesto where as CEO he brought the Modesto Symphony Orchestra and The State Theater out of financial difficulties.  One strikingly difference between Modesto and Pasadena is the support lent to the arts by the Gallo family, owners of the huge winery.  The recently opened Gallo Performing Arts Center and many arts organizations have been heavily supported by the Gallo family over the years.  The Modesto Symphony summer series is presented on Gallo property.  The Gallo family retains a strong presence within the Modesto area as its leading employer and taxpayer and, importantly, as philanthropists. 

Whether Zdunek can find a group of arts advocates that matches his Modesto experience will be a challenge.  But, he has a corporate management experience, and is strongly grounded in the arts. He is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music with a Masters Degree in Orchestral conducting, a Bachelor of Music in composition from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. He teaches Human Resources Management for the Master of Arts Administration program at Goucher College, Bozeman, Montana.

More information will be added as details become available. 

By Bill Peters

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