The Phoenix Symphony has selected Kate Francis as Chief Development Officer, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She began her tenure on June 1, 2020.
A veteran arts administrator, Ms. Francis has held a variety of arts management and fundraising positions for nearly 20 years. She most recently served as Vice President of Development at the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis, a privately funded united arts agency. In this role, she cultivated and solicited major individual and institutional donors, leading the fundraising and communication efforts for a multimillion-dollar united arts fund that exceeded fundraising goals. She also expanded corporate relationships, participated in organizational strategy and leadership decisions, and collaborated with the Marketing Director to align all messaging with strategic imperatives and development goals. As Chief Development Officer at the YWCA Metro St. Louis, Ms. Francis developed and grew individual giving to include concept, design, and management of annual appeals as well as design and implementation of strategies to increase unrestricted gifts. Her additional experience includes Director of Development & Marketing at Jazz St. Louis, President & Managing Director at Orpheum Theatre & Knox County Civic Center Authority, Director of Development at Arizona Opera, and Campaign Manager and Assistant to the Vice President for External Affairs at the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Francis has served as a member of various professional and community associations, including Association of Fundraising Professionals, Illinois Arts Council, Galesburg Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Galesburg Downtown Revitalization Study, and Western Illinois Economic Development Partnership. Ms. Francis holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy, graduating with honors from Monmouth College in Illinois.
In making the announcement, President and Chief Executive Officer Suzanne Wilson said, “We are pleased to welcome Kate to The Phoenix Symphony. Her breadth of experience as a seasoned fundraiser and working in the world of performing arts will be a tremendous asset in guiding our organization to a new level of financial strength and philanthropic support. Her track record of affecting significant growth and success in fundraising and building sustainable, renewable donor relationships will be a valuable asset as the nonprofit organization looks to engage the community in new ways.”
“I am excited to return to Arizona and thrilled to be part of Arizona’s largest performing arts organization,” said Ms. Francis. “I look forward to getting to know the symphony’s dedicated patrons as well as working with Suzanne, Board Chair Molly DeFilippis, Music Director Tito Muñoz, and the talented musicians and staff as we fulfill the mission of creating high quality musical experiences that enrich the lives of our community and next generation of patrons.”
“Best wishes to Kate Francis as she begins her tenure as Chief Development Officer at The Phoenix Symphony,” said ACG President Dr. Bruce D. Thibodeau. “ACG was honored to work with The Phoenix Symphony again, having placed President and Chief Executive Officer Suzanne Wilson earlier this year. Ms. Francis will be an excellent addition the symphony’s dedicated senior leadership team as symphony musicians bring high quality music experiences and unparalleled civic value to the Phoenix community.”