Ballet Arizona Appoints New Executive Director

Ballet Arizona announced the appointment of Alison Johnston as its new Executive Director. Mrs. Johnston, most recently COO of PetSmart Charities, brings with her a wealth of management and practical experience in both the not-for-profit and for-profit arenas primarily in the retail and banking industries. 


“It is my sincere pleasure to welcome Alison Johnston as Executive Director of Ballet Arizona,” says Ken Van Winkle, Ballet Arizona Chairman of the Board. “I believe we have secured a highly talented Executive Director that will lead our organization to new levels of success.”


Prior to her role with PetSmart Charities, Johnston was Chief Administrative Officer for The Wildflower Bread Company, an Arizona-based restaurant and wholesale bread business. Mrs. Johnston spent 12 years with Citigroup Latin America and the Caribbean, holding various senior level positions including Country Business Manager of the Consumer Bank in Venezuela and The Bahamas, Deputy Director of Corporate Affairs, Senior Product Manager and Marketing Director for Latin America. She also held Marketing and Operations positions with Banco de Venezuela International, Chemical Bank, Lane Bryant and Ann Taylor.


“It’s a great honor for me to join Ballet Arizona as the new Executive Director,” says Johnston. “I have a unique opportunity to use my business skills and my passion for the arts to make a valuable and positive impact in our community. I also have the good fortune to work with such a brilliant force as Ib Andersen, the Ballet’s world-renowned Artistic Director, and its highly talented dancers. This combination, along with a strong administrative team, a dedicated Board and generous donors will truly enable us to take our vision for the Ballet to the next level.”


Mrs. Johnston joins Ballet Arizona at a time of positive transition as the organization is poised to continue the forward progress of the Company, School and community outreach programs.


In Jan. 2011, Ballet Arizona launched The Next Step capital campaign to raise funds to support the renovation and outfitting of Ballet Arizona’s long- needed, new permanent home. During this final and most crucial stage of the campaign, Johnston’s fundraising and business skills will help Ballet Arizona reach out to local community friends to raise the remaining funds needed to complete the new building, located at 28th and Washington Streets.


These new facilities will allow Ballet Arizona to rehearse and present more of its repertoire, extend its school and adult classes, and offer performance opportunities in an intimate theatre. Demolition and reconstruction of Ballet Arizona’s new home will begin in Sept. 2012.


"We are very excited to have Alison join our family at Ballet Arizona, and I look forward to forging a strong partnership with her," said Ib Andersen, Ballet Arizona’s Artistic Director. “ It is an exciting time to be at the Ballet and we have tremendous projects on the drawing board.”


Mrs. Johnston has her MBA in Marketing from the Joseph A. Martino School of Business at Fordham University, New York, and her B.S. of Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. She resides in Scottsdale with her husband James, son Trevor and two rescue dogs, Josie and Day-Z.


Submitted by Ballet Arizona

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