LIMA — The Lima Symphony Orchestra found what it wanted in an executive director from within.
The board of directors announced Monday that Elizabeth Brown — the orchestra’s director of marketing, communications and external affairs — will be the orchestra’s new executive director.
“She is just perfect for the job,” said board President Kevin Hawley. “She is just a terrific person, and she has the experience. She is just perfect.”
Hawley said the board’s vote was unanimous for Brown. She replaces Marie Drum, who spent the last seven years as director.
Brown will take over the operations of the orchestra, including managing all human and financial resources. She will be responsible for all strategic planning, advocacy, community outreach, fundraising, budgetary, staffing and administrative activities carried on by the orchestra.
“I think that right now the symphony is posed for a very, very exciting time,” Brown said. “I think artistically we have the best season planned I have ever seen. I think our board leadership is very strong right now, and I think everyone is very energized and excited. It really is a great time to be a part of the symphony, and I am just honored to be able to lead it.”
Brown was selected after an extensive search of candidates in collaboration with the League of American Orchestras. She has been with the orchestra for the past five years. She handled public relations for the orchestra, plus special event fundraising and outreach programs. She will continue those duties.
A Lima native, Brown holds a law degree and a master’s in International Affairs from American University in Washington, D.C., and a bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University. Prior to her return to Lima, she worked as an international financial attorney at Shearman & Sterling in New York City for five years.
The symphony is celebrating its 60th season and has just gone through a two-year strategic planning process. Brown said a tremendous amount of information has been gathered. She and Maestro Crafton Beck soon will meet to brainstorm about the future.
“I think you will see the symphony continue to do all the things is it does incredibly well," she said, "but also we are going to try to add some new surprises and just really continue to grow and satisfy the demands of the community."
Brown hopes to expand the symphony’s community outreach program and said people likely will see more of the orchestra and its smaller ensembles in the community.