Palace announces Sari O’Connor joining as executive operating officer

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ALBANY>> The Palace Performing Arts Center announced the hiring of Sari O’Connor to the newly created position of Executive Operating Officer responsible for fundraising, business development and strategic initiatives in an effort to support future growth and revenue generation. O’Connor joins the Palace by way of her previous position as Chief Development Officer at Northern Rivers Family Services. In a statement, Holly Brown, Executive Director of the Palace, noted “Sari brings an incredible wealth of experience to the Palace. Her expertise and the meaningful connections she has fostered in the Capital Region community will have an immediate impact in continuing to enhance the Palace’s profile in our community and developing the resources we need to positively impact the capital city and surrounding area.” 

O’Connor is a Cum Laude graduate of Adelphi University, and earned her Master’s Degree in Education from SUNY Stony Brook. She also earned a Certificate of Completion in Human Resources from Indiana/Purdue University, as well as a Certificate in Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations from the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program. After beginning her career as an elementary school teacher, and later serving as Director of Relocation Services for a local real estate firm, O’Connor spent eight years as a senior member of the management team at Northern Rivers Family Services. As Chief Development Officer at Northern Rivers, O’Connor was responsible for the strategic planning, execution and management of fundraising activities including major gifts, corporate giving, foundation grants, special events, planned giving and capital campaigns. 

O’Connor joins the Palace during a period of great growth for the 2,800-seat theatre in Albany. Since 2011, the number of annual events hosted and presented by the Palace Performing Arts Center has doubled, and the Palace is on track for its fourth consecutive season of increasing operating surpluses. O’Connor’s experience in managing collaboration between organizations, having helped to craft an alliance between Northeast Parent & Child Society and Parsons Child and Family Center as a member of the Affiliation Committee, will be of particular benefit to the Palace, an organization that has engaged in shared services with both Park Playhouse Inc. and The Albany Symphony Orchestra in recent seasons. “Beyond enhancing our development and fundraising operations,” Brown said, “Sari’s experience in effectively advancing collaboration between organizations will be a tremendous asset as the Palace continues to take a leadership role in strategically bringing Albany’s arts community together.” 

O’Connor will officially join the Palace team in June. “It is a privilege to be joining the Palace Team and a wonderful opportunity to share the responsibility for the vision, strategy and growth of the organization. The Palace is a gem and promises to be a premiere entertainment destination, not only for Albany, but the Capital Region and beyond,” she said. 


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