BALLET WEST ANNOUNCES TRANSITION IN LEADERSHIP

Contact:   Joshua Jones, Associate Director of Press and Social Media| 801-414-4101 (cell) | jjones@balletwest.org

SALT LAKE CITY – July 28, 2016 – The Board of Directors of Ballet West announced today that Executive Director Scott Altman will depart his position effective September 30th to take over as Executive Director for the Cincinnati Ballet.  At the recommendation of the Board and the endorsement of senior management, Ballet West Artistic Director, Adam Sklute will take on a newly combined position of CEO & Artistic Director.

Altman joined Ballet West as Executive Director in 2013, and under his administrative leadership the Company experienced phenomenal expansion. The organization saw a 21 percent growth in ticket sales, an expanded touring schedule and robust growth in donor development. Altman was instrumental in the creation of Ballet West Academy’s three satellite campuses at Trolley Square, Lehi, and Park City. Over the past three years, the enrollment for the overall Academy has grown 75 percent. Most notably, Altman successfully oversaw a watershed campaign, a 12-month long “Million Dollar Challenge,” which completely eliminated $2.2 million in operational debt, the first time the Company had achieved this in 33 years. In March of 2016, Altman was named CEO of the Year by Utah Business magazine.

“My three years with Ballet West have been some of the best years of my professional life. I will certainly miss working with the talented and dedicated staff, Board, and supporters associated with the Company,” said Altman. Ba“I am very proud of the tremendous growth, accomplishments, and prominence that the organization has achieved during my time here.  I am confident that it remains strategically positioned for sustainable growth in the years ahead.”

Brian Powell, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ballet West said, “The Board is deeply grateful to Scott for his leadership during the past three years. He has successfully guided the Company through exciting and challenging times, and he leaves the organization in a prosperous position. We wish Scott and his family the absolute best in their future endeavors.  Scott has not only been a strong business partner, but also a great friend and colleague.  He will be missed.” 

Looking forward, Powell said, “The Board has decided to promote Adam to the newly combined role of CEO & Artistic Director as well as promoting current Vice President of Artistic and Production Operations, Michael Andrew Currey, to the position of General Manager. Ken Dodson, the current Vice President of Finance and Administration will be promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer. All three will report directly to the Board. Powell reiterates, “Ballet West is on strong financial footing with a talented and capable staff at all levels.  We have enormous respect for what Adam has built at Ballet West and with the world class team that he and Scott have put together we are confident and excited for the future of the organization.”

Sklute joined Ballet West as Artistic Director nearly ten years ago from Chicago, IL, where he was the Associate Director of The Joffrey Ballet. Since 2007, he has expanded Ballet West’s repertoire, visibility, and overall outlook with exciting Company premieres, increased touring, greater strength and recognition for the Ballet West Academy and international public exposure. Sklute was instrumental in acquiring BBC Worldwide Production’s docu-drama Breaking Pointe which aired for two seasons on The CW Channel.

“I have loved working with Scott over these past few years,” said Sklute. “He and I think alike on so many things and we shared the same drive and commitment to see Ballet West and our art form succeed. I will miss him but we will remain friends and colleagues.  Cincinnati Ballet is lucky to get him as an Executive Director.”

Addressing his combined role with Ballet West, Sklute adds, “During my nearly 10 years with Ballet West, I have worked hard to build the Company and make it the very best it can be. I have had the honor of working with two remarkable Executive Directors, Scott and his predecessor Johann Jacobs.  Johann navigated the company through some of the toughest financial times and Scott has moved us forward in amazing ways. We have a superior team of professionals from the administration, the dancers, the crew, faculty and musicians. Now is the time for us to focus on continued sustainability into the future while elevating the product and strengthening the infrastructure. I thank the board and am honored by their faith in me and I am excited to be working with such a stellar team. The future of Ballet West is bright.”