Shakespeare & Company Announces Interim Executive Director Jerry Bilik
Shakespeare & Company's Board Chair Sarah Hancock has announced the appointment of Interim Executive Director Jerry Bilik, who joins the Company's management team lending his expertise and experience in the field to support the efforts of Artistic Director Tony Simotes, Managing Director Nicholas J. Puma, Jr., the Company, staff and artists, as well as the Board of Directors.
A long-time supporter, friend and current Board member of the Company, Bilik has an outstanding and distinguished 40+ year career in performance producing, management and directing. His career includes highly successful positions with several notable corporations such as Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus and Feld Entertainment, where he was instrumental in the development and production of Disney on Ice.
"We are thrilled to have Jerry on-board with Shakespeare & Company," says Ms. Hancock. "He comes to us with years of professional management experience and will act as the primary interface with the board, work with the leadership team of the Company and help drive development efforts."
We are grateful to both Nick and Tony for their tireless efforts over the past four years to bring the organization to a more financially sound footing. Having an Interim Executive Director in place will provide a welcome shift for Tony so he can focus more on the artistic affairs of the company, allowing his creativity to flourish without the burdens of day-to-day operations. Nick will now also be able to focus on the areas where his skills will be of greatest benefit to the Company. These changes will allow the Company to truly blossom and achieve our financial and artistic goals. It's a busy and exciting time for the Company and while Jerry is here on an interim basis we are pleased to able to get the search underway for a full time Executive Director."
The Board of Directors has hired Greg Kandel of Management Consultants for the Arts to assist the Company with its Executive Director search. The Company anticipates that the search will be completed in the next several months.
"As we continue to develop and deepen our programing, I am extremely pleased to have Jerry join us and to have his expertise and support in realizing the vision of the Company in the months to come," says Artistic Director Tony Simotes. "Jerry has proven over his long career that he is not only up to the challenges, but that he can help shape successful growth strategies in complex environments. It is a massive undertaking and I am delighted to see his expertise, commitment and passion added to our leadership team so that we can continue to strengthen our service to our patrons and reinforce the Company's high standard of theatrical performance, actor training and education. We have a terrific season planned for 2014 and I look forward to making our announcement in the New Year. Onwards and upwards!"
"We continue to have ambitious goals for the future of Shakespeare & Company," says Puma. "I am very excited to have Jerry on board to help us achieve those goals and with our outstanding programs and performances we are on-target to continue the momentum and positive financial trends of the last several years."
Born in New Rochelle, New York, Bilik developed his passion for theatre and music at an early age when he attended the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan, and has had a long career in the arts, having written, directed, and performed in numerous stage plays and musicals, composed and/or arranged more than 1,000 musical compositions. He served on the faculty at University of Michigan, and, moving to Los Angeles, scored background music for several films and TV series as well as working as Music Coordinator for the major awards shows (Oscars, Grammies, etc.). Officially retired since 2012, Bilik continues to work on several projects, including two plays, a string quartet (just completed), and a symphony. He resides in Lenox, MA and in Sarasota, FL.
"I am greatly honored to move into the role of Interim Executive Director at this exciting time in Shakespeare & Company's history," says Bilik. "When I first came to Shakespeare & Company, I was impressed not only by the work, but also by the vision of the Company and its future. Shakespeare & Company is poised for continued success with its already established and respected education, training and performance programs, and I offer my support and service to help reinforce Lenox as a premier American cultural destination for classical theatre, arts and culture. I look forward to helping Shakespeare & Company build a strong financial base so that this extraordinary programming will endure well into the future."