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San Francisco Opera Announces New Board President-Elect Jack Calhoun

He will succeed President Keith Geeslin, who will be stepping down from the role after a decade of distinguished service following the close of the current season.

San Francisco Opera Announces New Board President-Elect Jack Calhoun

San Francisco Opera has announced Jack Calhoun has been elected president of the San Francisco Opera Association effective August 1, 2023. He will succeed President Keith Geeslin, who will be stepping down from the role after a decade of distinguished service following the close of the current Centennial Season. Calhoun, who was elected at a special meeting of the board of directors on November 11, will be the Opera Association's 17th president since the Company's founding in 1923 and together with Board Chairman John Gunn will lead the 75-member board of directors.

Jack Calhoun, a senior advisor with McKinsey & Company, has been a member of San Francisco Opera Association's board of directors since 2008. He is currently chair of the Marketing Committee and a member of the board's Executive, Directors and Officers, Finance, and Strategy Development committees. He co-chaired Opera Ball: The Centennial Celebration, the Company's season-opening benefit in September. Calhoun has an illustrious career in marketing and merchandising including serving as Global President of Banana Republic. His extensive non-profit experience includes positions as Vice Chair of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and having served on the national board of GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) for five years. Passionate about the art form of opera, Calhoun studied vocal performance at Indiana University's School of Music.

President-Elect Jack Calhoun said: "I am honored to take on this role for San Francisco Opera-a company created and sustained by our extraordinary Bay Area community over the last 100 years. As we enter our second century, it is vital that we continue to boldly expand on the artistic innovations that have made this company what it is and to invite new audiences and donors to connect with us through innovative new ways to interact with opera. We have been so fortunate to have the dynamic leadership of Keith Geeslin these past 10 years and the incredible support and guidance of our chair, John Gunn. In partnership with our board and Matthew, I look forward to building upon the legacy of this great Company."

"I am thrilled that the board has unanimously elected Jack to the role of president," stated Opera Association Chairman John Gunn. "He combines a reverence for the history of this company with an exuberant energy for innovation. He will be a wonderful successor to Keith, whose phenomenal leadership has kept San Francisco a leading opera company for the last decade."

Opera Association President Keith Geeslin said: "It is an honor to serve as San Francisco Opera's president and wonderful to be experiencing the Company's energy post pandemic. The arrival of Music Director Eun Sun Kim, the caliber of productions on stage, and the scope of innovative work we are undertaking this Centennial Season are amazing and speak to an exciting future. Jack is a long serving and hardworking board member who knows both our company and our community well. As San Francisco Opera embarks on its second century with the goals of maintaining artistic excellence while inspiring new generations of audiences and donors, I'm confident that Jack will provide extraordinary leadership with a respect for our historic past and a great energy for the future."

The appointment comes after an open and inclusive succession planning process by a presidential succession committee led by Valerie Crane Dorfman, chair of the board's Directors and Officers committee. The process began in March when Geeslin announced his intention to step down from his role.

"Jack Calhoun meets this important moment in the life of San Francisco Opera in all the critical ways that are needed," said Valerie Crane Dorfman. "A business leader who engages in the community with ease and joy, his collaborative style, paired with his visionary leadership, makes him the right person to step into this role. The next president of San Francisco Opera Association will have a significant impact on this Company's future, and I'm grateful to my fellow members of the presidential succession committee for the rigorous thought and care they put into this process."

San Francisco Opera General Director Matthew Shilvock said: "I'm very excited to be moving into the Opera's second century in partnership with Jack. We both share a commitment to nurturing excellence and driving innovation, and Jack's experience, passion and inspiring energy will be vital to the success of our future. As Jack prepares to take on this role next August, I am profoundly grateful to Keith Geeslin for his spectacular leadership as president over the last ten years. Keith has been completely devoted to this Company's success and has given tirelessly to that end."

An experienced executive in consumer and retail businesses, Jack Calhoun led Banana Republic, a division of Gap Inc., from bricks-and-mortar to an integrated digital business, serving as Global President for eight years. Today he helps CEOs and boards in multiple industries refine and implement their digital and product strategies as a senior advisor at McKinsey & Company, based in San Francisco. He has led brands domestically and internationally; advised businesses in many sectors and countries; and served on boards of corporations and not-for-profit organizations, actively providing strategic as well as operational, organizational, and creative guidance to executive teams. Prior to Gap Inc., Calhoun was Executive Vice President of Brand Management and Advertising at Charles Schwab & Co. His early career included leading teams at Foote, Cone & Belding and Young & Rubicam, and positions with Levi Strauss & Company and The Procter & Gamble Company. Calhoun currently serves as Vice Chair of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Executive Board member of San Francisco Opera, where he has focused on brand and audience growth. He and his husband, Trent Norris, are ardent supporters of the arts in San Francisco. Calhoun attended Indiana University School of Music and holds a B.S. from Purdue University, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an Honorary Doctorate from Purdue.




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